Dear Vincent and Fran,


A few words to you from an English cottage in the forest. It’s wet, wet, wet and green, green, green here. The summer is quiet and a bit melancholic this year. I have a toothache that keeps me up at night


I don’t think about the research project a lot, even though I said to myself I would wouldn’t. 


It feels like we’re stuck. 


I do see that the things we struggle with in our joint adventure are so interesting and fitting to the questions we set ourselves: how are care and violence not opposed but intertwined (I wonder, how indeed?), how to prepare for the emergence of a certain freedom in the constraints we experience, where to go from here – how to connect and with whom? (That one keeps me up at night too, when my teeth ache.) 


However, due to the personal intertwinement of ‘research questions’ and intimate ones, I often find myself unable to re-tangle the disconnections between us. In my conversation with Peter Aers a few weeks ago (about the dialogue that he will do with us), he told me there’s a word in philosophy for the coinciding of research questions, methodology and intimate experience. He couldn’t remember the word, I wonder what it is.


Drawing a card from the tarot deck. 
Question: How to continue with the research project? 


I must admit that over the last couple of months, I have wanted to withdraw. 


I have wanted you to go away – to conclude or maybe externalize a strong sense of loneliness and disconnection that I experience in our collaboration and team. 


I have felt you both struggle with finding your place, I have felt you withdraw, disengage, come back. I felt myself struggle with finding a place, sometimes wanting to withdraw and disengage, realizing that I can’t and do not want to. 


I have to and want to keep going – with you. 
I do believe in us. 


This summer break makes me realize how much I do believe in us as a team and how much I value you both as research-partners. I am looking forward to start again, and to continue to try finding ways of making it work together.


@Vincent, do you remember the Bonnie Prince Billy poster that was there with us when we were writing the dossiers for Tideland(s) and later for The Circus Dialogues (continued)?


a poster reading bonny encourages make a place


I know I have said this before, but this pretty much sums up why I do do what I do and why I want to do it with you. I can see too how this generates many problems when I felt/feel kicked out of that place or that belonging when one of us doesn’t want to make that place with me anymore on an intimate level. I am still grieving that change. I want to ask you both for time in that process, it will take a while still. I’m working on it. 


Possibly that’s also why I do not want to draw more boundaries between us as a team. It’s why I am (for example) very confused by TCDc facilitating something like a queer space in which only queer people are welcome. I think we need to talk about the place of queerness and what we mean by the term – as it seems to become increasingly linked to a sexual identity. Since the beginning, ideas around queer kin-making have been central to the project, also to me. I see how you both are on a personal journey of ‘queer awakening’ and I feel your engagement with queer theory in the project taking on a more urgent, personal rooting. This also seems to narrow down the understanding of ‘queerness’, however, which excludes me from the conversation. (Indeed, I think this also mirrors an intimate change between Vincent and I which seems to revolve, amongst other things, around queerness.) I hope you can see how this feeds into a sense of standing alone in our team. I strongly feel I want to focus on what connects us three instead of on what divides us. 


The card that I drew is THE SUN. 


The Sun is a symbol of vitality, creative energy, knowledge, intelligence, productive activity, joy, happiness and/or friendship. For relationships, this is a very auspicious card, signifying happiness or reconciliation after a quarrel between partners. For work, The Sun indicates success in business, successful overcoming of difficulties and understanding of one’s destiny. What you have worked on hard is ready to shine. The Sun stands for self-confidence and an affirmation of life. 


The drawing on the card is a constellation of planets and orbits, called Axe de Révolution: solution to the problem of a line in space. The drawing is the score of a 2014 performance of 17 hours that took place in Moscow, in which two artists walked from north to south, carrying a 6 meter long and 13,5 kilo heavy metal rectangular structure. While the sun moved from East to West, “the artists walked a straight 45 km line through the city, their movements and the sun’s movements thus forming a shape that reminds of the heliocentric Copernican model – constructing a cross with the movements of the Sun”. It says on the card: “The initial Latin term ‘revolution’, as coined by Copernicus, means circular motion, while in everyday use it expresses a drastic overturn (usually in a political sense). (…) this ambivalence underlines the artists’ intention ‘to coordinate the movement of a cosmic body’ and their ‘intimate endeavor of inner profound revolution’”. 


The Sun: a reminder to hold my own, a desire for the project, letting go of navigating solely on will power and more on trust and self-confidence, the desire for reconciliation, the understanding of what we’re doing (together) and the shaping of that. The symbolism of the card as it was given by the artist (Katya Ev) speaks of revolution, and of synchronizing an inner movement and desire for change with an outer/external movement or activity. I think this is a beautiful metaphor (haha) of what I want to do in the spaces we build, and in the places we make. @Fran: space is very central here too! 


The Sun calms me down a little. 
It gives me confidence to continue trying to make a (different) place together. 


I miss you both,




P.S.: I think it’s beautiful how the rigged dialogues are now called ‘In the all around’, also a song of Bonnie. 


Tell me if I’m overdoing it. 


P.S.S.: Maybe I said too much. Maybe I didn’t leave the right things unsaid


P.S.S.S.: Please write back if you want to. 


Summer 2021