Thanks for this info, Selma. I heard this news the "office" (aka: art gallery where I work) today. Art's been up on pornography charges a bunch of times, but this is the first terrorism charge that I can think of. There must me more. And all more testament to the fact that transversing cultural boundaries is dangerous. This below is from an interview at by Ryan Griffis.
RG: I've read statements from a member of RTMark expressing uncertainty about the labeling of their activity as art, or rather how the label can be a double-edged sword. I have also heard Guillermo Gomez-Pena say (of his and Sifuentes' work) that they can get away with much more than straight activists because they're artists. How does CAE deal with the reception issue, and are there times when the "Art" label is useful, and others when it's not?

CAE: If CAE has to pick a label, we prefer "tactical media practitioners." However, in keeping with this tendency, we use labels in a tactical manner. If the situation is easier to negotiate using the label "artist," then we will use it; if it's better to use "activist" or "theorist" or "cultural worker," then we will use those labels. Regardless of the label, our activities stay the same. Labels are useful only in so far as they set expectations among those with whom we wish to have a dialogue. The label that best taps the knowledge resources of the audience is the one we try to choose. A lot of this problem has to do with the social constructions of the roles of artist and activist. For the most part, these roles are placed within a specialized division of labor, where one role, segment, or territory is clearly separated from the other. We view ourselves as hybrids in terms of role. To CAE, the categories of artist and activist are not fixed, but liquid, and can be mixed into a variety of becomings. To construct these categories as static is a great drawback because it prevents those who use them from being able to transform themselves to meet particularized needs.

- sally mckay 5-27-2004 6:31 am

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