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: 10.03.03
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2003 19:08:44 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: October 3, 2003


1. Jens Heitjohann: Fire the FAX and join in redirected #1 : PING - part
of the plateaux-Festival/ Mousonturm/ Germany
2. Peter Ride: Symposium: Time, Space and the Artist's document

3. Susan Sakash: A Call to Collaborate - Public Art Project

4. Claude Hidber: SWAMP in Zurich
5. Darko Fritz: Media Art in Croatia AT
6. Metaphorz: Art Software

7. Shirley Shor, Andreas Broeckmann, Pall Thayer: Rhizome -- Software
Art Installation

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Date: 9.29.03
From: Jens Heitjohann (heitjohann AT
Subject: Fire the FAX and join in redirected #1 : PING - part of the
plateaux-Festival/ Mousonturm/ Germany

redirected #1 : PING is part of a series of projects which explore the
feedback of events and the structure of the web in real space.

redirected #1 : PING provides a forum in which four essential
web-related subjects - feeding, fucking, fighting and fleeing - are to
be dealt with.

Everybody is invited to participate and enrich the project.

The results will become part of a performance presented at the
plateaux-festival [Mousonturm, Frankfurt M./ Germany], 23rd - 26th of

In this performance four virtual figures (avatars) shall acquire their
own experiences and their own tongue. Starting point will be a chat in
which the avatars deal with the prepared subjects in communication with
virtual visitors. We call everybody to send us their imaginations of the
avatars by email, FTP, postally or bring it in personally from 23rd -
26th of October. The submissions will be arranged in the avatar's plots
according to your instruction. The development of the avatar's habitats
will be observable on the site via Webcams or on-site in Frankfurt.

Please be so kind to forward this email to everybody you know and link
our site if possible.

Please excuse any cross-posting.

Jentzsch/ Heitjohann/ Popp
c/o Künstlerhaus Mousonturm
Waldschmidtstr. 4
60316 Frankfurt am Main

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Date: 10.01.03
From: Peter Ride (peter AT
Subject: Symposium: Time, Space and the Artist's document

The Centre for Arts Research Technology and Education (CARTE) & DA2

Exploring the interplay of physics, art and philosophy

Saturday 1 Nov 10am - 5.00pm

The symposium addresses how time and space are investigated and
represented by artists and scientists in creative work. Presenters will
address physics, art, philosophy, film-making and curatorial practices.

Janna Levin: Keynote
Acclaimed physicist with an international reputation for her work on
cosmology, black holes and chaos and author of 'How the Universe got its
Spots'. Now investigating art as Scientist-in-Residence at the Ruskin
School of Drawing and Fine Art, University of Oxford.

Grace Weir: A fine line
Artist whose work addresses Einstein's theories relating to time and
space. Weir's video installations were included in the Venice Biennale
2001 and she currently has a major solo exhibition at Cornerhouse,
Manchester. Based in Dublin.

Robyn Ferrell: Time and its relationships, sensation and dreamtime
Philosopher, University of Tasmania. Ferrell's research considers the
connection between technology, feminist theory and the visual arts.
Author of 'Genres of Philosophy' and 'Passion In Theory'.

Francis McKee
Writer and curator of new media at CCA Glasgow. McKee discusses
strategies of film and video artists to represent, and play with time
and how the installation of exhibitions can also question our
perceptions of time and space.

Rebecca Cummins: Where is noon?
Artist, University of Washington. Cummins' work features series of
sundials as public art pieces, made in collaboration with an
astrophysicist, and reflects on the photographic measurement of time.

Tony White & Ken McMullen: Pioneers in art and science
Previewing a new documentary 'Art, Poetry and Particle Physics' that
features John Berger and world-leading particle-physicists from CERN,
Geneva. The project explores how a film-maker might create an
observational position on the subject through form and content. Film
produced by Arts Council England.

Ray d'Inverno: Closing notes
Mathematician, University of Southampton, and esteemed jazz pianist and
composer. d'Inverno is author of 'Introducing Einstein's Relativity' and
his main research is into numerical relativity.

Convenors: Peter Ride and Jane Prophet

The symposium coincides with a UK tour of 'Grace Weir: A Fine Line' by
Cornerhouse, Manchester and is co-ordinated with the Interdisciplinary
Arts Department, Arts Council England.

