Made using an Afghanistan-based war simulator developed developed with the U.S. military, Formation V explores the aesthetics and dynamics of military movement. The regimented unison and symmetry of the soldiers as they march across a desert becomes machine-like in the battalion’s precision. Two opposing forces of US soldiers and Taliban combatants follow invisible way-points side-by-side. Oblivious to each other’s presence thanks to a hacked game setting, the usual violence of this relationship is transformed into a poetic rhythm that repeats and amplifies the avatars movement. The hypnotic rhythm of war, in what is normally a powerful symbol of dystopia, becomes disturbingly utopian.
Image: Courtesy of the artist