Arie Altena is literary theoretician and ex-Mediamatician with a heart for cycling. Clad in Campagnolo gear, he took us on a passionate ride through cycling history,
making links with the contemporary fixed gear scene. It appears that the turn-of-the-century mustached bikers were pretty much doing the same thing as contemporary fixed gear trick riders, when they gathered on their velocipedes for a ride through the park. We learn that historical events determined the status of fixed gear in various countries, and that the start of the Giro indeed seems to be a perfect occasion for a fixed gear feast: the Italians have a kindred eye for beautiful bikes, and fearlessly combine tradition and innovation.
DUS Architects have been working hard on a spatial design for Mediamatic Bank, to make the Sur Place festivity possible. They started from the idea of a track - a dream many of us share - and tried to adapt it to accommodate various functions: a track, a bar, a catwalk and a dance floor. This resulted in FLOW, a track that curls through the exhibition space like a moebius ring, and divides it into usable compartments. Their design instigated a discussion with many suggestions about technical execution and aptness for cycling.
Kees Vernooij then took us from architecture to urban planning. Kees divides his working time between bike messenging and town planning, and combines these two professions in his research on Amsterdam as a bicycle capital. He showed us many maps of the city, drawn from different viewpoints. When superposed, they showed that the bikers’ actual use of the streets did not coincide with the ‘official’ routes laid out by the municipality. The ‘ideal’ transportation infrastructure appeared to be far removed from reality. Kees’ intriguing background will not only be helpful to the municipality for improving this situation, but will also help Mediamatic organize an RFID alleycat race through the city.
Jur, messenger for Infinity Couriers, proudly showed us an extract of his giant archive on bike messenger culture. His spoke cards, accessories, manifestos and flyers have been collected on messenger events all over the world, and definitely merit a place in our exhibition. We will visit him shortly and report our findings!