He later moved to Chicago, where he earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003, and became an adjunct assistant professor the following year. He has traveled the world and spread word of the situation of the Iraqi people, and the significance of peaceful conflict resolution.
Although the artist was confined, he could be seen twenty-four hours a day through a camera that he had connected to the Internet.In addition to the physical welts he received from the paintball pellets, the artist became so overwhelmed by the constant threat of being shot that he experienced post-traumatic stress, as if he were actually in a war zone.In the chat room attached to the video feed, Bilal was constantly berated by his viewers, who accused him of trying to escape from the gun or even claimed that the performance was being faked.The decision came after the College Republicans called the Arts department "a safe haven for terrorists" on their blog. The Institute has been subsequently criticized by advocates of free speech and artistic freedom.Wafaa was asked to participate in a net art piece called Dog or Iraqi while an artist in residence at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.Because we inhabit a comfort zone far from the trauma of conflict zone, we Americans have become desensitized to the violence of war.
We are disconnected, disengaged while many others do the suffering.
In addition to the camera, Bilal set up a remote controlled paintball gun that viewers could use to shoot him at any time.
The gun shot foul-smelling yellow paint and emitted a sound as loud as a semiautomatic gun each time it went off.
Similar games such as "Quest for Saddam" or "America's Army" promote stereotypical, singular perspectives. In these difficult times, when we are at war with another nation, it is our duty as artists and citizens to improvise strategies of engagement for dialogue.
My artwork inverts these assumptions, and ultimately demonstrates the vulnerability to recruitment by violent groups like Al Qaeda because of the U. This platform is a piece of fiction that uses the video game format to create alternative narratives and perspectives.
The performance took its toll on Bilal, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.