Steven Kurtz, an artist and lecturer at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a member of the well-known art collective Critical Art Ensemble was indicted in May on bioterrorism charges by a federal grand jury after he came under suspicion for making a piece of art. Critical Art Ensemble is dedicated to exploring the intersections between art, technology, radical politics and critical theory. Kurtz was working with lab equipment (petri dishes etc) in the process of making a work titled Free Range Grains which was due to be shown at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art this year. The work is about testing food products for possible genetic modification and is similar to previous works that he has shown in museums in recent years. Kurtz' art work was discovered by police who answered his emergency call in relation to the apparent death of his wife in her sleep, and they confiscated books, computers and materials used in testing the foods, which were subsequently found to be safe and also not difficult to obtain for scientific purposes. Kurtz had received them from a scientific colleague at the University. The case went to trial on charges of illegally scheming to obtain two bacterial agents (both legal and low-threat).

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