DAY TWENTY-EIGHT TO THIRTY-NINE (04.02.13 - 04.13.13)
I was in Differdange, Luxembourg for experimental design, which was a ten day process where over one hundred students and teachers from different countries work together in workshops of different medias to prepare for a final exhibition of experimental design that is centered around the intricate topic of migration and cultural identities. When I first got into Luxembourg I was excited that I would kick off my school year with a class that only lasted ten days! There were many things I didn't expect to gain from the experience. It's kind of sad that this will be the last year that experimental design is offered.
We stayed in a hotel called Ibis Hotel in Belval with one other roommate, and of course my roommate was Bailey! That hotel was great, although the bathroom was the size of an airplane's with a small shower. The bed was very comfortable and the blankets and pillows were great too! The main concern was that there was only one internet cord in the room... However, because our schedule for the next ten days was pretty much packed from 9 AM to 8PM, we didn't have a huge fuss over it. The lobby had free wifi at least, I wouldn't have survived without it! In the morning, we were able to eat a golden breakfast.. It was literally the highlight of my entire trip! Lol.. Apparently the breakfast cost fourteen euros.... FOURTEEN! WTF! A very expensive, but already paid for, meal. So yes.. I ate a hearty breakfast every day. It was really great.. Eggs, bacon, brie, bread, coffee, juice, cereal... Amazing. Every night for dinner, we would always eat at either the Kreatiffabrik building or at Nathan's school the Chateau/Miami University at Luxembourg. The food was always pretty hearty and delicious. I think I'll miss being served yummy food.. Now I have to learn how to cook if I want to eat lol. OH and one day the hotel cleaning people accidentally took my totoro :( I was even joking about it saying, "It would be funny if they took Totoro," since I couldn't find him :( AND THEY ACTUALLY DID!! Good thing I kept bothering the front desk about it, so they returned him to me on time all fresh and clean!
For the program, which was located at the Kreatiffabrik Building in Differdange, we were able to pick from workshops such as paper art, visual art, video/sound/installation, metal art, performance art, photography, and on-site art. I chose video/sound/installation and performance art. In both workshops, I worked in a group; in my video group was Rachel, John, Emily, Nathan, and Kirsten. I was expecting to create a typical video that included overlaps of the landscape and mixture of different voices and sounds from the city. However, what my group and I ended up with was ten times greater than I thought! My video professors were Ahmed and Antoni. Antoni helped my group out by encouraging us to do an experimental exercise with video projection. At first, he suggested video mapping, but since we've never done that, we strayed away. Usually video mapping takes several months, not ten days. It was definitely out of question! But then, he showed us an older experiment he did with video projections and it instantly sparked inspiration for us. We split the work up into getting videos, sound, and editing. Before this spark of inspiration, I felt very lost and unsure. Honestly, I didn't know which workshop to do and wondered if I was happy with my decision. Working in groups is always tough, but dealing with language barriers is tougher. This experience taught me to be patient and have more tolerance... It must be tough for everyone whose main language isn't English.. It's cool that everyone can pretty much speak English, but it kind of sucks how the English speakers can't speak another language lol.. Well technically I speak another language, but just saying as a general statement. Also, there were people there who weren't comfortable speaking English, or who say, "Oh my English isn't very good," but in fact their English is great! I am just amazed because they can speak it way better than I can speak their language.. I will always encourage them to not feel ashamed.
Within these ten days I made some new friends and it's a wonder of how close you can get to people. I became close to my new friends within my performance art group because we were taught to be comfortable and expressive with our bodies, which means, yeah you gotta wiggle your butt and do weird things like stepping out of your comfort zone. Laughing of course is a universal language.. but I think different countries have a slightly different sense of humor.. Or maybe everyone has a different sense of humor. Did I tell you guys that I got a new hair cut too? More like a trim.. One inch off my hair and about a centimeter n a half off my bangs :) THANKS TO MY FRIEND OLA! Who is great, she gave many people free hair cuts and used the hair in her project.
On exhibition night I was just all over the place.. One minute doing nothing, the next minute at performance rehearsal. I played the samurai game with the children who also came to perform. They are so cute and always said hi to me. I almost missed the entire show because I had to get that clay on my face and change into my clay outfit. It was interesting and kind of cold. After the performance I had to quickly shower and make myself somewhat presentable. Literally missed the entire exhibition of my video group lol.. but at least after the performance, I was able to make it to the video exercise installation. The next day we had to clean up our exhibition. Bailey and I snuck off to visit Luxembourg City since we missed our only chance to last time.. It was okay, but started pouring rain! It had a lot of shops.. but apparently we didn't even make it to the city center LOL..... Totally thought we were though, but we were supposed to pass a bridge or two before we were.. Guess we didn't venture far enough. When we came back, we had dinner and then had a farewell party at the Rockhal, where a lot of singers and artists perform there. LIKE QUEEN AND TEGAN AND SARA.. MISSING OUT... T-T.. but I had a lot of fun because I haven't danced in a long time.. Lord knows I love dancing although I look as dumb as a noodle. WHO CARES THOUGH! It was a great final night to spend with my classmates.. I left Luxembourg with good memories, although it wouldn't have been the first place I'd want to visit. Maybe this is a foreshadow of how I'll feel at the end of my adventure in Europe?
Nostalgic. Just like this sunny day. I am gonna have to go out and do some homework now.. It's 65 degrees in Trier.. I haven't seen the sun in so long it seems.