Here is my Sep 2018 update. On what happened the last couple of months, some new insights, some updated plans.
© Petervan Performance “Get out of your prison cell” – Sep 2018 Picture by Eduardo Morales
Many people ask me what I am doing, and I usually answer “nothing”. But if you look at the overview below, there is not yet something close to “nothing”.
The luxury of time and silence has given me the possibility to let emerge and mature some concepts that were brewing inside me for quite some time.
My ambition has not changed: to inspire other people to dream. Not “realise” their dreams, or realise their potential, but just “dream”. It’s a mantra, like Guy Kawasaki’s two-words mantra “Empower others”. Mine is a five-words.
And I think I have found a way — a tactic — to articulate that ambition. The tactic of a “job”. In that sense, I think my job is to create “Time Capsules”. These are interventions, interruptions and provocations that lead to higher states of alertness and aliveness. Formats can be artwork, installations, performances, immersive learning experiences, writings, soundscapes, recordings, documentaries, arrangements, compositions, or just casual conversations that resonate at another level than the pure cognitive.
It seems it took me two years to peel the old corporate skin and re-invent myself into something more artistic and closer to my real self.
Life is rippling slowly onwards with some small and some bigger family events.
Astrid is back at school, 2ndyear secondary school. She went on summer camp at Lago Trasimeno in Italy. She struggled over summer and still now with an ingrown toenail, and like the other toe, it will probably require surgery. She started horse riding lessons, as well as trampoline and tumbling courses at the local athletic club. In addition she stays very creative, alert and energetic with a good sense for aesthetics.
Astrid horse riding and appreciating contemporary art - summer 2018
Mieke turned 50 in May, but she doesn’t seem to age (I will score some points with this one). She keeps being super-patient with this unpredictable guy, and makes sure I don’t get out of the house like a vagabond. She keeps us tidy 😉
Our father in law made a nasty fall from the stairs in his house and broke his wrist. Out for the next 4 months or so.
And we lost our dear uncle Toon, who was also my godfather. He’d grown old, the body was used up, but his mind was still alert when he passed away quietly in the presence of his wife and children. Farewell, my dear uncle…
Uncle Toon passed away The old Marian pilgrimage church of Ver-Assebroek near Bruges
The Artschool Project
The 2018–2019 season of the Ghent Art Academy restarted in September, entering my 4thyear painting. I initially tried to get a cross-over year combining painting with digital media, but that did not work out for the academy. So, no cross-over, and it’s probably better for me to keep it simple, and to focus on doing one thing right.
Despite the ambitious plans for summer, I have not done any painting/sketching during summer, but improved a bit my video editing and soundscape creation skills in preparation for the performance.
My new spotless spot at the start of the 2018-2019 Art Academy year
©Petervan Artwork 2018 – Landscape #1 – Acryl on canvas – 100x120cm
Prison cell performance
Finnovista invited me to do a performance at the Finnovista Summit in Mexico-City on 12–13 Sep 2018. I was invited last year, but the event needed to be cancelled halfway due to the 7,4 magnitude earthquake on 19 Sep 2017. So the organizers were so kind to invite me again.
The working title of the performance was “Get out of the prison cell! — An artistic reflection on listening, learning, and leading”
@Petervan Performance 2018 – Peter moving prison walls
I already documented the overall narrative in my “Get out of your prison cell!” post.
This time — in addition of the multi-media approach — I included props on stage, a life camera feed, even some vestimentary attributes like suite, hats and masks, and a lightning script for the light technician.
Here is a link to the slide-deck I used during the performance
As soon as the video and (professional) pictures of the performance will be available, I will post them here.
PLACEHOLDER OFFICIAL VIDEO/PICS
It was a fantastic experience preparing, executing, and getting feedback on something I wanted to do for the last two years. I felt at home on stage in this new vulnerability, an encouragement to continue on this new journey.
Many thanks to Andres Fontao and Fermin Bueno and their Finnovista team for taking the risk of letting me do this.
Time Capsules Project
There is something new brewing: a sort of documentary starting with a navigator and a spark. It is an evolution of the Studio Oxygen idea, and working title is “Petervan’s Time Capsules”. This project is also somehow a natural continuation/evolution of the performance project.
