new exhibition in Harare

April 17, 2014

Rotating Objects

K_Van places small objects on a platform which rotates by means of a small mechanical device. The objects are experiments and studies that make part of an evolving process. The artist observes the shadows of the objects form on the surface, using this experience in his research of forms and texture for his paintings and drawings.
Rotatating objects in HarareThe theatre setting that he creates for these small works is made in such a way that the viewer focuses on the object. In this way the viewing point remains relatively static while the object reveals itself contrasting its contours on the backdrop.
K_Van uses wood, clay and paper to build the objects; in equally simple way, he draws in black and white multiple variations of these objects.

follow this event
First Floor Gallery Harare soon!

rotating objects

Vectors in the 80ties

February 28, 2014
Print K_Van

fulcrum_holder, 30 x 45cm, photo on dibond

In the technical drawing class we would get assignments to draw intersecting planes, and to determine the length of their intersecting line by means of projection. This is in the 80ties, pencil, rulers and paper and the high school master of the John Orr technical high school sternly paced up and down, thirty boys sat at their drawing tables. Each one of us measuring and moving rulers and pencils up and down the paper and imagining abstract planes suspended in the air above our heads. Later we moved away from the drawing board and advanced to Gaussian elimination in the university. But much of this I do not remember. It is rather the physical presence of vectors and planes drawn on smudged paper that has stayed embedded in my mind. To sum up: memory visualized.
The simplicity of the vector still inspire me, or the presence of a plane suspended weightlessly in the air. During the days prior to making an art work I make countless sketches of weightless objects in drawing books, or I make small wooden sculptures or clay studies. From this work I choose a few models that I convert into 3D models using 3d software. I observe the model, determine how it sits in space and then I reduce it to two dimensions, replacing the depth for colour. The colours that I use for the distant planes are shifted toward the blue end of the
spectrum, while the ”warm” and lighter colours are used for the planes closer towards the viewer.

In this work 1980_ski_lift_house I have chosen a cold blue for the background. The object is highlighted with light violet giving a sense of orientation while the front grid with a warm pink, give the object extra depth.


1980_ski_lift_house, 30 x 45cm, photo on dibond

There are two background planes at work in torque_pivot. The warmness of the grey C15M16Y25K0 seems to push the cooler grey plane C29M20Y3K0 down. The yellow torque_pivot hold the two planes in balance.

Print K_Van

torque_pivot (cold), 30 x 45cm, photo on dibond

Print K_Van

torque_pivot (warm), 30 x 45cm, photo on dibond

fixed, Initialization Failed on BlackBerry

February 5, 2014

A few weeks ago my son got a new smart phone (an Android Iphone look-a-like) and his old phone became obsolete.
I’m going to sell my old one at school, he announced.
A Blackberry that he had bought proudly from one of his school mates not more than a year ago. It seemed a pity to dismiss the Torch 9800 with its physical QWERTY keyboard and sliding multi-touch screen, so I bought it from him.
My son emptied the phone and then it was mine.

On inserting the SIM card and rebooting the message read: Initialization Failed. I looked it up on the web and found the following advice:

  • Telephone is blocked–> no, the phone was sim lock free.
  • Restart, take battery out, leave it over night–> no, the next morning it still did not work
  • Put pieces of paper between sim card and holder to make better contact–> no, that did not work, I used 3 folds of paper, but bent the holder,  so after that the telephone read insert Sim card. Then I had to use the 3 folded paper strip
  • Reinstall the firmware –> no, that did not do it, but with the BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife I put a fresh copy of the operating system on the phone.

On the street I found an old discarded sim card. Let me try that I thought.
But no luck, yet in my other working telephone the card worked. Conclusion: there is something wrong with the hardware and it is time for more drastic measures.

connector_pinI removed the cover and cleaned the phone. Then under a strong light I could see that a connecting pin was bend down. With very small screw driver I bend all the 6 pins up and pressed the metal housing plate down. Then I reinserted the sim card, and yes it worked.
I fixed the mute and lock button by removing dust that had accumulated in the button.

