Christoph Niemann’s super, bright yellow GIFs conflate war imagery with playtime. They seem to ask: What if all the world’s problems were solved through a Game of Thrones-esque trial by combat? Would it make things better, and solve political deadlock and endless years of military aggression?
The GIFs are a response to the work of Yosuke Ushigome, who explores the potential of this Hunger Games-like ideology by designing scenarios where sworn enemies come together to participate in rituals focused around sports games and technology. It’s a lighthearted but provocative thought experiment, and Christoph takes up the baton and responds to Yosuke’s work with these six animated GIFs for MoMA’s Design and Violence. “Can’t we all just learn to play nice?” Christoph asks, turning the expression literal by transforming a drone into a basketball hoop, a grenade into a disco ball, and by featuring a soldier playing tetras on his superior.
“Turning war into a competitive spectacle is a much better idea than having actual armies butchering each other” Christoph explains, “The world has already spent so much money on military equipment, though, that we should try to make do with what we have."