top of page
  • filipvk

Newsletter September 2023

Updated: Sep 21, 2023





“There is too much bad news to justify complacency. There is too much good news to justify despair.”

Donella Meadows


“Hope doesn't come from calculating whether the good news is winning out over the bad. It is simply a choice to take action.”

Anna Lappe


"The most valuable of all talents is never to use two words when one will do."

Thomas Jefferson


“Writing is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent elimination.”

Louise Brooks



Audio version of this newsletter.


 

In this edition:


A transition

The logo

Writing project and other media

Research for the journeys

Fundraiser


A transition

When I made the decision three years ago to stop painting after 30 years and start A Biosphere Project, I had no idea what I was getting into. I followed my intuition, and actually that is what we usually do when making big life-changing decisions. Nor is it a problem that I didn't yet know where my path was going to take me. As C.G. Jung once said, "If the path before you is clear, you are probably on someone else's path."


But it is impossible to leave behind a path you have been on for thirty years in one day. It requires going through a transition, a ‘liminal space’ between two worlds.

And that transition, which is ongoing, encompasses many things.


When I posted my statement of intention on social media three years ago, I also announced that research would be an important aspect of the coming years. So it was. Hours, days and weeks I spent at the computer, endlessly scanning information on an endless variety of topics: climate, biodiversity, agriculture, economics, but equally physics, biology, genetics, astrophysics, systems theory, anthropology, history, and so on and so forth. This information helps shape my intentions in the coming years, and my ideas and plans have already evolved considerably. A transition from my painting studio to my laptop, from the physicality of paint to the ephemeral and endlessly branching world of the Internet.

But equally, that transition means letting go of elements of my previous life. I have already reduced my teaching assignment to less than half-time, and that process will continue. I am also in the process of emptying my painting studio: after three years, I am confident enough of my new path to really bring to a close my life as a painter, and am selling my materials. A big step, but one I am taking with great peace of mind and a sense of space and light. It has been nice but now something else is coming. I do have to sell a lot of material, because before my decision I had a lot of canvases ready to make several series of new work, from medium sizes to very large sizes. I am the kind of artist who likes to have a lot of material in stock, and organizing and selling all that material is quite a process.

Also, my wife Agnes and I are actually in the process of emptying the whole of our house in Antwerp, and we might sell it in the near future. The house with the two large art studios belongs to a previous life for us, and it is time to move forward without that large property that would otherwise become a burden. It all takes time, but it is a work that will make a different future possible.


New painting canvases in my studio, January 2018



My canvases are off to a new owner/ artist, June 2023





The logo

And yes, a logo is also part of the new path.

A Biosphere Project's new logo is captioned: ‘Consciousness and The Living Planet'. That points to two ideas that are important to me:

First, the observation that the convergence of ecological crises we are in the midst of is ultimately a problem of our consciousness.

And second, the idea of the ‘living planet’.

I will explain both ideas a bit further in a separate blog post, because otherwise this post/newsletter is in danger of becoming very long again, and I have an intention, a sort of ‘new year’s resolution: to pursue ‘brevity’ in my writing. Which brings me to the next point.






Writing project and other media

The blog and essays are an important aspect of my new path for me, but I am still searching for the right rhythm and form.

I love to write and I want to communicate a lot, and that's a dangerous combination if you're aiming for brevity. So a book will be a necessary next step, but for now I want to write more but shorter blog posts.

For ‘regular’ blog posts, I would like to stick to a 1,200-word limit, with an absolute maximum of 1,500 words. By comparison, my previous two blog posts clocked in at 7100 and 5500 words.

So brevity, and some more posts, but also an intention to edit and polish my posts until all the ballast is off. I will keep the verbiage for future books. I will also keep future essays more concise, with a maximum of three to four thousand words.

It was necessary to write the previous longer essays, though. They were a way to let my spectrum of ideas come to surface, an impulsive process a bit like painting. From now on, the process of ‘fine-tuning’ can begin.

I will provide previous longer blog posts and essays, as well as future ones, with an audio version. I will also provide some blog posts with a short video introduction by myself.


I also split up two of the longer posts. Both actually had two 'chapters', and I separated those chapters and reworked them as separate posts. Thus, you will now find the piece on Michael Meade next to the one on Chumbawamba, and the text on my interest in science has now become a separate post from the one on quantum physicist David Bohm. They will also be found under a separate category in the blog menu called "Old Wisdom and New Stories. There will be a few more new categories that will help navigate the blog.


I also want to use the medium of video much more, and create video talks on a regular basis that I will share in the blog, on a separate page on the website, and through A Biosphere Project's YouTube channel.

I want to use more other media besides writing, but these are all new worlds and it will take some time to learn to work with them. Do expect more spoken messages and video in the future as A Biosphere Project unfolds.

I will also make much greater use of social media as an extension of the blog. I will be sharing posts, articles and relevant news via Facebook and Instagram with greater regularity. So don't forget to follow those pages on ABP.

In addition to the newsletters, there will be a permanent section with news on the homepage of the website, where there will be regular updates with news related to the project. This is part of a number of adjustments and changes to the website about which more news will also be coming soon.



Research for the journeys

And now that I have travelled a certain distance on the path, there is room once again for one of my original ideas, which due to many events in our lives in recent years and due to lack of time, has been postponed: the journeys.

The idea of A Biosphere Project arose from the idea of doing some longer travels to the four wind-directions in Europe to document the impact of the biosphere crisis through photography, a blog and a vlog, as well as possibly film (why I use the word biosphere crisis rather than the word 'climate crisis' you can read (and in the future listen to) in the essay 'Let us not talk about the climate crisis any longer', part 1 and part 2) . One of the goals of the journeys is to bring into focus the pioneers and activists and organizations already working to transition to a new world, the world after fossil fuels, after agrobusiness, after compulsive growth, after consumer addiction, after the unbridled destruction that capitalism has unleashed on our home world and ourselves.

Because of the greater impact and longer duration of the personal transition I spoke of, that travel project has been postponed somewhat. I am now beginning the research for those journeys, the first of which is now scheduled for 2025. More on that, too, in a separate blog post soon.



Fundraising

As I intend to engage more and more full-time in A Biosphere Project, I will be teaching less, and thus relinquish a significant portion of my income. So I will have to generate other forms of income.

At the same time, the project also promises to become rather costly. The travel project will cost money over several years, regardless of how the project develops (I am currently inquiring into various possible avenues regarding transportation and other logistics). So I will also set up ways to support A Biosphere Project in the coming year.

On the website there will be a ‘support’ page, where you can make a one-time or recurring donation if you want to support A Biosphere Project. I also want to offer the opportunity to purchase a set of photographs through the website. As a one-time initiative, I want to organize a sale of my drawings and paintings in the near future, also as fundraising.

Finally, I will explore crowdfunding opportunities in the coming year.


More news about all this in future blog posts, on Facebook and Instagram.

The counter now stands at 1498 words, so I am neatly under but approaching my intended maximum of 1500.


Thanks for reading and following A Biosphere Project, and see you soon,

All the best to you,

Filip


Lake Balaton, Hungary, August 2023. Photo: Filip Van Kerckhoven




Kommentare


bottom of page