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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathImmersion

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medium and developed it further using the latest image technology.

The installation's image space, a composite of pictures from dozens of theaters of war around the globe, are formed into a virtual panorama by a Silicon Graphics computer. Within the panorama, the viewers take pictures with a camera. Here, however, photography is a weapon of annihilation: whatever is ‹shot› exists no longer. Any fragment photographed by a viewer disappears from the image space, leaving a monochrome area with black silhouettes, and a print of the image fragment is handed to the visitor on leaving the installation. The colored images disappear completely and all that remains is a white patch of screen.[3] Taking photographs underlines the fact that these representations of war stem from the media; for the viewer, an insight that is at first overshadowed by the experience of immersion. «Here the viewer contributes to augmenting the tragic dimension of the drama,» says Benayoun. «Without him, this world would be left to its pain. He rouses this pain, exposes it.»[4] Moreover, it is the visitors who destroy the virtual space. The skin of media images is ripped off the body


of the world, whereby the camera is the weapon: the synaesthesis of exploding flashlights and the sound of the rising staccato of gunfire have a reciprocally intensifying effect.

Photography and media representation

In the history of technology, the camera has many associations with deadly weapons, from Etienne-Jules Marey's photographic gun to today's remote-controlled Cruise Missiles, whose constant stream of relayed images only ceases when the enemy and its images have been destroyed. Whereas in the early years, image production had difficulty in keeping pace with ballistic techniques, with the advent of cinematography and video image speeds began to approach those of the missiles, which in turn now increasingly assume the function of cameras. Humans are withdrawing farther and farther from the battlefield. Modern warfare is tele- and media warfare, a simulation where all conceivable variations of strategies are played through like a game with infinite variations. This critical analysis represents Benayoun's approach to the panorama. In «World Skin,» the

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