Friours EARTH charter

This is the 7th issue of FRIOUR NETWORK MAGAZINE, a blog publication because of the many contributions of 204 artists worldwide in reaction on the 4 principles of the EARTH CHARTER: respect and care for the community of life / ecological integrity / social and economical justice / democracy, nonviolence and peace.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


A meeting in my flat in Brussels to prepare the festival and the Earth Charter installation.

Here Geert De Decker is playing with the earth object Josee Hatin (CANADA) mailed me

photos: GV

Installation with the marvelous piece by Josee Hatin, disposed on other ceramic pieces of my private collection

A dinner meeting BEFORE the festival uniting

Pete Spence, Australia

Bernd Reichert, Germany but living in Belgium

Zois & Lynn, USA

& Guido Vermeulen, Belgium (camera eye)

The festival happened in the academy of Fine arts of the town of St Niklaas, Flemish part of Belgium

Program of artistic performances during the festival weekend

Altered Festival Postcard, part of the Earth Charter postcard contributions box, traveled very fast to "other hands & horizons"

GROUP PHOTO of participating artists, organizers and the real workers behind the festival!

This photo was shot by one of the participating artists, Zoran Dragelj, a Croatian living in Canada, who commented on the performance row (see later on the blog) "oh no, this is really the end of Serbia". Well, not exactly, but it was a good example of a cultural social clash anyway! (GV)

The EARTH CHARTER contributions installation at the INDEPENDENT ARTS FESTIVAL in St Niklaas, Belgium, which happend the weekend of April 22-23, 2006
Photos: Guido Vermeulen - Reid Wood - Peter Netmail

Table with artist books, zines and poetry contributions. A box contained the postcard contributions and visitors to the festival were invited to go thru the box and return home with one of the postcards, to keep or to mail further on...

Me copying the poem WHERE of Patrick Anderson Mc Quoid, I read later in the night at the Archipel event

When I took the installation down I gave Patrick's poem contribution to Patricia, one of the cultural organizers of the town of St Niklaas

Geert De Decker, one of the main organizers of the festival, between the Earth Charter installation. This installation was the work of Guido Vermeulen assisted by Pete Spence, who traveled to St Niklaas on Friday. Later Pete wrote this funny text as comment on the day before the opening of the festival weekend:


in St Niklaas
I'm helping Guido
hang his exhibition
I put a few things
of mine up!!
Geert is in a panic
Guido and I finish
and find a bar
try a few
of the beers!!
turns up
we try
a few more!!

Pete Spence

(the creations of Pete you'll find at the end of this blog, in the visual poetry chapter, who Karl-Friedrich is, will follow;
other memorable moment was the poetry reading at Archipel, an event that happened also in St Niklaas. We did the night reading with participating festival poets: Luc Fierens, Dobrica Kamperelic, Pete and I reading a selection of the Earth Charter poems you'll discover also on the blog. We ended the morning in a cellar bar where Dobrica, Karl-Friedrich, Pete and I discussed the meanings of the philosophy of Heidegger. And I can assure you we were not exactly sober... (GV)
June, 2006. Pete emails me another poem "on the festival", so yes, I can say without hesitation that the festival impact has been huge on all who attended it and interrelated with joy and without any hidden agendas...
The ending of the text refers to further traveling from Belgium to Italy, where some who attended the festival met again in Venice for a meeting of the artist's republics (project hosted by Tiziana Baracchi and Giancarlo de Lio)

