Diederik Peeters is looking for a part-time collaborator to oversee and execute production management, logistic support and distribution tasks for the project ‘Confabulations’.

Sparking point for ‘Confabulations’ is a fascination with the history of psychiatry, and with some particular neuro-psychiatric conditions. Convinced that there is a need for a new imagination around normativity and our relationship to reality, the project wants to stimulate this new imagination and give it a possible form. Where and why do we call what we perceive 'reality'? How is this perception fuelled by our shared fears and desires? From when on and with what (scientific) authority is our perception considered 'pathological'? And what reference points do we have for considering someone 'normal'? How do those reference points shift throughout history, and how can we imagine them in the future?

Work on ‘Confabulations’ started in January 2024, and will lead up to the premiere of a new show in November 2025. The project is supported by the Flemish Government (project subsidy), Belgian tax-shelter (via Perpodium), and a number of co-producers (BUDA Kortrijk, Schauspiel Leipzig, Le Quartz Brest, STUK / Playground Leuven…). We are still looking for some extra support, but the majority of the production budget is confirmed.

We are looking for SOMEONE...

– with an interest in the artistic work of Diederik Peeters, and in the project ‘Confabulations’
– with knowledge of the performing arts sector in Belgium and Europe
– with a taste and appetite for various artistic disciplines
– who wants to help develop a vision, strategy and framework for productional and distribution aspects of the project
– who can structure and prioritise well
– who values transparency and has good communication skills
– who is meticulous, proactive and well organised
– who enjoys direct contact with artists, collaborators and institutional partners
– who likes to take care of projects, the process and the collaborators
– who likes to work from the rehearsal studio and can sometimes join on residencies or tours
– who enjoys both collaborating closely and working independently
– with experience in managing budgets
– who finds pleasure in organising and coordinating
– with a good sense of humour
– who responds to many of these criteria, but obviously not all

Working closely with Diederik himself, the SPIN administration and the artistic and technical team, the collaborator participates in the strategic development of the project, and creates the general framework for a thorough productional and logistic follow-up.

This can include the following TASKS… (we will negotiate and compile a final task-list together)

Workflow coordination
– Creating and maintaining a general overview of the project’s production and distribution tasks, time-frames, goals and priorities
– Structuring and communicating this overview transparently to Diederik and other collaborators (where needed)
– Prioritising clearly. Proposing solutions and new time-frames when deadlines are not met or mistakes made (which sometimes happens of course)
– Flagging when workload becomes too heavy, or when reactive work is blocking pro-active work

– Design and maintain internal tools to collaborate, communicate and archive transparently (meeting reports, to-do lists, calendars, budgets, contacts, contracts etc.). Current tools we use are Dropbox, Notion, Airtable, Excell, Google Calendar

Budget wizardry
– Decide budget strategies and priorities in close collaboration with Diederik
– Redesigning the general budget matrix where needed, and keeping the budget up to date and in excellent shape
– Assuring a good Airtable hygiene (Airtable is SPIN’s bookkeeping tool)
– Quarterly bookkeeping cross-checks with SPIN’s administration
– Closing the budget at the end of the project and preparing subsidy reports

Admin geekery
– Preparing invoices
– Regular check-ins with SPIN’s administrator
– Regular archiving of contracts and other administration

Payroll fun
– Negotiating and monitoring fees for collaborators and service providers
– Send and follow up payroll requests to SPIN, L’Amicale and Perpodium

Logistic pleasantries
– Organisation and execution of logistics for residencies and performance dates (transport of set, travel of collaborators…) in close communication with collaborators and hosting venues. Drafting callsheets, rooming lists, planning tables...
– Communicating with collaborators and partnering venues
– Tour-manager on dates (subject to availability)

Partnerships & distribution
– Development and execution of strategies to find new funding and partners
– Follow-up of relations with partners, join meetings (with Diederik) to discuss content and practicalities
– Making transparent and detailed meeting reports of (internal and external) meetings
– Negotiating and drafting contracts with partners
– Targeting, inviting and welcoming professionals at public presentations

– Communicating about the project internally and externally (partners, newsletter etc)
– Updating the production dossier for the project with content and practical details
– Responding to communication and other requests from partners
– Drafting, proofreading and sending communication material to partners
– Drafting and proofreading grant applications and subsidy reports

SPIN offers

– A pleasant, safe and inspiring working environment.

– Contract: free-lance equivalent to 0.4 FTE (2 days per week) according to CAO PC 304 (Belgian collective agreement), for 6 months, renewable thereafter. Possibility of FTE increase depending on workload, subsidies, co-productions and distribution. Seniority to be determined by mutual agreement.

– Flexible working hours, partly depending on the project planning. Together we ensure that 40% = 40%, or occasionaly we budget extra days on the payroll.

– Extra: work laptop, expense allowances for telephone and commuting.

Start date of employment

Between June and October 2024, by mutual agreement and subject to availability.

About ‘Confabulations’

The term 'Konfabulationen' was coined in 1900 by German psychiatrist Carl Wernicke. He referred to a mechanism observed in patients with severe amnesia, who unconsciously filled the gaps in their memory with invented stories that they then assumed to be true. Over the course of the 20th century, neuroscientists gradually recognised this same mechanism in other patients, and today there is consensus that we all 'confabulate'. Unconsciously, we produce fictions that we then take for true. It is these made-up stories that make our experience of reality and our own behaviour meaningful and understandable.

