Posted by Paul Rutkovsky on March 10, 1997 at 17:00:51:
On February 3, 1997 a meter reader entered my studio (has key to read meter
indoors) probably for the 300th time and somehow finally noticed for the
first time a piece of sculpture on a small black table that looked like an
oversized clock with lots of wires and a few pipes (I used it for a
clock)----yep, it looked like a pipe bomb to the city employee. Ten
minutes later a two block area around my studio was cordoned off.
It made the front page (top) of the Tallahassee Democrat, Flambeau (student
newspaper), local TV news and the wire service sent it out so papers all
over the country got it. It's very interesting how most people are plugged
into the media, so it was like being somekind of celebrity for the sake of
celebrity. Most folks did't even know the complete story but they were
impressed with the publicity. NPR had a little bit about it Wednesday
morning so the story held up from Monday through Wednesday. That's an
eternity for the media. The Bomb Squad Sergeant said he could have
arrested me with a 2nd degree felony---he didn't. I had already spoken to
a lawyer and he said if I was arrested he would be glad to represent me.
Wonder if I should have pressed the issue of the police confiscating the
sculpture? Bomb squad person told me the "sculpture" looked like a real
pipe bomb. Don't know. I'm not a bomb builder and it was an art
student/friend who made the darn thing. The art (bomb) wasn't even in the
window (a store front window I make available for artists)---it was behind
a locked door. It was all very unfortunate, especially for the
inconvenience it caused everyone in the neighborhood---15 or so police
cars, bomb squad, bomb mobile, media, but no PAul. I was in class
teaching, minding my own business, doing my job as they say. A friend from
England sent a small piece about the art bomb in a local publication.
I was also reported to be at the art/bomb scene with the bomb squad, when
in factoid, I remember being in the classroom. I'm pretty sure of that, I
think. Even when being physically in one space my intention was not
apparent to other folks who saw me 2 miles away in another location. Yes,
to be misunderstood or just naive.
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