An occasional newsletter as a deep dive into the minds, habits, obsessions, affairs, and influences of our friends and fam.
Together & Toon Rooijmans
Toon Rooijmans, a multi-disciplinary creative working on immersive experiences, installations and scenographies, is truly bridging the gap between the digital and physical world. With installations and projects for Willem de Bruin, Jimmy Woo and ADE o.a. there’s always a digital link to a physical experience or show. And like many of you, we knew his work before we met each-other irl. It’s a pleasure to dive into his mind with this extra extra long Foretaste Nº8! Enjoy!
Experience Designer at TR.studio
Trying to get to know the city of Amsterdam in a post-lockdown period. I’ve been living in Amsterdam since July last year, and most of the time spend in the city was during a COVID lockdown, so now that everything is starting to open up again, I can truly start exploring and pick up where we left of last year.
Besides getting to know my new home town, I am working on an immense project about digital art in the public space among other things. Nothing NFT-ish or Beeple-ish or the likes. But it surely is exciting. Hopefully I can tell you guys more about it in the i-made-this channel later this year or next year.
PS: I am looking for a good producer with knowledge on realizing public art. If you know someone, let me know ;)
I wasn’t an avid reader until last year. Since last year, I have started a few new habits of which reading was one. I promised myself to read 2 pages every day, and now I am reading 6 books simultaneously. Or 5, since I just finished one this morning.
Phil Knight - Shoe Dog — I got this book from a very dear friend of mine a while back, and it has been a buzz reading it. Now almost midway, I sincerely enjoy the story of one of Nike’s founders.
The Nature of code - Daniel Shiffman — I am not a coder of programmer myself, but I love the way how Shiffman tries to dissect how to recreate the emergent behaviour of nature into code. For me it is more about abstracting and analysing and trying to understand the top-level structure, and less about the code itself.
Nike - Better is temporary —I sometimes read the book, but more often do I look at the shear amount of sneaker history and use the images for a new series I am working on.
“100 years of solitude” - Gabriel Garcia Marquez —A classic book. Garcia Marquez received a Nobel Price for his contribution to literature, since he gave birth to the Magic Realism genre. And this is a great example. Just finished this one this morning. A weird, but beautiful story. Also kind of a mindf•ck sometimes.
Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami — I am at page 2 now, nothing to say about it yet. And no fancy picture, since I am reading the eBook version.
The Art of Noticing - Rob Walker —In spare time I just pick one of the 131 exercises on observing and try to practice new ways of noticing the world around me.
And everything I can find on baking my own bread.
I’ve been noticing that many times lately I sometimes stop whatever I am doing and stare at the sky (and sometimes grab my phone to capture something incapturable) especially when I see beautiful colored clouds. I am just mesmerized by the sublime colors.
The NBA playoffs. — Especially the Lakers vs. Suns games currently on. I’ve been a Lebron fan for a while, and the Highlights of these games are the first thing I look for in the morning. I was bummed out this morning to see that Anthony Davis is injured due to yesterday's game. ☹️
WINNING THE MEGA JACKPOT!! - JAPAN ARCADE rabbit hole on Youtube. (with all the caps and exclamation marks possible) —Especially the Japanese coin pushers are crazy! Like: True mayhem, crammed into one loud screaming machine. The obsession of Japanese with pachinko and coin pushers is mesmerizing. Something hypnotizes me about this weird bottom of a rabbit hole I came across a while ago. It is definitely rock bottom tho. With almost 13 million views per video. Seriously. Try to avoid this one.
The Nippon Wandering TV Youtube channel —In last years fascination with capturing Point Clouds through Photogrammetry, I was trying to figure out how to translate existing footage to a 3D model when I bumped into this channel.
4K, 60fps, smooth sailing through i.e. Shinjuku. Even without the aim of creating 3D spaces, this is soothing to watch. Rambalac's channel is also great.
A load of tutorials regarding sketching and rendering with redshift. If I can do this work faster, I want to find out how.
Review videos of camera’s, since I am planning to either buy a Fujifilm TX-4, Sony A7, or an other camera in the same price range to capture my process.
