Florian Mehnert Videostill of the lifestream 11 DAYS

11 DAYS, 2015

The art experiment "11 DAYS" investigated the consequences of surveillance, the use of remote-controlled armed drones. The recipient was placed in the position of a drone pilot who could threaten a laboratory rat with a functioning weapon via the Internet. At the end of the countdown of 11 days, on 25 March 2015 at 19.00 (CET), the controllable weapon should be armed. The rat could then have been killed from any smartphone, from any computer via the Internet. Anyone could have become an anonymous perpetrator. However, it was never planned to really have the rat killed.

Florian MehnertThe installation "11 DAYS" The installation made it possible to control the weapon via the website 11TAGE.florianmehnert.de and made the Lifestream available on the Internet. The installation is fully functional and allows the weapon to be moved and released. The controllable weapon is equipped with a webcam on its barrel. The installation places the recipient in the position of a monitorer and a drone pilot. The camera position on the barrel - the typical ego-shooter perspective - creates a game situation reminiscent of video games.

The Process

Florian Mehnert

The countdown to the project was officially launched on Saturday, 14 March 2015. In less than 12 hours, a Shitstorm developed on the Internet via Facebook, Twitter and in numerous forums and commentary areas of the online newspapers. Florian Mehnert received hundreds of e-mails with insults and death threats. Daily visits to the project's website rose from several thousand overnight to around 30,000 per day. The web server had to be changed several times in order to cope with the rush of accesses. However, the server regularly collapsed under the DOS attacks of hackers, which were partly announced. On Saturday morning, two officers of the local police appeared, who wanted to have a look at the installation, the weapon and the keeping of the rat. The art experiment "11 DAYS" did not run as originally planned 11 DAYS, but only six days. It was ended prematurely on 17 March 2015 at 19.00 (CET).

The art experiment "11 DAYS" has reached its goal!

record of the lifestream
Shortly after the 11-day countdown on Saturday started in the evening, there were over 30,000 hits on the website. Until Sunday evening many media in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and England had reported about the project. The project "11 DAYS" had attracted more attention in a short time than ever expected. There was a controversial discussion about the project and its topic. In this respect, the goal of the art experiment "11 DAYS" was reached after only a few days. It was therefore not absolutely necessary to allow the project to continue until the end of the countdown.

On Wednesday 17 March, Florian Mehnert received a visit from three civilian representatives of the authorities: a Chief Commissioner, a veterinarian from the Freiburg District Office and a department head. They asked for a visit to the installation, and then for a meeting in which it was clearly stated that the project should be terminated voluntarily, otherwise ways and means would be found to officially terminate the project. Neither the burden of the Shitstorm, nor the press marathon, nor the discussion with the representatives of the authorities finally led to the decision to initiate the end of the art experiment on the evening of 16 March after 6 days, but the actual success of the project.
link to the origin website of the project: 11TAGE.florianmehnert.de