Thing, I like.
    The word thing and or Thing. It can be vague, careless even and yet it has the capability to talk of some considered stuff. Yes, I also care for Stuff and or stuff. They are also all very good looking words, as is Odd.
    Anyhow, what is in [a] thing? Obviously there is Thing Theory (where we learn that an object can and, under suitable circumstances, does become [a] thing).
    There is Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, the Fantastic Four’s The Thing and John Carpenter’s sci-fi classic The Thing. Dinges is Riaan Cruywagen’s favourite Afrikaans word und nicht zu vergessen das Ding.
    Yes, there are many many Things and things. The word’s agility, its slipperiness can be off-putting.
    Things can be dangerous. And things are looking up and things are going to be alright and things are good. Barack Obama likes making and doing things… as he puts it “We built this country by making things…” and “We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things...”.      (2012-05-13)

To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.Charles Darwin

On 5 April, 1856, one Alexander Anderson was sent to prison for a term of 12 months, for an unknown crime. Because Pretoria had no prison at that stage, Anderson was ordered to build a prison himself. After a few months he had completed the work, and was released on account of good conduct.
Crimes of Violence in South Africa
J. Visse / UNISA 1982

Recently I was asked what I bring to a collaboration and I responded that I bring nothing.  Let me elaborate: to bring nothing allows for anything to happen, something unpredictable perhaps, versus an outcome anticipated by virtue of the combined skills of the participants.  This is imperative as I attempt to find, engage with and expose that which dwells in the blind spots.                        (2012-05-09)

The thing that is more useless than a useless thing is the thing that makes the useless thing. (2011-11-09)

43. 14

Earlier this year I went to see Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca live at the Cape Town city hall.
Aside from a beautifully jarring yet seamless performance by Fonseca and his group the event introduced me to the work of Mr Darren English. Proper stuff. This lead to The Thing in Breathing performance feat Mr English. More proper stuff.


Having worked with a cross section of artists ranging from the beer drinkers, worshippers and fanatics to the thoughtful, skilful and traditional I have been disciplined to recognise and realise things. Aside from that I also picked up some good and bad habits: thinking and unthinking, doing and undoing, ‘appleing and apple-zeding’.

… other (people’s) ways of approaching, thinking, resolving, and concluding…
14.1. to be able to diagnose, to be a Symptomologist
14.2. to be able to think straight yet maintain loose strategies
14.4. to include in consultations these findings
14.5. to write articulately on occasion
14.6. to develop a language aside from visual arts, and as an accompaniment
14.8. to engage in discourse with a point in mind
14.7. to learn how to be a learner       (2011-10-18)

plantsculpture 2002 - ongoing

plantsculpture 2002 - ongoing. photo : Brett Rubin

That That. 2011. Zink; performance theatre, Cape Town [recall]
I had requested to be last on the schedule. The evening consisted of several performances, mostly indoors, running back to back with a short interval…
  1. …begin before Josh Ginsburg ends his performance.
  2. simultaneously activate my devices whilst dismantling and setting aside his setup.
  3. replace his projector with laptop, open and start the movie: a film of hands step-and-repeating the same action over and over.
  4. pop down his projection screen and clear the stage.
  5. lit-up by cellphone glow, standing at the back, scroll through folders, press play and place the phone on the ledge: a clip set on loop, horn player practicing his cords pre-recorded outside studio window.
  6. open the rear stage door letting the light flood in.
  7. leave. Out the door, into the light and under a unusually tall ladder which has a spotlight strapped to its head. Walk around the building past Belinda’s projected movie and Linda’s live horse and go observe the audience from the front main entrance.
  8. local rude-boy Ant Strack reacts to the perseverating cacophony and storms out. Relief. The potential of an ending.
  9. everyone leaves to being beginning a new phase. Outside the theatre, the evening and life, a horse and the mountain, John’s studios and stuff. Freedom from the theatre and the dictatorship of the artist. Time seems more restrainable outside.  Free to start.                     (2011-11-19)

Within the making of art I approve of extreme measures. Immersion. Abuse. Blind faith even. Be it irresponsible boating jaunts or talking people out of their wedding bands I find these bent trajectories to be a place of learning and a productive place.                (2010)

The truth is out there. There is no truth here.
Once you go there you will see that there is no real truth there either. Please do not be mistaken…  
I did literally try to escape to Robben Island. Admittedly I have been trying to get away but not from a physical location. The rowing is incidental, don't focus on it as it offers little other than the obvious. Blur your vision and look around it, look behind it. Even better don't look, think. 

