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: 9.27.02
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 23:14:17 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: September 27, 2002


1. Alena Williams: ArtBase Intern

2. Joseph Nechvatal: media_city seoul 2002
3. d-i-n-a: Barcelona *digital-is-not-analog AT CCCB*

4. ricardo dominguez: Blasting War on THING Review

5. ryan griffis: review, "Day Jobs"

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6. Jonah Brucker-Cohen: Report from Ars Electronica

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Date: 9.20.02
From: Alena Williams (alena AT
Subject: ArtBase Intern

Rhizome is seeking an intern for the Rhizome ArtBase, our online
preservation archive of new media art.

Intern will assist the ArtBase Coordinator in the processing of art
projects in the archive, including the indexing of accepted projects
with keywords and other metadata, and maintaining correspondence with
artists as needed via email.

We are looking for someone who is detail-oriented, uses language with
great precision, and has a strong interest in the emerging field of new
media preservation.

Our ideal candidate has had some prior experience in archiving artworks
in a museum or library setting and working with databases, as well as a
basic understanding and knowledge of new media art, metadata standards
and practices, and Internet technologies.

To apply, please email a detailed cover letter and resume to Alena
Williams, ArtBase Coordinator at alena AT

Hours: 5-10 hours per week, scheduling flexible
Notes: Off-site, unpaid

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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: 9.25.02
From: Joseph Nechvatal (joseph_nechvatal AT
Subject: media_city seoul 2002

Concept: media_city seoul 2002
Exhibition Overview

1. Title: media_city seoul 2002
2. Period: September 26, 2002 ~ November 24, 2002 (60 days)
3. Place: Seoul Museum of Art
4. Main Theme: Luna¹s Flow
5. Organizer: media_city Team within Seoul Museum of Art
6. Sponsor: Ministry of Culture and Tourism
7. Artists: 80 media artists (about 35 domestic artists and 45
international artists)
8. Contents: Digital Sublime, Cyber Mind, Luna¹s Children,
Luna Nova
9. Events: Opening Reception, International Symposium,
Seminars, Weekly Events?etc.
10. Artistic Director: Wonil Rhee

List of Participating Artists
1. Takashi Kokubo (Japan)
2. Atsuhiro Itoh (Japan)
3. Yasuhiro Suzuki (Japan)
4. Atsuko Uda (Japan)
5. Cao Fei (China)
6. Wang Guofeng (China)
7. Dai Guangyu (China)
8. Yuang Goang-Ming (Taiwan)
9. (Singapore)
10. Craig Walsh (Australia)
11. John Tonkin (Australia)
12. Sean Kerr (New Zealand)
13. Peter Robinson (New Zealand)
14. Jennifer Steinkamp (USA)
15. Joseph Nechvatal (USA)
16. Claude Wampler (USA)
17. Eduardo Kac (USA)
18. Ken Feingold (USA)
19. Michael Naimark (USA)
20. Paul Johnson (USA)
21. Robert Lazzarini (USA)
22. Melik Ohanian (France)
23. Jean-Francois Moriceau & Petra Mrzyk (France)
24. Knowbotic Research (Switzerland)
25. Andrew Olssen (England)
26. Sabino D¹Argenio (Italy)
27. Eva Sternram (Sweden)
28. Thomas Stricker (Germany)
29. Wolfgang Herbolt (Germany)
30. Haluk Akakce (Turkey)
31. MVRDV (The Netherlands)
32. Miltos Manetas (Greece)
33. Francois Curlet (Belgium)
34. ANTENNA (Sweden/Japan)
35. Nelson Henricks (Canada)
36. Katarzyna Kozyra (Poland)

The main concept of media-city seoul 2002 is "Luna¹s Flow". The Media
is compared to the Moon to view the Media and new Technology not as the
means of "Conquest" but as a tool to "rebuild" our lost romance. The
Media¹s emotional aura with aesthetic imagination is to be suggested in
a paradoxical and Neo-Renaissant point of view, through which the loss
of the Moon will be cured and the dream of Neo-Transcendentalism will
be redeemed on the glaring magic box of the Electro-Regime.

For all mankind, the moon had played its role as Utopia offering
ceaseless inspirations for myths and legends. Strictly speaking,
however, this owes to the light reflected on the moon rather than the
moon itself. Although what is actually seen is only a reflection of
another source of light, we never bore any doubt about its existence.
It means that we have been projecting our hopes and wishes towards the
illusion. In a broad sense, this is the procedure of a huge simulation
where a Simulacrum of groundless image exceeds the reality as
Baudlliard describes.

