Edward Snowden can now add "artist" to his resume. Or, more accurately, "person tangentially responsible for the creation of art." The Victoria & Albert Museum in London is hosting an exhibition next month that features a smashed MacBook Air and Western Digital hard drive that once contained leaked NSA documents from Snowden.
"Pointless symbolism" becomes art
The computer was symbolically destroyed in 2013 by editors at The Guardian while they were being watched by GCHQ. Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief at the time, called the act "a particularly pointless piece of symbolism," given that the government already knew copies of the data existed.
The exhibition, titled All of This Belongs to You, aims to act as a "laboratory for public life" by showcasing original artwork next to found objects like the ultra-secure CryptoPhone500 and the Onion Pi router, which turns Raspberry Pi into a Tor proxy.
This isn't the first time destroyed objects have been redefined as art. In 2013, a totaled Ferrari sold for $250,000 as a "contemporary art piece." The Salvage Art Institute houses and exhibits damaged artwork considered to be a "total loss" in its Life and Death of Works of Art show.
All of This Belongs to You runs from April 1st to July 19th.