Categories for My story

This is art

The thesis i wrote at the end of art school surfaced a few weeks ago. It has been lying on my desk since then. Sometimes i pick it up and browse through it. De Nieuwe Zakelijkheid. The New Professionalism. It’s main subject are the strategies used by several artists to deal with the continuous stream of criticism written by professional critics who try to fit the new art in the approved history of modern art. Jeff Koons, Gran Fury and the Guerilla Girls are the artists discussed.

Paradoxically, nothing more clearly reveals the logic of the functioning of the artistic field than the fate of these apparently radical attempts at subversion. Because they expose the art of the artistic creation to a mockery already annexed to the artistic tradition by Duchamp, they are immediately converted into artistic ‘acts’, recorded as such and thus consecrated and celebrated by the makers of taste. Art cannot reveal the truth about art without snatching it away again by turning the revelation in an artistic event.

Source: The end of art theory, Victor Burgin, 1986

The introduction gives a global overview of the development of art in the twentieth century. In Western Europe art used to make visual creations made in assignments by the church, royalty and merchant organizations and families. Photography, film and graphic design have taken over these functions of art. Art has settled in its diminished field of use and stated that its core feature is an essential lack of usefulness and applicability.

Ai Weiwei, 1957

I have written my thesis in 1991. Reading it back, it feels like there hasn’t changed that much. Of course, some things did. There is the internet. Digital photography. Wars. New young music artists. New writers. New television shows. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat.

But change? Real, profound change? I’m not so sure.

I started a job in September 1994. I thought about it for a weekend. Things weren’t going that well. I didn’t like the art world in Rotterdam. I didn’t like the talking and mingling. In that weekend i knew i was going for something new, something i didn’t know the end of. I said yes to the job.

After five years i was exhausted and decided to leave. I did get another job. By that time i was making work online. Started 1 July 1997, now twenty years ago. I love the immediacy of the medium. I love the techniques. Gifanimations. Photos. Little games. Flash! I loved it!

At some point i stopped getting inspired. Things weren’t going that well. I withdrew. I started playing World of Warcraft. I didn’t see any of my old friends for eight years or so. Towards the end i did see some eventually. A bit.

For two and three quarter years i have been working again, since October 2014. To me, it has been the greatest gift i could have ever given myself. I still remember sitting in the train going to the center of the Netherlands, looking around me at all the people sitting there, busy with their smartphones, reading a book or staring at the fields passing by outside. Sometimes a conversation started. Jaap with his Rubik’s Cube.

Now i’m here. Sitting in front of my computer, typing these words. Sounds from the outside drift in. A moped. Cars. The tram. People talking, making sounds. It is clouded. Summer.

I kept on learning my entire life. I finally found the courage to do things i had only dreamed of before. Giving away my drawings to Green Gartside is one of those things. Something i feel so happy with. It is hard to believe. But my life is not a stop or go story. Even the years i didn’t work, i was still learning. The years i tried, i failed, i stopped, i cried, all those years are special to me. This is my life.

This doesn’t make it more important to you. You, my dear reader. Each and everyone of us lives his or her own life. To each and everyone of us our experiences make our own life, our experiences are what shapes our believes, our hopes, our despairs. It is very difficult for each and everyone of us to make a link to someone else and share our believes, our hopes, our despairs.

This is art.

The photos with this post are artists. World famous artists. At the start of this post there is a famous work by Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007. I truly admire this work. I truly admire Ai Weiwei. I’m a bit more apprehensive about Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. But i do think their work says a lot about the world we live in today. Their work is important.

This website,, is this art?

My website,, is not a commodity. It only exists because i keep on working on it. Making a post five times a week. The work is hard to sell. It is hard to exhibit in a museum or art gallery.

To me, that doesn’t matter. What i want to do is to show you photos i made, photos i found, talk to you about the garden, about thoughts i have about the world. I don’t need to exhibit this work anywhere. It is already out there. Ready for you to visit.

This is my work. I don’t care what other people think. This is my work. It takes all my time. And i am not letting it go.

