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ARTISTIC RESEARCH Jan 2010 - Jan 2011

Sven G
a description of the research goals – as evidenced by this portfolio – at least
containing the research questions and strategy or research method,
as well as the initially projected outcome
______________________________________________________ p. 3 - 17

the selected material: written documents, audiovisual materials, online

projects on the a.pass site, etc. – this material has been collected on
different points in time from various sources; own work, comments
by fellow participants, feedback from supervisors, etc.
_____________________________________________________ p. 18 - 73

reflections on own strengths and weaknesses, discoveries about

learning experiences and strategies developed
____________________________________________________ p. 74 - 88

a summarizing self-evaluation and reflection, drawing conclusions

from the entire portfolio, the learning trajectory and
any remaining shortcomings
_____________________________________________________ p. 89 - 98
a description of the research goals – as evidenced by this portfolio – at least
containing the research questions and strategy or research method,
as well as the initially projected outcome

On June 16 2009 I had embarked on a yearlong documentary performance:

ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE 2.0. Inspired by the works of performance
artists such as Tehching Hsieh and NG, I submitted myself to a strict weekly
planning for 1 year and documented my everyday life as SVEN G, a fictional
persona alternating between 12 sub-characters, all revolving around my
default, perhaps even non-existent, ‘self’ by the name of Sven Goyvaerts.

The 12 SVEN G sub-characters complement each other, but they clash also.
It’s not customary to EAT while PLAYING MUSIC, for instance, or to go to the
TOILET while WALKING. SUPERMAN always needs to choose between saving
the world or his one true LOVE. RESEARCH STUDIES get in the way of my
WORK and most of the time you cannot really JOKE when doing BUSINESS.
Finally, my emotions and desires, in the form of the G-CHARACTER, are
opposed to the I-CHARACTER, which is the one character questioning
the fact whether I am an individual at all.
As I appended this ‘2.0’ suffix to the ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE project,
I attempted to link all of these personalities to social media. The ‘eating’ self
was represented by a constantly updated FLICKR FEED, the ‘musical’ self was
hosted on MYSPACE MUSIC, the ‘imaginative’ G-character tweeted all of his
thought and feelings on TWITTER. The distance traveled by the ‘walking’ self
was being GPS-tracked and posted on EVERYTRAIL. The ‘Superman’ self
posted his good deeds on, as the ‘loving’ self got to know his
girlfriend better over SKYPE. ‘Research’ self made updates on BLOGGER
and a show-reel of assignments done as a cameraman under other people’s
command was going to be put online on VIMEO. The ‘humorous’ self
communicated through AUDIOBOO, while money was to be made and
spent by the ‘business’ self on SECOND LIFE. The ‘cleaning’ self kept record
of hygiene and basic vital functions using EVERNOTE, while the I-character
questioned his very own personal existence by performing eye contact
exercises which were uploaded to YOUTUBE. My ‘default’ self, Sven
Goyvaerts, is still known to his friends via FACEBOOK.

Some of these applications I had already experimented with, before coming

to a.pass. This was during my other studies at the Transmedia Postgraduate
Program in Arts + Media + Design, a course which lasted until June 2010.
Gradually more social networking apps were being put into effect, as one can
tell from this recent model:

Aside from my presence on online social networks, other media being

explored were: lectures, installations with continuous projection, printouts
of email correspondence & documentation and public interventions & live

While this yearlong performance was already underway at the time when
I applied to a.pass, my main intention was to take a moment to critically
evaluate this artistic process I had been going through, but now inside the
collaborative and altogether less tech-savvy a.pass research environment.

After the yearlong performance was over on June 16 2010 I did not radically
stop making live documentary performances, and it became a challenge to
introduce this more critical or self-reflective mode into my artistic practice.
Looking back, I may have succeeded in doing so, up to a certain extent.

For this portfolio I will be repeatedly referencing my original application to

a.pass, in order to find out whether I stayed true to the goals I had set
for myself. And so, to quote the application, these were the questions
I had formulated before the start of my a.pass year:
- Can I become a fictional character, in what is commonly perceived as the
real world, and create a space to release my desires on the one hand and
be concerned with my duties towards the rest of humanity on the other?

- Will I (still) be able to function in society?

- How will all this affect me and the people around me?

- Will people be inspired by this?

- Will they be offended?

- More importantly: who am I?

- Is there anything that I can or would like to consider my work and my work

All of these questions are examined and answered under the third chapter of
this portfolio, in which I reflect on the entire process. These questions above
were posed before my departure on the ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE 2.0.
But along the way, the research questions got fine-tuned and split up into
what became the three main questions of the research DOCUMENTING

1) What are the limits to consistently documenting one’s life and sharing it
over the web?

2) Can durational live performance art of old be preserved through the use
of new social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.?

3) How can we begin to think of making an inventory of contemporary

durational live performance artworks that take place on these social media?

The addition of questions 2) and 3) – in themselves much more practical

than the first one – can be attributed to a reflex of mine of wanting to
legitimize my research and to make it useful to other artists as well.
My ambition to take up a position in the Marina Abramovi! Institute for
Preservation of Performance Art, set to open in 2012, also influenced this
turn of events.

Before we continue onto the selected material compiled over the course of
the a.pass year, there are 2 things that still need to be properly introduced.
One is the theoretical background which lies at the basis of the research
SOCIAL MEDIA, the other is the form of the final a.pass presentation I had
originally envisioned as opposed to what it ended up becoming. First: theory.
Ever since my final year in film school as a documentary filmmaker I had
been asking myself: can a live performance be documented in a truthful
way? Shouldn’t this document have a ‘performative’ quality – keeping the
ephemeral, bodily and interactive element intact? By overcoming the conflicts
between live performance and the documentary I came to realize that they
are much alike and also largely dependent on each other. Live performance
achieves recognition through its documentation, while reenactments are
being performed on the basis of the record that has been kept. The
documentary material in turn of course cannot exist without the performance
taking place, which raises some fundamental questions about its authorship.
During capture, the documentary filmmaker can also decide to behave in a
performative way; by actively participating in the performance or by re-
performing the piece himself in front of the camera. So once we stop to
think about the differences between documentary and live performance, but
rather about a combination – DOCUMENTARY PERFORMANCE – it shows that
they can exist in harmony. But then, what is there left to find out?

One issue remaining is: where does live performance art end and life begin?
Why are such distinctions made, between live art and life itself? What if one
tries to overcome these formal differences? Is it possible for me to approach
my everyday life as a documentary performance? I feel that this question
may lead me into uncharted territory. The end of art as we know it perhaps?
Or the beginning of a more conscious way of living? In a way though I am
merely putting the age-old ART/LIFE conflict back on the agenda, which has
been the main subject of the work of several artists from the 70s, with key
figures such as Allan Kaprow, Linda Montano and Sam Hsieh. So I would say
that this is just one aspect of the project.

A concept which has on the other hand completely changed from the 70s
onward is our notion of presence. Presence in the here and now means
something entirely different today, given the rise of SOCIAL MEDIA. These
media can cause us to rethink where a work of art begins and where it ends,
as we immediately share our creative processes with people and extend our
work over the web around the world (afterwards or in the present moment of
performance). The ubiquitous SURVEILLANCE and dataveillance technologies
in the hands of global corporations form the shadow side of this evolution.
These digital tools have become a source of inspiration to me and I am eager
to learn more about how these are being employed in live performances.

The ways in which I now discover and record my research information (on
the practice of living life as art, while documenting it) obviously encompass
all possibilities available to myself as a person: becoming conscious of and
using mind and body, traveling space, recalling memories, communicating
through language in order to comprehend accounts from other people,
reading books, browsing the internet, doing interviews, etc. TIME however is
to be considered the most important tool at my disposal, because I feel that
time passing – and I hope I am not going too far-out here – in fact does not
provide me with more information, but instead reveals my exceedingly
limited knowledge and understanding of things.

