W.A.R. – War Against Reality
9 October 2019

W.A.R. – War Against Reality

In W.A.R. – War Against Reality – I have set out to use a computational process to compress war documentary footages into single digital images. I do so to question the system and limitations of embedded journalism, the arguable reportages coming from professional eyewitnesses, and their often partisan and very selective depiction of conflict. 

I work curatorially with war footage created by embedded journalists or military personnel across numerous war theatres and published on the Internet. I then compress each selected video into single digital images using a computational process that mimics exposures lasting as much as the videos’ durations, or thematic cuts of the same. To then edit and sequence the computed imagery.

The resulting visuals are war documentary footages distilled into minimal palettes, and arranged into aestheticizing compositions, whose degree of abstraction varies according to the contents of the footage. They seem to reject almost every sort of mimesis. They attempt to subvert any attempt of representation and narration. Hiding more than they show, these traces of war speak about the limitations of embedded journalism, its selective depiction of conflict made from the front row, and its impact on how war is narrated.

– “All wars are the same; […] if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” – Ziyah Gafić