Strange Culture at the Designing Safe Living conference

Next month during the Designing Safe Living conference in Lancaster, director Lynn Hershman-Leeson‘s film about the artist Steve Kurtz called ‘Strange Culture’ will be screened on Friday, July 11th. Lynn will then be giving an interview live on Second Life after the screening.

Strange Culture examines the case of artist and professor Steve Kurtz, a member of the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE). The work of Kurtz and other CAE members dealt with genetically modified food and other issues of science and public policy. After his wife, Hope, died of heart failure, paramedics arrived and became suspicious when they noticed petri dishes and other scientific equipment related to Kurtz’s art in his home. They summoned the FBI, who detained Kurtz within hours on suspicion of bioterrorism.

As Kurtz could not legally talk about the case, the film uses actors to interpret the story, as well as interviews with Kurtz and other figures involved in the case. Through a combination of dramatic reenactment, news footage, animation, and testimonials, the film scrutinizes post-9/11 paranoia and suggests that Kurtz was targeted because his work questions government policies. At the film’s close, Kurtz and his long-time collaborator Dr. Robert Ferrell, former chair of the Genetics Department at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, await a trial date.

As of late May, 2008, the Buffalo Prosecutor has declined to reopen the case within the 30 day window in which he was allowed to do so. So, Steve Kurtz is free.

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One Response

  1. There is a trailer for Strange Culture on YouTube and also an interview


    Lynn Hershman Leeson & Steve Kurtz “Strange Culture”

    Will anyone be recording the interview in Second Life? I have tried to use the camera without developing any skill. But there are some who have got the trick of it. This next link is dance music, if not your style, just turn down the sound and follow the camera.


    VARIOUS PRODUCTIONS LIVE DROID BRISTOL, PRADOS AZULES

    I have started a bit of a script on my blog
    http://learn9log.blogspot.com/2008/07/i-have-done-a4-sheet-for-safety.html

    Trying to imagine how to get over the idea that danger could be real as well as another example of language. It starts a conference with the news that credit card info has been stolen and most of those attending have lost out.

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