explorations

Teerosen

2014
Maps, digital collage, photographs and text.

Commissioned by Verborgen Landschap, 2014

 

Teerosen
Verborgen Landschap invited artists to do artistic research around the former military airport Deelen, on the Veluwe near Arnhem. When studying aerial photographs taken by the RAF in 1944, I got fascinated by white lines that appear as drawings in the dark fields. From archival research I learned that the photographs documented the Teerosen. ‘Teerosen’ was the codename of three installations of radio- and radartowers, built in the surroundings of Terlet on the Veluwe, near Arnhem. By these installations, the Germans could monitor aerial activities of their own planes and of the allied forces during World War II. By radar- and radio-techniques, they could communicate with their pilots to whom they sent signals from Teerosen via bunker Diogenes. The Teerosen were essential and therefore strategic objects. The Germans tried to camouflage them by covering the radar-towers with dead trees. Obviously, they forgot about the lines that appeared in the fields after communication cables were installed in the soil. Typical for this landscape, the soil consists of bright yellow sand and the vegetation is dominated by dark heather plants. This contrast abolished the camouflage and reveiled the Teerosen.

 

Maps and walks
I regarded these white lines as drawings that nowadays, seventy years after, would be hidden under the landscape and I started out my research from the question what I would encounter when walking these exact lines. In order to do so, I developped maps of the WW-II Teerosen Luftwaffe installations by combining the aerial photography of the RAF (1944) and Google (2014). I then walked every line on these maps to document the sites as they were on that day (august 2014).

In situ, I found many old and new time-layers intertwined: war objects nowadays find themselves on a.o. a camp site, a recreational glider field and a national park. These mixed, collage-like sites embody the history after WWII and remind us of the continuous transition of every landscape. These transitions will eventually lead to a disappearance of war traces, which breaks the usual tendency to preserve history. I concluded my research with the insight that this disappearance is in itself the most interesting thing I found here and I recommend to let these transformations proceed.

Presentations and publications
The research project was published in this Cahier and in this Book. I gave lectures at o.a. Code Rood.
The Dutch foundation Natuurmonumenten uses the research for educative field trips, as they own most of the sites, and the research was cited in several scientific archaeological research projects after.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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