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: 10.25.02
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 12:05:03 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: October 25, 2002


+editor's note+
1. Rachel Greene: Membership Fees AT Rhizome?

2. Marieke Istha: Call for proposals Playing Field

3. has been relaunched today
4. scott pagano: RELINE - a video art DVD compilation
5. Michael Naimark: camera zapping

6. ryan griffis: Violence Online Festival Version 2.0

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Date: 10.25.02
From: Rachel Greene (rachel AT
Subject: membership fees AT Rhizome?

We ask all Rhizomers to take part in a survey about paying annual
membership fees. The context of this survey is wide, involving arts
funding in the United States, Rhizome's history as a non-hierarchical
project, our current size (over 19K members) and programming roster, and
Web-community and content traditions. It's too much to cover in this
editorial note, so please read about the current state of affairs in
Mark Tribe's email on the topic,
And, please contribute your opinion via our survey at YOU MUST BE LOGGED INTO THE SITE TO
PARTICIPATE. It's worth noting that thus far, very few Rhizomers, at
least those active on Rhizome Raw, are opposed to paying membership
fees. We want your input!! -- Rachel

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DIGITAL H AT PPY HOUR: Interactivity and Time, Oct 30, 6PM, $8 A look at
the effect of interactivity on time as experienced in hypertext,
music, and games. The first of a 3-part series on THE MYTH OF
INTERACTIVITY. Moderator Susan Morris and panelists Jane Yellowlees
Douglas, Todd Winkler, Bernie Yee. For details:

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Date: 10.21.02
From: Marieke Istha (istha AT
Subject: Call for proposals Playing Field (2nd & 3rd period)

Call for proposals Playing Field (2nd & 3rd period)

Playing Field is an international co-production of the Netherlands Media
Art Institute in Amsterdam, IMG in Mainz and Mecad in Barcelona, aimed
at the creation of streaming media art especially for Internet.

Internet and advanced technologies used on the Internet were originally
developed to cope with huge technological challenges in science.
Co-operating groups in different countries needed a fast communication
system in order to work on the same experiment in different locations.
Satellites collecting amounts of data needed a way to send information
to ground stations in real-time, the first examples of data streaming.
Today the data networks are expanding. Advanced technologies are
becoming available for other purposes. It is time for artists to explore
the possibilities of new technologies. Looking for new ways of
expression that were not possible without new technology rather than
reformatting existing art. Also time has come to reflect on the meaning
of streaming technology for our lives and culture in this modern world.

New technologies can also put restrictions on existing ways of
expression. The quality of video streamed on the Internet is poor, due
to the speed of the average Internet connection. Knowing the
restrictions we have to look for new ways of expression that take
advantage of the specific qualities of streaming, creating art that
could never exist without streaming technology. One of the challenges is
to create streaming media art that establishes its own position in the
context of existing video art.

Playing Field aims at the creation of streaming art especially for
Internet, exploring the added value of Internet technology. Specific
features of streaming media are for example: live broadcast,
interactivity, time-dependent behaviour, 24 hour availability for a
worldwide public, multi-user communication, using several video, audio
and interactivity channels at the same time. Also the restrictions of
Internet and streaming media will be explored and exploited: small
bandwidth, small video image size, slow connections, waiting time caused
by signal buffering. The way the work is displayed on the screen has to
be taken into account and can be designed, the situation and the context
in which the work is shown is important and can be used in the concept.

Call for proposals

Media artists can submit a project proposal for streaming media content
for the Internet. One artist will be selected by the Netherlands Media
Art Institute for each working period of two months.

Main research fields:
1. Work specially made for low quality display
2. Non-linear work
3. Interactive work
4. Multi-user work
5. Pseudo-live streams created from existing content on the Internet

We ask:
Computer knowledge; basic knowledge of digital video processing;
experience with computer art/ internet art; strong artistic quality;
interested in new media; interested in international co-operation;
available during working period (see below); willing to work with art
students; based in The Netherlands.

We offer: Computer and desk facilities, technical and organisational
assistance, presentation budget, international dissemination of the work
via the Internet and on DVD, participation in closing seminar 23-24 May
2003 at the Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam. Artist fee:
3000 euro.

Proposals: Proposals can be written in English or Dutch. They should
include a project description: description of content and technical
implementation; a time schedule: description of the work that has to be
done in the time that is available; equipment list; description of
technical and organisational assistance needed; biography, with
documentation on your previous projects.

