Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón, North of Spain has opened a very very very good exhibition a few days ago. FEEDFORWARD – The Angel of History addresses the current moment in history where the wreckage of political conflict and economic inequality is piling up, while globalized forces–largely enabled by the “progress” of digital information technologies–inexorably feed us forward. I’ll write about it in details in the near future but i’d like to share with you straight away one of the most interesting artworks i’ve discovered there.
Hasan Elahi (you probably know his ongoing project Tracking Transience) Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad 1798-2006 (2009)
Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad is a transparent map that documents the use of U.S. Armed Forces by means of 22LR caliber bullets. Shooter from the Olympic Society of Shooting in Gijón shot from a distance of 25 meters (the Spanish law wouldn’t allow for a closer shot) into the polycarbonate map at the precise location where each incursion has occurred since 1798. According to Congressional Research Service report for Congress, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2006, there have been approximately 330 instances “in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes”, or more than 1 per year.
In places, the resulting map is a literal wreck due to the number of incidents in certain areas. It is also a map of the expanding sphere of influence of the United States, as its military reach matches its economic scope of activities.
FEEDFORWARD – The Angel of History is on view until April 5, 2010 at Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón, Spain.