Gone Gitmo

Peggy Weil & Nonny de la Peña

30 October 2007

Virtual environment, Second Life.

Acknowledgements: BAVC (Bay Area Video Coalition) New Media Producer’s Institute and The MacArthur Foundation for incubating the project; Joi Ito for providing the first SL land; USC Annenberg School of Communication for housing the current installation; Bernard Drax for “Virtual Guantánamo” machinima and scoring the machimima installation

The artists’ simulation of Guantánamo in Second Life incorporates documentary video, scripted experiences for visitors’ avatars and live events. While Gone Gitmo does not pretend to capture the reality of life in the prison, it takes advantage of the virtual world to create an experience of the loss of control and agency that comes with imprisonment. The experience begins in a C-17 plane as the visitor’s avatar is hooded and teleported to a cell in Camp X-Ray. Here, the avatar will be confronted with documentary video of the camp and detainees and reports of practices occurring in Guantánamo, among them recordings from the collection Poems from Guantánamo and transcripts from FBI interrogations.