The core team of FoAM bxl, including me, started our macrotransiency with the new moon in February 2016, carving out time to lay fallow and pursue things that “there isn’t time for”, to explore the unknown and embrace the unexpected.

This page is the informal log of my transiency process, in reverse chronological order.

23 January- 13 March

My transiency last year started by participating as a performer in the NMI event in Brussels. It was fun to create something with a group in such a short time, but i remember feeling that even if i'm not in the field anymore how easy it is for me to enter it, compose and perform. I found it not challenging enough.

I thought it was a good way to end the transiency by organising a retreat for performers myself. For an extended weekend, 10 Lithuanian artist from an experimental stage/art field gathered at FoAM to discuss politics of culture in our own land, but most importantly, to network, talk about diversity of the practices, failures to communicate about personal work and learn from each other. It was a lovely weekend. I met new young Lithuanians that received most of their artistic education after they left the country and therefor very diverse in ideas, skills and ambition. However it became very clear to me that my role in this kind of gatherings should be of a guide, mentor and advisor (and a photographer). The “doing” of things i prefer leaving to the others. Nevertheless i had a good opportunity to try out methods that i learned last years. A combination of systemic constellations, exercises from art therapy, simple vocal training and so on, these were very new to the participants but a great chance for me to try out and build up self confidence in it.

The last month of my transiency was very bumpy. I worked very hard to insure i have activities planned to self sustain financially but also to fill up the gap of FoAM activities not being there. I over planned, i over worked, i over multitasked. And doing all that in the dark winter time when my energy is at the lowest! When i started the transiency of course i thought that by the end of it i would be flying. In reality i was like never before digging deep into the cold, wet and dark soil of my own personality. Stripping layer after layer of my habits, securities, friendships, comfort… Someone told me last week “wow, how did you manage to let go of things so easy”. Easy? Is there such thing as easy to let go? Maybe letting go is something like a mud spa taking place not in a fancy sanatorium but somewhere rough and real? You have to go until you knees or even neck into the heavy swampy mud and then try to pull your heavy limbs one by one out of it. If you manage to reach the stage where you ask for a towel- congratulations: you are new you.

I think i need a towel now.

A full year of doing nothing. “ <…leisure in Greek is skole, and in Latin scola, the english “school”. The word used to designate the place where we educate and teach is derived from a word which means “leisure”. “School” does not , properly speaking mean school, but leisure. The original conception of leisure as it arose in the civilised world of Greece, has, however, become unrecognisable in the world of planned diligence and “total labor”; and in order to gain a clear notion of leisure we must begin by setting aside the prejudice- our prejudice- that comes from overvaluing the sphere of work. In his well-known study of capitalism Max Weber quotes the saying, that “one does not work to live; one lives to work”, which nowadays no one has much difficulty in understanding: it expresses the current opinion. We even find some difficulty in grasping that reverses the order of things and stands them on their head…>

<…the concept of “intellectual work” may be traced back and explored in terms of various historical sources. It implies, in the first place, a very definite view of the mode and manner of man's intellectual knowledge. What happens when we look at a rose? What do we do as we become aware of colour and form? Our soul is passive and receptive. We are, to be sure, awake and active, but our attention is not strained; we simply “look”– in so far , that is, as we “contemplate” it and are not already “ observing” it. Observation is a tense activity; which is what Ernst Junger meant when he called seeing an “act of aggression”. To contemplate, on the other hand, to “look” in this sense, means to open one's eyes receptively to whatever offers itself to one 's vision, and the things seen enter us, so to speak, without calling for any effort or strain on our part to possess them. There can hardly be any doubt that that, or someone like it, is the way we become sensorially aware of things.>” J. Pieper “Leisure The basis of culture”

Last year for me was like going to school. Without a teacher, clear goals or a particular program. Even i chucked my initial “to do” list away very early in the process and decided to go with the flow, i've achieved so much more then estimated in the beginning. First of all i read so much more. Books, articles, ted talks…. Reading brought me to research the topics or ideas that i read about, encouraged to do experiments with photos and paint or dried tea leaves. I tried out recipes that i never tried before, tasted products that didn't i know they existed. I realised what i'm good at, what i need to work on and what i completely suck at. Second of all by having time to contemplate on things i can now formulate much more clearly what i do as an adviser and what i can call my artistic practice. Thirdly- trying things out with smaller and bigger groups gave me confidence as a facilitator and organiser and clarified what gives me energy and what sucks it out. Because of that i can say “No” to things easier and explain nicely to people why i give negative answer.

It wasn't a year long holiday. It wasn't a year long pleasure. It was hard work with many ups and downs. As for now i wish i could continue having a transiency year over and over again. Thank you FoAM for such an opportunity.

08 - 22 January

Strange feeling. This year starts exactly the same like a few previous ones at FoAM. Dealing with people in the studio, taking care of plants when no one is around, organising Mus-e trajectory and so on. Feeling strange because even if all looks the same - it isn't. There are no clear FoAM projects on the horizon. Maja & Nik are and will be traveling which means absent a lot. And even a question of getting paid for the days at work will depend on the money raised from rentals. Not a problem so far. I have secured some financial stability by outside FoAM engagements. But it is a very mixed feeling when i have to be in the studio 2-3 days a week without knowing how much funds will that generate.

Regarding rentals i push for long term contracts rather than short ones with the hope that in this way it will become more self sustaining and will need less of my engagement. I might be wrong here. We will see.

Mus-e - this year i will be working with 3 classes. It is nice to have such a trust from the organisation. We had a long talk last autumn with the core team of Mus-e where i also raised what the weak or heavy points from our collaboration are. Previous years i mainly struggled with the communication with them. So this time we started talking with schools and teachers a lot earlier and there was always a Mus-e representative present in making the planning and explaining the trajectory guidelines. It makes a huge difference. Teachers are more comfortable hearing not only my ideas but also what the larger picture and the purpose of such practice is.

