ANAT Communications on Fri, 22 Aug 2008 08:54:11 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> Subversive in China - Mainstream in Adelaide Press Release

Press Release 22 August 2008

Tuesday 19th August 2008 - news begins to circulate about James
Powderly's detention in Beijing. Since text messages reading "detained
since 3am" and "there's 8 of us here, we're all OK", nothing has been
heard from them.

James, co-founder of Graffiti Research Lab (GRL) was detained by
Chinese Authorities while preparing an intervention in support of the
Students for a Free Tibet protest. His current whereabouts remain

GRL visited Adelaide during the Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts earlier
this year, thanks to Carclew Youth Arts & ANAT's emerging technologies
(et) lab, to present the GRL Masterclass -

Using an updated version of the L.A.S.E.R. Tag system enjoyed by
participants of the lab, general public and even Police officers in
Adelaide, James had planned to "project the message 'Free Tibet' and
additional messages that would have been three-stories high" said
colleague Nathan Dorjeee.

Reports state James and his associates were detained before they were
able to use the stencil, although a 'Free Tibet' banner was later
displayed briefly by five other American artists before they too were

"James has always been dedicated to providing tools for free speech,"
Ms. Michelle Kempner (James' wife) said in an interview with the New
York Times, and later commenting on what can be done to help she
stated, "the best thing is to get attention...just spread the word. We
need to make sure they release them."

Unsurprisingly the blogging community and independent media sources
have been rife discussing the issue. Public declarations of "what the
hell was he thinking" through to "I'm sure he knew full well what the
risks were....all signs suggest the goal was to draw maximum attention
to the nature of Chinese repression" suggest that whatever his original
intentions he has certainly encouraged debate. Clearly, anyone who can
run a class entitled '' at Parsons New School for Design
knows a thing or two about utilising today's online social networks.

Meanwhile in Adelaide, the GRL legacy lives on. An innocent
intervention made by lab participants changing the white light of the
North Terrace National War Memorial to a red glow is now to be adopted
across the city. Celebrating the 90th anniversary of the signing of the
Armistice to end World War I, a number of prominent Adelaide landmarks
will be illuminated in poppy red between November 4th and Remembrance
Day. Sites will include selected trees and prominent points of the CBD
and of course the original GRL-branded War Memorial. ANAT are very
proud and excited to see artist interventions being adopted by the
wider community.

ANAT supports and encourages the safe and quick release of James and

Attachment: Photo by Simeon Moran, caught in the action installing an
red lights on the North Terrace National War Memorial during the
festival in February.


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