It causes me to question the notion of me being a self-sufficient artist,

or SELF at all. This undermining of private intellectual (and subsequent
material) ownership ties into five big theories, which support my ‘time-
keeping’ practice. These are: Lacanian psychoanalysis, Buddhism, P2P-
philosophy (peer to peer) and live performance art’s main dadas:
participation and anti-commodification. I will run through these theories
as quickly as possible. Made popular by contemporary thinker Slavoj "i#ek,
Lacans theory of the human subject as being a void has made a profound
effect on me. In his book ‘Tarrying with the Negative’, "i#ek writes: “…
everything that I positively am, every enunciated content I can point at
and say “that’s me” is not ‘I’; I am only the void that remains, the empty
distance towards every content.” To talk about void is to talk about
Buddhism. According to the Madhyamikas there are no such things as
‘inherently existing things’, but only ‘interdependent related events’. This
interdependency is threefold: (1) appearances manifest themselves
depending on causal influences, (2) they are dependent on their own parts or
attributes and (3) appearances that are formed in our world of experience
are dependent on the way we verbally or conceptually name them. On the
basis of this illusory make-believe it is very tempting to consider these
appearances, or to qualify them as, self-sufficient things. One calls this
temptation ‘reification’ and to the Madhyamikas this is a basic hereditary
misconception that opens the door to all sorts of psychological ailments.
Reification takes away the context. Peer-to-peer (P2P) philosophy,
masterminded by Belgian Michel Bauwens, proposes a redistribution of
property, “made possible by internet technologies and a critical look at
current authoritarian and centralized social structures”. And then finally,
fundamental components of live performance art such as audience
participation and its resistance to commodification may facilitate an art world
in which anyone could potentially be an artist. By choosing to pass time and
not to produce any priced art objects I hope to raise awareness on these
themes of collectivity and, above all, threatening illusions that pervade life.

Threats to society, created on the base of misconceptions, that need to be

addressed are, for instance: individualism, systemic violence (the violence
that is not directly inflicted by us, but the kind that is enforced by the
capitalist system which provides for us), dangers to ecology, poverty, etc.
But the key reason why I hold to the abovementioned theories is for my own
sanity. I don’t think there is anything more important for me than to be okay
with not knowing who I am, which is, if you think about it, probably the most
defining of all human characteristics. To ignore or repress self-doubt can only
bring harm. In his book Als een gebroken spiegel, Marc Verminck writes: “…
in a certain sense we are all, if we are not insane, neurotic, if only because
there simply are no really good or fitting solutions. But art (or good art) is
not neurosis. (…) Neurosis stages phantasy on a private level, the art stages
phantasy on a public level.”
To proclaim my life as a live performance, to document it and to present it in
front of an audience allows me to elevate my existential undecidedness from
the private to the public sphere. In the end, I believe it is important to stress
that this project still is part of my investigation into the relation between live
performance art and its documentation, which has now grown to include the
world of social media … as well as my own personal everyday life.

Wrapping up this chapter and leading into the next: some words on the final
– or at least provisional – outcome of my research. In the a.pass application
form we were not expected to draft a proposal for how the final presentation
was going to look like. Back at Transmedia we were asked for it, and what I
had proposed then was a lecture presentation, broadcast live on the internet.
Instead I turned in a recorded desktop presentation, which would become my
presentation medium of choice at a.pass. My resulting final presentation at
a.pass included a classroom installation showing desktop presentations I had
recorded over the year, but these played only one part in a much larger
concept that can be traced back to the very beginning of this portfolio.

In the opening paragraph I mentioned that, for the ONE YEAR LIFE
PERFORMANCE 2.0 project, I imposed a strict weekly planning upon myself.
My a.pass application contained a day-by-day run-through of tasks for a
week which would constantly repeat itself. The week was made up of a
Performance Day, Working Days, a Research Day, a Free Day and a Resting
Day. This weekly planning, somewhat like a blueprint or discipline for the art
projects I realized on top of its structure, was brought to the fore in MY
WEEK 2.0, the weeklong presentation that took place from January 31 to
February 6 2011.

The weekly planning I originally mapped out for the SVEN G characters can
be found on the next pages. The idea of keeping a calendar was not just that
I would slavishly follow it, although that was my initial starting point. Equally
important was to see how my lived life would actually differ from this strict
schedule I set out. More than anything, the calendar was going to provide
me with a reference to which I could compare my timed performances,
to find out whether I was failing to reach my preset goals or if sudden
interventions forced me to let go and reconfigure some of my plans.
As one famous man once said: “Life is what happens to you while
you’re busy making other plans.”
On Monday – the first working day of the week for most people – I planned
to do a live performance each time, in the morning, to put a smile on
people’s faces or to draw attention to the banality of what they were doing. I
was to get up early and record the dream I had into a diary. I was not to eat
and to make preparations for the live performance, which could be anything
really. Under normal circumstances I would perform for 5 hours. By the end
of the piece I would gather documentation at the scene and have a talk with
the witnesses that were present. In the afternoon I would cook dinner at my
girlfriend’s place and in the evening I would arrange my stuff for the next
day’s work. Before going to sleep I would review the documentary material
of the morning performance and post it on the internet.
Tuesday meant I started working, either by going to school or by doing work
for my company. After taking a shower I was to prepare a lunch box. When I
got back home after a day’s work, or school, I would have dinner and finish
any homework left. Sometimes we would rehearse in the evening. If not, I
would have time to spare and I would go out or go to bed early.
Wednesday was pretty much the same as Tuesday. In the evening we would
rehearse and after we were done I would upload the raw recordings we made
and send them to the other members of the band. As soon as that was over
with, I went to sleep.
The final working day of the week for me was Thursday. Same as the
previous two days, except in the evening I would either practice drumming
or stay at my girlfriend’s place, in which case I would permit myself some
leasure time.
Friday was entirely dedicated to making music; practice in the morning,
record demo material in the afternoon and rehearse after dinner. After
sending the recordings to the rest of the band I would go out or move to bed.
The weekend I kept more open. Saturday meant basically I was free to do
what I liked or to do what I hated: catching up with work, spending time
with my girlfriend, shopping, studying for my driver’s license, and so on.
On the seventh day, I would rest and make sure I recovered some sleep. I
would restrict myself by not eating for a day as I took time to re-evaluate the
past week. I did not fast because of any religious convictions, but because I
would perform for 5 hours straight the next day, requiring concentration and
an assurance that I would not need to pay visit to the restroom during that
period of time.
Aside from offering people a look at the daily planning that goes into my
ongoing LIFE PERFORMANCE, other layers of meaning were added to the final
presentation MY WEEK 2.0 by blatantly citing the creation week described in
the Book of Genesis. On one level, a thorough overview of the individual art
projects I realized was presented in accordance with the days of the creation
week; the first day showcased works involving the WORD, LIGHT and DARK,
works on the second day had to reference THE FIRMAMENT, the sixth day
revealed other works around MAN, etc. On one final meta-level, the creation
week was turned into the symbol of my research as such, which meant that I
had to find out what the creation of EARTH and WATERS represented in my
research, or the SUN, the MOON and the STARS. In the next chapter, these
concepts will make up the same structure they provided for MY WEEK 2.0.
The back of the flyer for the presentation is pictured below:
the selected material: written documents, audiovisual materials, online
projects on the a.pass site, etc. – this material has been collected on
different points in time from various sources; own work, comments
by fellow participants, feedback from supervisors, etc.

The final communication MY WEEK 2.0 was made up out of three large parts:
(1) an INSTALLATION on the a.pass floor of deSingel, (2) a series of online
desktop videos recorded over the week, entitled MY WEEK 2.0, and (3) an
EXPO at my house presenting new works and documentation of older works.

As I mentioned at the end of the previous chapter, I will use the dramaturgy
of this final presentation – the creation week written about in the Bible – to
guide us through the selected material I have compiled over the a.pass year.

The creation week consists of eight divine commands executed over six days,
followed by a seventh day of rest. On the first day, the WORD of God creates
LIGHT (“Let there be light!”). Light is divided from darkness, and “DAY” and
“NIGHT” are named. These first concepts each relate to part (1) of my final
presentation: the INSTALLATION set up on the a.pass floor inside deSingel.
The installation consisted of:

- 4 tables with wooden tops - 2 black filing cabinets

- 1 student desk - 1 flip chart
- 6 red chairs - black and red markers
- 1 black sofa - flyers advertising MY WEEK 2.0
- 1 empty bookshelf - paper nametags taped to the wall

- 1 small DVD-player/-monitor + headphone

- 2 medium sized iMac computers + headphones
- 1 larger sized iMac computer + headphone
- 1 large TV-screen + DVD-player + headphone
- 1 video projector + DVD-player + headphone
To begin with the WORD represented in this installation:

FLIP CHART (2011) was a readymade conceived for the purpose of this
installation. None of the visitors felt obliged to leave a message behind.
On the student desk I put two assignments I wrote for Anette Baldauf, one of
my dedicated mentors. For these papers Anette had asked me to summarize
two texts included in a book on THE ARCHIVE; one by Michel Foucault and
another by Giorgio Agamben. Next to that, I was expected to write on how
these texts related to my own practice and research. These two assignments
are included as attachments to this portfolio.
The black filing cabinets each contained dossiers, written notes, magazines
and printed documents only circumstantially related to my a.pass research.
The open filing cabinet (on the right) held information about the previous
studies I had enrolled in; TRANSMEDIA Postgraduate Program in Arts +
Media + Design. The locked cabinet (on the left) stored confidential
information on the period when I was working at ARGOS vzw.
The bookshelf started out empty and got filled up as the week went on. Each
shelf corresponded to the day of the week. There wasn’t any shelf for DAY 1,
since the installation itself served to introduce the first day, but the shelves
marked ‘2’ to ‘6’ were meant to display resources relevant to the themes of
each day. DAY 7 wasn’t featured either, due to it being a day of rest.
Moving on then to the creation of LIGHT, as opposed to DARKNESS,
symbolized by the videos that were presented inside the installation.

INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION on November 4 2009 for Transmedia

about ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE 2.0 (23min39sec – in loop)

Watch video at:

INTERVIEW by GUNTHER TRUIJEN on February 24 2010 for Transmedia
about ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE 2.0 (20min39sec – in loop)

Watch video at:

INTERVIEW by CARA DAVIES on March 19 2010 at Transmedia
about ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE 2.0 (73min01sec – in loop)

Watch video at:

DESKTOP PRESENTATION on November 24 2010 for a.pass about
Documenting Durational Live Performance Art Using Social Media

projection (40min30sec – in loop)

Watch desktop video at:

DESKTOP PRESENTATION on May 5 2010 for a.pass about
Documenting Durational Live Performance Art Using Social Media

(16min01sec – in loop)

Watch desktop video at:

DESKTOP PRESENTATION on June 29 2010 for ARGOS about
Documenting Durational Live Performance Art Using Social Media

(36min15sec – in loop)

Watch desktop video at:

This concludes the overview of the installation inside deSingel that was
inaugurated on DAY 1 of MY WEEK 2.0. Before heading over to DAY 2, there
were still a couple of things that were communicated on this first day. One
was the first upload of what would become 6 desktop videos recorded over
the course of the week, representing part (2) of my final communication.

Watch the desktop video for DAY 1 at:

SUMMARY: Why a weeklong presentation? The creation week in the Bible.

The WORD of God. HOTMAIL. EVERNOTES. Nicolas y Galeazzi. The creation
week as metaphor for the research. The first documentary performances in
June 2009. Typing whatever I did. TRANSMEDIA Postgraduate Program in
Arts + Media + Design. Mikes Poppe. Documenting live performance art.
Making the documenting process into a performance itself. DOCUMENTARY
PERFORMANCE. When does a performance stop? Why does it stop and turn
into daily life again? Allan Kaprow. Marina Abramovi!. Blurring of art and life.
LIFE PERFORMANCE. Daily calendar. iCal. STARTEL. Weekly planning. The
installation in deSingel. FLIP CHART. The flyers. LIGHT and DARKNESS. The
videos. Interviews and presentations. Assignments from Anette Baldauf. The
ARCHIVE. Michel Foucault. Giorgio Agamben. DAY 2. The FIRMAMENT. Skies.
The final contributions to DAY 1 were a few posts I made on the a.pass
website, showing teasers for the exhibition at my house – part (3) of my
final presentation – which was to open on the seventh day, February 6 2011.

HOTMAIL (2009) is the action with which I began the ONE YEAR LIFE
PERFORMANCE 2.0 project. HOTMAIL is part of the exhibition at my house,
which will still be open to outside public for some time to come. More info on
The other work that is included in the expo that deals with the WORD, and
little more than the WORD, is EVERNOTES (2009). A post was put up on DAY
1, referencing this work in particular.

More info on EVERNOTES at:
On the second day, God creates a FIRMAMENT (“Let a firmament be …!”).
The FIRMAMENT is named SKIES. Already hinted at in the desktop video on
DAY 1, the SKY is represented in the house expo by a new work based on the
micro-blogging service TWITTER: TWITTER SCREEN (2011). A glimpse of this
new work was revealed in a post made to the a.pass website on DAY 2:

In light of this second day, two desktop videos were produced; one video
summarizing DAY 2 and another evaluating nearly all of the TWITTER actions
I had performed over the course of the ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE 2.0.
Watch the desktop video of DAY 2 at:

SUMMARY: The FIRMAMENT is the INTERNET. Division between LIVE

and ONLINE. Steven Devleminck. TWITTER. From Transmedia to a.pass.
BLOGGER. The artist statement on June 17
2009. ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE 2.0. HOTMAIL. Account blocked. iPhone
3G as paintbrush. From Notes to EVERNOTE. Real-time. Problematics
surrounding the difference between live and online performance. The
by Arjen Mulder. MEDIATED by Thomas De Zengotita. The first workshop of
Symposium organized by the MARINA ABRAMOVI$ INSTITUTE and
PLYMOUTH ARTS CENTRE. The future of performance art. NEGOTIATED MAP.
Filip Daniels. Voting poll. PERFORMANCE PORTAL. Paula Orrell. Social
networking archive. USTREAM. VIMEO. Documenting Durational Live
Performance Art Using Social Media. The first video in the installation inside
Watch the desktop video on TWITTER at:

SUMMARY: TWITTER keeping the entire record. Starting from around

September 2009. TWITTER 24/7 projection. As detailed as possible.
More general as I was getting tired or when it got too intense. Train delays.
TWITTER SCREEN. Spam. Rarely or ever getting responses. 24 hour
performance marathon. NG. Tweeting the thought I had on each hour over
24 hours. FOLLOWING PIECE 2.0. Sitting across Marina Abramovi!.
TWEETMIC. Letting the actions be accompanied by the sound of the action.
Trip coming back from Plymouth. London St. Pancras. Pictures of everything
I ate and drank. Plymouth Arts Centre’s account. Getting tired of the thing.
Taking some time off during the holiday season. Katrin Lohmann. IDENTITY
study group. TWITTERING KATRIN. Me twittering her actions for an entire
day. To find out who I was. Research proposal. Filing cabinets.
Also worth noting in regards to DAY 2 – this ‘internet day’ – is my a.pass
participant page on the a.pass website, which I had been feverishly updating
ever since the start of the year.

Visit the site at:

Throughout the rest of the portfolio there will be made reference to the page.
There is another blog I had been maintaining over the course of my a.pass
and Transmedia studies till June 2010. Blogging proved significant in helping
me structure my thoughts.

Visit the blog at:

On DAY 3, God commands the waters below to be gathered together in one
place, and dry land to appear. ‘EARTH’ and ‘SEA’ are named. God commands
the earth to bring forth grass, plants, and FRUIT-bearing trees. In reference
to this notion of FRUIT being produced, a post was made on DAY 3, revealing
one photo from the FLICKR FEED (2009):

More info on FLICKR FEED at:
In line of the previous desktop recordings, a video for DAY 3 was put online.
EARTH and WATERS (or SEA) had come to mean two things in my research:
both the theories AND persons that have been important in my development
process, but in the OFFLINE sphere. Together with the video of DAY 4, these
are the moments where I take time to credit the people that have helped my
research get firmly rooted (EARTH) or that have endangered it and pushed
me into making a better foundation for my theory and practice (WATERS).

Watch the desktop video of DAY 3 at:

SUMMARY: Defining the key concepts and persons that I could build my
practice on. WATERS are unknown, ever-shifting, chaotic. EARTH is the fixed
position where I can depart from. Mentoring. Group discussions with other
TOMORROW. Live Laboratory Symposium. PERFORMANCE PORTAL.
USTREAM. Tehching Hsieh. Adrian Heathfield. André Stitt. Marina Abramovi!.
Final documentary project at film school. DOCUMENTARY / PERFORMANCE.
DESKTOP PRESENTATION November 24th 2010. The bookshelf. Catherine
Oldenhove. Maud Lefever. TIME & MEMORY. Clock. Sven G characters.
Thinking model. Characters corresponding with social networks. Dedicated
mentors. Elke Van Campenhout. Bart Van den Eynde. Nicolas y Galeazzi.
Anette Baldauf. Notes. Audio recordings. Stephen Bain. CREDITS. PRICKLES
& GOO by Alan Watts.
Two menu items on my participant page deal explicitly with this third day,
centered around people that inspired me. These are notes from DEDICATED
MENTORING and the GROUP DISCUSSIONS with other a.pass participants.

Visit the site at:
Visit the site at:
I created on the a.pass site, after the one for ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE
2.0. The page for THE PIGS OF TODAY holds a lot of information about this
symposium that was central to the first a.pass workshop I helped initiate,
on REENACTMENT/RECONSTRUCTION. Filip Daniels (a former Transmedia
classmate) and myself contributed in setting up this symposium.

Visit the site at:
The both of us created the mapping table NEGOTIATED MAP (2010) for the
purpose of the event:

More info about the NEGOTIATED MAP at:
My fascination for Marina Abramovi!’s work dates back to my final graduation
project at film school in 2008, called DOCUMENTARY/PERFORMANCE.

