Monday, 30 January 2012

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Working on a drawing for the Green Light Assessment
Preparations for the Green Light Assessment are on its way. The Green Light Assessment (GLA) is the run-up for the final exam in July. It consists of three elements:

(1) Thesis. 
(2) Visual Development.
(3) Artist Statement.

This add's up to a Red, Yellow or Green light. The first one means a No Go the last one is the Thumbs Up! With only three more days to go my focus lies with number two. A very dense time this is, I make - look - change - make new one's - and change the composition again. Its not like producing a series of paintings or sculptures. Some pieces are specially created of this installation. Others are from my sketchbook and find their place here. I've realized that my personal emotions are the base of many works. I have to admit that  life and things that happen -on a personal level- are so complex that I use art to reshape, reconnect or address them. 

Try-out composition on the floor before putting it up on the wall
And if I do make a piece that seems to question the environment or a certain social class system, and look at them in retrospective I can pinpoint right down to the source. So there you have it! One of the reasons why I use myself a lot in my work. My physical presence, or to go through a specific sort of motion that might look awkward is essential for me to experience!  To grasp what the best possible visible language is for a certain train of thoughts is most of the time an instant hit. That in other attempts get some texture or becomes more refined.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Chaos creates Order

My desktop 2012
The bindery has received all the information to make my thesis books. I have to wait until they'll arrive next week. My thesis separates the written language (at the left side) from the visual language (right side). Just as our brains are separated into two hemispheres. When I closed my internet windows I looked at my desktop and saw a strange phenomena, I had dragged all the images to the corners of the screen. Some were distinctive, most of the time they were on top of each other. To think that my subject is about 'the human desire to order' seemed somewhat far fetched if you take a look at how chaotic my Mac is! 

Try out 'cover' print 2012
But then again, there is a philosophy that calls upon symmetry as the fundamental base for asymmetry. In that perspective this chaotic desktop brings ordered shapes to life. The enclosed creates the excluded. The left creates the right. This is one of the thrills that my research echoes back. I've printed a version to show to the teachers at school. In general they were quite excited about it but some thought it was more about design and not so much about the text anymore. I laughed because there is a certain Rietveld consensus, a way 'art' should look and feel like. Isn't it funny that those who teach us to go beyond our safety zone remain there themselves. Everything that presents itself slightly 'well made' is looked at with suspicious eyes. It is my believe that art will change, alter and presents itself differently over time. It is a dynamic force, certain works of art that once were considered 'not done' can get a very different connotation in the future...

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Monday, 23 January 2012

Full of Dragons

The Chinese year of the Dragon has begun! 

Congratulations to all who will experience this non-stop 'roller coaster ride' as a special moment in time, we'll have a ball! I had to wait 12 years to be in this lucky position again, but hey I'm prejudged because I've been born under its sign. The anticipation has been building up! Why all this commotion you might wonder? The answer lies in the question; 'where were you in 2000?' I recall the tremendous amount of energy that was available 24hours a day, seven days a week. Possibilities hung heavy in the air, like walking on a bubble-wrapped floor. All that I touched, spoke about or even looked at, modified itself to a gorgeous kind of gold. I have many fond memories of that year; new friendships, nice traveling and great parties that I attended. And of course the sense of danger, for no Dragon can exist without a certain 'edge'. At the time of this 'new' Millennium there was great concern about computers crashing and systems blowing up.... well nothing happened! This time our calendars will stop, time itself will stop as we know it. I'm looking forward to it! But I'm under the slight impression I'll be to busy to notice it...

The thesis pressure has come and knocked me off my feet. Honestly, they tell you this on forehand but I don't think they should, cause no one can prepare for it. To grasp all you've researched and narrow it down to one cohesive story is quite a thing. In some sort of way my thesis is about order, reflection and symmetry; a simultaneous process of writing and application, in the text and visual language. Like the knight, from the game of Chess I march through civilized history of modern thinking and art. Collecting Pythagoras, Descartes and Spinoza like they were little Happy Meal figurines. But really, honestly there is no reason to complain! Because something happens while you are so busy grasping the essence of your story, you become one with it, or it becomes you? No one talks about this, but the sensation is exuberant! The task that lies in front of me is to sort the text out in such a way that the bindery understands how to make it into one piece. This visual presentation is dictated by the content of the thesis, so everything is connected! 

When I started this year I knew it would be a good idea to have a certain break, a special treat that I could collect when I was halfway there. After an impressive evening with Dianne Reeves at the Concertgebouw in December I knew I wanted another Grand Diva that would fix me up.  The website of CarrĂ© got my full attention when I saw Jessye Norman's name on their calendar! A quick survey told me these were serious ticket prices! But hey, if my thesis was ready and I knew what I wanted to show for the green light assessment, nothing could stop me. You can imagine the excitement I experienced when I walked to my seat, just two hours  after I'd finished my epilogue. My heart was beating like a mad man and when she entered the stage I could only let her wipe me off my feet.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Left and right have symbolic meanings in many different societies. Even classical Greek philosophy and science are associated with right-left symbolism. Pythagoras said one should enter a sacred place from the right (Odd) and leave from the left (Even). The first anthropologist to think seriously about the meaning of left and right was Robert Hertz who published in 1909 a monograph on the symbolism of left and right through different societies.  As he puts it in his almost poetic introduction:'To the right hand go honours, flattering designations, preogatives: it acts, orders and takes. The left hand, on the contrary, is despised and reduced to the role of humble support; by itself it does nothing, it helps and holds.' from R.Hertz 'Death and the Right Hand' 1960

Aristotle described the ten Pythagorean principles as followed: 
  1. Odd          Even
  2. One          Plurality
  3. Right        Left
  4. Male         Female
  5. At rest      In motion
  6. Straight    Crooked
  7. Light        Darkness
  8. Good        Evil
  9. Square     Oblong
Herts understood biology and saw that there was no known society in which the majority of people are left handed. By observing the structure of the organism he came to the conclusion that the natural favours towards the right side. A notion that became popular in writing lessons for children, left handedness was something that couldn't be tolerated and children were punished and trained to make the right hand dominant over the left. 

Monday, 9 January 2012

Go to work

'Watch your thoughts for they become words.
 Watch your words for they become your actions. 
Watch your actions for they become habits. 
Watch your habits, for they become your character. 
And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! 
What we think we become...'

Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady