Czech artists face jail over hoax nuclear blast on TV



I saw this before, but Art Threat just had an update: “Had you been watching Czech Television on June 17, 2007, you might have seen what appeared to be a nuclear explosion on your television screen. A mountain resort in the Krkonose region of the Czech Republic appeared to go up in a mushroom cloud of smoke. The video was a hoax, cleverly perpetrated by Ztohoven, a local art group. […] The performance, entitled “Media Reality” sparked controversy throughout the country. The Czech National Gallery awarded the group with the newly created NG 333 prize for their work. […] According to Dusan Ondracek, state prosecutor, six of the members of Ztohoven group have been charged with scaremongering and spreading false information. The members, if convicted, could face up to three years in prison.” This appears ironic/absurd, given the statement of the group: “We are neither a terrorist organization nor a political group, our aim is not to intimidate the society or manipulate it, which is something we witness on daily basis both in the real world and in the world created by the media… We hope our action will become an appeal for the future and remind the media of their duty to bring out the truth.” But then, the circumstances of their event makes it a bit understandable, since they “hacked into television broadcasting”: “On June 17, viewers of a Czech television channel watching a Web cam program monitoring weather in various Czech mountain resorts could see a nuclear explosion taking place in the Krkonose or Giant Mountains in the northern Czech Republic.” (source)