Time Capsules are encounters with an interesting person. Open ended expeditions, with no agenda. The purpose is to scratch beyond the surface, to go under the skin of the guest, to appeal to his/her unconscious beyond the cognitive. The spark — the start of the journey — for each Time Capsule is a tangible artistic object (painting, sculpture, clothing, music, poem, dance,…). The spark sparks a high quality conversation — where information can flow freely. This conversation is guided and facilitated by an expert and/or a professional facilitator and leads to a found learning (vs. searched learning). This learning is recorded, edited, produced, and externalised in a new tangible artistic object (painting, visualisation, sculpture, clothing, music, poem, dance, video, ) and thereby made shareable for internalisation by an audience.
A more in-depth blog post is cooking in the kitchen on that one.
The first Time Capsule will be an art-historical dissection/critique/buildup of Beyoncé’s latest APESH*T video. One could call it “Beyond Beyoncé’s Apeshit”.
The aesthetics in the video are great, and the background of the Louvre museum gives it some extra credibility, but from an art historical point of view, it is all plain wrong and misleading. S**t sold as culture.
My cousin Joost will be our navigator for this first Time-Capsule. Joost is Senior Curator at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels. He is also the Co-Founder and Project Leader of the international multidisciplinary Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project (JVDPPP) and the Project Leader for the establishment of the visitors centre at the Brueghel House, Brussels.
My cousin Joost and JVDPPP team in Lazienki Krolewskie Museum in Warsaw
The second Time Capsule is planned on the immense property of a count and countess in Austria. It’s a documentary of two very wealthy people who still live in a very traditional way in the Austrian Alps. A real time machine expedition resulting into another time capsule. Also here, Joost will be our navigator.
We have some cool ideas for our next guests and navigators. But by no means, if you have an idea for a subject, guest, or navigator, please contact me via email.
The Silence-is-Broken Project (see previous update) resulted in some more silence-scapes.
@Petervan Silence-Scape 2018 - The sound of grazing cows
I am also experimenting with an alternative calendar: A year would start on 27 April, a week would be 11 days, the 11thday is a rest day, a month has 7 weeks, and we have 17 months.
How would a year look/feel like? How would you plan for it? How does that change your priorities? How more/less stressed would you be? How much stress/pressure would you get from normal-calendar-people?
There are not so many art exhibitions during summer. The season really restarts mid September.
I went to one very small exhibition, titled “Gemeubelde Kamers/Furnished Rooms”, in Ressegem (Herzele) of all places, truly Flanders centre for the arts. It had works from Pirò Pallaghy and Luc Degryse.
Combined artwork by Pirò Pallaghy and Luc Degryse in Herzele, Sep 2018
Chickens and Pigs Project
With such an exceptionally warm and sunny summer, our garden was a real treat.
We enjoyed our first organic harvest of salads, tomatoes, carrots, spices and herbs. The fruit trees just did fantastic. One of our apple trees gave us more than 1,000 apples. We gave away a lot for free to our neighbours and family.
Unfortunately, the hot weather also had its consequences for the chickens. They were plagued with blood lice, and we tried to battle those terrible insects in natural and not so natural ways. The battle will continue till deep in autumn, when temperatures will get consistently below 10°C.
One of our apple trees gave us more than 1,000 red apples – Summer 2018
Finding interesting work
All the above is non-paid work (more play than work to be honest), and something needs to pay the bills at the end of the month. Maybe one day a company or institution wants to be a patron of my work.
But I am standing two feet on the ground, and finding a job is probably a more realistic option.
So, I am looking for “job(s)”, more along the lines of what I did before in events (immersive learning experiences) and/or what I am doing now (using art in support of content) or other interesting work.
So, if you know of somebody who can use my talents, please contact me via email.
Eternal gratitude will be your reward.
The plan for Sep — Nov 2018 is to work on:
- Finding interesting paid work
- V1 of “Time Capsules”
- Paint, Paint, Paint
- Publish my first fairytale — surprise !
So, that’s it for this edition. If there is something worth reporting, next update is for Nov-Dec 2018.