I do hope you will find something here which interests you. Something to lighten up your day. Something to make you smile. Something to make you think.

And yes, to me, this website, this blog, this is art.

Most definitely.

Published on June 30, 2017 at 6:00 by

My life

I have been writing about my life on this website. Most of them are in the category My Story. Some are about my work, some are about my dreams, some are about sex, my possible futures.

One is about my father.

Several are about my memories and more memories.

Two are about the contactsheets i made at art school.

One is about the Scritti Politti gig i went to last year, 5 February 2016.

Another post is about how i feel. Many others are as well. Me trying to be as honest as i can be. My dreams, again, and my fight with them.

Ultimately, an empty life. Which is true.

Ending up with the truth. For now anyway.

I have said it here before, i love this place.

I really do.

Published on June 28, 2017 at 6:00 by

The truth

The truth. These words mean so many different things to all different people. Here, i can only write about the one truth i’m familiar with. My truth.

The truth of my life. My life as i have been leading it for the past fifty three years. I have made many mistakes. I have learned from most of them. Some because i was told i had done a wrong thing. Others because i experienced doing something not quite right. I have also done some things right. I have been careful. I am sensitive, easily hurt, taken away by a thought. So yes, i have been careful. I will rather be alone then with people i feel uncomfortable with. I like to be on my own. Listening to music. Reading a book. Sitting at my balcony and stare up to the sky. Watch some television. I enjoy that.

I do like to think about the world. I don’t follow all the news, but i do like to keep up. There are many other things besides the news which tells you something about the state of the world. I am an optimistic person. But i do understand why some people fail to see the good side of the world.

I do think there is something wrong in the world. It is the people getting used to lies, untruths, deception. People becoming used to not trusting others. People saying something and meaning something else. Not even because they want to lie, it is because they don’t feel the difference. They assume this is how the world works. Saying something because it is your job, for instance. Saying something because you want other people to believe you. To get something back. Money. Power. Status.

In this Western Europe, in the Netherlands, this country i live in, i am falling through. I try to catch something to stop my fall, something to hold me up. I have only a few weeks left over. Not that i’m anticipating the worst then. I still have the value of my house, which i bought twenty two years ago. I can monetize that, of course. But it is not the way i want to go.


I still want it. I still want to get famous. I still think i can keep up with the pressure put on you in that situation. Yes, i need friends. Most importantly, i need a boy friend. To keep me sane. To cuddle with. To love.

People around me, people who i have talked with, about this subject, tell me i’m crazy. It will never happen. Never. Two people have said that. Of the people who only think that and don’t tell me, i don’t know how many of those there are.

Everybody leads its own life. The life they know, they grew up in. The experiences they had, which shaped their world. I tried to fit in. For years. Desperately. Until i stopped.

So i have given up working. Or at least, given up looking for it. I won’t say no if somebody asks me to do something. But hardly anyone asks. I have said it last week, in the About post, this website, maintaining it, writing the posts for it, that is my work. Honestly. Five days a week. With at the most five weeks of holiday a year. I do need to find a way to make money with it, of course. I don’t want ads. I don’t have enough visitors for that anyway. So becoming famous would be a way.

I enjoy the conversations i have with the people in the garden. They are feisty. Most of the time people don’t agree with me. But it is fun. Enjoyable. And i do learn about things i don’t know enough about. Taxes. Anarchy. Weeds. Compost. Flowers. Worms. And so on. I love that.

But i want to stick to my story. The story of my life. Which isn’t finished yet. I have only been working in the garden for a year and two months. I do feel i need to bring something out in fruition. Something in me.

So this post is a part of that feeling. Me trying to bring something out. Not for someone else, but for me. Because i feel my life will not be complete without it.

The truth of my life. Simple words. As i am sitting here, listening to the sounds of neighbours, the noises of cars and trams on the streets, this truth does escape me often.

No, this is not the right time. Not yet. I don’t feel a thought in myself coming up. But i am still happy, thinking, feeling where i am.

Have a good weekend. Salute!

