The United States of America v. Steven Kurtz

Dispatches from the front: On May 30, after the opening of “The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere” at Mass MoCA, in North Adams, Massachusetts, some fifty artists gathered outside the museum for a hastily called meeting. In the waning light, Beatriz da Costa, who works in collaboration with the artists’ collective Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), described having been visited that morning by FBI agents, who served her a subpoena citing the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act and requesting her appearance before a federal grand jury. This was the latest step in an investigation into CAE cofounder and SUNY Buffalo art professor Steven Kurtz, who awoke on May 11 to find that his wife, Hope, had stopped breathing (she died of natural causes). Local police, responding to the artist’s 911 call, discovered in his home a DNA-extraction laboratory for Free Range Grains, a CAE project intended

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