VIENNA Protest: State Of Sabotage

Today we are introducing you another special project of VIENNAFAIR The New Contemporary, that will take a place from October 10 to 13, 2013. The State of Sabotage (SoS) was founded as a sovereign state in 2003 on the unpopulated island Harakka in Finland by the Austrian artist Robert Jelinek. Even before it existed the end of the state had already been planned and set for August 30, 2013. Regardless of the issuing date, the validity of all documents such as SoS passports and ID cards ends on this day. After this date the SoS state will be laid to rest in a grave topped with a memorial.


With this ceremony the entire body of artistic work of the past ten years as well as all diplomatic papers and SoS state utensils will be given as sacrifice. These artifacts comprise documents, pictures, plans, models, maps, 14,000 passport applications, passports, ID cards, typewriters, flags, coins, stamps, posters, books… The state’s own funeral car – a Mercedes 709 with the license plate W-SOS 1 – will serve as the urn and a ceremonial sculpture.

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State of Sabotage (SoS) – Facts:

The term Sabotage originates from the French word sabot and means literally “to kick with a wooden shoe”. A sabot is a French clog with a leather cap. French female farm workers had thrown their sabots in times of the turn to agricultural mechanization into harvesters and processing machines (these machines substituting the workers) blocking the mowing and threshing machines and making them useless. They had literally committed Sabotage for the sake of their work. In 1992 Robert Jelinek formed a cross-media platform under the name “Sabotage” with the vision of an independent open space for Fine Arts, Actionism, Concept Art and Art in Public that had later in 1994 also been active as an international music and art label (Sabotage Recordings), a collective and an organization (Sabotage Communications).

Consequently following this artistic idea this ideology is represented in form of a sovereign state since 2003. State of Sabotage (SoS) had been initiated as an art hybrid on August 30th 2003 along with the sculpture Sabotage by HR Giger on the unpopulated island Harakka in Finland. SoS has its own constitution and is a state authorized by UNO in terms of human rights. However, it has no distinct territory but provinces that are defined by cultural events.

The SoS currency registered at the World Bank IWF. Since 2004 SoS holds ambassadors in 15 Nations and maintains diplomatic ties to several states. With its app. 14.000 citizens the SoS passport enables migrants to travel to countries they had been forced to leave. The SoS passport is mainly used as identification card giving migrants access to medical care, working permits and helps in the formal procedure to send money to family members in their home countries. For many migrants living in Europe the SoS passport serves as only document to show their identity.

The SoS art collection grows constantly in form of collaborations with internationally known artists like HR GIGER (Manifesto), Franz GRAF (Coats of arms) , Christian FENNESZ (Anthem), Hermann de VRIES (Installation), Jonathan MEESE (Sculpture, Books), Oswald OBERHUBER (Burial shroud), Roman SIGNER (Installation), RSO-Radio Symphony Orchestra (Anthem), Heimo ZOBERNIG (Passport) and many more. SoS is in line with social values such as education, culture and fundamental human rights and seeks to work against state domination with artistic strategies.

Facts and Figures

Founded: 30. August 2003
Mission completed: 30. August 2013
Government Type: Direct Citizen Representation
Head of State: Non-President Robert Jelinek
Locations: Area I (4 provinces): 787.910 m2. Area II (Rented or owned space of SoS citizens in 128 countries): 17.192.810,27 m2
Population: app. 13.900 citizens
Sex ratio: 62:38 males/females
Ethnic groups: 84% African, 12% European, 2% Asian,  1% North American, 1% Australian
Diplomatic languages: German, English, French
National day: August 30
National dish: Soup of Sabotage
Currency: SoS
News: For the update check out
State Department

Many thanks to Robert Jelinek for the contribution to this post. 

Buy your tickets for VIENNAFAIR 2013 today! Tickets are officially on sale now:

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