Re: [-empyre-] February 2006 on -empyre- soft-skinned space

great, i am sure itll be successful. did the press release go out too? is michael doing it?

On Feb 2, 2006, at 4:02 PM, wrote:

February 2006 on -empyre- soft-skinned space

Australia's rcently enacted Sedition Act undermines the right of free speech,
which has "ever been justly
deemed the only effectual guardian of any other right" --James Madison (Fourth
President of the United States and an author of the US Constitution)

This month on -empyre- , the discussion will focus on the legal term sedition,
and its political impact on global media and culture.
Our guests this month: Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) members Lucia Sommer and
Claire Pentecost (US), Nicholas Ruiz (US), and Ben Saul (AU)

Please join our guests for conversation on 'sedition'  at

On an international scale, the prosecution of Steve Kurtz from Critical Art
Ensemble is a case in point. The ongoing court case with the US Justice
Department has demonstrated the effect that the "war on terror "has had on
limiting free speech, particularly in the arts.

In December 2005, the Anti-Terrorism Bill was pushed through the Australian
Parliament. This legislation has met with much concern from the cultural sector
and human rights and freedom of speech advocates. On 27 October 2005, Chris
Connolly from the University of New South Wales, in a Submission to the Senate
Legal and Constitutional Committee, outlined many issues that were raised in
regard to Sedition. In his appendix regarding "Sedition in the Arts" he makes
the comment that the best known use of sedition laws was during the period of
McCarthyism in the USA in the 1950s.

Is this where we are headed? -empyre- in February asks the question. as artists
and cultural producers are we losing our right to express ourselves and comment
on the state of our society?

The discussion will also look at how sedition laws could affect online activist
networks like Indymedia and Znet. As such network operate as open publishing
systems, will there be limitations in the capacity to publish and disseminate

guest bios:

----------------------->Lucia Sommer is an artist, writer, and activist whose
work is concerned with pleasure in everyday life and the creation of critical
ephemeral publics. Since 1994 she has taught art in various settings from
public school to museum, and her work has been shown individually and as part
of the cyberfeminist collective subRosa in Europe and North America. Currently
she is pursuing a PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of
Rochester, NY.

----------------------->Claire Pentecost is an artist and writer, engaging a
variety of media to interrogate the imaginative and institutional structures
that organize divisions of knowledge. Having spent years tinkering in a
conceptual laboratory for ideas about the natural and the artificial, her most
recent projects concentrate on industrial and bioengineered agriculture, the
alternatives and the trade regimes that force one over the other. She has been
an active member of the Critical Art Ensemble defense fund

------------------------>Nicholas Ruiz III was born in New York City. His work
has appeared in Noema Tecnologie e Society,, Media/,
The International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, Reconstruction, Public
Resistance and elsewhere. He is also the editor of Kritikos:

------------------------->Dr Ben Saul is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the
University of New South Wales, the Director of the Bill of Rights Project at the
Gilbert + Tobin Centre for Public Law, and an Associate of the Australian Human
Rights Centre.

join us at < _______________________________________________ empyre forum

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