The Rhizome Digest merged into the Rhizome News in November 2008. These pages serve as an archive for 6-years worth of discussions and happenings from when the Digest was simply a plain-text, weekly email.

Subject: RHIZOME DIGEST: 4.14.02
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 18:52:52 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: April 14, 2002


+editor's note+
1. Mary West: Net Art Commissions Announcement
2. Mary West: Rhizome Remix in Toronto on 4/16

3. Trace Reddell: calls for submissions--Digital Salvage v.1

4. The Google AdWords Happening

5. Lev Manovich: Generation Flash (Part 1)

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Date: 4.10.02
From: Mary West (mary AT
Subject: Net Art Commissions Announcement is pleased to announce that five artists/groups have been
awarded commissions to assist them in creating original works of net art
through our new Commissioning Program.

We received 135 proposals by the February 15, 2002 deadline, many of
which were very strong. A panel of five jurors--Steve Dietz of The
Walker Art Center, Alex Galloway of, Ken Goldberg of U.C.
Berkeley, Christiane Paul of The Whitney Museum of American Art, and
Mark Tribe of the winners.

Christopher Fahey, the Institute for Applied Autonomy
(IAA)/, and John Klima were will receive awards of $5,000
each. Additional commissions of $2,500 will be awarded to Nungu and Lisa
Jevbratt. Ten proposals have been awarded Honorable Mention.

You can read more about the process and the proposals at

This program is made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation,
the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Challenge
Program, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional
support was provided by the Rockefeller Foundation and by members of the
Rhizome community.

The chosen projects will be publicly exhibited on the web
site starting October 2002. They will also be preserved in the Rhizome
ArtBase archive, and presented at a public event in New York City.

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**$5000 Awards:**

by Christopher Fahey (Brooklyn/New York/US)

Using instant messenger channels, Rhizomebot will be a unique new
virtual/artificial personality that will provide an alternative gateway
to the Rhizome ArtBase, Rhizome's online database of art.

Christopher Fahey has been making computer games and graphics since
childhood, and he continues to experiment with new ideas in computer art
and design. He is the creative force behind the art and design
laboratories and Christopher is a founding
partner of Behavior, a New York-based interaction design firm, where he
serves as the Information Architecture practice lead.

by Institute for Applied Autonomy and

Maptivist 2.0 is a shared mapping application that will enable political
activists using wireless Internet devices to share information about
surveillance and police activities in real time.

The Institute for Applied Autonomy (IAA) was founded in 1998 as a
technological research and development organization concerned with
individual and collective self-determination. Their mission is to study
the forces and structures which effect self-determination; to create
cultural artifacts which address these forces; and to develop
technologies which serve social and human needs. is a collective of media artists, technologists, activists
and critical theorists working to explore the intersection between
radical theory, traditional activism, and technology subversion through
the creation of tactical media projects utilizing communication system
technologies primarily.

by John Klima (New York/NY/US)

Context Breeder is a browser-based Java applet and standalone java
application for the collection and dynamic display of Artbase objects on
the viewer's home computer.

Circa 1978, Brooklyn-based Klima (b. 1965) attempted to code a 3D maze
on a TRS-80 with 4k RAM and failed miserably. He has been obsessed with
3D ever since. Fascinated by the first primitive flight simulators and
CAD programs, he began to build 3D graphics environments, and to write
source code. Since 1998, he has consistently exhibited in major
institutions both nationally and internationally.

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**$2,500 Awards:**

by Nungu (Bombay & London/Maharashtra/India & UK)[mrs.%20jeevam%20jham]/proposal.html

The project proposes an exploration of forms of 'hypercontrol' present
in societies infused with communication and information technology
networks through an investigation of the logic and aesthetics of
telematic surveillance.

Currently based in Bombay India, Nungu is a fluid collective of national
and international media artists working together towards the creation of
networked art.

by Lisa Jevbratt (San Jose/CA/US)

The Troika interfaces display each object in the Rhizome database as one
pixel, accessible by clicking on the pixel. The pixel's color represents
keywords associated with the object and people that have requested it.

Lisa Jevbratt is a systems/network artist working primarily with the
Internet. Her work has been exhibited and presented in venues such as
The New Museum, SFMOMA, The Walker Art Center, Ars Electronica,
Transmediale and the 2002 Whitney Biennial. She is a member of the
Silicon Valley collaboration/corporation C5, and a board member of the
New Langton Arts Gallery in San Francisco where she is curating the Net
Work program. She currently teaches at the digital media program (former
CADRE) at San Jose State University.

