Eyes Wide Open: March of Lost Hope
An Iraq war memorial at BurningMan 2006
by Sheila Morgan
Lights by Rich Howell
Soundtrack by Simran Gleason
Inspired by the American Friends Service Committee's traveling exhibit, Eyes Wide Open, which will collect a pair of combat boots for every fallen soldier until the war ends, we wish to bring an evolving Eyes Wide Open installation to the Burning Man this year, and every year, until the United States' involvement in Iraq ends.
The 21st Century has begun with a fiery explosion of terror inextinguishable because of its oily base. Although the future would be full of hope and fear regardless of this war, America's invasion of Iraq exemplifies how fear has dominated the decision making of mankind and we offer the Eyes Wide Open Memorial as a call to make hope the ruling order of the day.
Last year we brought a smaller version, a question mark-shaped
labyrinth made of combat boots surrounded by a ring of civilian
shoes. The labyrinth contained at its center a podium with a photo
album of everyone who has died in the Iraq war and a gong that people
may strike, to honor the soldiers and civilians who have lost their
lives since America invaded Iraq. Each pair of
boots represented about ten fallen U.S. soldiers.
Image by Kim Lane
Listen Some of the music is complete and posted here.
Artist's rendition of the walkway
The path will extend 100 yards and measure 10 feet wide. 500 pairs of combat boots will be required; 186 were salvaged from last year's exhibit, so 314 pairs of boots will need to be added. (Whereas in the Eyes Wide Open Labyrinth each pair of combat boots represented approximately ten fallen U.S. soldiers, in the expanded Eyes Wide Open: The March of Lost Hope each pair of boots will represent approximately five lost U.S. soldiers.) Every 10 yards there will be a streetlamp with 25 LED lights and attached to 5 of those streetlamps will be a sound system made up of a small battery and an MP3 player. We hope the large pile of civilian shoes will reach a height of 9 feet and we will collect the number of shoes required to reach half that goal. The rest we will rely on the Burning Man community for and would like to post in Jack Rabbit Speaks encouraging participants to bring a pair of used shoes for the installation.
A fishing net will be used to ensure that no shoes are blown away to create MOOP. Several photo albums, containing documented soldiers (American and non-American) and Iraqi civilians claimed by the war, will surround the pile of civilian shoes, mounted on oak stands with gongs attached to them.
photo by Heather Lynch
There will be four or five separate music stations, with soundtracks that progress in tone from Hope to Fear. From the hope of peace, through sadness to the fear arising from the situation itself.