02 - 08 January

“The line recasts itself, pulls in toward the skin unbuckling the knot in my ribs, an aperture shuttering the empty sweep again and again and again. The word falls out of focus” from Jason Bayani “Amulet”

19 December- 01 January

Last few weeks of the year became very prickly. I've put it in my agenda as the weeks of doing nothing and was really looking for time to spend not thinking about FoAM, studio or any work related matters. But it was naive to think that all the core team in Brussels can disappear at the same time. Especially when the decision to give up contract for the studio came so late in the year and so many loose ends was left unsolved or drifted into the unknown. I've spend last days of the year negotiating for several renting possibilities, letting people in and out, answering emails and even having to meet our landlord to talk about our future in the building. I got very annoyed by all of this. The tiredness from the intensity of the previous months, disappointment in people promising to do something and than leave it undone and the cold and dark of the weather got into my bones. I felt completely blocked to do anything. Only thing i wanted was to sleep and be left alone.

Ironically enough in our last conversation with Maja we talked that in our transiency somehow we are following the graph of the funeral ritual introduced to us by Barbara. And while Maja said she is still “re-killing the dead” i on the other side felt like going up already. The last weeks i had to “re-kill the dead” so many times that i started doubting if the going up stage will come soon at all. Perhaps this year of lying fallow opened so many things in us that we became very fragile. Any prickles from outside gets very deep in and wakes up demons that were asleep for a long long time. As FoAM we supported so many people to go trough their residencies and transitions or even personal problems. I remember our members last year offering to guide us trough our transiency. I have to say apart from a few very short conversations about how it is going, no one took an initiative to organise any feedback session, transiency conversation or even a lunch or dinner for us. Any transition related action came from us! What does that say? Do we look so strong or unreachable from outside that people think we don't need any support? Are we so intimidating that people are scared to approach us? Are our demons (and i would not like to generalise here- my demons are most probably very different from those of Maja's or Nik's and don't even ask me about FoAM demons…) too scary to be recognised and touched? Didn't people around us learned how to host, support and listen to the individuals in transition? Or no one just cares about what happens?

I met winter solstice by sitting in the hot sauna in Spa and watching sun setting over the Belgian hills. It is amazing how winter turns everything in black and white picture. As if our eyes looses capability to recognise colours. So perhaps is normal to see things so monochromic and contrasting each other at this time of the year and at this stage of the transiency. Lets wait for spring. Lets wait for light. Lets wait for colour.

14 November-18 December

Someone once said “You have to write when nothing is happening”. Last month was very far from “nothing” and not “lying fallow” at all. Rentals one after the other, cooking for large groups, workshops with kids and the autistic group, design and production of a pop up co-working space at Burning ice festival and several coaching sessions for different artists. These are only a few things i remember. Not taking into account trying to pay as much as possible attention to the things happening at home. The plants are always the first to give me a sign that my focus has drifted elsewhere. Both at home and FoAM my green companions are a little in trouble. Caring for plants is not sufficient by just pouring some water from time to time. Dead leafs have to be removed, green ones wiped out clean, unneeded shoots cut off and so on. Well but people need even more attention: Faust having to go trough his first set of exams, while Jura swimming trough almost the last ones, Pieter facing some intense times at his almost not new anymore job, and a fast approaching festive season with present hunting… It is amazing how important it is to stay calm in such times. I often wonder what if i can't ? What if the darkness of the season gets to my bones too? And i feel it very closely this year. The fear and panic of not knowing how the next year will work out is present extremely closely. It is not easy to be pushing it away and telling your self that the transiency hasn't ended yet. There are still things to explore and search for. Luckily the autumn has been sunny and unusually dry. Sun really helps. It pushes me to pick up my camera and go outside. Focusing on the tiny bits of leaves, shadows and landscape line. It is more of a therapy than an art practice at this stage.

It was also an important month in the FoAM transiency. Even when all of the core team was in Brussels we didn't manage to meet for more in depth conversations. And even if we did, we were interrupted by many things to do in between. Like never before i had to remind my self one of the Open Space principles - “Whatever happens is the best thing that could have happend ”. It suited very well in the past month and helped to stay open. Finally we have taken maybe the most important decision at this time - to let go of the studio. It is a little sad and sentimental but very relieving as well. Now we just have to figure out the practicalities of it.

For my self i want to concentrate on working with several performing artists as mentor as well as investigate if i could get a grant or some funding to develop a “tool box” to guide a creative process for autistic people. I believe they have greater creative potential but most of the time they get thought primitive techniques for some simple activities rather than guiding them to think and create what their imagination tells them. So far my short interventions with the group in Geel has been immensely rewarding. We didn't do much. Most of the time just walking, stopping, observing, trying to talk about it. I had to realise that ordinary facilitation techniques don't work for such groups. There is no core to address to, its a group of individuals that has completely different relation to every little step you take. And all of their observations and feelings has to be noticed and accommodated. Nevertheless when a safe environment is created and the task is very clear they do play by the rules with enormous honesty and commitment. But what touches me most is the beauty of every person involved. Some of them are older and found some ways to deal with their shortcomings, some of them are just starting to understand how to be. It reminds me of an onion - when you break the peel you start crying by seeng the naked flesh of it. By talking to them i see the sadness and frustration but when they smile and finally look me in the eye i know it is not faked and equals a million smiles of the other people.

7 - 13 November

What a week! The autumn strongly announced its presence. It is cold and rainy and dark and wet and depressing…Feels like the working season is reaching its height. Everyone is super busy and showing each other colourful agendas.

I'm busy too. Too busy for a year of transiency you could say. Currently dealing with 3 different rentals. One of which is a total communication disaster… So bad that i think i've reached transition point. I don't want to deal with such things anymore… From next year on i wont do any catering for large groups. Rental only is complicated enough. On the other hand when things don't go well in some ways it motivates me to do my part even better than i ever thought i could. In this case i made sure that the food was so delicious and i was so nice to everyone that in the closing speech the facilitator bursted in tears when he mentioned the hosting, space and food.

Some positive things too. With a small Hosting group we went to the forest. I guided a short walk introducing different values that some trees stands for. Such as: Oak for traveling back in time and complexity, Hazelnut and Elder for magic and healing, Hornbeam for strength, Alder for Resistance and Future, Larch for simplicity and reproduction and Beech for fragility, beauty and caring. I like trees, i like stories about it and i like telling those stories. I see a potential for such walks working as group coaching or team building.

