Photo: Marco Habanero.
Right: Akbar Simonse.
About the videorecordings July/August
For two months we worked without a script.
I asked Akbar Simonse to be my model.
In Media Me your name will be Pictureman, I said.
We will portray you in several ways.
We will put you in different settings.
Let’s call it scenes.
We follow you at home, on the street, dressed in costumes, day and night.
As a director I just have one question: Can you act as if we’re not there?
Be as natural as possible? Don’t do something you would never do?
That’s ok, he said. I promise you not to act.
After a few weeks I asked if he missed a script.
No, he said, I would never cooporate in this project if there was a script.
You are the script, I said.
Yes, he said. The script, c’est moi.
His interiour was ours.
We recorded his kitchen, his bedroom, his toilet, his computer.
We spied on him in an organised way, from the attic of his neighbours house, on the otherside of the block.
The neighours asked: Does he know you are filming him?
Of course, we said, and waved to eachother.
At that time there was a telephone on the speaker, in his house, with my voice, saying things like:
_ Go to the kitchen.
_ Find a cup or a glass or something.
_ Take a drink.
_ Go back to your computer, slowly.
_Close the curtains.
Ronnie Griens and Matthijs Treurniet have been of great value during the recordings. Most of the time they worked for themselves.
We used YouTube and Vimeo for updates.
My directions were very simple. I asked them to come as close as possible, while filming Akbar.
Approach him as if he is a very important person in which every detail, every movement counts.
From the beginning of the recordings he said: I don’t want to become famous by all this.
What do you mean, I asked.
It may take away my anonimity. Media Me shouldn’t disturb me in public space. I want to keep on taking pictures freely. If DWDD calls for interviews, I will refuse. I ab-so-lu-tel-ly do not want to become famous.
They won’t call, I said. Radio and TV don’t pay much attention to these kind of projects, developed on internet. It’s just not their piece of cake. Broadcasters use other techniques. They know how to reach masses, how to manipulate and entertain you. That’s our goal, our proof of our existance. We calculate.
Seperate worlds, he said.
I guess so, I said. TV and radio don’t pay much attention to the gaming industry as well. Maybe it’s a threat. Games reach millions of people too. Just like TV. Competition, power, influence.
I don’t like games, he said.
Me neither, I said. But still, this is a kind of game we’re playing.
He left his house, sat in a train, visited the Media Park in Hilversum and the biggest studio of Europe: Studio 22.
We went to his favorite spots in The Hague, had a sober meal in an empty restaurant.
We didn’t visit a garden or a park, for he doesn’t takes pictures of flowers, plants and trees.
He photographs people in the street, and their artistic traces, like graffity and streetart.
Once, years ago, he started with taking pictures of buildings. Then people entered his account. Candid portraits, situations, call it reality.
He said: I don’t want this project to be about me. I’m the narrator, not the main character. But you’re free to use the stories I tell you.
But if you’re not the main charachter of this story, I asked, who is?
All members of The Pool? The machines?
I’m working on a radioscript now.
The soundtrack of “the movie”.
It will be a multi-layered script with many voices and sounds.
First layer is the narrator: Pictureman.
I send my texts to Akbar and ask him: “Do you agree on this? Could you say things like this?”
When he says yes, I publish these texts here.
They’re inspired by the movies, over fifty minutes of video so far, and our conversations during the last two months.
Thank you, Akbar.