St Niklaas 2006

spare me a wing
i want to fly
to Brussels
for a summit
with Guido and Bernd
and suddenly
i find my hand
wrapped around
a Belgian beer
in late afternoon
sunshine in spring!
and Reid continues
to look
a figment of enigma
mask or no mask
though isn't that
someone else
behind his mask
as the shadows deepen?
Dobrica may
be enigmatic enough
but does he need
a mask? does he
have one? or would
he borrow Reid's?
as we know he could
while evening thickens!
Peter is again
clowning around
so we all put
on our red noses
until he finally
loses his identity
in the glowing darkness!
the best thing
about Karl-Friedrich
is his ability
to look like himself
and still do so
around three
in the morning
sketching at a bar
when the darkness
is angular
and more precise!
Dawn your dress
sense is not
so cryptic
in the strands
of chaotic air...
so Geert
that apprehension
ruptering your fabryk
was energy
better spent!
yes! the festival
was great!
as i catch a train
out of St Niklaas
to Milan

(c) Pete Spence

Red Nose Communication:
Reid-Mark-Zois-Lynn-Pete & Frips

Living Concrete art: Water and Clay Altering Sculptures during a whole weekend

Clay and water installation outside the festival room

Water sprinklers attacked the clay during the whole weekend. Earth water found its way to the play ground. The same artist had done a similar thing on a smaller scale last year.
He calls himself Urban Art Spatwork aka Gassy Recipe and is from Belgium.
For me this is an example of concrete art, an echo of concrete poetry and concrete music.
I imagined pictures in the back of concrete poems and a musical score on the background of contemporary composers like Luigi Nono, Mauricio Kagel or Helmut Lachenmann.
Who thinks that the spirit of the sixties is dead must really examine his/her head!(GV)

Picture 1: GV

Other ones: Reid Wood

Festival Posters by Josh Mac Phee, USA

"Places the US has bombed since WW 2"

Judi Bari (1949-1997) was an environmentalist, a labor organizer and an Earth First activist

Wangari Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement

Ruben De Loof, Belgium

It was fun for me to see that so many other participants at the festival showed art that was directly Earth Charter related, of course what is not related to the charter???

We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine and the machine is bleeding to death

by DsuDorion, Belgium

Card mailed to me after the festival, a "nice" statement by Kurt Vonnegut, produced by Joel Cohen, aka Sticker Dude (USA)

Fun robots by Brickboy aka Sjors Trimbach from The Netherlands

Plans of these objects were on a table and the public could decorate a square of the plan

They were then assembled as collective creations

Pascal Lenoir (France)

viewing the tribute installation to Marilyn Dammann (USA)

and the creations of Pawel Petasz (Poland)

Reid, Pati and Pete

Pati Bristow and friend (USA), Pati is holding here one of the Earth Charter artist book contributions (by Cordula Kagemann, Germany)

Australia-France: 1-3

Pete confronting

Pascal Lenoir & friend

& Remy Penard

A German student,
Franziska Block, preparing a book on network art in Germany, with a special focus on former Eastern Germany, came to the festival and interviewed as many mail artists as possible
Interviews with Geert, Peter, Liza & Guido

When mail artist meet

borders meltdown

are quite celestial

Frips & Mark (B)

Lynn & Zois (USA)

Photos: Reid

Lynn & Zois

The whole festival edition was based on interactivity with the public. This is the American mail artist Reid Wood with an artist trading card table. He invited people to make their own cards and swap them for his own creations. Something that was a big hit with the visiting school children.
Photos: GV. I helped Reid also with translation assistance.

Fashion installation by Jimmy Fly and Dzia Dzia (Belgium), based on the punk heritage

Sabina sewing the portraits of Lorenzo Petrantoni and Reid Wood

Sabina sewing my portrait (GV)

Sabina Romanin making portraits of participating artists and audience of the festival with a Singer sewing machine.

Perhaps the most magical moment of the whole weekend!

Sabina and friend viewing the collage installation of the Italian artist Lorenzo Petrantoni

Karl Friedrich Hacker playing the saxophone during the festival.

This picture is already from 2005.

Stencil art creations by Mariusz and friends (Poland), outside and inside the festival room.
The inside installation were fragments placed on magnets, so the audience could construct, alter and change a permanent city of imagination
a smiling Peter Netmail in front of the stencil art installation by M-City (Poland)