This is from the book “ The Secret Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben

“Why are trees such social beings? Why do they share food with their own species and sometimes even go so far as to nourish their competitors? The reasons are the same as for human communities: there are advantages to working together. A tree is not a forest. On its own, a tree cannot establish a consistent local climate. It is at the mercy of wind and weather. But together, many trees create an ecosystem that moderates extremes of heat and cold, stores a great deal of water, and generates a great deal of humidity. And in this protected environment, trees can live to be very old. To get to this point, the community must remain intact no matter what. If every tree were looking out only for itself, then quite a few of them would never reach old age. Regular fatalities would result in many large gaps in the tree canopy, which would make it easier for storms to get inside the forest and uproot more trees. The heat of summer would reach the forest floor and dry it out. Every tree would suffer.

Every tree, therefore, is valuable to the community and worth keeping around for as long as possible. And that is why even sick individuals are supported and nourished until they recover. Next time, perhaps it will be the other way round, and the supporting tree might be the one in need of assistance.


A tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it.”

For a few weeks i've been exploring the possibilities of my new old Nikon F4 and getting more familiar with the many buttons and what it can do. I like it. Very slowly we start to understand each other. I feel it is a beginning of a good and long relationship…

“Movies are made out of darkness as well as light; it is the surpassingly brief intervals of darkness between each luminous still image that makes it possible to assemble the many images into one moving picture. Without that darkness, there would only be a blur. Which is to say that a full-length movie consists of half an hour or an hour of pure darkness that goes unseen. If you could add up all the darkness, you would find the audience in the theatre gazing together at a deep imaginative night.” Rebecca Solnit “A field guide to getting lost”

For a while i've been taking photos from train windows. Last week i had to travel very early in the morning, just when the sun was coming up and light was not yet visible by the naked eye. This is my attempt to capture the feeling of slow transformation from darkness to light.

Some beautiful landscapes by Iris Hutegger. She found a brilliant way to merge photography and sewing

31 October - 6 November

In a poetic piece playing on Alice in Wonderland and titled A Map of Six Impossible Things, Iranian-born, Paris-raised, New-York-based writer Lila Azam Zanganeh, author of The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness, imagines:

“The impossible city is a city made of all cities. It is neither a city of the future nor a city of the past. It is a longing for the city. A city of stone and a city of glass. It is a city of spires and transparent abysses. A city of rivers streaming into an expanse of blue. It is a city of dubious beauty. Yet also a city of staggering beauty. A city of belfries harried by the screams of seagulls. A city of evergreen hills and lucid water. It is a city of children running down heaps of garbage. A city of drowsy bays and flying men and opal lakes. It is a city of sand and dunes, a city where the first and last human are covered in dust. It is a city of convents, fig-scented gardens and singing mounts. A city of redbrick castles with wide-open arms. It is a city of stone churches smelling of green water at sunup. A city of saints. It is a city of connecting islands. A city with only one weeping willow hunched over a promontory. It is a city of minarets and violet towers. A city of dreams long gone and lingering still. It is a city stippled with gold and yearning for the sun. It is all the cities you have seen and never seen. And it is the last city standing on the edge of the world, a second before the sun slips into the water.”

Oh Molenbeek!

This week i was truly inspired by something very simple and very human. I was giving two workshops, two days in the Castle of Karreveld followed by three days of conventional sessions for toddlers near Tour&Taxis. Due to an unexpectedly busy schedule i was looking for ways to cancel it. Thinking that it will tire me out and i wont be able to accomplish all i want to do this month. It did tire me out and i had lots of pain (mainly due to some bizarre shoe accident) but i also observed something very beautiful.

The first workshop was a walk-in activity were everyone just could pass by and do some simple paintings using pancake dough and old colourful spices. It was a great success. Pieter and I ended up with a logistic problem to accommodate everyone willing to sit at our table. Some kids didn't want to move and made one painting after the other. On the second day also the fathers joined in, it is so great to see adults playing with such simple stuff and having fun.

The second workshop was designed for very young kids (2,5-5 years) to explore sensory perception. We played with flour and soap, Cooked pasta and soup, Made birds out of green dough, danced, roared like animals and so much more. The group was both french and dutch speaking. So, a total mess you could say. But i had the most wonderful assistant. A young muslim boy (about 17 years old) who helped not only by translating but cared with so much love and commitment for the little ones, and me, that at some times i even questioned why do i get paid for this and not him? There was also two other young muslim boys assisting the workshop next door and they too were so unbelievably familiar, relaxed, sweet, caring, funny and so on…I was truly touched by them. Except for Jura i never experienced such a devoted assistance from youngsters. It breaks all the stereotypes that even i had.

After the Brussels attacks last spring there was so much talk about how such terror acts are an attacks on the western values. But seeing these boys and other muslim women working so passionately with the local youth i think exactly this community and its values got attacked and hurt much more. People who are constantly busy with making sure there are no walls between languages, ethnicity, religion, economical status and just quietly building bridges between all these families living in the same area. I'm very happy and honoured i could do a little thing among them as wel. I always felt that due to my limited knowledge of french i miss out on this direct interaction with such groups. Well now they speak dutch and english. So it is about time i make more effort to learn french as well…

24- 30 October

Before leaving to Bergen i spend a few days at home with my mother. Weather was good, light magical, colours precious. Mothers visits are becoming more frequent and everyone enjoys to have her around. I can have more quiet time to prepare for the travel without any stress. And even read a book.

Bergen is the city where rain made… It is a beautiful place but the rain!!!! Even my raincoat gave up after a day and a half and i ended up soaking wet constantly… Working with Eisa on “Host” is now a lot more relaxing. The piece holds itself and Eisa is finding more and more freedom to perform. What an amazing artist she is who pushes her self to the limits every single time.

Reading R.Solnit “A field guide to getting lost”. It is a good book to read in an unknown city. I could quote from almost every second page. So many nice things written in an honest and personal way.

17- 23 October

6 days in a row of space rental. This time in a completely different setting. First of all we had a full house. Two guests in the tower, 30 people in the space, a catering group in the kitchen, Ingrid having some of her meetings at FoAM, Jura coming and going with a bunch of her friends. It was buzzing… I kept a close eye on everyone to monitor the levels of happiness. Even with so many people and activities in the space it is possible to work on different things at the same time. I've noticed that good communication is vital. Every morning or evening i would inform everyone on what is happening where and what is there to be expected.

