Bicycle ride Sep 2017 - South of Aalst - Flanders
Summer is over, autumn settles in, leaves are falling but here and there some late sunflowers reminding us of the bright sun and the fertile soils. I am now my last 3 months of my long-term sabbatical as Petervan Productions. If you are interested in my developing journey, my Jan 2017, March 2017 , May 2017 and Aug 2017 updates are still available.
The House project
Our house move is now done and we are fully settled. As planned, the art studio is complete now. The easel has landed:
Spotless easel in Petervan Productions studio
The Artschool project
Initially the plan was to join the art academy of Aalst, only 2 miles away from where I live. But after the first session, it felt like a mismatch: very limited space to work, a quite older population than what I am used to, and I did not feel a click with the coach.
Upon recommendation of my coach of the last two years (Ann Grillet), I decided to do some better homework and I checked out about five other academies. In the end I decided to join the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, one of the oldest academies of the Low Countries (South Netherlands and Flanders). The academy was founded in 1741.
On my first day I felt a bit like a Flemish Primitive: I learned BTW that the term Flemish “Primitive” has nothing to do with “basic” or “archaic” but is related to “first” or “early”, because the Flemish Primitives were innovators in finding the right compounds for paint to use on panels and canvas. In other words: how to make innovation stick!
Royal Academy Ghent painting studio and my blank personal corner
I restarted painting, and upon suggestion of Ioana Guiman from Allevo (thank you, Ioana!), I started experimenting with timelapses of some of my paintings. It is an interesting format: you can pause the video where you like it most and then make a sort of personal still and print-out.
Here is one of the painting “Girl Dancing in Flemish Fields”. I did a quick soundscape for it as well, so volume “on” is recommended.
The falling of the leaves and the autumn humidity of the soil inspired me for a poem:
Het beeld van zondag
Een boomgaard vol fruit
De zoete hap vergeet de kleur van zon
Verstrooien nog snel het land met hun laatste zaad
We moeten zoeken nu
naar een warm nest
in die berm van oneindige mildheid
The bust of Sunday
An orchard full of fruit
Warmth under my skin
The sweet mouthful forgets the color sun
Spawn brisk the land with their last seeds
We have to find a warm nest now
In that soft shoulder of endless indulgence
And here is another new poem “Horse Riding without Bridles” . In essence, the poem is about personal freedom.
Quote by Kurt Vonnegut - Found in Royal Academy studio on kitchen wall
The Performance project
As mentioned in my August update, I was invited for a gig at FinnoSummit in September in Mexico . Some sort of keynote, including some elements of my performance “Tin Drum is Back”. The talk is about structural change and archetypes of change agents. It is very much related to my research about Good Change – Bad Change (more about that later).
FinnoSummit was scheduled as a two-day event on 19-20 Sep 2017, but at 13:14pm on day one, the 7,1 magnitude earthquake hit, and in the end the whole event was cancelled as the venue could not get clearance from the authorities to re-open before the appropriate stability checks of the meeting location.
Although experiencing a 7,1 quake is quite an experience in itself – I was sitting in the top of the 1000 PAX concert hall shaking at least 50cm from left to right – I was most struck by the huge wave of solidarity throughout the city by all layers of the population, helping the rescuers and the victims with food, water, blankets, etc…
It made me think of “The Intensity to action of the Positive Archetype” in the nice post about systems thinking by @LeylaAcaroglu
This occurs when agents are motivated to take action for the collective benefits due to an intensely focused experience, as was the case in Mexico City after the earthquake last week. The focused intensity of the need to act and the physical actions of many agents create a reinforcing feedback loop of contribution, all dedicated to the collective whole.
The talk also went into the topic of patrimony and spaces of memory, and I will update the talk with the earthquake experience of damaged patrimony, the emergence of commons, self formed solidarity brigades, and “moles” (the name of the special rescue forces that start digging into the rubble of the quake.
The organisers of FinnoSummit have kindly re-invited me to do the premiere of this performance at their Miami event on 9 Oct 2017. The venue is again stunning: they selected a place called “The Sacred Space”.
The Sacred Space in Miami
The Deep Change project
Patrimony is one of the components of a research I started some months ago on “deep” change. Check out the previous posts here, here and this one where I highlighted the importance of patrimony and its combination with contemporary. Or the respect of the memory of an organisation and its combination with the DNA of innovation.
Although the term “deep” is a somewhat glorifying term – as glorifying as “meaningful” or “authentic” – it has some meaning as the change I am trying to describe probably has its source in the more deeply wired connections in our brains and being fully conscious.
The plan is to come up with a body of work, describing what is deep change, to articulate the levers to accelerate deep change, and a more tactical set of recommendations on how to get started and keep going. The format of that body of work is not decided yet, but it could go from anything like a publication up to a performance and/or experience expedition, as I believe learning happens best through experience and not through teaching.
For this project – funding permitted – I intend to do 10 “in residence” immersions, complemented with additional interviews with a collective of leaders, visionaries, artists, craftsmen, designers and producers.
In essence this is a sensemaking expedition on the what and the how of high quality connections and long lasting cross-generational structural change that goes beyond innovation tactics such as bootcamps, start-up competitions, accelerators, incubators or whatever these concepts are called these days.
I have by now a quite solid outline in place and feel ready to get this one going.
There are different kinds of sponsorship available for the Deep Change project. Please contact me in private if interested.
On a separate note, I would love to combine my FinnoSummit Miami trip in November with one of the best conferences in the world: Techonomy. I believe many of the topics on this year’s agenda could be solid anchor points for the Deep Change project as well. It would be great if somebody would be willing to sponsor my attendance. Let’s discuss what sort of deliverable you’d like in return. Please contact me in private if interested.
During Oct – Dec 2017, the plan is to work on:
- FinnoSummit Miami keynote/performance on 9 Nov 2017
- Covering Techonomy (pending sponsorship)
- Continue the research on deep change
- Get some blogs and reflections published
- More disciplined agenda again
Permeke – De Vespers – 1927 - Oil on Canvas – 128x149cm
That’s about it for this edition. If there is something worth reporting, next update is for Dec 2017. Looking forward to hearing from your latest adventures as well.
As I have increased my social media activity, some folks think I am back at work. I am not. I enjoy the silence, and try to focus on my 4 priorities: Deep change research project, performance, artwork, and experience expeditions (events). If you have anything interesting or related to one of these domains, please contact me.
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/