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: 6.2.02
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2002 20:20:10 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: June 2, 2002


1. Kim Machan: MAAP '02 in Beijing

2. LEVEQUE PAULINE: net art competition

3. m e t a: eccex - vectleu - aerc

4. Marisa Olson: Hacktivism as High {Tech} Art
5. Olga Goriunova: read_me 1.2 winners and honorary mentions

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 5.31.02
From: Kim Machan (kim.machan AT
Subject: MAAP '02 "MOIST" Beijing 23 October - 10 November

Multimedia Art Asia Pacific
Beijing 23 October - 10 November

This years MAAP Festival moves to Beijing with the festival theme
"MOIST" an evocative adjective suggestive of humidity; life; growth;
loaded with references as wide as a fine foggy mist, a compost pile, a
first kiss or a sweaty palm. Postioned in seeming oppostion to the
mechanics of technology, MOIST will explore artists emotive infusion.

The MAAP Festival is a contemporary art cultural event that explores the
nexus of art and technology across a range of art forms and practices
emphasising interactive multimedia, net art, digital video, video
installation, and projects integrating new media.

MAAP will present the festival in four core venues in Beijing.

+ The China Millennium Monument - an impressive official building
equipped with excellent exhibition space and state of the art IT
capability. The venue boasts a 31 metre curved screen made up of 56
programmable monitors and has Broadband capability. This venue will
focus on Chinese/Australian new media art work.
+ The East Modern Art Centre - The large exhibition hall will
accommodate major installations by 15 international artists.
+ The Central Academy of Fine Arts - Artists residencies program, forum
+ The Loft New Media Art Space - CDR, screenings & artists talks

Since MAAP's inaugural festival in 1998 it has been based in Brisbane
and Online presenting an annual festival and regional satellite events
with a mix of support from government, corporate and educational
sectors.Unprecedented support is emerging from our hosts in Beijing and
we look forward to an exciting event that will attract the attention of
Chinese and international key audiences. This year the Festival moves to
Beijing, leaping into the region creating a unique event and opportunity
that also celebrates the 30th Anniversary of China Australia relations.
MAAP includes artists from over 12 different countries and will be the
first international contemporary art exhibition imported into Beijing
from a foreign organisation.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 5.31.2002
Subject: net art competition
Keywords: game, audio,

International Electronic Arts and New Media Festival

The Villette Digital festival is a joint initiative of the Cité des
Sciences, the Cité de la Musique and the Parc de la Villette. It is both
a showcase for major works from around the world and a forum for
experimentation and study. Its aim is to bring together projects
directly involved in the use of digital technologies and it encourages
visitors to share in many experiments during their entertaining,
participative and sensory experience. In this way, the festival's
installations, concerts, shows, games, workshops and digital cinema
explore the impact of new technologies on our everyday lives and the
radical changes they are bringing about in our cultural landscape.

on the theme of AUDIO GAMES

On the occasion of the VILLETTE DIGITAL event to be held between 24 and
29 September 2002, the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, the Parc de
la Villette and the Cité de la Musique are organising a major
international online net art competition. There will be no entry fee for
this competition which will run from 1st May until midnight on the final
entry date of 30 July 2002 (Paris time). It will be open to all and will
reward the best work specifically designed for the Internet to
illustrate the theme of "audio games".

To participate, you must be at least eighteen years of age and complete
the online entry form at the Internet address below including a direct
Internet link (URL) pointing to the submitted work:

The planning committee will shortlist twenty competitors and post their
work without charge on the site.

The jury will be composed of professionals in the field of net art,
artists and representatives of various institutions : Sara Diamond (CA), Joshua Davis (US), Nathalie
Magnan (FR) Ensb-a Dijon, Miltos Manetas (US), Anne Roquigny (FR), Bruno Samper (FR), Guillaume Sorge (FR)

The jury will select three winners and the prizes will be presented on
29 September 2002 in the Grande Halle at la Villette.

