THE LIGHT OF GOD, 2012 (Artefact reproduction, 2016)

© Courtesy the artist

THE LIGHT OF GOD, 2012 (Artefact reproduction, 2016)

James Bridle

We call it in, and we're given all the clearances that are necessary, all the approvals and everything else, and then we do something called the Light of God - the Marines like to call it the Light of God. It's a laser targeting marker. We just send out a beam of laser and when the troops put on their night vision goggles they'll just see this light that looks like it's coming from heaven. Right on the spot, coming out of nowhere, from the sky. It's quite beautiful.
Omer Fast, Five Thousand Feet is the Best, 2011 (excerpt).


The Light of God is a manipulated photograph attempting to make visible to us something that only exists, so far, in the accounts of the military personnel who saw it. ‘The light of God’ is a laser targeting marker emitted by a flying drone that can be seen only when wearing night vision goggles, used in Afghanistan and Iraq to point to the target of a hellfire missile strike.

Bridle couldn’t find any pictures of ‘the light of God’, so he made one based on laser targeting night systems and a Creative Commons-licensed photograph of the Iraqi desert by Rob Bakker.

The image is an effective symbol of technology that has gone far beyond the human, and that manifests itself with the cold precision of a divine force.

Bridle's work stems from a deep concern with increasingly invisible and seamless military technologies that are creating the context for ‘secret, unaccountable, endless wars’.


James Bridle (UK)

James Bridle is a British artist, writer and theorist, based in London. With a long-standing investigative interest in modern network infrastructure, government transparency, and technological surveillance, his artistic practice positions itself at the intersection of art, science and political activism. Bridle graduated from University College London with a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, specialising in Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence. He is represented by NOME Gallery, Berlin.

9 - 21 Feb 2016



Opening 9 Feb 19:30 – 23:00

10 -21 Feb

We - Sa 14:00 – 22:00

Su - Tu 14:00 – 19:00

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