Leading into the subject of DAY 4, my contribution to the symposium also
involved an ONLINE component. The PERFORMANCE PORTAL is a digital
to provide a virtual archive and forum to discuss topics that have been raised
during the symposium. It is overseen by none other than myself as part of
USING SOCIAL MEDIA. These are both the old and new designs of the site:

Visit the site at:

If the EARTH and the WATERS were the people and concepts that informed
me in the OFFLINE world, then the SUN, the MOON and the STARS are those
same sorts of men and women, and theories, but now in the ONLINE sphere.
Halfway through MY WEEK 2.0, there was a crisis moment where I realized
there was still a lot to be done. I called in ex-a.pass-participant Ana Casimiro
to come and help me out, before recording my daily video in the nick of time.

Watch the desktop video of DAY 4 at:

SUMMARY: Research Day. Ana Casimiro. Saying ‘euh’ a lot. The marking of
people. SUN are the bright inspirations that are also untouchable. MOON
being the more achievable goals and approachable persons. STARS are the
guides along the way. All placed in this FIRMAMENT, representing the
ONLINE sphere. TRANSMEDIA. PROSPECTIVES.09 in Reno, Nevada. Joseph
ISEA2010 RUHR. Eva & Franco Mattes. Reenactments on SECOND LIFE. Q&A
with artists. INTERVIEWS in New York City. LECTURES. Learning experience.
Anne Helmond. IDENTITY 2.0. Archipel – MEMORIES OF THE FUTURE. Viktor
Mayer-Schönberger. Remembering and forgetting. Working for ARGOS centre
for art and media. Media and communication department. Captured events
on photo and video. TWITTER how-to. iMAL in Brussels. FACEBOOK group.
Documenting Durational Live Performance Art Using Social Media. Hasan
Elahi. DELICIOUS. PhD in the arts. CREDITS.
And so God creates lights in the firmament on DAY 4, to separate light from
darkness and to mark DAYS, SEASONS and YEARS. This marking of time is
symbolized by a couple of new works added to the exhibition at my house,
again reported on in the form of small posts made to the a.pass website:


and MY WEEK (2011).
Menu folders on my a.pass participant page that are worthy of note in
regards to DAY 4, with its ONLINE theme, are: LECTURES, INTERVIEWS,

Visit the site at:

Visit the site at:
Visit the site at:
Visit the site at:
In order to share an inventory of art projects I deem relevant within
the frame of my research subject DOCUMENTING DURATIONAL LIVE

On FACEBOOK, search under the title:

Documenting Durational Live Performance Art Using Social Media.

Same goes for my DELICIOUS account where I store links for future memory.

Visit the site at:

By the fifth day serious fatigue started to kick in, probably due to the fact
that I had been working all through the night. I mention this at the start of
the video for DAY 5, on the subject of BIRDS and SEA CREATURES. Further
on these concepts are explained in the context of my artistic research.

Watch the desktop video for DAY 5:

SUMMARY: Didn’t sleep. Working Day. PhD application. SEA CREATURES as

the projects that overwhelm you with information, swimming in the SEA in
which you drown. Shared projects in a.pass. Study groups. Workshops.
Collaborative project with Katrin Lohmann, NO ID. The IDENTITY study
group. THE GAZE. Workshop around the 5 senses – SIGHT. REENACTMENT
session on AFFECT and EMOTION. Brian Massumi. REVOLUTION noworkshop.
SOCIAL MEDIA & the AVATAR. Film analysis workshop on TERROR in film.
JANEZ JANSA. The Document As Performance and The Performance As A
Document. Documentary performance artist. Lilia Mestre. Repeating one day
throughout the week. BIRDS. FOLLOWING PIECE 2.0. Reenactment after an
original by Vito Acconci. TRANSMEDIA. The Academy Strikes Back. CTRL-
SPACE exhibition in ZKM. EYE CONTACT experiments. Alternative to
conventional communication. YOUTUBE. Marina Abramovic. THE ARTIST IS
SEA CREATURES in my research; “the projects that overwhelm you with
information, swimming in the SEA in which you drown”.

Visit the site at:
Visit the site at:

Visit the site at:
As for the BIRDS, these are some remaining projects of mine, primarily
taking place ONLINE: FOLLOWING PIECE 2.0 (2010), EYE CONTACT exercises
and SELF-PORTRAIT (2009).

More info about


More info about

EYE CONTACT exercises at:
More info about SELF-PORTRAIT at:
The sixth day I was backed up by former Transmedia classmate Maud
Lefever as we put everything in its final place for the opening of the house
expo on the Sunday. DAY 6 implied the creation of LAND CREATURES as well
as MAN. Due to a technical malfunction I was not able to record and upload a
video communication that day. It had to wait for the next day, DAY 7, when I
released a combined video for DAY 6 & 7:

SUMMARY: Technical malfunction. Combined video for DAY 6 & 7. Free Day.
LAND CREATURES symbolize collaborations with other artists in the
performance field, whose work I had documented using social media. ONE
YOUTUBE. Closer to real-time than a documentary would usually be. SUM
QUOD ERIS by Mikes Poppe. BOZAR Brussels. Canvascollectie. Action on
each day of the exhibition. VIMEO. Maud Lefever. Marina Abramovi!
exhibition in MoMA New York. 100 Years expo at P.S.1. THE ARTIST IS
PRESENT. Notes. External hard drive. Documentation of participation.
Desktop stills. SMS. Creation of MAN. FACE-TO-FACEBOOK. Started around
October 2009 – officially at May 21st 2010. Exhibition installation. Estimating
about 2700 pictures. SELF-SURVEILLANCE. PAF in Reims. Retreat for artists.
Rearranged my bedroom to turn it into a surveillance room. Had been filming
myself working behind the computer. People were being filmed themselves.
Iris Bouche. Marie Caeyers. Philip Janssens. Surveillance system. Warning
sign. Jo-Anne Green from Networked Performance at Josh
Harris’ WE LIVE IN PUBLIC. Digital ethnographer MICHAEL WESCH.
As described in the summary, LAND CREATURES “symbolize collaborations
with other artists in the performance field, whose (durational) work I had
documented using social media”. These projects I contributed to were
VRIJSTAAT by Thomas Verstraeten, SUM QUOD ERIS by Mikes Poppe
and THE ARTIST IS PRESENT by Marina Abramovi!.

More info about VRIJSTAAT at:
More info about SUM QUOD ERIS at:
More info about THE ARTIST IS PRESENT at:
The trip to New York in general was a very inspiring one, as I got to visit the
100 Years exhibition at P.S.1 about performance art’s history, attended a
lecture by Joseph DeLappe at MoMA, passed by LocationOne gallery, etc.
Moving on to the creation of MAN: photos picturing the works related to
it that are part of the expo were uploaded onto the a.pass website, in
accordance with the previous posts.
FACE-TO-FACEBOOK is a project I began experimenting with in October 2009
and which started officially on May 21 2010. For FACE-TO-FACEBOOK I take
pictures of every person I talk with face-to-face during the day and share
them over Facebook. A selection made by Philip Janssens from these
thousands of pictures are hung up inside old frames and displayed in my
house. (Note: The pictures from the FLICKR FEED series – the project where
I took photos of everything I ate and drank for over a month – were given
the same treatment by Philip.) More info about FACE-TO-FACEBOOK at:

CCTVs is an installation of two analog surveillance systems – acquired thanks

to the generous help of Philip Janssens – which are set up inside my house.
The monitors are displayed in plain sight, producing an uncanny awareness
of yourself inside the house. Earlier in the year I had experimented with
surveillance for a project realized during our stay at PAF in St. Erme.
It was entitled SELF-SURVEILLANCE.

More info about SELF-SURVEILLANCE at:
On Sunday February 6, the week drew to a close. A few people showed up at
the exhibition’s opening (perhaps poorly advertised as finissage on the flyer)
and we chatted over snacks and refreshments. I enjoyed a moment of rest.

