Steve Powers Wants to See You Get Waterboarded

Would you let this man waterboard you?Photo: Patrick McMullan

Some consider waterboarding torture. For others, it’s “all in fun,” says an assistant to the graffiti artist-painter Steve Powers a.k.a. Espo, who is looking for 50 lawyers to waterboard as part of an “experimental art event” this month somewhere in the city (probably Coney Island). “We felt like lawyers would yield an interesting result as they are most qualified to impartially describe the experience,” said the assistant, who didn’t want to be named. The mass waterboarding will be supervised by medical professionals and will not last more than five seconds. Other than that, it will be pretty authentic:

Volunteers will be strapped to a wooden board and have water poured over their face to simulate drowning.

Participants should look on it, Power’s assistant says, “as an old-fashioned Coney Island–style ride” that “will hopefully settle the question of what waterboarding is like … whether it is torture or fun/crazy/scary.” Hmmm. We suspect if you’re a prisoner who is most definitely not having this done voluntarily, there’s no way you’d see it as fun. But for everyone else? Well, it’s pretty hot out. You do what you need to do to cool down. Full press release after the jump.

Step Up And Ride the Waterboard of Terror
An Experimental Art Event Presented by Steve Powers and Creative Time

WANTED—Fifty courageous lawyers willing to be waterboarded for five
seconds. Volunteers will be strapped to a wooden board and have water
poured over their face to simulate drowning. You will be required to
sign a release and attend one short training session prior to the

IS IT SAFE? Yes. The waterboarding will be carefully supervised and
last for a maximum of five seconds. Trained medical personnel will be
on hand. Volunteers will be able to stop the waterboarding at any time
by ringing a bell.

WHEN? July 2008, exact details TBA

WHERE? New York City, exact details TBA

WHY? We’re interested in whether waterboarding is torture. Now that
this question has been handed over to the courts, who better to answer
it than trained legal professionals?

Related: Three Young Men Try Waterboarding And Tell the Tale [WSJ]