Conclusion:Initialization Failed could be understood as the sim card not connecting properly.  A piece of  paper wedged between the sim card and holder could fix this, but if the connector pins are bent down too far, you have to pull them back . (be careful not to break them).
It is a great thing to fix things that are not meant to be fixed :)

Open Call for Proposals 2014

January 20, 2014

In this particular proposal, we were asked to send in a YouTube video pitch. In a kind email explaining the selection process and the intensive process, my pitch is rejected,  but according to my YouTube click statistics, no one has watched this video since I put it on-line. No hard feelings but Ireland’s Biennial Limerick City International 2014 you are not playing a straight game.

Dear K_ Van,

Many thanks for your proposal(s) to participate in eva International 2014.
There has been an incredible response to this year’s open call with an extraordinary range of proposals from artists based in 96 countries worldwide. The selection process has been a very interesting and intensive process, identifying many artists who I would like to work with for eva International 2014 and also for future projects.

I regret to inform you that on this occasion your proposal(s) has not been selected for inclusion in eva International 2014. Due to the number of proposals it will not be possible to offer individual feedback, but I would like to let you know that the selection process has often not been about the quality or scope of the proposals but about the exhibition as a whole, so the final selection has been made on this basis rather than the quality of proposals.

Thank you for taking the time to prepare your proposal(s) and I would like to wish you every success with future projects.

Warm regards

Bassam El Baroni

eva International 2014
Ireland’s Biennial
Limerick City


What is the significance of these last notes.

December 10, 2013

[from 5 top pieces of art work ever].

The lecturer stood in front of us. On the powerpoint projection, a single line of notes glared at us.
”What is the significance of these last notes?” the teacher repeated.
We did not know.

”It is the end. Listen if we take the last note away and loop it, it sounds like this. When we put them back, it sounds like this. The last 3 signify the end.”

”Look at this painting.”
A yellow painting came up on the display with 3 figures.
”Each painting has an end. This painting has a soft end, but look how it changes when we apply a hard end to the painting.”
The next slide came in, and the 3 figures in the painting all had a large penis painted over them.
”This,” continued the lecturer, ”is a hard end. A painting has a start middle and end. Sometimes, like this painting the end is too strong and the painting ends abruptly. Like the three ending notes. Go to the museums and to your art work and see if you can find the end of the painting and determine how strong the ending is.”

I had to think about this when I was awake. The ending of French composer Erik Satie’s piano composition Gymnopédies is so soft that the piece can start again and end at any moment allowing the listener’s attention to drift anywhere with in the music. Paintings also (as I discovered to my surprise) have a clear or subtle ending. The quieter the endings (as in music) allow the viewer to absorb the work more and experience their own being. The paintings Beyond the imagination also deal with tones and loops, three in fact and with endings. It is my intention to soften the ending. I do not know how, that is for later.
The note is made.

5 top pieces of art work ever.

December 9, 2013

The best art pieces that you will ever experience will come through your dreams. I sometimes wander through museums in my sleep, see exhibitions or come across the most  amazing art works. Some of them are so powerful in fact, that they wake me up. Those are rare and blessed moments. Especialy when I can process the image in my mind, rotate the object and remember it the next day. It is not uncommon for artists to see art in their dreams, musicians to hear music and dancers to see performances (see post The photograph had won several awards).

In a dream (a few weeks ago) I was in Ireland, backstage for a dance-group. I met up with some of my fellow students from the Burren College of art. And for some reason I landed up in Cork. I looked down through a window at the floor of a large art studio building. There were many artists painting on several paintings that were laid out flat on the floor, they were painting dancers. What impressed me in my sleep state was this: the artists where working together on the collection of paintings, moving from one painting to the next, sometimes two people to one canvas. I remarked to myself that the status and professional position of the artists had evolved. The artist now worked together, rather than in solitude. They worked like musicians in an orchestra, together bringing along their own talent and movements towards the artwork.  Because of their unity they were now respected for the work that they did.

