Loophole for All
By hacking the government website of the Cayman Islands, a Caribbean tax haven, artist/activist Paolo Cirio succeeded in discovering the true identities of 200,000 anonymous offshore letter-box companies there. Cirio followed up his big score as a corporate identity thief by selling shares in these secretive enterprises for as low as 99¢ as a way of collectively hijacking them. The upshot: immediate, massive legal threats from the unmasked tax dodgers and lots of media coverage worldwide. Nevertheless, Paolo Cirio thinks that everyone should have the opportunity to take advantage of exactly the same tax reduction strategies that major corporations are exploiting. He describes his project as an attempt to democratize tax avoidance. But ultimately, Paolo Cirio’s mission is to call attention to the global dimensions of this scheme. The 2014 Prix Ars Electronica honored “Loophole for All” with the Golden Nica in the Interactive Art category.