Venue: Old Cinema, University of Westminster, 309 Regent St, London.

Costs: Price per individual-40, concessions-25, institutions-80
(lunch is provided)

Booking: If you would like to attend see
(online booking form)

or contact S.Barker02 AT or tel 020 79115000 ext 2675




Peter Ride
Co-Director & Senior Research Fellow
CARTE - Centre for Arts Research Technology and Education
University of Westminster
70 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7NQ

020 79115000 x 2637

P.E.Ride AT or peter AT

supported by the Qunitin Hogg Trust

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Date: 9.28.03
From: Susan Sakash (nasus2391 AT
Subject: A Call to Collaborate - Public Art Project


In search of artists of all ilks (visual, sound, video, dance,
performance, word-based, psychogeographical) for a collaborative project
based on the Wandering Rocks episode of James Joyce's Ulysses. Project
to be implanted throughout the streets of Dublin, Ireland as part of the
ReJoyce events in June of 2004. Intent is to gather artists from as many
different urban locations as possible. In particular, looking for
artists (natives or transplants) living in cities outside the US and

Beforehand knowledge of Ulysses not as important as a willingness to
engage creatively with your environs and fellow citizens.

For further information, please visit:

Any additional questions, please feel free to send an email.
Many thanks.

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Date: 10.02.03
From: Claude Hidber (claude.hidber AT
Subject: SWAMP in Zurich

SWAMP-Interactive Wellness Park, Zurich, 25th to 27th of Sept., 2003

To use a former Yoghurt factory as a venue for a small but impressive
interaction design event seems not too inappropriate considering that it
took place in the land where cows still happily roam on green pastures
amidst overwhelming landscapes. On top, to call it SWAMP-Interactive
Wellness Park is another indication that the Swiss besides stashing
other people?s money and perfecting time measurement have taken on a lot
from their neighbours to the south and to the west in terms of enjoying
the nice things in life. The little festival took place in the
½Dachkantine?, a new club with original 60/70ies interior on the top of
the former Toni Yoghurt Factory in Zurich, Switzerland. The organizers,
a group called Co-lab (, describe themselves on
their website as follows:

½The eight members of co-Lab have their professional background in a
wide range of professional activities such as electronic engineering,
architecture, fashion design, sociology, light design, design of
interactive environments, public relations and photography.? Accordingly
SWAMP was an all-round event, both highly informative and entertaining.

In the centre of SWAMP some high class installations: Fur
( ( from Cologne had sent
their infamous Painstation ( to enhance the
wellness of the visitors. Two players oppose each other in good old
Arcade game style, between them the monitor and S? the pain. While Pong
does not seem to be the most exciting game in the world nowadays, it
becomes quite thrilling if your left hand is placed on a panel that
induces increasing electric shocks once you miss the ball. Quite often
you could see the players disappear towards the bathroom in order to
cool their blisters with cold water (The author himself proved to be a
chicken and did not involve physically but was highly impressed by the
tenacity of some players).

The most impressive piece for me though was Instant City by Anyaffair
(contact: anyaffair AT Sybille Hauert, Daniel Reichmuth and
Volker Böhm have produced a very poetic ½electronic music building and
gaming automat?. Imagine you stand in front of a square board together
with three other players on each side of it. The board is divided into
small translucent squares just like a chessboard but all white. A
spotlight illuminates the field. Each player has around 30 bricks neatly
strung in front of him, all in the same white translucent material. The
game starts: The players begin to place bricks onto the board. There are
no rules or guidelines. With the first stone spherical sound patterns
start to emerge, ever changing with every new brick. The players involve
into mutual compositions of high complexity and individuality. Those are
reflected beautifully in the three-dimensional constructions on the
board, evoking the skyline of a city. Technically this is made possible
by light sensors underneath the board detecting the changes in the light
intensity from above. Therefore even piling up stones will lead to
different sound patterns. The basic sounds were produced by seven
different composers and before a new game the player or players would
chose one of the composers represented in form of a master brick.

