[Autonogram] Critical Art Ensemble book launch, 5/24, NYC

Ben at Autonomedia ben at autonomedia.org
Thu May 18 13:23:53 EDT 2006

Greetings, subscribers, especially those anywhere near NYC. Next
Wednesday, Autonomedia will be launching the new Critical Art Ensemble
book "Marching Plague" at the Eyebeam Atelier in Chelsea, an art +
technology space concerned with many of the same kinds of projects CAE has
been developing for 20 years. If you're in the area, please join us for
the release, which will include several short talks and the screening of
some recent filmwork by or in proximity to CAE.

Ben / Autonomedia

press release follows, and also check

* * * * *

Book release, talk and screenings

Critical Art Ensemble, "Marching Plague: Germ Warfare and Global Public
Wednesday May 24, 2006 - 6:00-8:30pm
At Eyebeam – 540 W. 21st Street, NYC

Please join us for a book launch and an evening of conversation concerning
contemporary warfare: an anti-war event. Critical Art Ensemble present
their latest book, "Marching Plague: Germ Warfare and Global Public
Health" published by Autonomedia and coinciding with the inclusion of
their film “Marching Plague” in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. This event is
open to the public free of charge and will take place at Eyebeam, 540 W.
21st Street between 10th & 11th Aves.

The evening will include brief presentations by artists Gregg Bordowitz
and Paul Chan and CAE Defense Fund representative Lucia Sommer. Films from
Peggy Ahwesh, Lynn Hershman and the Yes Men, along with the Critcal Art
Ensemble's film "Marching Plague", produced/ commissioned by Arts
Catalyst, will be screened on monitors throughout the evening.

Marching Plague examines the scientific evidence and the rhetoric
surrounding biological warfare, particularly the development of anthrax
and other bio-weapons, and makes a strong case against the likelihood of
such weapons ever being used in a terrorist situation. Studying the
history and science of such weapons, they conclude that for reasons of
accuracy and potency, biological weapons lack the efficiency required to
produce the widespread devastation typically associated with bioterrorism.

Why, then, the public urgency around biowarfare and why the channeling of
enormous resources into research and development of tools to counter an
imaginary threat? This is the real focus of Marching Plague: the
deconstruction of an exceedingly complex political economy of fear,
primarily supporting biowartech development and the militarization of the
public sphere. The book addresses the following questions:
• Why is bioterrorism a failed military strategy?
• Why is it all but useless to terrorists?
• How have preparedness efforts been detrimental to public health policy?
• What institutions benefit from the cultivation of biofear?
• Why does the diplomatic community fail to confront this problem?

The book concludes with a brief examination of the actual crisis in global
public health, arguing for the redirection of health research away from
the military, and promoting a number of strategies for civilian-based
preparedness and education.

Critical Art Ensemble’s books address the deep-rooted replication of
capitalism at the frontiers of science and technology. Whether discussing
robotics, information technologies, or the biological sciences, CAE
skillfully exposes unseen agendas at the foundation of 21st century life,
and suggest interventions and semiotic shocks that hope to collectively
negate the rising intensity of authoritarian culture.

Marching Plague ad other Autonomedia titles will be available in the
Eyebeam bookshop during the event.

Eyebeam supports the creation, presentation and analysis of new forms of
innovative cultural production. Founded in 1997, Eyebeam is dedicated to
exposing broad and diverse audiences to new technologies and media arts,
while simultaneously establishing and demonstrating new media as a
significant genre.

Eyebeam's programs are made possible through the generous support of
Atlantic Foundation, Time Warner Youth Media and Arts Fund, the John D.
and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the
Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Alienware, the Jerome
Foundation, the Helena Rubinstein Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation,
the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, the New York City
Department of Cultural Affairs, the David S. Howe Foundation, the Lerer
Family Charitable Foundation and the Sony Corporation.

Location: 540 w 21st Street between 10th & 11th Avenues
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 12:00 - 6:00pm
Bookstore: Tuesday - Saturday, 12:00 - 6:00pm

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