The Art of War

Last weekend, I watched Full Metal Jacket. Being a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick and a sucker for a well done war film, the movie was phenomenal. Naturally, I thought of the various ways war has been depicted in the visual and new media arts. Admittedly, I’m not huge fan of political art; HOWEVER, when it’s done well, it can be powerful and truly engaging. From visual to performative, the artists below have created some of the most memorable pieces.

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During a Feminism & the Arts course, I studied Martha Rosler‘s photo montage works of the Vietnam war.

Artist: Martha Rosler | Title: red stripe kitchen (Part of 'Bringing the War Home' Series) | photo montage | 1967-1972

Currently in draft mode, I’m working on a zer01 piece on new media art that serves as both political and social commentary. One of the artists I’m looking at is Joseph DeLappe and his work, ‘dead-in-Iraq’.

Artist: Joseph DeLappe | Title: dead-in-Iraq | Interactive | 2006 - Ongoing

The conceptual work of Chris Burden possesses an extraordinary and rather dangerous level of self-sacrifice that works extremely well. His work STILL gives me chills. Talk about physicality and gesture – his work is all about that.

Art collectives epitomize the adage, ‘Power in Numbers’, and the Tool Shed Days is a collaborative effort that created the interactive piece, ‘Befriend a Recruiter’. Please watch the video and share your reflections. Again, I am working on a piece and will be discussing them a bit more in detail…In the interim, I would love to hear what you think – positive, negative, or indifferent.

Befriend a Recruiter from artfail on Vimeo.

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Author: Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos is a writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research areas and interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, networked culture, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is currently the managing editor for Hyphen magazine. Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, and Public Art Dialogue. She has lectured and spoken at the De Young museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” has been published to The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture in 2016. She serves as executive staff for the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism, board member for the SOMArts Cultural Center, and teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Digital Art and New Media department.

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