Working periods:
Period 2: 6 January - 27 February 2003; Deadline proposals 2: 15 November
Period 3: 3 March -24 April 2003; Deadline proposals 3: 31 January 2003

Send proposals before the deadline to:
Mrs. Claud Biemans, project manager Playing Field
Keizersgracht 264
1016 EV Amsterdam
claud AT (mailto:claud AT

For more information please contact:
claud AT
T (+31) 020-6237101 / (+31) 06-44566395
F (+31) 020-6244423

Background information:

Playing Field is sponsored by: XS4ALL, Thuiskopiefonds, European Commission

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

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Date: 10.24.02
From: (sebastian AT
Subject: has been relaunched today

| |
| has been relaunched today |
| |
| --> ... thanks |
| |
| o__o |_ /) \/ |_ ^/ /^ /\ |/|/| |
| /::\_ \_ \_ /\ \_ /_ o \_ \/ | | | |
| we are the & in copy & paste |
| |

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Metamute continues with its specially commissioned series of articles.
The latest are Stewart Home on Martin Amis, Benedict Seymour on Border
Crossing, and Nat Muller in conversation with Palestinian filmmaker Azza
El Hassan.

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Date: 10.25.02
From: scott pagano (spagano AT
Subject: RELINE - a video art DVD compilation

RELINE is a DVD from artists world wide employing custom software and
modified hardware to create work that focuses on graphic abstraction,
the broken output of dysfunctional systems, and the desire to re-vision
both old and new technologies. Bringing together a diverse array of
work, this collection showcases artists engaged with the creation of new
visual forms derived from experimental processes and techniques, often
foregrounding the un-criticized role technology plays in our lives.

1 hour of work by 10 artists with full piece descriptions and artists'

Pre-Order RELINE now (available 10.31.02) - only 12.00 (incl. shipping
within the usa)


a FORM RECORDS / neither-field release /

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Date: 10.24.02
From: Michael Naimark (michael AT
Subject: camera zapping

A couple weeks ago John Markoff did a NY Times story featuring my work
on "camera zapping" (how to stop cameras with simple laser pointers). It
was reprinted the next day in the International Herald.

My full report can be found at:

NY Times story can be found at:;

IHT story at:

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Date: 10.24.02
From: ryan griffis (grifray AT
Subject: Review Violence Online Festival Version 2.0

Ryan Griffis Review Violence Online Festival Version 2.0 current venues: Computer
Space Festival 2002 Sofia (Bulgaria), 18-21 October Liberarti Festival ­
Liverpool Bienniale 2002, 10 October - 01 December

"One major difference between the age of the virtual and more primitive
times is that the contemporary idols have no metaphysical referent. The
ones that have been constructed are? end-points, empty signs. To this
paper master, sacrifice has no limit. The stairs of the temple flow with
blood every day." Critical Art Ensemble

Agricola de Cologne¹s recent (and ongoing) work, "Violence Online
Festival," brings together the diverse works of many artists, ranging
from networked productions to digitized flat works to documented
performances and numerous other forms ­ all addressing in some way
"violence". These various works are assembled within a Flash site
created to appear as a corporate interface for the fictional Violence
Media Incorporated (VMI). One accesses the different artistic products
through navigating the "departments" of VMI, "Violence Marketing,"
"Violence Broadcasting," etc.

As many current "New Media" works seem to be dealing with the
relationship between the "virtual" and the corporeal, and how to
reconcile (or not) these realms, the Violence Online Festival is an
interesting and tangible aesthetic and critical project. The physical
and social relations brought about through networked culture have been
theorized and discussed, but it¹s obvious that more work can, and
should, be done to continue the dialogue. Thankfully, there are enough
efforts included in the VMI interface that bring other aspects of the
dialogue to the table, aspects that should be necessary for any
examination of the relationship between violence and representational

Institutional violence, especially in the form of state repression
acting in the interests of capital, and against the interests of citizen
collectives, plays a major role in several of the productions included
in VMI. Francesca da Rimini and Michael Grimm¹s "Los Dias y Las Noches
de Los Muertos" visualizes the connections between nationalistic
imperialism, Western capital, and public displays of death. Words of the
Zapatistas, Napolean¹s "How to Make War," images referencing the "Day of
the Dead" celebration, and photos of the deadly results of police force
on protestors at the G8 Summit in Genoa are juxtaposed in a disorienting
grid. Other works, like Joy Garnett¹s "Smokescreens," Babel¹s
"Protestors, Police, Politicians," Deb King¹s "Collateral Assets," and
Rika Ohara¹s "Une Semain de Bonté" take on the institutional
(mis)representation (or denial) of violence.

