17, no.1 in a cycle of 17 Trillingen / Vibrations 2021

Zwemmen in toevalligheden en schijnbare weetjes.

Swimming in coincidences and ostensible facts.






Video, 17 min.


©  2021 Cesar Janssens & Griet Dobbels


The duration of the video is 17 minutes, for an optimal quality, please view it on your computer screen with headphone.


Credits video: editing: Tim Visterin

Credits performance: trumpet: Carlo Nardozza; soprano: Jana Pieters; dance: Lisi Asteras; taiko: Tsubasa Hori / architecture: Cesar Janssens & Griet Dobbels / audio: Florian Neyrinck / image: smartphone film-makers and Tim Visterin / lighting: de Warande, Turnhout (Kaena, Jef, Tom, Mark,...)

With thanks to: sound mirrors: Els Vermeersch, Wim Viaene and Gerardo Salinas / Performer of dreams: Ralf Nonn

Supported by: KVS (Brussels), de Warande (Turnhout) and Flanders, State of the Art.


Seventeen is the result of a joint collaboration between Cesar Janssens and Griet Dobbels. An investigation into the expanding universe and the cause of the Big Bang leads to the emergence of a poetic world, a journey that takes us to the core of our human existence: the (re)discovery of wonder, the vibration of beauty and all its contradictions. 

Visual artist Griet Dobbels and creative squid Cesar Janssens met each other by chance. With open minds and a longing to experiment they dived into the water together. Below the surface, they discovered a forest of coincidences and ostensible facts. 

The process that arose was one of searching and finding, trial and error, chaos and control, discovery and creation. The conversations were like tick-tock, word and answer, play and inspiration, man and woman, resistance and acceptance. 

On 17 April 2021, the stage at de Warande cultural centre burst open. There was no audience. The space was filled with Griet and Cesar’s installation of sound sculptures, drawings, video projections, word pictures, paper objects that related to a dancer, a taiko drummer, a trumpeter, a soprano, a cameraman and seven smartphone film-makers. Everything was orchestrated by Cesar Janssens and Griet Dobbels. The group immersed themselves in a two-hour long creative explosion. The ground shook. The echo lingered on the inner sound mirrors. 

The artists cloistered themselves in the editing room and plunged into the audio files and film footage. Image and music merged seamlessly into a new universe, a landscape in which to get lost. Seventeen is a synaesthetic journey of the best kind: a cycle that moves from stillness to post-punk and back again.

Els Vermeersch, Compagnon d’art



Seventeen is a prime number. The universe is made up of seventeen elementary particles? The haiku consists of seventeen syllables.  17 April 2021 was a Saturday. The video Seventeen is the first vibration. Sixteen more will follow. 


Synaesthesia is a special type of metaphor. The senses interact in a unique way. The stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.


A sound painting is like an idiophone without words. The sound refers not only to sound but also to movement, taste, smell, texture, colour and line. 


Collaboration is working together.


Do not confuse equivalence with equality.


Always try again.  


In the dance of methodologies, place all the tools on the table at once and resist ingrained codes. On the way to a new kind of beauty.


The forest of coincidences, or what we call serendipity, is the joy of making wonderful discoveries by accident.

Ostensible facts: things that seem true, but aren’t. 

Co-creating is influencing. Ownership is shared. 

Friction and connection are about searching and meeting.

Diving together into the pool of coincidences creates friction and connection. It tilts at the friction line.

Back and forth, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

Trust is about creating a safe space. That space is created by mutual communicative vibrations. It is the vibration of the day.

From stillness to post-punk, backwards and forwards. Order and chaos are an anchored cycle.

Everything is vibration. Vibration is everything. It is the bringing together and (re)discovery of coincidences that leads to the vibration of wonder, the vibration of beauty, and all their contradictions. It is an investigation into the expanding universe, into the cause of the mega-vibration, the Big Bang. To reach the core of our own human universe, which dances on fundamental vibrations. 

Again and again. There is the temporality of the result. There is the eternal process. Falling down and getting back up. How to get lost in the inexplicable, the unexpected...