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: 10.04.02
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 15:52:36 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: October 4, 2002


+editor's note+
1. Rachel Greene: Net Art Commissions + Community Campaign

2. ISEA: ISEA General Meeting at ISEA2002
3. Anna Kindvall: Electrohype 2002

5. Jessica Irish: Columbus Day week

6. Ken Jordan, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid: Freeze
Frame [Part 1]

7. matthew fuller: simon pope- art for networks

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Date: 10.04.02
From: Rachel Greene (rachel AT
Subject: Net Art Commissions + Community Campaign

Rhizome just launched its 2002 Net Art Commissions at! Find out about our Commissioning Program
there, as well as about this year's premises, alt.interface and Tactical
Response. Visit the projects from your CPU, or stop by the New Museum of
Contemporary Art's Zenith Media Lounge through November 3, if you're in

e're still plugging away with our annual Community Campaign. If you're
loving Digest, Commissions, or other Rhizome resources, please make a
contribution at any level. Small donations make a difference, and all
donors are recognized for their support: $10 = an email address
AT; $25 = a Yael Kanarek mousepad; $50 = a T-shirt
(they're really cool -- designed by Cary Peppermint), and $250 = a laptop backpack. We gratefully accept secure online credit
card contributions or donations via PayPal at . You can also send a check or
money order to, 115 Mercer Street, New York NY 10012. Money
orders can be in any currency. Let's make the Rhizome network

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http::// From "Aesthetics of Communication" to Net Art
November 29th - December 2nd 2002

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Date: 10.2.02
From: ISEA (aplohman AT
Subject: ISEA General Meeting at ISEA2002

ISEA General Meeting at ISEA2002 in Nagoya, Japan

October 31, 2002

2pm - 4pm at Nagoya Harbor Hall, Nagoya, Japan

ISEA, the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts, cordially invites you
to its General Meeting at ISEA2002 in Nagoya, Japan. This occasion will
bring together ISEA members and non-members who are interested in
learning more about current ISEA projects as well as the future
development of the organization. Representatives from the ISEA Board and
all ISEA committees will be in attendance. Issues to be discussed
include an evaluation of ISEA2002, ISEA2004, a call for new Symposium
Host Candidates (ISEA2005, ISEA2006), the development of the ISEA web
site, and more.

If you are interested in participating and contributing your ideas about
ISEA and its activities, please join us.

Feel free to distribute this announcement among your colleagues and
other interested parties.

More information about ISEA2002 in Nagoya, Japan is available at

ISEA, Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts
info AT
T: +31 20 6120297
F: +31 20 6182359

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Metamute is now running a specially commissioned article a week. In the
last 3 weeks, we've published Ben Watson's in-depth review of The
Philistine Controversy, Eugene Thacker's analysis of the state-endorsed
biotech 'debate', and James Flint's urbanist reading of Glastonbury and
Sonar festivals. This week, Stewart Home's reviews Martin Amis's Koba
the Dread

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Date: 10.2.02
From: Anna Kindvall (anna.kindvall AT
Subject: Electrohype 2002

Electrohype 2002 - October 23 - 27
Malmo, Sweden

Exhibition - INTERPLAY
October 23 - 27

The exhibition will present a wide range of computer-based art works,
created by 16 different Nordic and International artists and artist
groups. The exhibition is shown at two different venues Carolinahallen
and Malmo Konsthall.

Please visit our web site for further presentation of the participating

Artists: Laura Beloff/Erich Berger, Thomas Broomé, Andrew C. Bulhak,
Helen Evans/Heiko Hansen, Rikard Lundstedt, Lisa Jevbratt, Ellen Røed,
Federico Muelas, Morten Schjødt/ Peter Thillemann/Theis Barenkopf
Dinesen/Anne Dorthe Christiansen/Oncotype/Subsilo, Paul Smith/Vicky
Isley, C. Anders Wallén, Gisle Frøysland, John F. Simon Jr., Marek
Walczak/Martin Wattenberg, Victor Vina, Magnus Wassborg

The exhibition opens on Wednesday October 23rd and will run to Sunday
evening October 27th.

