24 hours Tattoo Mapping Performance

Another fascinating mapping project: Deeply personal and highly political. Artists Wafaa Bilal (who’s brother Haji was killed by a missile in Iraq in 2004)

turns his own body – in a 24-hour live performance — into a canvas, his back tattooed with a borderless map of Iraq covered with one dot for each Iraqi and American casualty near the cities where they fell. The 5,000 dead American soldiers are represented by red dots (permanent visible ink), and the 100,000 Iraqi casualties are represented by dots of green UV ink, seemingly invisible unless under black light. During the performance people from all walks of life read off the names of the dead.

According to infosthetics.com:

Kyle McDonald designed the visualization for this remarkable tattoo, which contains more than 4.000 US soldiers in red ink, and more than 100.000 “invisible” civilians depicted in ultraviolet ink.The process of visualizing the data involved a lot of research, including reconciling plain text descriptions containing GIS place names, warping the geographic coordinates to design for the landscape of the back, and distributing the deaths in an organic but respectful way.

Thanks Tracey for pointing us to this project.

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