Blast Gives Performance Artist an Audience of Men in Uniform

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Blast Gives Performance Artist an Audience of Men in Uniform

Postby JUDGECAL » Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:24 pm

Chris Hackett is in the hospital and and in trouble.
Hackett is one of the founding members of The Madagascar Institute -
http://madagascarinstitute.com
http://judgecal.com/octo



The New York Times

January 25, 2004
Blast Gives Performance Artist an Audience of Men in Uniforms
By ALAN FEUER
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/25/nyreg ... &position=

The initial report seemed typical of Orange Alert America: an explosion at a Brooklyn loft had led the authorities to a cache of weapons, explosives, photographs of the World Trade Center and maps of New York City.

However, after the Police Department's bomb squad, fire marshals and eventually the department's elite counterterrorism unit arrived to investigate, a band of somewhat sheepish — but admittedly relieved — law enforcement officials had a vastly different story to tell.

The owner of the loft, Christopher Hackett, 31, was not a terrorist but a performance artist, they said. His gun powder and assault rifles, while illegal, were not weapons meant for some dark purpose. They were ingredients for eccentric public happenings and pyrotechnic works of art.

Although some might say that Mr. Hackett's only crime was to extend the label of art to a jury-rigged ice-cream truck that spewed flames from its cargo bay, he was, in fact, arrested yesterday and charged with several weapons violations. Mr. Hackett was in stable condition at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn with burns related to the explosion.

Colleen Mulleedy, 27, a friend of Mr. Hackett's, said at the hospital that his jaw had been broken as well.

Officers from the 76th Precinct in Boerum Hill received a report about the explosion around 11:30 a.m. yesterday, said Deputy Chief John Colgan, who leads the department's counterterrorism unit. When they arrived at the loft at 217 Butler Street, they found a burned and bleeding Mr. Hackett with some sort of propane or acetylene torch, Chief Colgan said.

In a typically deadpan police manner, the chief then described what Mr. Hackett had been doing with the torch. "A preliminary investigation showed that he was trying to construct a confetti gun," Chief Colgan said.

The confetti gun, made from a two-foot-long metal tube, was to be used a short while later as the starter pistol in a wacky shopping cart race from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Friends and neighbors called the piece typical of Mr. Hackett, who liked to fashion real guns into fanciful, harmless weapons that shot things like soap bubbles.

Mr. Hackett is the chief creative force behind a loosely federated group of sculptors and performance artists known as the Madagascar Institute. The group is known for putting on weird events like a restaging of Pamplona's running of the bulls in which a crowd of men and women in bull costumes rode through the city streets on bicycles, some wearing tutus and carrying giant packages of Oscar Mayer Bull-loney.

"They're not terrorists," Andrew Robinson, a painter and neighbor, said.

Though it eventually became apparent that Mr. Hackett was no threat to national security, nearly a dozen emergency vehicles were outside his loft all afternoon, and the block was cordoned off.

It seemed a clashing of two distinct and very separate worlds as agents of the Joint Terrorism Task Force descended on the cluttered, funky workshop on the fringes of hipster Brooklyn where Mr. Hackett dreamed up his shenanigans. Nonetheless, Chief Colgan said, the authorities had found two AK-47 assault rifles, a World War II-era British Sten gun, several hundred rounds of 7.62-caliber ammunition and lots of gun powder in the loft.

The authorities also said they had found maps of the city and documents pertaining to the Brooklyn Bridge and the Croton Reservoir. But Mr. Robinson said Mr. Hackett's girlfriend runs an organization called Dark Passage, which leads people on what he called "tourist journeys into off-limits places."

Mr. Hackett's block of Butler Street has become a gritty haven for artists in the last 10 years or so. Not far from the understated chic of Smith Street, the block dead-ends into a public housing project, the Gowanus Houses.

Mr. Hackett moved into the neighborhood three or four years ago and slowly attracted the attention — and eventual respect — of the local teenagers, some of whom would hang out in his workshop ogling his odd inventions and collection of junk. These teenagers, mostly black, said yesterday that they were somewhat bowled over by the light-skinned, dread-locked Mr. Hackett with his punk-rock clothing and arty ways.

"Everybody thought he was kind of weird until we got to know him," said Chris Rasin, 15. "He dressed funny, but he was cool. We all kind of looked up to him."

