Archives for posts with tag: communication model


We went to a function at the biennial exhibition NZ Sculpture OnShore last night. I really wished the Dedes could have seen it. But they are not the outdoor type. They can’t stand the rain. The exhibition is at Fort Takapuna, a disused military space high on the cliffs overlooking the sea, a perfect location for a sculpture show.  The evening was balmy with a slight sea breeze. The light wind and the setting sun played whimsically with many of the sculptures. It felt like art heaven… and on a more mundane note… we had the best fish and chips ever. I couldn’t stop thinking the Dedes should be there as well. I have to find a way to water proof them. They really should be allowed to enjoy the gorgeous view from Fort Takapuna one day.

When we arrived back home, a light drizzle had set in (heavy rain is forecast for today) and the Dedes who were on their dharna shift were huddled together at the front door. There is an alcove which gave them a little bit of protection from the elements. I felt sorry for them but didn’t want to give in just yet. Personally I think I haven’t done them enough harm to justify a dharna. So I just stepped past them to unlock the door.

Socialite held on to my trouser leg and asked: “Could we come in and sit on the window-sill inside to continue our dharna? It would be dry and people could still see us.”

I had to laugh “Nice try” I said “but no, that is not how it works… Maybe it is time we talked.”

As Philosopher didn’t want to be involved they had elected Witch as their mediator. She was more than ready to come to the table. In fact she was already there when I came into the kitchen. We closed the door so that nobody could hear what was said. Witch told me in confidence she thought everybody overreacted a bit and I immediately said I was very happy to apologise. I had already said so on Buchalov’s Blog. Buchalov was so kind to dedicate a post to the Dedes, and in a comment I said that it wasn’t a good idea for me to have told the Dedes they should learn a lesson from Buchalov. He is a very nice chap, but not a role model for the Dedes. (By the way, Buchalov, lovely drawing of Mrs Esta Blished, the fairy godmother).

“From now on, cross my heart, I will let you be who you are. You have some strong supporters out there in the big wide world!” I finished my speech.

“Only time will tell” Witch mumbled, but I chose to ignore this.

Then we continued to chit-chat about the exhibition for a while. We didn’t want the others to know that we were in agreement right from the beginning.

First a warning: Most people actually don’t want to be happy –  as truly happy people are so, so boring. What makes life interesting are the spikes, not equilibrium.

I have learned to embrace my ups and downs. I have learned that the proverbial brick wall stops me only temporarily. I don’t have to force my way through it, there is always a way around it. Finding  this detour often requires a pause, to sit down and ponder.

On my personal list of happiness there are only two items, and they are by no means fame and riches. On my list is one item you should have and one you shouldn’t. Not too difficult, is it?

The item you absolutely need to have is a soul mate!

What you need to get rid of are any personal expectations you have of him/her, so that you will keep this gem  for a long long time to come!

As easy as…

Funnily enough, most of my friends seem to think the first part is the difficult one. In fact it is the second, the working on the relationship, trying not to re-model the person you’ve found to fit your ideas. Without expectation the ideas will grow together in due time :)

Then when you hit the brick wall your fall will be cushioned!

Friends! Yes, tell me what constitutes a friend? Now this is a curly and very personal question. I don’t believe it can be answered comprehensively, not even by the most studied people. Last night, the question was brought up in conversation, and this here is another one of my unscientific and personal observations.

In German we have this word “Freund” which looks and sounds very much like the English word “friend”. These two words even have similar meanings and they could be mistaken as being the same. They are not.

In Germany you would only call a very clear and manageable amount of people “Freund.” Everybody else you’ve personally met is an acquaintance or a “friend of a friend”. I think when I left Germany I was down to two friends :).

Of course the Germans still use the two-tier of “you”. They have two terms: The close “Du” and the distant “Sie.” When you address somebody with “Du”, you are usually on a first name basis as well: you are friends. While “Sie” is usually used in combination with the surname. Oh it is all very complicated. To cut a long story short, the term used indicates the closeness of the people involved. The whole thing is a bit looser nowadays than it was when I lived there, but it is still there.

In New Zealand, (I don’t know how it is in other countries, as I have only lived in New Zealand long enough to have formed an opinion), virtually everybody you’ve met twice is your friend. Now this sounds very superficial, doesn’t it? It isn’t really.

For starters there is only one term to address the person opposite: “you.” This little fact tears down a lot of barriers.

Since I moved here the number of people I call friend has grown exponentially. But they all have one thing in common: I know them face-to-face. This fact keeps the number naturally manageable. My friends can drop in on me any time and have a conversation. What constitutes a conversation? (Don’t let me go there, not now… )

The word acquaintance is very rarely used here. I am not quite sure, but it seems if you use the word acquaintance, you have met the person, but don’t really have anything to do with them. I wrecked my brain, but I personally couldn’t come up with anybody I would refer to as an acquaintance here, though in German I would happily use the word for a number of people. I might refer to somebody as a “colleague from xyz” or “an artist guy I know”, or the “plumber who did my bathroom”. But acquaintance, no, I don’t have them in New Zealand.

Now bring on face book… I guess you can figure out my opinion. I’ll go and make a puppet in the meantime.

PS: You have certainly gathered my conversation was with a German :)


Someone remarked the other day, they were surprised my puppets are just heads, they have no bodies.

This is an artistic statement: I am convinced that communication is largely a discussion in one’s own mind. Even if I sound like a real weirdo here, I have my doubts that one ever can get across precisely what one thinks. One can but try. The perception of the message depends also on the life experience and current situation of the receiver (on which we have no influence). I am pretty sure we all know how easy it is in particular to mis-interpret brief messages written on the computer.

With the puppets at least everybody knows they are totally imaginary. And this is the reason why they are only heads. It’s all in there….

By the way, they do have dresses for when they are performing. I have five simple black robes with hands, which they share around. So they are true friends, sharing their wardrobe.


Circles seem to feature strongly in my work. This one is called mis under standing. It is my interpretation of a communication model. No matter how clearly you think you’ve send the message, it never will be received in  exactly the same way as you intended to.