Eighteen Coffee Breaks / Eight Working Hours

Eighteen Coffee Breaks (stills)

Eight Working Hours (stills)

The Zandmotor might be one of the most curious bits of land in the Netherlands. In 2011 the sandbank was constructed to protect the Dutch coast, to create nature and to extend the recreational possibilities. But it was also presented as a scientific testcase, how to ‘build with nature’, and as an export product for the Dutch dregging industry. It seems that they projected pretty much everything on it depending on who was listening. It might not even be the Netherlands, it is outside the official coastline, so you could also see it as extraterritorial land… 

The Zandmotor formed the context for the Mondrian Fund residency hosted by the Satellite Group in 2017. During my three months stay I traveled daily to the beach to try make some sense out of this constructed mess. I did experiments that resulted in Eighteen Coffee Breaks, where I introduced on the Zandmotor an important ritual for every working person. Later I asked Jordy Walker to make a soundtrack for the stop motion film I made of this performance, around the same problematic nature/culture

In 2018 the Satellite group organized a group exposition, Climate as Artifact in the Elektriciteitsfabriek in the Hague, and invited me to join and present a new work. I used this opportunity to complete the process started in 2017. Eight times I went back to the Zandmotor to work there for an hour and it resulted in Eight Working Hours, the final part of the triplet. The video’s are around 9 minutes.


Eighteen Coffee Breaks – during 4 weeks I traveled every working day to the beach to have a coffee break. I brought a thermos with coffee with me and dug up the chairs, the table and the flag. The flag signaled that the 15 minute break was happening. After that I buried everything and left.

Eight Working Hours – During the first two week of the exposition I traveled from the venue to the Zandmotor to move sand around, with the plan to make an impact, as big as manually is possible given the situation. The individual hours of work formed together one eight hour workday.

Both actions where open for the public.

Made possible by Satellite Group/ Climate as Artifact and the Mondrian Fund

Flag pole

I was invited to make a site-specific work at the Patlz, an private estate with a very interesting history. It was originally build halfway the 19th century and fell into bits apart, but in 1984 it was bought and reconstructed by mr Raatjes, who made his fortune by coming up with the simple but brilliant idea to make it possible for cities to have their name on their manhole covers. He recreated the estate but also added his own traces, like an 7 meter tall waterfall and paths that flow like rivers over the estate from one source and lots of other things like this, it was packed! But he never lived in his dream house, because he moved into the estate of his girlfriend. At the moment the estate is a nature park with three private houses that pay rent for the ground they use, this pays for the maintenance and opens it up for the public. Meria Bakker and Wouter Blom live in own of those houses and every two year they open up their house and garden for the Paltz Biennial.

During my first visit I noticed a lot Douglas pine trees that had fallen because of strong January storm and found out that Wouter Blom, together with some friends, reraised a small tree. This seemed a lovely gesture to me. This in combination with the Paltz history and the concept of something called ‘mastbos’ formed the base of my contribution. With a chainsaw and a planer I transformed the biggest of the fallen trees into a traditional Dutch flag pole, white, an orange top and a rope. With help of my parents I raised the flagpole and now it stands there, on it original spot between the other trees.

Paltz Biënnale




Puin Tuin


Sander Zweerts de Jong called me and he had in interesting proposal. With a group of people they started ‘Buitenplaats Brienenoord’ a place focussed on the future – for everybody with some interest in that future. The old building that was there had already been taken down and work had been started on the foundation of the new building, mainly build with recycled materials and repurpused bits of the old building, but there was one huge problem – there was no use for the a lot of the old rubble – over a 100 tons! – and to get rid of it was pretty much impossible. Maybe I had an idea what to do with it.

There was little money but a lot of volunteers – after some thinking I came up with a plan – although that might not be the best word for it, it was more that I designed a method how to handle the rubble and use it to its full potential. So we started with building a wall around the terrain – on the island walks a group of scottisch cows and they would love to eat everything in the garden, and at the same time it resulted in a big habitat for lots of little critters. Pretty much all the choices we made followed the same basic rules: get rid of the rubble and find a usefull fuction, or even better, more functions. At this moment we are in at the halfway stage, the wall is build, some boxes for plants created and a sort of outdoor class room made. Now we have to wait for the building to be in a further stage before continueing, together with Ronald and Jonmar from ‘de Onkruidenier’ for the ‘living’ part of the garden.

