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: 11.01.02
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 12:09:06 -0500

RHIZOME DIGEST: November 1, 2002


1. Jo-Anne Green: Commissions and Turbulence Artists' Studios

2. Sandra Fauconnier: Master classes Interfacing Realities
3. Christina McPhee: November on -empyre-
4. Annette Gallo: EYEBEAM ANNUAL ONLINE FORUM The (Re) Structured Screen

5. A. Cinque Hicks: Representin'- Digital Artists Confront Race

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Date: 10.31.02
From: Jo-Anne Green ( AT
Subject: Commissions and Turbulence Artists' Studios

Turbulence Commissions: New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (NRPA) has
commissioned over 60 new works for its Turbulence web site since 1996.
Up to 12 commissions are awarded annually in the range of $2,500 to
$5,000. The majority of our commissions are restricted (by our funders)
to New York artists, but we occasionally commission nationally and
internationally. Applications are accepted year round. Application
guidelines are available at

Turbulence Artists? Studios: Artists' Studios is an ongoing opportunity
for artists to show a body of work. Artists may submit two to three net
art works to NRPA for consideration. Artists selected for Artists?
Studios will be exhibited on the Turbulence web site, and will have the
opportunity to add new works over time. Biographies and available
reviews and interviews will be included. For more information write AT

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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: 10.31.02
From: Sandra Fauconnier (fokky AT
Subject: Master classes Interfacing Realities

Interfacing Realities is a Culture 2000 project initiated by V2_ and
realised in collaboration with EncArt. EncArt (European Network for
Cyber Arts) is a longterm collaboration between the ZKM in Karlsruhe,
Ars Electronica in Linz, C3 in Budapest and V2_ in Rotterdam that
started in 1997. Interfacing Realities covers a series of four
masterclasses that focus on new concepts for information management in
general, and the usage and creation of databases and archives in
contemporary art practices in particular.

Master class with Lev Manovich
C3, Budapest, 22 November - 26 November 2002
MASTER CLASS with Joel Ryan
ZKM Karlsruhe, 27 November - 1 December 2002
more info about these two master classes below

MASTER CLASS with Lev Manovich
C3, Budapest, 22 November - 26 November 2002

Human cultures have developed rich and precise systems to describe oral
and written communication: phonetics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics,
narrative theory, rhetoric, and so on. Dictionaries and thesauruses help
us to create new texts while the search engines and the ever present
"find..." command on our desktops help us to locate the particular texts
already created, or their parts.

Paradoxically, while the role of visual communication has dramatically
increased over the last two centuries, no similar descriptive systems
were developed for images u at least not on the same scale. So while the
number of different types of images we routinely create today is
extremely large, if not infinite (and it has become ever larger after
computer tools made possible to more easily combine photographs,
graphics and text, and to apply operations previously reserved for each
of this separate medium to all the other media u blurring text, etc.),
the systems we have to describe these images are very poor. For
instance, stock photography collections divide millions of images into a
couple of dozen categories, at best, with names such as "joy"
"business," and" achievement"; professional designers typically use even
more limited range of categories to describe their projects ( "clean,"
"futuristic," "corporate," "conservative," etc.)

As computerization dramatically increases the amount of media data that
can be stored, accessed and manipulated, we are gradually shifting
towards more structured ways to organize and describe this data. For
example, we are moving from HTML to XML (and next to Semantic Web); from
MPEG-2 to MPEG-7; from "flat" lens-based images to "layered" image
composites and discrete 3D computer generated spaces. In all these cases
the shift is from a "low-level" metadata (the fonts on the Web page, the
resolution and compression settings of a moving image) to a "high-level"
metadata that describes the structure of a media composition or even its

What about images? Computerization creates a promise (which maybe only
an illusion) that images that traditionally resisted the human attempts
to describe them with precision u will be finally conquered. After all,
we now easily find out that a particular digital image contains so many
pixels and so many colors; we can also easily store all kinds of
metadata along with the image; and we can tease out some indications of
image structure and semantics (for instance, we can find all edges in a
bit-mapped image.) Yet visual search engines that can deal with the
queries such as "find all images which have a picture of " or "find all
images similar in composition to this one" are still in their infancy.
Similarly, the metadata provided by a image database software I use to
organize my digital photos tells me all kinds of technical details such
as what aperture my digital camera used to snap this or that image u but
nothing about the image content. In short, while computerization made
the image acquisition, storage, manipulation, and transmission much more
efficient than before, it did not help us so far to deal with one of its
side effects u how to more efficiently describe and access the vast
quantities of digital image being generated by digital cameras and
scanners, by the endless "digital archives" and "digital libraries"
projects around the world, by the sensors and the museums...