Secondly, this time the hosting of the space for most of the days i shared with our amazing Jura and with a helping hand of Ingrid. This setting and not having to cook made a huge difference. I had no back pain and could read a book quietly during the time in the studio. However on the days that the tasks where not shared i could not concentrate on anything more serious. Constantly keeping an eye on the guests is sometimes very boring and tiring.

This year i'm most visible person at FoAM studio. Therefor many demands and proposals comes directly to me. People get very surprised when i refuse to do something. Trying to explain what Doing Nothing means for us and why are we doing it is not easy. Mostly after the conversation they are convinced that what they are doing is very much related to what we are (not)doing and i must do something to collaborate in one or other way on their project too. When i explain that i might but not now because i'm also in transiency and will concentrate only on the activities that are related to that. They still don't understand why i wouldn't answer their questions, come to their meetings and so on… I think doing nothing or lying fallow needs as much discipline ( or even more) as doing something. It is very easy to give in and lose track of what is important.

10- 16 October

“How charming it would be if it were possible to cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably, and remain fixed on paper.” W.H. Fox Talbot

I'm reading about the times of the invention of photography. Many individuals where in search for similar things and many of them where driven by a similar frustration of not being (good enough) drawers or painters to portray their surroundings. The first printed picture was referred as “the first known instance of a house painting its own portrait”. I guess this year i'm driven by the similar force too. But instead of trying to portray natural accuracy i'm going for a total blend. I'm searching for pictures to achieve painting qualities by using textures and colours of the various films and clarity of the lens. The idea of letting the surroundings paint its own picture sounds very appealing to me at this time. Especially because i spend so much time in particular surrounding such as my house, garden, train and FoAM studio. The same objects, plants and people appears in my photos regularly. I'm not entirely happy with the results yet. But i like to work with the timing and movement that makes the scenery blend in colours and shadows. Somehow to me it associates with breathing patterns. Or maybe it is just a stepping stone for finally picking up the paintbrush… In any case i'm so grateful to have time to investigate it and try out all this.

I also want to experiment a lot more with the idea of a portrait. Reading about old methods where in order to be photographed a person had to paint it self white, sit for at least 15-30 min in the same position and put up with different lamps facing you gives me some ideas. It sounds like an cleansing ritual followed by a meditation. I'm preparing a series of workshop for young autistic people under the theme of self-portrait. While now the self portrait associates so much with an instant selfie i would like to try doing it the old way but using more up to date equipment and see what the result of that would be and what impact it would have on the person sitting for it.

Some works of long exposure portraits by Sebastian Palmer

3- 9 October

Looking at the calendar this week was the last more empty week before the intensive period will start. There are lots of upcoming rentals and a few travels on the horizon. Therefor i concentrated on being at home and spoiling the family. I set the challenge for my self to only cook things that i never cooked before. What a fun! Even the week is a very short time frame for such things the experiments in the kitchen sparked many conversations and laughter. We all agreed that by the end of the week we will take a vote for what can be made again, what has to be improved or never made again. The clear winner of the experiment was sweet potatoes stuffed with chickpeas. I promise to post the recipe when i'll improve it till perfection and have time to take pictures of it.

Also this week the weather got noticeably colder. It is time to bring all the plants back inside. But before doing that many of it had to be replanted. And once you start with that you end up with many baby/sister/brother/mother plants.

It has been a good summer and i have now so many plant siblings that Jura is selling or giving it away to all her friends. Perhaps opening plant a shop at some point in the future is not that far fetched.

The week ended in Brussels with a delightful design session for a ritual with Barbara, Maja and Ingrid. I like this kind of work. It is very creative, being able to build on each others ideas and something so meaningful as wel.

26 September- 2 October

A busy week. 4 coaching sessions including a group of Lithuanian enthusiasts that wants to organise series of cultural events in Brussels. I was avoiding such groups and activities for a long time. And perhaps that was a right thing to do. Because now we can talk about experimental and small formats, aesthetics and quality and it resonates with the needs of the group as well. It is nice to see such people getting more open and perhaps if it gets combined with their various experiences something nice will come out.

I spend this week playing around with my phone camera. I've got a clip on lens and installed a few new apps. It is lots of fun. I'm not yet sure how i feel about the results. Need to take some distance to evaluate it later.

19- 25 September

For the first time i've visited Geel and met the group of people that i want to do a project with. It is a group of young adults with autism and natuur punt. What a calm energy! So much fragility and honesty in the eyes. We talked very little. Just walked in the park looking at the butterflies and frogs and listening to information about the specific nature needs. After that we had a cake and talked about what we are good at and what we have difficulties with. It has been so long that i wanted to work with group like this. Lets see how the project will develop and will they get enough funds to support it but i'm sure i want to do something with them.

This week finally the FoAM Brussels team met up again. It has been about two months. Lots of things to catch up. Not only about the stories from summer holidays but also an intense experience of the Hosting Retreat from the last weekend. I fell sad that i couldn't participate but perhaps also good. Not sure i'm ready to deal with people related problems yet. I think this year i need to be selfish and only choose activities that gives something back. No more charity for a while :)

Also this week we had visitors Filastine and Nova. It felt like a residency. The FoAM studio got turned into the rehearsal space for their performance. We even had a chance to sit trough their general rehearsal before the concert in Liege. Nice experience. Felt like a wonderful FoAM thing. The week got finalised with FoAM Apero. It has been so long since last one. I really miss it…

One day it is summer and the next morning you understand it is gone. Autumn is here. It also means it is last chunk of time dedicated to the transiency. Time flies. Or is it only in our minds?

12- 18 September

a bit of sage for prosperity

a bit of cornflower for deeply blue sky

a bit of melissa for honesty

a bit of calendula for female balance

a bit of verbena for freshness

a pinch of lavender for intensity

a few petals of rose for beauty

a bit of mint for sharpness of thoughts

a bit of elder blossom for softness

a bit of rosemarie for good health

a bit of thyme for all good times

a squeeze of lemon for tears that never fell

a nub of honey for reassurance


5- 11 September

A full week in a new rhythm. Both our kids are going to school in Brussels. It means a very different schedule for them and for us. Waking up at 6:30h to prepare breakfast and lunch for Faust kind of messes up the whole day. I'm not an early bird, you could say. Such an early start makes me feel slow and lost. I guess after a while i will get used to it.

