© 2022 Petervan Artworks – Artist and Engineer – created with MidJourney

Here is the latest update on Petervan Studios. The previous update already goes back to February 2022

Professionalization of Petervan Studios Practice

Some days ago, I published a post about this and the launch of my new website and The Scaffold.

As I was very focused on professionalizing my art practice, I did not produce much artwork during that time. On the website, you can discover some of my existing work by selecting a method, dynamic, and outcome. You can of course also sort per container: canvas, video, audio, etc.

As part of the inventory work, I stumbled upon some older works and played around with DALL-E

© 2022 Petervan Artworks – made with DALL-E

© 2022 Petervan Artworks – Prison cell in ProCreate

IN OTHER NEWS…

Exhibitions

Since the last update, I visited the following art exhibitions:

Dhondt Dhaenens, Deurle, April 2022

Berlinde De Bruyckere, Studio visit, Ghent, April 2022

Castle of Laarne, Laarne, May 2022

Storycon, BOZAR Brussels, May 2022

Nick Ervinck, Skins, K.E.R.K., Middelkerke, July 2022

8th Biennial of Painting, Dhondt Dhaenens, Deurle, July 2022

8th Biennial of Painting, Mudel, Deinze, July 2022

8th Biennial of Painting, Raveem Museum, Zulte, July 2022

Jonas Gekhiere, MUSEE, Oostende, July 2022

Christian Dotremont, KMSKB, Brussels, August 2022

Tanya Goelen, KMSKB, Brussels, August 2022

(Un)Common Values, National Bank Belgium, Brussels, August 2022

Nick Ervinck, Studio Visit, Lichtervelde, August 2022

Wim Opbrouck Open Hart, Dr. Ghislain Museum, Ghent, August 2022

Splendid Isolation, S.M.A.K., Ghent, August 2022

Outdoors

We had a fantastic spring and summer. We basically had sunny weather from March till August. At least that is how I recall it. 

Spent quite some time outdoors: some gardening, some walking, some bicycling, some doing nothing. Got a nice tan, and people asked me where I spent my holidays. At home, but many don’t seem to believe me 😉

I have not traveled abroad since October 2019. Cannot say I miss it.

Books

Check out my GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3085594-peter-auwera

Some highlights:

Ways of Being: Beyond Human Intelligence by James Bridle

Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy by David Chalmers

De Avond is Ongemak by Marieke Lucas Reineveld

And for the artists in this community:

On Being an Artist by Michal Craig-Martin

Art/Work by Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber

Making It in the Art World: Strategies for Exhibitions and Funding

Petervan Rides

Since July 2019, I have published every month a Spotify List with new releases combined with some oldies from the 60ies, 70ies, and beyond. Search for “Petervan Ride” and select “playlists”. Selection is driven only by my personal taste (or lack thereof). 

In July 2022, we entered the fourth year of this experiment. Here is the latest Ride from September 2022

I suggest you play it in shuffle mode, it enhances the surprise experience.

Family

The most important news is that Astrid passed and is now starting her last year in high school! Where has the time gone? 

What else?

Horses

Astrid is still enjoying horse riding very much. And so do I!

I have three roles in the horse riding adventure: being her All Bundy, her taxi driver, and her photographer

Astrid with Cienta

So, in summary, what’s next?

The plan for the next mile is to work/play on:

Support Astrid in her last year at high school

Professionalizing my art practice

Pitch and realize my project “The Scaffold”

So, that’s it for this edition. 

If there is something worth reporting, the next update is for Feb 2023. 

Warmest, 

© 2022 Petervan Artworks – The Scaffold – created with Stable Diffusion

Since March 2022, I have focused on the professionalization of my art practice. As part of a grant for the innovation of cultural business models, I invited Kurt Vanbelleghem from Amy-Art and Present Future to be my coach in that endeavor.

Kurt is a curator, critic, and publisher specializing in the field of contemporary artistic practices. He received a MA in Psychological Sciences and a MA in Art History from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and a Master in Visual Arts Administration from The Royal College of Art, London, UK. 

