In June 2002, Jacob S. Boeskov, the CEO of Empire North, a young Danish Hi-Tech weapons company travelled to Beijing for CIEPE (China International Exhibition on Police Equipment – the first international weapons fair in China . His product was the ID Sniper, a high-velocity sniper rifle that implants a GPS-microchip into a person in order to trace their movements or facilitate arrest in a later, more controllable situation.
While the product was only in the research and development stage, and no working model existed, the ID Sniper was a hit at the fair, and representatives of the Chinese Police and Ministry of Security were eager to sign a blank-cheque contract to move the entire production of the ID Sniper and Empire North to China.
Luckily they didn’t realise Jacob S. Boeskov is an artist from Copenhagen, and the whole thing, ID Sniper, Empire North, was a nightmarish hacking of reality that formed his exhibition My Doomsday Weapon, currently showing at The Thing in New York.
The idea was to come up with the most terrible weapon imaginable, and to test it in a real environment. We had three days to finish up the weapon. Our fake company, Empire North, already had a logo and a slogan (The Logical Solution aping the Nazi classic The Final Solution) but we had no weapon yet. Genius designer Von B and I worked overtime, and in two days we had the ID Sniper ready.
Boris wrote a detailed account of the whole trip, from designing the weapon to the three days in Beijing schmoozing with international playboy weapons dealers, sweaty hyperactive Chinese police, wall-to-wall teenage goodtime girls, and a diet of stomach cramps, greasy noodles, beer and valium.
Boeskov describes the 3 days at the weapons fair as the worst 3 days of my life, like being trapped inside a nightmarish sci-fi novel that you authored yourself.
With MY DOOMSDAY WEAPON, Boeskov develops what he calls Fictionalism, illustrating a need for political art to take risks by hacking reality. He asks artists to Turn your worst fears about the future into a product. Present this product in present day reality. Report the reactions.”
If you’ve ever wondered how the police in China function, and how the ideals of the government are represented this truly creepy story is a must-read.