Shortly after, I conceived of an EPILOGUE for MY WEEK 2.0. First of all, an

email was sent to fellow a.pass members in which I summed up the entire
list of videos I had presented them with over the week, arriving at a sum
total of 9 hours of viewing time. According to WIRED magazine’s balanced
media diet, this amounts to your day’s worth of media consumption:
Two other works were added to the house expo by way of this EPILOGUE:
A behind-the-scenes picture was also posted onto the site, uncovering the
setup I had used to record the desktop presentations during MY WEEK 2.0:

The desktop video for the EPILOGUE is a 5-minute walkthrough of the MY

WEEK 2.0 project page. Watch it at:

Visit the MY WEEK 2.0 page at:
The project page for MY WEEK 2.0 features a few additions which have not
been covered yet. There are the photos giving a more general overview of
parts of the house exhibition, courtesy of Maud Lefever. The entrance:
And the living room (other parts of the house are not displayed online):
Aside from the ending credits and a link to this portfolio, there is a video
interview recorded by fellow a.pass participant Manne Granqvist on his
visit to the house exhibition:

SUMMARY: SVEN G characters. Role-playing. Fictional identities. Sven

Goyvaerts. The model. Social media. Self-representation. TRANSMEDIA.
Uncomfortable about acting. Gadgets. What is left out or missing. The VOID.
FACE-TO-FACEBOOK. Twittering of conscious actions. The work as the whole,
including the failure. OUTSIDERS and MENTORS. Presenting in a character
that is convinced about what he is doing. The aggressive response instead of
being on the same level. ART and LIFE. A.pass PORTFOLIO. Documenting
everything. Not even selecting on the basis of what I am doing and what I
am not doing. A bigger you that is creating yourself. MY WEEK 2.0. Playfully
identifying with GOD. RELIGION. Icons. Wim Delvoye. IRONY. Failure.
New forms of community. DOCUMENTARY PERFORMANCE. ART/LIFE 2.0.
Inventing words. The IMPOSSIBILITY of the research. Margareth Kaserer.
The UNCONSCIOUS. Freudian versus Lacanian. Not knowing who you are.
Slavoj "i#ek. Brain science. Gödel theorem. Taking on a perspective that is
larger than yourself. Defining yourself in TIME or through MEDIA. Recording
voice as a child. DVDs of entire childhood on video. Digital consciousness.
Gödel, Escher, Bach. Assignments for Anette Baldauf. Memory &
documentation. Michel Foucault. THE ARCHIVE. The context which creates
the condition why you should keep a thing. Changing over time. Memory
objects produced in the Middle Ages. Medallions. The value for the
community and in making it. The historical a priori and THE ARCHEOLOGY
OF KNOWLEDGE. Language being an overappreciated medium of
communication. The future.
reflections on own strengths and weaknesses, discoveries about
learning experiences and strategies developed

As mentioned in the opening chapter of this portfolio, I will make an effort to

answer some of the research questions I had departed from in this research,
or rather try to further specify the problem areas I intended to address.
Let us look at these questions I asked:

- Can I become a fictional character, in what is commonly perceived as the

real world, and create a space to release my desires on the one hand and
be concerned with my duties towards the rest of humanity on the other?

Not so much a question as it was a mission statement, this sentence proved

to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. In my imagination I can become whoever I
want to be. However, this first question, referring explicitly to the SVEN G
characters I created for myself, may still be a valid one. If I would try to
analyze which of my characters have been neglected over this year’s period,
then I wouldn’t be hard pressed to come up with some unsettling facts.
Certainly, in one respect, this thinking model has helped me to structure my
everyday life in a very positive way, reminding me of the things I wasn’t
spending enough time on or helping me to focus on the subject at hand.
As a mnemonic, I even installed the SVEN G clock image as a background
on my iPhone’s startup screen:

But in many ways, my life hasn’t been perfected substantially. This is the
moment where I swallow my pride and turn this portfolio into a confessional,
for the sake of the experiment. We will go around the clock for this. With the
aid of the social media, tied to each of the characters, I will make out which
of the icons have been neglected and which of the others found their place.
Starting from the top: the G-CHARACTER, representing my emotions and
desires, channeled through TWITTER. Originally this character was to tweet
each of his thoughts and feelings. But in reality, I got stuck on tweeting my
actions for long periods of time, of which TWITTER 24/7 is a fine example.
Aside from an occasional tweet on what I was thinking or what I had been
dreaming, I seemed to steer away from my original intention. At one event,
which is mention in my TWITTER desktop presentation, I did manage to
tweet my thoughts and feelings on 24 consecutive hours. Sadly, my memory
of this experiment is a very lonely and miserable one. It had to wait until
Valentine’s Day 2011 before I succeeded again in tweeting my thoughts
and feelings, albeit in a hybrid form. For I’ VE BEEN TWEETING ABOUT YOU
(2011) I tweeted the situation I found myself in each time I thought of my
special someone on February 14. This documentary performance I did was
not included in the selected material in the previous chapter, for it took place
after the end of my presentation, but I figure it is worth mentioning in this
analysis. Watch the desktop video for I’ VE BEEN TWEETING ABOUT YOU
at: In any case, there is still a lot left to
explore on this level of emotions and desires in the realm of social media.

The second character is the EATING self, linked to FLICKR. A match made
in heaven, if there ever was one. The FLICKR FEED, which I kept around
September-October 2009, did in fact change my eating habits. Documenting
everything I ate and drank helped me to fight a quite harmless but unhealthy
addiction to chocolate bars I bought from automatic dispensers at the railway
station. Over the course of the project, I noticed myself becoming more and
more aware of the food that was being served on my plate. Now with the
project more than a year behind me, I feel I need to start eating consciously
again, especially now with my brother starting to fight the vegetarian cause.
With a selection from the FLICKR FEED project decorating part of the interior
of my house – depicting sometimes gruesome fast-food still lifes – I hope to
be positively inspired as to change my diet for the better once and for all.

The RESEARCH self (character number 3) found a home on both BLOGGER

and on the a.pass website. These webpages have proven to be invaluable
tools in helping my research get structured and communicated to other
people (although comments on posts I have made are an extreme rarity,
not counting the spam messages thanking me for unknown reasons).

What became known as the ORGANIC self (referred to as the ‘cleaning’ or

‘hygienic’ self in the beginning) turned out to be a blind spot in the social
media spectrum, as I was not able to track down an application yet which
I could use to record my basic vital functions in an intuitive way.
The HUMOROUS self did have fun for a short while on AUDIOBOO, but that
did not last long. Instead of just tweeting each of my conscious actions – the
TWITTER 24/7 documentary performance – I posted short audio bits of these
same actions on AUDIOBOO at one time. This later became the TWEETMIC
action which is also refer to in the TWITTER desktop presentation. Later on,
the HUMOROUS self developed into the GAMING self and eventually
partnered up with the game WORLD OF WARCRAFT. Within the frame of
CHANGING TENTS, a recent project by former fellow a.pass participant Heike
Langsdorf, my brother and I gave a presentation about the online game’s
fictional universe, its community and inherent economics.

The LOVING self has always been quite central to my artistic endeavors.
Last year’s projects were no exception, as they took on the form of several
SKYPE performances. Some were realized, some were not. For one version of
my SELF-PORTRAIT piece I had asked fellow participant Katrin Lohmann
to sit in for me, in the context of our final exhibition at Transmedia in June.
This experiment played part in the IDENTITY study group she and I had set
up in the a.pass research environment. Another SKYPE performance, which
would have been a contemporary rendition of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s
BED-IN, together with Transmedia student Maud Lefever, was shelved.

The I-CHARACTER – the one character questioning whether he is in fact an

individual at all – was to perform EYE CONTACT exercises on a regular basis
and upload them to YOUTUBE. Admittedly, this project has been overlooked
for too long and finds itself in an underdeveloped state. The EYE CONTACT
project takes more effort too maintain, since it needs to actively involve
other people in the process. My participation in Marina Abramovic’s THE
ARTIST IS PRESENT reminded me of the potential of this most minimal
but powerful setup of two persons looking each other straight in the eyes.

MYSPACE MUSIC was supposed to host the MUSICAL self; an idea which was
only partially realized. On I uploaded
recordings I made on my own, but I quickly gave up on this, since most of
my time was spent rehearsing with my other bands: Sombra De Bestia
(, Swimmers In Loch Ness
( and Daus Loewe
( Due to artistic differences,
all of these bands are currently on indefinite hiatus.
The WORKING self was to maintain his steadily growing VIMEO account.
With 71 videos available to watch, and another 22 which I contributed to
(recorded presentations from the OPEN ARCHIVE #2 event at ARGOS vzw),
I can safely say that this character is one of most looked after in the SVEN G
clock model. Visit the VIMEO account at:

With FOLLOWING PIECE 2.0 / EVERYTRAIL, the WALKING self was awarded
its own documentary performance. This project was first experimented with
during a workshop at Transmedia and was also featured at an exhibition
there, before being reworked over the course of Lilia Mestre’s INTERFACE
FICTIONS workshop, organized by a.pass at ArtLab Zsenne. Documentation
of this piece has been included in the house expo for my final presentation.

Undernourished would be the BUSINESS character, paired up with SECOND

LIFE. Initially I had thought of experimenting with spending and making
money on this online virtual world, but I never got around to actually doing
it. I did however watch several documentaries on the subject, including
Another Perfect World and My Second Life, both produced by Netherlands
based production company SUBMARINE. What is clearly still lacking in my
most up-to-date social media model is the addition of LINKEDIN, the
networking tool popular among business folk.

