Personal reflections

19 and 20 October 2017

In the last lecture of Jonathan Kearney, he talked about the benefits of the reflective journal. How and why a reflective blog is crucial for artistic development. It is important that reflective writing makes the implicit explicit, extends my memory hugely, and pinpoints what personally really matters to me. And after reading quite some MA blogs already I noticed a lot of different styles and formats too.

However, looking back on the first two weeks of my MA project, I come now to the conclusion that my reflections should be much more personal than I do up till now.

In my scientific training I learned to try to be as objective as possible. The scientific experiment should be described in a neutral academic tone. What is done, how is it done and what are the results. Anyone should be able to make the same measurements and calculations and draw similar conclusions.

There was certainly no place for feelings, believes and values. How different is a practice-based research project in the arts. I need to find a comfortable way how to integrate myself in my texts.

Reflection is not “what you have done but it is all about who you are when you are doing it”. I found this statement a tough one. Okay, I know that the nature of my relationship between me and my work is much different than it is in science. Going actually from a modified objectivist to a subjectivist standpoint makes me much more the artist in the center than I consider myself to be. I think it is important for me to realise this thoroughly.

My past attitude towards my artwork could been described as a negotiator with (digital) materials. I consider myself as an intermediary that keeps a certain distance after the making. The artwork should speak for itself.

This does not mean that I don’t put heart and soul into every work, but I am not the type of guy who directly places himself in the middle of things. Historically I feel more at ease at the side of a group of people. Why this is, could be an interesting psychological case. Especially when you consider the ambitious route I have taken in life so far.

I don’t like to be compared with others. Therefor my solution is to do and view things differently. When everybody takes the highway, I search for a path through the jungle. Often this makes the journey much harder. But it is mesmerising and it feels perfect to me.

Sometimes I feel a bit like Cindy Sherman. I have thought about making a series of a new kind of self-portraits. Is there a ‘visual history of self’ without portraits? That might be even more fascinating.

 

I           was a boy that often thought about death

I           could not cope with the thought of not-being

I           wanted to be an inventor

I           lost my father at the age of 16

I           wanted to solve the energy challenges of the world

I           became an engineer that never worked in engineering

I           choose to be a creative entrepreneur

I           became a communication consultant, director and filmmaker along the way

I           found a way to play and get paid at the same time

I           recognized the power of the visual language of domino

I           never had a lack of ambition

I           was the creator of a unique television show with millions of viewers

I           worked my ass off for 20 years

I           am in love with my wife and kids and my artworks

I           have a philosophic and poetic nature

I           am a creator that keeps on making – so death can’t take me yet

I           believe the world needs to change in many ways

I           am a man of many trades

I           am an artist that doesn’t look like one

 

As this research project is a very personal research, I had to write this and get it out. I realise that my reflective writing can improve quite a bit. I feel that my personal voice should speak freely, without hesitation, more intuitive, also in these blogs.

As I am quite modest, I often play it safe when writing, not in my art that is. This post should remind me to take more risks, because that will lead to better understandings of my identity and the value of my work.

Writing this post was quite hard: I had to think quite long about it and wrote it over two days (the double reflection method). It felt like a personal breakthrough. Once this is out there I’m happy and relieved.

Here I am!