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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  2004

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Subject:

Re: International Support Letter for Steven Kurtz / CAE

From:

marc <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

marc <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 2 Jun 2004 18:31:22 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (191 lines)

I'll do whatever I can to support any moves to support Steve Kurtz - it
is a shameful act.

marc

>In the case of Steve Dietz' termination from the Walker, Sarah Cook
>drafted a letter that Christiane Paul, Tim Whidden, myself and others
>collaborated on and then used that as the rallying message to the
>director of the Walker.
>
>I think that someone needs to write this letter, have it circulated for
>refinements, then send it out to the masses.
>
>There are many fine people on this list who could pen the draft; I also
>believe that a prime candidate for doing the draft would be Ray Thomas.
>
>I was with Steve just a few weeks ago at the Free Cooperation summit,
>and in all the years I have known him in one way or another, I'd like to
>say that he is one of the kinder, conscientious people in this world.
>
>I have no words to describe the situation as it stands.
>I'll let it stand at that.
>
>Patrick Lichty
>Editor-In-Chief
>Intelligent Agent Magazine
>http://www.intelligentagent.com
>355 Seyburn Dr.
>Baton Rouge, LA 70808
>
>"It is better to die on your feet
>than to live on your knees."
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Curating digital art - www.newmedia.sunderland.ac.uk/crumb/
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kanarinka
>Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 9:43 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: International Support Letter for Steven Kurtz / CAE
>
>Hello all,
>
>I haven't seen any such letter but I think it's a great idea and I
>already want to sign it. I vote for a draft letter by small committee so
>that it will happen quickly to get it out ASAP to as many people as
>possible for signing. I was at the Interventionists exhibit this weekend
>where CAE had a description of the events that took place. Most patrons
>were appalled. Some believed that it was simply not true. It's very
>important that this event be circulated amongst a wider audience.
>
>
>kanarinka
>co-director, www.ikatun.com
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Curating digital art - www.newmedia.sunderland.ac.uk/crumb/
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Eric Kluitenberg
>Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 5:32 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: International Support Letter for Steven Kurtz / CAE
>Importance: High
>
>
>Dear friends,
>
>Is anybody already working on a support letter for Steven Kurtz?
>
>Maybe we orverlooked the most obvious way to help at this point, which
>is to provide an international letter, signed by a list of
>internationally acclaimed curators, writers, critics, artists, and
>anybody else out there who has a direct and professional relationship to
>the work of Steven Kurtz and the Critical Art Ensemble.
>
>More information on the support campaign can at this point be found at
>the following web page: http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/
>
>How do we write the letter - do we circulate a draft letter publically,
>or in small committee?
>
>Best wishes,
>
>Eric Kluitenberg
>De Balie - Centre for Culture and Politics, Amsterdam
>http://www.debalie.nl
>
>
>------------------
>
>
>May 25, 2004
>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>
>FBI ABDUCTS ARTIST, SEIZES ART
>Feds Unable to Distinguish Art from Bioterrorism
>Grieving Artist Denied Access to Deceased Wife's Body
>
>          DEFENSE  FUND ESTABLISHED - HELP URGENTLY NEEDED
>
>Steve Kurtz was already suffering from one tragedy when he called 911
>early in the morning to tell them his wife had suffered a cardiac arrest
>and died in her sleep.  The police arrived and, cranked up on the
>rhetoric of the "War on Terror," decided Kurtz's art supplies were
>actually bioterrorism weapons.
>
>Thus began an Orwellian stream of events in which FBI agents abducted
>Kurtz without charges, sealed off his entire block, and confiscated his
>computers, manuscripts, art supplies... and even his wife's body.
>
>Like the case of Brandon Mayfield, the Muslim lawyer from Portland
>imprisoned for two weeks on the flimsiest of false evidence, Kurtz's
>case amply demonstrates the dangers posed by the USA PATRIOT Act coupled
>with government-nurtured terrorism hysteria.
>
>Kurtz's case is ongoing, and, on top of everything else, Kurtz is facing
>a mountain of legal fees. Donations to his legal defense can be made at
>http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/
>
>FEAR RUN AMOK
>
>Steve Kurtz is Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the State
>University of New York's University at Buffalo, and a member of the
>internationally-acclaimed Critical Art Ensemble.
>
>Kurtz's wife, Hope Kurtz, died in her sleep of cardiac arrest in the
>early morning hours of May 11. Police arrived, became suspicious of
>Kurtz's art supplies and called the FBI.
>
>Within hours, FBI agents had "detained" Kurtz as a suspected
>bioterrorist and cordoned off the entire block around his house. (Kurtz
>walked away the next day on the advice of a lawyer, his "detention"
>having proved to be
>illegal.) Over the next few days, dozens of agents in hazmat suits, from
>a number of law enforcement agencies, sifted through Kurtz's work,
>analyzing it on-site and impounding computers, manuscripts, books,
>equipment, and even his wife's body for further analysis. Meanwhile, the
>Buffalo Health Department condemned his house as a health risk.
>
>Kurtz, a member of the Critical Art Ensemble, makes art which addresses
>the politics of biotechnology. "Free Range Grains," CAE's latest
>project, included a mobile DNA extraction laboratory for testing food
>products for possible transgenic contamination. It was this equipment
>which triggered the Kafkaesque chain of events.
>
>FBI field and laboratory tests have shown that Kurtz's equipment was not
>used for any illegal purpose. In fact, it is not even _possible_ to use
>this equipment for the production or weaponization of dangerous germs.
>Furthermore, any person in the US may legally obtain and possess such
>equipment.
>
>"Today, there is no legal way to stop huge corporations from putting
>genetically altered material in our food," said Defense Fund spokeswoman
>Carla Mendes. "Yet owning the equipment required to test for the
>presence of 'Frankenfood' will get you accused of 'terrorism.' You can
>be illegally detained by shadowy government agents, lose access to your
>home, work, and belongings, and find that your recently deceased
>spouse's body has been taken away for 'analysis.'"
>
>Though Kurtz has finally been able to return to his home and recover his
>wife's body, the FBI has still not returned any of his equipment,
>computers or manuscripts, nor given any indication of when they will.
>The case remains open.
>
>HELP URGENTLY NEEDED
>
>A small fortune has already been spent on lawyers for Kurtz and other
>Critical Art Ensemble members. A defense fund has been established at
>http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/ to help defray the legal costs which
>will continue to mount so long as the investigation continues. Donations
>go directly to the legal defense of Kurtz and other Critical Art
>Ensemble members. Should the funds raised exceed the cost of the legal
>defense, any remaining money will be used to help other artists in need.
>
>To make a donation, please visit http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/
>
>For more information on the Critical Art Ensemble, please visit
>http://www.critical-art.net/
>
>Articles about the case:
>http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/news-WKBW-2.html
>http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/news-WKBW.html
>
>On advice of counsel, Steve Kurtz is unable to answer questions
>regarding his case. Please direct questions or comments to Carla Mendes
><[log in to unmask]>.
>
>
>
>

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