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**Honorable Mention:**

Bubble Browser
by Golan Levin & Jonathan Feinberg

Common Reference Point
by Mark Daggett and Jonah Brucker-Cohen

Common Sense
by Brian Gillette [Hexstream Media]

by MULTIPOLY (Paul Biedrzycki, Keith Riley)

Groundnut as Butter
by Keith & Mendi Obadike

by Marina Zurkow + Scott Paterson

by Kurt Baumann

by Lucas Kuzma

by Boris Mueller

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Date: 4.11.02
From: Mary West (mary AT
Subject: Rhizome Remix in Toronto on 4/16

What: A Rhizome Remix event celebrating the the web launch of dataland,
an online exhibition of participatory data driven art sites, and Life
During Wartime, a Trinity Square Video Web Residency (details at

Where: SpaHa, 66 Harbord (at Spadina), Toronto, Canada

When: Tuesday, April 16. Artist presentations at 8:30pm, party at

Context: This Rhizome Remix is part of flow: an exhibition of video,
film and new media installations. For a full flow exhibition listing and
events schedule please visit

For further information, call +1 416 971 8405

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**MUTE MAGAZINE NEW ISSUE** Coco Fusco/Ricardo Dominguez on activism and
art; JJ King on the US military's response to asymmetry and Gregor
Claude on the digital commons. Matthew Hyland on David Blunkett, Flint
Michigan and Brandon Labelle on musique concrete and 'Very Cyberfeminist

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Date: 4.12.02
From: Trace Reddell (treddell AT
Subject: calls for submissions--Digital Salvage v.1

DIGITAL SALVAGE v.1: a response to Salvaggio's Six Rules Towards a New
Internet Art

Please create a Web-based digital project that adheres to the six rules
towards a new internet art that Eryk Salvaggion recently posted on

1. No Flash
2. No introduction pages
3. No more art for the sake of error
4. Images must be unique to the sitemaker
5. Technology is not a subject; the Internet is not a subject
6. The work stands alone

Details on each rule are provided in the Rhizome posting

Any form of artistic project is acceptable, as long as it exists on the
Web and fulfills each rule. Rather than viewing Salvaggio's rules in the
manner of a manifesto, this competition takes the game-playing spin:
rules not as part of a revolutionary command ("out with old, in with the
new!") but as a guideline around which strategies can form within a
localized and temporary setting.

Contributions must be available on the Internet by May 31, 2002. Please
send a URL by that deadline to: treddell AT One entry per

A panel of peer reviewers will help select the top three works, and all
entries will be featured in a new and media theory site launched
this summer at the University of Denver's Digital Media Studies program.

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IT IS necessary to buy "Not Necessarily 'English Music,'" Leonardo Music
Journal Volume 11. Not only is it curated by David Toop, but it includes
a double CD. Tune in and turn on to the LMJ website at

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Date: 4.13.02
From: (chris AT
Subject: The Google AdWords Happening

The "debate" about how to earn money with net art, suggested to me an
answer to an easier problem: how to spend money with my art.

A few days ago, I decided to launch a happening on the web, consisting
in a poetry advertisement campaign on Google AdWords. I opened an
account for $5 and began to buy some keywords. For each keyword you can
write a little ad and, instead of the usual ad, I decided to write
little "poems," non-sensical or funny or a bit provocative.

In 24 hours, 12,000 people saw my "poems" before I was censored by
Google. You can see the results on

If you ever had a similar experience, I would be glad to compare your
results to mine

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Date: 4.12.2002
From: Lev Manovich (manovich AT
Keywords: language, software, programming

SUMMARY--"Generation Flash" looks at the phenomenon of Flash graphics on
the Web that attracted a lot of creative energy in the last few years.
More than just a result of a particular software / hardware situation
(low bandwidth leading to the use of vector graphics), Flash aesthetics
exemplifies cultural sensibility of a new generation [1]. This
generation does not care if their work is called art or design. This
generation is no longer is interested in "media critique" which
preoccupied media artists of the last two decades; instead it is engaged
in software critique. This generation writes its own software code to
create their own cultural systems, instead of using samples of
commercial media [2]. The result is the new modernism of data
visualizations, vector nets, pixel-thin grids and arrows: Bauhaus design
in the service of information design. Instead the Baroque assault of
commercial media, Flash generation serves us the modernist aesthetics
and rationality of software. Information design is used as tool to make
sense of reality while programming becomes a tool of empowerment [3].

