Art Attack

On June 15, a federal grand jury will convene in upstate New York to consider possible bioterrorism charges against University at Buffalo art professor Steve Kurtz and the Critical Art Ensemble, an internationally-known hactivist collective. From the CAE Defense Fund Web site:

"Early morning of May 11, Steve Kurtz awoke to find his wife, Hope, dead of a cardiac arrest. Kurtz called 911. The police arrived and, after stumbling across test tubes and petri dishes Kurtz was using in a current artwork, called in the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Soon agents from the Task Force and FBI detained Kurtz, cordoned off the entire block around his house, and later impounded Kurtz's computers, manuscripts, books, equipment, and even his wife's body for further analysis. The Buffalo Health Department condemned the house as a health risk.

Only after the Commissioner of Public Health for New York State had tested samples from the home and announced there was no public safety threat was Kurtz able to return home and recover his wife's body. Yet the FBI would not release the impounded materials, which included artwork for an upcoming exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art."

This Washington Post article provides more background on the bizarre turn-of-events. Protests at the Court House in Buffalo and in other major cities are planned. Link