The difference between war and pop is reality.

Question one: What reality?

Step by step popular culture gains more reality. It accumulates reality, it cannibalizes reality, it substitutes reality.

Step by step war gains more virtuality. It produces simulation, it produces fiction, it produces illusion.

The remaining reality in war is neither strategic nor historic. It’s the fundamental reality of the body. It is blood, pain and death.

So pain and death ist the border between pop becoming more and more real and war becoming more and more fictional.

But the fundamental experience of the body in terms of sex, food, pain and death is he same utopian and apocalyptic desire whether in pop or war.

Question two: How come war and pop are creating the same body? Or, rephrasing that: How come war and pop are creating the same picture of the body?

There is no war without pop and there is no pop without war.

Pop uses war and war uses pop.

Once there was a chain: War becomes picture, picture becomes propaganda, propaganda becomes pop, pop becomes propaganda, propaganda becomes picture, picture becomes war. And so on. Like the football-saying goes: After the game is before the game. After the war is before the war. Pop is archive and breeding machine of war.

That may sound silly, because in our mythology Pop is just the contrary of war. Pop is the longhaired Woodstock U2- Band Aid- Give peace a chance. There is no peace movement without Pop. Pop ist youth, pop is more or less left, pop is new, sexy and crossover. Or isn’t it?

Pop is also ego shooter, Doom, Our Heroes at War, Nazi-Rock, racist hooligans, war games, which serve as training for soldiers to come, skinheads, soldiers of fortune, military look on international catwalks, embedded journalism and so on

Question three: What have they done to our Pop?

Wrong question. The codes of popular culture are open to every interest and every power, political or economic. Pop loves war as the market loves war.

But there is another even more fundamental question. Pop deals with three fundamental aspects of life: construction of identity – in class, race, gender, culture, language and nation. Conflict – good versus evil, me versus you, order versus chaos, virtue versus sin. And: Sex – the experience of the body, the experience of the other, the experience of the world. And that is exactly what war is all about, at least for the individual (there is, as we all know, a lot more to it, money, power and political game playing for instance).

And it’s all about pictures.

So the question is, if we come to the core of myth, may it be that war is not the object but the subject of narration and picture.

There is no war without pictures.

There is no pop without pictures.

There are pictures, in which war and pop merge. Perfectly or absurdly contradictory.

So we show some pictures where pop meets war and war meets pop. And we risk some first thoughts on it.