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: 9.13.02
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2002 18:27:10 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: September 13, 2002


1. Konrad Becker: Dark Markets Conference 3.+ 4.10.2002
2. nikola tosic: meet in a nice restaurant | istanbul | 18-19-20 october
3. Tilman Baumgärtel: install.exe - Jodi exhibition in Basel AT plug in

4. annette AT twinklepop*The Clientele

5. Mark Tribe: Nungu

6. David Mandl: Review of *CTRL [SPACE]*

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Date: 9.7.02
From: Konrad Becker (kb AT
Subject: Dark Markets Conference 3.+ 4.10.2002

-> Infopolitics, Electronic Media and Democracy in Times of Crisis

Dark Markets is a two day strategic conference that will look into the
state of the art of media politics, information technologies, and
theories of democracy. A variety of international speakers will inquire
into strategies of oppositional movements and discuss the role of new

Thursday 3 + Friday 4 October 2002

Conference by Public Netbase/t0 Vienna Concept: Geert Lovink (NL/AU),
Florian Schneider (DE), Konrad Becker (AT)

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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: 9.11.02
From: nikola tosic (nikola AT
Subject: meet in a nice restaurant | istanbul | 18-19-20 october

meet in a nice restaurant

location _ istanbul

time _ 18 19 20 october

is an event which consists of three dinners. goal is to connect people
who are related to new media. so far event took place two times in
milano, once in montpellier and once in roma. from 18th until 20th
october it is moving to istanbul. if you are a new media artist,
designer, programmer, manager, teacher, student, user or thinker and you
wish to participate please send bellow information to nikola AT

1) name?
2) position?
3) company?
4) email?
5) url?
6) contact phone?
7) city?
8) country?

location and prices of dinners and information about other activities
will be announced later to ones who register. for more information email
nikola AT

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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 at:

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Date: 9.13.02
From: Tilman Baumgärtel
Subject: install.exe - Jodi exhibition in Basel AT plug in


Sept. 18th, 7pm
Introduction by Tilman Baumgärtel and Annette Schindler

in [plug in] from September 18. till October 27. 2002

Exhibition-Finissage and Publication-Opening October 26. 2002, 9pm as a
part of VIPER 22 Internationa Festival fro Film Video and New Media

They simulate error messages, viruses, computer crashes. They overflow
your screen with never ending streams of colorful hieroglyphs. They
revitalize dead computer languages. Jodi's work is about what lies
behind the well known surface of the browser, its about the code. And
it is about the dialectics between humans and technology, between
controlling and beeing controlled: Jodi lets us experience these things,
makes us navigate though irritating systems and become aware of our own
blindness. Jodi finds a poignant visual language for these realities of
life. A language which comes across not only for computer nerds but also
for all of those of us who ever sat down at a computer.

Jodi (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans, Barcelona) were among the first
ones, who used the browser as an artistic tool. They succeeded in
developing a precise artistic language with digital means and to create
some substantial content with it. No one had set an example for them.
They were the ones to set standards and provide the reference.

With install.exe Jodi sabotages the supposed certainty that their art
can only take place on the internet: They present an exhibition in the
physical space of [plug in] as well as a print publication. For orthodox
approaches to net art this means breaking a taboo. For Jodi it's the
consequence of their disturbance-tactic.

Install.exe is the first comprehensive solo show of Jodis work, and
their first solo print publication. The project is a collaboration of
[plug in] Basel and network agent Tilman Baumgärtel from Berlin. As a
independent writer he publishes on media- and internet-culture and has
set standards on the mediation of netart with his two books
Materialien zur Netzkunst, Nürnberg 1999 und  Neue
Materialien zur Netzkunst/new materials on net art, Nürnberg 2001.

