The title of the performance refers to a hypothetical situation when the torture of a captive can be sanctioned by security services. In short, there is a bomb somewhere ready to explode, the prisoner has information that can prevent this bomb from going off, and the only way to get the information out is to torture them. This rationalization seems valid at face value but when applied in the real world it almost never provides useful information. The captive wants the torture to stop and will say anything, including complete lies, to make it stop. The performance was presented in Jerusalem, and was a response to the the use of torture by Shabak, Israel’s internal security service. The techniques and music used were collected from the histories of many security services including the CIA, FBI, British Army in Northern Ireland, US military in Iraq, and others.
At the beginning of the performance, I put a black bag on my head, an audience member bound my hands with zip ties, and sat me in a chair. At this point a large video screen located behind me started questioning me in a deep dehumanised computer voice. At random moments the screen would go white and harsh loud music would play, I would then submerge my head in cold water and try to keep it under as long as the music played. When the noise stopped I would sit back in the chair and the questioning would resume, asking the same things over and over again. At the end of the performance I was insulted and dismissed by the video interrogator. The song “I Love You” from Barney and Friends started playing along with a loud high pitched noise, I sat in the chair for a while and collected myself, I then got up and stumbled out of the performance area.