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Critical Art Ensemble, Immolation. Image courtesy of the aritst.

Immolation (2008)

Immolation is the outcome of a residency at SymbioticA during which CAE members Steve Kurtz and Lucia Sommer used tissue culture and micro-imaging to stage and reproduce the effects of illegal incendiary weapons on the skin of civilians in current and past conflicts.

The microscopic imagery of disintegrating human skin cells is paired with footage of past and present wars where immolation is used against people on a landscape (macro) level. Immolation presents a different way of war coverage aiming to draw our attention to how insensitive we have become to media images of global conflicts.

CAE are a tactical media collective using diverse mediums, from video to wetware, who explore the intersections between art, critical theory, technology and political activism.