On a simulation of the barren landscape of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, used by the US as an arena for military exercises, two teams are assembled, their actions controlled and timed through the release of camouflage smoke bombs. Their red and blue uniforms—the traditional colours of war gaming—suggest competition or antagonism, yet their actions are enigmatic and inconclusive.

Just as the scene is a painstaking, extremely detailed reproduction of an actual landscape that was generated using photographs and satellite data, the figures in Exercise (Djibouti) 2012 are the virtual counterparts of a group of elite athletes in training for London 2012, who were scanned and photographed and whose movements were converted to digital data using motion-capture technology…