Conference - Art and software - software as art October 24 - 25

In connection to the Electrohype 2002 exhibition we are also organizing
a two-day conference focusing on questions related to software and art
and software as art. The conference will present lectures with a
concluding panel consisting of artists and theorists. We will invite
artists who write their own software, artists working close to
programmers and theorists who closely follow the development in computer
based art. The conference will be held in English.

Lectures Josephine Bosma, Thomas Broomé, Boredomresearch, Laura Beloff,
John F. Simon jr., Andreas Broegger, Martin Howse

Please visit our web site for program and registration form for the

Note: There are a limited number of seats at the conference, we
recommend you to make your registration soon.

Performance - Artificial Paradises - ap02 Friday October 25

On Friday night, October the 25th, the British artist group will give
their performance ap02 at Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art here in

This will be a full evening event supported by DJ. Frans Gilberg. The
event is a co-operation with Starfield Simulation - forum for
electronica . This will be a unique opportunity to experience a visual
and aural performance where art and technology, code and computers merge
into a total experience.

You find more information at

Best regards Electrohype --


Ph: +46 40 780 20
Mobil: +46 708 94 57 27

e-mail: anna.kindvall AT

If you encounter problems with this mail
address please notify me at electrohype AT

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Date: 10.3.02
From: Rainer Warrol (aplohman AT


At the Museo Laboratoria di Arte Contemporanea
Università di Roma
La Sapienza
piazzale Aldo Moro, 5
00185 Rome, Italia

02/10/2002 - 25/10/2002

The exhibition presents 10 fairly wellknown sites of, from Marc
Napier's Potatoland; to Vuc Cosic's 'History', Marcello Mazzella's
'Bodydrome', or Akane Asaoka's 'Planetarium'. But the objective is not
only to present some representative pieces of to the Roman
public, but also to explore new ways of presenting this art in a gallery

The exhibition is project prepared in a few months by Luna Gubinelli
(for the graphic part) and her brother Mauro (for the programming). Luna
is a doctoral student studying Museal Installations. The sites are shown
by the means of projectors.

Her idea is to present the visitor with a simple and attractive
graphical first page, as an entry point to the selected sites, to
reconstruct "within the larger world of the net" a more manageable
'museum space' that however remains on the Net and is not a succesion of
separate sites on separate computers.

Furthermore, the Click Stream Analysis of the title is there to make
visible to the visitor his/her actions in this museal setting : the
percourse from one site to the other is recorded and can be printed out
at the the end of the visit as a graphical diagram of the interactions
with the 'exhibits'. This materialisation of a visit to an essentially
immaterial world seemed to meet the expectations of the public, if one
takes into account the number of people looking satisfied and walking
away with their very own diagram at the end of the visit.

For the lqst week of the show, Luna intends to present her own piece of
computer art, the amalgamated statistics and diagrams of all the

More info (in Italian) on the vision of the curators at

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Date: 10.1.02
From: Jessica Irish (jirish AT
Subject: Columbus Day week

A game about the true histories of the Americas.....

Launch: Columbus Day!

Debut: Friday, October 11th AT 5pm

Race in Digital Space Conference MOCA Auditorium, Los Angeles

Inspired by the similarly titled mural by David Alfaro Siqueros-
subsequently whitewashed in Los Angeles in 1932- Tropical America
explores the causes and effects of the erasure of history. From the
battles of Bolivar, to the single-crop economy of Cuba, the myth of El
Dorado and the poems of Sor Juana de la Cruz, Tropical America reveals a
forgotten terrain, the birthplace of contemporary cross-cultural life.

The user¹s quest begins not before a massacre, as it is often the case
in first-person shooter games, but rather after a killing occurs. The
story of Rufina Amaya, sole survivor of the 1981 massacre of El Mozote
in El Salvador, where more that 1,000 people died in the hands of the
Atlacatl battalion, becomes the contextual anchor for "Tropical
America", and the impetus from which the user will begin their journey.

For "Tropical America", El Mozote symbolizes the silencing of one
people¹s histories and the perseverance of its survivors to bring the
events into the open.

info AT


A project of OnRamp Arts, 2002

OnRamp Arts is a non-profit media arts organization whose mission is to
create and produce collaborative, innovative, digital media projects
that bridge new technology, the arts and local communities.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
: jessica irish
: onramp arts
: 213.481.2395

: next project launch: Columbus Day!