Richard Nelson, 15, found the response of the authorities understandable, if a bit overblown. "They're making something big out of nothing," he said. Then he thought for a moment. "I guess we are at high alert."
Last edited by JUDGECAL on Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Jan 25, 2004 4:46 pm

Just read the same article when I got home and suspected a BM connection. Don't know you, Chris, but I sure do hope you're OK. I don't like to see anybody hurting. Don't know what I can offer from so far away, but at least I can send some positive vibes and thoughts. I'll light a candle for you, brother. Maybe some others could too, huh? Thanks for the notice, Judgecal

Matt
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Postby Badger » Sun Jan 25, 2004 5:13 pm

I saw you folks at Glastonbury this past summer. have some decent pics I took. The fire belching tug-o-war thing was wild. Most folks didn't know what the hell to think of it but caught on reeeeal quick like.
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Postby DE FACTO » Sun Jan 25, 2004 5:45 pm

care to share any of those pics with the rest of us?

And the news about Chris Hackett hit CNN all day today.
Really kinda hope the news part simmers down soon and goes away.

I dont know him but i hope chris is well.
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Postby JUDGECAL » Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:06 am

Thanks for the warm thoughts and kind words all. Here is a bit more info...







There is much concern now for the Medical Care that Hackett is
receiving. People are working to make sure that he gets the best
medical care possible. This is a Brooklyn New York City Hospital and
under the circumstances, it is further complicated. People are asking
about visiting, calling, etc. At this time you can not visit Hackett.
You can not call Hackett. At this point, we don't think you can even
send him anything. He will be arraigned on Tuesday and pending
Doctor's approval, he will be able to communicate. Remember, he is
recovering from an accident and even though we all want to jump on
him, hug him and call him every second, we have to give him an
opportunity to get better. If you want to help, there will be an
account for donations that will be up tomorrow for legal and medical
expenses which are sure to be substantial. He wanted clean socks
today and that has got to be a good thing. If there is a place to
send anything or anything do...you will be let know as soon as it is
figured out. Think of some good ideas for fundraising.


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***************************************************

People, Hackett is hurt and currently in stable
condition. Everyone is very concerned. He has
suffered injury to his face & hand. The extent of
the injuries are unknown at this time but his jaw
is broken, he has broken bones in his face as
well as soft tissue injury. He is conscious and
we are awaiting word. Our main concerns rest with
his well-being. We need to collectively send our
healing energies, prayers and meditations for his
recovery. Please do not discuss on line as per
advisement of a lawyer. Please discuss in person.
Please be respectful and allow Hackett to speak
of his own volition.

There will be a benefit very soon, the MI and
Hackett will need your support. thank you.

----------------here are some articles for your perusal---------------------->

Friend's Injury Drains the Zaniness From a Race
By HOWARD O. STIER

Published: January 25, 2004


When Christopher Hackett failed to show up yesterday with the confetti gun that was to be fired to start the Idiot-arod Race, a shopping cart chariot run of sorts, his Madagascar Institute colleagues used a bullhorn instead.

No one was aware that a few miles away, the gun had somehow exploded as Mr. Hackett put the finishing touches on it, burning him seriously enough to require hospitalization and drawing a horde of police officers and fire marshals to his Brooklyn loft.

Neither confrontational nor subversive but driven by a counter-consumer urge and a sensibility for fun that involves elaborate props, the Idiot Race drew nearly 200 participants. Wearing costumes ó many were dressed as dogs and bears ó and shackled to supermarket shopping carts, they raced through city streets from the Brooklyn waterfront to Union Square Park in Manhattan, emulating the Alaskan Iditarod, the annual race from Anchorage to Nome in which dog teams pull sleds across 1,150 miles of forbidding terrain.

While that event was inspired by a heroic effort to bring serum to
diphtheria-stricken children, yesterday's challenge was to navigate the streets of New York without getting run down in traffic or arrested.

"I'm doing this because it's boring here, New York is too passive," said a
racer, Tim Corrigan, 33, a technology consultant and Madagascar member who said he had once piloted a dog team in Alaska at a fund-raising event organized by the group that runs the Iditarod. "The dogs are completely guided by voice commands," he said. "They're more focused. We're fat and lazy and out of shape."

Hollering "mush" and wielding a leather cat-o'-nine-tails, a friend of Mr.
Hackett's, Tara Ball, 34, guided four teammates lashed to a shopping cart
across the oil-slicked cobblestones of an industrial portion of Jay Street,
crossed the torrent of traffic approaching the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and made the tight left dogleg onto the pedestrian path of the Manhattan Bridge.