At FoAM I am mainly dealing with various rental requests. It looks like this autumn there will be a few longer events using our space. It is great. But I feel I have to put a limit on it as well, because it does consume lots of time and energy to manage it all. I still want to explore a few things on my own.

I bought a new photo camera. Well it is an old Nikon F4. I never had a device with so many buttons on it. I am Spending my days studying the manual and taking some shots. It is very exiting. Can't wait to see the results.

This year i've been investing lots of time in making bread. We have a bread making machine, but I find that bread made that way gets old very quickly and always tastes the same. I like the process of bread making a lot. Even i don't eat it so much myself I find it magic to experiment with different ways of mixing the dough and baking it.

This week i found maybe the most favourite recipe so far. It is inspired by Scandinavian so called 'night bread“:

2 glasses of flour (I use spelt but any kind of white flour will do)

1 glass of warm water

1 tea spoon of salt

1 spoon of brown sugar (I use honey in stead)

2 tea spoons of dry yeast

1 glass of mixture of seeds, nuts, raisins…

Put it all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with a spoon until all the ingredients are blended well together ( dough should stay liquidy). Transfer the dough into a bread form ( lined with paper if it is a metal or ceramic one), close the top well with plastic foil and place it into the fridge overnight or at least for 8H. Remove the foil and bake it in a non preheated oven at 150°c for about 1:30h.

29 August-4 September

Back to Belgium, back to home, back to FoAM, back to the routine of school work home. The intensity of the summer manifested in a new sort of physical pain. As I was very happy to be painless for a few weeks before I left on holiday, as much disappointed I felt now. Being absent for such a long time requires lots of attention to the things that i left “hanging”. First of all I had to deal with Parkdesign. The very well received proposal didn't get followed up by the person responsible. She has send information about the practicalities and new demands so late in august that I had no choice then to cancel the whole thing. I think festivals like Parkdesign are great, but perhaps it should be clearly stated in their mission that they wish to work with starting artist that have lots of time on their hands and don't mind “improvised” organisation. On the other hand i felt relieved. Still not ready to do anything public.

22-28 August

The abstract sound composer of the last century Varèse has once said ”…think of music as an arrangement of objects in space, and keep in mind how long it takes for any sound to travel through the hall.“ If i would paraphrase this sentence for dance and choreography it should sound something like this: Dance is an arrangement of metaphors in space that takes lots of time and invisible patterns for a body to travel trough.

I spend this week like a fairytale in the tower of Frankfurt. Living and working intensively with Eisa & co on the new piece that explores happiness in the context of Disney animation films and Disney theme parks.

Finally a hot summer week but almost the entire time spend indoors. I really didn't mind. The view from our rooms and studio was stunning. It felt like living and working above a buzzing city and seeing clearly hills on one side and forrest on the other. It was a dream week. Working in what it seems like a busy cultural institution. Due to an extra efficient german organisation, it allowed us to work uninterrupted by anyone else. We could choose when and how we wanted to work without any obligations to interact with the other artist groups present in the house at the same time. In fact we spend almost entire time with only 4 of us (Eisa and a new dance partner Josh, the composer Marc and me). We would start every morning at 10h with a discussion and more theoretical analysis of the subject and elements, set the frame work and goals for the day, go for lunch around 14h work more until 19-20h, go for dinner, have long conversations over a glas of wine in the kitchen, go to sleep. Do exactly the same the next day. And in the weekend i was joined by Pieter and Faust that came to see the open rehearsal. Working on something that you love, with people that are professional and interesting, concentrating only on one project, having lots of fun by improvising, not having pressure to define what the final result has to be, not needing to deal with any practical stuff made this week very precious.

I was asked again a few times about what exact involvement of mine is in this kind of work. And it is not easy to explain. In the dance world there are only a few job descriptions ( dancer, choreographer, dramaturg, mentor…) neither of which fits to what i do. But after this week it became a lot more clear how to describe it: I facilitate the creative process by helping the artist to analyse the chosen topic, extracting clear elements and clustering ideas. Next to this i create a frame work where all of the above can be explored more deeply and translated onto the body work. Once the dance vocabulary and choreographic patterns/strategies are established i help to polish off the movement details keeping a close eye that it still corresponds with the topic discussed.

Apparently this kind of work in the dance world it is very new and no one else is doing it like that…

18 July- 21 August

A full month in Lithuania.

It has started with an extremely intensive and complex week in Panevezys where i facilitated a project called Migrating Birds. The aim of this project is to bring a divers group of people together to create ideas and projects to revive the city where the project is held. These goals where achieved, projects created and participants inspired. But the small group of organising team that we were was left with a bitter taste and completely drained of our energy. My colleague that agreed to assist me wasn't familiar with the methods i was using and was stressing out all the time.The second assistant who was suppose to help out had to concentrate on other issues that appeared after being too generous to accommodate many wishes of the participants. I was mostly left alone with a lot larger group than agreed and deal with the problems that i had not much experience with (such as writing press reports and so on…). On top of all this during the week we realised how complex the topic we are working with is. The city that after independence became ruled by mafia gangs, 3 very large industry sectors collapsed and got abandoned, cultural life that lived only on the legends of a few intellectuals that past away years ago and even a river that sometimes runs backwards against its current… We knew this before we arrived but we couldn't estimate beforehand how deeply these problems still are rooted in the daily life of the citizens. The mafia behaviour that in the 90-s had a clear visible “dress code” now is hidden underneath the black suits and still so powerfully present in the daily city life. How much energy it took for us to keep everyone calm and not start fighting! Well we kept it all under control… Or almost under control. But the last evening blood was spilled… and the largest quantity on the mayors jacket. Such a painful reality check…

As part of my transiency i can only say i managed to facilitate the whole event on my own. From the initial design to the implementation and even graphic documentation that proudly found its place and the main room of Touristic Office of the city. All methods and exercises worked well and gave me a lot more confidence to do this in some less complicated circumstances. Also it is essential to remember to be strict with organisers about things we agreed upon ( number of participants, extra activities, help needed…) And most importantly measure well the energy spend vs getting back.

On a plus side this week i visited one of the abandoned factories Ekranas. I feel very sorry that i couldn't spend more time there in the complete vastness. The space is huge and so empty like a set for cinema. The light traveling trough the space from one side to another makes a dance with the shadows.

