Bik Van der Pol
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a half mile of string
a half mile of string is based on the 17th century satirical text Another world and yet the same by satirist and moralist Joseph Hall. The text describes two countries with the same latitudes and longitudes as England and Germany, where food and drink are the main industries.

In one of the cities, all inhabitants suffer from tooth decay and bad breath, while in another full citizenship is granted only to those with a stomach size above a certain minimum. In yet another town, each man owns a special rope with rings spaced at intervals, leading from the marketplace to his home, to help find his way back after parties; sometimes these ropes get tangled, with all the complications that entail.

a half mile of string is a work that may set the potential of the imagination in motion, inciting possible action. The work references the utopia and dystopia of modernity, often perceived as unfulfilled, which can result in great social discontent and disillusionment.

The work raises questions about the notion of an ideal society, as well as about ways of living and coexisting, and our choices regarding what to possess, initiate or reject.
a half mile of string
What invisible lines divide and fragment society, leading to an uneven distribution of collective values? Is it possible to create shared spaces, as originally intended by the architect of the Rotterdam social housing complex Justus van Effen complex, or does it remain a different world and yet the same? a half mile of string claims potential space for further thought and action.