Cherry Blossoms: When War Comes Home

Alyssa Wright

Cherry Blossoms addresses the disparity between human suffering and perception of that suffering. The project starts in a backpack outfitted with a small microcontroller and a GPS unit. Recent news of bombings in Iraq are downloaded to the unit every night, and their relative location, to the center of the city, are superimposed on a map of Boston. If the wearer walks in a space in Boston that correlates to a site of violence in Baghdad, the backpack detonates and releases a compressed air cloud of confetti, looking like a mixture between smoke and shrapnel and the white blossoms of a cherry tree, completely engulfing the wearer. Each piece of confetti is inscribed with the name of a civilian who died in the war, and the circumstances of their death. With Cherry Blossoms human loss resonates beyond the boundary of conflict.