Whereas we initially started looking at my artwork only, Kurt was great at pointing out that the output of my artwork was less important than the methods and dynamics applied. And that these methods were also underpinning my other work in the area of interventions, provocations, and interruptions. In other words, all my work was about similar forms of artistic and aesthetic expression and experience. Kurt set me on a path of better articulation of my ambitions and offerings. It also led to a new vocabulary and a new set of aesthetics to describe and share what I do and why I do it.   

I have now consolidated my creative undertakings into Petervan StudioS (plural). 

Petervan Studios is the melting pot of three studios: The Art Studio, The Interventions Studio, and The Scaffold Studio. The Studios have the following methods, dynamics, and outcomes in common:

Methods: Collisions – Layering – Activations – Speculations

Dynamics: Translating – Unsnapping – Reframing

Outcomes: Provocations – Experimentations – Collaborations

The three studios share the motivation and desire for societal, moral, and aesthetic advancement. 

I just launched a brand new website with all details about the three studios: www.petervanstudios.com

The Website is designed by WebIt. Thanks, Ruben, Joke, and team for your patience. Thanks also to Peter, Kurt, Janne, and Tijana from Amy-Art for help with the archiving and API integration.

Below is a quick summary of the three studios

Studio-1 Artworks

This studio is the home of Petervan’s art experiments: a mix of analog and digital artwork and productions, writings, poems, installations, video scapes, soundscapes, recordings, documentaries, and time capsules.

Studio-2 Interventions

These interventions build upon my experience and capability as a translator/interpreter of your specific challenges and designer/architect of intellectual collisions. Most of the interventions involve private or semi-private tailor-made provocations and include: Conversations, keynotes, performances, and curations

Studio-3 The Scaffold

The Scaffold is a brand-new transdisciplinary learning studio for the never normal. This unusual learning studio invites participants into a fresh break from the day-to-day. It allows participants to think, sense, learn, ànd act together with a brilliant, curated non-conformist tribe about a specific collective challenge. Not to solve the challenge, but to identify pivotal insights and a new way to position it.

The Scaffold is made possible through strategic partnerships with nexxworks and Collective Next

We also brought together a coalition of exceptional individuals as advisors for The Scaffold. A unique mix of strategists, futurists, engineers, entrepreneurs, experts in classic and contemporary arts, masters in narrative environments, philosophers, licensed architects, and VR developers.

Please let me know what resonates.

Warmest, 

Sneak preview of upcoming launch Petervan Studios website – Turn sound “on”

Petervan’s Music Ride August 2022 > abundance everywhere > almost 100 songs, most new releases, but also some classics > from ancient repetitive music to Barbara Streisand to contemporary rap > this month’s Ride has more slower and gentle rhythms than usual. Play in shuffle mode to increase the surprise factor. Enjoy!

This post is the last post of a series of essays bundled under “Traveling without moving”.

The intro of that series can be found here. In hindsight, this whole series was a slow reflection, maturation, and catalyst for something that will emerge in September as “The Scaffold”

The idea of a new “genre” has been hanging around since 2018, actually. But the COVID-related lockdowns have only amplified this dissatisfaction with replicating old analog formats into their digital copy-cats, without considering that the craving for something better has a deeper foundation.

In my Nov 2020 update, I already suggested:

“People are exhausted. Tired of online meetings. Tired of being locked up in their houses. Tired of all the negative news. People crave oxygen. People crave for small safe groups where they can share, critique, ideate, play.”

As John Hagel wrote some time ago: “We all are hungry for hope and excitement”

During and post-COVID, we have seen an acceleration in the use of online meetings and other forms of remote participation. We also witnessed the rise and hype of the metaverse, web3, AI-based image and text generators, and more. 

But we have not catered to the craving for oxygen. On the contrary, we seem to flee and lose ourselves in virtual realities, suffocating ourselves in the coolness of the latest technological gadgets and hypes. 

