Todd Ayoung + Carlos Andrade have been collaborating since 2000. This work uses familiar portraits of political figures as a way to engage the moving or stationary spectator in the crisis or clash of empires. This crisis is not foreign or taking place elsewhere but severs our very subjectivity in the place we stand. In their piece “Beheaded” included in this issue heads of political leaders are encased in white metal light boxes and float in a void of whiteness. These heads are digital traces of current media representations that are uncanny because of the distortions caused by overlapping and transparency. One head presents itself as more familiar than another or one head seems to dominate the others. Is this empire-building at work?