Moscow-based designer Dmitry Morozov might have found a perfect solution to global police brutality problem. Would you use drugs, steal or beat someone if mom is watching? We doubt that. A baton dubbed “Antenna” is aimed to avoid being punched by the officers as each thwack will send a text message to beaters’ parent telling: "Mom, I hit a man.” Metro talks to Morozov on his invention.
How have you came up with this baton?
The idea came nearly two months ago. It was absolutely spontaneous. I'm constantly working with interactive technologies. It's not that I really like social projects, but though decided to do something in order to conceptualize this kind of processes. Media often features aggression from police officers. It happened and happens all the time. But in today's world with so many mobile phones and cameras, it is even more pronounced. So, I decided to create this baton.
How does it work?
It's very simple. Baton has a sewn-in drive that records hits. It also has sensitive sensors to distinguish a drop from the punch. And there's also found kind of mobile phone that is programmed only to send specified texts to a single number when sensor triggers the thwack.
The law does not really have an effect on all. So, thats why fear of the law may be less than fear of own mother. This is quite natural: when coming home, everyone becomes fluffy. If mother can’t help, nothing would.
Is it only for Russian policemen?
There is no difference in which country it might be used, because the abuse of power the same all over the globe. But I do believe that in Russia it may even be less evident than in other places. Recently there were big riots in Istanbul, rough skirmishes constantly occur in Italy, the US…
Have you ever been beaten?
No, I don’t have any personal claims against the police. I am not one of the victims either. This project is my kind of reaction to this aggressive environment.
Do you expect it will be really used by police?
It is possible, but hardly in any country the Ministry of Internal Affairs will undertake sending policemen mothers such text messages. But I think the idea to fix everything that happens with any weapon is a good one. The purpose of the project is to attract public attention, it’s what art is for.