Archive for the ‘Astrid’ Category

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, 2nd year 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…

kerk toon Ver-Assebroek

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 4th year 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

landscape V1

©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 moving walls

@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.







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.

Little Drops

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 11th day 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.

What’s next?

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.




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Petervan Productions 2017
My own painting “Dancing Girl in Flemish Fields”
Through a Pikazo Van Klee filter

The summer slowly comes to an end. It is now almost ten months (!) since the start of my long-term sabbatical as Petervan Productions. It also means only four months to go. If you are interested in my developing story, my Jan 2017, March 2017 and May 2017 updates are still available.

A quick update:

Last months I have not been productive at all, at least not from a “work” point of view: begin May, I loosened up a bit my strict work schedule and decided to let my day agenda dictate by the weather – if good weather go out, if rainy do focused work – and since then we mostly only had sunny days 😉 So indeed, I did a reasonable amount of cycling (nothing excessive, short trips, 1-2 per week), and a lot of BBQ and wine in my garden to keep the balance right.

IMG_4639 (1)

Bike ride: Corn fields south of Brussels – June 2017

The biggest distraction from “work” was our house move on 7 August, with significant prep work, and still now a number of boxes to be unpacked. So don’t expect too much from me for the remainder of the summer either. I did very little on the performance, but I have composed the music for the opening part of it.


For the end of the academic year, I created an installation called “TOKOMA”. Here is the video and a link to the poem that goes with it. Everything is self-made, including the music and the poem.

Art school is now closed for the summer holidays. As we moved places, I have subscribed for next year in the academy of Aalst. But I will miss my friends at the academy in Overijse and especially my teacher Ann Grillet.

Globe3 croppedIMG_3945IMG_4612 cropped

Some recent Petervan Productions: Globe3, Yellow Ball, Dancing Girl

I also created another poem “Strillingen”, very clumsy translated (by myself) into “Hidrations”.


I accepted a gig for FinnoSummit in September in Mexico to do their opening keynote, which should include some elements of my performance “Tin Drum is Back”. The working title for the keynote is “Deep Change in Organizations”, and is currently scheduled at the start of day-2 of the summit. We’ll probably change the word “deep” into “structural”: see my post on Good Change – Bad Change.

The event will take place in Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral, a fantastic building designed by architect Gerardo Broissin.



Centro Cultural Roberto Cantoral in Mexico City

The venue comes with a concert hall with all possible A/V whistles and bells, so if everything goes to plan, I will bring with me this awesome Ableton Push device and illustrate the story with own artwork and soundscapes.


Ableton Push Device

The House Project

As mentioned above, we moved houses. We moved to a place close to Aalst. It’s a quite recent house (20 years old) and used to be a practice of a physiotherapist, so I am in full progress to transform the practice into some sort of atelier/studio, my sacred secret temple 😉


The house also comes with a huge garden (25 acres) so I am afraid that will need some of my attention too. And my daughter wants chickens, and my wife wants a kitchen garden. I have also noticed spectacular changes in light intensity in the garden, and I can’t wait to capture some of that in one of my upcoming paintings.


Some great milestones for my almost 12-year old daughter Astrid:

Mid May, she did her solemn communion, and she was ravishing. A proud father and mother indeed 😉


Ravishing Astrid – May 2017

End June she ended primary school and now moves to secondary school. A new school, a new city, saying good-bye to her dear friends in Overijse, and making plenty of new friends in this brand new environment. A lot of change for my big girl! She will need my and mom’s attention 😉


I have written and reflected a lot, read some really good books and got some new insights.

I also got invited to a huge research centre of a very big company (can’t say who, I am under a very strict NDA – no pics etc that sort of thing, but it’s not in Fintech or anything). I was blown away how they integrate artists in their work.

And there was this wonderful visit to the Gaasbeek Castle, with a very well curated expo named “Kairos Castle. The Art of the Moment”. I was however most impressed with the botanic garden of the castle, and took this nice picture of an orange tree in open air.

IMG_4593 (1)

Orange tree in open air in the Orangerie of the Gaasbeek Castle

And somewhere end May, I decided to put myself on a Twitter, FB and LinkedIn diet. I wanted to know what happens if I don’t tweet etc for at least a month (spoiler: not much, but some followers kindly asking if everything was ok, thanks for that). The social media just felt very distracting and most of the time full of emptiness (“full-of-emptiness”).

I have BTW a blog post in the queue about that emptiness, about being normal/special and about titles, roles, attention, the call for anonymity etc. You see, I did not change that much ;-). Now that the move is over, a will increase again my stream rhythm and publishing sequence

So, what’s next?

During Aug –Sep 2017, the plan is to work on:

  • The house project. I want to have the studio fully ready and operational by end September
  • Produce the opening keynote for the FinnoSummit
  • Continue the research on structural change (previously “deep” change)
  • Get some blogs and reflections published

kenny scharf

Kenny Scharf Art Studio

That’s about it for this edition. If there is something worth reporting, next update is for Oct 2017. Looking forward to hearing from your latest adventures as well.

Rebelliously yours,


I am in the business of cultivating high quality connections and flows to create immersive learning experiences and structural change. Check out: https://petervanproductions.com/

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My daughter is 10. She is a constant source of inspiration for me. She has a talent for writing but she does not know yet. When we had our first snow some weeks ago, she wrote the following (in Dutch), followed by a bad translation by myself. Enjoy.


Het sneeuwt, het sneeuwt.

Alles wordt wit

De bomen zijn al kaal en hebben koud nat

Ze zijn vol sneeuw

Het sneeuwt hier en daar

Hier en daar

Daar en daar

Het sneeuwt in 1 woord overaaaaaaal

Zo leuk vind ik dit toooooch?


It snows, it snows

Everything becomes white

The trees are bald already and are wet and cold

They are full of snow

It snows here and there

Here and there

There and there

It snows in 1 word everywheeeeere

So happy I am noooooww!


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