I invite you to come and check out the first results of my journey into the Mind of a book by the American writer Thomas Pynchon, called The Crying of Lot 49, a confused web consisting of paranoid executrixes, clandestine waste networks, muted posthorns, perpetual motion machines, dead badgers, crazy stamp collections and noisy archangels.
A writer only needs his laptop to write and research. And if he collects pictures he found on the internet, a printer is a nice thing to have. Together with these two machines (and an ethernet cable leading to the outside world) he forms a small universe, a cube of about one by one meter, in whose interstices he must try not to disappear. You can imagine the slight embaressment when I was offered the Rietveld studio for four months (a space ten times bigger than the one I just described). But a studio is not only useful as a space where you can lavish on your fresh paint or clay more freely. It is also an idea, a trigger mechanism that forces and harasses you, to think about the relation between your research and the real world, beyond the enlightened pixels, beyond the textual fragments spread all over your harddrive, as if the thing could only materialize right there, now.
In the beginning of this year I started nourishing and feeding an obsession that was until then only lingering. This obsession revolves around a particular book by the American writer Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 - which when months went by, became less of a definite book and more of a constellation of mystical truths that lay undiscovered under the surface of the story and ultimately under those strange Californean sixties in whose confused Mind it was conceived. In the studio I started laying out and associating the different themes that occur in the book, themes of which at times I'm afraid to ask: are they not splinters of some ancient explosion, of cosmic debris - symbols from times immemorial, when spineless creatures crawled over the earth's rocky surface and chuckled over the animals to come - imagining human beings in cubes of about one by one meter, manipulating and entering strings of symbols into shiny objects.
Daniel de Zeeuw