When the colorfully costumed racers stopped at the first of two checkpoints ó Winnie's, a Chinatown bar in the shadow of the Tombs jail ó they were mistaken for Chinese New Year celebrants. There, as most racers knocked back beers, thrilled at having traversed the bridge, word of Mr. Hackett's accident spread.

Ms. Ball, a veteran of similar Madagascar events like last summer's Condiment War ó which left the police scratching their heads at how yellow mustard had gotten splattered along the Manhattan Bridge abutment 50 feet above the roadway ó became downcast. She and her team members gravely crossed the finish line in the plaza of Union Square Park.

The race generated no arrests, and despite some charioteering worthy of Ben Hur, no injuries. At the Village Idiot, the final bar visited, the winners of the race divvied up their prize ó a box of fireworks ó and began planning their next event.
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Postby Booker » Mon Jan 26, 2004 8:41 am

I'll be watching this space, looking for a chance to help keep that sorta shit happening in the world.
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Postby JUDGECAL » Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:55 pm

everyone,

this is an extremely generalized update on hackett's condition and
current legal situation.hackett is currently in lutheran hospital in
brooklyn. his jaw was wired yesterday. his physical recovery is ahead
of schedule. right now no one is allowed to see him except for his
blood relatives. he is not allowed to receive cards, flowers, or
packages.based on police sources hackett is being held on weapons
possession charges. this is all we're allowed to say on this matter
until he is arraigned -- possibly on wednesday now but more likely on
thursday.

hackett's lawyer has asked that no one talk to any press or make any
public statements until after this arraignment. please do not discuss
hackett or anything else on emails lists or in any other public or
semi-public forum.

after hackett is arraigned he will be allowed to receive visitors and
flowers and blended drinks. He will be needing fancy vegan milkshakes
soon and some kind of super blender will be needed.

we are all obviously hoping for the best on all of this. it is
important to remember that his health condition and legal situation
are both in flux, changing all the time. there is no definitive
statement that can be made on
either right now. A doctor friend was able to see hackett on sunday
night because he is a new york emergency room surgeon with police
clearance. he pointed out that lutheran is a level 1 trauma center
(like bellevue in manhattan), and that hackett can not be moved until
he is arraigned.

everyone is doing what he or she can to help out right now.
unfortunately, there is not a lot to do.

hackett will certainly need a lot of financial help. he has no health
insurance. An account is being opened today that will be used for
smallish donations. Another fund is being set up to accept larger
donations. we will put this information on the madagascar website as
soon as we can.

There will be a new york benefit, but we have not started working on
it yet.we will start on it immediately. the big benefit does not have
to be the only source of money. T-shirts designs are already being
worked on, and mark pauline of survival research laboratories is
hosting a small benefit at the odeon bar next week in san francisco.
you are welcome to add to the effort in any way you can.

i apologize for the dispassionate tone of this update. i wish i could
say a lot more, i wish i could acknowledge in detail all of the
support, empathy, and quick-thinking of a huge group of astonishing
individuals. i know you
all want to see him, and that it's beyond frustrating to care so much
and have your hands bound. please know that right now everything that
can be done is being done, and that you will be able to see hackett,
get much more
detailed information, and help out very soon.

yours,
jeff
w/ed tb





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Postby Booker » Wed Jan 28, 2004 8:21 am

>>please do not discuss hackett or anything else on emails lists or in any other public or semi-public forum. <<

Like, um, this one? Don't feel compelled to post more info until you have some news. The same people will still be here to read it when it's ready.
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Postby Tancorix » Wed Jan 28, 2004 8:34 am

I hate blanket statements.
And while I appreciate the concern, I for one will not give up my right to speak freely about something I see on the AP wire, CNN, MSNBC, etc. Our conversations here showing concern for his well being will not interfere with his legal case.
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Postby JUDGECAL » Fri Jan 30, 2004 9:15 am

Booker wrote:>>please do not discuss hackett or anything else on emails lists or in any other public or semi-public forum. <<

Like, um, this one? Don't feel compelled to post more info until you have some news. The same people will still be here to read it when it's ready.



All,

The reason the above was included in the post was to "Avoid inflammatory comments, gossip, rumor mongering and conspiracy theorie, etc..."

