The Logo-ization of Abu Ghraib: iRaq There's something compelling about this and something creepy: someone in New York City has been culturejamming street advertisements for Apple's iPod, inserting a silhouetted version of Abu Ghraib's shrouded and wired victim amongst grooving iPod-wearing hipsters. Blending into the posterized personages on the iPod ads, these ads for iRaq are signed off with the tagline: "10,000 Volts in your pocket, guilty or innocent." The Grunewald-esque photographs of torture make a visceral case against the US occupation of Iraq--one, when simplified into a silhouetted icon, carries the kind of emotional heft as, say, Nike's dunking Air Jordan (something Freewayblogger seems to have picked up on weeks ago). From a graphical standpoint, the miltary's so-called "bad apples" sure stumbled upon a powerful image. But it's this reductive nature that's somehow disconcerting. Like the meaningless but somehow compelling abstraction of Nike's swoosh, the image simplifies to the extent that every criticism of the war can be loaded into it. Is the Abu Ghraib wired man the brand essence of a souring war and occupation? Earlier: A reworking of another Abu Ghraib image--that of hot-dogging GI Lyndie English--into an iPod graphic, from Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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