Published on June 23, 2017 at 6:00 by

A warm Sunday

A really hot Sunday. I did go to the garden, i did a bit of work, some weeding, picking red berries, but i also spend a lot of times sitting or lying on the couch in the shadow, talking with the other people. About Islam, the Koran, the bible – my add to the conversation – terrorism, countries and their dividing of violence and power. About Mars once more, i still objected to the thought of going there in 20 years or so, about artificial intelligence, to which i listened, i had some remarks in my mind, but didn’t speak them out.


I spend time this evening, since i’m home again, thinking. Thinking about the talks, about what i said, about what i felt, what i didn’t say. And also feeling that it isn’t the place to talk high and mighty. There is never a place to talk high and mighty, first of all. I hope i’m not the person to talk like that. But i should talk and join these conversations. But it is always hard, because people say things, and behind what they are saying are so many thoughts they don’t say, but which are still there.

And i’m still working on it. Working on what i want to say, what i want to express here. This place, all my own. This place where i feel free. This place where i can say anything i want. This place which i have made my own over the past two years and five months.

Earlier this evening i read an article The empty brain.

Worse still, even if we had the ability to take a snapshot of all of the brain’s 86 billion neurons and then to simulate the state of those neurons in a computer, that vast pattern would mean nothing outside the body of the brain that produced it. This is perhaps the most egregious way in which the information processing metaphor has distorted our thinking about human functioning. Whereas computers do store exact copies of data – copies that can persist unchanged for long periods of time, even if the power has been turned off – the brain maintains our intellect only as long as it remains alive. There is no on-off switch. Either the brain keeps functioning, or we disappear. What’s more, as the neurobiologist Steven Rose pointed out in The Future of the Brain (2005), a snapshot of the brain’s current state might also be meaningless unless we knew the entire life history of that brain’s owner – perhaps even about the social context in which he or she was raised.

We are not computers. We do not store information data in data banks. We do not access data banks.

We are human beings. We think in emotions, feelings.

I think in conversations with people i know, or complete strangers, or people i hardly know. I think in posts on this blog. I think in falling in love. I think in walking. I think in the sun shining, the rain falling.

When i think about my past, i think about the people who were my friends. I think about some moments which are standing out for me. The Saturday i made my drawings. The Tuesday after that when i bought Songs to Remember in the shop Haddock. I remember going through the records in that shop. A bit dark. I wasn’t looking for it, but i simply came across it. And i was excited, i remember that. I remember going on my bike back home, excited. And playing the record. Which i loved. I don’t know why i threw the I Ching when the Sweetest Girl came by. I was sitting on the floor, before a chair. And i didn’t believe it. No way. Of course not. That would be insane. Truly insane. But i never forgot about it. And i still don’t get it completely. I still wonder about it.

And i don’t think i ever talked about this with friends. I mentioned bits and pieces. But i never explained the whole thing. Which was engraved in my mind. I was hiding it away. Embarrassed. Ashamed.

And i tried to live on. I tried to make it work. And i always failed. I didn’t find a group of friends. I didn’t find the love of my life. I didn’t get children. I remember crying over that, ten years ago, something like that. It’s not that it is the one thing i really want. But i wouldn’t have said no either. But no. Nothing.

And i don’t get it. I know i did many things wrong. I made many mistakes. But don’t we all? And i did learn from every mistake i made. I’m trying so hard to get my life back together. And now my money is running out. I get emails from companies saying they cannot get money from my account, because it is empty. And i don’t fucking care. I’m not stopping. I am going forward. Absolutely.

Because what is my life worth if i stop? What if i go back to work? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I’d rather die. Truthfully.

It is difficult.

Sorry, i’m sitting here in front of my computer trying to get myself together. Calm myself a bit.

Well, this is enough for a post, for now. Maybe i will add a bit more tomorrow. Not sure. I’m gonna leave it.

The last word isn’t said yet.

Published on June 19, 2017 at 6:00 by


Why is this world now as it is?

Why are we humans as we are?

We are born. A baby. In a family. We have luck. Or no luck at all. We grow up. We adjust. We respond. We think. We go to school. More thinking. We work. We like men or women. We like sex. We get children, if we are lucky. And so on.

