Shock and Awe (2016) – Background

I subscribe to cable TV but I don’t watch it. I don’t watch the shows, I don’t watch the evening news, I don’t watch the weather. But I do watch some things, sometimes. One of the things I watch is wars. And I don’t just watch. I camp out in front of the TV, sleeping on the coach. I did this during the ground invasion in Iraq. I watched and watched, and not only watched, I recorded. The twenty-one days of the ground invasion, I recorded every new bit of footage I could, every live broadcast.

And then later I photographed the videos, making thousands of images. One image, in fact, for each of the Allied dead.

Like the GOP primaries, the Iraq War, the coverage of the beginning of the war, was a moment of unconcealed glee on the part of the news establishment. It was the chance to do real reporting on real events, the chance to ride around in combat with soldiers, and the chance to make some real money.

The videos are slideshows, sliding past at a kinetic rate, layered upon each other. Frenetic. They are randomly arranged but you will see patterns, and persistent elements, logos, talking heads. All there, frame after frame, by chance.

It’s a furniture film but one suited for a memorial.

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