Installation artist Jonathan Fletcher Moore has combined technology and global awareness to create an innovative protest piece that condemns U.S. military drone strikes - all with a nonviolent bang.
Titled "Artificial Killing Machine," the installation piece consists of a series of motorized toy cap guns that fire simultaneously whenever a new drone strike-related death is recorded in a public database. As the interactive installation website polygon future extrapolates:
"When individuals are represented purely as statistical data, they are stripped of their humanity and our connection to them is severed.
Through the act of play and the force of imagination, this project aims to reconnect that which has been lost...The materialized data is allowed to accumulate in perpetuity or until the life cycle of either the database or machine ends. A single chair is placed beneath the installation inviting the viewers to sit in the chair and experience the imagined existential risk."
The cap guns - around 15 in total - are hung on thin wires, suspended from a rectangular metal-and-wire framework. Each gun is also attached to an acrylic motor energized by a motor controller. The caps are connected by cord to a Raspberry Pi computer, which parses the public U.S. millitary database for newly recorded drone-related deaths.
After deaths are detected and the congruent amount of shots are fired, a square printer prints out the statistics on a long roll of paper similar to the kind used for sale receipts (talk about a consumerist metaphor). The stats include the minimum and maximum amount of possible deaths, the date of the attack, a brief description of the event, and the name of the town or location and country where the drone strike occurred.
The locations of the drone strikes featured in the video were Shawal, Char Khel, Kari Kot, and Miranshah, all in Pakistan. Among the dead included Al Qaeda militants, a grandmother and her grandchildren, and "unknowns," most likely civilians.
You can view the powerful and arresting "Artificial Killing Machine" in the video below.