Hacking weaponry as an act of resistance: Ars Electronica Futurelab resident Tom Bogaert examined the intersections of politics, art and propaganda.
This year’s Ars Electronica Futurelab Artist in Residence is Tom Bogaert, who came to art after a career as a refugee aid worker with the United Nations and Amnesty International. As a conscientious objector, he is fascinated by the ease with which the logic of war has invaded our daily lives. During his time at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, he hacked weapons, strategies, industries and geopolitics – and called it art: Objection.
His fieldwork included a visit to the IDEX arms fair in Abu Dhabi, where he was struck by the normalcy of the event. He was inspired by the Stockholm Peace Institute’s list of the 100 largest arms manufacturers and invested some of his grant money in buying shares in these companies. With the resulting profits, Bogaert continued to realize his hacking plans. At the Ars Electronica Festival, the artist showcased his online brokerage account, and he displayed prototypes and AI-generated images of hacked weapons – including a bleeding building and tear gas that evokes emotion.
For more information on Tom Bogaert’s work, see the Ars Electronica Futurelab page on Objection.