Dedicated Follower

Dedicated Follower- video still- Thumbnail- 2022
Dedicated Follower- -video still- click this image to see video

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About this video.

I’ve made this video especially for the theme exhibition  Rituals (Rituelen), which will take place in the autumn of 2022 at the Rietveldpaviljoen, Amersfoort. It will be a centrepiece of a larger installation.

Many human customs are encapsulated with rituals. I took a close and critical look at the rituals concerning the phenomenon of “following “. As an artist I am interested in decomposing social phenomenon’s, strip it from its general social acceptance and examine it on it’s true merits.

Because of the sensitive content of the video it could easily be misread or misinterpret. This is why I wrote this supporting letter. To explain my underlying motives to you! It feels kind of vulnerable to share the video with youThe reason to publish it ahead of the exhibition is to examine the sentiments it arouses and if the message I want to send comes across the way I hope.

So here goes:

The difference between following and following– I feel more or less obliged to clarify what I mean by following within this context, because we more or less all follow and imitate, constantly, consciously, unconsciously and since the dawn of time.

I make the distinction between critical following and blind following. The following I am referring to in my video is blind and fanatic. In the blind variety the critical ability kind of disappears and dedication and fanaticism gradually increases. A fanatical follower more or less surrenders his uniqueness and literally hands over his individuality and power. What consequences this may have thereafter depends entirely on the followed, to whom this authority is granted to. Passionate following sounds fairly harmless, but is it really?

To follow, anno now, anno the past, anno the future – Following, anno now, is something that literally engages masses of people on all kinds of different levels. Because it has an enormous social, commercial and economic impact, it raises the question to what extent we are slowly losing our autonomy en masse and what possible consequences are still in store for us. How will we look back on this in the future or is the future a more extreme continuation of what we are experiencing today?

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Lees de uitgebreide versie in het Nederlands @

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Disclaimer (wrote on 09-02-2022) Although I wanted to take this topic of ‘following’ to the cutting edge I had not foreseen that YouTube would remove my content on the grounds of Hate Speech. This was as shocking as it was interesting because, obviously, the content was not considered in depth. They’ve been upset over some historical images that easily can be used in the actual hate speech industry. In my defence; a kitchen knife can be a murder weapon in the hands of murderer but in the hands of a cook it’s a useful and much needed tool……………

…………….I do hope to make the viewer reflect as I try to peel off the innocence of the word follow.

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Lees gehele disclaimer in het Nederlands @

Social acceptance and adaptation – So, in conclusion, we all like to follow. Following as an activity has undergone a transformation in the 21st century; it has now become a more abstract, elusive, extensive, and diffuse concept. It is currently unclear if and what consequences are tied to contemporary online following. Although I have this premonition that those consequences will be there, and that it will unfold very gradually and quietly. Nevertheless, as it has now turned into a widely accepted phenomenon, there is little to no resistance in society; it seems as natural as the sun emerging daily.

Meanwhile, a major social shift is taking place that is actually eluding our perception because, to a greater or lesser extent, we are all currently part of it. Whether the outcome is positive or negative, it seems to become an irreversible process; the system wherein it operates is too big as it is. Morals, norms, values, outlook on the world, fashion, trends, politics, geopolitics and even the perception of nature, everything is influenced and colored by this faceless system.

Having supporters or being supporter is now an important measure of popularity, especially for young people – it confirms a right to exist. In a strange way, it provides some kind of online communal sense, only this particular community is in addition to being powerful, rather superficial, infinite, and fickle and thrives on the delusion of the moment.

Following and peer group dynamics versus autonomy – There appears to be more polarization and divergence today than there was a few decades ago. We have all come to live in our own confirmation bubble and are increasingly less understanding of the other side. We feel safe and empowered within our group or bubble, we are known and recognized there. Decreasing tolerance and resentment of other groups is possibly a secondary effect here. Therefore, with this video I would like to make a stand for, autonomy and independent living and thinking.

Read the original concept and context, the introductory text for the exhibition ‘Rituals’@

Lees het originele concept en context, de introductie tekst voor de expositie ‘Rituelen’ @

Read the uncut story and disclaimer in total @

Lees het complete verhaal en de disclaimer in het Nederlands @