Monday, December 6, 2010

UPDATE: Only One of Us is Banned For Life (the Other's Banned for a Year)

OK, so a few blogs have quibbled at our claim to have been "banned for life" from the Smithsonian, although when it was actually happening, the DC police told us only that we'd be banned "for a very long time," and refused to give us copies of the papers we signed. When I read my document, I noted that there was no time limit given, so "for life" seemed like an accurate description to me. today obtained the documents and posted them on their site before I even had a chance to file a FOIA request (thanks TBD!). They confirm that I (Mike Blasenstein, the one with the iPad) am banned without any time limit given -- effectively, forever. Mike Iacovone, the one documenting the protest, was banned for 12 months.

Why the police gave us two different documents to sign, I don't know. But that's the story -- the statement we sent out was as accurate as possible given the information we had at the time. Just wanted to make everything clear.

Anyway, this isn't about what the police did or didn't do, because neither of us really cares. It's about the censorship of an artist who was hounded in life and continues to be hounded in death. That's the real story here, and that's what we're still focused on.


  1. I'm really fucking upset by this. Not only because it is happening but because it brings to mind all of the rampant complacency of the people around me on an everyday basis.

    Thank you guys for doing this and bringing it into a more public sphere. Without you, nobody would pay attention. This is proof that the tyranny of government intervention in the arts did not end in the last century. It continues and it needs to be stopped.

  2. This is incredibly upsetting. Thank you so much for doing this. I can't help but wish that a large-scaled protest would be organized where multiple people would be displaying the video. I can only imagine how much attention would be brought to this unjust matter. But I digress, you two have done so much and I hope this continuing oppression is brought to an end.

  3. Amazing. The Smithsonian is going to cave. And so is any other institution confronted with the old we will get you and your funding rhetoric. Obviously, it's going to be up to individuals to keep art's voice alive. It's easy to claim that you as an art institution represent an advocacy but it's not quite so easy to maintain the rhetoric when confronted with controversy. The Smithsonian gives lip service to one thing and does another. I LOVE how the I-pad got used. 2 Mikes -- you are fearless and incredible.