The process of communication between the human being and the moon is
like the narcissistic loop explained by MacLuhan, that occurs in TVs
and Close Circuits of screens. Illusions produced in the procedure are
maximized due to such narcissistic characteristic of the loop and
finally surpass the reality. Also, this process of communication
carries the quality of the Cybernetic Feedback Loop that occurs through
the Computer¹s Mechanism of Control. This reminds us of the Child¹s
Captivation in the Image in the Mirror Stage illustrated by Lacan, i.e.
the communication process is similar to the phenomenon of Feedback Loop
which can be found in a child who is captivated by its own reflection
in a mirror. However, actual presence is absent in it and this is one
of the characteristics of the simulation of Baudlliard.

As the moon has always been a resource of Utopian fantasies filled with
myths and legends for the humankind, the exhibition space of media_city
seoul 2002 aspires to provide a dream of Terre Nova: the whole new
world which hasn¹t been yet reached, still imbued with the mystery of
the moon. It will be the beginning point of intellectual explorations
to discover the fragments of transcendental experiences in the
mysterious settings of the "Techno" not in the traditional space of

media_city seoul 2002 sets its aesthetic direction towards the "Cyber
Sublime". This is to bring up the idea of Neo-Transcendental Utopia as
a main discourse in the Cyber Space that is compared to the Moon. The
Sublime in the Cyber Space as an inscrutable realm of mystery has a
different axis from that of the Modernist concept suggested by Lyotard.
The new experience of the Cyber Space bears some similarity with Neil
Armstrong¹s experience of the transcendental Sublime on the moon that
is beyond words. Although the fantasy of the Lunar Utopia that had been
long cherished by the humankind was shattered down with Neil
Armstrong¹s first step to the moon (the object of simulacra as a
groundless image, as Baudlliard puts), i.e. even after the reality was
revealed, he still felt some inexplicable Sublime of transcendence in
the cosmic space. In this context, as William Gibson describes the
world of virtual reality through the "Neuromancer", we dream of a new
Sublime where Neo-Transcendental grounds exceed the Basic Reality by
comparing the Cyber Sublime to the transcendental Sublime of the moon.
Therefore, this exhibition towards the Cyber Space with dreams of the
Transcendence will be the journey to discover and explore the new
grandeur Sublime beyond the Lunar Utopia by examining phenomena and
potentiality of Neo-Transcendental sensibility.

Wonil Rhee
Artistic Director
media_city Seoul 2002

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Date: 9.26.02
From: d-i-n-a (dina AT
Subject: Barcelona *digital-is-not-analog AT CCCB*

*digital-is-not-analog AT CCCB* art, surveillance, hacktivism, culture
jamming, construction of the present // 4 meetings

October 4-5, November 9-10 2002

Centro de Cultura Contemporanea Barcelona (CCCB)
calle Montalegre 5 - Barcelona, Spain

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Digital-is-not-analog AT CCCB: a series of 4 meetings organized in
conjunction by d-i-n-a collective ( and the CCCB

The focus of the meetings is on 4 projects started in the last few
years, that standed out for their unexpected and provocative
infiltration within contemporary communication technologies and styles.
The four invited guests are Surveillance Camera Players (New York),
Ubermorgen (Wien/Sofia), Casseurs de Pub (Lyon) and Electronic
Disturbance Theater (New York).

Since the mid 90s, the wide diffusion of basic digital communication
tools and their exploitation made new forms of creation possible within
the aesthetical and social innovation processes. While different
cultures such as social activism, visual and performance arts, radical
and utopic research on electronical media always shared a largely common
(but often unacknowledged) background, in the 90s they experimented new
connections on a technological basis. The result today are projects that
may be classified by different labels (hacktivism, tactical media,
culture jamming between others), but that perform a similar way of
acting as viral entities in the contemporary mediascape.

Digital-is-not-analog AT CCCB is meant to give the opportunity of meeting
some of the protagonists of that scene (some them are presenting their
work for the first time in Barcelona), but it also aims to be a
contribution in the very identification of that emerging scene.