Buitenplaats Brienenoord      Superuse Studios        Onkruidenier

Blok Beton

Photo Jan de Groen

Blok Beton is a performance resulting in a sculpture where I filled a mold with concrete. The stage was set as pleasant gathering for the neighboorhood, with fire, blankets and hot drinks. While filling the mold Jordy Walker sampled the sounds made by the mills into a super-real soundtrack. After two days the concrete was hard enough to remove the wood and was ready for what this whole exercize was about:
The decicion if the work was welcome in the neigboorhood or should be destroyed. We put all the individual adresses from the neigboorhood in a bucket – picking out a random address and ring the doorbell and invite the person opening to make a decision. After some houses and offices we found Mrs Gina Riedewald to put a thumb up or down.

Commissioned by TENT Rotterdam and Kunstblock – Coolstof 2018

Please check out the video made by Joey Smith

Thanks to: Mrs. Gina Riedewald, Jordy Walker, Aannemingsbedrijf Mostert BV and Leonie Rip, Esther de Leeuwe, Stanley van de Meer, Menno Verhoef, Lise Sinnbeck and Gemeente Rotterdam

Jordy Walker and Stanley van de Meer (photos Jan de Groen)

Photo Coolstof

Photos Jan de Groen


Meewisse Industrieelektronik & Sonstiges

For If Paradise Is Half As Nice we travelled with a group of 10 artist to Zeitz in former East-Germany – a small city still struggeling with Die Wende. In an abandond factory we started working on our own projects. I came there with the idea to see if I could find anything of value left after the factory stood empty for a long period and if, with my artistic labour, I could add value to it – for which I would not get paid, which is the crux of the project. I thought it was important that my added value would benefit the people living there, so I opened a shop in the most imposing space in the building. Working there I found really remarkeble objects and quickly it turned out that the best stuff was all elektricity related – thus the name Meewisse Industrieelektronik & Sonstiges.


To reach potential constumers that would never come for the art project I placed an ad on the frontpage of the local door to door newspaper – 28.000 copies spread in and around Zeitz. I also used my car as a billboard.

I made the objects in my shop extremely cheap – for example, I sold lamps for € 20,- while the market value in a design shop in Berlin would be more around € 600,-. I also ripped the last bits of copper out of the builing – the bits that were out of reach of the copper thiefs – and sold those for € 1,- for a piece – if you brought that bit straight to a scrapyard it would give you € 1,50. All this was to make it possible that local people in a way could own there own industrial heritage and that my labour stayed unpaid. Of course I couldn’t discrimate the costumers, but half the stuff got sold to people for who I intended it – and every local person had a fair option to buy it. In the end I sold everything – even the display objects which I sold for €1,- to a local art inititive.





Casting #2 #4 #5

The second casting, but the first with this kind of furnace. Casting #2 is an integrated aluminum melting furnace dedicated to Homo faber. I stack a big pile of wood with an aluminum core above a mold and light the wood from above. The wooden stack will burn from the inside out and melt the aluminum so it will fall into the mold. Homo faber is a research and development project funded by CBK Rotterdam.

Casting #2 happened at ‘3D-zine’ at Foundation B.A.D. during Charlois Speciaal. July 2016

Casting #4 making lava

Registration of the 4th integrated melting furnace, filled with rocks to make lava, in the garden of Foundation B.a.d Rotterdam.
thank to   research and development grant.


Casting #5


Casting #5 Experimenting with the furnace – melting aluminum and a test with reducing low quality iron ore, found on the beach near The Hague (that experiment wasn’t successful – no iron) January 2017



‘Diep Gaan’ is an art project organized by Lucy in de Lucht in connection with the start of the Tour de France in Utrecht. They invited artists, who go deep and challenge their own physical and mental limits. With a shovel and a wheelbarrow I moved 20 cubic meters of sand (30 tons) which I dropped, wheelbarrow-full after wheelbarrow-full, from the top of a spiral-shaped construction, so that a mountain formed in the middle. I worked continuously from 8.00 to 21.45, and the wheelbarrow was filled and emptied around 400 times. May 2015
The photos above are made by Baldwin Henderson


André Schreuders made a film of the 13 hour long performance. 48 minutes – please contact me for more information.


