Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Art of Robbing a Bank

The trick is either being one or working there:

"Heist or art? Ex-MIT lecturer pleads guilty to bank robbery" by Malcolm Gay Globe Staff  June 16, 2015

In a case of art imitating life, life imitating art, or maybe just a mash-up of the two, Joe Gibbons, an acclaimed avant-garde filmmaker and former lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is scheduled to be sentenced next month for robbing a New York City bank — a crime he captured on video.

Gibbons walked into a Capital One branch on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on New Year’s Eve and reportedly handed the teller a note announcing the robbery, using a pink-and-silver video camera to capture the transaction as the teller handed him $1,002, authorities said.

Gibbons, who pleaded guilty this week to burglary in the third degree, reportedly planned to use the heist footage in an upcoming film.

“He was doing research for a film,” cellmate Kaylan Sherrard told the New York Post following Gibbons’s arrest in January. “It’s not a crime; it’s artwork. . . . He’s an intellectual.”

That's a new one.

Gibbons told the Post that the heist was for an art project, while admitting that he was also desperate over “not having any money and not having a place to stay.”

Actually, it's funny he should say such a thing.

He has been held in detention in New York since his arrest, and did not respond to repeated requests for comment from the Globe. His court-appointed attorney, Eric Williams, declined to discuss the case by phone on Tuesday, saying, “He doesn’t need any additional exposure at this point.”

Must be why the Globe put it on the front page for all to see.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of one to three years, according to the Post, but Justice Laura Ward offered one year as part of a plea deal.

Look on the bright side; he will have a place to stay where he will get three squares a day and good health care.... right?

Gibbons, 61, was a lecturer in MIT’s program in art, culture, and technology from 2001 to 2010. A longtime provocateur with a deadpan sense of humor, he is no stranger to filming himself performing transgressive acts.

“You never can tell if the character he is playing is actually him or a work of fiction,” Vincent Grenier, a filmmaker and professor at Binghamton University, said by phone on Tuesday. “For him, it’s been a fertile arena to play in the boundary between reality and fantasy.”

Gibbons has often blurred that line in his own work, going as far back as a prank in 1977.

Same with today's pre$$.


Sarah McDonnell, a spokeswoman for MIT, confirmed that Gibbons worked at the university for nine years but declined to give “additional information” about why he left MIT.

“He’s not led a normal life,” said Grenier, who considers Gibbons a friend. “In many ways he’s a normal human being, but maybe he’s trying to shake that normalcy” for his art.

“He’s a risk taker, but he eventually slammed into a wall,” said friend Emily Breer, a fellow filmmaker who put Gibbons up for seven months after his life “fell apart.”

Maybe he should be president so he can advance the war agenda in his turn? You know, another W.

Reached Tuesday, Breer said while she thought Gibbons was brilliant, his latest turn was beyond the pale. “It’s the messy edge of art and life, don’t you think? We don’t really go in and scare some bank teller for some art project,” she said. “What makes him special over some other desperate person that goes into a bank because they need money?”

Gibbons allegedly staged a similar robbery in Rhode Island in November, when he filmed himself stealing $3,000.

Since Gibbons’s arrest, many in the art world have voiced their support for him.

You $ee, there are thieves and then there are thieves. Depends on what cla$$ to which you belong. 

According to the New York Post, a curator at the Queens Museum wants to invite Gibbons to show footage from the robbery once he is released. Artists have written letters of support and helped raise more than $8,000 to support him via the crowd-funding site Indiegogo, where multimedia and installation artist Tony Oursler called Gibbons “a national treasure, an ingenious artist and an inspiration.”

Maybe that is what I need to do rather than this $hit, go sell my sob story on the Internet and watch the dough roll in.

Gibbons is scheduled to be formally sentenced in Manhattan Supreme Court on July 13.


Not very good work, was it?

Sorry to rob you of your time today, readers. Have a good one.