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Christopher Sims May 19, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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The “Virtual Army Experience”. Virginia, 2007

Christopher Sims (b. 1972, USA) has an undergraduate degree in history from Duke University, a master’s degree in visual communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a M.F.A. in studio art from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work has been exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Houston Center for Photography, the Light Factory, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. His recent project on Guantanamo Bay was featured in The Washington Post, the BBC World Service and others. In 2010, he was selected as the recipient of the Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers. Christopher currently teaches photography at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

About the Photograph:

“In 2007, I made a series of portraits at the “Virtual Army Experience,” a traveling road show and recruiting event the U.S. Army takes cross-country to NASCAR races and air shows. Participants wait in line to enter a large tent, where they play video games produced by the army and meet decorated soldiers who have returned from service at the fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan. These portraits remind us of the computer and television screens through which most of us have lived the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The army reveals itself to be a keen reader of American adolescent emotions and passions, and employs this understanding through a brilliantly designed and bloodless simulation of the thrill of the fight. The portraits also offer us a glimpse into a future that some leaders and strategists have begun calling “the long war,” and suggest to us the young people who will enlist in the coming years in the real army.”

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