Incendiary Traces by Hillary Mushkin
Contemporary war seems remote and immaterial to most Americans; the public’s images of conflict zones are largely formed through media. However, national leaders and the military have many other tools to visualize conflicts. For example, drawing, cartography and satellite imagery are instrumental to making critical decisions that directly affect the landscapes pictured, and their inhabitants. In order to help the general public connect more directly and viscerally to international conflicts, I started Incendiary Traces, a collective, conceptual research and art project. The project is founded on the premise that people’s eye-witness views of landscapes all around us (even in Southern California) can help the public engage in foreign policy. I’ve been taking people to draw on site at places around Southern California where the military is developing visualization techniques to engage in distant conflict zones. And with Los Angeles’ independent TV station KCET, I’ve documented these experiences and published related historical and contemporary materials contributed by historians, geographers and artists. Through an innovative blend of experimental art, research and media, Incendiary Traces has provided a way for the public to connect first-hand to foreign conflict.
For more information, visit http://incendiarytraces.org