The Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History has opened its imaginary doors today and already is getting attention from places like The Atlantic. This is an alternate history museum. One where Guantanamo was successfully closed in 2012 and turned into this museum. Of course, the detention center is still sadly open, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, reality can be augmented via a website that imagines otherwise. The museum even has a google maps listing!
One of the artists showcasing in this museum’s virtual exhibition space is Adam Harms, aka LCKY (co-founder of Tight Artists Net Gang and designer of this very here tumblr!). Adam describes the work he is showing very elegantly:
In 2003 it was revealed that American pop music was being used by interrogators, often in conjunction with sleep deprivation and strobe lights, to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. In 2009 a coalition of outraged musicians filed a freedom of information request with the CIA and FBI to release the list of songs used. The songs included hits such as “We are The Champions” by Queen, “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, “Dirrty” by Christina Aguilera and most famously “I Love You” from the children’s television show “Barney.”
This video is a collection of 18 karaoke performances of different songs from the torture playlist. I chose karaoke because they do not retain the cleanliness of production or the harmony of the original songs. The sound is abrasive, blown out, and the echoes of the room are heard, mirroring the experience of the music played at excruciating levels in a cell. The songs are performed by “regular Americans” highlighting complicity of all Americans in the torture their government performed on the inmates of Guantanamo Bay.
Hop on over to the museum’s site to see the video in question, plus a whole lot more!
Art by: LCKY