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Turntable and Flash Remixing

[Turntable is a web-based software that allows the user to mix in real-
time up to 6 different Flash animations, in addition manipulating color
palette, size of individual animations and other parameters. For, the participating artists were asked to submit
short Flash animations that were exhibited on the site both separately
and as part of Turntable remixes. Some remixes consisted from animations
of the same artists while others used animations by different artists.]

It became a cliché to announce that "we live in remix culture." Yes, we
do. But is it possible to go beyond this simple statement of fact? For
instances, can we distinguish between different kinds of remix
aesthetics? What is the relationship between our remixes made with
electronic and computer tools and such earlier forms as collage and
montage? What are the similarities and differences between audio remixes
and visual remixes?

Think loop. The basic building block of an electronic sound track, the
loop also conquered surprisingly strong position in contemporary visual
culture. Left to their own devices, Flash animations, QuickTime movies,
the characters in computer games loop endlessly - until the human user
intervenes by clicking. As I have shown elsewhere, all nineteenth
century pre-cinematic visual devices also relied on loops. Throughout
the nineteenth century, these loops kept getting longer and longer -
eventually turning into a feature narrative. Today, we witness the
opposite movement - artists sampling short segments of feature films or
TV shows, arranging them as loops, and exhibiting these loops as "video
installations." The loop thus becomes the new default method to
"critique" media culture, replacing a still photograph of post-modern
critique of the 1980s. At the same time, it also replaces the still
photograph as the new index of the real: since everybody knows that a
still photography can be digitally manipulated, a short moving sequence
arranged in a loop becomes a better way to represent reality - for the
time being.)

Think Internet. What was referred in post-modern times as quoting,
appropriation, and pastiche no longer needs any special name. Now this
is simply the basic logic of cultural production: download images, code,
shapes, scripts, etc.; modify them, and then paste the new works online -
send them into circulation. (Note: with Internet, the always-existing
loop of cultural production runs much faster: a new trend or style may
spread overnight like a plague.) When I ask my students to create their
own images by making photographs or by shooting video, they have a
revelation: images do not have to come from Internet! Shall I also
reveal to them that images do not have to come from a technological
device that record reality - that instead they can be drawn or painted?

Think image. Compare it to sound. It seems possible to layer many many
many sounds and tracks together while maintaining legibility. The result
just keep getting more complex, more interesting. Vision seems to be
working differently. Of course commercial images we see everyday on TV
and in cinema are often made from layers as well, sometimes as many as
thousands - but these layers work together to create a single
illusionistic (or super-illusionistic) space. In other words, they are
not being heard as separate sounds. When we start mixing arbitrary
images together, we quickly destroy any meaning. (If you need proof,
just go and play with the classic The Digital Landfill [4]) How many
separate image tracks can be mixed together before the composite becomes
nothing but noise? Six seems to be a good number - which is exactly the
number of image tracks one can load onto Turntable.

Think sample versus the whole work. If we are indeed living in a remix
culture does it still make sense to create whole works - if these works
will be taken apart and turned into samples by others anyway? Indeed,
why painstakingly adjust separate tracks of Director movie or After
Effects composition getting it just right if the "public" will "open
source" them into their individual tracks for their own use using some
free software? Of course, the answer is yes: we still need art. We still
want to say something about the world and our lives in it; we still need
our own "mirror standing in the middle of a dirty road," as Stendahl
called art in the nineteenth century. Yet we also need to accept that
for others our work will be just a set of samples, or maybe just one
sample. Turntable is the visual software that makes this new aesthetic
condition painfully obvious. It invites us to play with the dialectic of
the sample and the composite, of our own works and the works of others.
Welcome to visual remixing Flash style.

Think Turntable.

[PART 2 and PART 3 will be posted shortly.]


1. I should make it clear that many of the sites which inspired me to
think of "Flash aesthetics" are not necessaraly made with Flash; they
use Shockwave, DHTML, Quicktime and other Web multimedia formats. Thus
the qualities I describe below as specefic to "Flash aesthetics" are not
unique to Flash sites.

2. For instance, the work of Lisa Jevbratt, John Simon, and Golan Levin.

3. GENERATION FLASH consists from three parts. First part was
comissioned for; third part was comissioned by
Tirana Biennale 01 Internet section
( Both exibitions were organised
by Miltos Manetas / Electronic Orphanage. "On UTOPIA" was commissioned
by Futurefarmers.

4. See

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Alex Galloway (alex AT
ISSN: 1525-9110. Volume 7, number 15. Article submissions to
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