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Onko tämä(kin) taidetta?

Nimimerkki dead-in-iraqin taideprojekti: loggautua sisään online-peliin “America’s Army”, ja kirjoittaa pelin sisäisinä viesteinä Irakin sodassa oikeasti kuolleiden sotilaiden nimiä. Pelissä tiimit harkoittelevat sotaa suhtkoht realistisen näköisissä ympäristöissä. Dead-in-iraq sai mielenkiintoista palautetta; kuten odotettavissa on, pelaajat eivät pitäneet pelinsä häiritsemisestä.

Irakilainen Wafaa Bilal kokeilee toisenlaista interaktiota. Hän on huoneessa, jonka seinään asetettettua värikuula-asetta saa ohjata internetin välityksellä ja yrittää osua Bilaliin. “Log On, Shoot at an Iraqi!” Teoksen nimi on Domestic Tension, viittaa taiteilijan mukaan siihen, miten irakilaiset joutuvat nykyään viettämään elämäänsä seinien sisäpuolella.

19.5.: Bilalin haastattelu. Lainaus:

These paintballs hurt and I think it’s obvious that paintballs hurt. There were 6,500 pulls of the trigger – I don’t think that’s all one guy doing it, so what have you learned about the human condition?

(*bang, bang*) I mean, I’m trying to (*bang*) see where these shooters are coming from, and what’s behind it, and there’s really not one thing that you can say about them. The project attracted so many different people with different points of view. It varies from guys in their office having fun, to someone bored somewhere and shooting all day and all night, to some other people trying to engage in a political dialogue.

That’s at least part of the intention of this project – to attract people who may never want to engage in a political dialogue about the war, or violence, or civilians, or lack of privacy, and it’s working in that sense.

I always said that I wanted to play with the idea of aesthetic pleasure versus aesthetic pain, to the point that it becomes an encounter, instead of a didactic art. When you encounter it, you are drawn to it because of aesthetics on the surface and the appealing quality, but then, that encounter leads you to something else entirely.

Do you think the pseudo-anonymity of the internet and the distance has a lot to do with how this project is turning out?

No doubt about it. I mean, (*bang*) it is an internet base, and it is using the latest way of communication, but by design (*bang*), I wanted to remove the viewer from any physical impact. You log on the set, and you don’t even have sound (*bang,bang*) I mean, you’re hearing it right now, because we’re on the phone, but when you’re on the site, you never hear it. That’s speaks of the virtual war that’s being conducted against Iraq and other nations as well.

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