Cherry Blossoms – Baghdad in Boston

Craft & Design
Cherry Blossoms – Baghdad in Boston

Make Pt0206
Cherry Blossoms by Alyssa Wright writes –

Cherry Blossoms is a backpack that uses a small microcontroller and a GPS unit. Recent news of bombings in Iraq are downloaded to the unit every night, and their relative location to the center of the city are superimposed on a map of Boston. If the wearer walks in a space in Boston that correlates to a site of violence in Baghdad, the backpack detonates and releases a compressed air cloud of confetti, looking for all the world like smoke and shrapnel. Each piece of confetti is inscribed with the name of a civilian who died in the war, and the circumstances of their death.

Cherry Blossoms – [via] Link & more.

54 thoughts on “Cherry Blossoms – Baghdad in Boston

  1. Unomi says:

    Wow…. just……. wow…………

    – Unomi –

  2. bladerunner says:


    GPS nonsense

  3. Mike says:

    Are you sure Boston is the best place to be doing this in? You’re bound to be arrested for having a ‘hoax’ device if you carry this thing and it goes off.

  4. Russell Nelson says:

    Is there an award for the most pointless use of technology? Why not just go to the place indicated on the map and throw up some confetti? If you want to end the war, vote for Ron Paul.

  5. bladerunner says:

    I agree with you totally this is one of the most pointless and also irresponsible project I have ever seen.

  6. Alexis says:

    Artists. Is there anything they can’t make into a profound, feeling, I’m-so-superior “statement”?

    These logic impaired use terrorist bombings to rail against U.S. taxpayers. What sense is in that? The U.S. isn’t funding suicide bombers to kill civilians. Dumbasses.

  7. Bob says:

    Must be part of the vast right wing plot to marginalize art. Next thing will be presidential hopefuls appearing on comedy shows like Letterman and Leno, then some has-been politician will try to act like a musician. Before it’s over some over the hill actor will even run for president.

  8. samurai1200 says:

    thanks Bob, for the most pompous, useless post ever.
    this project is arty and cool, but the subject matter at its root is completely out-of-place and not at all applicable.

  9. Sam says:

    Brilliant idea. Art, emotion, explosion. I love it.

  10. Eric says:

    Who’s gonna clean up all that crap?

  11. Lou says:

    Pointless? Irresponsible? Pompous? Oh yeah, I forgot…those brown people getting blown up by U.S. bombs don’t count. I agree with Sam, it’s brilliant!

  12. bladerunner says:

    Pointless? Irresponsible? Pompous?
    Yes Yes and Yes
    This “artwork” will not stop the war it only makes a confetti mess.
    Brilliant no!
    Techo-nonsense yes!

  13. David Feather says:

    I believe our cities are littered enough without so-called “artists” filling the streets with more detritus. Is it possible to perhaps use the system to deliver something bio-degradable? Perhaps dispersal of native wildflower seeds in a park environment? Or maybe these “artists” like living in dirty cities?

  14. TraumaPony says:

    I love it!

  15. Matt says:

    Can we design an Arduino-based device to fire all of the daddy’s money lesbian female “artists” in Boston into the sun

  16. rich says:

    I’m not real big on political-art – but this one kind of impresses me.

    kind of surprised by the amount of negative / hostile reactions…

  17. ryborg says:

    This might as well be pointless — it’s a completely inane way to protest the war. I hope someone is walking behind her with a broom!

  18. digger says:

    Good grief.

    I don’t think this is the forum for gay bashing, artist-bashing, or politics.

    I think it is a fun use of technology. If you folks had actually read the article, you might have realized that it is an interesting and fairly original idea for artwork.

  19. Silas says:

    Try going through an airport with this….
    Heh, I had to say it.. :-P

  20. C/Pm says:

    Ooooh, goody!

    Maybe a GPS mod can go off when one of the medical planes carrying troops wounded or killed by IED’s lands in America, or it can be used to remind the U.S. of the people killed in the bombings of the USS Cole, the first World Trade Tower attack, and the second as well, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania, and march out the names of the families that were left to pick up the pieces of these attacks. This is fantastic use of technology to remind those of us that forget.

    Also, what is its carbon footprint and does it contribute to global warming?

  21. Zee says:

    Seems to me based on the posts here it’s more of a wank generating device. Performance wank art if you will.

  22. Icaruswing says:

    C/Pm, From what I sense of this project, that wouldn’t be completely out of line, remember that the violence that this project is overlaying metaphorically on American soil – are largely being carried out against civilians by people with similar motivations as those who carried out the attacks that you mention, not by Americans. I don’t see this project as being necessarily anti-American at all. The thing about all this is that America is at war, and yet, unless an individual or one of your close friends or family is there, many of us are barely aware of the fact. The media isn’t bringing most of us any closer, so artists get involved to help bring some of the impact back to the pubic in creative ways. The project isn’t hurting anyone, I think it is really interesting, and frankly based on the response it has proved here, it is fairly successful at geting folks to think as well.

  23. Vox says:

    An art idea does not have to make sense, it doesn’t have to prove anything. It’s not bound by the rules so many comment-makers seem to be placing upon it. It is one of many responsibilities the art world has…to get you to respond.

  24. Charlie Lesoine says:

    This got me thinking about art in general. Art is supposed to impact you in some way when you see it for yourself. I feel like this piece will actually be more impactful when someone is explaining the concept on a website like this. When the entire process is explained, it’s a strange and wonderful idea but I doubt anyone on the street who witnesses it go off will know what the hell just happened, or care or even consider that it might be art. “did that wierdo in the backpack just throw some confetti into the air?” Also I don’t think it’s extreme enough to really make people on the street think. Explosions create permanent scars in the land, they don’t wash or blow away like confetti. Just pour some red paint on the ground and label it Iraqi blood.

  25. Volkemon says:

    Is it art? Anything by an artist is.

    After visiting the links and reading all the comments, I must agree with Charlie. The impact at the performance level lacks in audience enlightenment.

    The littering factor, and the wisdom of a ‘random and explosive’ delivery (in post 9/11 USA), make this somewhat moronic, but well meaning I suppose…….

  26. traindriver says:

    that thing will get your ass shot by some police officer!!!

  27. Play & Journalism | IdeaPublic Notebook says:

    […] Cherry Blossoms Baghdad […]

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