The print publication is designed by the young Swiss designer Rafael
Koch in close collaboration with Jodi. Flipping though the pages, the
book will show only Jodi-images at first sight. Inside the fold out
image pages the texts are to be found: Contributions in english and
german from Annette Schindler and Waling Boers, Tilman Baumgärtel,
Frederic Madre, Pit Schulz, Florian Cramer and Josephine Bosma. The book
is edited by [plug in], Tilman Baumgärtel and BüroFriedrich and
published by Christoph Merian Verlag, Basel. 112 pages, colour
illustrations, CHFr. 38.-, Euro 26.- plus shipping.

Jodi and Tilman Baumgärtel will be present at the opening of the
exhibition. For further informations or to set um a date for an
interveiw please contact [plug in], Annette Schindler, tel +41-(0)61-283
6050, email: asch

Guided tours:
Deutsch: Sat, Sept. 21. 7pm and Sat, Oct. 12. 4pm
Espanol: Wed, Sept. 25, 8pm
Italiano: Wed, Oct. 9th, 8pm
Francais: Wed. Oct. 16th, 8pm
Englisch: Sat. Oct. 19th, 8pm

[plug in], St. Alban-Rheinweg 64, 4052 Basel,
opening hours: Wed, 6pm-10pm; Thur  Sat, 6pm-8pm special opening hours
during Viper 22  International Festival for Film Videoo and New Media,
Oct. 23  27: daily noon - 8pm

install.exe / Jodi exhibition and publication have been generously
supported by: Kanton Basel-Stadt; Christoph Merian Foundation; Mondriaan
Foundation; Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation; Migros Kulturprozent and
Jacqueline Spengler Foundation, Fonds voor beeldende kunsten, vormgeving
en bouwkunst

Annette Schindler
[Plug in]
St. Alban-Rheinweg 64
CH - 4052 Basel
Tel: +41-61-283 60 50
Email: aschindler AT

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Date: 9.13.02
>From annette AT
Subject: twinklepop*The Clientele

twinklepop is proud to present this wonderously vibrant and pulsating

)) The Clientele's 'Joseph Cornell' (( animation by Gustavo Valgañón ::

Gustavo's site is home to a collection of slick traditional
animations, and the sexy morphing globules he calls "SpaceMath". But the
animation he's created for twinklePop is nothing like any that work.
It's completely fresh. An animated hommage to artist Joseph Cornell
who's work once prompted him do some serious thinking about the nature
of art.

Here are some of Gustavo's notes about Joseph Cornell's influence on his
ideas about art:

"The concept of art as the desire to own something that you think is
beautiful and hang it on the wall of your home for everyone to see. It
is not very useful to want to own that, but you develop an attraction
for it that is hard to explain. It has nothing to do with entertainment
or consumption. There is a certain transcendental factor in it because
by wanting to own it you want it to be a part of your life, grow with it
and show it to your grandchildren in future, wanting to preserve it for
future generations."

click "// style" in the twinklepop interface to read more of Gustavo's

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Date: 9.10.02
From: Mark Tribe (mt AT
Subject: Nungu

Greetings Rhizomers:

I am writing to follow up on the controversy surrounding one of our
commissioned projects, Telematic Surveillance by Nungu. In Nungu's
proposal site <[update[02]>, which was submitted by
Beatrice (Bea) Gibson, Nungu is described as a "fluid collective." The
proposal included a description of Nungu as a group, as well as Bea's
personal resume, but it did not list her other collaborators or describe
their involvement.

In early August, Bea notified us of her failure to credit her
collaborators and updated the proposal site with those names. She also
informed us that a former collaborator, Vishal Rawlley, would likely
contact us soon in an attempt to discredit her. On August 19, Vishal did
contact us. His email began: "This is to bring to your notice that Miss
Beatrice Gibson of in her grant application to Rhizome has
faked facts with the willful intent to cheat the grant authorities and
has thus been awarded the grant on a false basis." Vishal then went on
to explain how he felt exploited by Bea's actions.

