Turbulence.org Commission: Kill Box: an international collaboration between U.S. based artist/activist, Joseph DeLappe and Scotland-based artists and game developers, Malath Abbas, Tom Demajo and Albert Elwin. “Kill Box” is the Military term used to describe an area on a grid map that a mission planner designates a target to be destroyed. Kill Box involves audiences in a fictionalized virtual environment based on documented drone strikes in Northern Pakistan.
Modern warfare technology disguises the lethal nature of weapons as they become surgical precision instruments producing ‘clean’ destruction within acceptable limits of “collateral damage.” – Jill Berke, “War on Words: How Language Obscures Violence.”
Kill Box is an online interactive game that critically explores the nature of drone (UAV) warfare, its complexities and consequences. It is an experience that explores the use of technology to transform and extend political and military power, and the abstraction of killing through virtualization. To “play” the game, download the application to your desktop, and make sure your speakers are on.
Kill Box is a 2015 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for its Turbulence.org website. It was made possible with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (USA). Additional funding has been provided by The Phoenix Theatre, Leicester, UK; and The Cutting Room, UK.
Joseph DeLappe is an artist/activist with a substantial body of work on the subject of geopolitics and drones and is considered a pioneer in the nascent field of computer games and art. Professor of the Department of Art at the University of Nevada where he directs the Digital Media program. Joseph is lead artist on Kill Box UAV; dealing with concept/content development, theoretical and historical research into drone warfare and primary lead on installation, development of publicity materials and archiving surrounding the project. Working with electronic and new media since 1983, his work in online gaming performance and electromechanical installation have been shown throughout the United States and abroad. In 2006 he began dead-in-iraq, typing consecutively, all names of America’s military casualties from the war in Iraq into the America’s Army first person shooter online recruiting game. DeLappe created and directs the crowdsourced memorial project, iraqimemorial.org.
Malath Abbas is an independent game designer, artist and producer working on experimental and meaningful games. Since co-founding the award winning studio Quartic Llama, Malath is establishing Scotland’s first game collective and co-working space in order to support a community of independent game makers. His current work includes Kill Box, an online game and interactive installation that critically explores the nature of drone warfare, its complexities and consequences.
Tom deMajo is a digital artist, electronic musician and sound designer, and lead designer for project drone. Tom is responsible for unifying the conceptual, experiential, visual and audio aspects of the project, driving the aesthetics and sound in the game. Tom’s work has covered film, animation, games, sound installations and music. He has toured globally as part of electronic music duo Warp Technique, and is a co-founder of Quartic Llama; independent games company. He was designer, sound designer, composer and artist on the award- winning game “other” made with Malath Abbas and in partnership with the National Theatre Scotland. He has collaborated extensively with artists, practitioners and institutions in Scotland and locally such as National Theatre Scotland, Museum of Scotland, Sink, and recently Hot Chocolate and Scottish Dance Theatre. Tom has been regularly invited to contribute to NEoN Digital Arts Festival, and is Artist in Residence at Fleet Collective in Dundee.
Albert Elwin is an artist and programmer, responsible for developing the underlying code for the PD, networking and implementation of all art objects into the project. Originally from New Zealand, Albert now lives and works in Scotland. He studied Computer Games Technology at the University of Abertay Dundee and his career began when he took part in Abertay’s 2012 Dare To Be Digital competition. Albert co-founded Space Budgie, an independent games studio in 2013 where he lead the development of Glitchspace, a visual programming game, well known for its aesthetic and game design. Albert was invited to talk about Glitchspace at various international game festivals, most notably the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco in 2014. For the last 6 months Albert has been working on a wide range of projects and collaborations; developing digital experiments for testing human depth perception at St. Andrews University, an audio/visual digital instrument based on Harmonographs.
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