I feel we have hardly touched the surface of what is possible and more importantly what is desirable. What is our/my ambition in this space? I have written before about this in the “Ambition Cube

I believe we need to start working on a new “genre” for collective learning and collaboration. 

Photography in Scaffold by Milo-Profi, Begijnhof, Mechelen, BE

Over the last couple of months, I have watched, suggested, and experimented with a number of concepts that go beyond a pimped-up Zoom meeting. The spectrum included proposals like Pirate TV (gracefully hijacked – and well executed – by Mykel Dixon and Co after I mentioned it during a catalyst meeting with Josie Gibson), Beyond TV, or Beyond Netflix.

I started reflecting: is “pirate” or “rebel” really what I want to be? That may sound like heroic and sympathetic, but is that behavior leading to the desired outcome of imagining and orchestrating new narratives? And why would I even use the word “TV” in what I do? TV as a format that leaves little room for imagination?

Maybe it should be something more Newsroom style like Ian Bremmers’ GZERO channel, Ray Wang’s “DisruptTV”, or Gerd Leonhard’s KeynoteTV. Gerd probably nailed it when it comes to repurposing keynotes for the virtual world (and also very well executed).

Somewhere in 2020, I got the wonderful opportunity to collaborate on nexxworks’ “Missions”, and more specifically on the curation of Mission NXT, with Peter Hinssen as the host.

Mission NXT episode with Peter Hinssen and John Hagel

That worked quite well, and the concept was integrated into nexxworks’s Memberships Program.

In all formats above I have witnessed discussions live or pre-recorded, with or without Q&As, edited or unedited, etc.

 But these are delivery-related questions only.  

In the end, these formats are still about passive consumption of knowledge, not about working-out-loud together, or better “learning-out-loud together”, and at best they reach the level of high-quality “teaching” of simple topics.

What we seem to be craving for are formats that are mentoring and/or inquiry-based, tackling complicated and complex subjects and projects. These use in-person and virtual facilitation and immersion technologies, helping us discover new unintended opportunities and new unintended behaviors and skills.

Courtesy Ann Pendleton-Jullian from FOUR (+1) Studios

What does that genre-ambition look like? What do we really want?

 We do NOT want yet another set of virtual equivalents of “meetings”, or “events”, “workshops”, TED Talks, TV shows, etc.

We want a genre with high participation and high connectedness; with a slow tempo, we take the time to digest existing knowledge and create new knowledge. Failing and learning together through “collisions”, provocations, and collaborative and highly participatory engagements. 

This new genre adheres to a different style: away from the spectacle, and breathing a mood of silence and introspection. Not trying to impress but to take care. Away from the quick bites, quick-wins, and snackable fast-food content, but surfing on the slow waves of the long quality content format. 

Witnessing, questioning, interrogating, inquiring, iterating, all beyond the cognitive knowledge consumption.

With tools like scaffolds, collages, visual and multi-sensory collisions, assemblages, narrative environments, multiple narratives, and plurality in points of view and participants. 

It should feel like a cesarean, assisting birth to something completely new. 

It is about scaffolding narrative immersive spaces for collective learning.

Detail “Mechanisms I” by © Tanya Goel – 2019 – Picture by Petervan

For a couple of months now, I have been working in stealth mode on a new project called “The Scaffold”, which is exactly doing that. 

The Scaffold will come out of stealth next month, together with a brand new website and offering for Petervan Studios

Hope you stay on board

With warm regards,

I was one of the twenty lucky ones to be invited to an exclusive studio visit of Belgian and internationally renowned top-artist Berlinde De Bruyckere.  She represented Belgium in the 55th Venice Biennale. The studio visit was organized by the Flemish Art Magazine HART.