In the days that followed, we received several emails in support of Bea
and several others in support of Vishal. Meanwhile, a discussion of the
matter ensued on the web site and on the Rhizome Raw email
list (the Fresh Texts page and the Raw list now mirror each other).
There were calls for me to make a public statement and I posted a
message saying that I had looked into the matter and did not believe
that Nungu had received the commission under false pretenses. This
statement was premature; I should have investigated more thoroughly
before drawing conclusions.

After sending that message, several people posted to the list, arguing
that we had not looked into the matter sufficiently and were not taking
it seriously. I then posted to the list to say that I would look into
the matter more carefully and report back, and began a more thorough
investigation. I contacted Vishal, Bea, every current or former Nungu
collaborator or contributor of whom I am aware, members of Serai (a new
media initiative based in Delhi that has worked with Nungu),
representatives of and the Daniel Langlois Foundation (both
have commissioned or are currently commissioning Nungu projects), and
the commission jurors.

I have now heard back from almost every current or former Nungu
collaborator and from the other parties mentioned above. It has been
difficult to gain a clear picture of the situation from this distance (I
am in New York, Bea is in London, Vishal and most of the other
collaborators are in India). I received many conflicting reports.
Although the current Nungu collaborators, and some of the former ones,
are supportive of Bea and of Nungu, many of the former collaborators are
not. Specifically, some former collaborators feel that Bea has exploited
or misappropriated their work to gain credibility for herself and win
commissions and grants.

This is of great concern to me and to We take these
accusations very seriously. It is, to say the least, a very complicated
and difficult situation. Although we in no way condone Bea's initial
failure to credit her collaborators, it is not our place to evaluate her
intentions. Commissions are awarded for future projects, not past work.
Proposals are evaluated on the merits of the proposed project. Work
samples are used primarily to evaluate the artist or group's ability to
successfully complete the proposed project. We do not believe that the
commission jury woud have acted differently had Bea adequately credited
her collaborators in the initial proposal. Bea has now updated the Nungu
resume and has admitted her mistake. Having concluded my investigation,
I do not feel it would be appropriate for to take any
further action or to involve ourselves further in any ongoing dispute
between current and former Nungu members.

Although supporting collaborations can be problematic--groups can break
up or get enmeshed in controversy--we remain committed to supporting the
work of collaborative groups through our commissioning program. In the
future, we will go to greater lengths to ensure that all members of
collaborative groups that we support are credited fairly and that
commissioned projects are not the subject of ongoing disputes.

The commissioned projects will launch on the web site on
September 30, and will be exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary
Art in New York from October 1 through November 3. We invite all current
and former Nungu collaborators to participate actively in the community and to send in proposals for the next round of
Rhizome commissions.

Sincerely Yours,

Mark Tribe

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Date: 9.9.02
From: David Mandl (dmandl AT
Subject: Review of *CTRL [SPACE]*


CTRL [SPACE]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother
Edited by Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Frohne, and Peter Weibel MIT Press/ZKM
Center for Art and Media (hardbound, 655 pp.)

Review by Dave Mandl

There's a certain thrill in having the odd rule to break, the occasional
shitty product to ostentatiously not waste your money on. In 2002,
dumping your TV set or eating food that hasn't had the taste and
nutrients removed is practically an act of sedition--making dinnertime
that much more fun. Hakim Bey's now-classic "Temporary Autonomous Zone"
(originally subtitled "The Pleasures of Disappearance") was an ode to
the joys of building a utopia in the System's own cracks, which were
still easy enough to find back in 1991. But what happens when food that
hasn't been genetically modified simply doesn't exist, when every hole
in the landscape has armed guards and an airport-style scanner stationed

While the infrastructure of the modern surveillance state has been
building up steadily since the dawn of the state itself, there's no
doubt that the curve has turned sharply upward in the past decade, with
the biggest spike of all coming in the short time since the events of
9/11. Power's gaze now reaches--often quite openly--into virtually every
corner of the populated world, not only public streets and living rooms,
but our own bodies and beyond. Is disappearance even remotely possible
anymore? Will privacy exist in any form ten years from now?