Lic Lac, the ½Light-information-Cube? by Claude Hidber, Moritz Schmid,
Christion Schoch and Valentin Spiess was especially appreciated by the
visitors of the two club nights on Friday and Saturday. Lic Lac is an
illuminated, translucent cube about 1.5m to 1.5m to 3m with a stripe of
LED lights running around it. Anyone could send an SMS that would
immediately shine up and run around the cube. The slowly changing color
of the cube itself outside on the roof-deck was a very atmospheric
experience at night (

The other six or seven installations also had their special qualities.
E.g. the works of Mobiles Kino ( ½Game
Arcade, Interactive Super 8 Slots? are analogue video games, all of them
based on Super 8 technology. Sound weird, but yes, it is possible: One
of the installations was an ego-shooter. A super 8 camera hidden under a
cardboard cladding that was designed in a retro console style. It was
projecting the classical Alien Attack symbols onto a wall. With the
pistol connected to the projector one could ½shoot? those symbols. The
pull of the trigger would stop the projector while the heat of the
projector lamp would physically destroy the image in front of the
player?s eyes-A beautiful and poetic work.

One of the biggest names around was John Klima from New York.
( showing some work in progress from his
newest piece "Earth discrete terrains /terrain machine?. What he showed
though was too raw still to give more than a conceptual idea of the
final work. Nevertheless his presence was fully justified and
appreciated with the two hands-on workshops he was offering. In a few
hours he showed us how to build a simple light sensor and how to connect
it to the keyboard. The table slowly turned into a big mess of wires,
cables, transistors soldering irons etcS? It felt like a mix of high-tec
kindergarten and the mad professor?s laboratory. Finally I had my share
of pain whilst grabbing the soldering iron the wrong way round.

Outside on the roof-deck the stars of the Swiss new media art scene had
put up their branded containers, event though Agent Marcos from etoy
( would heavily reject both: the ideas of stardom
and art in relation to their activities, as well as being a Swiss
organization. Etoy was collecting DNA samples for a new project:
½etoy.BIOTECH offers 20 etoy.SHARES (value: more than 200 USD) to each
donator who provides a sample of endogenous material (organic
body-fluid: blood, sperm or saliva) for the production of an absolutely
unique artwork: the etoy.DNA-PORTRAIT - processed at etoy.TANK-PLANT2..?

But what made this event really work was that all this technology driven
art had its counterpoint in the e-free zone. Whoever entered into this
room had to leave his Mobile, PDA, laptop, etcS? behind. During the
round table discussions that took place the participants had to scribble
their notes on the paper tablecloth, which was later used as part of the
documentation. The mobiles, with a Velcro fastener stuck to the back,
were displayed in a glass showcase in the gangway. Once in a while one
could hear them whine for their masters from afar.

One of the mentioned discussions was about virtual intimacy. It turned
out that both virtuality and intimacy are very ambiguous concepts: can
one be intimate with a machine or only in relationship to another human
being? Can one even be intimate with oneself? On the other hand the term
virtuality seemed well described with the notion of reality or ideas
mediated by a computer. In a technical sense yes, but philosophically
spoken, imagination can be seen as the basis of virtuality. Imagination
plays a central role in all human communication, be it just simple talk
or sexuality. The question then arises whether it needs mediation by
machines to produce virtuality. Unfortunately we weren?t able to solve
that one.

The next day the discussion, led by Samuel Herzog, feature journalist of
the Neue Zuricher Zeitung (NZZ), centered around Daniel Diemers
Virtuelle Triade. Diemers, (daniel.diemers AT who was present at
the event, wrote a book and a relating manifesto in 2002 to start a
discussion about the social impacts of new technologies and technology
driven concepts such as virtuality, cyborgism and bionics. Among his
several claims there are such as ½For a free and voluntary access to
virtuality,? ½For the introduction of a voluntarily protection age with
immersive virtual 3D-worlds?, ½For a life without life-augmenting
implants?, etcS? The discussion was highly controversial and far from
complete after four hours. To get into detail would be never-ending but
as one participant said: It was amazing to see how much western society
has changed in the recent years and how quickly acceptance for those
technologies, e.g. mobiles, virtual worlds, implants, etcS? has risen.
The same topics would have been discussed totally different and much
more emotionally only a few years ago.

