Sign ship-camel, next to the Afrikahaven close to Ruigoord, port of Amsterdam, june 2023.

The Mythical Zone

This work was commissioned by curator Imke Ruigrok (Re-Nature Festival) in the context of 100 years Ruigoord. It was shown in public space during the group exhibition “Oasis of Wonder.” The research for this work  was carried out in the harbour of Amsterdam during the FieldART residency in 2022, organised by Sonic Acts, ASCA, and NICA (Jeff Diamanti and Fred Carter).

Speakers: Hans Plomp, Frans Rodenburg, Jinny Thielsch, Imke Ruigrok, Arie Vonk, Masja Ottenheim-Plomp, Sander Ivo van Driel. Mastering: Mozes Meijer

︎︎︎Download the sound walk here (Dutch only)

︎Buy the FieldARTS docket bundling the research of this work in the harbour of Amsterdam here (English)

The project is generously funded by Mondriaanfonds (Artist Basic Grant) and Stichting 100 jaar Ruigoord, Amsterdam, NL 


(2023) Geo-located audio walk. Audio tour available for download in ECHOES app (ca 25 minutes), 6 aluminium and steel signs with drawing prints (ca. 2200mm x Ø600mm). Developed around the edges of the former island Ruigoord in the Amsterdam harbour.

The Mythical Zone (2023) is a site-specific project in which the public is invited to participate in an audio walk around the edges of the former island of Ruigoord. The work treats the area as a harbour for stranded inventions, a place where time stands still and where public reflection on the changeability of the industrial landscape is possible. During the walk, the visitor is invited to enter six mythical audio zones, in which the boundaries between mythology and technology are being explored. In these sound bubbles they learn about various historical inventions that characterize the landscape.

The work is inspired by the many fantastical stories that characterise Ruigoord: strange objects developed by artists and activists in its history, but also by the invisible, industrial zones that span over the village: the explosion zone (plofzone) of fuels stored by the oil industry, the shadows of the windmills, the industrial smells and sounds in the harbour area. The six stories bear witness to fantastic and sometimes tragic visions of Ruigoord and were developed with the help of inhabitants, ecologists and (hobby) historians. Walking along the edges of the former island, the public can listen to a description of the duck-decoy (17th century), the ship-camel (18th century), the air-bus (1970s), the sand-flood (1970s), the tower of Babel (early 2000s) and the sea-lock (current and future).

The mythical zone functions as a first work in a long-term research project, exploring the relationship between different times, the journey of fossil fuels and the role of speculation and myth in the industrial port area of Amsterdam.

Sign duck-decoy, audio tour around the former island of Ruigoord, june 2023.

Sign air-bus, audio tour around the former island of Ruigoord, june 2023.

Map of the sound walk in Echoes app & Google Earth screenshot, july 2023.

Sign tower of Babel, audio tour around the former island of Ruigoord, june 2023.

© Miriam Sentler 2024