Visualizing the Art of War

2005. Animation. Single-channel video, with sound. 5 min. Vimeo link: Visualizing the Art of War

Visualizing the Art of War explores poetics and visualization. The video examines the power of numbers and the use of visual abstraction (with a focus on the arrow) to address the accumulation of information and the media experience of war, and our ability to process the toll war takes on humanity.

Data gleaned from daily news accounts of the Iraq War was re-recited over handheld transceiver, made visual, and countered by excerpts from the Art of War (attributed to Sun Tzu 500 BC).

The soundtrack comprises a mix of repetitive beeps, breaths, and phrases, which refers to the broadcast media experience of quick sound bytes and pop rhythms. The drawings were created over the course of four months, with each day’s events visualized through drawing, and then erased. These erased surfaces were shot in video, also every day. They are the gritty black and white imagery in the final video.

The pop graphic of the cut numbers and textual information refers to the branding of war and the trivialization of the horrors. The video reflects on the relationship of real war to mediated war. Visualizing the Art of War was created at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005 as part of my MFA Thesis in Design/Visual Communication, Aesthetic Representations of Violence, under the mentorship of Sandra Wheeler, Roy Mckelvey, Rob Carter and Matt Woolman.

+ screenings + broadcast

Featured in the first ‘Art in the Air,’ PECO Crown Lights, Philadelphia, PA, July 4, 2010.
Experimental Media Series, WPA\Corcoran, Washington, D.C., April 26, 2006.
One Minutes, Salto A1 Television, The Netherlands, April 2006.
Chop Suey Books, Richmond, VA. March 19, 2005.
MFA Thesis Exhibition, VCUarts Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA. April 22-May 1, 2005.