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: 8.02.02
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 14:02:07 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: August 2, 2002


1. Mark Tribe: Are Friends Electric?
2. Pall Thayer: New Project Online
3. Christiane Paul: Keith+Mendi Obadike - The Interaction of Coloreds
4. Christina McPhee: WIRED RUINS

5. are flagan: Read_Me - H2K2 HOPE Conference, Part 2

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Date: 07.27.02
From: Mark Tribe (mt AT
Subject: Are Friends Electric?


Hi. Starting today, Friday July 26, 2002, approximately four dozen
artists, writers, and musicians are posting online personal ads,
confronting the commercialization of personal relationships, exploring
the idea of online identities, and maybe trying to pick someone up. We
picked ( because of their overt
focus on a hipper, artier clientelle (not coincidentally a much-covetted
marketing demographic). You can find the ads by doing a search for
³afe_². Considering that we are not affiliated with, there is
the possibility that the ads will be taken down, so we plan to archive
them here in the next few days.

You can try to sign in to Nerve using name: afe_guest Password:

If you have any comments, please be sure to join the discussion in the
message board.

Your ?friends¹,

Giovanni Garcia-Fenech and Jody Hughes

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Date: 07.31.02
From: Pall Thayer (pall AT
Subject: New Project Online

The Intercontinental Spontaneous Jam Session is a new project by Pall
Thayer. The project explores abstract imagery via a multi-user musical
web interface. It was first presented (half finished) at the Atlantic
Cultural Space conference in Canada in May. Thanks to the kind efforts
of and the Icelandic Academy of the Arts, it is now
accessible online at

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Date: 08.01.02
From: Christiane Paul (Christiane_Paul AT
Subject: Keith+Mendi Obadike - The Interaction of Coloreds

The Interaction of Coloreds
Keith+Mendi Obadike

artport gate page August 02

Websafe colors aren't just for webmasters. Register with the IOC Color
Check System® and protect your online community from unwanted visitors.

IOC Color Check System®

Hyper-Race® Based Solutions for the Discriminating e-Business

What smart consumers and savvy e-businesses know but few can afford to
admit is that there is still a link between skin color and money. It has
become increasingly difficult for businesses to track color. The
problems increase exponentially when we enter the shifty and sometimes
dark world of e-commerce.

In the good old days we had methods like the tried and true brown paper
bag test. But in this fast-paced, ever-changing world of e-commerce and
online communities, who can afford the time and embarrassment of taking
or administering a brown paper bag test in public? The Interaction of
Coloreds Color Check System® is your answer!


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**MUTE MAGAZINE NO. 24 OUT NOW** 'Knocking Holes in Fortress Europe',
Florian Schneider on no-border activism in the EU; Brian Holmes on
resistance to networked individualism; Alvaro de los Angeles on and Andrew Goffey on the politics of immunology. More AT

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Date: 08.02.02
From: Christina McPhee (christina112 AT

please forward
apologies for cross posting.......

Wired Ruins: Digital Terror and Ethnic Paranoia (Issue 3)

Reacting to the complex horrors of terrorism while resisting the
surveillance regimes of the disciplinary state, "Wired Ruins" invites
its users to intermix critically with projects in three
interactive databases: "Digital Terror: Ghosting 9-11," "Ethnic
Paranoia, before and beyond," and "Rewiring the Ruins." Resisting the
repression of the new age of censorship, "Wired Ruins" presents digital
and viral networks of ethnic identities that emit faint signals for
recognition among the overlapping diffusions of cultural angst and
digital terror.

Herman-Peled, Tracey Benson, Jay Murphy & Isabelle Sigal, xiix, Lewis
LaCook, Davin Heckman, Robert Hunter & Guilermo Aritza, Dror Eyal &
Stacy Hardy, David Golumbia, Jason Nelson, Dirk J. Platzek & Han Gene
Paik, Tobias van Ween & Alex Bell, Andrew Hieronymi & Tirdad Zolghadr,
Christina McPhee, and Jason Nelson.

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Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA) publishes monthly issues exploring the
work of contemporary artists, scientists, developers of new media
resources, and other practitioners working at the intersection of
art,science and technology. Subscribe now

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Date: 7.25.02
From: are flagan (areflagan AT
Subject: Read_Me: H2K2 HOPE Conference, Part 2

Read_Me, Part 2

H2K2 ­ HOPE Conference, July 12-14, Hotel Pennsylvania, NYC, New York

One of the most vocal sessions came in the form of ³Crypto for the
Masses,² a panel compiled of Matt Blaze, Greg Newby, Anatole Shaw and a
fourth unknown party who declined the honors of putting HOPE on the
resume. It sought to investigate methods whereby personal identity,
anonymity and the right to privacy may be preserved in a network
environment, and furthermore to discuss the hurdles faced by crypto and
its adopters. After covering the tried and tested, but somewhat hard to
implement for the less computer literate, PGP (Pretty Good Privacy)
schemes that are in the process of disappearing, the encryption built
into Web browsers became a topic. Primarily developed to satisfy a
consumer demand for secure credit card processing, it was deemed
laughable from a security point of view. More show than tell, it is
primarily there to lend an appearance of security, and the panelists
unanimously agreed that it is, perhaps unbeknownst to most computer
users, rather pointless to embed security into an otherwise insecure
environment, such as, to quote the favorite hacker example, the Windows
operating system. Metaphorically and simplistically speaking it amounts
to installing a steel door in a paper building.

