Domestic Tension by Wafaa Bilal

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Filed under: Art Pranks

From Art Threat:

Log On, Shoot at an Iraqi:
New Interactive Installation at the FLATFILE Gallery

The URL for Domestic Tension is A videoblog documenting the action is updated daily at


    Iraqi artist Wafaa Bilal has locked himself into a studio with live webcams for the month of May.

    The public can watch him 24/7 over a live webcam; and if they choose, visitors to his website can shoot him with a remote controlled paintball gun. Log on, shoot at an Iraqi. Bilal”™s installation – titled Domestic Tension – disturbingly raises awareness about the life of the Iraqi people and the home confinement they face due to the both the violent and the virtual war they face on a daily basis.

    The installation takes place at the FLATFILE gallery in Chicago.

    Bilal has become known for provocative interactive video installations. He is interested in transforming the normally passive experience of viewing art into an active participation. His goal is to engage people who may not be willing to engage in political dialogue through conventional means.

    You can participate – eg shoot at him with a paintball gun – by clicking here.

    To see more of Bilal”™s work check out this site: crudeoils

Editor’s notes:

Read more about Wafaa Bilal’s work:

Iraqi-born Artist Wafaa Bilal’s Story on Chicago Artist Resource

A point-and-shoot exhibit: Display’s creator lives under the gun controlled by Web viewers, by Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune, May 10, 2007

Interview with Wafaa Bilal, by Brian Boyko on Network Performance Daily

Related info:

Art Attack by Joey SkaggsIn 2002, Joey Skaggs presented his multi-media performance piece Art Attack at the Espai D’Art Contemporani (EACC) in Castellon, Spain. Museum visitors were invited to shoot at passersby in the street outside the museum using a video game console inside. The pedestrians outside heard an announcement warning them they were walking in an art attack zone and heard the gun shots as they were shot at from inside. Read Skaggs’ intent here and the Exhibition Catalog Text by Vicky A. Clark, Independent curator/critic & Adjunct Associate Professor of Art, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Other links of interest:

The Milgram Experiment

Stanford Prison Experiment

Hunting for Bambi