Still from MO.CO interview video, Berlinde preparing with grace “to Zurbaran”, from 2015

“Born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1964, where she currently lives and works, Berlinde De Bruyckere was deeply influenced by the Flemish Renaissance painting. Drawing on the legacy of great European masters, religious iconography, as well as on ancient mythology and traditional culture, her work rests upon the dialectics experienced between images of current affairs and the breath of universal and timeless parables. By experimenting with malleable materials, like wax, fabric, or animal skin, Berlinde De Bruyckere built a unique body of work, simultaneously identifiable and moving, at times also unsettling, that translates into the flesh of sculptures the paradox of ‘sublime weakness’ posited by Lao-Tzu. Working both as a painter and a sculptor, her hybrid forms with human, animal, and plant features, bear an envelope, a diaphanous skin, or a bark under which quiver very dainty veins, a sap that ceaselessly flows and witnesses the hope contained in the miracle of each life.” (Quote from the MO.CO website)”

School corridor – Studio Berlinde De Bruycker – Picture by Petervan

Her studio is based in an old refurbished school building in the working-class neighborhood “Muide” in the port area in the north of the Belgian city of Ghent. This is also the area where she was raised: her father ran a butcher’s shop 100 meters from the school. Over the years, she and her husband transformed the classrooms into different art studios. 

I managed my expectations for the visit upfront. Maybe at best, we would meet the artist during the welcome, and maybe the visit would only last one hour. 

Welcome to Berlinde De Bruyckere studio – Picture by Petervan

Great was my surprise that Berlinde was there from start to finish, including during the lunch afterward. She was very approachable and hungry for questions about her work and her practice. During lunch, Berlinde was sitting in front of me, and I felt like we had an interesting conversation about her and my art practice. 

The setting was quite exclusive: we could see work (in progress) that she was creating for her big upcoming exhibition in June 2022 in Montpellier, France. 

That exhibition is live now and runs till 2 October 2022. Here is the home page of the exhibition in MO.CO (Montpellier Contemporain) website. 

Detail TRE ARCANGELI, 2022 – Berlinde De Bruyckere – Picture by Petervan

During the group conversations around the TRE ARCANGELI, there was a sentence/question that touched me:

WELK BEELD KAN JE TROOSTEN?

WHAT IMAGE CAN COMFORT YOU? 

TRE ARCANGELI, 2022 – Berlinde De Bruyckere – Picture by Petervan

Also, the conversation about working with a team was full of insights that for sure are also applicable to corporate teams. In this particular case: how do you empathically communicate failure to the team, and decide as a group that the work done does not fit the concept and that we have to start from scratch again?

I will come back later in another post about the meaning or “concept”, about conceptual art, conceptual business, and conceptual curation.

Having this opportunity to be in direct and close contact with a professional artist is super inspiring, and it influences my own work and practice in the following ways:

Focus: no distractions, silence, solitude

Professionalism: time for reflection, and discipline of doing the work, every day

Attitude: the combination of integrity, modesty, subduedness, stillness, respect

The value of a concept

To go as far as one wants

Making a group that is forced together

Showing its scars and wounds

The blanket is a metaphor for our failing society

Still from MO.CO interview video

When you leave the show and you feel that the themes are tough, it’s not easy to find words that express what you, as a spectator, felt about the show. 

But you should leave with a feeling of hope

I will come back in September on this feeling of hope, or rather our longing and yearning for hope and excitement.

Warmly,

As usual, an incoherent, irregular, unpredictable collection of interesting sparks. Handpicked, no robots. Minimalism in curation. Enjoy!

If you can’t get enough of these and want more, you can hang on to the firehose, the extended version of Petervan’s Delicacies in REVUE with loads of videos. Subscribe here: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/petervan

Petervan’s Ride July 2022 > starting the fourth year of Rides > Only 33 songs this month, summer vacation I guess > mostly new releases > play in shuffle mode for more surprise

Parallel Grooves

Picture generated by DALL-E

It all started with Vankatesh Rao’s “Future Tables” post last week, with the subtitle “We don’t want future visions, we want future tables”. Venkat introduced the concept of “temporal potential groove”.

