JOSEPH DELAPPE Taliban’s hands

June 18, 2013

Taliban Hands, 2012


Corrugated Plastic, Polygon Sculpture

The hands of a Taliban fighter, as depicted in the controversial Medal of Honor, 2010 (Electronic Arts) first person shooter game were appropriated and reproduced as low-res polygon sculptures. Enemies in computer games based on contemporary conflicts tend towards stereotypical depictions of the terroristic other. It interests me that at any given time fully 50% of gamers engaged in online games effectively role-play as terrorists. In my recent work I have extracted data from various shooter games to create sculptures to physicalize the phenomenology of terrorist avatar play. Through this new work I seek to portray through physical form the complicated slippage between contemporary warfare and computer based play. There exists a paradigm of play that facilitates the temporal habitation of avatar characters based on those whom we fear and seek to kill. The external enemy is embraced. Those whom we fear and hate become manifestations of play. The terrorist other is reified first in ludic space, later as an object of contemplation through a process of appropriation and physical construction.