It's wasn't meant to not speak about what was going on, it was meant to be aware of what may or may not have some sort of effect on his legal situation.
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Postby JUDGECAL » Fri Jan 30, 2004 9:16 am

Thank you all for sending those healing vibes and good wishes for
Hackett. It worked. If you haven't heard, we have Good News!
Yesterday was a great day. Hackett is out of the hospital. He has
been arraigned and it is good. He had the largest turn out of
supporters in 25 years of night court (that could be an
exaggeration). He is no longer under arrest, out on bail and is
somewhere, enjoying some time to himself. He wants to be let alone
for at least 24 hours. Give him some time and then call. Send email
to that account we listed before.

He will be needing your support and it means a lot to him that people
give a damn. There will be benefits and many chances to help. Please
give him a chance to rest up a bit and then contact him. Remember his
jaw is wired shut so talking will not be so easy.

Please don't discuss illegal stuff on line. Hackett is a private
person and we want to continue to respect that. Talk in person with
any issues regarding this situation. Please think twice before you
post anything. Avoid inflammatory comments, gossip, rumor mongering
and conspiracy theories. You are discussing a private person we care
about. We need you to be respectful. Do not confuse the joint
terrorism task force further. Make art, work harder. We have a lot of
to do.

In the meantime, the truck is still broken, the pipes are frozen, we
have no heat and the shop is a huge mess. We are all a bit wore out
and will be getting some sleep this weekend plus cleaning up the
shop. ShopKat is doing well and happy she will have Hackett back to
boss around.


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Postby JUDGECAL » Mon Feb 02, 2004 2:09 pm

Like a strong cup of coffee in the morning, it smells fine and
stimulates the blood. Heartfelt thanks for all the support. Keep it
coming now it's time to work and represent.

Bingo Benefit -Thurs - Feb 6th
Bloody Sunday Brunch Matinee - Sunday Feb 9th
Big Benefit - sat feb 21 ??(maybe)
San Fran - Fri Feb 13th
Shop Update
Meditation

----------------------------------------------------------------
This Thursday February 6th will be the first of the small fundraisers
for Hackett in NYC

It is going to be a Bingo Benefit at Galapagos, main room. We need
prizes. Nice prizes. If you have something really good or know
someone with a restaurant who will give a gift certificate, a round
of drinks, book gift cert, any thing wonderful like that.PLEASE help
her with this. TODAY. Time is short and we need to work fast. Miss
Brooklyn also needs a few very short classy acts as well. This is a
glamorous bingo event. Details to come very shortly.

Contact: Miss Brooklyn at agent064x-yahoo.com (for bingo prizes & acts)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This coming Sunday February 9th, in the afternoon, something is in
the works at Continential.
It will be noisy and more on the rude crude side. It will be a Bloody
Sunday Sleazy Hardcore Brunch Matinee or something like that. Bands,
Lap dancers, spankers, wrestlers etc. should apply for that TODAY
.Details to come.

Contact: Splinter <mark.harder@verizon.net> (bloody sunday brunch)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Big Benefit in NYC ?feb 21?
The Madagascar Institute is going to holding a very large benefit
soon. We are still looking for a good, large sized legal space that
we can have donated as well as someone with a caterers license. We
have received some offers and are assessing what is the best way to
move forward and will be needing help with this. We are shooting for
the weekend of Feb 21st, but nothing is confirmed.

-Donated Large Legal Space
-Caterers License
-donated food & beverages
-good prizes/gift certificates

Several other people are working on smaller benefits. We will be
needing bands, more prizes, ideas, help and what ever else you can
think of that we haven't asked for. Let us know what you have.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
San Fran Benefit - Fri Feb 13th
Several of our friends and commrades in San Fran are working on large
benefit for what I believe is called the SOMA arts center. The line
up and space will be amazing. Details of that to come as well. Jamie,
Rosanne, Lauries and a slew of other are working on this.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shop Update.
At the shop, the pipes our currently unfroze and we are still
assessing the damage and trying to figure out how to not allow this
to happen again. No, we don't have heat and will not be getting it
soon. We lost a lot of toilet paper in the flood. The Truck was fixed
twice but now it is rebroken, with a gushing oil valve. This cold
weather sucks for old vehicles and pipes. Our experts are working on
it and it should be fixed by today. The shop has been sort of cleaned
up, esp of all those Dunkin Donut cups someone left behind.

ShopKat is purring. Hackett is healing.

**********
Recommended Meditation
Chant to Vishnu, who is both the destroying fire and the breath of life.
**********






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Benefit Party for Hackett of the Madagascar Institute 2/13

Postby JUDGECAL » Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:07 pm

Image
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