12 April 2011

Afghan War Diary by Matthieu Cherubini



Afghan War Diary has been created by Matthieu Cherubini, the project proposes to review the story of the american war in Afghanistan through the continuous virtual killings of a famous war video game, Counter-Strike.
The website logs into an online war game server (Counter-Strike) to record real-time frags (game event of a player's killing). These frags trigger a search by chronological order in the Wikileaks Afghan War Diary database, which contains over 75,000 secret US military reports, the majority of these being lethal military actions involving the U.S. military. According to this data the location of the attack is displayed on the Google Earth mapping system. See more;

See Afghan War Diary here.

This project uses programming as a medium, code automatically links live action of players virtually killing each other (on CounterStrike) with real death records from the Afghan war (Wikileaks archives). This main automated mechanism have as consequence that the piece is brought and will be kept alive as long as online players keep killing each others. Computed into a neutral interface provided by Google, the automated system displays visually the geographic location of the military attacks, the whole coldness of that digital process is enhanced by a computer control console aesthetic. On the other hand, the three columns layout evocation oscillates between a video camera surveillance system and a religious painting. We feel in-between the detachment that evokes this computational interface and the strong potential debate to come when juxtaposing themes as war video games, religion and the Afghan war, and all the interpretations and critics that it opens to the viewer. Between CCTV and a religious triptych, the project could finally appear as a control console of a TV reality show on Afghan war massacre diary, animated real-time by virtual deaths of online players sponsored by Counter-Strike, Google and Wikileaks.

Supported browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera. Google Earth Plugin required (download)