@ahmedeldin’s instagram feed. — He covers the awful situation regarding the oppression of Palestina. The situation in Israel is gut-wrenching. In my opinion he is a great journalist, and even though I try to get my information from many sources, I like his sources and his POV. Empathy above everything else.
And a few anime classics, such as every Ghibli flick, Akira and Tekonkinkreet.
And Finally, Not watching this right now, but I have been looking forward for this one with great anticipation:
Spuug van God - Willem de Bruin (presented by Likeminds) — During a digital version of Oerol Terschelling, Dutch artist Willem de Bruin is going to perform his solo (digital) play during the sunset (22.15h) of the 11th of June, and the Sunrise of the 12th (5.00h). Since I was part of the early stages/conception of the project and the first montage last year, I can not wait to see what the current team came up with. As far as to what backstage footage I have seen so far, it is going to be a great one. Willem is a great creative, I believe in his message and with the team that is involved in the final production, you can not miss. [Dutch spoken]
The Midnight Miracle - Yasiin Bey, Talib Kweli, and Dave Chappelle — A Must Listen. I just started listening to this podcast, and it truly moving and made my heart glow. Listening to these three legends and the things they speak about gave me a warm and a hopeful feeling. Good stories, Well edited, great soundtrack.
Het Nieuwe Geld - BNR nieuwsradio — (Sorry Guys, this podcast is Dutch only) Het Nieuwe Geld (translated:The New Money) is a well-written and -edited podcast about the current economy by Reinjan Prakke. The podcast covers the basic questions of how the current monetary system works step by step, paired with good interviews with a wide variety of experts with different perspectives working in the branche and answering his questions in understandable language. Reinjan then makes it even more clear by personal intermezzos and he connects the dots in a clear manner. So far it has been a joy, and it feels like a relieve that someone is making sense of the weird world of economics.
We Will Always Love You - The Avalanches — [Emo-bomb incoming] Since I lost my father last year, this album moved me in ways I can't describe. Especially the title-song “We will always love you” gave me exactly what I needed for a while. Its harmony progression and the voices of the quire in the second part make me feel whole when I listen to it.
Thai green curries, Falafel from Dr. Falafel at the bridge at the Nassaukade near the start of the Kinkerstraat (tip!), Bahn Mi Sandwiches and Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Buns). Loads of Cinnamon Buns. If someone has a great place to eat the best Bahn Mi in Amsterdam, hit me up 😊
Water, Coffee (White Label Ethiopia washed), and many alcohol-free beers.
Last year I have been starting to test out different coffee roasters from all over the Netherlands. I’ve tried different beans and roasters from Eindhoven, Utrecht, Kerkrade, Breda, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Den Bosch and Texel. At first I started rating the coffeebeans for filter coffee and espresso. But after I got sick of maintaining my excel spreadsheet, I just figured I would stick with the one I love most, until a new roast would surpass its value for money. It has been a half year that I’ve stocked a different batch than White Label’s Ethiopia Washed. Yuzu’s Ethiopia Espresso Roast (with 7,50 for 250gr.) is also great, but I haven’t replaced the container of my hopper at home. Now I start to wonder if I am just lazy [smiles]… If anyone has a good suggestion of Amsterdam roasters within the pricerange of 7-10 euro’s for 250 grams, let me know.
Currently obsessed about
Many things actually. Inflated spaces, Draped Surfaces, Bloated Objects, Refraction of translucent materials, Serendipitous Reflections, Colors of Sunrises and Sunsets, Optical Illusions in general, the spatial value of generative digital art and… Sketches. I have always been truly obsessed by sketches of artists and designers. In particular the ones that aren’t as cleanly rendered as some product design hand-renderings. Most of the times I love the sketches of certain design works or pieces of art more than the final work itself. There are many exceptions of course. But the value of seeing the train of thought is for me like looking in someones mind. The way that strokes have a person-specific signature makes my heart beat faster. The expression and speed of a sketch, and what the designer or artist leaves open and what he/she/them fills in, is a mirror of the mind.
