Reading Frenzy ~ An Independent Press Emporium

Artist Steve Kurtz Cleared of All Charges!

June 08, 2008: I'm very pleased to let you know that on April 21st, Federal Judge Richard J. Arcara ruled to dismiss the indictment against University at Buffalo Professor of Visual Studies Dr. Steven Kurtz. In May 2004, Mr. Kurtz awoke to a nightmare -- his wife and artistic collaborator had died of heart failure in her sleep. Unbelievably, things took a turn for the worse when the cops arrived and became suspicious of materials in the couple's home that were to have been part of an upcoming exhibition and performance by the Critical Art Ensemble at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. The following day on his way to the funeral home, agents from the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force informed Mr. Kurtz that he was being investigated for "bio-terrorism" and illegally detained him for the next 22 hours.

This precedent setting case called into question such fundamental rights as freedom of speech and freedom of expression, little constitutional details we happen to hold dear around here. So we made Steve's defense fund the beneficiary of our 10th anniversary celebration Operation Enduring Frenzy -- a rock and art show featuring about 50 artists. It was a great party, but the amount we managed to raise wasn't even a drop in the bucket of the total cost of this ordeal. Click here to read more about the case and remember, art isn't terrorism!