The theoretical part of the Master class will develop in more detail the
paradigm sketched here. We will discuss the key modern attempts (in
cinema, graphic design, art history, psychology, and other fields) to
make images into a language -- i.e., to develop formal techniques to
describe images and to predict their effects on the viewer. Against this
background, we will look at the history, the present research and the
emerging trends in computer research which pursue the similar project:
visual search engines, the new hybrid forms of cinema which combine
cinematography with a more structured way to represent space borrowed
from 3D computer graphics, the state of the art in computer vision
applications, and so on. We will also look at the works of a few new
media artists that engage with the politics and poetics of image
metadata (Joachim Sauter, George Legrady, and others).

Finally, we will also engage with some larger questions about the
functioning of images in a global information society. For example, is
it true that we live in a predominantly visual culture, or does
computerization in fact downplays the role of an image in favor of other
representations such as text and 3D space? Will our visual culture be
still dominated by photographic-like images in the twenty first century,
or will other kinds of images eventually take their place? While
computers allow us to manipulate old media in new ways, creating new
hybrids and new forms, do they also enable any completely new and
unprecedented types of visual representations?

The practical projects developed during the Master class can pursue one
of two directions. A project can present an analysis of some existing
(and socially important) system for cataloging and describing images and
their contents -- for instance, the categories used by stock media
collections, the categories used to classify facial expressions of human
emotions in computer research, the categories used by graphic designers
to talk about the styles of Web design. If possible, these projects
should address the following two questions: (1) are there any conceptual
shifts which can be observed in the logic of image description systems
as they become implemented in a computer, thus turning into software?
(2) What are the relationships between image description systems and the
descriptions used by software for other type of media?

Alternatively, a participant can develop a conceptual proposal for a
software interface to record, describe, access, or manipulate images in
a new way. While new media artists have extensively critiqued existing
software interfaces in general and developed many particular
alternatives, surprisingly little energy has been spend so far thinking
on how we interface to images. And yet the computerization of visual
culture opens all kinds of interesting possibilities waiting to be
explored. For instance, if it already possible to record and store
practically unlimited number of still and moving images of one's
existence, what kind of interface can we use to organize and navigate
these images? Or, given that we now can use database software to
classify, link, and retrieve images and image sequences along with other
media, how can a database structure be used to represent the life of a
modern city, the history of a place, etc. In other words, behind the
difficult problem of visual metadata that has become more pressing in
computer age than ever before, there is also an exiting promise -- the
promise to represent reality and human experience in new ways.

The projects created during the class will be featured on a Master class
Web site and will be published in a new book by V2 (Rotterdam).
Therefore, regardless of whether a participant chooses to pursue
analytical or practical project, the final files should be ready to be
put on the Web and to be published in the book. Therefore the project
should be presented as a single panel (similar in style to architectural
proposals), available in Web-ready and print-ready versions (for
instance, an HTML file and an Illustrator file).

date: 22 - 26 November 2002
location: C3, Budapest, Hungary
participants: 10 (a maximum of 6 students)
costs: 200 euro, students 100 euro (traveling and lodging must also be payed
by the participants)

Subscribe as soon as possible by using the webpages:


MASTER CLASS with Joel Ryan
ZKM Karlsruhe, 27 November - 1 December 2002

The application of new tools for scientific visualization to music with
Joel Ryan for composers, media artists, mathematicians, and computer

Navigating detail in musical real time

Modern music attempts to manage an unprecedented plethora of detail. The
massive data problem is as much the nature of contemporary culture as it
is the gift of our new computer based tools. This quest is not unique to
music and mathematical tools have recently emerged to deal with
understanding complex heterogeneous systems of data. The workshop,s goal
is to find ways to coordinate the recognition and recovery of states of
complex real time instruments. A target example could be called the
"Preset Mapping Problem". The workshop focusses on music, but the
solutions might be directly applicable to the control of any real time
system. The focus will not be on the musical time line or score problem.

The workshop is prospecting for new tools for composition and music
performance suggested by innovations in the visualization and navigation
of scientific data. Methods are emerging in fields as diverse as
immunology, protein synthesis, chaotic dynamics and data mining of
texts, all fields which have come to life since computational based
techniques have brought their complexity with in grasp. The sheer
immensity of the problems attempted has stimulated the search for
intermediate tools for sifting multidimensional avalanches of detail.
Perhaps our faculty of visual analysis can add to what our ears tell us.