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Date: 10.1.02
From: Ken Jordan (ken AT
Subject: Freeze Frame [Part 1]

Below is a collaborative essay I wrote with Paul D. Miller aka DJ
Spooky that Subliminal Kid for the "virtual music" issue of New Music
Box ( that went live today.

Freeze Frame: Audio, Aesthetics, Sampling, and Contemporary Multimedia
by Ken Jordan and Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid

Paul D. Miller's Preamble:

In an era of intensely networked systems, when you create, it's not just
how you create, but the context of the activity that makes the product.
Let's think of this as a hypothetical situation become real, and then
turn the idea inside out and apply it to music - operating systems,
editing environments, graphical user interfaces - these are the
keywords in this kind of compositional strategy. During most of the
spring of 2002 I was working on an album called "Optometry." I thought
of it as a record that focused on "the science of sound - as applied to
vision." Think of it as a kind of "synaesthesia" project navigating the
bandwidth operating between analog and digital realms. "Optometry" was
constructed out of a series of audio metaphors about how people could
think of jazz as text, of jazz as a precedent for sampling - of jazz as
a kind of template for improvisation with memory in the age of the
infinite archive. In sum, the album was a play on context versus content
in a digital milieu using sampling as a "virtual band" of the hand. Flip
the situation into the here and now of a world where file swapping and
peer-2-peer bootlegs are the norms of how music flows on the web, and
"Optometry" becomes a conceptual art project about how the "hypertextual
imagination" holds us all together. Seamless, invisible,
hyper-utilitarian... those are some of the words that describe the
composition process of "Optometry."

What's new here? In 1939 John Cage made a simple statement about a
composition made of invisible networks that was called "Imaginary
Landscape." The piece was written for phonographs with fixed and
variable frequencies (consider that there was no magnetic tape at that
time), and radios tuned to random stations. The idea for Cage was that
the music was an invisible network based on "chance operations." As
Cage would later say in his famous 1957 essay "Experimental Music," "Any
sounds may occur in any combination and in any continuity." The sounds
of one fixed environment for him were meant to be taken out of context
and made to float - think of it as audio free association, and you get
the first formalist ideas of the origins of DJ culture. But what does
this have to do with jazz?

In 1964 Ralph Ellison gave a speech about writing jazz criticism. In it
he discussed Henry James's fascination with Americaness - think of it as
an echo of the Cage notion, and flip the code into a different cipher -
you arrive at Henry James' critique of Americanness as "a complex fate."
The Ellison lecture was called "Hidden Name/Complex Fate" and Ellison
takes us on a journey through elements "absent from American life." In a
speech before the Library of Congress, Ellison would flip the mix and
build a template for a new kind of literature - that's the echo of
"Imaginary Landscape" that intrigues me. "So long before I thought of
writing, I was playing by weather, by speech rhythms, by Negro voices
and their different timbres and idioms, by husky male voices and by the
high shrill singing voices of certain Negro women, by music by tight
places and wide spaces in which the eyes could wander..." Again, the
invocation of an imaginary landscape made of the hyper-real experiences
of living in a world made of fragments of experience. That's what
"Optometry" inherits. Think of it as a dialectical triangulation between
the idea of being made from files of expression put through places that
are not spaces, but code. Gesture is the generative syntax, but once the
sounds leave the body, they're files. And that's the beginning...


When computers communicate over a network, they do so through sound.
Before information can be sent over wires run between computers, it must
first be translated into tones. The composer Luke Dubois, of Columbia
University's electronic music department, has described the static you
hear when a modem connects as a hyper-accelerated Morse Code, a billion
dots and dashes sung each second, too fast for the human ear to discern.
This has been true since the dawn of networked computing. When the first
two nodes of the Internet, at UCLA and Stamford, were brought online in
1969, Charlie Kline at UCLA famously initiated the connection by typing
"login." After keying the letter "l" he received the appropriate echo
back along the phone line from Stamford. The same with the letter "o."
But when he hit "g" the system crashed; the audible reply from Stamford
never reached its destination.

