Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Art Project Lets You Shoot an Iraqi

‘The Iraqi-born artist was speaking to a NEWSWEEK reporter 19 days into a grueling monthlong project that sounds, at first blush, suspiciously gimmicky: until June 4, Bilal is living his entire life inside one room at Chicago’s Flatfile Gallery, which anyone with a Web connection can log on to watch. Oh, and to shoot him. With “Domestic Tension” Bilal has turned his makeshift living quarters into a 24-hour-a-day war zone. Viewers can peep in on him anonymously at any time, and even chat with him online. On the installation’s Web site, his audience can fight for control of the camera and pan it around the room. Since the camera is affixed to a rifle-sized paintball gun — and the Web site has a button that allows viewers to fire the gun — they also have the opportunity to shoot at him, or anything else in his room. Which they have done an astonishing 40,000 times in the project’s first two and a half weeks.’

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