The SUPERMAN character has not been taken care of what so ever, aside
from one single post on the micro-blogging site RAKAWA.NET, a blog
“devoted to honor On Kawara’s pioneering work”. Instead of asking
“What’s on your mind?” (FACEBOOK) or “What’s happening?” (TWITTER)
RAKAWA.NET asks: “What have you accomplished today?”. My New Year’s
resolution to perform a good deed every so often did not catch on, as I
became more and more very self-involved in my artistic practice.

Somewhat countering this narcissistic turn, the ‘default’ me takes a picture of

everyone he talks to face-to-face during the day and shares these photos on
FACEBOOK for what has become known as the FACE-TO-FACEBOOK project.
Without a doubt the project that has come to mean the most to me, this
durational documentary performance shows so much of the person I am,
although I am never pictured inside the photographs. This project convinces
me that the people I encounter on a daily basis are as much a part of me as
I myself am a part of me. This, I think, is a very humbling realization.
- Will I (still) be able to function in society?

- How will all this affect me and the people around me?

- Will people be inspired by this?

- Will they be offended?

Answering these questions above would likely border on the anecdotic, but
some issues implied here should be dealt with at this point.

First of all, as to my functioning in society: society is big word to use. What I

mean by the word is, on a concrete level, the capitalist system that ensures
my quality of life, at the expense of others. The time has come to move out
from under my parents’ wings and to carve out a place for myself in this
hostile environment. My frowned-upon BUSINESS self or MONEY MAKING
character is preparing to retaliate, with a vengeance, while the other ones
are resisting with all their might.

In all seriousness, the implementation of this MONEY MAKING persona is the

greatest challenge I am facing right now. The research subject I have defined
for myself does allow for possible functions I could take on in a number of
institutions or organizations (something I will come back to later when I am
assessing my three main research questions), but during my most recent
period of employment, for example, a conflict had started to arise. When
thinking about the people I offended, my superior at my previous job would
have to be one of them, among many. A very concrete reason for that is this
FACE-TO-FACEBOOK project I have been keeping up for over a year now.

Think about a project that never stops, going on for every minute of the day,
and which includes people without them even knowing it. A project which
does however bear a huge significance to myself and to my research subject
that is set to investigate whether I can make my own personal life into a
documented live performance art piece.

When people notice what it is that I am doing, they feel as if I am violating

their privacy. If I keep it up inside the walls of the place I am paid to work
at, I am accused of divulging private company information to outsiders.

Should I foreclose this research now, although I am sure there is still much
more to find out, just because my research methods do not fit established
modes of conduct or the standards of the institutions I am employed at?
The privacy issue leads us to the other question: have I managed to inspire
people along the way? The most recent exhibition I was asked to take part in
was organized in conjunction with the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection
conference held from January 25 until 27 2011 in Brussels. A range of artists
had been selected with works dealing explicitly with the notion of privacy
today. The decision makers believed my projects HOTMAIL and EVERNOTES
were worthy of inclusion.

Over the course of the ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE 2.0 project – and in
the period afterwards – I have been lucky enough to take part in a number of
exhibitions, upon request. These include the FRIS VII exhibition in Ghent, the
PROSPECTIVES.09 festival in Reno, Nevada, and the ERROR #16 MONUMENT
expo at the Middelheimmuseum in Antwerp.

The BUZZ section on my a.pass participant page can testify for the modest
amount of attention that cumulated around my research. This BUZZ menu
item contains mentions of my projects on a couple of blogs and some other
texts that have been written on what I have been doing. Visit the site at:

Over email I got support from various peers and people I admire, but one
quote I felt deserved a special mention. The only person that has made a
well-versed comment about my online MY WEEK 2.0 presentation so far is
Jeroen Sebrechts, a former classmate of mine back in film school. On Skype
he said: “I think it is actually wonderful how you just turn authorship into
something unimportant, while making it the only thing that matters at the
same time. If you weren’t your sober self, then your exhibitionism would be
tremendously pretentious, but now it becomes vulnerable at the same time:
anyone can destroy you like that with comments on your personal life. That
split between exhibitionism and the banal is what makes it interesting.”

Praise notwithstanding, how has this entire process affected me and the
people around me? Well, my family and (ex-)girlfriend have fallen victim to
this incessant documentation I submitted them to. My girlfriend and I have
broken up (as we have many times before), while my parents are becoming
increasingly worried. As a result of my attempt at multitasking between
various media and different occupations, I was not able to focus enough of
my attention on the bands I play in either, which has caused them to be on
standby for the current moment.

An article in WIRED magazine from August 2009 headlined: “Multitasking

Muddles Brains, Even When The Computer Is Off”. In less than 7 months
I have managed to break two joints in my body; my ankle and my thumb.
I would go so far as to attribute these inflictions to my social media project,
which came close to virtually detaching me from the physical world.
- More importantly: who am I?

Has this project taught me anything about the person I am? I claim it has.
My findings are troubling on the one hand and comforting on the other.

One thing that clearly comes out in my art projects is that the unspoken -
that which is not said – contains infinitely more information about myself
than what is being communicated. I, myself, remain mostly absent. I am
part of the FACE-TO-FACEBOOK and FLICKR FEED projects as a person that
is never pictured. Yes, my conscious actions documented in the EVERNOTES
project reveal intimate information about myself, but it is what is left unsaid
that usually makes people imagine who I am. This conclusion can be seen as
a reaffirmation of Lacan’s theories on the unconscious which helped frame
my research; I cannot be fully conscious of myself in the present moment,
but only in fragmented parts, having passed through a structuring language,
such as these social networking sites.

On a more positive side, these projects have made me acutely aware that I
take part in a larger whole, encompassing the people and objects I interact
with, the food I eat and the roads that I travel. These social media actions
have created a new perspective on, or, dare I say, a new purpose and
meaning in my life, by consciously connecting my personal existence to the
world at large. I have begun to feel as though I am merely an instance in an
ongoing exchange, happening inside me and all around me.

More reflections on the person I am are voiced in the interview by Manne.

Watch the video of the interview at:

- Is there anything that I can or would like to consider my work and my work

How important is it that the documentation of my work is shared across

these online platforms, rather than sold at a price? It matters a great deal.

This question however has not been properly addressed up until this point
and it opens up a whole new avenue that I do intend to start investigating
in the nearby future, under the title of the follow-up research THE ART OF
SHARING, THE SHARING OF ART. But let us not get ahead of ourselves.
Because what if we inspect the terms of use these social media impose upon
their users? Don’t these providers restrict sharing as much as they allow for
it to take place? Here we arrive back at the three main questions constituting

1) What are the limits to consistently documenting one’s life and sharing it
over the web?

True, this question has already been examined at great length in this
reflective chapter, but here I will pinpoint the circumstances in which the
networking services and providers intervened in some of my projects or
when I was rendered incapable by an outside force to further carry out
the goal I had set myself.

- HOTMAIL : At the start of the ONE YEAR LIFE PERFORMANCE 2.0 I

repeatedly sent out a emails, containing a log of my daily activities,
until I was blocked by HOTMAIL, suspected of spamming. I continued
posting my daily documentation through my blog immediately after that.

- EVERNOTES : When the Notes app on my iPhone 3G (which I used to keep

a log of my everyday actions) kept crashing, I was forced to turn to another
application, which ended up being Evernote. After a month I gave up on my
documentary project, as I was being convinced to take my mind off of it by
my girlfriend back at the time.

- FLICKR FEED : The FLICKR performance was finished the moment

my free account was used up and reached its maximum upload limit.

- SELF-PORTRAIT : This networked durational performance once took place

for over a month in Reno, Nevada, which made it necessary for me to
perform the piece from 8pm until 2am at night on each weekday over a
Skype connection. In the second half of the exhibition period, I had started
falling asleep behind my laptop. This did not prevent the performance from
continuing however.

- FACE-TO-FACEBOOK : On May 21nd 2010 I officially started this lifelong

performance, sharing pictures of everyone I talk to face to face during the
day. On June 5th I received an sms from my network provider, notifying me
that I was exceeding my upload limit. The project was temporarily put on
hold. On September 1st I took up the project once again.
2) Can durational live performance art of old be preserved through the use
of new social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.?

3) How can we begin to think of making an inventory of contemporary

durational live performance artworks that take place on these social media?

As for these other two questions, I still have my work cut out for me. In a
simple sense, there’s really no problem at all. Over the years I have gone
ahead and documented durational performances of colleague-artists using
these social media. On FACEBOOK I started keeping a humble database of
artworks that I include in my field of investigation. But if I want to move
beyond that – into the professional sphere – then I am about to face some
serious challenges.

On the broadest conceptual level, the manner of documenting needs to be

thought through. What does it mean to document? Who is to gain from it?
How are social media integrated in this bigger picture? The two assignments
I wrote (attached to this portfolio) belong to this domain of investigation.

