Easy Asylum Booth,
Easy Asylum Booth ‘Bundu Edition’ and is part of a shifting, magical-real vision that derives from the activities of the fictitious nation of Botrovia.
In this particular iteration Fagot Koroviev the Botrovian Minister of Security has proposed that refugee status in Botrovia is freely available to any non-Botrovian born applicant who is willing to sign over a portion of their skin for Koroviev to draw on with his tattoo gun. Realising that he alone would not be able to meet the high demand for Botrovian citizenship (and so as not to disappoint prospective citizens with long waiting times) he has commissioned an army of flying robotic tattoo machines to help him. These tattoo drones fly to pop up Easy Asylum booths in areas of Wales that Koroviev feels would particularly benefit from claiming Botrovian citizenship. The drones themselves, whilst in the air, decide what unique tattoo to bestow upon prospective citizens. Once tattooed the individual is immediately given their papers and a celebratory glass of vodka is shared.
The project is a provocation; it addresses current asylum policies and attitudes to immigration in Europe and the UK. It also explores notions of belonging and loyalty in relation to power; the late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad providing rich inspiration for the character Fagot Koroviev.
The history of the project and ongoing collaborations:
Easy Asylum Booth- ‘Bundu Edition’ is a facet of AnotherLeader/ Transitory Suppository, a rolling artwork that was initiated for ArtesMundi 7 in 2016 by Nástio Mosquito. (Since its inception the project has manifested in a number of forms including Another Leader / Transitory Suppository: Act #I Security Research, Nástio Mosquito, Ric Bower, CCQ Magazine and Another Africa, (2016),The Reverse-Panopticon, a brief introduction to AEI (Aesthetically Enhanced Interrogation), Ric Bower, Nástio Mosquito & Kelly Schacht, Arcade/Campfa (2019) and Moore’s Bad & Better Mundi - at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Nástio Mosquito (2019).
Current collaborations between Bower and Mosquito include Easy Asylum Booth ‘Bundu Edition’ (2020-) and Influence (2021-), a short film being made to debut at Spielart festival, Munich in November 2021.
‘high demand is anticipated so we have automated the process for your convenience’:
The Development of Easy Asylum Booth ‘Bundu Edition’
Ric Bower and Amir Karimi have been developing the necessary robotics for almost a year, with Amir working on the electrical engineering and coding and Ric modeling and 3D printing the mechanical parts. The machine is now in its 55th iteration and is operational.
Ric has begun collaborating with Nerea Martinez who will be developing 100 tattoo drawings in response to immigration stories and interviews with asylum seekers and refugees in Wales. Nerea’s drawings will be carried in the computer memory of the tattoo drones.
Ric is also collaborating with Mahnaz Baoosh, Issa Farfour, Gerald Tyler and John Rea to produce five very short films under the banner of Easy Asylum Booth ‘Bundu Edition’.
The UK ‘has been chosen’ to host ‘a Botrovian PR coup’:
About Supercharger — blown collective
Bower has adopted the moniker Supercharger- blown collective to cover the Wales based practitioners, individuals and organisations he is collaborating with on an ongoing basis. Other Wales based collaborators in Easy Asylum Booth- ‘Bundu Edition’ (members of Supercharger- blown collective) are Mahnaz Baoosh an Iranian refugee and lens based practitioner; award winning Syrian journalist Issa Farfour (also a refugee); Award winning Iranian roboticist Amir Karimi; Award winning theatre and film artist. Gerald Tyler; BAFTA winning composer John Rea and Eisteddfod winning artist Nerea Martinez de Lecea.
Easy Asylum Booth, ‘Bundu Edition’ is produced in partnership with Oasis Cardiff, the refugee and sylumseeker charity. It is supported by Arts Council of Wales and the arts charity Axisweb