WTWHNS-Team loyalty

July 27, 2013

Now also Manfred Kets de Vries, the Raoul de Vitry d’Avaucourt Chaired Clinical Professor of Leadership Development at INSEAD in Fontainebleau in France, is saying what was stated here not long ago: “ In the organizations that we will have in the future we should have the team-model of leadership. In which the bosses not only are good entrepreneurs and personnel managers  but most of all good team players “.

 This way of working is practised for two years with “What the world has never seen”. It is not a one man show but a constant interaction with a group of people who link themselves to “What the world has never seen”. They get deeply involved and become responsible not only for organizational work but are also fully integrated in the constant creative process by which “What the world has never seen” develops.

 This is the very reason why the recently published book of “What the world has never seen” has on the cover only the title. There is no indication of an author. This was a deliberate decision: realizing how as a team “What the world has never seen” is made, it would have been very inappropriate and unjustified to have one name as a maker on the cover of the book.

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Of course this new way of working is not without hiccups. An individual that joins the “What the world has never seen”-team is doing this based on a personal decision after having been invited to the project. In an exceptional case, in the course of time a conflict may rise between the responsibility towards the team and the project and the private ambitions. By itself this does not need to be a problem except when private ambition is made so important that the responsibilities towards the project are abandoned from one day to the next. This is very damaging for the project, loads instantly much more work on the shoulders of the other team-members and hurts badly the reputation of the runaway. Who may believe to have made a positive move by leaving suddenly a team for the own benefit of the private work. However, seldom something positive comes out of a negative action.

Sure that also Professor Manfred Kets de Vries will agree with this.

 

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A guest blog by an owner of the “WTWHNS”-book.

July 26, 2013

WTF is er toch met WTWHNS?

 Het heeft lang geduurd, ik heb er halsreikend naar uitgekeken en eindelijk heb ik het boek “WTWHNS” van  Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski in huis. Ik ben dus ook één van de 200 bewakers van dit unieke fotoboek. Ik noem het expliciet bewakers omdat ik het niet als een bezit voel.

Toegegeven, vanaf het eerste moment dat ik van de plannen van Michel afwist, wist ik dat ik dit boek wilde hebben. Ik heb mij dan ook direct opgegeven en een betaling gedaan. Nu wist ik dat ik één van de gelukkigen zou worden. Ik ken Michel al geruime tijd, al in de jaren ’80 heb ik lessen bij hem gevolgd en steeds meer raakte ik geboeid in en gefascineerd door deze bijzondere fotograaf. Alle projecten die hij had gemaakt of daarna nog voortbracht heb ik met speciale interesse gevolgd. Dus vanaf de sequenties tot aan het Henny project, nu alweer het 6e boek, heb ik met bijzonder aandacht gevolgd.

Ten tijde van het project “WTWHNS”, de reizen naar verre landen was nog in volle gang, heb ik nog een masterclass bij Michel gevolgd.  Ook daar werd mij steeds meer duidelijk over “WTWHNS” en de betekenis van het project. De grote woorden die met het boek zijn verbonden zijn “Intimiteit en Privacy”. In deze dagen begrippen die vele facetten hebben we gaan er allemaal anders mee om.

In “WTWHNS” heeft dit begrip wel een heel bijzondere lading. Ga maar na, op 5 continenten en  8 landen daarvan werd door een team van mensen, fotograaf- producers- gidsen en tolken etc, op zoek gegaan naar personen die iets hebben wat de wereld nog nooit gezien heeft. Dat kan dus van alles zijn. Een kleinnood, iets op je lichaam of wat dan ook. Als het maar iets is dat je nog nooit hebt laten zien. Ik vraag mijzelf af, wat heb ìk dat de wereld nog nooit heeft gezien? Het is gekmakend, je komt er niet op, je kunt of wilt het niet laten zien omdat…..er een groot geheim achter zit? Of een grote schaamte? Vul zelf maar in, ik weet het werkelijk niet.

