Follow Us Or Die: Screening, Artist Talk And Book Reading

Follow Us Or Die: Screening, Artist Talk And Book Reading

Talk @ No-Space, April 29, 7:30 pm

With Vincent van Gerven Oei and Jonas Staal

“That is art beyond media: the impossible –
And you are dealing with it.”

-Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei and Jonas Staal, Follow Us Or Die (Atropos Press, 2009)

Artists Vincent van Gerven Oei and Jonas Staal explore the relationship between art, morality and society. In their work, they transform a court session into a performance, fragments of car bomb wrecks into jewelry, while a suicide terrorist is judged on his composition techniques.

Their video pamphlet “Follow us or Die” is a reflection on so-called ‘high school shooters’, young people who kill their teachers and classmates in a brutal manner. The visual and textual legacy of these ‘shooters’- the pre-recorded videos and texts circulating in the media after the events – function as central elements in the video.

The corresponding book presents short stories, poetry, theater pieces, visual outputs and essays that deal with the heritage of these young shooters – who saw total annihilation as the only possibility to express themselves – to point to core fears and desires in contemporary society.

On Thursday, April 29th we’ll be joined by Vincent W. J. van Gerven Oie for a book reading, screening and artist talk that will situate these subjects in a broader social and artistic context.
Follow Us or Die deals with the heritage of the so-called high school shooters within the context of the film pamphlet Follow Us or Die by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei and Jonas Staal. The material selected, quoted and presented in this publication encompasses literary work such as short stories, poetry and theater pieces as well as a representative selection of the visual output of this movement. Authors include Pekka-Eric Auvinen, Cho Seung-Hui, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Matti Juhani Saari and Jeff Weise. Van Gerven Oei, Staal and philosopher Wolfgang Schirmacher have supplemented this volume with essays reflecting on their heritage.

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei studied composition, linguistics and conceptual art in Den Haag and Leiden, The Netherlands and Amherst MA, USA. He is a PhD candidate in the Media & Communications department at the European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland. His research targets the borders and interfaces between art, technology, activism and theory and encompasses installations, pamphlets, essays and lectures. Van Gerven Oei works and lives in Den Haag, The Netherlands.
Jonas Staal studied monumental art in Enschede, The Netherlands and Boston MA, USA. His work functions in the domain of public interventions: installations, performances and Aktionen, executed (illegally) in public space. His artistic research anticipates and deals with the political developments in contemporary society in the form of lectures, essays, pamphlets and exhibitions in the public domain as well as institutional contexts. Staal works and lives as a visual artist in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Atropos Press, an independent publishing house in association with the European Graduate School, is dedicated to opening new debates in the fields of philosophy and media studies by producing interdisciplinary academic works at the forefront of contemporary thought and culture. Our aim is not only to advance scholarship but to contribute to the arts and sciences, and society as a whole.


April 29, 2010


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