Deterrence Machine (2011)

This piece titled ‘Deterrence Machine’ is a single channel video with sound that explores the military-media-industrial-entertainment complex. The video opens with a column of bombs plummeting towards the earth in silence.  As the video continues the column of bombs becomes obscured by the introduction of sound and visual elements from the video game Super Mario Brothers, a picture from the NY Times of a grief stricken father carrying his dead child and stock footage of an explosion. Through the introduction of these elements we become aware of the role media and entertainment play in drawing our attention away from the tragedy and horror of war. Eventually, a final bomb drops from the sky and the column disappears along with the previously introduced sound and visual elements, leaving a silent and peaceful blue sky. After a short period of peace, bombs again begin to fall from the sky and the video starts over in a continuous loop of media, entertainment and military overlap that exposes the line between the instability of reality and the comfort of the ‘metaverse’. 
Additionally it serves as a meditation on the power of the internet. Every piece of footage and sound was intentionally pulled from the internet, showcasing the potential the internet and video sharing sites poses to create works political in both content and form. 
The title is taken from a Baudrillard quote in which he says; “The Disneyland imaginary is neither true nor false; it is a deterrence machine set up in order to rejuvenate in reverse the fiction of the real”. Similarly, the military-industrial-media-entertainment complex can be seen as its own type of machine, set up to image-shock the public into indifference while providing distraction from the anxiety and disgust of unmediated war. 
The production, representation, and execution of war have begun to seamlessly merge behind the partnerships and overlap between industry, entertainment and the military.  Our generation is facing a "new kind of trauma without sight, drama without tragedy, where television wars and video games blur together"(Der Derian), and questions concerning ethics have become inaudible over the electrical buzz of digital technologies.
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militainment, gaming, media

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