The competition regulations will be available on the Internet for
consultation and printing at

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


**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

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 5.27.02
From: m e t a (meta AT
Subject: eccex - vectleu - aerc

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Leonardo Music Journal (LMJ) 11 includes a double audio CD, "Not
Necessarily 'English Music,'" curated by musician, composer, writer and
sound curator David Toop. The CDs feature pieces from pioneering U.K.
composers and performers from the late 60s through the mid-70s. Visit
the LMJ website at

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 5.28.2002
From: Marisa Olson (marisa AT
Subject: Hacktivism as High {Tech} Art
Keywords: surveillance, media activism, language

Currently on view at New York's New Museum of Contemporary Art is
"Open_Source_Art_Hack," a group show of artists poetically conflating
hacking with open-sourcing. There is, already, a bit of a hacker ethos
to open source. The idea that often commercially-valuable, always
laboriously-constructed codes should be openly accessible (openly
modifiable!) by all begs the invention of naughty plots à la Bruce
Sterling's 1993 cult classic, "The Hacker Crackdown." But the artists
in this show are not rerouting police emergency calls to phone- sex
lines or breathing heavily into payphone receivers to rip off Baby
Bells. They are co-opting existing means of surveillance or
surveillance-culture indoctrination to make new comments about life in
network culture. Incidentally, by participating in a major museum show,
they are also helping to launch "hacktivism" into the colloquy of
contemporary art...

On Sundays, in New York, the curious can take a walking tour of the
city's hidden cameras, led by members of the Surveillance Camera
Players. The group has mapped over half of the city's estimated ten
thousand strategically-placed cameras--though the total figure continues
to rise, following post-911 rally- cries for increased surveillance.
The Players have worked, through tours, performances, protests, and
other activities, to protect the rights of Americans, outlined under the
4th Amendment to the Constitution, "against unreasonable searches and
seizures." Americans, they say, have a right to observe those observing
them. This mantra plays out, self-reflexively, in all of the work
included in "Open Source Art Hack."

In SCP's case, the surveillance camera is treated like a television
camera, before which the group performs theatrical gems from George
Orwell's "Animal Farm" to Alfred Jarry's "Ubu Roi." After six years of
interventions, SCP has come to feel that passersby have become more
their audience than the police eyes trained on their target cameras, as
evidenced in protests in which members inform oblivious strollers that
they were being watched. Videos of these performances and walking-tours
comprise SCP's contribution to the show. Museum visitors (or otherwise
oblivious strollers) will find themselves peering in at the videos in
the museum's storefront window--an at-once typical site for the
investment of scopophilic energy and atypical site for the
museum-display of art.

Next to SCP's videos, and further inside the museum, are the Radical
Software Group's "Carnivore" clients. RSG's packet-sniffing machine
monitors the traffic on a selection of computers--in this case, those in
the museum's media lounge-- and visualizes the docking-sites and use of
pre-programmed keywords. Putting the "art" in "art hack," each RSG
client has created a unique interface for this visualization.
Particularly poignant is entopy8zuper's representation of active users
as globe-circling airplanes trudging a crash-and-burn path where logoffs
leave fiery pock-marks in an ambiguous web world. While "Carnivore" is
modeled after the FBI's surveillance engine, RSG-founder Alex Galloway
has shrugged off the typical hacker coat of arms, claiming to be more
interested in exploring positive models of observation than undermining
the state apparatus.

Here, RSG, like its "Open Source Art Hack" peers, reestablishes mimicry
as a beautiful, if scientifically-complex, form of defense. But what is
it that is being defended against? For starters, it's the infusion of
panoptic strategies into network culture. Whether it is packet sniffing
or search engine data- cataloguing, internet users are always-already
vulnerable to the search and display of their activities and
communication. Indeed, it is not just that Google is archiving one's
chat-group confessions, but the possibility that any and all future
actions might be monitored that invokes a Foucaultian digital
panopticon-an always-present eye casting an impact upon the moves we

LAN's "Tracenoizer" clone sites exploit the abundance of unfiltered
personal information online, creating sources of mis-information about
websurfers bearing a data-based resemblance (say, a similar name) to
"Tracenoizer" users. Filmmaker Harun Farocki, a welcome addition to the
cadre of what has become a too-tight nepotistic circle of "new media"
artists, explores these panoptic issues in his "Eye/Machine." Exposing
the means and motives by which war machines look, Farocki pairs
interviews of surveillance pilots with sample footage. The result is a
document of the constructed realities (read: visions) of war and the
impetus for incorporating military machinery into civilian life.

