Design and Violence



Killing you softly

This environmentally-friendly bullet swaps out the traditional lead core for copper, ensuring that it does not contaminate the food chain or water supply. The ‘green bullets’ selected for the original MoMA show were developed by the US military and designed to kill people with “increased penetration of armor and hard targets”, as well as to be more environmentally friendly on their firing ranges and training environments. The design of the bullets raises clear ironies around the weighing of relative violence: the intention is to cause harm to humans while protecting the environment. The bullets on display here are used for hunting in Ireland, advertised as “ideal for smaller deer species and long-range varmint hunting”. Hunting and environmental protection have a long-standing relationship, perhaps softening the irony in this case, while still presenting a tension between killing and protecting.

Image courtesy of U.S. Army.