After that the holiday followed. But it seemed as if all the good weather was spend on the week in Panevezys and all we had left was only dark clouds, rain and low temperature. I was not ready to socialise and meet lots of people as i usually do during the visits in Lithuania. So instead of settling somewhere we traveled around without seeing too many human beings. One of the top destinations was a city of Visaginas. It was built as a town for workers engaged in the construction of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (exact replica of Chernobyl). According to a few websites Visaginas is seen as a perfect example how to build a green city from scratch. Originally planned to be shaped like a butterfly with lots of interconnecting bicycle and walking paths, green squares and a surrounding pine forrest, this city still has a feel of some kind of health resort.

It is a city- museum. I never been in city build only in Soviet style. The development of it stopped after decision to close nuclear power plant was taken. So it is really unspoiled and feels like traveling back in time. Even people still dress the same.

Another very nice trip was visiting Liepaja in Letland. A small city on the coast of the Baltic sea that survived the war without too much damage. Wooden architecture so nice and warm and almost no people on the streets.

11-17 July

Perhaps the most busy week of the transiency so far. I mentored two people (two sessions each). One of them insisted to have a few session during his Europe visit. I never advised a person that i knew so little about before. I felt it was a risk to go for it and unfortunately i was right…First of all this person didn't know what to expect from the sessions and perhaps thought just being there is enough. That meant working energy had to come only from me. And perhaps this is how paying client-mentor relationship is, but for me it was only a very good test to see if i'm ok to advise someone that i don't feel connected too or i see that the person is not doing much to advance.In this case growing was not there… Another set back about it was a simple task this person had to do to cover his stay at FoAM. He had to paint a wall in the kitchen. When i sow the result (it was really not good) i understood that maybe it should be a test to do before i agree to mentor someone or not. You paint a wall carefully and well- i'll advise you, if the result is otherwise - goodbye…

Next to mentoring i had a few meetings and a few other things to finish up before i leave on holidays. We also had a short catch up dinner with Maja and Nik. I think i did expect to have more “transiency” talks with them during these months of laying fallow.I'm ok not to have them but do miss them. Especially Friday aperos. I catch myself thinking on what would i tell during our weird and serious conversations and what would i get in the return. This link would be definitely on the list

In the beginning of my transiency i made a list of things i want to do this year. One of the things was going to see exhibitions and shows. So far i failed this part big time. Only the last week that i managed to see one exhibition and one opening. To be honest i realise that i don't want see anything (or very little) at the time. Having time to spend alone has been a lot more rewarding than socialising.

In the mean time the garden has left a yellow/blue faze and entered light pink/purple one. Among which flowering at this time is one of my favourite - echinacea. I've been spending as much time as possible butterfly spotting. It is nice to say that i've counted more than 10 different species by just sitting in one spot.

04-10 July

I've started this week with a long weekend living with the family @FoAM studio. I think this year i've used the studio most. As we had agreed with the core team one of the experiments for this year would be “inhabiting the studio”. So far i enjoyed all the privileges the studio can offer. I've led here 4 workshops with kids, had mentoring sessions, stayed over night when needed, met friends for lunch, cooked for renting organisations, rehearsed with the group of musicians for the NMi event, danced by my self when no one was here… It is a great great place with lots of possibilities and good infrastructure. When it is not used by too many people it is not so demanding to take care of it. Problems starts when you have to walk around looking for things where someone could have put things or not… The space was also used by our daughter and her friends when they would go out in Brussels. It is good to see youngsters feeling very exited and inspired by their surrounding.

Second half of the week i've spend working on the upcoming event in Lithuania called Migrating Birds. This year i have a lot more complicated role than usual with lots of pressure and high expectations. I will have to facilitate a group of people to create prototypes and projects to revive the city of Panevezys. All would be perfectly ok but this week i understood that organisers has no idea what 'm talking about when i say “open space” or “world cafe” and so on… I have to explain every little thing… which is not alway easy to translate to Lithuanian…and being far away makes it even more complicated. In Lithuania almost all work is done by meeting f2f or by phone and not email. This way it is extremely difficult to keep everyone in the group informed about what is happening and make sure there are no misunderstandings. Written communication is very slow and many people don't know how to use it. After long negotiations we have managed to agree upon general flow and schedule that has to be sent to the participants. I'm sure all will be fine when i will be there.

As for now it is time to enjoy sunshine.

27 June-03 July

A week of turbulence and emotions. While the summer is having a major difficulty to come trough the tick layer of rain (wettest June in years!!!) people are getting desperate for warmth. Almost everyone around me is emotional about almost everything. The feeling of doubt is in the air. Many practical things took a lot more of my attention than i anticipated. End of the school year, parental meetings, making choice about further studies of our son, exams and exhibition of our daughter, helping out with 50 wedding anniversary of parents in law and so on and so on…

On the on the other hand i finally started to work on something that i had in mind since Borrowed Scenery. I want to make a series of portraits and match people with plants. It is also my first steps in Photoshop world. I have lots of doubts about that too… Here is the first attempt.

20-26 June

Every year when June is turning towards second half i promise to my self next year to remember how hectic it gets. The stress of the end of the school year for kids disturbs your life completely. You can try to ignore it or go with their flow it still exhausts you…

I've agreed to have a meeting this week and then 2 other heavy and long meetings sneaked in… People left smiling and happy as always, but because i'm not use to have long talks at this time i had a headache for a few days.

On a plus side i received a few propositions for projects post 2017. That sounds exiting but also a bit scary. Mainly because i feel i might lose my focus if i do to many unrelated things. The same goes for energy. If i only concentrate on bits and pieces i will be spending more time on preparation, logistics and traveling rather then doing something that is more coherent and continuing where you can plan empty time in it…

In Lithuanian mythology summer solstice is representation of merging of two major powers: fire and water. This year the earth is swamped by water. Raining almost the entire week. So much that we didn't even feel like making a bonfire. The nature is out of balance you might say… It is also seen as a week when the time stands still. After 29th of June it is said that the Sun is jumping back and starting to make days shorter. Magic is in the air. You can really feel it.

13-19 June

This week started with a heavy rental/catering tasks. This time it was very complicated logistic challenge. The organisers ignored my advise not to except more then 40 people. It became a large gathering of 55 participants. And for that i was juggling non stop with cups, plates and spoons trying to make sure there is always enough of it to be used.

