The Georgia State student whose art project-gone-wrong spooked Atlantans and snarled afternoon rush hour traffic Monday may have been unaware of the turmoil her homework caused until Tuesday.
The student was not made available for interviews Wednesday. But the director of the Welch School of Art and Design said the student apparently did not learn of the impact her placement of a camera on the 14th Street Bridge had until police came to the school the next day to talk about the assignment and identify the locations of other student-placed cameras.
Once informed, the student took the matter very seriously, Michael White said.
“There’s nothing about this that the student took lightly,” he said. Her classmates didn’t either, he added.
Atlanta police said Tuesday the student could be charged with reckless conduct once the investigation is complete. No charges had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon, Officer Ralph Woolfolk told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The camera was wrapped in suspicious-enough looking packaging to bring out the Atlanta police bomb squad and shut down the Downtown Connector. The device was detonated.
The class instructor who gave the assignment also opted not to talk, White said. Asked if her reactions might be described as “upset” or “mortified,” he answered yes.
White said the incident was not anticipated because similar projects have been assigned for some time without complications. He said this particular project is based on a global initiative begun in Europe several years ago that gained popularity.
Any similar projects assigned in the future will be guided by lessons learned this week, he said.
The GSU students were allowed to place cameras where they chose, and most were located in private sites or in public spots where they would not cause a problem. The idea was to capture sunlit scenes over a three-month period.
One other related incident has been reported. Authorities in Hapeville blocked traffic and called in a bomb squad Tuesday after another suspicious device was found attached to a bridge in the south Fulton County town. The bomb squad examined the device from a distance with binoculars, and later up close, and determined that it was also a GSU student-placed camera.
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