[NetBehaviour] Reflections on the Case by the U.S. Justice Department against Steven Kurtz and Robert Ferrell
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Tue May 31 12:24:30 CEST 2005
*Reflections on the Case by the U.S. Justice Department against Steven
Kurtz and Robert Ferrell*
by Claire Pentecost
Many people have asked us why the Justice Department is pursuing this case.
Meaning, when the Buffalo Health Department affirmed that there was
nothing dangerous in the Kurtz home and that Hope Kurtz died of natural
causes, when the FBI saw that the possession of scientific equipment and
materials in Kurtz's home studio was completely consistent with his
practice as an artist and that his practice has a long, public and
institutionally validated record, then, why didn't they drop the case?
When it became clear even through the Grand Jury investigation that this
was not a case of bioterrorism, why did they pursue it? Couldn't they
see that this is art?
As often as not the questioner answers their own question, saying it
must be a matter of saving face: the Justice Department now has to
justify the time and money they spent on this case in the first few
weeks and has to answer to the publicity the case has attracted.
An overview of prosecutions since 9/11 originating with suspicion of
terrorism suggests that the Department has a different logic of
evaluating its results than might first be apparent to the public. And
"saving face" is not at the top of the list.
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