With uncanny timing, the exhibition "CTRL [SPACE]: Rhetorics of
Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother," an overview of decades of
artistic discourse about "the merits, uses, and limits of surveillance,"
opened at the Center for Art and Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany, in
October 2001. The exhibition's massive and beautifully produced
catalog, published this year, supplements the work from the show with
contributions by more than two dozen prominent theoreticians,
historians, social critics, and investigative reporters. Together,
these art works and essays form what is surely one of the most
wide-ranging looks at surveillance, its pleasures, and its horrors ever

Not surprisingly, much of the material here is unremittingly bleak.
Filmmaker Harun Farocki, who has made extensive use of footage taken
from prison surveillance cameras, talks about the total control and
dehumanization achieved by the technological systems employed in modern
prisons (which no longer even pretend to aim for "rehabilitation").
Prisoners' contact with humans is kept to an absolute minimum, with
iris-scanners checking their identities and electronic chairs subduing
them when necessary. Fights between prisoners are sometimes staged by
the guards, who bet on the outcome.

Timothy Druckrey's "Secreted Agents, Security Leaks, Immune Systems,
Spore Wars" details the nearly unlimited powers that the U.S. government
has granted itself in the wake of 9/11, and the new generation of
monitoring systems that are being developed or considered as a result:
face-scanning software (already used covertly on every attendee of the
last Super Bowl); National Identity cards; "DNA identification";
"tissue-based biodetectors"; etc. Journalist Duncan Campbell provides a
history and taxonomy of Echelon, the NSA's global spy system, which is
already capable of intercepting most of the world's satellite
coommunication, and will be able to do much more in a few years.

On a more positive note, every oppressive regime inspires a resistance
movement, and contemporary surveillance technology is no exception.
Druckrey relates how two marines became "genetic conscientious
objectors" by refusing to provide DNA samples to the Department of
Defense. Outdoor surveillance cameras are a favorite target of
resisters: Photographer Frank Thiel's series *City TV* reveals 101
"hidden" cameras on the streets of Berlin; the New York Civil Liberties
Union has blown the cover on most of New York's surveillance cameras
(2,397 of them) with an extensive map; and the Institute for Applied
Autonomy, also in New York, has created a web-based app, iSee, that will
create a "path of least surveillance" for you given the starting end
ending point of your journey. But will there *be* such a path when the
city is completely blanketed with cameras? Even worse, will jaded
pedestrians eventually find the cameras unremarkable? (Compare your
reaction the first time you saw an advertisement in a movie theater to
your reaction now.)

Other works in *CTRL [SPACE]* explore the possibilites of using the
machinery of surveillance for one's own ends, or simply rejoicing in the
liberatory "detournement" of oppressive technologies. Webcams naturally
make several appearances--the legendary JenniCam, Josh Harris's
ill-fated "We Live in Public"--as does Andy Warhol's obsessive
video-voyeurism. But Paul Virilio, who acknowledges the benefits of a
decentralized, worldwide network of web cameras, wonders whether this
network won't also allow for massive monitoring of the population (in
effect, inviting Big Brother into our own homes), not to mention
"universal advertising."

Subverting oppressive technologies is fun, healthy, and necessary under
extreme conditions--as any former citizen of the Soviet Union can
attest. A life of gloom-and-doom is no life. But resistance at the
source is equally important, especially in the post-9/11 world. While
*CTRL [SPACE]* makes no pretence of being an activist tool, it would be
nice to see more works in the collection by the Luddites of today (not
in the inaccurate sense of "anti-technology," but in the sense of
"anti-*oppressive*-technology"). Hacktivism, the Critical Art
Ensemble's Digital Resistance, the ultra-hard-line digital-privacy
activism of the Cypherpunks, and thousands of nameless "crackers" all
have an important place in this story.

[URL for the show:]

Dave Mandl
dmandl AT
davem AT

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Rachel Greene (rachel AT ISSN:
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