The workshop is addressed to participants:
+ who have expertise in practical music platforms like SuperCollider or
+ Max and musician/composers who need this solution
+ who have experienc in one of the sciences which already have practical
solutions for large data space problems
+ who can act as mathematical references

The workshop is limited to 10 participants. The language is English.

Joel Ryan is a composer, inventor and scientist. He is a pioneer in the
design of musical instruments based on real time digital signal
processing. He currently works at STEIM in Amsterdam, tours with the
Frankfurt Ballet and is Docent at the Institute of Sonology in The

The fee for the 5-days workshop is 200 Euro (for students 100 Euro). The
deadline for the application is 13 November 2002.

Please, fill in the application form:
+ Name, Address, E-Mail, Telephone:
+ Student: yes/no
+ Profession: / Subject of Study:
+ Curriculum Vitae:
+ Motivation (short text why you want to participate):

To be sent to:
ZKM - Institute for Visual Media
Postfach 6909
D-76049 Karlsruhe

E-Mail: image AT
Fax: 0049-(0)721-8100 1509
Tel: 0049-(0)721-8100 1500

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

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Date: 10.28.02
From: Christina McPhee (christina112 AT
Subject: November on -empyre-

-empyre- takes pleasure in introducing our next guests and theme--

November 2002 - Virtual Construction

Please join us for a wide ranging discussion on the possibilities of
virtual construction as viral and pandemic with Joseph Nechvatal,
electronic media animator/painter/philosopher; and, later in the month,
as identity and network with Gregory Little, an electronic media artist
whose art engages issues of avatar and immersion.

Transmedia artist and philospher Joseph Nechvatal engages "viractuality"
(occasions where the virtual and the actual merge), and tests the
grounds for a technological and erotic aesthetic of virtuality.
Electronic media artist, writer and editor Gregory Little explores
constructions of identity in networked virtual environments as an
artistic medium, while focusing on issues related to consensual
identity, avatars (avatara), being inside-out, abjection, hierarchies
and the "Body w/o Organs", and the post-human.

Viractualism with Joseph Nechvatal November 1-15 & Avatar Manifesos with
Gregory Little November 15 -30

join us at --empyre forum--

---> Dr. Joseph Nechvatal has worked with ubiquitous electronic visual
information and computer-robotics since 1986. Dr. Nechvatal earned his
Ph.D. in the philosophy of art and new technology with The Centre for
Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (CAiiA) . He served as Parisian
editor for rhizome between 1996-2001 and now writes regularly for The
THING , NY ARTS and Zing. He presently teaches Theories of Virtual
Reality at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His
computer-robotic assisted paintings and computer animations are shown
regularly in galleries and museums throughout the world. From 1991-3 he
worked as artist-in-resident at the Louis Pasteur Atelier and the Saline
Royale / Ledoux Foundation's computer lab in Arbois, France on 'The
Computer Virus Project': an experiment with computer viruses as a
creative stratagem. Dr. Nechvatal has exhibited his work widely in
Europe and the United States, both in private and public venues. He is
collected by the Los Angeles County Museum, the Moderna Musset in
Stockholm, Sweden and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Dr. Nechvatal's
work was included in Documenta 8. He is a founder of the Tellus Audio
Art Project ( and served
as conference coordinator for the 1st International CAiiA Research
Conference entitled "CONSCIOUSNESS REFRAMED: Art and Consciousness in
the Post-Biological Era" (5 & 6 July 1997); an international conference
which looked at new developments in art, science, technology and
consciousness which was held at the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the
Interactive Arts, University of Wales College, Newport, UK.

---> Gregory Little is an electronic media artist working with
philosophical and theoretical issues related to the technologies of
immersive virtual reality, netart, and avatars; specifically with
respect to issues of identity, embodiment, and human sentience. He is
currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Art at Bowling Green
State University, USA; and an associate editor for Intelligent Agent.

