Since June 19th of last year, political activist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Although Ecuador has granted him political asylum, if he steps foot outside the embassy, he could be arrested, extradited to the United States, and tried for his role in leaking sensitive US diplomatic cables.
For most photographers, shooting a portrait of Assange while he’s in hiding isn’t the easiest thing to do. However, art collective !Mediengruppe Bitnik recently came up with a clever way of doing so: they sent him an Internet-connected camera that’s baked into a cardboard parcel.
The box, which was shipped to Assange via Royal Mail, is equipped with a pinhole “lens” and contains a camera that automatically snaps a photograph every 10 seconds. The image is then automatically posted to the web on a website titled “DELIVERY FOR MR. ASSANGE” (archived version available here if the main page ever goes down).
The camera arrived in Assange’s hands sometime in the past day. Here are some of the first photographs captured and published by the cam:
In addition to some basic greetings, Assange also used the camera to make various (and often political political) statements:
During the live “performance,” updates on the images were published occasionally to the art collective’s Twitter account.
The project appears to have ended already, but the images are archived on the project’s website. It’d be interesting to see this same concept used to capture images of other difficult-to-access subjects.