Privacy, however, loves company and the question is if encryption is
really needed or desired for the vast majority of byte transactions that
take place over the Internet daily. It is a public space and most people
want to be seen and heard while browsing and expressing themselves in
its passages. While few disagree with this sentiment, it becomes
problematic when encryption is by design denied some, like regular
computer users, and made available to others, like government. Failed
government schemes like Key Escrow, which was outlined by Matt Blaze in
the session ³Educating Lawmakers: Is it Possible?,² speaks of an
authoritarian paranoia that is afraid of encryption on the grounds that
it will deny (it) access to information. Key Escrow involved the
prototype production of a Clipper chip with a proprietary encoding
algorithm embedded that moreover demanded all encryption keys to be
passed on to the NSA through a backdoor.

In the ³Crypto for the Masses² panel Blaze had already made a strong
case for why widely available encryption might be a good thing all
around. Recognizing that the Internet will always be the subject of
surveillance, he suggested that encryption would only slightly diminish
surveying powers by crucially demanding that agents take an extra step
to access this type of information. On the flipside, and to the benefit
of those collecting what in their view amounts to evidence, more
sensitive information will arguably be passed along encrypted channels
over the Internet, which will make it open to a subpoena.

But if it is at all possible to educate lawmakers about such pros and
cons was perhaps inadvertently answered by fellow panelist and
journalist Declan McCullagh ( with his hilarious,
and equally shocking, anecdotes about ignorance in D. C. How about the
legislative body of Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, that
let out a squeamish scream when the word mouse crept into the technology
dialog and was mistaken for a stray rodent? And as Lamar Smith, a
Republican from Texas and the sponsor of the Cyber Security Enhancement
Act passed by the House of Representatives on July 15 (the CSEA imposes
the possibility of life sentences for ³reckless² hackers), commented
earlier this year: "Until we secure our cyber infrastructure, a few
keystrokes and an Internet connection is all one needs to disable the
economy and endanger lives?A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet
or a bomb." Somehow, and perhaps not so surprisingly, the
instrumentality of knowledge and education has been replaced by a
somewhat irrational fear of plastic pointing devices (that are easily
confused with furry animals, or weapons of mass destruction).

A heated-to-the-point-of-boiling discussion that crept across both
security-related panels was the forthcoming introduction of the
Microsoft Palladium standard. Essentially an updated version of the
principles employed by the failed Key Escrow plan, it involves, through
an already ongoing collaboration with the chip manufacturer Intel, the
implementation of hardware controls under what has been billed as a
³trusted² computing platform. Problem is that you may as well pay a lot
less and get a nice color TV that remains similar in scope and is less
hostile to its owner. Microsoft and its cohorts will essentially decide
what you may or may not do with your machine, and it is not even a
qualified guess to suggest that built-in monitoring and digital rights
management will fit the bills that support the unilateral trust being
built here. While the science of the project was described as retarded
by those in the know, it will of course adversely affect how the
majority of users experiences computers in the not so distant future.
Put succinctly, the Microsoft advertising slogan of ³Where do you want
to go today?² becomes even more of a dumb rhetorical question. A
contention was offered, however, that owners would hate their dictating
machines with such vigor that widespread tinkering with the control
mechanisms will turn the end-user population as a whole into ³hackers²
and launch a new, open collectivity in computing. Similar concerns were
expressed with regards to privacy. If there were a serious spill of some
proportion, consumers would demand cryptography applications to protect
their identities and communications, if and when desired. Both
projections resound as feasible, but it would certainly be preferable to
bypass potential bankruptcy or disaster and go straight to the decent
and desirable products that respectfully take their owners and users
into account.

Hackers have always believed that computers and technology have a vast
potential to make people¹s lives better. But rather than dwelling on
cyberpunk utopias and futuristic projections of the lofty metaphysical
kind, hackers have developed the skills to actually approach this
fundamental premise from a very pragmatic angle. Hacking is not, at its
philosophical and practical core, a destructive enterprise, but rather a
directed quest for the improvement of existing systems. Given how
central the cause is for the application of knowledge and skills, there
were a number of talks that addressed, as already noted, the current
network environment in analogous relation to society at large.


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