I sat down with Ricardo Cano Mateo & Anne van Leeuwen to discuss the ways in which they think about the future in the context of their farm concept Bodemzicht. The interview was conducted on the 7th of February at Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam, this text is an excerpt from the transcript that has been edited for readability.

Bodemzicht impression — 5 years

Sjef: When you’re considering the consequences what you want to be doing in the future, how far out are you thinking when it comes to the farm?

Anne: I think the smallest scale for me would be, 15 years?

Ricardo: Yeah, in practical…

The vehicle chimed.
“You have arrived at your destination.”
Percy reached over and hit the DISPLAY button to pull up his fuel efficiency stats. Completely stealth approach. Battery-only coasting for the last mile, 50 to the gallon for the whole ride. Off-road. Had to be some kind of a record. He leaned back in his seat and took in the view. The desert stretched out before him, here and there a green patch where the grafts had started to take hold. A smile. This is what made it all worthwhile.

The vehicle chimed again.
“Target acquired.”
Percy reached up to…

A quick catch-up on a family chat in 2043. Short fiction I wrote for a collaboration with logo & type designer Peter Korsman of autograph.works. Happy New Year everyone!


Hey guys, been a while since the last update. Hope you are all well and can still access active nodes. I’m doing ok, on Antarctica now, not in NZ anymore. Got tired of droning mammals for DoC, now I’m seeding ad-gen mutacrops with an Argentinian team. Yes, I dumped Greg also…

Here’s a write-up of a talk I gave at the invitation of Haunted Machines for the IMPAKT event ‘Deep Fakes or Rendering the Truth’, 21st of April, 2018 in at IMPAKT HQ in Utrecht, the Netherlands. You can watch the video of the talk here on Youtube but honestly, don’t waste your time. This version is better.

I’ve been asked to give a strategic overview on the topic ‘Deep fakes or Rendering the Truth’ from a computing futures and strategic narrative perspective, so I’ll go about setting the scene first, then borrow a framework to sketch some vignettes of possible…

I thought it would be a simple Google search…

Colours of the flag of the Netherlands, according to the English vs Dutch Wikipedia (retrieved 6 March, 2017).

While working on The National Algorithm I needed to pull up RGB values for the colours of the Dutch flag. No biggie, just Google “kleuren nederlandse vlag” and pull up the top link. Boom, done! Or… wait, that isn’t the same hex value as what I just saw in the search results? I clicked the back button…

A few minutes later I had a whole stream of browser tabs open. By the end of the day both the Ministry of General Affairs and the NEN (the national standards body) were involved…

This is a write-up of the talk I’ve been giving while working on my current research project “The National Algorithm”, an investigation of the tensions and relationships embedded in modern camouflage patterns.

The talk consists of a heavily condensed history of modern military camouflage and what it has come to symbolise, then goes into the specifics of the project itself.

Peacock in the Woods , Abbott Handerson Thayer — 1907 | Male Ruffed Grouse in the Forest, Gerald Handerson Thayer — 1907/8

The central tension in camouflage is between being seen, and going unseen. The hunter and the hunted. Eat or be eaten. But evolution has also found other uses for coloration and pattern. In certain cases a pattern’s function may be…


“Alex, revoke all outstanding access privileges.”
“There are no outstanding access privileges. Would you like to review your personal privacy settings?”
“No thanks”
“Your account qualifies for enhanced service. Would you like…”
“NO, thank you Alex.”
Kay slammed the cupboard door shut then pressed again, hard, to make sure it sealed. The hub would be fine in there, signal in and out but no sound. No more listening to any of its nagging and offers. She leant back against the counter and let out a sigh of relief. It was finally done. …

“Welcome to the world, 2116”

Never mind that it looks like a cheap rendering of 2016 Dubai. Life is good in the towers. Don’t question why they were built, or by whom. You just wait.

“You can fly across town in minutes”

Never mind that the flying car is a future we left for dead in the 20th century, second only to the Jetpack as a tired, lazy stand-in for any real thought about what the decades to come may hold. You just wait.

“or across the globe in under an hour”

Never mind the economics of suborbital flight…

Original image by Lisa Cyr (CC BY 2.0)

Philonesia Smartipelago: 4:58 PM
Hey future islander! Hope you’re feeling fine. It’s the e-Philonesia voice agent here, all set to help you get started with your subscription.

Mirelva van Delft: 4:58 PM
Oh hey, hi. Yes, we’re great thank you. We’re just coming down off the Feel Philonesia samples you sent, and that was a great immersion. So relaxing! I think we’d like to subscribe to your national experience. How do we apply?

P-SMART: 4:58 PM
Nice! The Philonesia Smartipelago has revolutionised the concept of citizenship experience, and we would love to have you on board. With your permission, I’ll begin…

Ara’s slab chirped from the table. She didn’t turn to look, sticking her head out of the kitchen window to check the street instead. A Muni Distro pulled away, leaving behind a Delivery Box. She cursed under her breath. Didn’t like the Boxen, always shouty and rude. Fussy too. Paid over the air though, all fully legit. Much more convenient for spending inside of the wall.

The Delivery Box clambered over the kitchen threshold and wheeled in.

Sjef van Gaalen

I like Futures, Structure & Narrative.

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