_ 2023

    Capitol Flags
_ 2021
    Notes From A Meek.

_ 2020
    Hoarder Order
    Opt For Change
    We Are The Champions

    That’s Delirious! 

    First Year
    Bad Trip
    Oh Yeah
    De Eerste Maandag Van De Maand
    The Brussels Series
    Waves | Hijacking The News
    When The Twins Were Still Beautiful
    Travis’ Encounter

Info / IRL / IG 

Capitol Flags, 2021-2023
Flags, documentation of flags and stills 

Over the past years I’ve been focused on the exchange between the virtual and the physical, especially in the direction of (online) activism, and the way politics are being shaped by online influences. One of the major contemporary events that has some clear virtual roots was the storming of the capitol. Everything that had been brewing online for a few years already, on this day came out into the physical world. Memes that so far only had an online live, where printed onto flags and t-shirts, slogans that come from dark corners of the internet the likes.

I started collecting the flags that were present in big numbers that day, totaling over 100 different ones so far – still waiting for some to come in. The relevance for me to start this physical database of artefacts connected to this moment in time had several reasons, the first being a document for what happened: how the online dissatisfaction became a physical event, for most of us to witness online again. The second to look into the symbolism behind these flags, which also mostly originated online, in meme culture and other virtual entities - now printed on canvas and brought to the streets – with hidden messages that can only be read by those who are able to read this visual language, who are part of the visual code-system. In an attempt to crack open these mostly inaccessible symbolics, I went on flag by flag trying to trace every single element present on the flag, find its origins and share it with my audience. I’ve been posting these flags plus an explanation of the symbols used on my Instagram for a while now. See documentation for some examples.

The footage I used to track down the flags comes from the Parler-archives. Parler was an alternative for Facebook, used by a lot of Trumpists and other right-wing Facebook-exiles, and had a large amount of users present during the storming of the Captol that January 6th, 2021. Parler, however, didn’t have it’s security in order, and some hackers where able to archive the entire website, including all videos, texts and photographs before Amazon, the host of the website, took it offline the evening of the riots. The metadata still embedded in these videos made it possible to create a timeline of the footage Parler-users uploaded that day near, around and in the capitol. This archive was publicy shared online, and still is accessible for anyone who wants to scroll through it. I scanned through these videos, frame by frame, to both find the flags and take screenshots of their presence, but also to work as a photographer not on the scene. I took hundreds of stills from this footage, cropped and edited them into images I wish I would have made when physically being at the scene.

The focus for me within this project is very much on this relationship between a virtual and a physical presence, not only in the subject matter – but also from my perspective as a maker. The flags are a red line through the project, but I see this as just an important chapter as my ability to be a documentary photographer with other people’s footage. The way these experiences flow into one other and, although not being physically present in most of our lives, do begin to play an important role at some point.

Part of the project was published in de Volkskrant.