Faces of Freedom

Faces of Freedom is a networked data representation that displayed, in chronological order, those killed in the 2001 Iraq war. The system continually scanned the web for American casualties of the Iraq conflict and added them to an internal database. The pixelated visage of each individual is slowly revealed, along with their name, rank and date of death, only to be incrementally erased by the faces of those that follow, as the faces oscillate from screen to screen. The understated aesthetic of wall-mounted hardware emphasizes the blunt reality of the depersonalized visages of the dead soldiers.
By reducing these brave men and women to enlarged abstract patterns of color, it inversely reifies the relationship we have to them as a culture; namely that they are beyond our sight and at the periphery of our consciousness. The title ‘Faces of Freedom’ is meant to suggest multiple interpretations of the piece as both a somber monument to the sacrifices of those it presents, as well as an ironic commentary on the senseless loss of life and ultim ate ‘freedom’ in death. The ambiguity in the title invites the viewer to interpret the project according to his or her own perspective. Collaboration with Randall Hoyt.