And so on.

This is the super abridged generic version of a possible life. Nobody will recognize him- or herself in this version. We all have specific memories, specific moments standing out in our minds. Nothing generic about that. Extremely specific. Moments we will never forget.

We get born in a world already running. With people already living their lives, having opinions, having children, having loved ones. We do adjust to that life. We conform ourselves to this world, with its expectations. Little children can shout out on the streets, can laugh and play and climb walls. Adults are adjusted to this world. Most of them anyway.

That makes perfect sense. You live and learn. From a small child until you are an adult. Twenty five plus, so to say.

I lived my life like that. I did make some decisions other people might think are not smart. Like switching from university to art school. But i was happy with that. When i look back on that whole period i am happy i gave myself the chance to experience that feeling of freedom i had in art school. The feeling of making something i want. Not that i completely understood what i made, but it was good. For me. Then.

And then work. The first five years were tough. I worked hard. With people who i felt were more my family than co-workers. We made a music cd as a Christmas present. That was great! Until i was wiped out and simply couldn’t continue anymore.

Life’s pace got faster. Work got more boring. Friends left. Other friends came by. But less so. I was hiding within myself. Giving up.

I’m so happy that time is over. I’m so happy with my life as it is right now. I’m so happy i found the courage to look at me, my work, and make changes. I’m so happy i started So happy i’m still doing this. So happy i’m working in the garden. Making new friends. So happy with the changes in myself.

I’m growing up. Becoming a true adult. It still takes all my conscious effort to be aware of what i feel and what i do. A conscious effort on how to respond to people around me. Respond to what people say to me. Sometimes i don’t agree with what they say. But it is alright. I know myself a bit better.

Money is an issue. But i’m so much happier with my life as it is right. I look back on the life i had a few years ago and it makes me sad. I have found the courage to do the things i had only dreamed of before. Like giving away my drawings a year ago. I’m still so happy i did that. So terribly happy.

So here i am. I do not know the why of my life. I only have the memories of its past. And the dreams of its future.

I hope this is enough. For me.

To keep on going.

To keep on living.

All by myself.

Published on June 16, 2017 at 6:00 by


My About page was the first text i wrote for this website, way back in the first days of February 2015. Two years and five months ago. It feels like ages. And also yesterday.

Since then i have been working regularly. Five updates a week, published at six in the morning. Which of course means i make the post the day before, giving myself a bit of time to let the post settle, reread it and make minor alterations, if i want to. I haven’t missed a post yet. I have given myself five weeks a year to not post anything. A vacation, so to speak. Last year i had two weeks off in summer. And both years i had a week off at Christmas and New Years Eve.

Publishing content on is my official work. Yes. I don’t get paid, but to me, that is a minor issue. This is what i want to do with my life. Talk about myself, my old work, my new work, the songs i sing for you, the clips i make, the articles and books i read, my walks, my gardening work. And more!

To me, this website is a coherent whole. All the content comes from me. I know every detail, every little thought, every change i made. Every doubt, every certainty, every post i was unhappy with later on. And every post i was happy with too.

To you, this website is a completely different experience. Most of you do not know me, do not know my history. Most of you do not know i have been to art school, do not know i went working a few years after doing my exams because i didn’t feel at home in the art world. Most of you don’t know i made my first page online 1 July 1997. Most of you don’t know how i made 640 presents on How i loved flash in those days. So if you really want to see what i made then, you will need to install or update your flash plugin. Exactly what i just did myself. The following list is a selection of my favorite presents.

I did stop working on presents in 2006. I felt empty. For years i wanted to get back into it, i missed it so much. But i couldn’t. Until October 2014. I felt alive once again. I fell in love for a very short time. And i got back making presents on I felt like i was hit with a sledgehammer. Truly.

This lasted for a couple of months. Until January 2015. Then i made a present called About. And i knew it was going to be the last present. I thought about it for a week. It felt right.

