[hackmeeting] Acusan a un artista de bioterrorismo

M&M merce en grn.es
Mie Jun 2 16:14:40 CEST 2004

No  se  si  esto  es  cierto,  es  lo que pasa cuando vas de
gracioso, como los rtmark, que despues dices algo en serio y
no te creen, pero ahi va.

La  historia  es  que  Steven Kurtz, miembro de Critical Art
Ensemble,  esta  acusado  de  bioterrorismo por una historia
rocambolesca:  su  mujer murio de un ataque de corazon en la
cama y el llamo a la policia. Cuando la policia estuvo en su
casa,  vio  su  laboratorio, donde preparaba una performance
para  detectar  si  un producto era transgenico mirandole el
ADN.  La  poli  decidio  que estaba haciendo bioterrorismo y
llamo al FBI, que le confisco el laboratorio, el ordenador y
el cadaver de su mujer.

Necesita ayuda economica para abogados



Dr. Steven Kurtz, professor of art at SUNY Buffalo and members of
 the Critical Arts Ensemble are facing indictment at a grand jury
 trial in Buffalo, NY, June 15.  The FBI is bringing bioterrorism
 charges against the group for possession of a biotechnology lab
 at Kurtz's home.  Thus, the group will incur gigantic legal fees
 face imprisonment. 

 Dr. Kurtz and CAE are internationally recognized lecturers in the
 areas of biotechnology, information technology and media studies. 
 Their work has always been anti-terrorist, that is, against fear
as a
 cultural detriment to discussion. For more information and
 support, see:


 Louis Hillman


 May 25, 2004

 Feds Unable to Distinguish Art from Bioterrorism
 Grieving Artist Denied Access to Deceased Wife's Body

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      |    For donations contact: CAEdefense en rtmark.com    |
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 Steve Kurtz was already suffering from one tragedy when he called
 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
 Kurtz without charges, sealed off his entire block, and confiscated
 his computers, manuscripts, art supplies... and even his wife's

 Like the case of Brandon Mayfield, the Muslim lawyer from Portland
 imprisoned for two weeks on the flimsiest of false evidence,
 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/


 Steve Kurtz is Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the
 State University of New York's University at Buffalo, and a member
 the internationally-acclaimed Critical Art Ensemble.

 Kurtz's wife, Hope Kurtz, died in her sleep of cardiac arrest in
 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
 not used for any illegal purpose. In fact, it is not even possible
 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
 genetically altered material in our food," said Defense Fund
 spokeswoman Carla Mendes. "Yet owning the equipment required to
 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
 your recently deceased spouse's body has been taken away for

 Though Kurtz has finally been able to return to his home and
 his wife's body, the FBI has still not returned any of his
 computers or manuscripts, nor given any indication of when they
 The case remains open.


 A small fortune has already been spent on lawyers for Kurtz and
 Critical Art Ensemble members. A defense fund has been established
 http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/ to help defray the legal costs
 which will continue to mount so long as the investigation
 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.

 For more information on the Critical Art Ensemble, please visit

 Articles about the case:

 On advice of counsel, Steve Kurtz is unable to answer questions
 regarding his case. Please direct questions or comments to Carla
 Mendes <CAEdefense en rtmark.com>.

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