Monday, 30 November 2009


Rineke Smilde, lector Lifelong Learning in Music and the Arts (, has asked me to dive into cross-arts work. Not on my own but together with artist Horst Rickels. This is just as well because he is very experienced in this field – and I am not. At all. I enjoy being surprised and delighted by works of arts, and I enjoy the high level of ‘experiencing’ that Horst includes in a lot of his work: sound, movement, use of space. His works seem very tangible to me and I like that.

However, other than enjoy his work, I can’t say that I fully understand it. Nor do I know how it came into being. Not yet! Now Horst and I are undertaking an endeavour to explore what some of the elements (or factors, or circumstances, or…) are that make cross-arts practice both fascinating and useful for every kind of artist to experience.

One of the reasons we are doing this is because as we go we will be developing a cross-arts laboratory for young artists(-to-be): students of music and visual arts. The framework for the lab has already been set in time: preparations have started for an intensive in May with around fourteen students and three artists/coaches/guides.

And me.

My primary job is to coordinate, observe, interview. However, I fully intend to this take opportunity to find some ways to ‘see different things or see things differently’, as Horst describes one of the key elements of cross-arts practice and being an artist in the world. While I am neither artist nor musician, I am very much in this world! I don’t sing or compose about it, or paint or make installations: I write.

Rule #1 for any author: write what you know.
I want to know more.

Photo: people looking into Bikinibar by Joep van Lieshout. Shot during ArtZuid 2009 in Amsterdam, August 2009.