Subject: NYC, May 24: BOOKLAUNCH OF THE BOOK THE FBI TRIED
TO STOP: AN ANTI-WAR EVENT



--Please forward widely--and it you can't make it to the event, the book is now available from autonomedia or from eyebeam--

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Perry Lowe
212/937.6580 x222
[email protected]
www.eyebeam.org

MARCHING PLAGUE FROM CRITICAL ART ENSEMBLE
BOOK RELEASE, TALKS & SCREENINGS
Wednesday May 24, 2006 - 6:00-8:30pm

May 11, 2006 - 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.

Autonomedia books are distributed to the trade by SCB Distributors (scbdistributors.com), AK Press
Distribution(www.akpress.com), Small Press Distribution (www.spdbooks.org), Pluto Press in Europe
(www.plutobooks.com) and from Autonomedia (www.autonomedia.org) directly.

Marching Plague and 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
Admission: All events are free to the public with a
suggested donation unless noted

EYEBEAM
Art & Technology Center
540 W. 21st Street
New York, NY 10011
T +1 212.937.6580 x222
F +1 212.937.6582
www.eyebeam.org

***

WHAT ARTISTS ARE SAYING ABOUT MARCHING PLAGUE:

"For almost two decades, Critical Art Ensemble has
established the ground for critical resistance against
manipulations by government, military, science and
industry, wherever these concerns have joined forces,
sacrificing human well-being and dignity in favor of
profit and power. From infotech to biotech and now to
bioterrorism, CAE has deflated the hype. CAE provides
readers with a sober assessment of the interests
animating many-headed corporate bureaucracies and the
showy illusions they project. More than that, CAE's
theoretical ideas are grounded in the lab work of
their practical experience and experiments in art and
culture. CAE has continued to do their work facing
overwhelming pressure from law enforcement. This book
is a testament to their commitments advocating freedom
of research and the liberating potential of autonomous
creative labor."

– GREGG BORDOWITZ, author of THE AIDS CRISIS IS
RIDICULOUS AND OTHER WRITINGS, 1986-2003


“We heard that the FBI and the Justice Department made
a ferocious effort to stop the writing of this book,
and after reading it we understand why. Marching
Plague offers a radical reframing of the discourse
surrounding germ warfare. After refuting the idea that
massive biological attack is a probable if not a
certain future occurrence, Critical art Ensemble goes
on to argue that biological weapons programs are
little more than a monumental waste of taxpayer
dollars and medical and health resources that could be
better spent fighting the massive loss of life each
year from emerging infectious disease.”

– THE YES MEN


“The first draft of this book was seized with other
materials and personal effects under Section 175 of
the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act expanded
by the USA PATRIOT Act. As the book was
reconstructed/rewritten, the ensuing Kafkaesque legal
and political process unfolding in parallel serve to
graphically demonstrate the argument presented within
– that the militarization of medical institutions and
public health policy is at odds with a transparent,
comprehensible civil society. Clear, convincing, and
commanding analyses will guide you through the many
ways in which biowarfare programs have not and cannot
secure this nation. Anyone interested in our shared
biological future must read this book, in fear, and in
hope. My hope is that the prosecution might.”

– NATALIE JEREMIJENKO






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