From the window where I stood, I turned and followed a corridor that led to a flight of stairs going down into the building. I walked down, looking at some drawings pinned to the white flakey wall. The building seemed like a school and I entered a lecture hall. A critique/lecture was in progress. Five statues on the front stage, a number of students spread in the room and the teacher stood in front. He greeted me. I sat down.

What is the significance of these lines. In a power-point projection he showed music notes on staff.
Again he asked what is the significance of these notes. Then he hummed it.
a long silent pause. [to be continued tomorrow]

images of the first threads being applied on the canvas

In the last 3 years what has your position been as an artist, active or passive?

December 8, 2013

Please take your time to fill in my poll

The photograph had won several awards.

December 3, 2013

I was in a house, there were a number of picture frames leaning against the wall. Black and white photographs. I recognised the work as being mine. The first photograph in particularly was striking, a man sitting and looking at the sea, while another man walked passed behind him. I remember the photograph had won several awards and was published in magazines and books. When I took another closer look at the image I knew that it would make the subject for a very interesting painting.

In this instructable you will follow how a painting is made up using many layers of paint. I have applied acrylic paint with paint rollers and brushes on a wooden panel. It took me several weeks to complete the painting.2000


Beyond imagination,cleaning up

November 26, 2013

Friday I picked up my order of canvases (150x100cm)
Saturday, stuck A3 printouts together and hung them in the project room.
The print outs of the drawings is too small, will have to redo them.
Outlined the dark area’s that will be painted grey.
Sunday started to rearrange the studio for the paintings.
Changed the order of the drawings
Monday prepared boxes for storage.

Todo: assemble the rest of the boxes….done
12 boxes

@diversity – European Idea Competition

November 25, 2013

This summer I entered  the @diversity competition: innovative ideas for cultural and creative sectors in Europe which is an initiative funded by the European Union.
15 project could win tailor-made coaching sessions to further promote their idea, thereby unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries.

We’ve received 263 amazing and divers looks in the future of the cultural sectors in Europe. The high quality of your ideas obliged us to do a very careful assessment of all your applications and we performed even a second assessment round in order to take a founded decision on the nominees.
Had I won, I would be sitting in an online session with selected coaching experts  to coach my project to unknown levels. I did not win and felt like a bad loser replying with this email:
‘That you received 263 amazing ideas is great. It shows that people are thinking and are willing to step into creative Europe.
Unfortunately your rejection does not help us. It seems as if your program is to small to hold the creative minds of Europe.
I hope that you will improve your program so that you carry the load good luck’.
The man or woman that read my email can not do anything, yet I still believe that 247 amazing and divers looks on unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries in Europe will be missing.
Read below about my proposal and in future follow and get involved in the running of the  I-object

Name of the idea:


Please shortly describe your idea:

People give certain objects, natural or manufactured, a special place in the world as animated partners of our wishes, dreams and aspirations. This sharing of humanity between people and objects is what the project I-object is about. Artists are asked for an object representing themselves in the I-object display box.

Which sector(s) does your idea apply to?

Creation and exhibition of art objects/ tangible art products.

Which category does your idea apply to

Make Culture.

 Explain how this idea can change/improve the current cultural landscape

The display-units will showcase small artworks ”I-object”s  on a rotating platform. Alongside on a digital screen the artist’s name, title of work, concept and website are displayed. The units are brought to ‘watering holes’ where people gather to relax and talk with no pressure.  One could imagine coffee corners in an office building. In this way we bring the art to the people, and place it precisely into the environment were people want to rejuvenate. After a few weeks the display or displays are refreshed with new small art works.
The I-objects will also be linked the I-object website with a QR-code giving people easy access to part II of the I-object.
The actual objects will be gathered from an open call to artists  and will manifest craftsmanship but always place it within the context and the qualities of an art work. We expect works to be submitted from a wide cultural terrain.

Part II.
Internet and app.
A 360 degree video of each object with its detailed documentation will be available on the I-object website and app. People can browse through the works, bookmark them or react on them.
In this way we want to unfold culture and share humanity between people.