Für Lise

Maurice Meewisse went to the Ampelhaus with just one goal in mind: he wants his wife to come over for the opening. To make this possible he build in the least accessible part of the garden a house. On a pile of rubble and with that rubble he build a foundation and with other materials that lay rotting away in the garden he made the rest of the house. Für Lise was build in the garden of the Ampelhaus during a residency in the summer of 2015


All in a days work

All in a days works is the result of a full day of branding a piece of wood that drifted in on a beach near Aarhus. Counting from 1 to 94 in Roman numbers. Around 1m40 long, 2015



  Taiwan 2014

It seemed that sitting became a thing in my work. Looking back, it turned out I made a lot of hands on sitting solutions and it worth it to make a seperate page for it.  Georgia 2014


For Milk and Fire I asked Frank de Bruin to make a special edition of his stools.


Work Eat Sleep


Work Eat Sleep is a series of sculptures entrenched in the ground, making visible an underworld otherwise unseen, pushed to the edges, repressed and rejected. Both in form and content, Work Eat sleep tells a story about physical labour. An anonymous worker has set up a worksite camp. What the purpose of his labour is stays a question. July 2015



Work boot


size 47 – silver plated – 2015 – the photo’s above are made by Baldwin Henderson



Retrospectief is a wagon filled with wood from projects and artworks created over the last eight years. First presented at De Coöperatieve in Hasselt, Belgium, Curated by Karen Wyckmans (pictures below) Second presentation during Diepgaan, by Lucy in de Lucht at Galerie Sanaa, Utrecht (pictures above, by Baldwin Henderson) both in 2015

Lucy in de Lucht

De Cooperatieve




Art Villa Garikula in Georgia organizes every year Fest I Nova, a festival for contemporary art. Teams were invited to Fest I Nova to build pavilions. Dirk van Lieshout designed and build the Dutch pavilion. I was asked to make a work around his pavilion. Bivouac is a work that makes it possible for people to actually be around the pavilions, to live there. During the build up and the first days of the festival I created a complete camp and lived there, with places to sleep, work and shit. On the second picture the pavilion of Dirk van Lieshout is shown in the background.
Bivouac has been supported by CBK Rotterdam.

Interesting about Garikula is that art is a used as a tool to create a model for a society, based around the villa.



Coding Driftwood

In Coding Driftwood I try to reveal some of the mysteries surrounding driftwood. I picked up 30 pieces on the beaches near Hasting and St Leonards in the UK. With a set of branding irons, made out of shovels, I marked them with some data: a number and a place and sometimes the date and my initials. The SPACE, St Leonards, functioned as an outdoor workshop en as a warehouse until I put 20 back into the sea. Somebody can find them on a beach and know where they have been at one point. The other ten I brought home to send back into the sea at different locations. Summer 2014




Milk and Fire


Together with the team of Observatorium, Yasser Ballemans, de Urbanisten and Daan Draait we created a new perspective on the Museumpark commissioned by the New Institute. The pictures show Milk and Fire, a performance around a campfire, about what the Museumpark was, is and might be. This performance is a cooperation with Yasser Ballemans and Daan Draait, the stone ‘garden’ is a design by Observatorium and de Urbanisten. 2014, photo’s by Fred Ernst.

Yasser Ballemans

Het Nieuwe Instituut






The Cheng-Long Wetlands International Environmental Art Project in Taiwan was in 2014 focused around the fishing huts in the village. I made a plan to repair one complete hut, spread out over a series of huts and build a folly based on the repairs. The folly got the function of a coffee shack. Special thanks to Amy and Sam. May 2014


The Folly


Bål – Kunsten i Bevægelse


Bål is Danish for bonfire. During Kunsten i Bevægelse I collected wood in three different villages with the use of a little wagon. With this wood I made a big bonfire in each village. I invited the suppliers of wood to come to the fire while I served them self-flavoured-snaps. The pictures are from Staby.

This project resulted in a photo serie with seven photos, six with wagons and one with the stack. September 2013