Now More Than Ever

As this is not my blog, I’m going to shy away from directly dealing with politics. But this event is too important not to pay attention too.

ARTISTS SUBPOENAED IN USA PATRIOT ACT CASE
Feds STILL unable to distinguish art from bioterrorism
Grand jury to convene June 15

Three artists have been served subpoenas to appear before a federal grand jury that will consider bioterrorism charges against a university professor whose art involves the use of simple biology equipment.

The subpoenas are the latest installment in a bizarre investigation in which members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force have mistaken an art project for a biological weapons laboratory (see background below). While most observers have assumed that the Task Force would realize the absurd error of its initial investigation of Steve Kurtz, the subpoenas indicate that the feds have instead chosen to press their “case” against the baffled professor.

Two of the subpoenaed artists–Beatriz da Costa and Steve Barnes–are, like Kurtz, members of the internationally-acclaimed Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), an artists’ collective that produces artwork to educate the public about the politics of biotechnology. They were served the subpoenas by federal agents who tailed them to an art show at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. The third artist, Paul Vanouse, is, like Kurtz, an art professor at the University at Buffalo. He has worked with CAE in the past.

More information on the Critical Art Ensemble.