Explain how your idea will make use of Information and Communications Technologies

Gathering the object information.
The Gaidaro foundation is well experienced with gathering quality artworks for exhibitions through the use of communication technologies such as the web forums and social media.

The response of the artists has to be streamlined and pre-edited (like this website) before the images and documentation is viewed by the curators. This would need a web-page with the right forms, database and javascript to pre process the information so that it can be readily displayed on the web and is ready to be transferred to the I-Object display-units as image files.

Gathering the object.
Once the curator has approved the object the artist will send it by post. On arrival the objects is linked up with the information already present in the database, with the details of the maker and significance of the object. The object is also registered on video rotating it 360degrees.  This information is uploaded onto the I-object website and YouTube.

The object in the display unit.
The display unit consists out of a oval wooden container. Our aim is to construct the unit in such a way that a CNC machine from FabLab can duplicate the container anywhere in the world.At this moment our prototype runs with a digital screen and a solar powered rotating platform. The information on the digital screen is passed on through a memory card.

gather objects info through the internet spread info, through internet, apps and digital screen

Please explain the technology part that will make your idea work
What is the target group for your idea.

The I object’s goal is to get the viewer energized and inspired by looking and reading about the object. Our target group are those people interested in contemporary art. In our search to localize the target group we start by exploring the possibilities of tapping into new existing audiences. We start by identifying the places where people choose to be energized and revived, then we determine if the target group has already accepted contemporary art and/or any of these ideas.

A place to start are the coffee pantries or corners in office buildings for professional people. Ernst and Young  springs to mind, recruitment agencies, ministries of arts and education, flexible working places for young professionals and multinational offices. We do not want to exclude people that still need to find their way to contemporary art.  For this reason the I-object website is easily accessible and display-units can be placed in public libraries and café’s where people come to meet and relax.

The I-object is not limited to one place, city or country. Several display units may exist in an office building, encouraging employees to walk to an other departments and talk to strangers. The I-objects can be run in several cities or countries by engaging local curators whereby the physical objects are exchanged through the post.

Last and not least
The I-object artists and curators form an important target group as the project is a peer-peer exchange of information.

Implementation What are the next steps for your idea?

At this moment we are busy testing out our prototype display-unit, feeling that this is one of the main driving motors behind the project. Once a robust unit is finalized we will manufacture 3 display units for the first trial run. Through an open call for artists we will collect 40 works, document them and upload them on a non-automated website. Multinational businesses will be approached in the Netherlands for a trial period. In the first stages of the project while there is no financial support for advanced IT programming the project will run on DIY php programming skills. Once we have a foothold and the project gains in financial momentum we can invest in programming and automating processes. Once the complete ‘engine’ is  made, we can focus on expanding with other participating partners and curators in a multitude of cities and countries.
However through the @Diversity program we hope to get into contact with potential stakeholders, ICT professionals and executives of the cultural industry. This will not only strengthen the project but greatly speed up its development and implementation. Explain what kind of next steps (activities) you would like to undertake to realise your idea and who or which partners you would like to involve in the implementation process.

Explain how you expect your idea to survive in the long run

Not only are we exploring possibilities of tapping into new existing audiences, but also funding. We are basing are idea on 1. a free educational service (such as public libraries) and 2. a paying service by the business community.
In the working place where the I-object display units give the employee a moment to vitalize we expect businesses to subscribe to the service. In the long run we believe that the I-object will improve networking within businesses. The display units allow people to focus their attention on a third thing rather than on each other, making interpersonal engagement more comfortable. People can connect with strangers when they have a shared interest in specific objects. After a trial period businesses can subscribe to the I-object.
It should be noted that the I-Object is a cultural platform and not a gallery or market space. While the objects are in the display units they are not for sale. In this way we want ensure the museum like ambiance of the I-objects and let our cultures unfold.

costs: website, app, programmers, volunteers, display units, transport of display units, maintenance of  display units, maintenance of social media. Transport of objects.
income: rent of display-units, web advertising

If you have additional information about your idea, you can add this.

if  you like this project please contact me

multiplex front

multiplex front


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