Breathing Books, swiped by TSA, now at gallery


Things – Edith Kollath Creates Books that Breathe from Bre Pettis on Vimeo.

These wonderful heaving tomes, like props from a Harry Potter movie, were created by Edith Kollath. They are on view at the Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery.

She relates her own story of TSA incompetence and wickedness: guards confiscated these books in Newark Airport on a return trip to Germany, made humiliating remarks about her, and finally damaged them.

They have been encarcerated in the EVIDENCE ROOM for over three month now, they seemed to be lost forever but they survived all procedure: my breathing books. In June I had been detained by TSA, Police, FBI and CIA in Newark Airport on my way back to Germany for more than 4 hours. The reason for the official’s irritation was that I tried to carry a fully assembled electronical mechanism hidden in books. Given that that is not the smartest idea ever, it escalated over the top. I had been questioned, examined and interrogated, they ran a test on me and offered their result afterwards: “we think by now you must be a good person, ’cause now we know how often you change your underwear.”

Breathing Again! [Resistor via Bookpatrol]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Email is dead, but you can try your luck at besc...@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Art and Instruments, books. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Breathing Books, swiped by TSA, now at gallery

  1. GoingLikeSixty.com says:

    “I tried to carry a fully assembled electronical mechanism hidden in books. ”

    Yah think?

    Paging Mrs. Alexander Dumbass!

  2. Ludicuss says:

    How do you know the name of the official stopping the item ?

    Or are you suggesting that anyone who wants to take things to another country is the one at fault ? That the innocent have to put in all the effort to prove their innocence than the nefarious ?

  3. eti says:

    So are these 50% more art now because they were seized?

  4. shutz says:

    Couldn’t there be a secondary, voluntary line that you can stand in before going through security, where you can see a technology inspector who DOES have a clue and who can look at what you’re bringing in, and clear it, giving you some sort of a pass that clearly states what was cleared, so that the inspectors in the security line proper can’t block you for having said device because you show them this pass?

    On another note: if you have fragile, priceless (or very highly-priced) artwork, just completely avoid the US, for now, as there’s a higher than normal probability that your art will get damaged or destroyed by careless, stupid people who don’t care and who won’t be penalized for their mistakes.

  5. Takuan says:

    a performance art piece: an empty stage, pin spot irised center. A stool. A large, dirty, stupid, naked person emerges stage right. It mounts the stool. Another large, stupid, dirty person enters stage left. A bone saw is produced. The skull cap removed. A third large, stupid, dirty person lowers from the flies. Defecation. Raise rear curtain to reveal Greek chorus: “TSA TSA TSA TSA !”

    All bow (feces falls out), exeunt omnes.

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