Events collided last weekend in Rotterdam. The 24 uur cultuur festival, the Witte de With festival, Open Monument Day, and the Gergiev Festival all scheduled for the same weekend to open the 2014-15 season of culture in the city. Enough to send anyone’s head spinning!
As I was fairly sure consulting the program would only cause stress, negotiation, and indecision, the problem was solved by simply heading out to the Witte de Withkwartier and the museum area to see what caught the eye.
Always drawn to machinery and manual labor, I ended up on the Museumplein where Happy Industry had taken up residence for three days. According to the flyer someone handed to me, Happy Industry was a location-specific neo-Industrial Revolution returning to the origin of production. In an age when industry and physical production is far removed from our lives, artists spent three days experimenting with industrial production methods (casting, smelting and forging) using smoldering ovens and rudimentary machinery.
Also on offer: film, music, food and massage!