U.S./Iraq War Memorial

The U.S./Iraq War Memorial is an augmented reality public art project and memorial, dedicated to the thousands of individuals who have died on both sides of the conflict.

The public can simply download and launch the Layar Augmented Reality Browser app on their iPhone or Android and aim the devices’ camera at the landscape through out the northeastern United States. The application uses geolocation software to superimpose a single computer generated 3D graphic of a casket for each of the 52,036 recorded deaths, enabling the public to see the caskets integrated into the physical location as if it existed in the real world.

The locations of the augmentations are based on data published by The Guardian of the Wikileaks Iraq war logs.

The data points have then been offset based on the precise longitude and latitude difference between Baghdad and the Washington Mall in Washington D.C. This map indicates the location of the augmentation once the GPS offset has been applied.

As far as we know, this might be the first war memorial to acknowledge losses on both sides.


Mark Skwarek is a new media artist working to bridge the gap between virtual reality and the real world by using augmented realities and multi-user online environments to bring a virtual context into physical space. He explores this intersection in both his private art practice as well as in academic research projects. Mark primarily works with 3-D graphics and video game technology to create new media works of art. Mark’s current body of work gives context to society’s present condition in the United States by drawing from related social and political issues in real time. These weighted concepts are mixed with public augmented realities to give new meaning to the experience of the physical space. Mark has recently shown in ISEA 09, CyberArts 09, the Sunshine International Art Museum in Beijing and the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois. Mark is an “Artist in Residence” and adjunct faculty at NYU Polytech University. Mark is also adjunct faculty at the New York City College of Technology’s Architecture Department.

John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public work at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. His work seeks to expand the notion of public by exploring how digital networked technology is transforming our sense of place. He has produced work and exhibited around the world including in Xi’an, Belfast, Los Angeles, Beijing, Zurich, New York City, Taipei, São Paulo, Warsaw, Kaliningrad, Miami, Bilbao, Havana, Atlanta, Calgary, Buffalo, Boston, Mexico City, London and San Francisco. In 1992 he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has had work commissioned by both Rhizome.org and Turbulence.org. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, El Pais, Liberation, Wired News, Artforum, Ten-8, Z Magazine, Afterimage, Photo Metro, New Art Examiner, Time, Harper’s and Der Spiegel. Christiane Paul cites Freeman’s work in her book Digital Art, Second Addition, as does Lucy Lippard in the Lure of the Local, and Margot Lovejoy in Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age. His writing has been published in Rhizomes, Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure. Freeman received a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is currently an Associate Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston.

Advisory Board:

Hassan Ildari is a writer-director with eight feature screenplays to his credit. He has directed the award-winning feature Face of the Enemy, and the feature Sharkskin, now in post-production. From 1991 to 2000, he was head of production and development for Academy Award winning director Arthur Hiller’s bi-coastal company Golden Quill and his 2010 feature, “small potatoes,” was screened at the Anthology Film Archives in NY. A Directing Fellowship graduate of the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, Ildari has worked at Columbia Pictures and Walt Disney Studios.

One Response to “U.S./Iraq War Memorial”

  1. Augmented Reality U.S./Iraq War Memorial « Games Alfresco Says:

    […] info on the project’s blog, via Development Memo for […]

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