My parents, Dieter and Gail, have a peach and it never ages.
It is really unreal with the fruit’s marble body gently blushed and bruised with pigment, and in its navel nestles the clincher: a real wooden stem… here lies a peach.
When I first touch it I am touched by it, am taken by its ability to convince me and then convince me otherwise.
Here stands something that is and is not, it agrees and disagrees.
This peach, this thing holds a moment when the idea of Truth is questioned.
I am unmistaken and mistaken, I believe and unbelieve.                                            (2012-02-07)

have your doubts                               

caveat lector
It functions as a reminder that thinking twice about what data we are consuming is key in our post-Information Age; we have been and are being informed and we are informers ourselves. Anyhow, even in this case it would be good not to judge a book by its cover et cetera. The title has its pitfalls but it is upfront about a complex narrative speckled with a history of solid truths and media distortions and or manipulations. The lies are unavoidable in a world left unspellchecked.                             (2012)

(Lat duumvir, "one of the two men"; in plural originally duoviri, "the two men") 

 At arm's length: this is the relationship between two people or organisations who are strangers to each other, and do not have any special obligations towards each other.
 Bona fide: in good faith and honest.
 Constructive: this phrase is used when something is true in legal terms, even though it may not be true in fact. So although Ms Blignaut does not have the diamonds in her possession, she has the key to the safe deposit box and the right to enter, she has 'constructive possession'. The term is most commonly used for constructive dismissal. An example of this is where a boss didn’t actually tell an employee they were dismissed but treated them so badly that the employee was entitled to react as if they had been dismissed by leaving their employment and claiming unfair dismissal.
 Deem: to judge, think or believe to have taken place.
 De facto: this is where a situation exists in fact, whether or not it is legal. For example, if the ‘thingamabob’ company failed to follow a technical legal condition to become a company (such as filling in a form), but carries on business in good faith, it is a 'de facto' company.
 Good faith: an act carried out honestly and without fraud is said to have been done in good faith.
 Ipso facto: by the mere fact itself.
 Mistake: in a legal sense there are two types of mistake. The first is a mistake of law in which the facts are known but are combined with a wrong conclusion about the legal effect of those facts. The second is a mistake of fact which is an intentional failure to find out the truth of those facts.
 Pari passu: equal and without preference.
 Purport: to pretend, to claim to be something you are not.
 Stalemate: a situation where there is no possible way out for one or both sides.
 Tangible: something physical that you can touch. For example, a plant or a sculpture is tangible property.
 Wrong: wrongs are divided into public and private. A public wrong is an act that harms the public generally, even though it may only be committed against one person, and is commonly known as a crime, misdemeanour, or offence. It is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both. Private wrongs are injuries to individuals that do not harm the public at large, for example, a breach of contract. Private wrongs are not ‘punished’ but money is paid in compensation by the wrongdoer.



Pitfalls of working with others…
To expect your team to win is fine but you would never place unrealistic expectations on them. Picture this… before the big game you decide that after half time your heroes are going to swap roles with the streakers and spontaneously remove their kit, some will even help each other strip as the game resumes. This fantasy leads to disappointment, naturally.                  (2011)

plans change, 

change plans.

Peculiar people peculiar to a peculiar time. Who are we today? Which peculiarities are we letting slip by unhindered? While we sleep the people we elect to govern us not only plot to work our families to the bone but also consider what type of fertiliser our remains will make. The world has not changed much. Our masters, g_ds and own stupidities still have us by the balls. I don’t go for hoping or praying but I do wish that the future holds a looser grip. We all deserve at least the opportunity to create a less predictable existence. Or do we?                                                                        (2009)

Pasolini :
You learn everything in 15 minutes.
< Does it take a long time to learn?
The Lost Pasolini Interview. October 30, 1975, three days before being murdered.
Published by the Celluloid Liberation Front

