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S.W.A.M.P. (Matt Kenyon, Doug Easterly), I.E.D. (Improvised Empathetic Device), 2005. Photo by Brain Slater.

I.E.D. (Improvised Empathetic Device) (2005)

A custom software application continuously monitors a website ( that updates the personal details and numbers of slain U.S. soldiers. When new deaths are updated on the website, the data is extracted and sent wirelessly to custom hardware installed on the I.E.D. armband.

The LCD readout displays the soldiers' name, rank, cause of death and location and then triggers an electric metal coil to drive a needle into the wearer's arm, drawing blood and immediate attention to the reality that a soldier has just died in the Iraq war. Pain is the data carrier that reconnects reality back to itself, bypassing the hyperreal spectacle of mass media.