The copyright issue is something that keeps rearing its ugly head at every
conference held on this subject of digital preservation. Luckily, in the field of
performance art, the negotiation of rights still happens in a conversation with
the artist. In other cases, a deal is struck with the heirs. The ongoing debate
is a fierce and intricate one and I feel I need to smarten up on this matter.

The technicalities of institutional database structuring are also downright

intimidating, but I am eager to delve deeper into models for metadata
annotation and agreed-upon standards in the cultural heritage sector.

Now at the end of a.pass, with schooling behind me, my research starts
revolving around this new question: how can I be applied in an institution
for the archiving of live performance art? Do my very personal methods of
documentation have a place and value within the structure of this kind of
organization? What if I were to present myself as a tool to document also
the workings of/in this very organization – its performance as an institute?

As I envisioned in my Transmedia paper DOCUMENTARY PERFORMANCE:

“... the documentary filmmaker mutating into a mobile, readily available, hi-
tech, semi-virtual lecture performer or interactive interface, who remains
humbled by the incompleteness of his attempts to properly document
performances …”

For this bibliography I will sum up resources that have been indispensable
to me throughout the year, and also provide a brief explanation on them.

- Verminck, M., (2007) Als een gebroken spiegel – Psychoanalytische

beschouwingen over het kunstenaarsoeuvre, Gent, A & S / books

-> This small book by Marc Verminck, psychoanalyst and former philosophy
teacher of mine, profoundly changed my outlook on art and artistry in its
relation to our everyday life experience. Verminck elaborates on the way
we fictionalize ourselves during life, and writes a passage which I have
included in my theoretical introduction at the start of this portfolio. One
more segment: “Fiction is the original substitute of life. And what is
commonly known as ‘fiction’ (film, theatre, novels, etc.) is not just
something else than reality, but a substitute of a substitute, and thus
another fictional possibility for our own inadequate fantasized
existence.” (translated from Dutch to English, p 17)

- Meyer-Hermann, E. & Perchuk, A. & Rosenthal, S., (2008) Allan

Kaprow – Art as Life, London, Thames & Hudson Ltd.

-> Gained a lot of insights on Allan Kaprow’s Happenings thanks to this book,
especially in the chapter Writing the Happening: the Aesthetics of Nonart.
In one of my assignments on THE ARCHIVE I reference this chapter too.
On page 21, Alex Potts writes one particularly brilliant segment describing
Kaprow’s practice: “The point was to devise works that escaped the self-
referentiality within which modern art was trapped, and this could not be
done merely by creating works that either alluded to or directly incorpo-
rated realities lying outside the sphere of art. What was needed was a
procedure for effecting a compelling transition from materials and situ-
ations that were genuinely nonartistic – that were, as he put it, ‘lifelike’ –
to an art that momentarily existed outside the context of the art world.”

- Kaprow, A. (2003) Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life, second

edition, Berkeley, University of California Press

- Dewey, J., (1934) Art as Experience, New York, Pedigree Trade

-> Both of these books tie into Kaprow’s practice, with John Dewey having
been one of the most influential thinkers inspiring Kaprow’s vision.
Dewey: “If artistic and esthetic quality is implicit in every normal
experience, how shall we explain how and why it so generally fails
to become explicit? Why is it that to multitudes art seems to be an
importation into experience from a foreign country and the esthetic
to be a synonym for something artificial?” (p 12)
- Johnstone, S., (2008) The Everyday, London, Whitechapel Gallery

- Merewether, C., (2006) The Archive, London, Whitechapel Gallery

-> The series Documents of Contemporary Art consists of numerous

publications, each devoted to a specific theme. Aside from The Everyday
and The Archive, which I will go into, some other publications include
Participation, The Cinematic and The Artist’s Joke. The introductory text
to the series explains: “In recent decades artists have progressively
expanded the boundaries of art as they have sought to engage with
an increasingly pluralistic environment. Teaching, curating and under-
standing of art and visual culture are likewise no longer grounded in
traditional aesthetics but centered on significant ideas, topics and
themes ranging from the everyday to the uncanny, the psychoanalytical
to the political.”

-> The Everyday pushed my inquiry into artistic practices that attempt to
blur or shake up the differences between art and life. Editor Stephen
Johnstone writes: “… in the reconciliation of art and life lies perhaps the
potential to undermine what has appeared to many as a misconceived
view of art’s destiny: to be no more than an autonomous and rarefied
sphere of production and consumption.” (p 13) One of the included
artists, Hans-Peter Feldmann, is quoted saying: “Only 5 minutes of
every day are interesting. I want to show the rest.” (p 6) Also the
inclusion of excerpts from Henri Lefebre’s 1961 text Clearing The Ground
had an impact on me: “In one sense there is nothing more simple and
more obvious than everyday life. How do people live? (…) In another
sense nothing could be more superficial: it is banality, triviality,
repetitiveness. And in yet another sense nothing could be more profound.
It is existence and the ‘lived’, revealed as they are before speculative
thought has transcribed them: what must be changed and what is the
hardest of all to change.” (p 33)

-> Charles Merewether, who compiled the publication on The Archive, gave
a lecture at ARGOS centre for art and media at the end of 2010. As was
mentioned before in this portfolio, dedicated mentor Anette Baldauf had
instructed me to write summaries of some of the texts by other authors
included in his book and to find a way to relate them to my own practice
and research. These assignments I wrote are attached to this portfolio.
- Debuysere, S. & Moreels, D. & Van de Walle, R. & Van
Nieuwerburgh, I. & Walterus, J., (2010) BOM – Bewaring en
Ontsluiting van Multimediale Data in Vlaanderen, Leuven, Lannoo

- Dekker, A., (2010) Sustainable Archiving of Born-Digital Cultural

Content, Virtueel Platform

-> These two publications deal specifically with the challenges for institutions
in archiving and disclosing digital data – a subject which I have only just
started to get informed about. Social networks are addressed too: “In the
public eye, YouTube has become the media archive par excellence and,
for better or worse, an important reference for all existing and future
initiatives aimed at archiving and disclosing audiovisual content.” (BOM,
p 11)

- Orrell, P., (2010) Marina Abramovi! + The Future of Performance

Art, London, Prestel

- Westcott, J., (2010) When Marina Abramovi! Dies, Cambridge,

MIT Press

- Abramovi!, M., (2010) The Artist Is Present, New York, The

Museum of Modern Art

-> Abramovi!’s expanding oeuvre of durational live performance artworks

has been central to my research for many years now, starting from my
final documentary project in film school about her work. Three books
released in 2010 caught my eye. The Future of Performance and When
Marina Abramovi! Dies were published in the beginning of the year,
around the time of the symposium in Plymouth. The catalogue The Artist
Is Present came out in concurrence with her MoMA exhibition, which I
attended. This catalogue also took a prominent place in a reenactment
of one of her works I would perform in March 2011 (see final summary).
Each of the books exemplify Abramovi!’s growing care and concern
for ways of leaving her legacy behind, be it in the form of the Marina
Abramovi! Institute for Preservation of Performance Art, or by having
younger artists reenacting her work.
- Auslander, P., (1999) Liveness – Performance In A Mediatized
Culture, London, Routledge

- Kac, E., (2005) Telepresence & Bio Art, University of Michigan Press

- Dixon, S., (2007) Digital Performance, Cambridge, MIT Press

- Tribe, M. & Jana, R., (2009) New Media Art, Taschen American Llc.

- Saavedra-Lara, F., (2010) E-Culture Fair 2010 – Connecting

Creativity, Art & Research From The Netherlands, Flanders And
North-Rhine Westphalia, Bönen-Westfalen, Druckverlag Kettler

- Funke, J. & Riekeles, S. & Broeckmann, A., (2010) Proceedings of

the 16th International Symposium on Electronic Art ISEA2010
RUHR, Berlin, Revolver Publishing

-> These are books that have helped me to begin to establish a lineage
starting from earlier live performances involving digital media up until
projects that have been presented in the year 2010. Philip Auslander’s
Liveness provided a context for my specific research questions, asking:
“What is the status of live performance in a culture dominated by mass
media?” Eduardo Kac’s 1992 text Aspects of the Aesthetics of Tele-
communications, included in Telepresence & Bio Art, reinforced my
conviction in putting the emphasis on the performative element in media
art, rather than over-appreciating the resulting artifacts: “Since the
beginning of the twentieth century, but particularly since the early 1980s,
increasing numbers of artists around the world have worked in collabora-
tive models with telecommunications. In their ‘works’, which we shall
refer to as ‘events’, images and graphics are not created as the ultimate
goal or the final product, as is common in the fine arts. (…) Once an
event is over, images and graphics stand not as the ‘result’ but as
documentation of the process of visual dialogue promoted by the
participants.” Both Digital Performance and New Media Art I have merely
dipped into, but some references mentioned in those books still resonate
strongly within me. The conference publications of the E-CULTURE ART
FAIR 2010 and ISEA2010 RUHR also still deserve more of my attention,
as they contain a sheer wealth of references as well.
- Levin, T. & Frohne, U. & Weibel, P., (2002) CTRL-SPACE – Rhetorics
of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother, Karlsruhe, ZKM

-> Somewhat of a sidetrack, this weighty exhibition catalogue, containing

texts by some well-known philosophers, led me into the sphere of artistic
practices that appropriate methods of surveillance and dataveillance. This
book in turn formed an element in the installation I had set up in PAF, in
light of the SELF-SURVEILLANCE project I had experimented with then.
There are way more inspiring quotes than I would dare to mention here,
so I will pick out just one by "i#ek: “What if Big Brother was already here,
as the (imagined) Gaze for whom I was doing things, whom I tried to
impress, to seduce, even when I was alone? What if the Big Brother show
only renders palpable this universal structure? In other words, what if, in
our ‘real lives’, we already play a certain role – we are not what we are,
we play ourselves?”