I added the following comment to his post:

“I enjoyed this one very much. You have written so much about time that my feedback may sound trivial. Anyway. I felt attracted to “temporal potential groove”. It made me think about grooves in vinyl records. About remastering to improve the dynamics of output. Music in general as a scheme of bars, tempo, etc. About the grid and snapping to the grid in music and other software. Also about furrows on land, and riverbeds. And how we could learn to unsnap from the grid, groove, riverbed, etc to find new paths that are not defined by the “table”.”

I wrote about unsnapping from grids before

Image credits: Microscopic Things/Youtube

Just a couple of days later, I had my monthly catch-up call with Josie Gibson, and we started a lovely conversation about vinyl records. 

Yes, for those who remember, vinyl records “sound” different. It is an analog sound. It has a warmer, more human touch to it. We are so used to listening to compressed, streamed, digital music that listening to really high quality sound/music is an experience that many of us don’t have any real experience with. Neil Young wrote a whole book about it and the lack of HD sound was the reason for him starting the Neil Young Archives

But besides the sound quality, there is also quite a difference in the experience of consuming music.

Sometimes, the pickup stylus jumped out of the groove, jumping to an unexpected part of the song or even the album. There was some sort of enjoyable unpredictability. 

You were also supposed to listen to the whole album (or at least one “side” of the vinyl disc) in one non-interrupted session. 

Also, we lost the patience to wait, to be comfortable with the in-betweens, the no-groove areas between the songs.

There was at some time the notion of a “concept album”, where all the songs of the album belong to a coherent concept/narrative, instead of a compilation or sequence of greatest hits or unrelated “singles” 

As we discussed, we made parallels to the way I curate learning experiences, where the value is in the coherence of the narrative and associated speakers, and not just a list of individuals taking the stage for their standard pre-canned talk. My ambition is to take people out of the groove, to discover parallel worlds and options. 

Josie coined the term “Parallel Grooves”, obviously T-shirt material! I should seriously consider hiring Josie as my copywriter 😉

Mock-up T-Shirt with image from DALL-E

The vinyl groove is one metaphor. 

We could also consider the riverbed: by putting obstacles in the riverbed, we can change the flow of the water, we can divert the flow.

Or waterfalls. Josie spoke about “the language of waterfalls” and what happens when you put a big rock at the top of the waterfall and how the language of the waterfall changes.

Image generated by DALL-E

Serendipity is my companion these days, and as I was writing this post, I bumped into this image of Cameron Falls in Alberta, Canada:

Cameron Falls in Alberta, Canada has crystal clear water on normal days, but when abnormally heavy rainfall hits the region, a phenomenon happens. Sediments called agrolites are released into the water and make the river look pink or red when light hits it. Seen on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/auckee 

Or the metaphor of furrows in a field. 

Here is my uncle Hubert plowing a fresh field with his tractor. Ask him how difficult it is to steer the tractor out of the furrow.

But what if he could plow not only the land but also a river or a waterfall or all of them? You would get a very nice metaphorical representation of my idea of curation.

Image generated by DALL-E

People think they are in the groove, but they aren’t. Or they don’t know what else exists out of the groove.

“They don’t know what they need, but they know what they yearn for”

(another copy by Josie)

What seems more interesting to me is to surf that yearning and go to a place in a different dimension you don’t even know existed.

“You were looking for “X” and but I let you discover “Y”

(Josie)

Parallel Grooves in other words.

Guess what? 

Parallel Grooves will be part of “Studio Interventions”, one of the three studios I am launching after the summer together with a brand new Petervan Studios website

Stay tuned

Warmest,

delicacies

As usual, an incoherent, irregular, unpredictable collection of interesting sparks. Handpicked, no robots. Minimalism in curation. Enjoy!

If you can’t get enough of these and want more, you can hang on to the firehose, the extended version of Petervan’s Delicacies in REVUE with loads of videos. Subscribe here: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/petervan

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