marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Feb 27 16:11:59 CET 2006

World Premiere

(USA 2006. Cert 15)

A new film from Critical Art Ensemble
Commissioned and produced by The Arts Catalyst

Part of the AV Festival 06

Saturday 4 March 2006, 6.45pm
Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle
Tickets: £5/£3 (includes a glass of wine)
Tickets are available from the Tyneside Cinema Box Office on 0191 232

The World Premiere of a new film Marching Plague by Critical Art
Ensemble is presented on 4 March at the AV Festival 06.

Filmed on location on the Isle of Lewis in North West Scotland, the film
presents a powerful critique of UK-US bio-weapons research and addresses
the paranoia surrounding bio-terrorism.  It centres on Critical Art
Ensemble's recreation of some of the secret sea trials conducted by the
UK government in the 1950s off the coast of Scotland, which investigated
the airborne distribution of bacterial agents including plague.

Commissioned by The Arts Catalyst, Marching Plague will be screened at
Tyneside Cinema, and is followed by a panel discussion with Steve Kurtz
and Steve Barnes of US art collective, Critical Art Ensemble.  The film
seeks to expose the relative ineffectiveness of germ warfare compared
with more conventional terrorist weapons, and to highlight the diversion
of resources from pressing medical research to high-cost bioweapons
research programmes in the current climate of fear of terrorist attacks.

Steve Kurtz, a founding member of Critical Art Ensemble, is currently at
the centre of one of the most controversial court cases thrown up by
George Bush¹s Patriot Act.  In 2004 when his wife Hope died naturally of
heart failure at their home, Kurtz called the authorities.  The police,
finding science equipment and art materials used by Critical Art
Ensemble¹s in their ongoing work, called in the FBI.  Kurtz was detained
and investigated for bio-terrorism.  He was later charged with mail
fraud and wire fraud.  He faces up to 20 years in prison and the US
Justice Department is still seeking charges relating to biological

Marching Plague will also be screened at the ICA, London, in May, and is
part of the Whitney Biennial, New York, March - May 2006.

More information on The Arts Catalyst at www.artscatalyst.org

For press information, images and interviews, please contact Alison
Wright on 020 7249 4127 or alison at alisonwrightpr.com

The AV Festival 06 is the UK's newest, and largest, international
festival of film, digital arts and music, electronic art, games and new
media. www.avfest.co.uk

More information on Critical Art Ensemble:
More information on the case surrounding Steve Kurtz¹s legal case:

Marching Plague is supported by Arts Council England.

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