Does the Artist Treated Like a Terrorist Still ?NY?


Over the weekend New York City police arrested Takeshi Miyakawa over an unauthorized art project that involved hanging illuminated "I?NY" shopping bags from trees and lampposts in Brooklyn. A friend told The New York Times that Miyakawa, a 50-year-old Japanese-born artist and furniture designer who moved to the city in 1989, "wanted to promote a positive message." That clearly was not the NYPD's aim. After somebody called the bomb squad, the cops treated Miyakwa like a terrorist, a lunatic, or possibly both. They ominously described one of his bag signs as "an assembly consisting of a plastic box containing wires which was connected by a wire to a plastic bag containing a battery suspended from a metal rod." In a development reminiscent of Boston's 2007 Mooninite panic, Miyakawa has been charged with reckless endangerment and placing "a false bomb or hazardous substance." His lawyer calls the whole thing "a gross misunderstanding."