Both Knowbotic Research and Cue P. Doll have turned established search
mechanisms on their heads in creating alternative means of gathering
information about the world's major companies and organizations.
Knowbotic Research's entrancing installation has at its heart a portal
for the exposure of the crack- vulnerabilities of a public group's
server. Plastic containers flash and buzz with varying intensity--a
comment on the physicality of the firewall--as data rolls and pops on
screen, Vegas-style. Cue P. Doll's "CueJack" bites the tongue of the
"CueCat," a barcode scanner that delivers users at the door of retail
websites. "CueJack" also reads barcodes, but rather than touting the
many fine products for sale by the manufacturer of the item you've
scanned, "CueJack" takes you to a database of the corporate wrong-doings
and related boycotts of said retailer. Both Knowbotic Research's
installation and Cue P. Doll's scanner require readings with the body,
thereby making users corporeally complicit in the {art-} hack

Radioqualia calls for sonic participation in their "Free Radio Linux"
project. Artists Adam Hyde and Honor Harger have created an online and
on-air radio station in which a computerized voice reads the Linux
operating system code--an endeavor that will take years to complete.
"Free Radio Linux" is the ultimate self-reflexive case of artists
commenting on the character and relative complexities of existing
channels of representation, distribution, and interpretation. Their
project provides the sonic backdrop for the asking of several key
questions underscored by "Open Source Art Hack." Perhaps most important
is the question, "What is a code?"

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) defines it
as "a set of unambiguous rules specifying the manner in which data may
be represented in a discrete form." The fact that we use the same
four-letter word to describe a system of representation that we do to
refer to social norms (see dress "code") is less a matter of irony and
more an indication of the degree to which that system of representation
is a reflection of a dominant ideology. That special milieu we've named
"network culture" is no more than a percentage of the population at
large behaving and interacting in such a way as to self- reflexively
trace their patterns of protocol-driven activity. Seemingly mechanical
activity like the ping-pong game of one computer chatting with another
was scripted by humans who have been enculturated in a society in which
there exist elaborate codes of propriety and impropriety, in
communicative exchange, and where a sort of social Darwinism has
translated keeping up with the Joneses into keeping up with the OS's.
However phantasmatic the traces of these social scripts are upon
computer codes, their products are entirely tangible. Hacktivism, while
admittedly entrenched in recognizing--if not following--rules of
engagement, then seems a worthwhile means of attempting to dissect the
ideological apparatuses at play in this closed circle of coded

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 5.22.02
From: Olga Goriunova (og AT
Subject: read_me 1.2 winners and honorary mentions

read_me 1.2
software art / software art games
on-line: October-February 2001-2002
off-line: 18-19 of May, Moscow
Macros-center, Moscow

The jury (Amy Alexander, Florian Cramer, Cue P. Doll, RTMark and Alexei
Shulgin) voted to award prizes to three projects: DeskSwap, ScreenSaver,
and Textension. The term "software art" is a decidedly broad category,
and each of the awarded projects takes a very different approach to it.
The festival guidelines originally called for the awarding of first,
second and third prizes. However, the jury felt that ranking such
disparate projects with respect to one another would be artificial.
Therefore, in recognition of the fact that "software art" is not simply
one genre but encompasses a variety of approaches, the jury has decided
to dispense with the rankings and award each of the three selected
projects equivalent prizes. Since read_me 1.2 is one of the pioneering
festivals of software art we felt it necessary to open up the field
rather than to prematurely narrow it down. We consider software art to
be art whose material is algorithmic instruction code and/or which
addresses cultural concepts of software. For us this implies not
restricting software art to PC user applications, nor even just to
executable machine code. Each of the three winning projects fits our
concept of software art in a different way. Since we wanted to
communicate the scope and potential of software art as broadly as
possible, we gave, in addition to the three prizes, a total of five
honorary mentions: to Re (ad.htm, Tracenoizer, Carnivore, Portret of
President and WinGluk Builder. It should be said that very few of the
pieces submitted had any political or activist usefulness, although
several pretended to. While the jury appreciated the diversity of the
works entered, we were somewhat dismayed by the scarcity of political

