Dividual Notebook is a web-based project by the collaborative art team, Dividual Notes. We are a family (Brigit, Jean-Louis, and Tobias) who make art together, combining various visual-art forms with creative writing.
Brigit and Tobias are Dutch, and Jean-Louis is French. Twenty-five years ago we moved from The Netherlands to Ireland. Ireland has become our home, but over the years we have all experienced, at different times in our lives, and to different degrees, feelings of otherness and unbelonging.
In 2016 we decided to start a web-based project on this theme. Tobias designed and built the website, Dividual Notebook, which is our platform for sharing the work we make for this project.
In the period from May 2016 - May 2017 we created a body of work that reflects our individual and shared thoughts on being and leaving home, and how our identities have been shaped by notions of belonging.
Working on the Dividual Notebook project has given us the opportunity to examine our notions of belonging. It has helped us to see our sense of belonging as something we control, or at least have ownership of. We attribute belonging, it stems from us and has a home in us. It is both as real and impermanent as we are.
There is a dilapidated house standing in the fields behind my house. It always scared my children a little, while holding a certain magnetic pull for them as well. We used to call it the witch's house. It looks old and tumble-down, but that's charming too, and I'm always reminded of it whenever I drive past an empty cottage somewhere in the west of Ireland - another witch's house.
Uncanniness was first explored psychologically by Ernst Jentsch in a 1906 essay, 'On the Psychology of the Uncanny'. Jentsch defines the uncanny as: being a product of "intellectual uncertainty; so that the uncanny would always, as it were, be something one does not know one’s way about in. The better oriented in his environment a person is, the less readily will he get the impression of something uncanny in regard to the objects and events in it.