February 24, 2024

The project is “Dead Man’s Switch,” and the “dead man” is the Australian WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, currently jailed on remand in London’s high-security jail, Belmarsh Prison. Assange is wanted by Sweden for sexual-assault allegations, and faces charges in the U.S. for violating the Espionage Act. A court hearing in 2024 will decide whether he will be extradited to the U.S.
In “Dead Man’s Switch,” live streaming cameras will be activated in case of Assange’s death in prison. The art contained in is not going to be returned until Assange is free. Members of WikiLeaks were not involved with “Dead Man’s switch.”
Stella Assange, Julian’s wife and a political activist,mentions her husband’s health risks, the potential danger he faces, and how political oppression aims to silence him. She supports “Dead Man’s Switch” as a possible way to draw attention to his plight.
The art collector James Molodkin is the creator behind the “Dead Man’s Switch” project. His artworks often revolve around political issues, and his work is in the Tate Modern’s permanent collection. He has known Stella Assange and the members of WikiLeaks. Molodkin’s relocation to France was due to his stance against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he marked Russia’s Victory Day celebrations with “Putin Filled with Ukrainian Blood.” He also has a hub for like-minded artists in France.
The Foundry, Molodkin’s hub, was used by the artist Andres Serrano to develop a project on torture. American artist and photographer participated by donating his work. Italian artist Franko B also donated his work to the project, and has used the Foundry for performance art workshops.