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Artlurker Explains Rape Tunnel: "Our Intention Was to Spark Conversation"

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Artlurker caused quite the brouhaha yesterday by publishing a fake interview about an artist who was constructing a "rape tunnel," in which he promised to rape anyone who made it through. 

Gawker, who often takes pleasure in punching holes in staged PR events and other media's inaccuracies, walked through the metaphorical rape tunnel and got what was promised (being rewarded with 50,000+ page views is a nice settlement though) despite the fact there were a few hints the thing was fake. Like referring to a William Strunk Jr. Art Museum -- there's probably a joke in there about Gawker not being familiar with the co-author of The Elements of Style, but we won't go there.

Anyway, Artlurker planned on coming clean with the hoax later in the day but the traffic overwhelmed their server, and today they confirmed what we suspected: it was meant to provoke.

By publishing The Rape Tunnel our intention was to spark conversation on the state of art for a few hours with coverage of an entirely fake art project...

...When the author of The Rape Tunnel pitched the idea to us we loved it. Of course it's an extremely sensitive subject, but our motivation for publishing the piece was to comment on contemporary art, not rape.

We cannot say what the intentions of the author were, but ours were simple: to generate conversation on the state of contemporary art based on the fact that an event like this is no so unrealistic today. So we edited the piece like we would any other and published it.

While Artlurker says it doesn't really consider the post "art," but more satire in the style of The Onion, it did leave us with a lot more to think about than much of what we've seen during Second Saturday for a while. Too bad they didn't some how tie in Roman Polanski, or they would have had a conceptual masterpiece on their hands. 

Artlurker says it's published fake stories before, which has us wondering if we fell for their tricks too?

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