In December 2018, I travelled to the Serbian-Hungarian border to steal a piece of razor wire from the border fence. After a minute, border guards arrived. The stolen razor wire was subsequently used to make an interactive sculpture. A movement sensor activates an electric winch that extends the object in vertical direction.

In recent years, more and more border fences have been erected across Europe. These fences, designed to stop ‘illegal immigrants’ on the Hungarian-Croatian/Serbian, Latvian-Russian and Greek-Turkish borders, among others, are often described as advanced technologies: they are supposedly ‘high-tech’ or even ‘smart’. This terminology and the focus on the various sensors attached to the fences obscure the physical violence that is enacted on humans and non-human animals with these so-called ‘passive safety’ structures. Moreover, their framing as supposedly clean and precise technologies is symptomatic of a broader cultural practice that uses narratives of technologization to justify means of violence (e.g. ‘smart bombs’ and drones).

video: https://vimeo.com/313775477/dd33a0fc7a

Exhibitions

'Offering the Will to Survive', Bruthaus Gallery, Belgium, B, 2019

VRHAM! Festival, Hamburg, D, 2019

'Update: Human Nature', New Media Art Week, Liepaja, LV, 2019

Smart Fence

2018-19

video documentation of performance action (3’28”), interactive installation (razor wire, movement sensor, micro controller, electric winch)
 

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