Dead in Iraq

Joseph Delappe

14 June 2006

Joseph Delappe / 2006 – Present / USA

Joseph DeLappe’s performance work is conceived as both a memorial and as protest art. He regularly logs onto the popular networked PC game “America’s Army” and, under the username “dead_in_ iraq” proceeds to laboriously type, straight into the game-chat, the names and details of American soldiers who have died in Iraq since the beginning of the invasion in 2003. The live audience for this artwork is the players of “America’s Army;” they are mostly hostile, annoyed at having their game play interrupted, often arguing that games are fantasy environments divorced from real world consequences. “America’s Army,” however, is more than a game. It is a highly successful recruitment and public relations tool owned by the Unites States government. With his performance, DeLappe’s draws a direct link between the fantasy world of the game and the reality of war.