Gone Gitmo Update
This evening I attended Face It - Torture in the 21st Century at the Highways performance space. The main event of the evening was a play by Harold Pinter, "One for the Road," about a seemingly bourgeois couple and their young son who are captured by the authorities, accused of being subversives, and tortured horribly. I also went to this event to see an update about the Gone Gitmo installation in Second Life, which was discussed by Nonny de la Peña and Peggy Weil. The pair discussed how they had expanded the virtual detention facility beyond Camp X-ray to include a realistic depiction of the multi-million dollar Camp Fox and an area of contemplation that uses elements of Islamic sacred architecture, but is equipped with poems stored in virtual books mounted in the walls and an RSS feed with news about Guantanamo in the floor. Although control of your avatar is seized by the creators of this space for critique, and your virtual person is hooded, shackled, and caged, the designers did not feel that simulating actual torture would be appropriate or would encourage the kinds of response and activism they intend to promulgate.