You got your art in my architecture!

Design done right: Using technology to build a bridge between problem-solving and art. The Dutch have always had stunning currency design (I will forever lament the loss of the guilder, and what is perhaps the most beautiful banknote ever produced), and their new coder-designed 5 euro coin is amazing:

5 Euro Macro Crop

The Dutch Ministry of Finance organized an architecture competition for which a selected group of architectural offices (unstudio, nox, …) and artists were invited, including myself. The goal of the competition was not to design a building, but the new 5 euro commemorative coin with the theme ‘Netherlands and Architecture’. The winner will be rewarded with a nice price, but most of all with the honor: his design will be realized and will be a legal coin within the Netherlands.

Things I need more of, in no particular order. (first in a series)

– science-fiction
– coffee
– Super Paper Mario
– Eric B & Rakim
– weird sex
– sun
– N2O
– time
– Amsterdam
– robots
– teeth
– teeth made from robots with smaller teeth inside them so that they chew my food for me when my mouth is closed
– lucid dreaming
– Strongbow
– the responsible abuse of pleasure

Hebban olla vogala nestas hagunnan, hinase hic enda tu, wat unbidan we nu

In 2003, when the collected House ov Khan passed a motion to relocate our HQ to Haarlem, we did so with the intent of opening our community art/cafe space within the borders of the Koninkrijk der Nederlanden.

With only one EU citizenship between the lot of us, we were keenly aware of the legal issues involved with relocation. The Vreemdelingpolitie were previously responsible for handling of all permits related to residence, but Dutch Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk claimed late in 2003 that by transferring the process to her Immigratie-en Naturalisatiedienst (IND) department she could improve conditions for all involved. We took note of this, and watched.

However, a year later, Minister Verdonk and the IND came under investigation by the Justice Ministry for misleading city councils about residence permits and application forms, resulting only in a host of integration and technical issues that prevented the easy application and processing for newcomers to the kingdom. Minister Verdonk was given a deadline, and she assured Parliament that she would meet it. Again, we took note, planning for a 2005 post-deadline move.

Now six months past that deadline, Amsterdam City Council this week accused Verdonk of breaking her promise to resolve the issue, and is now investigating whether damage claims can be filed on behalf of mislead expats.

As of last July, there were almost sixty thousand outstanding residence permit applications, and IND is only now beginning to release over 75 documents each week. At that rate, it will take over a decade to clear the backlog.

The Dutch Association of Municipalities and the Dutch Association of Civil Affairs have sworn to see this resolved in a much more timely fashion. However, the only thing that is certain is that now is not a good time to be waiting for a permit in The Netherlands.

Here at House ov Khan, we are forced to deal with the harsh reality (heh heh heh) of the bureaucratic nightmare that IND has created.

Our plan is still the same: To move to The Kingdom of The Netherlands, and foster community space. It is very clear that this will not be happening in the current climate, however, as this backlog could possibly take a year or two to resolve.

In the interim, we are evaluating several options. None of these involve remaining in Ottawa.

We are looking at a variety of locations within our country’s borders and elsewhere in the world which will provide us with resources and experiences that we can use in achieving our goal. Any move we make from this point onwards will be a step forward. We will accept no less.

This change of status in NL does, however, have an upside.

Previously, due to the resources and related issues involved in a move to the NL (such as immigration processes for several kittens, business licenses, and so forth), the process was expected to take a long time. One (or several) of us were to head over as an advance party, while the rest stayed behind for a number of months to finalize the move from this side of the ocean.

Now that we no longer have to deal with these issues immediately, our move out of Ottawa will be hastened considerably.

Say your goodbyes now, friends and foes. We won’t be here much longer.

More trouble.

Theo van Gogh has been shot and killed in Amsterdam.

He had been subject to a number of death threats after his last film, Submission, which highlighted Islamic violence towards women. He had been working on a film about Pim Fortuyn, the anti-establishment slash anti-immigration politician who was shot and killed two years ago. The Mayor of Amsterdam is organizing a protest — expect rioting tonight in The Kingdom of the Netherlands.

What a terrible day.

social contracts for fun and profit

…and just when i thought i couldn’t feel any worse about living here, i looked outside and saw that it was snowing.

In another world, somewhere:

Updated: 2:00 PM CET on November 04, 2003
Observed at Amsterdam, Netherlands
Temperature 55 °F / 13 °C
Humidity 81%
Wind SSW at 13 mph / 20.9 km/h
Ceiling  unlimited

I hate this place, sometimes.

I hate the proximity to modern American culture, media, and ethos.

I hate the seemingly ever-growing number of Canadians who see themselves as enlightened, but can’t be bothered to educate themselves and participate in the betterment of the community.

I hate seeing the things that drive me become co-opted, and perverted. I hate that the underground is constantly being bought, packaged, and sold into irrelevancy. I hate that I cannot do more to change this.

I hate seeing the counter-culture’s growing impotence in the face of international corporate interest. I hate that libertarians evangelize a free market anarcho-capitalist religious crusade and call it non-aggression.

I hate ignorant, closed-minded, sexist men. I hate ignorant, closed-minded, sexist women.

I hate ignorant, closed-minded, sexist transsexuals.

I hate seeing people not listen to other people.

I hate seeing people not try harder.