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Infilnews 18, December 2003

Pranksters Ball to be Held This Weekend in Bay Area
In celebration of the fifteen-year anniversary of the RE/Search book "Pranks", a holiday ball/art show will be held this Saturday, December 6, at San Francisco's The Lab art space ( Artists who participated in the book, including such luminaries as Mark Pauline/Survival Research Laboratories and possibly Jello Biafra, are scheduled to be in attendance for this reunion-party-art-show-prank-festival, which will include a panel discussion and a visit from a "clairvoyant".

UK Journalist Infiltrates Royal Pantry Working as "Footman"
Ryan Parry, a journalist with The Mirror, achieved an unforeseen level of regal penetration last month when he obtained a position, based on falsified references, as a footman for Queen Elizabeth. Parry worked as a footman for eight weeks within Buckingham Palace, and was allowed access to members of the Royal Family as well as visiting dignitaries. He walked off the job the night before he was to serve breakfast to visiting US President George Bush and National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice. Parry's expose of the immensely lax security at Buckingham Palace sent shockwaves throughout the commonwealth - though not as many as his revelation that the Queen takes her morning porridge in Tupperware.

Nashville Needs Help Mapping Labyrinth
An increasingly frustrating job digging the Gateway Boulevard in Nashville continues to be delayed as city crews keep discovering more and more underground tunnels in the construction site, most of which are not accurately accounted for on historic maps of the district. Workers on the project, which is currently slated for completion in April of 2004, have already discovered a hidden stream bed as well as a utility tunnel.

Scientists Look for Mule Named Sal
Two New York State academics have turned pleasure into business by launching a quest for the remnants of the Erie Canal. Engineer F. Andrew Wolfe and anthropologist Denis Foley have uncovered remnants of long-abandoned locks from covered-up parts of the legendary shipping route. The pair are physically digging down through the earth in some places, but in others, access to the canal is as easy as climbing down a manhole. The canal, which ran from Lake Erie to the Atlantic Ocean and whose abandoned bed was made use of by the Rochester, NY subway, among other things, changed the face of shipping in the United States for more than a century until it was ultimately rendered obsolete by the St. Lawrence Seaway and more modern transportation methods.

Flowers Decorate Abandoned Mental Hospital
Though the patients of Boston's Massachusetts Mental Hospital may never have received flowers for their illnesses, artist Anna Schuleit and 60 volunteers saw to it that their memories were not forgotten in a dramatic display last month in honour of the site's closing. The four-day site-specific installation involved 28,000 pots of flowers - pansies, tulips, heather, and ferns - being distributed throughout the facility, spilling and spiraling out of patient rooms; grass carpeting the halls, and violets filling the swimming pool. Recordings of ambient noise from the hospital's active days accompanied the floral display.

Say, Those Tulips Look Familiar
In an inspired collaboration between art and urban exploration that inexplicably perturbed area preservationists, hundreds of tulips left over from the Massachusetts Mental Hospital installation made their way quietly to the grounds of unmarked graves at the Danvers State Hospital on November 21. The New England Urban Exploration Alliance (NEUEA) received the tulips from artist Anna Schuliet after her exhibition closed on November 17. The action, dubbed Operation Tip Toe, was performed by a dozen NEUEA members in the dead of night as an act of memorial to those who lost their lives, as well as their souls, at Danvers. Should the bulbs successfully winter over, the tulips (and some daffodils planted by the preservation committee) should make their appearance on the grounds this coming spring.

Speaking of Danvers...
John Gray and Mark Gerrity recently announced the publication of a new book, "The Abandoned Asylums of New England", available now from Uni-Graphic Press. The book compiles more than 200 photographs of New England's great many abandoned mental institutions, including, of course, the famous Danvers. The book can be ordered online here:

Call for Zine Submissions
Infiltration is emphatically encouraging submissions for our upcoming Caught! Stories 3 issues. If you've got any good letters or tales relating to your adventures or misadventures getting "caught" or even unpleasantly helped or detained, please email them post-haste to and/or Thank you! (We are also accepting stories for the stadia issue, but really, send your caught stories now so we can put a nail in this bad boy, OK?)
       Infiltration #21, all about the University of Toronto, was released this fall and features, well, the University of Toronto. You can get a copy by sending $3 (US/CDN) cash to PO Box 13, Station E, Toronto, ON M6H 4E1, Canada.

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