Attention is selective. The human eye can handle five million units per second whereas the center of vision in the brain only can perceive five hundred. If our attention would not be selective we would be completely overwhelmed with information. Therefore selection is necessary to obtain information. Due to the process of selecting we are capable of reading and moving through complex situations in space. Moving through or reading the restless environment of the city is tiring. Even if you select or focus on just a single detail it is probably precisely the excluding malfunctions that will cost energy. It is not what we notice that is special, but that what we exclude.
In line with the semiotic tradition Dejong explores and studies signs and symbols and traces as a significant part of communications. The urge to leave a mark is a phenomenon reoccurring throughout centuries. Where does this urge to leave a mark come from? In his work Dejong refers partly to the imaginary order: we can create an imaginary world by inventing stories that we believe are true, but in reality, are fictional. White monochromes are partly disrupted by colored dots, numbers and letters float between unsteady shapes and forms seem to have been erased unsuccessfully. Dejong starts on raw unprepared canvas, whilst stretching it on the ground the first smears, scratches and traces arise, which he sees as the origin of his composition. He freely applies subtle lines of graphite interspersed with details of spray paint, oil, and acrylic paint floating against a neutral background. He then suppresses, scratches, and erases and so creates an abstract new and unknown language, because of this a new composition is being made. This approach of painting finds its origin in public space, whereas by erasing one's trace, a new trace comes to exist. Within the process of reduction comes a new formation to exist.
The daydream of being marooned on a desert island still has enormous appeal, how- ever small our chances of actually finding ourselves stranded on a coral atoll in the Pacif- ic. But Robinson Crusoe was one of the first books we read as children, and the fantasy endures. There are all the fascinating problems of survival, and the task of setting up, as Crusoe did, a working replica of bourgeois society and its ample comforts. This is the desert island as adventure holiday. With a supplies filled wreck lying conveniently on the nearest reef like a neighbourhood cash and carry.
The pacific atoll may not be available, but there are other islands far nearer to home, some of them only a few steps from the pavements we tread every day. They are sur- rounded, not by sea, but by concrete, ringed by chainmail fences and walled off by bomb proof glass. All the city dwellers know the constant subliminal fear of being marooned by a power of failure in the tunnels of a subway system, or trapped over a holiday weekend inside a stalled elevator on the upper floors of a deserted office building.
But as well as the many physical difficulties facing us there are the psychological ones. How resolute are we, and how far can we trust ourselves and our own motives? Perhaps, secretly, we hoped to be marooned, to escape our families, lovers and responsibilities.
Marooned in an office block or on a traffic island, we can tyrannise ourselves, test our strengths and weaknesses, perhaps come to terms with aspects of our characters to which we have always closed our eyes.
And if we find that we are not alone on the island, the scene is then set for an encounter of an interesting but especially dangerous kind.....”