While it may be easy to see the connections between mediated
representations and institutional (in the form of organized entities)
violence from a critical perspective, the intersections of less
organized forms of violence and representation are, apparently, more
difficult to get at from a constructively critical perspective. The
difficulty of dealing with desire and its disparate forms of expression
on a personal and institutional level (especially in the US, where the
representation of violence and sexuality is simultaneously repressed and
exploited for profit) makes it even more important to explore. Though
many "groups" become the targets of repressed institutional violence,
"domestic abuse" and other forms of oppression against women would seem
to be the most virulent and pervasive. (I may feel this way due to my
relationship with women working in the field of domestic violence
prevention, but the case they make is a compelling one.) Cindy Gabriela
Flores¹s "Subway" examines the mass transit system of Mexico City in the
current (sociological and personal) condition of "riding while a woman".
Depicting the "compulsory gender border" (the use of women only and
co-ed trains) active in the subway through textual narrative and
second-person, sequential images, Flores presents us with the
observation that segregated travel is self-chosen by women (it¹s not
enforced). But, as she makes clear, the context creating the gender
border was not. Self-segregation is a matter of safety and survival, as
the rate of abuse against women in the co-ed trains, and the acceptance
it enjoys, is high, and especially violent offenses not unheard of. With
a lot of ongoing discussion occurring around issues of borders, "Subway"
adds a problematic and complex statement into the mix.

Other interrogations of the connections between personal and societal
expressions of desire are also present in VMI. Jody Zellen¹s "Crowds and
Power" is a web-based work that uses multiple, repeated images and
texts, revealed in varying levels of ambiguity and clarity, often
through suggestive cropping (a method used by the artist in "Ghost City"
as well). As the title suggests, "Crowds?" takes on the psyche of masses
and how perception and action can shift based on the proximity and
personal identification of subjects. The relationship between
architecture and crowds is interestingly explored through dynamically
displayed images of crowds of people and the empty shells of
architecture meant to accommodate them. "Hate," a series of acted,
interview-like statements by Humberto Ramirez, presents us with one
reason why Zellen¹s crowds can be frightening rather than comforting
collectives. The speakers, all represented in close-up interview
fashion, proceed - in a one-after-the-other barrage of sound bytes ­ to
declare their hatred for other people. Seen in the visual, sequential
form, these recorded statements can be dismissed as easy targets (who
advocates open hatred and racism?), although we definitely can¹t deny
the persistence of such thoughts and actions, even for ourselves.

This all brings me to looking at VMI as a project in itself, alongside
the individual components that are included. In Ramirez¹s video work,
there is a diversity of people speaking, mostly seeming North American,
but at least diverse in those terms. Obviously, hate (and violence) is
not the exclusive property of white males, but what is gained from
representing hate as a "multicultural" phenomenon, other than a vague
sense of humanism that says "Hey, we all hate, we¹re all really the
same." VMI, it its attempt to encompass the wide range of desires and
actions called violence, creates a similar problem. The curatorial tone,
deeply rooted in universalist tendencies that override the specific and
critical pursuit of many of the artistic projects included, can be
discerned in the project¹s introduction: "The human character contains
both a light and a dark side, good and bad, individually manifested.
Deeply rooted is a dark-sided element: Violence." The representation of
a corporate entity (VMI) rightly replicates the personification of
capital¹s interests and its increasing, global ubiquity, but becomes
overwhelmingly self-referential and metaphysical: from the eerie opening
audio track "Violence is fun, Violence Festival is pure happiness"; the
classification of the works into whimsical departments whose names float
and pulsate; to the saturated red ground that envelops the entire
experience. Although I¹m not sure it adequately represents the interests
of all its various works, VMI is ambitious, interesting, and necessary.
Unfortunately, the specter of disembodiment is strong and ever present;
it¹s too easy to connect to the network and not question the latent
violence in that act alone. As Bruce Sterling once (sarcastically)
wrote: "The price of liberty is said to be eternal vigilance ­ but
that¹s a pretty steep price, isn¹t it? Can¹t we just automate this
eternal vigilance thing? Maybe we can just install lots of 24-hour
networked videocams."

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

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Rachel Greene (rachel AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 7, number 43. 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

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