Living under the gun – an interview with Wafaa Bilal

by Brian Boyko
Contributor, [GAS]

Over at Network Performance Daily, I was able to get an interview with Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi-American artist who is currently living for 30 days in his installation, which allows people over the Internet to shoot him with a paintball gun, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The project, inspired by a callous military gunner conducting missile strikes in Iraq from the safety of Chicago, deals with the dehumanization of distance and technology.

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.

(Oh, and please digg the story.  I’m really itching for my first front-page digg!)

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2 Responses to Living under the gun – an interview with Wafaa Bilal

  1. I didn't care much for the site. It's an interesting idea, and I liked the design of the actual site. However, the 10-15 minutes I spent there only had him on camera for maybe 30 seconds, and sure enough come time to shoot he was gone.

    While I can appreciate the symbolism I feel that if you're going to do it. Commit and do it all out.

  2. I didn’t care much for the site. It’s an interesting idea, and I liked the design of the actual site. However, the 10-15 minutes I spent there only had him on camera for maybe 30 seconds, and sure enough come time to shoot he was gone.

    While I can appreciate the symbolism I feel that if you’re going to do it. Commit and do it all out.

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