The US governement spends billions of tax payer dollars on high tech surveillance of the waters between the US and Cuba, but one thing their fancy balloons don’t detect – pigeons. As a sort of “FU” to the ridiculous “Trading with the Enemy Act,” Duke trained 50 homing pigeons in Key West to make the 100 mile journey from Cuba to smuggle cigars. Mission accomplished.
In a recent NY Times article Duke said, “I wanted to subvert this billions-of-dollars high-tech system with things that were being used in ancient Sumeria.”
Not only did 11 birds successfully return with cigars, others strapped with cameras filmed the journey. The shaky but unbelievable footage below will be shown in its entirety tonight, as well as the actual birds in their loft, their smuggling “bras,” the cigars and other objects. Plus, a pair of birds is for sale for $100,000 – live pigeons sold as artwork.
See You At The Finish Line is on view through January 14th, 2014.