I've concentrated on the renting activity at FoAM this first half of the year as the experiment to see how much money could the space bring. We still have to count all up but i'm sure we are far from making this activity to pay for the full rent of the studio. Realistically it would mean to host such a two days rental ( multiple days are always more profitable) ones a week. If it is only me working on this it means that i need at least 2 days rest afterwards. That leaves only one day a week (that is if we don't count weekends) that i could have energy to do something els. Also it is not sustainable to do it alone. What if i get ill or have a family emergency? At the moment there was a few times already that i had to reject people because i was doing something els. Most of the hosting tasks can be performed by a student or a young person for a small fee. Because if everything is agreed and organised with the rental group there is not so much to do. Most important that someone has to be in the studio all the time (this time i had to stay in from 8-22h!) and take care of the coffee breaks.

Remaining days of the week i spend sitting in the wet garden and staring at the plants. Something like this

6-12 June

After “inner fermenting” of last week this week i had a burst of energy that i didn't experience for a long time. Not only i painted our bedroom and made new curtains and some pieces of clothing, somehow i also crystallised ideas about some projects i've been thinking for a few years. The plants and tree walk got very simple and clear format in my mind. I want to guide a walk in the nature (preferably barefoot and very early in the morning before dew falls on the leaves) by telling short myths about plants and trees and every “station” combine with a simple activity like singing,observing leaves, making a small drawing and so on. I've proposed this project for Parkdesign and it got excepted right the way. How does this connect with laying fallow? For past years i've been dragging some ideas behind me but never taking steps putting it on display. Therefor having more time to think about it it makes sense to me that i should also try to do this project in real as a try out. And if it doesn't work well to develop it further.

And it is funny how when you start one thing all the others just follow.Last week i've received several propositions for collaborations. Even as far stretched as invitation to mentor a young artist in San Francisco. He will be passing by Brussels this summer and then we will see how it goes.

Another observation- having a week of complete quiet is more than great. It give space to explore different thoughts without having to concluded anything. But it also makes me understand how much i like to work. I really do. And i am putting all my hearth and energy into it. And perhaps even getting addicted to the process and action of it… So for me it is essential to make sure i plan weeks of nothingness all year trough it.

The week ended with the gathering of Hosting community. It is not alway easy to imagine where are we going and what are we making but meeting this group of women has a very particular way of inspiring, supporting, comforting each other and generate very particular energy.Are we aiming to go to high with trying to describe our projects and community as the whole? Maybe just having these gatherings of energy exchange is already a very strong steppingstone for whatever everyone of us does? But maybe this is only my doubting mind talking…

With the storm pulling acacia blossom bare and peonies lifting their majestic heads Spring has to give its space to Summer. It has been a great spring. With lots of turbulence, pride and beauty. But it always goes so fast that when its over i feel sorry that i couldn't capture all of it. Well maybe next year better…

30 May-5 June

This week i can tell more of what i didn't do than what i did.

I didn't take a train ( there was a strike of public transport)

I didn't leave my home/garden for 7 days ( the weather was really bad too).

I didn't talk to anyone els than my family.

I didn't write emails except for 2 emails concerning rental. In fact i almost managed not to open my computer at all.

I didn't take almost any pictures ( with the rain and storms the light didn't look right)

I didn't use electricity for almost one entire day (due to the extreme amount of water falling down our electrical system gave up…)

I've spend most of the time sleeping, reading, researching topics that i just read about,trying out a new set of physical exercises, having coffee or tea in the garden even if it rained, drying rose petals, making elderflower syrup, cooking nice dinners and so on…

I have to say after week like this my head is so empty and light that i can hear radishes growing and clouds passing by…

23-29 May

As one of the last “must do” things for FoAM this year is hosting and catering for the events. This time almost the entire week. No mater how well i prepare for thees things there is always the unexpected present. This time is the Internet failure. Not our fault but how to explain that to the clients? And how to avoid high costs of letting them to use my phone connection as a hotspot? Another thing that strike me - as more “resilient” and “holistic community” based people guiding their events at FoAM as harder it is for them to except me as a person and not as a job title (in this case coffee lady or a cook). By some reason it is very hard to believe that person that serves coffee and food can be worth talked to normally and not treated like a lower thing…The opinion does change after two or three days…Interestingly it almost never happens with people from EU commission or elsewhere. I wonder why?

On the other hand this week i took lots of pictures from the train in the early morning. A moving line of the landscapes. There is something magic about those horizontal lines…

Some moving landscape pictures i double exposed with plant shots

16-22 May

Spring really is my season. Vibrant colours, explosions of scent, eyes piercing hundreds shades of green.

Stand in the middle of the garden

Breath in all the sweet scent until you lungs expands till maximum

Stretch you arms side ways and turn the hand palms upwards

Close your eyes and keep you breath till you feel dizzy

Breath out and let all you worries go

Then pick up one leave of lady's mantel and wash your face with morning dew.

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9-15 May

Last days of Kunst in de Keuken. It has been a very pleasant trajectory with both classes. It is difficult to measure the success in such things and i can't even imagine how much impact it does on the kids.The only measure i can see is the personal attachment of them to me and their engagement in the activities. To end the trajectory both classes met at FoAM. 39 kids + 3 teachers and us 3 hosts of the workshops.This time i involved Ingrid for the first time. It worked very well. She brought a new angle to the activities and helped to finalise all my talks about ecological side of food production and our eating habits.

And now i feel i can really dive into the transiency. No more engagement with concrete projects.I can choose from day to day what to do with my time. Still looking forward to be completely free from the emails. At the moment it is still necessary to follow up rentals and so.I have the impression that rentals are picking up.There are more requests and curiosity.

The week ended with a nice and easy lecture workshop about complexity with Julian Still.It brought back some memories of two or three years ago. He came then to give a talk about systemic constellations and as an example we did an exercise on FoAM network.I remember how it made us all at FoAM BXL think about heaviness and responsibility misbalance within the network. But thinking back now i feel many things are changing towards something good. Somehow our complex organisation is becoming more transparent, honest and lighter.

2-8 May

Every year around this time our old cherry starts blossoming. I can't resist sitting under it and reading trough A.Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. He is not my favourite Russian writer but it suits very well with the setting. Also the Cherry Orchard describes beautifully times of change.

