225 Million Murders

by artist Peter Weibel


225 Million Murders Exhibition

View of the Installation © Jens Barth


Mobile devices like iPhone or iPad are used as photographic apparatus. The viewer or user wanders through the real space, looking through his iPhone or iPad into the real space. What he sees on the screen of the iPhone or iPad is the real space but in addition he sees a globe floating in the air. When he turns around 360 degrees in the real space, he discovers ten globes in the air. From each globe comes a text. On top of each globe is a date. Ten globes symbolize the ten decades of the 20th century. The numbers of a hundred years appear on ten globes. The number of a year appears on top of a globe and for each year the number of political murders by genocides, wars, etc. are visible. From each globe drops regularly a drop of blood. A voice (french) is accompanying the numbers and pronouncing the names of the genocides, wars, etc. What you see is the real environment but with the help of the mobile device you see more. The reality is augmented (with virtual globes, text and numbers).

The viewer, wandering around in real space, may wonder, why he sees and hears a chronology of genocides, political murders and wars happening so close to him, not being distant, happening in his own space. The answer could be that he is part of the system that he observes, that he is part of the system where he lives in, that the system of which he is part is also part of genocides and wars. His local world is part of the global world. Inseparability is the name of the game. Maybe he wonders why natural catastrophes have only destroyed an extremely small number of people whereas man-made catastrophes have destroyed the lives of millions of people. In what kind of social system do we live that kills each year 2 million two hundred thousand people?

© 2011 Peter Weibel,  ZKM | Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe




Exhibited at:

Apollonia – European Art Exchanges, Strasbourg, France:
Peter Weibel – No Limits (05 March 2011 – 02 July 2011)

Galerie Artelier Contemporary, Graz, Austria:
“Steirischer Herbst 2011 | Das Leben im 20. Jahrhundert” (2011)

Video with Installation View on YouTube


225 Million Murders Screenshot © Jens Barth