Jakob S. Boeskov from downtown Copenhagen, Denmark – is a funny boy. Take his latest arts prankster turns weapons gangster project, now exhibiting in NY (http://events.thing.net). Jakob infiltrated an International Weapons fair at Bejing with a fake blueprint for an ID Sniper which ‘shoots GPS (Global Positioning System) microchips into the bodies of innocent civilians, whose movements later could be followed by authorities via a GPS satellite system’. He documented the spooky scenes and reactions of the arms traders until he could take it no more, and if that effort impresses you at all, you should really make a little effort of your own to read his hilarious account of it all at www.jakobboeskov.com, or try his fictitious weapons company www.empirenorth.dk.
[[UPDATE: Sep, 2013: ‘Lib’s plan to microchip suspects by sniper rifle‘ : a Liberals candidate in Western Sydney, has been exposed as a strong advocate of sniper powered microchipping to ‘improve the productivity of the NSW Police Force’. (via Sydney Morning Herald)]].
What’s your beef with surveillance buddy?
Can you think of a situation where you’d like to have a GPS sniper rifle?
Well, I already have one.
How did the exhibition fare against your expectations?
There was no people with people with patches over their eyes, it was not so James Bond like. It was just a bunch of people from around the world making shitloads of money from war and the fear of terrorism. Quite banal and therefore much more horrific. Boring people selling tanks is something that is truly a nightmare for me.
What were you afraid of during your exhibition?
To be revealed as a fraud. All the plainclothes policemen really stressed me out. But people treat you nice as long as they think you are a weapons dealer. Another concern was that they would eventually want to buy my weapon. And that happened. They basically asked how much money I needed. They really wanted this horrible piece of technology. When I went to New York I received endless emails from real weapon dealers who wanted to invest in the weapon. A huge american investment bank, Prudential, was also quite interested.
Your choice of weapon if you had to kill someone – you know, like if you really had no choice?
With a pen. Or a very sharp pencil.
What surprised you about the people marketing new weapons of mass destruction?
I didn’t meet any of them. To my knowledge, nuclear weapons are not sold at these fairs. Dupont chemical had a booth though, but i never had the time to chat with them.
How scary is the Danish Defence industry?
Well, they do stuff for the new Eurofighter plane. A company called Terma also did stuff for the F16. The Danish shipping company Maersk which is bigger than Coca Cola now, used to make guns for the occupying nazis. It’s really a myth that there is no weapons industry in Denmark.
Other strange, horrific weapons you came across at the expo?
How well do they fingerprint / interrogate ‘innocent civilians’ such as yourself, travelling to New York to exhibit your ‘project’?
They took me straight to customs, because I had a model of the ID Sniper with me. They started to shout a bit, and said I was violating state law, but eventually they let me go. They forgot to fingerprint me.
What do you think artists can learn from weapons manufacturers?
To make money.