The 4 meetings are part of the local events program in preparation of
the Next5Minutes 4 festival, Amsterdam, May 2003 (

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Friday Oct 4th, 22h
Centro de Cultura Contemporanea - Sala Mirador

Saturday Oct 5th, 22h
Centro de Cultura Contemporanea - Sala Mirador
Hans_extrem from UBERMORGEN

Saturday Nov 9th, 22h
Centro de Cultura Contemporanea - Aula 1
Benjamin Brugère from CASSEURS DE PUB

Sunday Nov 10th, 22h
Centro de Cultura Contemporanea - Aula 1

The 4 nights will be opened by ARCHIVO BABILONIA, a video documentation
project about everyday media visionaries, freaks and (mis)users,
collected and edited by OVNI Archives, Barcelona (

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mailto:dina AT

Local infos: CCCB (+34)933064100 //
Press Office: Monica Muñoz mailto:mmunoz AT

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Date: 9.24.02
From: ricardo dominguez (rdom AT
Subject: Blasting War on THING Review

Blasting War
Text of a Paper Delivered at
Digital Terror: An International Workshop of Artists and Scholars
Sponsored by Ctheory Multimedia and the Rose Goldsen Lecture Series
Cornell University
September 21, 2002
by Patricia R. Zimmermann - 09/26/2002
THING.Reviews [columns]

I want to thank Professor Tim Murray for inviting all of us to this
Digital Terror Workshop. It is an honor to be among artists and scholars
who are, together, working to interrupt the networks, codes, and
representations of war and terror to imagine that in some unknowable
future, our work may not be necessary. It is also wonderfully reassuring
in these isolating, churning times to undertake this session with my
friend and comrade Professor Rebecca Schneider. Thank you, Tim and the
late Rose Goldsen, a tireless media dissident, for convening us.

Mohsen Mahkmalbaf, one of the important lyrical film directors of the
Iranian new wave, published a powerful essay in Monthly Review last year
called The Limbs of No Body. He described the destruction of Afghanistan
over the last twenty years. The body of the world amputated Afghanistan.
In this time of digital terror, various email snooping and commercial
digital data mining technologies have been justified and mobilized by
the USA Patriot Act. The digital in this paranoid, authoritarian era is
being used to disembody and to disempower. Today, I want to turn this
around to reembody and reempower our politics, our analysis, our
digitality, our critical art. Therefore, we must resist any and all
architectures of disembodiment which remove labor from manufacturing in
the global economy, war from geography, privacy from security, gender
from race, dissent from justice. These ideas, and all of us gathered
here today, are limbs of one body, the phrase over the portal to the
United Nations.

Our point of reference in this chaotic, endlessly morphing swirl of
phantasmatic nationalist discourse is quite simple: we are dead, or we
are alive. We must issue a call to humanity, not as some universalized
abstraction, but as a specific dialogic action across and with
difference. We must look to our humanity in and with others across the
globe, and find them human. And we must look to the dead, everywhere,
not just here, and forge connection. The people dead from AIDS in
sub-Saharan Africa each day equal the dead of two September 11ths. We
need to see, to really see, and then to see more, through a digital
viewing of all of the complicated, messy, invisible politics that evades
us. We can choose: we are limbs of no body. Or we are limbs of one body.

More *Blasting War* on

Don't Forget to Also Check Out:

"The Pinochet Case"
Directed and written by Patricio Guzmán
First Run Icarus Films
110 min, 2001
Showing at Film Forum
September 11th - 24th, 2002
John Menick - 09/17

The Pleasure of Language
Text and art in the Netherlands
Media Art Institute/Montevideo/Time Based Arts
Keizersgracht 264, Amsterdam
August 24 - September 28, 2002
A review
Josephine Bosma - 09/05

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Date: 9.25.02
From: ryan griffis (grifray AT
Subject: review, "Day Jobs"

³Day Jobs²
New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA

³? we live in a society that is increasingly shaped by events in
cyberspace, and yet cyberspace remains, for all practical purposes,
invisible? the most dynamic and innovative region of the modern world
reveals itself to us only through the anonymous middlemen of interface
design.² Steven Johnson (Interface Culture)

³... if network_art_activism begins to establish stronger ties with the
previous generations of artists who have faced the dismantling of the
political in art ­ both in the North and the South ­ so that this very
immature form which is can gain a sense of history about
institutional critique, in order to develop both a deeper aesthetic and
historical knowledge about what other artists have done before history
was erased by the digital hype.² Ricardo Dominguez (interview with Coco
Fusco, Mute Magazine)

³Day Jobs,² the new show of networked art at San Fran¹s New Langton
Arts, represents the work of four web-based artists in an attempt to
contextualize current production. This is accomplished
(arguably) by contrasting and comparing these artists¹ works performed
as employment against that done with artistic intentions. The stated
goal is to define as a definitive genre, one closely related to
(dependent on?) the more overtly commercial applications of the Web. In
³Day Jobs,² the works are to be represented in a novel manner (sans the
usual art historical lineage model)- in order ³to shed light on the
influences and conditions in which digital media art in created.² The
connections established between the two different aspects of new media
production (art and industry), however, seem dependent on the same
traditional personality-based readings familiar to art history. So, what
we end up with is a strangely decontextualized reading of both the
³commercial² and ³artistic² products in question.

