Untitled Detonation #1, 2011
37.8 x 31.5 in.
Collection of Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell
Ueli Alder did not use a camera to make this breathtaking photograph. Instead he created a digital composite of images from several sources, including war-themed video games, personal photos taken by service members stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and photo and video documentation of IED disposals and coordinated air strikes. Although this photograph may look convincingly real, a close examination reveals areas of pixelation. Alder pokes holes in the believability of this explosion in order to call attention to the increasing hyper-realness of war visuals in video games. In creating this photograph Alder questions just how breathtaking images like this will have to become in the future for us to pay attention to them.