En ga je dus global wide zoeken naar mensen die dat wel willen en kunnen. In mijn ogen een missie die niet te doen is. Ik heb alle reizen van Michel op de voet gevolgd, zowel via zijn eigen blog als de verhalen op Facebook. Soms heb ik zelfs een kleine reactie achtergelaten bij zo’n blog, maar niet meer dan een klein krabbeltje. Ik heb er met veel mensen ook over gesproken en iedereen was het er wel over eens dat dit een zeer speciaal boek zou worden. En dat is het ook geworden, het is nu af en ligt bij mij in huis. In een eerder stadium had ik de sleutel al gekregen. Ja, het is een boek met een slot erop, je mag en kan er dus niet zomaar in kijken. Alleen de sleutelbewaarders kunnen dat, en die kunnen dan ook weer bepalen of en aan wie zij dit boek willen laten zien. Als de privacy maar gewaarborgd blijft. Een hele verantwoording voor de 200 mensen die het boek hebben. Er is er zelfs één die van te voren gevraagd heeft of het slot verzegeld kon worden omdat hij het boek nooit open ging maken en veilig in een kluis ging opbergen, dat zegt ook al weer wat.

Het heeft mij al de tijd dat ik op de hoogte was van het project erg bezig gehouden, het onderwerp, het boek, de fotograaf.  Zoals ik al zei heeft het lang geduurd, het heeft volgens mij ook bloed zweet en tranen gekost voordat het boek daadwerkelijk klaar was. En nu heb ik het. 

Maar ik kan of wil of durf het niet te openen. Alsof het een boek van Harry Potter zelf is. Het is magisch en vreemd.  Tijdens een bijeenkomst van fotografen in “De Donkere Kamer” werd gevraagd wie het boek hadden besteld. Braaf stak ik mijn vinger op en direct had ik een microfoon onder mijn neus met de vraag: waarom? “Omdat ik zo nieuwsgierig was” was mijn antwoord en men rekende dat goed. Ik ben nog steeds razend nieuwsgierig hoe de foto’s geworden zijn en de verhalen zijn die bij de foto’s horen, hoe mensen zo ver gekomen zijn dat ze iets willen en ook kunnen laten zien wat de wereld nog nooit gezien heeft.

Ik maak het nog steeds niet open, het lijkt wel of ik mijn eigen nieuwsgierigheid de baas wil blijven, zo van, je moet geduld hebben en afwachten tot het moment daar is, tot de tijd rijp is. Ik dacht een mooi moment voor mijzelf gevonden te hebben, van de week moest ik voor een colonscopy naar het ziekenhuis, ik dacht, als iets is wat de wereld nog nooit gezien heeft incl. ikzelf , dan is het wel mijn  eigen binnenkant.  Dus als ik thuis zou komen van het onderzoek, dan zou ik met trillende vingers de sleutel in het slot steken en het boek openen. Maar het gebeurde niet, ik liet het boek liggen waar het lag en heb het nog steeds niet open gemaakt. Misschien wacht ik wel op een nòg beter moment of misschien komt dat wel helemaal niet?

Ik weet het niet, ik kan het nog niet of durf het nog niet.

Wie weet raad?

 

Rens Kamminga. 

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July 21, 2013

The first 15 years of my career as a photographer besides doing photo projects I made conceptual photography. Sequences. A visual research of perception and phenomenology.

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It was fascinating to make sequences because I could discover that nothing is what we think it is. Reality is not something outside us at which we are looking: reality is created by ourselves. It is the personal perception that decides what we think we see.

 This is a knowledge many people do not want to know. Because it means we live in a context that is not stable and secure and that is too hard to handle. Hence, many people create a pseudo-reality that is strongly constructed outside themselves. A reality that is fixed and final.

 Fortunately too many things happen in the life of every person that is unexplainable. “A miracle has happened”, they say. Or “What a coincidence”. But what actually happened is that they moved from a pseudo reality into the real one.

 A good example how we create our own reality is the phenomenon that if we for some reason focus on one particular thing, we start to see this thing frequently. A man dies and his wife is very sad and misses him badly. Walking in town she gets the shock of her life: she sees in the crowd walking her own deceased man. Obviously this is projection coming from strong emotions and it decides how reality is for this woman. Or we believe that these days pink sweaters are in fashion. This is then confirmed by seeing suddenly many people wearing pink sweaters. Obviously we see pink sweaters because we unconsciously focus on pink sweaters and only register those in our awareness: the many red sweaters are not entering the awareness.

 This whole issue of the subjectivity of reality is related to the project “What the world has never seen”. This project is about intimacy and privacy and obviously in our societies these subjects repeatedly get the attention. The question is whether “What the world has never seen” really is a pioneering project that anticipated on the growing importance of the endangerment of our intimacy and privacy. Or do we see issues with intimacy and privacy because of “What the world has never seen” ?

