LITTLE EICHMANNS

An interactive sound installation using Hannah Arendt’s thesis of “Little Eichmanns” as a lens for exploring the individual and collective role.


Little Eichmanns:
"is a phrase used to describe persons participating in society who, while on an individual scale may seem relatively harmless even to themselves, taken collectively create destructive and immoral systems in which they are actually complicit."

This project was for my Major Studio 1 class at Parsons MFAD+T. My goal was to expand upon Hannah Arendt’s thesis of “Little Eichmanns” by recontextualizing and applying it to modern day, specifically through a sound installation.

The sounds are structured as a non-linear narrative, collaged out of real footage and news coverage of massacres that have happened across the world.

Being born an American I felt if I am to criticize anyone I should start through the persepctive of those who stand as representaives of me and the labled nationality for which I use when filling out forms.

The audio used comes from three different massacres committed by the United States against unarmed civilians in the middle east.

Haditha Massacre:
NOVEMBER 19, 2005
HADITHA, AL ANBAR PROVINCE, IRAQ
24 KILLED

Kandahar Massacre
MARCH 11, 2012
PANJWAI DISTRICT, KANDAHAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
16 KILLED
9 WOUNDED

Baghdad AirStrike
JULY 12, 2007
NEW BAGHDAD, BADHDAD, IRAQ
12-18 KILLED
2 WOUNDED

The sound narrative is presented through an interactive mobile sound installation made up of Sound Transducers and iPhones. The user interacts with the piece by hovering their hands over the iPhones (via the use of the proximity sensor) to conduct their way through the narrative. The different audio of massacres are then played through the surface transducers, which turn any surface into a speaker.

The users take on a responsibility for the massacres by triggering the sound, however, by being the trigger without having to physically touch the phones, the users also hold a level of removal from the massacres. Breaking that physical barrier is the interaction of the user putting their ear to the surface in order to better hear the stories being heard.