Conceptual Glitch Art: Jehad Nga’s ‘Green Book’ Project

February 1, 2013 | Eugene Reznik

The latest project from New York-based Libyan photographer Jehad Nga is a huge step away in style from his well-recognized crisis and conflict photojournalismThe Green Book‘s title refers to a 24-chapter quasi-philosophical propaganda tome of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The book was issued to all Libyans during his reign as “required reading… an inane manifesto used to further reduce the value of a population’s role in the building of a society,” Nga writes.

Following the revolution last October, the photographer calibrated a satellite to intercept the flow of images across Libyan Internet traffic, a practice mimicing the former dictator’s intelligence arm.

From the ebb and flow of images being sent between people—the population’s naked, unedited psyche rendered visual—I harvested 24 representative images.

Applying to them something of a Gaddafi treatment, he then interrupted each image’s binary code by embedding full chapters from the book, pushing each file to its “threshold of recognition.” The result is a series of beautiful and somewhat unnerving photographs depicting the breakdown of a 40-year conflict of values.

“The Green Book,” Jehad Nga, April (TBA), Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York.