In 1972, Ray Tomlinson modified a program meant for ARPANET, the
precursor to the Internet, that would let people send each other data as
small "letters." He chose the AT sign for addresses for a simple reason:
the punctuation keys on his Model 33 Teletype made it easy to type; it
was a convenient way to lend a geographic metaphor to an otherwise
abstract place made up of data and people's interaction with the nodes
that hold the data together. In one fell swoop, Tomlinson signaled that
data could be both a place and a linguistic placeholder for digital
information as a complete environment. By using the AT symbol, he
restated what modernist artists and composers had been pointing out for
over a century: when information becomes total media in the Wagnerian
and the Nietzschian sense in, we arrive at the "Gesamkunstwerk" or "the
total artwork." The Situationists referred to this as a
"psycho-geography." Antonin Artaud wrote an essay about it called
"Theater and It's Shadow;" for him it was based on the interaction of
different forms of alchemy. When Artaud coined the term "virtual
reality" in his 1938 essay "The Alchemical Theater," he anticipated a
realm where signs, symbols, letters, and ciphers were all placeholders
in the rapidly changing landscape of a society that faced the surging
tides of industrial culture's mad race to become an information culture.
It was a phrase to describe a mind trying to make sense of the data road
kill on the side of the information highway being built in the minds of
artists whose dreams punctuated an immense run on sentence typed across
the face of the planet as technology carried the codes out of their
minds and into the world. In the 20th century, one symbol -- " AT " --
ushered in a new world linked by the intent of people to communicate.
This is a world of infinitely reflecting fragments, vibrating,
manifesting a hum, making music.

The connection between sound and networked computing is more than the
product of technical convenience. It can be traced to the first
visionary articulation of the digital age. In his seminal essay from
1945, "As We May Think," Roosevelt's science advisor, Vannevar Bush,
proposed the creation of a device he called the memex, which provided
the inspiration for what later became the networked personal computer.
Bush's memex system had the ability to synthesize speech from text, and,
conversely, to automatically create text records from spoken commands.
He wrote enthusiastically of the Voder, which was introduced at the 1939
World's Fair as "the machine that talks." "A girl stroked its keys and
it emitted recognizable speech," Bush wrote. "No human vocal cords
entered in the procedure at any point; the keys simply combined some
electrically produced vibrations and passed these on to a loud-speaker."
Bush also discussed another Bell Labs invention, the Vocoder, an early
attempt at a voice recognition system. Central to his vision of the
memex was the notion that sound would circulate through the system,
available for easy retrieval and manipulation.

Today that ease of access and malleability is transforming the way
musicians conceive of and make music. It is now simple to convert sound
into digital streams, so it can flow anywhere across the computer
network, to be manipulated by a continually growing array of software.
Real time collaborations between musicians across the Net are becoming
common. Online collaborations that are not real time are commonplace.
The combination of databases (for storage), software (for manipulation),
and networks (for interactivity between databases, software, and
musicians) is challenging many long held notions of what music making
can or should be. Established boundaries are blurring.

This blurring comes from a basic premise behind computing: that all
information can be translated from its original form into binary code,
and then re-articulated in a new form in a different medium. Texts can
be stored in a database as ones and zeros, and later output as images or
sounds. Ted Nelson, the man who coined the terms "hypertext" and
"hypermedia" in the mid-1960s, was among the first to appreciate the
full range of opportunities that networked computers make possible. In
1974, he proposed the playful idea of "teledildonics," a computer system
that would convert audio information into tactile sensations. Why should
music only enter the body through the ear? Why not through the skin, or
through the eye?

Artists have been using computer networks for collaboration at least
since 1979, when I.P. Sharp Associates made their timesharing system
available to an artist's project called "Interplay." Organizer Bill
Bartlett contacted artists in cities around the world where IPSA offices
were located, and invited them to participate in an online conference --
essentially a "live chat" -- on the subject of networking. At the time
this technology was rare and expensive; artists had no access to it.
"Interplay" is often referred to as the first live, network-based,
collaborative art project.