The works of Maya Kalogera and Jody Zellen seem to fit the curator¹s
model most aptly, as their work has some of the traditional notions of
separation between day and night jobs. Here, we¹re presented with the
familiar story of the artist-craftsperson dichotomy, where the worker
utilizes similar skills in the pursuit of different objectives. In this
instance, the web designer adapts images, code, and style from one
endeavor to assist in the creativity of the other. The artists¹ roles as
both artist and craftsperson is narrated by ³Day Jobs² with a
biographical tone ( ), speaking of the
positive influence each part of their professional lives benefits from
the other. I can¹t help but see the resemblance between this
construction of new media workers (paint monkeys and programmers) and
the older vision of the creative individual amongst the otherwise
anonymous workforce. Bringing capitalism¹s (and the art world¹s) fetish
for individualism and creativity as productive byproducts of competition
into the digital age.

The other two artists in the show present a more problematic instance of
net.workers for the exhibit, but still become consumed by the drive for
normalization, and in some ways assist it. Valery Grancher is
represented on the one hand by a project completed for UC Berkeley¹s Art
Museum with student participation, and on the other by a project to
archive lectures by Roland Barthes. Interestingly, much emphasis is
placed on a contract developed by Grancher to sell the Berkeley project
to the school. The person archiving some of Barthes work, the author of
Death of the Author, is credited with developing a means for net.artists
to be recognized as authors. Whatever the specifics are for Grancher¹s
contract and its relationship to ³community², this brings closer
to previous forms of art ­ that is, more like a tradable commodity with
all the trappings ( ).

Mark Tribe, the originator of, is represented by that
project as both instances in the artist¹s professional life. Referencing
Joseph Beuys¹ practice of ³social sculpture,² Tribe makes the separation
between work, play, and politics the subject of discussion. The ³work²
is both the concept and execution of Rhizome as artwork and as a
functioning non-profit, with stakes being real for both. Not unlike
other versions of social sculpture, Mierle Ukeles and the Christos comes
to mind, the work is as much in the social network as in the tangible
things produced. But there are some conceptual problems here, not just
with Tribe¹s work, but with the concept and practice of social sculpture
in general, at least the dominant versions of it. The notion that an
artist can perform the same work done by many, while claiming notoriety
and novelty seems a bit patriarchal ­ the artist becomes self-conscious
CEO. In the least, it seems to overlook the status required for such a
transformation of labor into something with both symbolic and exchange
value. This is not to say that the practice can¹t be useful, only that
it raises new problems in its attempt to deal with others, and is often
cloaked in neo-utopian rhetoric.

The major question I have regarding ³Day Jobs² is: ³Why make the
distinction between artwork and employment at all?² How new of an
approach can it be to separate the work done by artists based on whether
or not it¹s employment. How do commissions fit in, especially since more
and more net.artists (at least the big names) produce in such a manner.
And what about the growing shift in programming labor from the
North/West to the recolonized South/East and the art reverberating in
between that reality.

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Date: 9.24.02
From: Jonah Brucker-Cohen (jonah AT
Subject: Report from Ars Electronica

Report from Ars Electronica
Linz, Austria
September 7 - 12, 2002

If you walked barefoot into the lounge at the O.K. center in Linz this
week, you might think you reached the beach of the future. Instead of
sand, millions of tiny plastic beads lined the floor of this blacklight
neon room with low cushions and a fleet of laptops displaying net art
projects. This year's Ars Electronica took the theme "Unplugged: Art as
the Scene of Global Conflicts" a metaphor for the state of post 9/11
artistic practice amid an international climate of political tension
surrounding globalization, terrorism, and threats of war. As it was my
first visit to Ars, I tried to inhale as much stimuli as possible
without suffering my own blue screen of death.

