Map, quilting pins, wood, paper.
Approx. 52"h x 73"w
Currently Available For Exhibition
Nutshell description: I took a map, and stuck a pin in the hometown of every soldier who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The map is framed with printed newspaper headlines characterizing national debate.
The longer, official statement (with stats and more context) is posted in the blog, here.
Remember: Every Pin Is A Soldier
This is a close-up of the map, taken from around a 45-degree angle and looking westward from the eastern seaboard. You can see the Great Lakes near the top of the frame.
I had to build this piece in our bedroom since it's the only place in our apartment big enough to accommodate the size of the map (48" x 69")
I've got the list of hometowns and their casualty counts, as well as my first few boxes of pins. The laptop (barely visible on the bookshelf) was helpful in tracking down all of those places that are so small they were not included on the NatGeo map I used for the base.
Here's one close-up of the frame - which is covered in New York Times headlines and columns dating from October 2002 - June 2003. There are no duplicates anywhere on the frame.
I chose the NYT because the Grey Lady's coverage seemed, on the balance, more comprehensive and fair than many of the other newspapers.
It was an infuriating process, going through the papers and experiencing the worst parts of deja vu. Especially since at the time I was creating this (July 2013), the rhetoric surrounding potential US military intervention in Syria was gaining volume - and it sounded very similar to the same arguments I was sifting through from 10 years prior.
(On a humorous note, I enlisted my partner's help to custom build this frame, which we accomplished using a miter box, a handsaw, and Jerry-rigged "extensions" on our kitchen table to support the size of the frame. And then we discovered we had measured incorrectly and we had to make some, ah, "adjustments". Good times.)
The whole shebang
Here it is, hanging in the You Are Here show at the Nave in Somerville, MA. It was an awesome show and I am very happy to have been a part of it.
If you are interested in showing Mission Accomplished? please contact me! I have built it so that it is self-contained, and can be shipped and displayed easily.