Around the same time, the innovative use of satellites by artists such
as Nam June Paik, Joseph Beuys, Douglas Davis, Kit Galloway, and Sherrie
Rabinowitz were connecting performers across great distances in
collaborative, interactive pieces. A dancer in New York would improvise
to music played in Paris, while video of the two would be edited into a
single performance for broadcast in, say, Berlin. Although these
pioneering telematic works did not make use of networked computing --
bandwidth and processor speeds were not yet great enough to allow for it
-- they set precedents for the real time network-based interaction
between artists that became possible in the 1990s, as the technology
improved and costs came down.

Online collaboration today takes many forms. Using Web-based music
technologies, artists are working together to create new music. There
are online studios that connect artists across great distances, and
Web-based jams between musicians who have never laid eyes on one
another. At the same time, even more popular are "collaborations"
between artists who are not even aware that a "collaboration" is taking
place. Referred to as "remixes" or "bootlegs," digital files of a wide
range of recorded material are being cut up and manipulated into
entirely new works of art -- blending distinct and unlikely source
materials into singular creations. Of course, this kind of unsolicited
collaboration challenges some long-held notions of intellectual
property, and an artist's unique affiliation with his or her own output.
But at the same time, it brings back the idea of a shared folk culture,
where creative expression is the property of the community at large, and
can be shared for everyone's benefit. Digital technology may be a route
that reconnects us to aspects of our tribal roots.

As new as these techniques are, however, they retain a continuity with
pre-digital compositional approaches. The network simply allows
musicians to perform together online, replicating the experience they
have always had when jamming in the same room. At the same time, the
mixing of distinct aural elements certainly does not require digital
technology; analog sound mixing dates at least to John Cage's 1939
performance of Imaginary Landscapes, which featured a mix of turntables
and radios. From this perspective, computer networks simply contribute
to long standing tendencies in composition that preceded the digital

However, some composers are exploring a wholly original, uncharted
musical terrain, one that is unthinkable without networked computers. In
these works, the sound experience is created through the real time
participation of the listener in the making of the performance itself.
These online sound art pieces rely on the interactive engagement of the
listener, who helps to shape the specifics of the performance through
her choices and actions, which are communicated to the music making
software over the wired network. In this way, the traditional
distinction between "artist" and "audience" begins to melt away, as the
"listener" also becomes a "performer."

[Editor's note: End, Part 1. Part 2 will appear in next week's digest]

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Date: 9.25.02
From: matthew fuller (matt AT
Subject: simon pope- art for networks

The following interview is carried out in connection with opening of a
show 'Art for Networks' starting now at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff,
Wales. (It tours afterwards.) The show includes work by: Rachel Baker,
Anna Best, Heath Bunting, Adam Chodzko, Ryosuke Cohen, Jeremy Deller,
Jodi, Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, Radio Aqualia, Stephen Willats,
Talkeoke, Technologies to the People.

6 Questions in search of a network

1. Matthew Fuller: In the original Art for Networks project you state
that one of the motivations of the work was to discover another set of
relations for art on the internet. What was argued against was the idea
that network art could be categorised according to a certain chronology.
This chronology slotted certain works into a history primarily on the
basis of how closely they married themselves to technological
developments. What was suggested instead was that there was a whole
wider sense of networks that are being made and used by artists. Do you
think that this statement of an alternate set of trajectories still
holds true or polemically necessary?

Simon Pope: The Art for Networks project was initially devised as a way
of making sense of, and investigating how to move beyond, so-called
''. This definition was, as Heath Bunting (1) has said, 'a joke
and a fake' anyway, but held sway in some circles.

'Net.Art' signified a technical art of the Internet or, more
specifically, the Web. It was defined as a progression through clearly
defined stylistic and technical phases: from an Avant Garde, through
'high period' Web-based and interminable Mannerist replays, all
the while waiting for the emergence of the new Avant Garde... This lame
art historical approach denies wider or longer views of how artists and
their work operate.

The demand for a neat, linear art history becomes a real problem for
anyone it implicates. As Jodi are quoted as saying "We never choose to
be net.artists or not."(2) Pinned onto this restrictive and arbitrary
time-line, artists have their destinies plotted for them. It was time to
take Stewart Home's cue (3) and begin a process of 'self-historicising'.
The exploration of more expansive definitions of 'network' is part of
this, at first through interviews and presentations in 2000 and now
through this exhibition.

