Poetry in Motion? No, Art Posted to Assange


The U.S. government may futilely want to throw the book at Julian Assange, but two Swiss artists may be successfully mailing some art his way.

Julian Assange

Domagoj Smoljo and Carmen Weisskopf, are using GPS tracking and live webcam to trail a parcel sent to the Wikileaks publisher at his refuge in London’s Ecuadorian embassy.

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According to the BBC, the artists mailed the package Wednesday, then emailed Assange as follows:

“The parcel is a live mail art piece. It is intended as REAL_WORLD_PING, a SYSTEM_TEST inserted into a highly tense diplomatic crisis,” the email read, making reference to program code functions.

“Since you took refuge there in June last year, the Ecuadorean embassy in London has been the spectacular staging of an intense clash between the international order and freedom of information activists.

“We want to see where the parcel will end. Which route it takes and whether it reaches you.”

The artists asked him to take the camera and provide a London view from the embassy “of the diplomatic crisis,” then send the camera to whoever he chooses.

X-ray image of artists’ parcel.

According to the artists’ tracking efforts, the packet seems to have made it to the embassy; but it’s unclear if Assange had received it.

The artists have been updating the tracking via !Mediengruppe Bitnik’s Twitter site.

Assange entered the embassy in June, and Ecuador granted him political asylum in August, a day after Britain had threatened to raid the embassy and arrest him. Britain wants to extradite him to Sweden, where he is accused of rape and sexual assault. Assange has stated publicly that he believes Sweden will turn him over to the United States. President Obama wants to try him for espionage because Assange’s WikiLeaks website leaked hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic and military cables.