Art and terrorism

July 20th, 2004 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

One of the stranger stories floating around the ‘net for the last few weeks has been the saga of Professor Steve Kurtz. As outlined on the Critical Art Ensemble website:

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.

Kurtz was charged with a terrorist offence – under a section about possession of biological weapons. Now, according to a press release, the charges have been downgraded to ‘petty larceny’ – relating to the source of some of the harmless bacteria he was using. The value is negligible, leading to a sense of total farce (or perhaps it’s still tragedy).

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