About twenty years ago – Binghamton University in upstate New York – a paved plaza between the main library building and the computer center building – an installation of assorted works of “modern art” sculpture is scattered about this plaza as part of some arts festival. There is an empty cement base near the entrance to the computer center, apparently the sculpture that is supposed to be there has not yet arrived. There is a construction project at another part of the campus, at least half a mile away.
During the night some unknown group of pranksters hijacked a huge section of concrete tube – perhaps six feet in diameter and eight feet in length – and somehow transported it to that empty base. Hundreds of people passed it every hour as students went from class to class. Most ignored it, just as they ignored the other sculptures, but many paused to glance at it, even to stop and study it, discuss it. Everyone assumed it was another example of modern art. (I must confess that I fell for the trick; to me it didn’t look any stranger than any of the other “works of art” on display.)
Several days passed before the organizers of the art exhibit realized what had happened. The temporary work of art was returned to its intended use at the construction site and campus security was ordered to investigate. The arts community was in an uproar. The perpetrator of this crime against society must be tracked down and punished!
I don’t know if campus security took this seriously or not. (I think that they probably just enjoyed a good laugh over the matter.) The culprits were never caught.