Project website: http://www.pimpmypassport.net
Pimp My Passport workshops are open to everyone to make RFID reading proof passport covers to protect ones privacy. The project examines DIY prospects as well as and privacy issues of the RFID (Radio frequency identification) passports being rolled out throughout the European Union. It also plays around with the notion of nationality and its symbols – seeking new ways to signal identity by “pimping” personal travel documents. When the passport is needed in airports, harbours etc. it can be easily taken away from the cover and the passport can be read normally by the officials.
Although dealing with heavy subject matter like electronic privacy and nationality, Pimp My Passport is a playful, hands-on project that anyone can take part of. It was first introduced in Art&Communication:SPECTROPIA, Riga, Latvia, 2008. The next workshop followed in Jyväskylä, Finland, produced by Live Herring group in May 2009. The workshop seems to be very successful when organised in co-operation with a festival or an event where people can pop in and out. For example, there were about 50 passport covers made by the participants in Jyväskylä.
Pimp My Passport is a collaboration in between myself and designer Mika Meskanen.
See also passport reading video with and without the protective covers here.