The festival consisted of 8 venues scattered throughout the
smog-infested, small town of Linz. The museum built specifically for
electronic art, the Ars Electronica Center (AEC), is a fairly antiseptic
space, and this year hosted the "Hidden Worlds" exhibit featuring Golan
Levin's "Hidden Worlds of Noise and Voice." An augmented reality
simulation that pinpoints the location of audible sounds and through
display goggles renders 3D worm-like colors emanating from the source of
the sounds. The project gave everything from high-pitch squeals to bass
thumping burps a virtual counterpart. Also at AEC was Motoshio Chikamori
and Kyoko Kunoh's "Tools Life" an interactive installation consisting of
various tools (e.g., hammers, cheese graters) that launch animations in
the object's shadow when touched. The focus of the work was to
illuminate and display invisible data layers moving within physical

The more spacious O.K. Center hosted the honorable mentions and winners
in the CyberArts category, which focused on themes of simulation and
representation. Golden Nica winner, David Rokeby's "n-cha(n)t" asked
what it would sound like if a network of computers chanted in unison -
computers hanging from the ceiling use speech recognition technology to
transform visitor's vocal input into lyrics. Taking telepresence to
sonic heights, was Atau Tanaka and Kasper Toeplitz's "Global String," a
long steel cable stretching from floor to ceiling connected to another
cable's resonant sound frequencies over the Internet. Also inspired by
physical movement through spatial mapping, "Body Brush" developed by a
group from Hong Kong, generated a colorful 3D landscape through "Digital
Action Painting" where visitors could dance on the floor while their
movements and gestures are tracked in space. The crowd pleaser was
Volker Morawe and Tilmann Reiff's "PainStation", a rendition of Pong in
an armored cabinet where users have to place their hands on elements
that quickly heat up or be whipped by motorized strings if they miss the
ball with their paddle. In effect, the threat of physical harm provided
a compelling incentive to engage strangers in the game.

The festival's defining strength seemed to be embedded in the energy and
rawness of the performances. Japan's 66b/cell group upstaged most of the
events with its epic show at the Peter Behrens Haus featuring alien-like
costume design, embedded LED clothing, perfect projection
synchronization with dance moves, techno beats, and a dancer painted in
gold with long spikes emanating from the tips of his fingers. Similarly,
"Vivisector" by Klaus Obermaier and Chris Haring featured dancers moving
within video projections and shifting their bodies to distort and shape
incoming light movements. Rounding out the live events was the
"Gameboyzz Orchestra Project", a collection of six on-stage
practitioners creating 8-bit console sounds through customized
sequencers connected to drum machines.

The symposium's focus on global conflict and media representation post
9/11 turned into a backlash against the political motivations of the
exhibited art. Was the art political? Did it have a social message? If
so, does this quality make it more or less valuable? Of the winners,
Rafael-Lozanner Hemmer's full scale "Body Movies" installation addresses
the relational structures between urban landscapes and the people
inhabiting them. His project raised the questions: "What is a city
today? When does it begin an when does it end?" The answer seems to be
based more on psychology than physical boundaries since everyone who
answered seemed to have a different opinion. In Net Vision, RSG's
Carnivore project looked at the political junction of art and government
surveillance and how public networks can be manifested through artistic
output with real-world input. Also looking at public space was It's
Alive's mobile phone, location-based, pervasive game "Bot-Fighters,"
which tracks the relative position of people through a city, and engages
them in a combat simulation as a robot avatar. Basing game play on fears
of surveillance and tracking, the project transforms public space into a
recreational arena similar to earlier, localized games like Laser-Tag.

Ars Electronica, billed as the decisive festival for digital creativity,
remains an important milestone for artists working in this realm.
Despite its ambition to be a global leader in the recognition of digital
arts, Ars seems still receptive to having artists develop its identity.
Whether it's sifting through packets of people's email in the
Brucknerhaus with Carnivore or relaying spliced audio and data clips
throughout the city with the Radiotopia project, there's a major attempt
to use the existing infrastructure of the city and its inhabitants for
creative realization. In the digital domain, the aesthetic pressures of
the professional art world are present but less obtrusive. There's still
no Michelangelo of digital art and that's a good thing. It might be
because the promise of artistic perfection is only upstaged by the
realization that failure is more interesting.

Jonah Brucker-Cohen | Sugar House Lane
Research Fellow | Bellevue
Media Lab Europe | Dublin 8, Ireland
(w) +353 1 4742853 (m) +353 1 087 7990004

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