THEORY OF KILLING

tok

Dashboard Cooperative Gallery 2015
Two-channel video installation (2:25 min loop), speakers, homemade screens, palletes and spools

One of the military’s largest unspoken challenges is that new soldiers will resist killing. After a full course of training, they are delivered to the theater of war. They do not shoot, even facing the enemy: perhaps awestruck by the likeness of their opponent. It is an age-old dilemma that puts the soldier at risk and threatens the success of the campaign. To address the problem, military scientists have developed simulation facilities that include virtual reality, video games and full-scale mock villages. In the civilian world, these innovations have inspired the entertainment industry to develop commercial games like Counter-Strike Global Offensive and entrepreneurs to build recreational battlefields for paintball, airsoft and milsim games. In Theory of Killing we find a paintball player who is clearly too innocent. His evasiveness creates a poetic reverie on our natural resistance to kill.