Art, Politics

Boston, Art is not Terror

Star Simpson Media BarrageWow! I can’t believe this is happening again. Another artist/student has been arrested in Boston. This time just for wearing a piece of circuit-board-art she made.

While it was probably not the best idea to walk into Logan airport with the circuit board mounted to her chest, it’s also sad that we live in a society that’s so up it’s own ass and frightened, that kids can’t be kids. Bummer!

Do a search for this story at Google and almost every headline contains the words “fake bomb.” After reading a few of the articles I’ve come to the conclusion that it wasn’t a fake bomb but a piece of wearable-art. Apparently the journalists haven’t drawn the same conclusion. Guess it wouldn’t sell news if the headline was “M.I.T. Student Arrested at Gunpoint for Wearable-Art.” “Fake Bomb” stirs more emotion.

An article at the M.I.T. newspaper’s website is the only one that I found with a proper headline.

Well, Star Simpson will be put through the mill now, but if our friend Peter Berdovski’s experience post-Moonibomber scare is any indication, she may also become an underground super-star.

Update: Great article at Boingboing

0 thoughts on “Boston, Art is not Terror

  1. Well, I fly from time to time. I’m glad airports do take seriously anything suspicious looking. I sure wouldn’t feel comfortable if people could walk around at airports with ‘bomb-like’ looking things on their chests and no one did anything.
    What she did was not funny or cute or artsy. Not at an airport. Not these days. Not anymore. Why didn’t she just wear it walking down the street or to the grocery store? She’s got to be an idiot if she thought she could wear that stupid thing to Logan an not cause trouble. I think she got exactly what she wanted…her 15 minutes.

  2. I appreciate safe airports and as I said, it was not the best idea to wear that into the airport. I don’t think that a naive 19-year-old should be vilified for being creative though. I don’t want to live in a society where everyone dresses and acts the same. Wouldn’t that be boring?

    If you read more about this story it becomes clear that the circuit board encrusted sweatshirt was part of her “uniform” — something she wears on a regular basis — so she probably did wear it walking down the street and going to the grocery store.

    I have a feeling she wasn’t expecting her 15 mins to come this way. But maybe you’re right.

  3. You have got to be kidding me. The police and airport security don’t have the luxury of just assuming that what looks to them to be a bomb is just a piece of art. It’s their job to make sure all the mommys, daddys, kids, grandparents, brothers, and sisters who are traveling through the airport and on planes aren’t blown up.

    Thankfully this wasn’t a true emergency, but the cops & security did the right thing by taking it seriously.

  4. to Admin:
    it’s not about “society becoming boring because everyone dresses and acts the same”…don’t try to set up a straw man argument or change the intent of the subject. This was a very irresponsible, stupid thing for her to do, and she is lucky she wasn’t shot. What’s her point?? “wearable art”??, you are saying there aren’t a million other artistic things she can wear on herself without them looking like a bomb??…and there aren’t a ton of other places she can go with her “wearable art” that just happens to look like a bomb other than an airport? This is pure stupidity on her part, and was designed to get attention. the only problem is that she got attention for being an idiot – whatever her cause was, that didn’t help her.

  5. So if it was art why was her holding a puddy in her hand.. She knew what she was doing, Art had nothing to do with this. If she had not been stopped she would have been bragging that the cops didn’t stop her.

  6. wow. i’m pretty stunned by the reactions here. you sound like a bunch of scared sheep to me. (voting for guiliani?) i’m really glad that there are still artists out there willing to invite a little controversy and push at our norms. it’s scandalous and reprehensible that she was arrested at gunpoint. that’s far too severe. suspicious looking things can rightly be viewed with suspicion at the security gate in an airport, but, really, what’s her crime? how long would it take to determine that the thing was totally innocuous? gimme a break.


  7. It seems as if some of you folks don’t understand geeks OR artists very well. This young woman is both and according to people who have worked with her at M.I.T. and Wired magazine, she is extremely talented and intelligent. That she didn’t have the “street smarts” to know better regarding showing up at the airport in that garb is a function of her geekiness and artiness it’s possible someone like Leonardo da Vinci, were he alive today, and using current materials and technology to create, might have had a similar problem. What happened is a reflection of a society where cutting edge art is not understood or respected, nor is an electronic gadget that doesn’t have a brand name on it or look “slick.” Self-expression and geekiness are definitely not understood. There is a great article at Boing Boing. as was mentioned above. Please read that and also some of its comments. You may come away with a slightly better understanding. I know there are “dangers that lurk” but as someone else said, people with bombs are more likely to hide them in a coffee mug, briefcase, etc., and are unlikely to go up to a counter and ask for the arrival time of a flight that a friend is arriving on with their “bomb” in plain sight.

  8. Thanks for all the comments folks. I’m glad we’ve got a dialog going.

    I want to reiterate that the heart of this post is about the fact that the media vilified this woman. If she went into the airport with intent to scare people with a fake bomb then she got what she deserves, but I don’t gather that was the case. The issue is that the media made her look like a criminal. “Innocent until proven guilty” right?

  9. I actually know the girl in question and I’m absolutely positive she was just wearing an LED sweatshirt to pick up her boyfriend at the airport. She wasn’t pulling a stunt, she’s not an idiot, she’s not publicity-hungry and she just lives in a world where circuit boards, LED lights and wires are dime a dozen.

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