kennardphillipps - artists peter kennard and cat phillips

eastInternational ’05, War on War Room 2005


In east’05 we were in residence at Norwich Gallery for the duration of the show, 8 weeks, creating the war on war room as an open workspace. We transported all our digital equipment including a large format printer, all our raw materials, source images, books and everything we use in the studio to make work. Any visitor to the space ie the audience could sit down and make images/work either on the computers or using the printed material. During the 7 weeks in residence we produced the STOP posters and printed them daily on recycled newsprint available free to the audience to take away and use.

The directive for proposals for the eastInternational '05 exhibition, curated by Gustav Metzger was for work which could be transmitted across the airwaves, internet or television stations. We proposed the following:   War on War Room

The directive for proposals for the eastInternational '05 exhibition, curated by Gustav Metzger was for work which could be transmitted across the airwaves, internet or television stations. We proposed the following: War on War Room

mock web01

mock web03





Original proposal for the war on war room

The drumbeat of war is rumbling and crashing in our society but individual connection to acts of war now run at such a high frequency that the presence of war in our lives has become barely audible to us. In our time, in our day to day living how do we experience the existence of explosions, the roaring of demolition, the ripping volume of fighter jets screaming as they bomb citizens on the ground in Iraq. In our protected zone in the world the sounds we hear are gentle tap taps of our fingers on keyboards at work and at home, humming reverberations of city traffic, refrigerators, stereos, tinkling music in shops, the staccato jamboree of television. Sounds and visions of war that do reach across our comfort borders arrive as sound bites and digital reproductions of the realities, through television, radio, print. Our experience of war has been snipped, smoothed and imperiously controlled by our information providers.

The aim of this work is to create a network and infrastructure to enable citizens from all place to express and unite their opinions against war. Technology is more powerful than humans but citizens have the power to subvert the control and dominant use of technology.

War on war will provide images for people to create a proliferation of anti-war material in public spaces, images that people can obtain free, ignoring geographical borders, cutting out customs control and economic agenda. There will be no user registration at any point in the process.
War on war would attempt to use and subvert the development and strategy of an Echelon type use of technology (Echelon Corporation Ltd pioneer the technology of machine to machine communication – they openly repeat to prospective buyers and investors that their technology is about control – the removal of control from the user and greater control to the supplier. See notes on Echelon Corporation) answering them with a network of human marks and voices in direct opposition to their corporate intent, War on war will be motivated and driven by public outrage at corporate and politically motivated war as witnessed in the 2003 invasion and ongoing military occupation of Iraq.

Phase 1

We will create a set of digital images focusing on the military invasion and occupation of Iraq and the political and corporate exercise of military authority. The images will be uploaded on the web as downloadable pdfs printable in any size on any digital printer ( we enclose 10 printed examples printed on ordinary A4 paper on a domestic use printer) Users would be advised that these images are available for their own purposes, printing a selection of images to fly-post, make placards, pamphlets, news-sheets, flyers, to post on websites, use as web buttons, circulate via email lists, place on noticeboards in workplaces, schools, libraries, youth centres , public spaces.

Phase 2

We would ask the users to upload their digital snapshots, webcasts, weblinks, documenting their use of the material in public space and upload their own visual , verbal response to war. These uploads will automatically enter the visual archive of War on war which will be projected continuously as a random loop in Norwich Gallery. Alongside will be an electronic map flashing up the locations where the material has been downloaded and used. In this way we can follow the route of the network as users upload evidence of their personal actions.

As users upload evidence of their actions and use of our images our original will automatically disappear from the loop to be replaced by the users material.

Phase 3

The downloadable images which are the shop window of the project also serve as information carriers. Each image made of several elements will exist as an interactive carrier of factual information. By clicking on different parts of the image a fresh window will flash up onscreen enabling you to view relevant background information such as clips from web casts, sound bites, statistics,news footage, written analysis, web pages, peoples testimonies. Each image will be the window on a set of pages of information relevant to the subject depicted. The expansion of uploaded material as more people get links to the server and add their research, images, and personal experience will build an empirical base indicating people’s relationship to power structures and war.

Our intention is to get the website known internationally through email, weblink, slow boat etc. We will be asking international groups to forward an information email of War on war to their user lists, we will be focusing on

organisations in the developing world fighting against western military economy.



Echelon Corporation Ltd
Echelon present themselves as leaders in pioneering and actually creating a new market to exist within the internet and other more fundamental networking structures. They have pioneered M2M (machine to machine) communication.

They are now selling this technology to be incorporated into other companies services and products including utilities companies.

The example Echelon Corporation give in their Wall Street presentation is a contract they operate with an Italian utilities company, ENEL. In brief, this contract has run for the past 5 years and involves the creation of a two-way communication system between ENEL’s supply base to devices in 27 million homes across Italy, a two-way communication network where domestic devices/machines can communicate with the main supply at ENEL and vice versa. The system uses Italy’s powergrid as the network structure. Echelon Corporation cite “monitoring and control” as the usage of their  technology that companies like ENEL are buying into.

In their presentation Echelon say that they are deeply and continuously surprised that, following the success of their business with ENEL ( Echelon earned $10 per household in the contract and in 2002 sold 3 million shares in themselves to ENEL for $40 per share) that they have had little interest from other utilities, presumably in other countries, to sign up to this technology. Italy is at present under power of Berlusconi’s government, Berlusconi is renowned for owning the national television companies and affording him personal control over Italy’s media. As a European head of government this is a very unusual additional power for Berlusconi to hold.
In the same presentation Echelon Corporation are proud to make clear that all American Army and Navy systems and devices ( weapons and weapons systems) are now standardised according to Echelon technology and communications systems.

Echelon’s description of their technological innovations M2M communications which they are presenting to the private / public business markets sound the same as the most robust and far reaching surveillance system operating in the UK, installed at Menwith Hill M.O.D. camp in Yorkshire. The use of M2M communication there is for monitoring cell phone, email, internet and any other digital communications. The system is called Echelon.

The war in Iraq has opened up a vast market for business, predominantly American, in the middle east, never in this generation has British military action

and its connection with big business been so clearly focused.

Destruction and control of civilian life in Iraq is the extreme end of capitalist military economy such as ours in UK. The human tragedy caused by extreme, now unabated violence in Iraq where car bombs rip through bakery queues, mutilating and murdering those in line, where army battalions order citizens of entire cities to flee then, guns blazing shoot dead those who remain, these violent deaths are the extreme end. Citizens living in UK experience the mild end of human tragedy of capitalist, militarised economy. Here it exists as police thuggery, racism, dwindling rights of demonstration, homelessness and impoverishment through debt. The unassailable corporate powers in the UK such as credit card companies impoverish and control citizens, in Iraq the unassailable corporate powers bomb, impoverish and control the citizens.

Nowhere is the interplay of military operation and corporate business in advanced technologies so indivisible than on an aircraft carrier operating currently in the Gulf, Middle East. In the control room civilian technology experts, supplied by corporations of advanced technologies, sit and take orders from the army to coordinate the bombing of a targeted home or factory in Iraq.