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Wafaa Bilal: Shoot an Iraqi

Now that the project is completed, here is the work of Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi artist, from the Flatfile Galleries space in Chicago.

Wafaa Bilal: Domestic Tension

Originally called "Shoot an Iraqi," the project's name was changed when the gallery rejected Bilal's title. The project put Mr. Bilal in a confined room for 30 days with a remotely-activated paintball gun. Visitors to his website were given complete control of the gun, which could reach Mr. Bilal everywhere except in his bed. Over 60,000 yellow paintballs were fired over the course of the project by people from over 130 different countries. The website received more than 80 million hits during the active phase of the installation.

Despite a mental breakdown and developing acute waking nightmares in the final weeks of the project, Mr. Bilal chose to remain in his room until the end of the 30 day period, as planned. He regularly interacted with persons online during this time. He received thousands of threatening and disturbing emails about the project.

Many visitors to the website, upon taking control of the gun, chose to aim for Mr. Bilal. Their motivation will remain a mystery, be it curiosity, amusement, or spite. However, another group of anonymous persons, calling itself "THE VIRTUAL HUMAN SHIELD," soon formed around the project. Members took turns aiming the gun away from Mr. Bilal on a 24-hour watch.

The project room remains untouched, the gun now silent, as a memorial to all lives lost in Iraq. The project will stand until June 16th.
The link is not working! May be they shot him dead?
Heh, no. The link does get jammed sometimes, though; there's a hell of a lot of media attention on this project. Try again, maybe? I'm getting through right now...
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