The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point sculpture is a 8" by 30" plate of glass balanced on the tip of a mortar shell. Arranged under the surface of the glass are two opposing visions of America's miliary future. On one side, traditional green GI Joe figures are arrayed, on the other, Imperial Star Wars Troopers. This sculpture raises questions of miltiary supremacy, freedom and empire.

America was founded on the principle that people have a right to live free from tyranny. Beginning with the American Revolution, we have shown our willingness to defend that principle with force, when diplomacy fails. To protect our freedom, Americans have spent countless sums to build the most powerful military force in the world. The danger we face, however, is that no power in the history of the world has developed overwhelming military supremacy and not used it for expansion and empire building. Are we at the tipping point? Do we have the political will and restraint to limit our use of military power to protect freedom, or will we become the tyrants and empire builders we once rebelled against? Secondly, the sculpture speaks to a more insidious side of these new wars, their entertainment value. How removed have we become from the realities of war? Why are there so few images of destruction, maimed bodies and carnage? Desert Storm got higher TV ratings than the Super Bowl, and we followed the action in Iraq on playing cards. The sculptural reference to Star Wars, or war on the big screen, raise uncomfortable questions about blurring the lines between entertainment and war.