 The answer is clear. Never before in the history of mankind did we have social media on a scale as we see today. And never before did we see interferences in our private lives on a scale as we see today. These new aspects of our lives are of concern to everybody. Everybody using social media, making a phone call and sending an e-mail is confronted with possible secret interference. Every one of us has to deal with degrading social values.

The book “1984” published in 1949 by George Orwell has long been seen as a weird fantasy impossible ever to become reality. But today what he described has become true. It has become a part of reality that exists in everybody’s life: no matter how you perceive it.

 “What the world has never seen” is not a tunnel vision. Seeing what wants to be seen. In the 30’s of the last century certain people in Germany felt things would go wrong and they left. Emigrated. They were reading the signs of the time and were able to make a prediction that was correct. Seeing a reality coming that later became so fatal. This is also the case with “What the world has never seen”. It saw two years ago what was coming. When “Prism”, the American system to monitor phone and e-mail traffic of each of us, still was unimaginable. “What the world has never seen” is now embedded in a reality it has been and is warning for. And it says that the only solution of not becoming victim of threatened intimacy and endangered privacy is to be highly conscious of the current reality. To make form this higher awareness choices that results in becoming invulnerable for the current dangers.

This is our only hope and the more people make these choices, the more chance we have for a better world. 

 

Author Dan Brown about “What the world has never seen”

July 13, 2013

There are a number of interesting aspects that only later became clear concerning the project “What the world has never seen”. There is the issue of intimacy and privacy changing in our times and as it seems beyond our control. “What the world has never seen” made this a subject of public discussion seeing already the dangers and pitfalls we were running into. Two years later “What the world has never seen” has found 60 persons revealing their most inner secrets, the photo book is ready and event-presentations scheduled, the subject of intimacy and privacy has become worldwide news. Our privacy corrupted more and more and on a scale we hardly could imagine.

This synchronicity between “What the world has never seen” and the extraordinary events concerning intimacy and privacy now facing us so hard is not the only brick fitting perfectly in the wall.

Another characteristic aspect of “What the world has never seen” is that the method of working is very unconventional. It is not one single conceptual photography artist who runs the show. Who had the idea and makes himself responsible for everything. 

“What the world has never seen” is a conglomerate of persons in several countries who all give their best to have this project developed and presented in a way that it can have a major social and artistic impact on society.

Young people: bright, happy and passionated who give their very best . Not in the first place for material reasons. But to contribute something positive to society, to have a learning experience, to be part of something very exciting and to make a difference.

 “What the world has never seen” has been started two years ago with this progressive concept of working in mind. In the course of time many fantastic person have gotten involved with “What the world has never seen”. Enjoying now more than ever the project as it has come in the stage of presentation.

 This concept of working as a group and having the best of each flourish as a new method of producing an art-project  has been described recently by Dan Brown in his book “The lost symbol”.

“What I’m saying is this…two heads are better than one…and yet two heads are not twice better, they are many, many times better. Multiple minds working in unison magnify a thought’s effect…exponentially. This is the inherent power of prayer groups, healing circles, singing in unison, and worshipping en masse. The idea of universal consciousness is no ethereal New Age concept. It’s a hard core scientific reality…and harnessing it has the potential to transform our world. What’s more, it’s happening right now. You can feel it all around you.” 

 

 

 

 

You are driving yourself mad

June 25, 2013

In our lives over the last 20 years many new electronic products have successfully been introduced. We have embraced them and integrated them in our daily lives. But we never seriously contemplated the side effects and long term consequences.

Now that we have life very much dominated by these electronic products, we have strong reasons not to want to know what are those side effects and consequences. Because if we did truly realize them, we would have to give up to use a cell phone, play computer games, use Facebook, etc.

Frequent television viewing, hours spent at playing computer and violent video games, making incessant phone calls and SMS-texting, the reckless dissemination of personal feelings, thoughts and photos on networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have a negative impact on feelings, thoughts, behavior and social contacts of children and adolescents.

Reputed media scientists and responsible educators, juvenile judges and sorely tried parents of internet-addicted teenagers have been drawing people’s attention to the adverse effects of excessive media use for two decades now.