50 in 2020. 60 in 2030. 70 in 2040. 80 in 2050. 90 in 2060. 100 in 2070. 110 in 2080. 120 in 2090…

oneiric / oneirology, process vs. analysis [of dreams]. The definition of dream used in quantitative research is defined through four base components: 1) a form of thinking that occurs under minimal brain direction, external stimuli are blocked, and the part of the brain that recognizes self shuts down; 2) a form of experience that we believed we experience through our senses; 3) something memorable; 4) have some interpretation of experience by self. In summary, a dream, as defined by Bill Domhoff and Adam Schneider, is "a report of a memory of a cognitive experience that happens under the kinds of conditions that are most frequently produced in a state called 'sleep'. " wiki

grow square tomatoes                           (2012)

Walking through walls. (Israeli military) Shimon Naveh, who “directs the Operational Theory Research Institute,” and who explained the importance of Deleuze and Guattari to his work: Several of the concepts in A Thousand Plateaus became instrumental for us… Most important was the distinction they have pointed out between the concepts of “smooth” and “striated” space… In the IDF we now often use the term “to smooth out space” when we want to refer to operation in a space as if it had no borders…We want to confront the “striated” space of traditional, old-fashioned military practice with smoothness that allows for movement through space that crosses any borders and barriers. Eyal Weizman ‘Lethal Theory’

standing corrected                        (2011-06-14)

curation as experiment                        (2004)


To You
Stranger, if you, passing, meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
Walt Whitman

I made this iff you made this.
I made this if and only if you made this.

Contract to make artworks legitimately signed with the name Barend de Wet.
Mere days left of the Authorised project (30 August 2012 marks 333 days left).

(28 July 2003 – 28 July 2013)

thinking through                                      (2012)

Achebe writes his novels in English because written Standard Igbo was created by combining various dialects, creating a stilted written form. In a 1994 interview with The Paris Review, Achebe said, "the novel form seems to go with the English language. There is a problem with the Igbo language. It suffers from a very serious inheritance, which it received at the beginning of this century from the Anglican mission. They sent out a missionary by the name of Dennis. Archdeacon Dennis. He was a scholar. He had this notion that the Igbo language— which had very many different dialects—should somehow manufacture a uniform dialect that would be used in writing to avoid all these different dialects. Because the missionaries were powerful, what they wanted to do they did. This became the law. But the standard version cannot sing. There's nothing you can do with it to make it sing. It's heavy. It's wooden. It doesn't go anywhere." Wiki

making things (right)                     (2012)

There are strangers and there are strangers…
Out there there are billions of human beings whom you and I will never encounter. With a few we manage maybe friends on Facebook - these friends are still strangers.
There is another type of stranger which is far more moving; those that we are estranged from, “no longer close or affectionate to someone; alienated”. These people were [and are] part of our lives yet they stand apart, separated.     (2011)

greedy |ˈgrēdē|
adjective ( greedier , greediest )
having or showing an intense and selfish desire for something, esp. wealth or power : greedy thieves who plundered a defense contractor.
• having an excessive desire or appetite for food.
greedily |-dəlē| adverb
greediness noun
ORIGIN Old English grǣdig, of Germanic origin.

The desire for money and the things it can buy is often associated with Americans. But not all Americans are greedy, which implies an insatiable desire to possess or acquire something, beyond what one needs or deserves (: greedy for profits). Greedy is especially derogatory when the object of longing is itself evil or when it cannot be possessed without harm to oneself or others (: a reporter greedy for information).
Someone who is greedy for food might be called gluttonous, which emphasizes consumption as well as desire (: a gluttonous appetite for sweets).

Ms (Kathryn) Smith’s interest in those individuals whose mission it is to control and take lives, to molest and terrorise others lies in the same place as my interest in organisations and institutions that have that same intent.          (2012-02-03)

Can we talk? Somewhere not too public, not to private either. Here is good enough... I have growing pains, it feels like my heart is breaking. I am getting jammed in the crease, the whelm. I am gasping grasping too often. So, I have recognised that there is a problem. I have acted on it, been dealing with it. I am working on it. It being working with myself. I am actualising things, beautiful simple things with complex innards. My tertiary education is over, no more collaboration for me at least not in the sense that I have pursued working with others. I am doing with what I have, very doable. Hard as fuck. While I am in this unbecoming state of becoming I am finding that working placates the mind. Everyone and everything seems unreliable. The second guessing creeps in and replaces thinking twice all to often. As if I pictured a different life. I have always done my own thing because I don't belong, it has been good being on the experiential innovative side. (but) Now I feel it, the not belonging. Nowhere. Seriously. Sleep evades me, tears appear. Its not like I strive to belong but this alien feeling is tiring. Not my finest hours but it's a productive transition period.                (2011-05-07)

