The Awareness Project

While working in the Iraq I started to confront car bombings regularly. In response to this I began a series of artwork to experiment with how people consume news and how they respond.

My first exploration in this was in creating an acoustical and visual representation of the top 100 car bombings in Iraq since the “End of the War”. I’d like to thank Mujtaba Zuhair, a founding member of the Baghdad hackerspace, for his help in making this video:


Each time you hear a high hat is a day, and every heavy bass drum is a car bomb attack. The background sound is an audio recording i picked up from the Iraqi street.
For a sped up version you can find it here: Soundcloud
For the code: github.

I believe that using sound was penetrating and helped people feel and care about the issue. These days while discussing with Jay Cousins MLK’s idea that injustice anywhere matter’s everywhere, I thought that kindness should too. So I designed and built a mechanical structure that would crush itself when a car bomb in Iraq went off:

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You could prevent it from crushing itself by responding to car bombs you were made aware of with acts of kindness.

It used a crowd sourced twitter engine to have humans verify the attacks were both real and recent and then it would send a message to a self selected group of “kindness first responders” who would reply back with something they thought was beautiful to do. This was an attempt to fight of the despondency news makes me feel by giving us something to do in response to awful events in the world.

Here’s an example of the activity we saw on The Awareness Project’s twitter account:

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The result of this robotic sculpture started me down a path to understand how we can get understanding and positive actions to be the result of journalism. I’m currently developing SeeFeelDo and Marbler as two projects to explore that.

Thanks for reading and message me on twitter if you have any questions 🙂

A video of the robot after it crushed itself to demonstrate operation:

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