War

1985
Mike Builds A Shelter

Mike Builds a Shelter is a performance comedy with apocalyptic overtones, a narrative extension of Smith's installation Government Approved Home Fallout Shelter/Snack Bar. In this darkly humorous morality play, Smith contrasts Mike's rural adventures in a pastoral landscape with his home fallout shelter. Throughout, the dual narratives are intercut with episodes of Mike's Show on cable, in which Mike's banal domestic activities are eagerly if passively received by living-room TV viewers.

1995

An episode from a Lebanese TV series entitled "Image + Sound."  Each episode in this groundbreaking series is based on paralleling TV news images alongside staged events.  Mourning Images was shot at Studio Bayroumi in the historic district of Saida, Lebanon.

2004
Museum Piece

Made in Germany, October 14th, 2004

While the Iraq war continues, a day's sightseeing and the features of a German hotel provoke a stream of thoughts about events large and small.

Museum Piece is the second episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world's hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

2008

Akram Zaatari's Nature Morte is a recording of a silent moment, in which two men prepare themselves for a military action. At the end, the older one leaves with a weapon on his shoulder, and the younger decides to stay.

1970
New Haven: Abbie Hoffman and the National Guard

Footage of a May 1970 rally featuring political speakers, including members of the Black Panther Party. Abbie Hoffman talks about fighting imperialism at home, and the Chicago 7 Conspiracy Trial. As the crowd chants “Free Bobby Seale,” the Videofreex attempt to interview several National Guardsmen. We see young black men talking to the troops, with one man telling a Guardsman, “I’ve got nothing... I went to Vietnam for you."

2003
Notes from the Underground

Notes from the Underground is a fragmented music video made from the 151 eye blinks George Bush made during his televised speech declaring war with Iraq. Bush’s eye blinks have been encoded into Morse Code to spell out a statement from 1969 by The Weather Underground.

2005
Now promise now threat

“Now too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn’t count.”

--Toni Morrison, “Beloved”

2014

O, Persecuted turns the act of restoring Kassem Hawal’s 1974 Palestinian Militant film, Our Small Houses, into a performance possible only through film. One that involves speed, bodies, and the movement of the past into a future that collides ideology with escapism.

2006
O.U.T. Operation Urban Terrain

O.U.T. is a work documenting the emergence of computer games which train players to fight in cities among civilians, (Military Operations in Urban Terrain). O.U.T. contains sampled footage and machinima (stories told with video games) from five military simulation games. Following is a documentation of the performance, (Operation Urban Terrain), an urban wireless intervention by Anne-Marie Schleiner and an international cast of game expert and art activist collaborators.

1998
okay bye-bye

In okay bye-bye, so named for what Cambodian children shouted to the U.S. ambassador in 1975 as he took the last helicopter out of Phnom Phenh in advance of the Khmer Rouge, Rebecca Baron explores the relationship of history to memory.

2008
One Bright Day

While out shooting for a different project altogether, I encountered two sleeping men on a Manhattan street. A short time later, I was standing in front of Pennsylvania Train Station with the camera on a tripod, when one of the men suddenly reappeared. He stepped in front of my camera and began to speak, about his path in the U.S. military, from Panama to Afghanistan to Iraq, about his life. I decided to limit the piece to what I shot in that area in those few hours, with one key addition: the text from a classic children's rhyme.

–Jem Cohen

2006
Operation Atropos

Operation Atropos is a documentary about interrogation and POW resistance training. Director Coco Fusco worked with retired U.S. Army interrogators who subjected her group of women students to immersive simulations of POW experiences in order to show them what hostile interrogations can be like and how members of the U.S. military are taught to resist them. The group of interrogators is called Team Delta, and they regularly offer intensive courses that they call "Authentic Military Experiences" to civilians.

2003
OPERATION INVERT

Are gender outlaws considered the new biological terrorists seeking weapons of mass bodily destruction? OPERATION INVERT compares the different regulations mediating botox-related plastic surgery and gender reassignment "sex change." Historical medical assessments of the invert (homosexual and transsexual) "condition" reveal seemingly outdated absurdities about outsider deviance. Nonetheless, current institutional loopholes governing gender re-assignment surgery suggest a fresh resurgence of loony pathology and diagnosis.

2014

The four‐part cycle Parallel deals with the image genre of computer animation. The series focuses on the construction, visual landscape and inherent rules of computer-animated worlds.

“Computer animations are currently becoming a general model, surpassing film. In films, there is the wind that blows and the wind that is produced by a wind machine. Computer images do not have two kinds of wind.”

-- Harun Farocki

1996

Partially Buried explores a web of genealogical traces. In this work the artist probes the notion of sites of memory as well as site-specific work by focusing on the location of Kent, Ohio. Partially Buried references the year 1970 during which the artist Robert Smithson produced his site-specific work, Partially Buried Woodshed at Kent State University. By chance the mother of the child in the video was present also in Kent State in May of that year, studying experimental music. In May of 1970, four students were shot while attending a rally protesting the U.S.