Straight after that i started to work on the design for a blog. I already had the url I had used it for work and for the email. I had planned to make a work website on it, but i was never happy with the design. So i changed my plan and made it a personal website. Two weeks later, 9 February 2015, i published my first post Hello World! With an about page with a short introduction.

That is two years and five months ago, at the time of writing this on 12 June 2017.

Since then i am working hard. I started out with posts about my past work, on paper and online. Walks i made in and around Rotterdam. Clips i made using my iPhone 4. Songs i finally found the courage for to sing. More than fifty today. And a year ago i started to work in the garden. Getting to know new people. Because yes, i still was very lonely. I know i had given up fighting to keep my friends. I was hiding away in World of Warcraft, playing, having fun and raiding my life away. Making game friends. But yes, hiding away.

I tried to get my life back, to get my friends back. It worked, a bit. I had some meetings, some talks. But the lives of my old friends had moved on. They had children. Other jobs. Other things had happened of which i didn’t know anything. So i still felt lonely.

My post yesterday, Friends from the garden, is the first post in the category Friends. I had set up this category when i made the design and set-up of this website. And somehow i wasn’t able to fill this up. I tried, in the beginning. But it didn’t work. And last week, when i made the draft for yesterday’s post, i selected the friends category just like that. It felt right.

So here i am. Working on this website, Which i love. The most important thing in my life. Absolutely. My work.

I hope you will enjoy visiting my thoughts, my mind, my face, my work, my story, my garden work, my friends, my walks. My clips, my songs, my presents, my food, my beauty.

You may feel lost at times. Not understand why i made something. That is ok. I don’t understand everything i made either.

Five updates a week. Published at six in the morning. That is my rule.

Bon Voyage

My clips

My songs – This can be painful, i am still learning!

Published on June 13, 2017 at 6:00 by

A simple day in my house

I had high hopes for today.

None of them came true. But, i did some other things. I spend an hour or two sitting on my balcony. My tiny balcony. I moved some of the basil plants. In some places it was crowded, in other places there were none. So i spread them a bit more. I also moved some thyme plants. Away from the narturtium, which grows in the same pot. And also one rosemary plant was moved. At least, i hope it is rosemary plant. Bit early to tell.

I also planted four pots with new seeds. Last Tuesday i spend at the Peace garden, after the Hofplein Station garden was finished and planted eight herbs for the new herbal spiral we’re gonna make soon. Four of these, dill, lavender, sage and garlic chives i seeded today in the four pots i brought home from the garden a week ago. The pots the blackberries came in, good high pots. Curious to see how these will do.

Spend some time talking to my neighbour. Or rather, listening to her. I don’t talk much. It’s fine.

I had the plan to sing a song today. I practised yesterday. But i didn’t feel like singing it today. Moving it to next week. Still some days to practise, think about the clip i will make with it. No, i won’t tell you which song! Some things hidden here, for now.


I’m searching for quietness in myself. Not always there. Sometimes.

I hope it will be soon. But i know that hope is a delusion. Hard to put aside though.


Published on June 2, 2017 at 6:00 by

The Taming Power of the Great

Today was a gardening day. I started a bit earlier than usual. I was on the garden around a quarter past one. I got some thistle out around the garden, put the parasol in the table. It was warm. *ish

It was a good day. Talking quite a lot with all the people working. Also talked about my personal situation. Something i hardly do. I enjoy keeping the garden as this free space. In which i learn so many new things, meet so many lovely people, have such a wonderful time.

I was back home around half past seven. Tired. So tired.

I still feel tired. I did make a salad for dinner. Some spring onions, radishes, lettuce from the garden, a bit of cottage cheese. Simple food. Also watched a bit of television. The mind of the universe. I did not agree with everything. But some things shown are special.

I knew i would throw the I Ching for tomorrow’s post. So.

26. The Abysmal, Water, with many changing lines.

Then The Taming Power of the Great. Hmm. Seems pretty good.

But really, i feel too tired to think about it thoroughly. Good night. Or rather, when you read it, have a good day.