For me though, the holy grail of sketching and idea visualisation is hands down Christo. His Upwards perspective of his Big Air Package is truly remarkable. Rough, but exact at the same time. If I can every achieve something like that in sketching (and later the art realised in real life) I could die a happy man. I’ve been capturing and transfering interesting sketches or other sketch-related stuff on my are.na: https://www.are.na/toon-rooijmans/obsesssketch And if you are curious about my own work in progress, check out: www.tr.studio/wip-archive for some samples.
Currently distracted by
Social media in general, the “cycling gear and apparel” rabbit hole, tutorials of 3d rendering via C4D and Redshift and sometimes by playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in 4K 60fps.
Currently trying to avoid
Not being myself in any way ,shape or form. Focussing on work of others and comparing myself to other designers. And eating too many Kannelbullar. It doesn’t help that I started making them myself, and every batch contains 20-24 cinnamon buns. If you want to relieve me of some of the buns, let me know in a slack DM, I’ll bring some to you when making my next batch. Seriously, I love coming by and meet some of you IRL.
Regarding focussing on others: Sometimes I find it hard to not do it, because I really enjoy seeing other people’s beautiful work as well. And especially in this social media age where you get bombarded with work from others and beautiful imagery. I notice how it sometimes paralyses me from doing what I want to do from within. Ever since architecture school this has been a thing, especially when there is so much competition. There were “more graduated architects than farmers” (figuratively speaking of course, but maybe CBS’s data can validate this) in the Netherlands, while being in the midst of a recession. The whole “sameness” discussion that has been raised in the Together& slack channel, more or less by myself, has been an example of this as well. Not only the discussion itself that is a result of me focussing on someone else’s work (whose work I absolutely admire by the way), but also the effect “Ownership of Originality” has on me and my daily processes. It is a double edged sword. An incredibly interesting topic, I can not wait to participate in this discussion on Zoom or IRL.
So since a while back I tried to avoid comparing or looking at other people’s work. Not always with succes. But what I mainly noticed, is that I start to wonder off or have a slight block all-together when a passion (starting from within) starts to turn into an ambition (work starting from how it might be perceived by others and expectations emerge). So the best thing for me to do is look from within. For client work this is not really a big deal since I can keep a professional distance to the matter, but it is more so in free work or work for artists I admire.
Currently frightened by
All kinds of non-action or denial regarding Climate Change, intolerance and racial hate, and an overall lack of empathy in some groups of people.
And more close to my physical self: Getting injured again. I love being outdoors and doing all kinds of sport, but last year has been rough. After the gyms closed during the lockdown, I have been going from injury to injury. Now I am almost injury free again, and I would really would hate it if I have to stay put for another few months. This, with the unlocked ability of baking my own bread, pizza and cinnamon buns, is a deadly combination.
Currently transcended by
The feeling of knowing what I love doing for a living. It has been a blessing so far. And also: The fact that I can workout and ride my Trek Emonda SL6 again in the early mornings or late afternoon.
I bought the damn thing after a long period of doubting to invest in this rabbit hole, and a week later I got injured. So I am thrilled to go out and enjoy the weather with my not-so-soigné unshaved legs :)
Currently fulfilled with
Learning to enjoy silence and wide views. And since I have been leaving in Amsterdam for only 11 months now, it has a bliss so far to get to know more people in Amsterdam that I really like.
I hope we can get together IRL sometime soon. Look forward to meeting you guys!
Quick highlights from the Slacks:
Nineties bands, via Joachim
Klaas Rommelaere exhibition, via Chris
The Modern Finance Podcast, via Thomas T
Dinamo Lecture at Klasse Kartak, via Jess
Zine with Chris Dancy, via Joachim
River Runner, via Thomas T
Gentle Monster x World of Warcraft, via Bas
Etsy buys Depop, via Joachim
The ancient fabric that no one knows how to make, via Samuel
Nobody owns the sea, via Saba
Efficiency is the Enemy, via Joachim
The Warped Self, via Jess
Against Apartheid, via Saba
“Passage” by Saint Heron, via Daniël
Hope you enjoyed this one - And as always, let’s get Together soon IRL!
PS. There are enough bots and ghosts in our lives. We’ve always seen Together&, human and alive, so please enjoy, share and forward this. And we'd love to see you in Slack to discuss things often. If you know people who should join, let us know!