[iDC] Ars Electronica

Martin Lucas mlucas at igc.org
Thu Jan 19 10:42:57 EST 2006

Hi All,

Judith's suggestion makes sense.  Where are those $100  laptops MIT  
is promising?  Seriously, I know that the Berkman Center at Harvard  
is trying to get computers into the hands of working class Venezuelan  
bloggers, for instance as a counterpoint to the anti-Chavez upper- 
middle class blogosphere in that country.

Marty L.


January 17, 2006

Dear supporters of Steve Kurtz and CAE,

Your support is needed now more than ever.

Whereas the hopes for dismissal of Steve’s case were
high last fall, on Thursday we received bad news on
the recommendation concerning the pre-trial motions.
Although it has been over 18 months since Steve was
charged with “mail fraud” and “wire fraud”—charges
carrying a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in
jail—he will now have to wait at least 8 months, and
possibly much longer, for the final decision on these
motions. (Please see http://www.caedefensefund.org for
more about the case.)

Magistrate H. Kenneth Schroeder recommended that all
our motions for dismissal of the case and suppression
of evidence be denied, with one exception: there will
be a hearing on the suppression of statements made
while Steve was illegally detained. (Schroeder’s
recommendations also include a footnote stating that
since Steve’s co-defendant Robert Ferrell is gravely
ill at this point, Ferrell’s case is being held in

Magistrate Schroeder's recommendations will next go to
the Federal District Court to be heard by Judge John
T. Elfvin, who will make the final ruling on the
pre-trial motions, thereby determining whether or not
the case will go to trial. If the motions are denied
by Elfvin, Steve can choose to appeal to the next
higher federal court, or go directly to trial.


Schroeder’s recommendation cited legal precedent that
“An indictment returned by a legally constituted and
unbiased grand jury… if valid on its face, is enough
to call for trial of the charge” [even if] “the grand
jury acted on the basis of inadequate or incompetent
evidence.” (Please see
for the full text of the recommendation.) In other
words, once the legal machine is turned on, it is very
difficult to turn off. Therefore, supporters should
prepare for the likelihood that Steve’s case will go
to trial.

Within the next 10 days Steve’s lawyer, Paul Cambria,
will file an appeal of Schroeder's recommendations.
Steve’s lawyers will then get a hearing for their
appeal of all of Schroeder’s recommendations in Judge
Elfvin's court. There, Cambria will make essentially
all the same arguments as at the hearing last spring
before Schroeder. (For the press release detailing
those arguments and more information about the case,
please see
This appeal hearing will probably happen in mid-summer
of 2006. We will then have to wait once again for
Elfvin’s final ruling on all the motions for dismissal
and suppression.

(There is no date for the other hearing, on the
suppression of statements, but it will happen sometime
within the next 60 days.)


Although any actual trial is still far off, your
continued support has made, and continues to make, all
the difference in this case. Without your support,
Steve would probably be in jail now awaiting trial. As
we know, justice in politically motivated trials is
won in the court of public opinion as much as in the
court of law.

Because of your support, we have raised the more than
$200,000 necessary for Steve and Robert Ferrell’s
defense. Due to the overwhelming success of this
fundraising effort, there are 3 main forms of support
that we now need:

1) Publicizing this precedent-setting case and its
implications for artists, intellectuals, researchers
and others—particularly in outlets that will reach the
Buffalo population. In this regard, we are still
hoping for a real investigative story into the DoJ’s
and prosecuting District Attorney William Hochul’s
motivations in this case. Anyone who is interested or
knows such a journalist—particularly one who could
spend some time in the Buffalo area—is encouraged to
contact the Defense Fund at: media (at)

2) Publicizing this case wherever possible. Anyone
interested in helping to publicize this case through
creative means at the College Art Association Annual
Conference (February 22-25 in Boston) please contact
the Defense Fund at:
media (at) caedefensefund.org

3) At the time of the actual trial, should one occur,
helping to mobilize support for a massive
demonstration in Buffalo, NY.

Thank you once again for your continued support.

In solidarity,

The CAE Defense Fund
media @ caedefensefund.org

On Jan 17, 2006, at 11:47 AM, jrodenbe at slc.edu wrote:

> Well, assuming iDC "wins" some kind of $, why not use it to pay those
> speakers whose texts are distributed on the iDC website some kind of
> one-time honorarium? Or, perhaps better, really "distribute  
> creativity" in
> the form of distributing inexpensive laptops with wireless  
> capacity--or
> even distributing wireless--in those locations that are usually
> underserved by such technology such as sub-Saharan Africa or parts of
> Southeast Asia?
> Allan Kaprow once asked Marcel Duchamp for a recommendation for a
> Guggenheim Fellowship. Duchamp, being a gentleman, of course wrote the
> letter. And then he sent Kaprow a note that said, "I hope you 'get  
> it.'"
> Judith
>> Dear all,
>> Ars Electronica sent us  (the iDC list) an invitation to apply for  
>> their
> *Digital Communities* Prix Ars Electronica (see below). What do you
> think? Should we follow their invitation? I have a bit of an issue  
> with
> such awards. They have the potential to be quite divisive.  How do you
> *measure/evaluate* a community? What would the  few hundred of us do
> with the price money? There are not really any costs attached to this
> list except all of our volunteer labor. So far, The Thing kindly hosts
> this list for free.  Are Fibreculture or Crumb *better* communities if
> they receive it (which they should!)?
>> best,
>> Trebor
>> Dear Trebor Scholz,
>> The category "Digital Communities", which met with great
>> interest and participation in 2004 and 2005, will be awarded
>> again by Prix Ars Electronica in 2006.
>> The project "Distributed Creativity" seems relevant to
>> this category and we would like to encourage you and your
>> team to participate with this project in the category
>> "Digital Communities" of this year's Prix Ars Electronica.
>> The Digital Communities category is open to political,
>> social and cultural projects, initiatives, groups and scenes
>> from all over the world that display contentious commitment
>> in coming up with smart, successful ways of deploying
>> digital technologies to solve social problems. Particular
>> emphasis is placed on a project's degree of community
>> innovation, its sustainability and its use of technology in
>> a way that makes good sense and is attuned to the needs of
>> the people meant to benefit from it. Digital Communities
>> projects should make it easier for people to access
>> technology, networks and the Digital Commons.
>> For a detailed description of the category and about Prix
>> Ars Electronica in general, please see our website:
>> http://www.aec.at/en/prix/communities/communities.asp
>> Prizes
>> One Golden Nica with 10,000 Euro, two Awards of Distinction
>> with 5,000 Euro each and up to 12 Honorary Mentions will
>> be awarded by the Jury.
>> The registration starts January 10, 2006.
>> The deadline for submissions is March 17, 2006.
>> Please use
>> http://www.aec.at/en/prix/registration/index.asp
>> for your submission and to obtain further details.
>> If you need any further information or help, please do not
>> hesitate to contact us.
>> It would be very helpful if you could circulate the
>> information as widely as possible in your community and post
>> in in your blogs!
>> Looking forward to your participation!
>> Sincerely yours,
>> Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber
>> --
>> Mag. Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber
>> Curatorial & Production Team
>> AEC Ars Electronica Center
>> Hauptstrasse 2
>> A-4040 Linz
>> Mobile ++43.664.8126230
>> ingrid.fischer at aec.at
>> http://www.aec.at
>> http://prixars.aec.at
>> _______________________________________________
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