Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


I decided to change the format of Delicacies somewhat. Instead of the weekly deluge, I see an irregular, unpredictable, incoherent, unfocused set of mind-sparks that got me thinking. I gather them as I go, and once every month (maybe every two, three months), I condense the harvest in maximum 5-10 Delicacies. Also a bit back to the joy of discovery and awe, away from the pressure to pump out a too bulky newsletter every week. Hope you find the same joy in reading as I did in discovering.

And instead of cut-and-pasting from the Revue Newsletter, I just include a link to it. Interested readers can subscribe directly to the Revue Newsletter.

Check out today’s edition: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/petervan/issues/petervan-s-delicacies-issue-123-177005


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Petervan’s Delicacies are back! After a couple of months of relative rest, I have started again my weekly curation of content that resonated at a higher quality level. In this come-back edition, also some older posts of the last couple of months that for some reason stayed alive in my memory.

This is edition-118 of Delicacies on my blog post. As usual, max 5 articles that I found interesting and worth re-reading. Handpicked, no robots. Minimalism in curation. Enjoy!

If you can’t get enough of these and want more than 5 articles, I have created an extended version of Petervan’s Delicacies in REVUE. If you want more than 5 links, you can subscribe here: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/petervan

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De oogst V1

Petervan Artwork © 2018 - "Oogst/Harvest"
Acryl on canvas - 100x120cm

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There is a new 9 minute video profile about David Lynch. The text that goes with it is beautiful. I just made a transcript out of it. Enjoy.

david lynch curtains up

Cinema is a language

It can say things

Big abstract things

And I love that about it


Some people are poets

And have a beautiful way of saying things with words

But cinema is its own language

And so you can express a feeling and a thought

That can’t be conveyed any other way


It’s a magical medium


For me it is so beautiful

To think about these pictures and sounds

Flowing together in time and in sequence

Making something

That can be done only through cinema


It’s so magical

I don’t know why

To go into a theater

And have the lights go down

It’s very quiet

And then the curtain starts to open

And you go into a world


Although the frames of a film are always the same

The same number in the same sequence and with the same sounds

Every screening is different


There is a circle

That goes from the audience to the film and back

Each person is looking and thinking

And feeling and coming up with their own sense of things


I like a story that holds abstractions

And that’s what cinema can do


I was a painter

I painted and went to art school

I had no interest in film


One day I was sitting in a big studio room

And I had a painting going

Which was of a garden at night

It had a lot of black with green plants

Emerging out of the darkness


All of a sudden these plants started to move

And I heard a wind

And I thought “Oh, how fantastic this is”

And I began to wonder

If film could be a way to make paintings move


An idea is a thought

It’s a thought that holds more

Than you think it does when you receive it


But in that first moment there is a spark


Desire for an idea is like bait

You bait your hook and then you wait

The desire is the bait

That pulls those fish in

Those ideas


Little fish swim on the surface

But the big ones swim down below

If you can expand the container you are fishing in

Your consciousness

You can catch bigger fish


When I started meditating

I was filled with anxieties and fears

I felt a sense of depression and anger

Anger and depression and sorrow

Are beautiful things in a story

But they are like poison

To the film maker or artist


You must have clarity to create


You have to be able to catch ideas


Life is filled with abstractions

And the only way me make heads or tails of it

Is through intuition


Intuition is seeing the solution

It’s emotion and intellect going together


Personally, I think intuition can be sharpened

And expanded through meditation

Diving into the self


There is an ocean of consciousness

Inside each of us

And it is an ocean of solutions


When you dive into that ocean

That consciousness

You enliven it

It grows


And the final outcome of this growth of consciousness

Is called enlightenment

Which is the full potential for us all


There are many many dark things

Flowing around in this world now

And most films reflect the world in which we live


In stories, in the worlds that we go into

There is suffering, confusion, darkness, tension, and anger


But the filmmaker does not have to be suffering

To show suffering


Negativity is like darkness

You turn on the light and darkness goes


We’re like light bulbs


If bliss starts growing inside you

It’s like a light


You enjoy that light inside

And if you ramp it up brighter and brighter

You enjoy more and more of it

And that light will extend farther and farther


Maybe enlightenment is far away

But it is said that

If you walk toward the light

With every step things get brighter


Every day for me gets better and better

And I believe that enlivening unity in the world

Will bring peace on earth


So I say “Peace to all of you”