For an artist who enjoys making up and telling stories, this unconscious reflex of our brains to constantly create fictions tickles the imagination. It is also significant that what was initially considered a specific pathology occurring only in certain patients, is understood today as a general human trait. What does that mean about the status of what we call 'reality'? If we all need fictitious concoctions in our dealings with reality, what exactly distinguishes us from psychiatry's 'pathologies'? From when do we start considering hallucinations, psychoses and other brain 'fabrications' as pathological?

Convinced that there is a need for a new imagination around normativity and our relationship to reality, and convinced that art can play an important role in this, I want to stimulate this new imagination and give it a possible form. What is the difference between what we perceive, believe and feel? Where and why do we call it 'reality'? And how is this perception fuelled by our shared fears and desires? From when and with what (scientific) authority is our perception considered 'pathological'? And what reference points do we have for considering someone 'normal'? How do those reference points shift throughout history, and how can we imagine them in the future?

Informed by thorough research in the history of psychiatry and popular culture, it is these kinds of questions that spark the work on ‘Confabulations’.

Production-wise, 'Confabulations' builds on the atypical creation process that was developed for the previous project 'Apparitions'. This process uses a different rhythm from the classical production model in the performing arts, and passes through the creation of a series of modules that precede the conception of a final full-length performance.

In each of the modules, an element of the general content is tackled from a specific angle. A different artistic form is used each time, which is presented to an audience. Modules are to the stage what short stories are to literature, or songs to music: they are smaller in scale than a full-length performance but each has its own identity, an autonomous dramaturgy and are in all respects a work in themselves, not a work-in-progress. Specific partners, collaborators and presentation contexts are sought for each of the modules.

Only after this series of modules we embark on the creation of a full-length performance. The creation process will certainly be informed by the modules, but it is in no way a patch-work collecting the different results of these modules. It is a new piece altogether, with its own logic, dramaturgy and theatrical language.

About Diederik Peeters

Despite a degree in visual arts, Peeters quickly got lost in the performing arts. He popped up in the work of fellow artists, cunningly disguised as actor, performer or even advisor (Miet Warlop, Erna Omarsdottir, Superamas, Sarah & Charles, Grand Magasin...). But above all, he insists on brewing his own artistic concoctions, sometimes in collaboration with carefully chosen cronies. He mostly makes performances, but has also been caught writing texts, devising installations, videos, podcasts.... The notion of a solid and unchanging reality is stubbornly sabotaged to reveal a universe in which everything is constantly transforming and nothing remains what it seems.

His own creations include 'Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep, he waits...' (2007, with Danai Anesiadou & Hans Bryssinck), 'Thriller' (2009), 'Zanahoria' (2010, with Hans Bryssinck), 'Red Herring' (2011), 'Hulk' (2013), 'La Chasse' (2015, with Julien Fournet) and 'Apparitions' (2019). These projects were realised with the support of a wide network of partners such as Kaaitheater, Vooruit, STUK, BUDA, Gessnerallee, Le Vivat, De Brakke Grond, Centre Pompidou, Schauspiel Leipzig... They have been shown in various theatres in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, UK, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Norway, Estonia and Iceland.

Peeters' work is always created in very close collaboration with a team of various collaborators. A horizontal and transdisciplinary approach goes without saying: the lighting designer is involved in the dramaturgy, the production assistant provides feedback on the performers, and the performers think along about sound and scenography. In this approach, production work is considered an intrinsic and integral part of the artistic process. The way the production of a creation is conceived will determine process and outcome, as much as the input of actors, dramaturgs or sound designers.

From 2019 to the end of 2022, Peeters was affiliated to KASK / Hogent as a researcher of the research project 'Futurology of Cooperation'. He regularly gives workshops or lectures and acts as a mentor in schools such as Ritcs, P.A.R.T.S, KASK or Universiteit Antwerpen. Together with Kate McIntosh and Hans Bryssinck he founded SPIN, a Brussels support and reflection platform for artistic practice.

About SPIN

SPIN is an arts organisation that provides a tailor-made framework for the artistic trajectories of artists Anna Rispoli, Diederik Peeters, Hans Bryssinck, Kate McIntosh and Marnie Slater. Based in Brussels, the organisation works in several European and non-European countries.

At the heart of SPIN are self-organisation, collective autonomy, openness and collaboration. SPIN is driven from artistic practice and from close consultation with the artists. Different disciplines come together in SPIN. SPIN is an organisation in constant development.

SPIN is a Brussels-based organisation with staff currently also active in Berlin and Mexico City.

SPIN creates a non-discriminatory, self-organised and independent space for discourse on collaboration, solidarity, asymmetry and sustainability. We value a working environment in which discrimination is handled sensitively. We prioritise good collaboration between colleagues and artists and make space for different lifeworlds and experiences.

For this vacancy, we make a warm call to people who experience structural forms of discrimination, e.g. BIPOC people, FLINTA people, people with an individual or family history in migration, people with disabilities or chronic illnesses and other people disadvantaged by their effective or inscribed social and educational status.

SPIN is structurally supported by the Flemish Government and cooperates with a large network of domestic and foreign co-producers and partners.

SPIN also cooperates structurally with L'Amicale (Lille, F) - in particular for Diederik Peeters' projects, an associated production is set up between SPIN and L'Amicale.

How to apply?

Send your CV together with a motivation letter to diederik@spinspin.be. If you have questions about this call, the selection-procedure or about the job, don’t hesitate to contact Diederik at the same address.

Applications from people with a relevant personal or professional background and experience are encouraged. We particularly encourage people who experience structural discrimination to apply.