And now we have Manfred Spitzer. He is a neuroscientist and medical director of the Psychiatric University Hospital in Ulm, Germany.

Professor Spitzer has collected the scientific evidence on the subject of the consequences of having technological inventions deeply integrated in our lives and his conclusion is: it all drives us and our children mad.

In his book “Digital Dementia” Professor Spitzer explains in a scientific and detailed way how he comes to this conclusion. What is shocking about “Digital dementia” is that it is not a nutty professor claiming this: Professor Spitzer has collected all the information now available and anybody learning this will have to come to the same conclusion.

We drive ourselves mad and allow the same thing to happen to our kids. This the world has never seen. But in the end we are all individuals. Every electronic device can be switched on. And can be turned off. It’s all up to you.

Distrusting doctors

June 18, 2013

Imagine you become sick. What it is we will not disclose: that is your private bussiness, true? You go to a hospital and you meet a doctor. He asks what is the problem and wants to know every detail. In order to be able to decide on a diagnosis and consequently a treatment. He writes down those details you revealed. Maybe you talked in a hesitant way, as the details of your physical inconvenience can be embarassing, but, hey, it is a doctor and he is bound to secrecy and the oath of Socrates, isn’t he?

Well, we have created a society where we cannot count on secure intimacy and privacy anymore. Not even from a doctor.

The doctor makes a file on you in his computer and this file is stored on the server of the hospital. The agreement is that only those who treat you, have access to your delicate medical information you were so confident to reveal.

In the Netherlands is a special office called the CBP (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens): it is a neutral institution safeguarding and checking the privacy of the Dutch citizens. This CBP went to nine hospitals to check how safe personal data of the patients was. In not one hospital it was safe. Not one hospital had a security system making their data base safe from illegal visitors.

The CBP found examples of a woman who worked in the hospital who checked in the hospital data base what was the reason her neighbor was ill. Or a student checking the data base for the health situation of her fellow students.

An intriguing result of the CBP was also that they found that the hospitals are actually able to protect data of their patients. The adequately protected data is of patients who are on the Board of the hospital or who are VIP’s.

CBP concludes that if the 9 hospitals are failing in protecting the privacy and intimacy of their customers, all hospitals in the Netherlands will have a similar failing system.

It is this kind of news that should be shocking because it undermines confidence. Many people believe in the integrity of doctors and now they must conclude that this beautiful opinion has to be reversed. Instead a doctor must be distrust or you must not mind basically anybody might know of your illness.

Poor protectors

June 16, 2013

An art-project like “What the world has never seen” is much more than only an expression of artistic abilities. Although nowadays form is the only thing curators focus on when making selections for exhibitions and purchases for collections, with “What the world has never seen” we find a combination of form ànd content. It is not only about the style of the “What the world has never seen”-pictures, but also about what these images tell us.

For two years now “What the world has never seen” creates artistic value but at the same time is linked to what threatens our privacy and intimacy. All the people who during the last two years could not be waken up by this important message of “What the world has never seen”, got a shock when recently the PRISM-program of the American NSA was revealed. On a large scale persons outside the USA have been illegally tapped and monitored by the American  NSA. These persons were robbed of their privacy and intimacy and this was not done by an enemy, but by a country that propagates democracy, liberty, civil rights and pretends to be an ally and friend.

 In Europe we have the Euro-commissioner Viviane Reding responsible for Justice. She has now the opinion that personal data of the Europeans must be legally protected as soon as possible. Mrs. Reding considers this protection a fundamental right. That is very beautiful but how come for years the Americans could sniff at Europeans, even checking what they were doing with their bank-accounts?

 This recent revelation of PRISM proves how relevant “What the world has never seen” is. It turns out that Viviane Reding knew about PRISM and that she has been discussing this subject with American authorities in the past. Only after Edward Snowden, the whistleblower on PRISM, revealed publicly the amazing facts of the illegal activities of the American Government, only then did Reding publicly oppose and condemn these activities. Because Viviane Reding is concerned about public opinion. An outrage by Europeans is damaging to her position and career. Therefore, the more people are aware, conscious, know the facts, respect, protect and defend their rights, their privacy, their intimacy, will politicians do what is good for our lives.