+ + +

SCREEN SAVER by Eldar Karhalev and Ivan Khimin

Of the three awarded pieces, "Screen Saver" is the most challenging to
the concept of software and software art. At first glance, it doesn't
seem to be software in its own right. The piece consists of a simple
step-by-step instruction for configuring the screen saver of the
Microsoft Windows operating system. As a result, the PC is turned into a
display of a giant rectangle which slowly moves from the left to the
right corner of the screen and back, slightly modulating its color in
the process. This is a simple, elegant and beautiful piece. It could be
called a black square of digital art, but that wouldn't explain why it
is interesting as software. "Screen Saver" is software in at least two
respects: On the one hand, it shows that software art can be post- or
meta-software which, instead of being coded from scratch, manipulates
existing software, managing to turn it upside down even without much
technical sophistication. It reprograms Windows without employing
programmer's skills. On the other hand, its formal instruction for
misconfiguring the software is itself a software code. "Screen Saver"
thus shows that software doesn't have to be written in computer
programming languages. In an age of code abundance thanks to personal
computers and the Internet, Software Art no longer needs to design
algorithms from scratch, but can be disassemblings, contaminations and
tweaks of code found in the public. This makes contemporary software art
distinct from the computer-generative art of the 1950s to 1980s. "Screen
Saver" exemplifies this postmodern condition of software art in an
almost paradigmatic simplicity. It brings up such questions as: Are
there software readymades? Can non-programmers reprogram systems? Which
does limit or extend which, and what does prevail in the end; the
manipulation or the object manipulated, the artistic hack or Microsoft

Another proof of "Screen Saver" being software is the fact that,
although curious for the jury, its original authors have split over
different opinions and forked the codebase into two separate projects
(similar to programs like Emacs and XEmacs). The second was entered
under the name ".scr" to the competition; it differs from "Screen Saver"
only in its instruction to choose a different font in the Windows
screensaver setup. As a result, the rectangle doesn't slide from left to
right, but bounces in all four directions. We found this result inferior
to the more minimalist and hypnotic "Screen Saver". As in any program
code, one changed instruction can make a big difference. We therefore
feel it is justified that we award only "Screen Saver", not ".scr".

One final note: the jury noticed that "Screen Saver" breaks under
Windows XP. The rectangle becomes much smaller and only bounces in the
middle portion of the screen, thus destroying the effect. Like much
great art, "Screen Saver" is a real period piece.

+ + +

DESKSWAP by Mark Daggett

This is a program that critically considers the problem of the
standardization of personal computer users' workspaces. It allows you to
compare your desktop with desktops of other people, living in different
countries and speaking unknown languages. Each time you get terrified by
the consequences of globalization that manifest themselves in the
predetermined aesthetic solutions of your surroundings: sofa from IKEA,
wallpaper from Microsoft. The voyeuristic aspect of the project provides
a certain relief, which you experience looking at other people's
desktops: everything is ok, people are using their computers for the
same rubbish as you - same programs, same files and folders. But - maybe
"serious" users just don't have time to play around with strange
programs like Deskswap? Deskswap is made in a very simple and elegant
way; it doesn't pretend to be more than it is. It is effective,
interesting and very user-friendly. The program is used with great
pleasure by "normal" people (! not just by media art curators). That's
because Deskswap offers the possibility of communication in our time of
global alienation.

+ + +

TEXTENSION by Joshua Nimoy

In terms of aesthetic enjoyment, Textension is a clear winner. It is
delightful, exciting, fantastic to play with. It points in many
directions at once, suggesting that hypertext could be fun and beautiful
and profound in all kinds of new ways that it isn't today.
Interestingly, the way to this development is pointed out by the
typewriter, which produced beautiful things through the physical action
of metal. Textension is the first piece of software to pick up
effectively this very lost thread.

Note: The jury is sad that mode #9 does not have a "save" feature, in
which branching constructions could be stored by an author and reread by
readers, in a perpetuation of the author/reader model of literature;
zoom and rotate features would of course then also be nice.

+ + +


RE (AD.HTM by mez breeze

PORTRET OF PRESIDENT by Vladislav Tselischev




+ + +

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. If you value this
free publication, please consider making a contribution within your

We accept online credit card contributions at Checks may be sent to, 115
Mercer Street, New York, NY 10012. Or call us at +1.212.625.3191.

Contributors are gratefully acknowledged on our web site at

Rhizome Digest is supported by grants from The Charles Engelhard
Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for
the Visual Arts, and with public funds from the New York State Council
on the Arts, a state agency.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Rhizome Digest is filtered by Alex Galloway (alex AT
ISSN: 1525-9110. Volume 7, number 22. Article submissions to
list AT are encouraged. Submissions should relate to the theme
of new media art and be less than 1500 words. For information on
advertising in Rhizome Digest, please contact info AT

To unsubscribe from this list, visit

Subscribers to Rhizome Digest are subject to the terms set out in the
Member Agreement available online at