Generale Staten Workshop & Game/Performance

Project of Mieke van de Voort

20 Nov 2008
20 Nov 2008
  • Casco
  • Nieuwekade 213-215, Utrecht

Generale Staten (General States) is a project by Dutch artist Mieke Van de Voort, developed in collaboration with Casco, Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The project consists of a three-day workshop, from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 November 2008, followed by a game/performance on Sunday 23 November and an exhibition, opening on Wednesday 10 December 2008.


Performance at a schoolyard, from Casco -

Referencing the “Staten-Generaal,” an assembly of representatives of the Dutch provinces that became the parliament of the new Dutch Republic in the late 16th century, the project begins by recruiting participants from diverse social and cultural backgrounds to participate in a physical game set on an imaginary island called Orania. This island has been seized by an as yet unidentifiable virulent and deadly epidemic. The players are asked to assume different roles as inhabitants in a “general state” of collective crisis. By experiencing the isolation of a stricken state of mind, they are thrust into new states of being and challenged to cooperate to envision ways of coping with the situation.

The workshop is designed to immerse participants in a constructed group dynamic. The players are given various tools to grapple with issues that may arise over the course of the project, including information on the history of viruses and pandemics, self-organization strategies, theories of control and social order, notions of community, the production of difference, body-politics, decision-making, and conflict resolution. The practitioners and organizations contributing to the workshop include Mieke Van de Voort herself, Nina Yuen, Buro Jansen & Janssen, Otobong Nkanga, Carole Reeves, and Cib. For a detailed program, please refer to the schedule below.

After the workshop the game will be played at a long-dysfunctional high-rise building with the resonant name “Babel,” located in Casco’s neighbourhood. The general public is welcome to attend the workshop and game/performance and visitors are encouraged to share their feedback with the participants/players. Please let Casco know if you would like to attend by contacting them in advance at

Workshop Schedule

Thursday 20 November 18.00-21.00
'General State' Introduction by Mieke Van de Voort
'State of Contamination—Craig-y-nos' Lecture & Presentation by Carole Reeves, Outreach Historian of The Wellcome Trust Centre for The History of Medicine

Friday 21 November 18.00-21.00
'State of Emergency' Presentation by The Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands (Cib)
'State of Bodies/Suffering' Lecture & Exercise led by artist and performer Otobong Nkanga

Saturday 22 November 15.00-18.00
'State of Symptoms—Healing ourselves' DIY workshop by artist Nina Yuen
'State of Discipline' Lecture & Action led by Buro Jansen & Janssen

Also go to the Casco Projects website