Published on May 22, 2017 at 6:00 by

An empty life

I started this post with looking through all the images i uploaded to see if i could find a good one. I ended up with a text drawing i made while i was at work, my old work.

Hey I’m Ellen
Sometimes i’m on Top of the World
Other times i’m Down the Dumps
This Time i’m gonna Save The World!!!

A completely different tone than i had in mind when i started to think about writing this post, earlier today. A good one.

The title of this post, An empty life, feels a bit more resigned. It is the reality of my life. Over the past thirty years, since i’m living on my own, emptiness is what i experienced. Not in a terribly unhappy way. I wasn’t crying all the time, no. But i was looking for friends. Looking for someone special. Many times i thought i had found this person. But no. Still not. Friends came and went. Sometimes i left, other times my friends left. Now i’m alone.

My silent period, 2006 – 2014, is the time i had given up. I stopped trying to make it all work. I left everybody. Or everybody left me. There was no argument, no fight. There was hurt. But i don’t think anybody noticed that. There was one moment with a friend. She got angry. I left it at that. I talked about it before. Such a small thing, looking back at it.

I played World of Warcraft. I do need some form of human contact. Some of them are still on my friends list in facebook. One is even the only subscriber to my newsletter. Yay!

The past two and a half years i did feel happier than ever before. Working again! Yay! And yes, i did get back in contact with my old friends once again. But it was different. Eight years of silence works inside of you. I don’t think i can call them friends. I like them, sure. When we meet we talk. It is pleasant. Nice. Sometimes even more. But that is it.

Some kindred spirits become friends in the fullest sense — people with whom we are willing to share, not without embarrassment but without fear of judgment, our gravest imperfections and the most anguishing instances of falling short of our own ideals and values. The concentrating and consecrating force that transmutes a kinship of spirit into a friendship is emotional and psychological intimacy. A friend is a person before whom we can strip our ideal self in order to reveal the real self, vulnerable and imperfect, and yet trust that it wouldn’t diminish the friend’s admiration and sincere affection for the whole self, comprising both the ideal and the real.

Source: Reclaiming Friendship: A Visual Taxonomy of Platonic Relationships to Counter the Commodification of the Word “Friend”

A talk in the garden, two or three months ago. I said it there. I have no friends. A surprised look. Of course. But i insisted. Not anyone to reveal my real self to, vulnerable and imperfect.

Well, apart from this place.

I know, there are not that many visitors. I sometimes feel like i’m talking into a deep darkness. Nothing comes back. But i keep going on. Because i do feel there is still a need inside me. There are still stories to be told. There are still stories to be discovered. In me. Out there.

I have many wishes. Like my wants list i published last week. That list is not even complete. But i do want to achieve most of those wants. My life is nowhere near complete. Nowhere near done.

And yes, money. Sigh. Next week my bank account will be frozen because i’m in the red for too long. I’m still not sure what i will do then. I still don’t know where my life will be at that time.

My biggest wish. To continue working here. Making five posts a week. Some of them long prepared. Some thought of that day. In a glimpse of inspiration. I’d love to keep on working here. That is my biggest wish. Or want.

My life is empty. I have some things i do. Going to the garden. Talk with the people there. Smile. Make jokes. Make photos. Learn new things.

But yes, on the whole, empty. Not barren, no. Not infertile.

An empty life, ready to be filled up. Some things will stay, other things will fade away. Hopefully i will meet people i can call friends. Another wish. Want.

But in my empty life i am.

Whispering. Talking. Smiling. Looking.

At you.

Published on May 18, 2017 at 6:00 by


Making this video was on my mind for the past few weeks. I’m happy i made it. Twice. The first one failed, it was longer and my iPhone blocked. This one is a bit shorter. Muis the cat comes by too.

I do remember the experience of sitting there. Listening to all the little sounds. Outside. The clock ticking. Bird whistles. The darkness, while my eyes are closed. The light when i open my eyes. The memory to the first time i sat there, only a few minutes before. Not being able to repeat what i did then. Lifting up my hands. Touching my face. The weightlessness of my arms.

Different each time.

Published on May 16, 2017 at 6:00 by