--watch for more on Greg Little at mid-November----

Avatar Manifesto:
Presence and the AE:

Christina McPhee

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Date: 10.31.02
From: Annette Gallo (annette AT
Subject: EYEBEAM ANNUAL ONLINE FORUM The (Re) Structured Screen

EYEBEAM ANNUAL ONLINE FORUM The (Re) Structured Screen: Conversations on
the New Moving Image November 11 ­ December 13, 2002

Eyebeam, the not-for-profit organization dedicated to art and
technology, will host its fifth annual online forum entitled The (Re)
Structured Screen: Conversations On The New Moving Image. The forum,
online at, launches on November 11
and runs until December 13, 2002. The (Re) Structured Screen is a
critical dialogue organized by Eyebeam's Moving Image Division, in
conjunction with its academic partner, The Integrated Media Program at
Cal Arts.

To launch this year's online forum, Eyebeam will feature a program of
live symposia, screenings, dj/vj performance and reception on Monday,
November 11 from 7:30 ­ 10:00pm. The symposium will include Lev
Manovich, Assoc. Prof. of New Media at UC San Diego; Steven Feiner,
Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University; Isaac Julien,
artist; Julia Loktev, artist; Gary Winick, Director of Tadpole and
founder of InDigEnt; and Rick Rowley from the Big Noise Tactical Media
Project. DJ/VJ performance courtesy of Fakeshop and Haeyong Kim. The
live symposium will take place at Eyebeam located at 540 West 21st

The Integrated Media Program at Cal Arts will also host a series of
public talks. Visit
for times and dates. This forum will explore changes in culture and the
new moving images that reflect this in the post digital age. Each week
participants will discuss different topics concerning new moving image
theory; screen-based environments; changes in narrative structure; and,
media activism.

The (Re) Structured Screen will bring together a wide range of
internationally renowned participants including artists, critics,
academics, technologists, media activists, curators, film producers,
editors, animators, and directors. Participants include:

Ann Barlow, curator, New Museum John Pilson, artist Jeremy Blake,
artist Jem Cohen, filmmaker Pat O'Neill, filmmaker Chrissie Iles,
curator, Whitney Steve Hamilton, editor Peter Lunefeld, Pasadena
Center. for Art & Design Matthew Ritchie, artist Brian Drolet, Free
Speech TV Lori Zippay, director, Electronic Arts Intermix Kyle Cooper,
Imaginary Forces

Web site
A web site designed for the forum will be used to encourage the
public to participate and interact with the panelists. In addition to
the forum, this web site will include interviews with Eija-Liisa Ahtila,
artist and filmmaker; Scott Ross, Chairman/CEO of Digital Domain; Tom
Tykwer, Director of Run Lola Run; and, filmmaker, Harun Farocki. The
site will also include essays by Manovich; Marc Lafia, artist /
filmmaker and founder of; Norman Klein, critical
theorist; and, Geert Lovink, writer and media activist.

Artist "Interventions"
Eyebeam and Cal Arts have commissioned four artistic interventions to be
created in tandem with the online forum. These artistic gestures utilize
the web as their medium and will illustrate the various topics discussed
in the forum. The works of artists Fakeshop, Yucef Merhi, Marina Zurkow,
Carole Kim and Jesse Gilbert, and ENTROPY8zuper! will be featured weekly
on the site.

About Eyebeam¹s annual online critical forums
Eyebeam¹s annual online critical forums, conferences, and subsequent
book publications offer historical, theoretical, and critical analyses
of art and technology and the digital arts. These programs are intended
to address pertinent issues concerning media art and technology through
critical and scholarly discourse that begins online, continues in a
conference, and is published as a book. Eyebeam's first publication,
"Interaction", based on the 1998 forum, was published in May 2001 and
"RE:PLAY", based on the 1999 forum, will be published January 2003.

About Eyebeam
Eyebeam is a not-for-profit media arts organization, which enables and
engages cultural dialogue practiced at the intersection of the arts and
sciences. Founded in 1996 by independent filmmaker John S. Johnson,
Eyebeam is dedicated to exposing broad and diverse audiences to new
technologies and media arts, while simultaneously establishing and
demonstrating new media as a significant genre.

The Moving Image Division supports the creation of new art forms arising
from contemporary advancements in time-based media, in an educational
setting where artists of varying skill and experience levels act as
resources for one another.

For more information on Eyebeam and the online forum, please contact
Eyebeam at Tel. 212-252-5193, or by email to perry AT
Additional information is available online at

About The Integrated Media (IM) Program at CalArts The Integrated Media
(IM) Program at CalArts is geared for students whose creative work with
technology, in particular digital media, extends beyond their original
disciplines. Graduate students at CalArts enroll in this program in
order to integrate multiple media and disciplines into new forms of
expression. Configured as an interdisciplinary arts laboratory, IM
combines art, science and technology with a view toward developing fresh
creative strategies. The program supports a wide range of projects
involving performative and environmental installations, video, sound,
music, robotics, gaming, programming, interactivity, computer graphics,
and the Internet.

