Shadows from another place – san francisco <-> baghdad


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Website, Maps, GPS, Site Specific (Locations in San Francisco)

What if international gestures, such as acts of terrorism or war, were like boomerangs that returned to sites of origins with an impact equal to the one enacted? - From the introductory essay to Shadows from another place

Shadows from another place is a series of “transposed maps” using Global Positioning System coordinates, maps, city sites and the web to translate and represent the impact of political or cultural traumas – such as wars or shifts in borders and territorial boundaries – that take place in one location, upon another. Collapsing distinctions between “foreign” or “domestic,” these hybrid spaces erase the safety of geographic distance and portray the impact of political, social and cultural change in local terms/on local ground.

San Francisco <-> Baghdad, the first in the series, maps the missile and bombs sites in Baghdad, Iraq from the first U.S. invasion in March, 2003, upon San Francisco, California, a city nicknamed by some of its residents, “Baghdad by the Bay.” Each mirrored site of impact in San Francisco is documented with photographs, maps and GPS coordinates, the same technology used by the miltary to target original sites in Baghdad.

Each San Francisco site also hosts a geocache, a small cannister that contains a compilation of names of all U.S. military personnel who died in the war, as well as how they died. The list reflects those lives lost between May 1, 2003 (the date when President Bush declared military victory) and March, 2004. [Source: “Day by Day/ Death by Death” by Ward Harkavy, published in The Village Voice. March, 2004].

Selected Exhibits

Essays & Presentations


Produced at the IntraNation Residency, Banff Art Centre, Banff, Alberta, April-May, 2004.

For a complete list of credits and thanks for this project, please visit shadows from another place website.

Shadows from another place
Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. - President George W. Bush, May 1, 2003