- Mulder, A., (2004) Understanding Media Theory, Rotterdam,

V2_Publishing / Nai Publishers

- De Zengotita, T., (2005) Mediated, New York, Bloomsbury


- Helmond, A., (2010) Identity 2.0 – Constructing identity with

cultural software, University of Amsterdam

- Lovink, G., (2010) – The colonization of real-time and

other trends in Web 2.0,

-> Finishing off with some texts concerned with “how the media shape your
world and the way you live it”, as the subtitle of Mediated proclaims. In
his chapter Analog Bodies, Digital Consciousness, Arjen Mulder states:
“The self is the core of analog consciousness, while digital consciousness
experiences itself as a distributed cognitive network.” (p 169) Anne
Helmond’s paper Identity 2.0 convinced me to invite her to come give a
presentation at a.pass, while Geert Lovink’s article provoked
again more questions in my mind: “There is no evidence that the world is
becoming more virtual. The cyber-prophets were wrong here. The virtual
is becoming more real. It wants to penetrate and map out our real lives
and social relationships. We are no longer encouraged to act out some
role, but forced to be ‘ourselves’ (which is no less theatrical or artificial).”
a summarizing self-evaluation and reflection, drawing conclusions from the
entire portfolio, the learning trajectory and any remaining shortcomings

The moment I joined a.pass I knew I wanted to prove everyone wrong. I

can even recall saying this to one of my mentors at Transmedia, the other
post-graduate program I was still enrolled in back then. I had good reason
to believe that underlying all artistic disciplines I had uncovered a common
truth – a tradition even – of art/life practice, which had the potential of
shifting our perspectives on what we had been making and performing.

This common notion implied that our life could already be seen as a live
performance piece. This did not mean the end of all artistic practices, but
yet a uniting principle, which would reinstate that context for the creation
of works or performances that seemed to have been downplayed, namely
the context of the everyday life of the artist. I felt backed by Henri Lefebre
when I read he wrote: “It is in everyday life and starting from everyday life
that genuine creations are achieved, those creations which produce the
human and which men produce as part of the process of becoming human:
works of creativity.”

Still it was important to claim this life performance piece to be art, for
only by doing so would it be able to counter the unrelenting force of
commodification and disproportionate mystification infecting art circles
and carry on a tradition of public participation and near-therapeutic
exploration of the self, as proposed (but sometimes dormant)
within the genre of live performance art.

Because I was so keen on putting this principle to the test – of making my

life into a documented live performance art piece – I had grown impatient
with more traditional ways of conceiving of art or performance. At the close
of the a.pass year, I do feel I have become more understanding of other
disciplines than my own, as I noticed the passion with which some people
went about their favorite practice, be it dance, theatre, music or a more
conventional form of visual art.

Nevertheless, my belief remained as firm as ever: performance is not so

much about playing a role as it is about realizing that your everyday self
already is a role in itself.
It wasn’t until my final evaluation on February 25 2011, with coordinators
Elke Van Campenhout and Bart Van den Eynde and mentor Pierre Rubio, that
a big shift happened in my perception of the artistic research project I had
undertaken. When I presented my findings, based on my practice, that I
appeared mostly absent throughout the work and that this void in fact drove
people to imagine more about me than what was actually being said or
shown, this conclusion was termed insufficient by the coordinators.

For what I had been avoiding, resisting, and fighting even, up until that very
evaluation were the ideas of EDITING and AESTHETICS. Yes, I was sure that
a set DURATION, a SCORE or CONCEPT and the chosen MEDIUM were the
only elements I was willing to claim to be my artistic choices. AESTHETICS
would be the ones inherent to the MEDIUM itself, and EDITING would mean
a failure on my part – proof that I was stretching or not living up to the
severe SCORE I had set out for myself over a certain DURATION of time.

I insisted, but Bart could not take it anymore and he told me that the work
was to be located somewhere in between VOID, EDITING and AESTHETICS.
And at that point it hit me.

As much as I would try to oppose this idea, or distance myself from claiming
any artistic intention in either the (sometimes unintentional) EDITING
process or the AESTHETICS that manifest themselves, this would still
be what is there. Even though, as Tehching Hsieh argues in Out of Now,
“instead of approaching art through the document, we need to go back
to art itself,” this document is what we are left with.
In the end, it may have been the structure of the TRIANGLE that won me
over. It wouldn’t be the first time that an overview of my research could be
presented in threes. Think of preserving / inventorying / limits. Then I
noticed 3 other notes I made, next to the triangle, during the evaluation:

The drive for my practice is generated by, again, 3 forces: it is addressed

to someone I LOVE, it means to exorcise the guilt I feel in the way I live my
LIFE and it is a deliberate statement of irony towards the ART world. This is
not to say that this is what I would like to communicate through the work,
but that these are 3 forces that keep me going, which are personal to me.

This leaves us with 3 triangles now:

One on the level of the research:


One on the level of representation:


And one on the level of inspiration:

(Guilt about) Life
(Irony towards) Art
There are 3 projects I started with after finishing the a.pass course. These
are: I’VE BEEN TWEETING ABOUT YOU (mentioned earlier in the chapter
in this portfolio where I reflect on my practice), iGotUp and THE KITCHEN.

iGotUp is a reenactment (or remediation) of On Kawara’s classis I GOT UP, a

continuous piece produced by him between 1968 and 1979 in which each day
the artist sent two different friends or colleagues a picture postcard, each
stamped with the exact time he arose that day and the addresses of both
sender and recipient. When I wake up in the morning I snap a picture of my
face using my iPhone, then snap a picture of the time when I get out of bed
and later on I email the composed picture to two people in my mailing list.
THE KITCHEN is a reenactment after an original by Marina Abramovi! that I
performed on our most recent visit to PAF together with the a.pass group.

I reported on this performance in an email I have sent to the artist:

4 pictures were attached to this email:
From top to bottom: a photo of the performance (courtesy of David Bergé),
a still of the video documentation, a view on the research table and feedback
from the audience.
The second mail I sent to Marina Abramovi! referred to my PhD proposal:
Closing off with some final notes on a.pass: before finishing the year, I had
convinced myself that I wanted to make a more substantial contribution to
a.pass than I had done during the year. I drafted a job proposal in December
2010 and discussed the contents of it in a meeting together with the general
coordinator at that time. Unfortunately, my offer was turned down and I felt

Stubbornly however I performed the task that I wanted to take up anyway,

namely documenting the workshop activities and archiving them through the
a.pass website, even after I was done with my participation in a.pass. These
particular workshops I helped record were: the SETTLEMENT (led by Vladimir
Miller), LOCATION (led by Leo de Nijs) and THE ARCHIVE AS GENERATOR
(initiated by Adva Zakai).
In the beginning of May 2011 a new pack of a.pass’ies will be introduced to
the program. I have proposed a frame for this opening week, based on my
own final research communication. And, miraculously, this links back to the
beginning of this portfolio again and to its actual title.

On Sunday May 1st all a.passies will receive an email invitation to access my
personal Google Calendar. My week will be elaborately mapped out; when I
will get up, leave for a.pass, have lunch, etc. It is an experiment of mine in
sharing a schedule of my daily activities, projected into the future.

Shifting my focus to a more shared perspective on the work I have been

doing, a.pass participants will each receive a postcard-sized calendar of the
week, onto which they will be asked to mark the time periods in which they
performed artistic research throughout the week.

I realize, after the end of this year at a.pass, how I may be able to extend
my research question to other people and learn from their contributions.

Better late than never.

date : April 24 2011

Sven Goyvaerts aka Sven G

De Leescorfstraat 54 2140 Borgerhout