Archive for January, 2009

The installation at the Transmediale

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

After an intense few days, especially for Esther as she had to edit the videos, the installation was ready. Last night the Transmediale was officially opened, and immediately the exhibition space was swarming with people. I expect the weekend, though, to be even more busy.

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First collar data download

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

After two weeks we met Purdy, the collared cow, again, in an opportunity to download the first collar data. Although Purdy was picked for her mild disposition, she still needed to be caught with a rope and had to be held on the ground to undergo the procedure. Tijmen connected the USB cable to Purdy‘s collar, and sat next to her with his laptop to download the data.
Purdy tried to free herself a few times, but the herders managed to keep her down and Tijmen managed to keep the cable, laptop and his nerves under control. So we managed to finish the procedure relatively fast, and now we have thirteen days of herding and one day of migration data on our hard disk.

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Workshop with the distributors

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

The distributors with whom we did a workshop, including Mr. Usman, whose track was on display, were a surprisingly lively bunch. It turned out they were all old university buddies. I was surprised to find university graduates driving trucks, but apparently in Nigeria you can’t be too picky (or too Peaky for that matter, even the truck drivers were happy to be associated with that brand).The robot performed admirably. By that I don’t mean that the track looks as it should; I’ve gotten used to that excitement. What I mean is that in this track the robot really was an actor on a stage, because it paused for long periods of time at the places where we had resupplied the shops. This emphasised that it wasn’t just scaled down in space, but also in time. It’s not just a drawing, it’s a performance, a re-enactment. I wonder if there are other stop-n-go groups that would be interesting to track.

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Esther and the track

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

A picture of Esther smiling proudly. Every time I look at Idiris’s track I think about how he just crisscrosses the countryside with no regard for roads, fields, and according to the local population, even crops. Hence the relatively straight line. During one of the workshops I caught some more details about the Fulani’s “right to go anywhere”. Officially they are only allowed to cross farmland if the crops have already been harvested, otherwise the cows will eat everything.

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Another workshop with Mister Idiris

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

By special request, we did another workshop with Mr. Idiris. By yesterday he had migrated with his herd to another location, in order to avoid contact with cattle infected with foot-and-mouth disease. After an intensive search for a good workshop location, Mr. Idiris explained his track in great detail. As it was a 13-hour day for us, the details will follow later.

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