= 1 iff it is wearing its hat and shoe.
Freed up from these items it could be many things. (2009-02-22)

everything [is gone]
The first memories I have of this notion are of seeing the brother of my good friend Grant Carlin sitting in a takeout joint in Hillbrow, maybe it was a Whimpy Bar? Anyhow: Paul said everything had been destroyed when his house burnt down the previous day. Everything burned and the out of character clothes he was wearing were some hastily bought clean clothes. I was seriously envious of his situation.

I feel for you [Americans]- it is as if you discovered that your father is fucking your spouse...      
Something Something.
Research Art Cape Town, 19/10/2011

Words, lovely words…
(an obsolete word meaning ashes) is in the second edition of the OED.
Double Letter Sequences
Triple Letter Sequences
The following words contain triple letter sequences, uninterrupted by spaces or hyphens. They all appear in at least one English dictionary, but usually as an old spelling or rare variant: 

excerpts from Pangram interview…

[SN] What gets you up in the morning?
[CN] The boredom of lying there is what usually gets me up and if I fall back to sleep I am plagued by terrible nightmares.
[SN]What do you hope to achieve by translating the Satanic bible into Afrikaans?
[CN] Everything is constructed. Belief and meaning are constructed. Perhaps by translating we hope to find that hidden code that will free us all? Seriously though, we are dealing with colonialism. Interestingly Avon Books, known for their romance novels, publish the Satanic bible.
[SN] Could Anton Szandor LaVey be seen as a pioneer in mind control or just a guy who could throw you one heck of a party?
[CN] I see him as a performance artist. ‘LaVey’ lived the lie; he thought, said and did the same thing. From a peculiar point of view one could say that he had integrity.                                        (2008)

PUSSY СЕЙЧАС!     (2012)

The further away one is from the event the harder it is to confirm or deny the truth.         

…special rights. Because a dog was never happier than when its nose was up another’s rear end – the anus, that sensory button of the world – it also symbolised debasement and degradation. Just like the dog, the artist also enjoyed special rights, including the right to conduct forbidden experiments. His task was to translate society to itself.
Achille Mbembe

This Functional Family
The Trustees

“We are a clusterfuck and the divine objects are hidden between us.”

portraits : Seb Voigt, Jonx Pillemer and others

To Whom It May Concern:

Thinking is a good idea.  I strive to create works and situations that encourage us (not only us as in the art community but also the public at large) to think again and think ahead.  I try to be thoughtful, to be human and to make public these insights and ways of dealing with living in the now. 

For me, working through art is a way and a place to interrogate and reveal the idea of Truth.  It is not only about hard facts but also the poetry of time, life, death, transformation, desire, rebellion, freedom, and conscious and unconscious choice.  The Truth is more erratic than we care to know.  Fortunately works of art are expected to say what they have to say and also accommodate multiple interpretations.

I have spent the past decade working with others, primarily in Johannesburg and Cape Town, in an intense collaborative learning exercise of my own making.  Aside from learning how to make and represent things, I have been privy to diverse conceptual practices that have enabled me to tackle life from a nonjudgmental and paraconsistent stance.  I have also come to know the value of what can come from relinquishing myself to the relationship knowing that our combination would conjure up a third voice; this peculiar voice that whispers ‘unnecessary solutions’.  I have been surprised, endured growing pains and been empowered by these and other co-operative actions which in turn have helped me to move on from being merely a white South African male; I am not myself and this is a good thing.  If you are a chancer, as I am, this is the place you want to be.  Knowing I will emerge loving my neighbour in ways I never expected. Stripped bare by all the stumbling I grow a more able, more considerate, more thoughtful, if not slightly bent, self.  All I need is courage and the willingness to forget everything.

My work encourages me to be not merely innovative and build on what exists but to be inventive and to be open to ‘uncalled-for newness’.  I can only assume that what I share inspires others to open up.  If not, it is at least a series of examples of mindful artistic experimentation, and proof that one needs neither deadlines nor a belief system to make and do things.                                           (2012-05-11)

a complex minimal                           (2010-01-28)


When it finds its usefulness it then outlives its usefulness, and unused it is free to be useless again.