me stuff

a thread of optimism (first posted 25th jan. ’13)


this is a post i wrote as contributor to the amsterdam ad blog ‘something related to amsterdam’ column, originally posted on the 25th of january ’12…

A thread of optimism

On a sunny day, somewhere in the mid 90’s I sat on a café terrace in Amsterdam and watched as two figures, a man and a woman (lovers?) floated by immersed in the water of the canal as they stared at each other intensely. Slowly the people around me began to notice them too and before long an excited, happy crowd had gathered to observe the two mysterious floating heads.

Not many people however, had noticed the guy stood further back hiding behind parked cars with a remote control panel in his hand and a grin on his face. The heads were fake and the artist obviously preferred to enjoy the positive effect of his work on people at a safe distance. I later learnt that the same man was responsible for another favourite ‘Amsterdam oddity’ of mine: the VW Beetle covered in animated christmas lights that suddenly appears every year in town, to the delight of most who come across it… No explanation, no message or ‘big idea’ just a weird and fun apparition on the streets guaranteed to draw a crowd and make you smile.

The point is, I have seen neither the Beetle nor the floating heads for years now, I miss them and wondered where they are. So I googled him of course… It turns out that the (American) creator Eric Staller left Amsterdam (after 15 years) in 2010 but still likes to draw the crowds with his optimistic and weird art, only now back in San Fransisco.


p.s. Eric apparently also invented the Conference Bike, which looks and sounds great on paper… that is untill you’ve seen a few of those dumb ‘beer bikes’ full of drunken tourists shuffling around town. So I have an idea Eric: how about we swap you all of the beer bikes in return for the one Beetle? Many thanks in advance…

m / 28-01-2013 09:05 - tags: , , , ,  

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