For example, in the 2010 video 30 Days of Running in Place, Ahmed Basiony exercises in a makeshift spacesuit with sensors that convert his movements and physiology into designs on a screen behind him. It might be the psychological state of the artist translated into a dull graph. But the video is intercut with footage he shot of the Tahrir Square protests that would overturn the Egyptian government. At one such protest, on January 28, 2011, he was killed, apparently by sniper fire. Basiony puts us in the middle of the crowds shouting (in Arabic, subtitled), "People want to remove the regime!" The raw footage crackles with the visceral, subversive thrill of lots of fed up people gathering to speak ill of powerful guys backed by guns.

Read Greg Cook's blog at gregcookland.com/journal.

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