No pictures? No movies? No funny animations and nothing interactive... only plain text?
That’s right, on this website you will find neither a C.V. nor extensive documentation, photographs and videos of all the projects, performances and artworks that I have made over the course of the past forty-five years. Let me explain why.
People of my generation are likely to be the last whose lives are not recorded down to the last detail. It is a phenomenon of our times that everyone has plunged themselves into, documenting pretty much every detail of their experience. From birth video to funeral speech, nothing is left unrecorded and it is only a matter of time before each and every one of us have our existence preserved in its entirety – every step counted, every action registered, every experience stored, every sensation shared – forever with everybody.
Until now, humanity has had to make do with a limited number of fragments, snippets and scraps concerning merely the most notable people and the most memorable events, but before long we will have access to a dataset comprising all the activities and all the experiences of all mankind.
This data – be it voluntarily relinquished, secretly purloined by businesses, or brazenly collected by governments – will comprise an unimaginable amount of information about everyone’s doings, and this efficient accumulation of knowledge about ourselves and our place in the universe will, without doubt, radically and irrevocably alter that very place.
Personally, I do not wish to participate in this great evolutionary leap forwards. I do not wish to exist for all eternity as a speck of information in a clod of data. I prefer instead to simply sink in a sea of oblivion. And so I have begun to erase my digital footprint by removing from the internet all information about myself and my work.
The aim of this new project is simple: when you type my name into a search engine you will find only a single link – to this website. The archive of all my work can only be found in the secure, non-public section of the site, hosted on the server in a cupboard on my balcony. Upon my demise, this server will be disconnected from the internet and I hope that my next of kin will subsequently bury it in some remote spot.
In other words, I have absolutely no desire to share anything whatsoever with posterity. Nonetheless, I am happy to participate in exchanges and share experiences with the living. So, I hereby invite anyone who is curious about my work, or who would like to talk more about the ideas behind this new project, to invite me for a cup of coffee. And for anyone who is genuinely interested, I might even provide access to the digital archive.
Other people will have to make do with the accounts of some conversations I had with myself in the run-up to this new project, or take a look at the few works of art that I offer here without the involvement of a gallery. Obviously, these cannot be expected to endure for eternity either, doomed to become dust, but until then, you could still enjoy them – for a reasonable price that is...
M: +31 6 1226 3331
12 August 2020
Taking the websites of all my own projects offline is almost ready. At the request of a few users, one large project has not yet been deleted.... more »
29 September 2020
Apparently, I am not the only one who likes to brood on the futility of things. In a fine column in the NRC, Maxim Februari quotes the poet Percy... more »