UPDATE: most quotes in the video are taken directly from his book “Catching The Big Fish”. I started re-reading the book after having seen/listened to this video.

cover david lynch

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CarPaint-01w floor of paint shop Christie Hemm Klok

Floor of paintshop - Picture by Christie Hemm Klok


De pols was weerbarstig

en brak in duizend snippers

Daar lagen ze dan

Als stukken van een nieuwe puzzel

Waar we het raden naar hebben

Op een hoopje

Zoals kinderen na het springen

“We zijn een hoopje” Zei ze

Toen ze hopend op een hoop bij elkaar lagen

Het zwarte canvas van de trampoline

+++ Rough translation +++

The wrist


Broke into thousand snippets

There they were

Pieces of a brand new jig-saw puzzle

Its purpose still unclear

A little heap

Like children after jumping

“We are a little heap” She said

When they were lying hoping on a heap

The black canvas of the trampoline

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This is an essay (longer read) about maps. There is no big message, no purpose, no call for action, none of that. Just recording and documenting of some reflections about maps. I don’t know where it came from. Suddenly I had enough notes to try to make something coherent out of it. Hope you enjoy the trip.


Modern Biking App Map – Notice point #27 – Denderbelle Lock

The theme of maps maybe emerged from my biking tours. Or from my recent tendency to do recordings: soundscapes – of probably better “silence-scapes” – of broken silence in nature. A sort of witnessing and documenting what was at that moment.

Maybe it emerged in preparing my upcoming performance for Finnovista in September: one of the themes is “learning” and I found that quality of observing says more about learning than teaching. So I used maps as a metaphor.

Maybe I am still intrigued by Simon Wardley’s situational awareness maps, which are all about observing, and mapping out position and movement.

wardley map

Simon Wardley - example of situational awareness map

Position on a map is often about geographical location and relations. But there is also the position in time: what was, what is, what can be. And like there is position of location, there is also position in time.

The time element hit me when I was bicycling along the river “Dender” and made a pit stop at the lock of Denderbelle. It’s a relatively small lock, and you can still walk over the doors of the lock to the other side of the river.

There I found this map on a tourism panel:

old map

Old map of the area Aalst-Dendermonde – before 1769

Before 1769, the Dender was a meandering river that was very difficult to manoeuvre for ships. It was Charles de Lorraine – at that time Duchy of Brabant, Austrian Netherlands – who gave the order to straighten the meanders and build two new locks. Today, the river feels more like a canal that goes almost straight from Aalst to Dendermonde. It has a very well maintained towpath along silent borders, which makes it a nice bike trip.

Close to the lock, there is still the old ferry house, now inhabited by an artist. There was a chain pulling the ferry from one side to the other. Even today you can still see the stairs on the shore where people boarded.

veerhuis 1769

Denderbelle ferryhouse – Anno 1915

Maps as documents of past ways of living. Thanks to Richard Martin and Mark Storm, I discovered the Maps of Days by Grayson Perry.


Map of Days by Grayson Perry – 2013 – Etching 111.8 × 149.9 cm

perry video

Video with the artist Grayson Perry

‘A self-portrait as a fortified town, the wall perhaps my skin. Each day I worked on it I finished by marking the point with the date to highlight the passage of time in the production of art to reflect the forming and reforming of one’s identity. The ‘self’ I think is not a single fixed thing but a lifelong shifting performance. My sense of self is a tiny man kicking a can down the road.’

Grayson Perry

The map is an awesome alternative way to document one’s life. Richard Martin arguments that the question “what is your map” probably gives better answers on who you are than asking “What do you do?” or asking for your linear CV or portfolio:

In the Map, Perry presents his complex personality and plural identity in the form of a walled city. Streets, buildings and other locales represent personal traits and behaviours, indicating a self-exploration that embraces both the positive and the negative, that poses questions, as well as providing answers, binding together truth and fiction. At the centre of Perry’s map is a labyrinthine garden, in which a figure walks, off-centre, pursuing ‘a sense of self’. Each time I look at the Map, either in a gallery or online, I question how my own version would differ from Perry’s. What words would I choose? What images?”

