Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 28 September 2009

Veterans Park Sculpture – Draft

Veterans Sculpture Draft, originally uploaded by XhyraGraf.

Made in Second Life and completely digital.

Let me preface this by saying that I adore the military.  I have a special admiration for the people that defend and enforce our freedoms; including all the guards, the police, the swat team, I especially love the marines and lets add the FBI and yes, firemen* to the group.

But… I have never been so unmotivated to do something in my life. Worse than… starting to exercise again because I know the worst of the pain will be my disappointment and being demoralized about how out of shape I’ve allowed myself to become. [Note: I’m used to physical pain. I took ballet for crying out loud.]

It’s just that they gave directions, no… specifications, no… a directive. The surest way of not getting me to do something is to tell me how you want me to or think I should do it. [Note: and the budget is way too low for a sculpture, especiallyone they want finished by THIS veteran’s day.]

The directive read, and I quote, “The desired work should include a depiction of a war veteran in uniform, a child, and a wife (mother). Work must be representational in nature.” So besides not being able to present my wonderfully expensive ideas about interactive, solar powered and updateable sculpture with light sensitive and/or switchable glass that can be used for projection of the databased information having to do with the actual families [and, of course, their loved ones in the military] from the surrounding cities** – my hackles rose. Because 1.) it was just too specific for me, Ugh! and 2.) I [yes, I have issues] I immediately got the image of a Stepford wife from this description. Could they have said “family” or “community” or “home” or frickin’ anything else and not been so specific? Are there not war veterans in uniform that are female?

So, I think I’ve managed to circumvent my issues. The woman is in uniform. I was graciously given some images by a female student who spent 5 years on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. She’s a beautiful girl. I admit to being surprised when she told me she was in the military. [Hey, I can admit my failings] She told me the story of when she went to a bar with a bunch of male soldiers who were happy to go with her because she had actually seen action where they had not. Only to have a citizen buy a round for all of them in honor of their service…except for her.

Here’s hoping the committee can really imagine what this will look like in metal.

* firepeople?
**Yes, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I love the military because “they stand on a wall and say nothing will hurt you tonight, not on my watch” and because I really can “handle the truth” – Really. As subversive as I am, um… as I seem to be, I believe in discipline. Most of America needs a good spanking. OK, maybe not discipline as serious as a code red.

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