Improvised Empathetic Device
Publication/Creation DateJune 6 2006
DescriptionThe current U.S. led war in Iraq has suffered enormous casualties, where the toll on civilian lives is vague and many times unreported. The number of U.S. casualties is reported and monitored, many of which are the result of I.E.D.s (improvised explosive devices). Overall, the media coverage of these atrocities is given very little attention, often overshadowed by more personal and spectacular stories, such as child abductions and runaway brides. SWAMP's I.E.D. project aims to give real and physical presence to the death and violence occurring in the Middle East, by creating direct physical pain from the event of killed soldiers, whose toll and details are silently relegated to small or no print. A Custom software application continuously monitors a web-site (icasualties.org) that updates the accumulation and personal details of slain U.S. soldiers. When new deaths are detected the data is extracted and sent wirelessly to custom hardware installed on the I.E.D. armband. The LCD readout displays the soldiers' name, rank, cause of death and location and then triggers an electric solenoid to drive a needle into the wearers arm, drawing blood and immediate attention to the reality that someone has just died in the Iraq war that is raging far away.
Date archivedMay 22 2015
Last editedMarch 14 2017