Jeroen Ver Steele

(RE-)MAPPING?
This text is the concise result of a mapping of my activities during the last two years, focussing upon what I am currently professionally involved with, and upon the embodiment of these occupations in my final project for Transmedia.

I prefer the term ‘mapping’ to ‘research dossier’, because the latter suggests the existence of a clear goal, the desire to descry a method to consciously approach it, a believe in the possibility to plan ahead, to rationally develop a methodology to be indisputably defined, tracked down, repeated in future projects and situations. All of which, in the way I am experiencing my situation at the time being, are absent or inexpedient.

Of course, ‘research’ can mean so many other things. In some segments of the arts sector and in some artists’ practices, this somewhat harsh interpretation of ‘research’ can even be applicable and fruitful. But considering my own personality (that strives at clearly defined methods and a strict planning, and needs to be kept ‘opened up’), my occupations and experiences during the last two years, it seems more appropriate to read ‘research’ here as ‘a continuous mapping and re-mapping’ of motives, intentions, ambitions, methods, ways of self-presentation. The term ‘mapping’ suggests the possibility that several ‘loci’, topics, focus points, centres, approaches, viewpoints,… are present at the same time, within the same frame, all of them embedded in their contexts, all of them a possible starting point from which to observe and interpret their specific environments, possibilities, goals.

The term ‘re-mapping’ suggests that the reflection of this conglomerate is in a continuous change. Because as time goes by, more details may be added and more loci may be specified or reshaped. But also because certain loci may blur and ultimately become palimpsests, only to be perceived after more recent layers in the map have been scraped off.  So let this self-presentation and contextualization of my final project be a mapping, showing the reflection of my multi-facetted practice as how I see it today and in the current circumstances: conscious of how I used to see the constellation in earlier days, maybe suggesting possible shifts in the future, but above all observing and interpreting the current state of affairs. If this model of ‘mapping’ sounds abstract, or if it isn’t clear yet why this is a more appropriate way to ‘research’ on my practice, I am sure clarification will be offered by my description of how I see my occupations as an editor of the stage arts magazine Etcetera, as well as those as a dramaturge in the theatre of NTGent, in the second part of this paper.