Boys Like Me (Colorado, USA)

A short excerpt of an infinite loop. This video is one of three pieces that I made shortly after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year. Like many others did, as information about the shooter began to come out, I dug into our past to reflect on how we are here again–only to realize that the shooter in Parkland was 19 years old, and the Columbine High School shooting occurred 19 years ago (its anniversary following just a few months after this event). This numerical relationship is both coincidental and eerily reinforces what we already know, that many young people today know only a world in which school shootings are normal. It attests to a state of perpetual violence, a loop, and an inescapable legacy that we are still living in the shadows of. The images in this video are of the two shooters from Columbine. They are prints of their Columbine school photos, which were the images most commonly circulated of them by the media.

The Columbine shooting was not the first mass shooting in this country by any means, but it was the first to receive major media attention, and the first to be burned into our collective memory–never to be erased–in part because it would be the first of many like it. I myself was a high school student at the time, experiencing the event with my own kind of proximity to the shooting and the shooters. A white, angry, teenage male, living and going to school in the suburbs. And now a generation later, watching the same story unfold again and again.

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Ⓒ E. Aaron Ross 2019