Media Sponsor The Annual Eyebeam Online Forum and symposium is made
possible with support from media sponsors Artkrush and Artnet. As the
primary online art resource company since 1998, Artnet is the place to
buy, sell and research fine and decorative arts online. Artnet is
comprised of 1,300 gallery sites, over 36,000 art works, 2.4 million
auction results, and daily updated magazine content. To visit Artnet,
please log onto For more information on Artnet, please
contact Min Lee at 212-497-9700 ext. 272 or by email at mlee AT

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Date: 10.28.02
From: A. Cinque Hicks (cinque AT
Subject: Representin': Digital Artists Confront Race

Representin': Digital Artists Confront Race

If October's Race in Digital Space 2.0 conference (RDS2.0) tried to
accomplish one thing, it was to demonstrate that cyberspace may not be
as white, as American or as patriarchal as most people think it is. The
conference discussions could never ultimately settle how much cyberspace
is still in need of greater diversity versus how much an already diverse
cyberspace simply needs better PR. Most likely, it needs both, but it is
clear that the problems of race stand at a pivotal juncture in relation
to digital space: on the one hand it stands to replicate the history of
television-corporate and narrow-on the other, digital space may prove to
be something more liberating, more expansive.

Held in media-saturated Los Angeles, the conference brought together a
couple hundred artists, activists, academics and others with a stake in
how cyberspace is used. As an attempt at a theoretical foundation, Jerry
Kang, UCLA professor of law, proposed four possible strategies for
dealing with race in the brave new world of media convergence, roughly:

1. abolition (ignoring race, a cyberpolicy of "don't ask, don't tell.")
2. integration (the one-big-happy-family model, think multi-racial wine
discussion newsgroups)
3. transmutation (passing, or: if I claim to be a North African Bedouin,
who are you to say I'm not?)
4. zoning (mixing and matching different strategies in different places)

The rest of the conference was of course an exercise in demonstrating
that option 4 is already happening.

Erik Loyer's online, episodic, interactive narrative "Chroma" (kind of
like a wordy, philosophical video game) plays out the complexities of
race in a digital world as characters wrestle with the problems of
incarnating themselves as digital avatars in a variety of races. How
much of race is essence? How much is a secondary byproduct of our
physical bodies?

At the other end of the spectrum, "Tropical America" starts with a solid
grounding in race and history-in this case those of Latin America-and
explores the use of gaming as a strategy for telling "alternative"
cultural histories. "Tropical America" was conceived and designed by a
handful of East LA high school students under the guidance of Onramp
Arts and is an object lesson in using comparatively low-tech, even
nostalgic technologies as an oppositional strategy of creating
content-rich, contextualized narratives.

But if the future holds the potential of ever-increasing fluidity and
access across race, gender and class boundaries, it also holds the
threatening potential for increased repression and violence. In the wake
of terrorism in the very seats of global power, the new face of
technology is our own: on surveillance videos, in retinal scans, in
police super-databases.

If this is technological "progress," how does the artist react to this?
How does the artist make of digital art, in the words of Ithaca College
professor Patty Zimmerman, "a prosthetic of hope and a shockwave for
peace?" Is such a thing possible?

The digital artist stands in a predicament: how to be conscious of race,
nation and history in a medium that so easily slips between the cracks
of all three? Artists at the conference's Digital Salons presented a
number of possible responses: Pamela Z's haunting soundscapes look at
Japanese culture as seen from the outside by a black, American woman.
Miranda Zuniga's Vagamundo recasts the beat-'em-up video game genre as
exercise in cultural empathy. DJ Spooky's irresistible, beat-laden
turntablism complements a philosophy of historical encounters and
self-definition as always a performance of the "remix," that is to say,
pieces of ourselves can be fluidly reinterpreted, recycled and
recontextualized as needed.

RDS 2.0 consciously rejected the question of the "digital divide" as too
simple a conundrum, too unsophisticated an analysis. Instead, it asks
this question to digital artists of conscience: once we get access to
technology, how do we use it? Whom do we serve?

--Cinque Hicks

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Rachel Greene (rachel AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 7, number 44. Article submissions to list AT
are encouraged. Submissions should relate to the theme of new media art
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