Despite the rapidly escalating violence in Iraq, daily stories of horror are often pushed to the back pages of the paper. Baghdad's Skyline is a grim reminder of the death and devastation the Iraqi people face on a daily basis in the wake of America’s misguided invasion. Baghdad Skyline transforms New York City into a war-torn battle ground that parallels Baghdad. The aim of this piece is to increase awareness of the daily violence faced by the Iraqi people.



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Baghdad Sklyine @ Soundscape2007 6/15/2007

Networked augmented reality running real-time, 13 second refresh rate. Two digital cameras taking frame captures of Manhattan and uploading them to the soundscape show in Boston. Augmented explosions were added with the video game engine Blitz3D.

Images from Soundscape2007

During the work, plumes of smoke unfurl through the skyscrapers and trail across the panorama. The explosions causing the lingering smoke will be scaled to inflict a proportionate level of damage upon the city of Manhattan as in Baghdad. The explosions and trailing smoke are dictated by information parsed from the Internet related to violence in Iraq. One weeks worth of violence will overlay Manhattan in the projected image. The size of the included explosions will be scaled to match those taking place in Iraq. The project does its best to take into account the population densities as well population movement according to the time of day in both cities.

We used news images taken from ground level at different distances and a combination of google earth satellite images to calculate the size of explosions. Seen above, sadly 65 people were killed near a Shiite mosque in Baghdad Tuesday June 19 2007. We used multiple perspectives of the same event to create a proportionate damage in our augmented projection of NY.

Project Site:::

New York City was chosen because of its location and charged historical ties to the Iraq conflict. New York City, as a project site, lets Americans see their own land under constant attack. The horrific events which took place on September 11 left everlasting wounds in the hearts of New Yorkers and the rest of the world. Sadly, these tragic events were intentionally manipulated and used to lead America to war. Baghdad Skyline hopes to serve as a reminder of the consequences of our nation's actions and the daily horrors faced by people of Iraq.




In the work, buildings in front of a skyline view of Manhattan will have augmented realtime video streams projected upon them extending the skyline. The projected video streams are of the Manhattan skyline as if the buildings projected upon were not there. This creates a panoramic view [looking through the buildings] from ground-level. The video streams are augmented with real-time explosions and trailing smoke.


:::Project Team:::

Mark Skwarek - Project

Joseph Hocking - Coder

Felix Lu - 3D Tech. Networking

Damon Baker - Adviser




Copyright © 2007 Mark Skwarek