2. MF: If the show works through various uses and creations of networks
as art, were there any ways in which this focus inflected the way in
which the show was curated? Can we imagine a curation for networks?

SP: 'Network' isn't used here as an 'ideal concept' (4). It remains open
to interpretation and ongoing enquiry by the participating artists. The
network becomes a field, terrain or environment through which to operate
on, in or through.

Networks have been described in many ways, often at the moment where
some phenomenon eludes an accepted form of classification: Landow
reminds us that Foucault adopts the network when describing the means
" link together a wide range of often contradictory taxonomies,
observations, interpretations, categories, and rules of observation."
(5). Jeremy Deller's work often exemplifies this, for example.

Josephine Berry noted that "The term 'networks' has nearly become a
cipher for saying 'everything' with the proviso that 'everything' be
framed by technology" (6). Jodi's 'Wrong Browser' project continues
their scrutiny of the conventions of the most popular of these
technologies that link 'everything', the Web Browser. (7).

Others artists are not concerned with technology as such. They
investigate social networks, distributed knowledge or social protocols,
for example.

Together, all of the artists in this show help us speculate, with the
widest possible scope, on what an art for networks might be.

3. MF: Perhaps it is useful to think about two of the modes of network
that currently exist. There's the development of systems that take
heterogeneous material and connect it through a unifying, reductive,
measurable protocol. Another might be informatisation - that everything
can be transposed into a transmissable and calculable numerical
'equivalent'. Perhaps these kinds of networking technologies are linked
to the idea of a discovery of an ur-language, a code that precedes all
codes. A different kind of network might be that which is deliberately
non-compressible, that generates its own terms of composition as it's
enacted; rather than reducing one thing to its intermediary, it focuses
on inventing new connections, proximities, conjunctural leaps.

SP: The unifying system forces homogeneity onto previously heterogeneous
material and has plenty of historical precedents such as systematic
classification in Zoology, the Dewey decimal system. Objectified matter
is ordered, processed - the system aims for closure, completeness. In
your second example, the subject resists classification or reduction to
a cipher. For example, in organizations, there's always tension between
structure - invariably hierarchical - and those who work within it.
Despite the most ruthless line-management, the subject - individual or
group - will find ways of subverting the structure. A common form of
resistance is the 'gossip network'. Rachel Baker's 'Art of Work', for
example, has previously inserted itself into this context. (8)

I think Manuel De Landa's model (9) of meshworks and hierarchies is
useful here and relates, (at least in my understanding of it), to the
relationship between networks, hierarchies, agency and structure.

Meshworks (networks) and hierarchies exist as a mixture. The meshwork
formed as an aggregate of dissimilar, heterogeneous material, the
hierarchy from similar, homogeneous material, forming strata. They are
interdependent and can change states, one into the other. They stratify
and destratify, depending on the flow of energy: meshworks form from
hierarchies and vice versa.

4. MF: Perhaps too, there is a range of disjunctive connections between
these two kinds of network. For example, one of the claims often made
for the architecture of the internet, and which is currently under
severe test, is that it's inherently decentralised, that any time a
hierarchy such as a national legislature attempts to close a site down,
can be worked around. It might be remarked of course that if a
technology is inherently liberatory, people acting on the basis of this
liberation are simply carrying out what is programmed into the machine.

SP: The technologies of the Internet describe both networks and
hierarchies (or aggregates and strata): hierarchical systems such as the
DNS (10) that provide structure, and could be seen as a constraining,
strategizing desire. The DNS produces a homogenous structure: it's a
classification system that defines a number of interrelated strata.
HTTP, on the other hand, might be seen as the confounding of that system
through the construction of networks within that structure: they form
links between nodes to produce aggregates, affinities of dissimilar
material. So yes, 'liberation' is built into the system, but it relies
on agency to actualize it! OWN (11) could be seen as an attempt to
assert this through building ad hoc, open, wireless networks. Critical
theories of Hypertext (12), have stressed that such networked
technologies produce a 'decentred' subject at the point of reception;
with no single centring device to provide surety, Ideology, let alone
shared values, appear impossible. In Stephen Willats' work we see a
struggle with this: participation's key in many of his works and is
often carefully constructed to explore or develop a 'meta-language', a
symbolic language shared by disparate social groups. (13)

5. MF: It seems that quite a few of the projects circulating here
situate themselves right at a point where there are various kinds of
feedback, or bastard combination, generated between one kind of network
and another?