The same applies with the question “where do you come from?”. Should one say “a Chinese artist” or “an artist from China”? If you say “a Chinese artist” then you place the work of the artist in an ethnographic bubble, a cultural bubble. But when you talk about an artist coming from somewhere, you just connect the artist with a geographical starting point. I prefer the latter.

qiu map of total art

Map of Total Art by Qiu Zhijie – Ink on Paper – c. 5m length!

The work of Qiu Zhijie is fascinating. Check out this video interview with him and curator Davide Quadrio about the exposition ‘Qiu Zhijie: Journeys without Arrivals’ that was shown from 1 april – 24 september 2017 in the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven.

One year later, this video still resonates with me, so I made a full transcript of it, some extracts below:

Qiu Zhije is an artist, and he is producer, teacher, student, curator. He is a Master with capital “M” in Calligraphy. He is one of the most respected calligraphers in China.

As from 2010, I started drawing maps. If somebody asks me who I am, I answer I am a cartographer. Drawing maps is close to art, organizing exhibitions, teaching and researching. It is also writing. I feel it is a very multi-faceted way to show my talents as calligrapher.

qiu map and child

For me, maps are a source of knowledge at arms’ length distance, knowledge you do not acquire on the field, but from the sky, like a bird’s eye perspective. Then you can move that knowledge on a flat surface, to understand the correlations between what belongs together. Things should not be understood individually, but in the context of their relation to each other. So maps have a lot of influence. Making maps is a way to re-establish the integrity of the world because they illustrate the correlations on how everything relates to each other.

Teaching has always been an important part of my life. By teaching I keep learning. I continue to actualize and renew myself. Although teaching takes a lot of time, it is never a loss of time. On the contrary, it allows me to learn. That’s why I define teachers as those who organize the process of learning”. I like to teach about things I don’t know much about. I like subjects that I am highly interested in, so we can dig deep to know more.

His work is extremely free of themes, but also so encyclopedic. And so easy to connect with the idea of museum as a collection of objects and things. At the same time, his work is also able to crush this idea of objects and really enter into a world of fantasy.

Maps are models. Maps mark the land, they are landmarks. They document the “land-scape”, as a sound-scape documents the sounds.

Artist Andrew Pekler even created a sonic map of phantom islands.

Andrew Pekler

Phantom Islands – By Andrew Pekler – online experience, turn sound “on”

Andrew Pekler explains:

“The sweet spot for me is when a piece I have made can be simultaneously heard as both a field recording and as a completely composed, synthetic construct,”

Making maps is a sort of learning, a form of in-the-field-research and observation. Sharing with others what I am seeing, give context, some sense of coherence of position and direction/movement, and with some suggestions for maneuvering.

But in my case it is making pictures, writing and composing and creating a body of work from each trip. Field recordings, sound- and image-scapes like maps, at times creating a bizarre alienating, almost David Lynch kind of atmosphere, trying to resonate at another and additional level than the pure cognitive.

In that sense, I feel my current (art)work is getting closer to my real self, helps me to untether my soul, act as a witness, getting closer to alertness. With crispness, organic textures, precise rhythms,…


Natures Heartbeat – Online animation of earth’s heartbeat

In that sense, I am still doing the same as during my time as event curator. But the work is becoming more a documentary, a map, a set of interventions, interruptions and provocations that hopefully lead to higher states of alertness and aliveness.

Some kind of heartbeat that maps your open mind, heart, and will into a broader context.


PS: Mark Storm suggested I add the Buckminster Füller Dymaxion Map. He is right! How could I – as a true Bucky fan – have missed this one? 😉


Also an interesting link via Mark Storm on this Bucky topic.

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I am looking for some advice for an upcoming performance. I would like to feed the live stream of an iPhone6/GoPro/Drone to my Mac that is connected to the professional PA system of a conference center. Ideally wireless, aka my iPhone/GoPro/Drone etc. should not be wired to my Mac or another PA system. All indoors.

The person holding/operating the iPhone/GoPro/Drone (most likely myself) would walk around on stage and/or in the audience around a number of props and the video images should be fed in real-time to the main conference screen, ideally overlapping an existing PowerPoint/Keynote presentation. Audio from the video feed is not important/relevant. The audio soundscape comes from different software on my Mac.

How to achieve this with minimal hocus-pocus?

Many thx in advance

Warm regards



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