George W. Bush’s state of the union address in 2002 coined the phrase “AXIS OF EVIL” describing an axis of countries whose governments sponsored terrorism and sought weapons of mass destruction. The phrase was at the forefront of media headlines and particularly when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (president of Iran from 2005-2013) visited the US in 2007, prompting media headlines such as the Daily News‘ “THE EVIL HAS LANDED”.
This labeling, undoubtedly, opened the flood gates to racial profiling, and so I decided to do an experiment. I utilized a composite of the six leaders of the axis-of-evil countries, which as defined by the Bush administration are: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, and North Korea. Matrices of each of the six original images are extracted and randomly output as layers in a new matrix. New faces are constantly being created. The end result is a collage, a new face made up of segments from the original six figures. I was interested in asking: How do we put a face on the word evil? What attributes create an evil person? Who can be evil?
So naturally I was highly amused when one of the first random matrix-outputs-of-evil, by pure coincidence, bears close resemblance to George W. Bush himself. My work here is done.