“Perhaps man has a hundred senses, and when he dies the five senses that we know perish with him, and the other ninety-five remain alive… Everything that is unattainable for us now will one day be near and clear…”

“All you ancestors were serf owners, owners of living souls. Do not human spirits look out at you from every leaf and stem?”

“Going to see plays isn't what you people should do. Try looking at yourselves a little more often and see what grey lives you all lead. How much of what you say is unnecessary.”

“But if we reason it out simply and not try to be one bit fancy, then what sort of pride can you possibly take or what's the sense of ever having it, if man is poorly put together as a physiological type and if the enormous majority of the human race is brutal, stupid, and profoundly unhappy?”

“I know exactly the potential of the people around here. They have the potential to lie. They have the potential to deceive. They have the potential to inveigle. They’ll change nothing. Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I lie awake thinking, my God! We have so much. We have these huge forests. We have boundless open fields. We can see the deepest, furthest horizons. Look around you. Look. We should be giants. We really, really aren’t.”

“A hungry dog believes in nothing but meat.” A. Checkov “Cherry Orchard”

25 April-1 May

My mother is visiting us. She is here already for a third week. It is great! Finally i have more time to spend with her as wel. Talking about old times and other family members. There is always a new twist or details to the stories that we talked about hundred times. It takes time to look at things from the perspective.

My mother is soon to be 70. She represents the generation that was building “the bright future” of Communism and then lost everything that they lived for…Savings, habits, security… Walking with her in different Belgian cities i notice how unsure she feels about her self. Even the obvious things she questions if she got it right. And she still doesn't dare to just walk into the cafetaria and order a cup of coffee…as if she doesn't deserve it…

The ghosts of Sint Pieters Church Gent

18-24 April

Working with Eisa on Host again.Such a complex piece to perform. It seems the build up of this work will never end. There is always new details, aspects of performing coming up. As much as i like working with movement and narratives on stage as much i dislike dealing with incompetence of technical team. Can't understand why can't they enjoy of creating something beautiful together with us. Instead there is always resistance, negotiations about things that can be fixed so easy yet you have to fight for it… The top of this time :“No the white beach chairs are not ok for this setting”….

Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone. As if life were a progressive and cunning crime with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array; the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice You must note the way the soap dish enables you, or the window latch grants you freedom. Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity. The stairs are your mentor of things to come, the doors have always been there to frighten you and invite you, and the tiny speaker in the phone is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation. The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last. All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

— David Whyte

from Everything is Waiting for You ©2003 Many Rivers Press

Thank you Bart for this excerpt.

11-17 April

An emotional week. Painting the colours in the room of my son into the the plane white walls. It started as a very practical thing to do but with every stroke of brush it became a sort of ritual of saying goodbye to the childhood of the boy.

This week made me understand how much i dislike organising multiple events at the same time.At the moment it's annoying to read and respond to so many emails concerning matters that has nothing to do with each other. I unconsciously avoiding emailing…On the other hand i enjoy so much on concentrating on a few activities. This week i gave two workshops for two classes. Very different yet so much reward when kids leave the space with dirty hands but inspired and smiling.

04-10 April

28 March-03 April

Goodbye darkness of march and welcome colours of april. There is something magic about the spring. In Lithuanian language plants budding is called “sprogsta” which means exploding. To me it is very accurate expresion of what is happening in the nature.

It has been a month and a bit of our transiency. I have to admit it flue by extreemly quickly and i still have a feeling my transiency didn't start yet. Even it is not so much happening at FoAM Bxl (i'm only engaged in teaching in two schools and taking care of the studio) very often i get a feeling of panic that i'm forgetting to do something. The only remedy for that is to stand up and persui all those experiments i've been putting away or never taking time to document it…

This spring i was playing around with letting the scraps of food grow. My window cill is accommodated by different jars with peaces of various plants: halves of onions, pieces of ginger, bottom bit of celery and so on.Not every plant succeeded in getting new roots and letting out new green leaves. But those that did look very weird, fragile and beautiful.

After a few months of waiting finally the book by Matthew Biancaniello “Eat your drink” has arrived. Lots of new interesting stuff to try out and new ideas of what can be done. I'm also wondering why i still don't have a blog or any other way of documenting all those recipes i invent?

Continuing playing with the cameras. Plants and moving:

21-27 March

04-20 March

Back at school for Kunst in de Keuken. This year in the planning i get less time than usual.We work around the theme of Time/Timing/Timer. Ironically i can say we don't have enough time to play around.This week we've made filters from transparent packaging leftovers and took portraits. The idea is to try to film trough it next week. Fingers crossed we'll manage our time well.

Visited FoAM Amsterdam. Wonderful to be a visitor and a tourist. Amazed with the community gardens of Theun. Hearing all the stories of the progress trough out the years and now seeing it in real i can appreciate the process of it even more.

Some results of the long exposure and double exposure. Note to my self in digital photos i still miss sharpness,texture and not happy with colours.With analog i need to find light balance between layers.

07-13 March

A week away to the dark cold wet and spring nowheretobeseen Lithuania.

Facilitated two events :

-Community building in a city of Panevezys that lost the city rights.

-Mapping out future plans of an ongoing event Migruojantys pauksciai.

As a reflection i was thinking how great it was to have Hosting Craft crash cours thought by Maja. Even i didn't think i have a talent for facilitating groups or events on my own, now it is so much easier to improvise with different methods and yet keep everyone on track and achieve results that i was asked for.

On the other hand last week was constantly surrounded by few people. I seem to attract them to tell their problems to me.I do try to avoid it but from time to time it gets to me… Coming back i feel i absorbed so many troubles that my body is aching day and night. And this time for sure not because i was doing to much, but because troubles of the others found the way inside of me…

Feb 29-March 6

Reading “The rest is noise” by Alex Ross.

Ones again amazed by the turbulence in the arts and society at turn of the 20th century. So many new directions, chaos, disputes, sense of apocalypse.Such a strong necessity to relate to different spiritual movements. This book is also filled with the musical anecdotes: “The joke went around that Webern had introduced the marking Pensato:Don't play the note, only think it.”


Gather all the necessary material for film development with coffee.

Working with long exposure. Also digital with canon and fuji.

Shooting first layer of Lomography purple for double long exposure experiment.


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