Morocco 2014 – part 2

August 25th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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Morocco 2014 part 1

August 24th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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“Where I Lived & What I Lived For One Week” – New Work 2013

June 20th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Here is a short film made with Charlotte Hodges, documenting a week long residency at “The Bothy Project“s bothy in Inshriach, near Aviemore in February 2013.

Isle of Skye/Glenelg

May 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Here’s some photo’s from Skye, and a visit to Glenelg to see the Broch‘s.

Merry England

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Here are some photographs I took in England last Easter that I forgot about…..

 

Venice Super8 Films

January 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

These three films were all made in August 2005, when I was in Venice for 6 weeks working at the Biennale. I have just got them transferred to dvd. There are very few people in these, I was keen to get away from all the tourists making films and make my own in the back streets. The first film has a narrative, based on a story I read in the Time Out guide to Venice, about the death of Giovanni Cestaro in 1779.

“Poor Giovanni” – 2005

“Venice Buildings” – 2005

“Venice Walls” – 2005

Cyber Warfare & Codenames

October 21st, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

So, according to the new government, we no longer need tanks, nimrods, harriers, warships or airbases, because the real threat to the UK is cyberwarfare. Its news to me, so I thought I would have a look into this thoroughly modern form of combat. Cyberwarfare is, according to security expert Richard A. Clark, “actions by a nation-state to penetrate another nation’s computers or networks for the purposes of causing damage or disruption”. There are some earlier instances of what is now called cyberwarfare, but the first real instance seems to have been in 1998 when a computer apparently based in the former Soviet Union was used to rifle through thousands of computer files at the Pentagon – the US government titled this incident “Moonlight Maze“. Then, in 2003 there were a series of coordinated attacks on US computer systems, which the government went on to call “Titan Rain“.

Clash of The Titans

There are lots more examples that have happened since, apparently involving former Russian computer experts helping out pro-Palestinian countries attach Israel during the 2006 war against Hezbollah. China have been accused of participating in cyberwar against the USA (Titan Rain), as well as attacks on Germany and India, though the Chinese deny all of the allegations. In 2007, Estonia came under a cyber attack, apparently in response to the relocation of the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn (worth  reading about) – Government ministries, banks and Estonian media computers were affected, again, apparently from Russian computers.

Bronze Soldier of Tallinn (vandalised)

There were also more attacks during the South Ossetian War (remember that?) – in 2009/2010 “Operation Aurora” was launched from China against Google (so it seems its not just a nation on nation war) finally, as there are lots of examples, and I don’t want to just list them, in September of this year, Iran was attacked by the Stuxnet worm (!) “the most advanced piece of malware ever discovered” – now I don’t really know what malware is, but my interest was sparked in the naming of some of these incidents – “Titan Rain”, “Moonlight Maze” “Operation Aurora” etc.

South Ossetian War

I have just completed a screenprint called “Aztec Silence/Infinite Justice” which is named after, firstly, “Joint Task Force Aztec Silence“,which is a US defence task force, tasked with conducting anti-terrorism operations. These are focussed on “under-governed” areas of North Africa, and they operate out of Sicily and southern Algeria. They take part in “Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)” specifically “Operation Enduring Freedom Trans Sahara (OEF – TS)”. OEF is the USA name for the War in Afghanistan. OEF also has kind of off-shoots, which include OEF-TS, OEF-P (Philippines, formerly known as “Operation Freedom Eagle”) and OEF-HOA (Horn of Africa), all of which are still going on. Other products of the OEF brand are “OEF Kyrgyzstan” and “OEF Pankisi Gorge” – these two operations apparently ended in 2004.

Aztec Silence in action

Now, to get back to my screenprint, Operation Enduring Freedom was apparently originally called “Operation Infinite Justice” but was changed so as not to cause offence to Muslims (!) – which seems strange considering the target of the operations themselves are almost entirely Muslim. This desire not to cause offence in the naming of operations was also an issue during the Korean War. According to this website

“General Matthew Ridgway while serving under MacArthur during the Korean War, named several operations for the second phase of the war which drew political pressure because of the operation names. Ridgway drew political pressure for Operation Killer and Ripper among others. “I did not understand why it was objectionable to acknowledge the fact that was was concerned with killing the enemy.” he wrote in his book “The Korean War” ”

Operation Killer

There is plenty elsewhere on the internet explaining how operations are named (some by computer software, some by government/military officials with an ear for an aspirational title), particularly in the US and Britain, and Germany during WW2. However, here are some of my favourites (not necessarily funny, or odd, sometimes just things I had no idea happened, or that they needed names)

Operation Purple Warrior (British, Falklands War, 1982)

Russian spy ship watching British exercises during Operation Purple Warrior

Operation Grand Slam (Pakistan, attempt to cut off Kashmir from India, 1965)

Operation Lucky Alphonse (British, sweeping for Cypriot independence fighters, 1956)

Operation Blowdown (British/USA/Australian, a simulation of a nuclear explosion in a rain forest (??), 1963)

Operation Deliberate Force (NATO, deliberatly forceful air strikes in Bosnia, 1995)

Operation Mountain Storm (Macedonian special police operation against Albanian extremists, 2007! What?? Albanian extremists?? 2007???)

Operation Provide Comfort (USA, security and aid to Kurds in Iraq, 1991-1996. 5 years of providing comfort.)

Operation Provide Comfort

Operation Phantom Fury (USA & Iraq, 2nd Battle of Fallujah, Iraq 2004 – an awful battle, with thousands killed and terrible repercussions. It seems strange to me to think of Furious Phantoms)

Operation Phantom fury

There are hundreds of operations listed for Iraq and Afghanistan here and here. The final coalition operation in Iraq seems to be “Battle of the Palm Grove” and the most recent (named) UK operation in Afghanistan is “Operation Black Prince”.

Operation Black Prince

Operation Black Prince

Finally, while researching some of this, and other work, I began to realise that there are a number of unstable parts of the world, that I have never heard of, and which I cannot even begin to imagine what is happening there, conflict-wise. For example, have you ever heard of Transnistria? Its an area of land between Moldova and Ukraine, and is officially part of Moldova, but it declared independence in 1990. They have their own passports (which no-one recognises), flag, they had a war in 1992, there is a Russian military presence there, as well as some left of USSR weaponary, and rumours persist that Transnistria deals in weapons of some sort.

Transnistrian Flag

Transnistrian Flag

The incidence of Cyberwarfare which affected Estonia in 2007 has apparently been part organised by pro-Kremlin youth groups in Transnistria – because Transnistria is not a recognised nation, it does not belong to Interpol and “Accordingly, no Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty applies. If residents of Transnistria were responsible, the investigation may be severely hampered, and even if the investigation succeeds finding likely suspects, the legal recourse of Estonian authorities may be limited to issuing all-EU arrest warrants for these suspects. Such an act would be largely symbolic.” (wikipedia).

Transnistrian Parliament

Therefore, all sorts of wild west stuff could, theoretically, be happening in “rogue” states (or non-states…) and autonomous regions, not to mention the Balkans, the former USSR – but I reckon you can be pretty confident that someone somewhere is in there and acting in an abstractly named secret operation of some sort, apparently on our behalf.

Parts of the world with autonomous areas

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