SP: Heath Bunting's 'Courier' (14) is a good example: although
efficiently coordinated online, exchange and distribution of items
'couriered' between destinations soon becomes problematized. As items
pass between social networks, via a technical network, they're
immediately invested with new value. Trust between networks is
negotiated 'on-the-fly', each exchange subject to very close

6. MF: Some of the work here is represented by documentation of a
process that's already occurred. Other parts of the show invite
participation. I don't mean simply 'interaction', but an actual
challenge or invitation to take part in something going on. Natalie
Bookchin, in the original series of art for networks interviews
suggested that art galleries and museums were good storage places for
ideas and activities that had worked in the past, but that were now done
with. What might be the implications or possibilities for producing a
show purely of the latter sort?

SP: Much of this work demands participation, often both over time and
across space. For example, Nina Pope & Karen Guthrie's 'An Artist's
Impression' (15) is constructed at live events at each venue throughout
the tour. We see the process of building on the 'island' in response to
continuing online activity by contributors.

In Anna Best's commission, work shown in the gallery changes over the
duration of the tour as interviews with local participants are recorded
and presented at each venue.

Ryosuke Cohen connects to a massive, distributed network of
contributors, each of whom sends stickers or stamps to add to each
iteration of 'Braincell'. We see this exhibit grow over the duration of
the tour as each version is posted back to us.

While most of the work is represented in the gallery in some form or
another, it's often not the primary venue: Adam Chodzko's new work
distributes an archive of planning information into a travellers'
encampment in Kent. Suddenly there's connection and interaction between
sedentary knowledge and a potentially nomadic culture.

Also, Rachel Baker's commission, extending the prototype of 'Platfrom'
(16) unfolds a narrative for passengers travelling on the Eurostar.

Radioqualia reminds us of the networks of open collaboration that
contribute to the development of Free Software, with 'Free Radio Linux'
, an "audio distribution of the Linux Kernel" (17).

Beginning this tour from an independent venue has meant that there's no
compulsion to seek authority, fixity add or to the canon - this can be
erased and re-written if necessary. For example. Technology To The
People's website (18) is entirely 'open' to encourage participation in
the development of this exhibition, over time and across geographical

>From a curator's point-of-view, this ability to describe a 'network' to
link across temporal and spatial divides (19) provides a way around the
restrictions of the '' taxonomy and linear art historical view.
Of course, this approach isn't restricted solely to curating 'networked'

1. Snap to Grid, Peter Lunenfeld, 2001. p
2. Interview with Jodi, Tilman Baumgaertel, 2001
3. Five Thousand Years of Foreplay: Stewart Home interviewed by Marko
Pyhtil (
4. Southern Oscillation Index, McKenzie Wark. Online, 1998
5. The Nonlinear Model of the Network in Current Critical Theory. George
P. Landow, 1992 (
6. The Unbearable Connectedness of Everything, Josephine Berry. Online,
1999 (
7. Baumgaertel,, Ibid.
8. Art of Work, Rachel Baker ( )
9. A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History, Manuel de Landa. Zone Books,
10. The Domain Name System: A Non-Technical Explanation - Why Universal
Resolvability Is Important, InterNIC, 2002
11. OWN, James Stevens & Julian Priest.
12. The Network in Marxist Theory, George P. Landow. Online 1992
13. Art and Social Function, Stephen Willats, Ellipsis (London), 2000
14. Irational Courier, Heath Bunting. Online, 2000
15. An Artist's Impression, Nina Pope & Karen Guthrie. Online 1998
onwards (
16. 'Platfrom' prototype supported by Proboscis. Online, 2002.
17. Free Radio Linux, Radioqualia. Online, 2002
18. Art for Networks website, Technologies to the People. Online, 2002-
19. Landow, Ibid.

A number of original interviews, conducted for BBC Arts Online in 2000,
can be found at

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