Artist's Bizarre New Project Turns Homeless People Into Real Life Pokemon

homeless-artist
(Photo: Evening Standard)

A Danish artist has taken Pokemon Go's trend of finding Pokemon in real life a couple of steps further by selling the chance to track homeless people, effectively turning the homeless individuals into Pokemon Go subjects for profit.

Kristian von Hornsleth, the artist who is depicted at the far right of the picture above, paid several homeless people in London to first have their photographs taken and then for each of the subjects to be outfitted with a tracking device that will allow the subjects to be tracked via an app. The tracking devices have been given a name as well, dubbed "Hornsleth Homeless Trackers" by the artist.

"Each homeless person, so far 10 in total, has been fitted with a tracking device, so the buyer, or owner, can follow them 24/7 through an exclusive app, effectively converting the homeless into a real-life Pokémon Go or human Tamagotchi," Hornsleth said according to UK's Evening Standard. "Furthermore, the owners will receive a real gold portrait of their homeless."

For the price of 24.989 Euros, roughly $28, users can "purchase" a homeless person and follow their every move through the app. T-shirts and posters are also products that Hornsleth is selling in addition to his app service.

Hornsleth has, of course, been criticized for this move, but the artist claims that his actions and his artist project are about making a statement against homelessness.

"It fuses homelessness, privacy invasion, inequality and reality TV, with present day cultural decadence and interactive conceptual art," the artist said.

Expanding on that claim, Hornsleth also said that the issue of homelessness doesn't just stop within London. He says that the project is also a look at society as a whole and its failure to act on the problem.

"This project is a comment on this society as a whole. We can put a man on the moon, but in Britain you can’t get men off the streets. I’m privatizing the homeless. It’s absurd, and it’s just a mirror of the world.”

This isn't the first controversial project that the artist has been a part though, but for his most recent artistic endeavor, he says that the trackers are "an ethical boundary-smashing work."