Late last week, over three days, the San Francisco Police Department responded to 34 reports of citizens finding baseball bats, many full of nails, chained to utility poles around the city, mostly near Fisherman's Wharf. In one case early Thursday morning, the bat looked as if it could be a pipe bomb -- it was not -- prompting a response from the SFPD Bomb Squad.
As of Monday, Nov. 30, officers have yet to determine a suspect or a possible motive. But KGO's Katie Utehs, who has been following the story since Thursday, spoke to a local resident who posited the idea that maybe the bats were part of an art project.
"Art project, freak people out, or a promotion or something," San Francisco resident Gerrie Burke told KGO last Thursday.
As crazy as it might sound, there are precedents for Burke's theories that the bats are art-related, the most notable of which took place not long after the 9/11 attacks in New York: Clinton Boisvert, a student from Manhattan's School of Visual Arts, taped 37 black cardboard boxes with the words "Fear" written on them around a NYC subway station. The boxes resulted in the shutdown of the station for hours while a bomb squad examined each of them, as well as the Boisvert's arrest on the charge of "reckless endangerment." The pieces, Boisvert told police, were for a sculpture class -- at the time of the incident, his teacher said, Boisvert was an A student.
If, in a similar vein, San Francisco's bats are indeed an art project, KQED's visual arts editor Sarah Hotchkiss has issued the following grade: "If it is art, then it's not very good art."