 

To sheep or not to sheep

June 15, 2013

It is 2 years now that the project “What the world has never seen” is manifesting itself having as a purpose to initiate a public debate about our privacy and intimacy. Has this any relevance? An important question because the value for society of “What the world has never seen” depends of being slightly ahead of the Zeitgeist. To feel in time what is going to be a major issue in society and to anticipate some time ahead.

Recently it has been disclosed that the United States is illegally monitoring telephone and e-mail communication of millions of persons outside the USA. Everybody is amazed now that this is happening, angry about this illegal activity and the scale upon which it takes place. It is up to the European Union to adequately protest against this monitoring and to develop technical systems to protect the privacy and intimacy of its citizens. However, the real pressure to stop intruding so bluntly must come from the people themselves. They must grow into an awareness that their privacy and intimacy is not without permission available to be seen by anybody.  The people must put pressure on the politicians to intervene and protect the intimacy and privacy of their electorate.

The fact is that the project  “What the world has never seen” is not an evaporating cloud in the sky. To the contrary, over the last two years it is becoming more and more relevant and essential. In the past one could have believed “What the world has never seen” was an artistic extravaganza not to be taken all too serious. A very wrong opinion as among others the American Government is stressing. We are seriously abused in our privacy and intimacy and it is becoming worse and worse.

Are we sheeplike simply accepting this?

Is morality up or downgrading?

May 28, 2013

Many people will have heard about “Les Misérables”. A very successful musical. This musical is based on a book with the same title written by the frenchman Victor Hugo in 1862.

It is an extraordinary book: the paperback version has 1463 pages. And what Victor Hugo has written on all those pages is more than extraordinary. Basically the whole book is about morality. As Victor Hugo calls it: the reasons of conscience. A good example is that in the last chapters, two of the several protagonists in the book, Marius and Cosette, marry and although Victor Hugo describes everything in detail and at length, he will not go as far as explain what happened during their wedding-night. He writes:

“The bride and groom disappeared. Here we stop. On the threshold of wedding nights stands an angle smiling, a finger to his lips.”

Recently, many people worldwide were reading a contemporary book titled “Fifty shades of grey” written by E.L. James. It is the best-selling book of all times in the U.K. with over 5,3 million copies sold. It is a most silly story of appalling writing and the reason why it is a success is the openness about which E.L. James writes about sexual activities by the two protagonists, often involving light forms of sadomasochism.

These two books compared: “Les Misérables” and “Fifty shades of grey”, one written in 1862 and the other written in 2010, explain a lot how intimacy has changed in the awareness and perception of many people. Victor Hugo saw a smiling angle on the threshold of wedding nights and stays outside not telling us anything. Some things of us should not be talked about, he implies. While for E.L. James there are no more thresholds and she describes endlessly scenes like how a weirdo guy roughs up a naked girl. James believes everything of us can be talked about.

What does this all tell us? One thing for sure: morality has changed. The reasons of our conscience have been replaced.

The question is: are we better off now?

Shoot the rabbit, not your neighbor.

May 26, 2013

Dominating on the Internet worldwide is Google. Anyone using the Internet hardly can avoid not to use one or more services of Google. In this they are very successful. Many of the services Google offers are very handy and convenient and billions of people make use of them. And that pays off. Says Google CEO Larry Page: “Revenues were up 36 percent year-on-year, and 8 percent quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year”.

 That is all very fine, but Google is like a company selling rifles of which they say to shoot rabbits only and not people. Because recently, May 25, 2013, at the Hay Festival Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said: 

 “Teenagers can no longer grow up without being reminded of their mistakes because a full record of their lives is now stored on the internet.  There are situations in life that it’s better that they don’t exist. Especially if there is stuff you did when you were a teenager. Teenagers are now in an adult world online. Society has always had ways of dealing with errant teenagers by a process of punishment and then allowing them to grow up away from their mistakes. They grow up out of it and become fine, upstanding leaders, but the current generation of teenagers could now be haunted by their youthful mistakes. Some people’s sharing of personal information online has gone too far. They take things to overwhelmingly excessive levels”.

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt talked yesterday in fact about intimacy. How this is degenerating, losing more and more its quality. 

It is encouraging that the message “What the world has never seen” is manifesting for over 2 years is now echoed by this important business leader. However, he also said Google is not going to do much about it: “We do not plan to censor unsavoury or offensive videos or messages on the internet”.

That is understandable and we applaud that their executive chairman at least expresses publicly a concern we share wholeheartedly.