But the e-free zone was not only a place for discussion: the marvelous
opening dinner was served there and the second night had a
reading/percussion performance. In the event-free times one could give
oneself over to a shiatsu massage.

Even though art/design festivals and conferences seem to spread like a
disease, SWAMP was different: small, intimate but nevertheless with a
high quality program. The attendance though was slightly below the
expectations. One can hope that this does not keep Co-lab from repeating

[ Axel Vogelsang
[ E-mail: axel AT

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Date: 9.29.03
From: Darko Fritz (fritz.d AT
Subject: Media Art in Croatia AT

Media Art in Croatia
written and edited by Darko Fritz

First survey and attempt at defining the term Media art in Croatia in
its historical context and setting up a relevant database. Media Art in
Croatia is part of the web portal to Croatian art and

. A brief overview of media art in Croatia (since 1960s)
. Institutions, events, databases
. Publications [magazines, TV, books, mailing lists and on-line texts;
Bibliography of the Croatian video art]


Craotian cultural institutions & subjects / media art:

festivals and other regular events / media art:

info servis [recent events, updated daily, in Croatian only]
use pop-up menu 'po kategorijama' > novi mediji + press button


A brief overview of media art in Croatia (since 1960s)

Between 1961 and 1973, the Gallery of Contemporary Art (now the Museum
of Contemporary Art) organized five international exhibitions entitled
New Tendencies. The first New Tendencies exhibition was organized on the
initiative of the art historians Matko Mestrovic, Radoslav Putar, Bozo
Bek and Boris Kelemen, and the artists Ivan Picelj and Almir Mavignier.
The New Tendencies strived at a synthesis of different forms of the arts
of the 1960s and 1970s. In the beginning, the movement characterized
broad issues but later the exhibitions veered towards
neo-constructivism, lumino-kinetic objects (mostly mechanically made,
often under group authorship) and finally computer art and conceptual
art. The first exhibition (1961) - apart from the participants such as
Almir Mavignier, Zero Group (Oto Peine, Hienz Mack) and Azimuth Group
(Enrico Castellani, Piero Manzoni) - contained works that were bent
mostly on a system research (Francois Morellet, Karl Gerstner) and
optical research of the surface and the structure of objects (Marc
Adrian, Julio Le Park, Gunther Uecker, Gruppo N - Biasi, Massironi,
Chiggio, Costa, Landi). The origins of the preprogrammed and kinetic art
whose characteristic language would mark New Tendencies as a movement as
early as their following exhibition (1963) had also been noted. The
demands for the scientification of art favored experimenting with new
technical media as a means of researching the visual perception based on
the Gestalt theory. The third exhibition of New Tendencies (1965) probed
the relationship between cybernetics and art and a symposium on the same
topic preceded the exhibition. Vjenceslav Richter, Aleksandar Srnec and
Ivan Picelj exhibited lumino-kinetic objects. The fourth exhibition
(1968/69) was dominated by the information theory and encompassed an
international conference entitled Kompjuteri i vizualna istrazivanja.
The same year, the Gallery of Contemporary Art started the Bit
international magazine. I have to mention the computer light
installation by Vladimir Bonacic DIN.21 as a paradigm for media art
coming from the sphere of science. The work was installed in 1968 on the
facade of the NAMA department store in Zagreb and was intended as a
permanent exhibit. In 1968, Vladimir Bonacic and Ivan Picelj realized
T4, an electronic (and computer programmed) object. Beside the
computerized visual research section, a conceptual art section was also
included in Tendencies 5 (1973). Vilko Ziljak exhibited ASCCI
photographs, i.e. digital printouts. Tomislav Mikulic, working for the
television where he made intentional computer animation and television
graphics, created an artistic computer movie 1973. In the early stages
of the development of media art since the 1960s, we note two, at the
time irreconcilable sources: modernist (supporting the idea of progress
and science) and the anarchistic-individual approach of conceptual art
(building on the achievements of the student movements from the 1960s).
Conceptual art and computer art were prominently marked on the
Tendencies 5 exhibition poster. Matko Mestrovic was the main theorist of
New Tendencies as a movement who tackled the problem of the relationship
between art and society demanding the socialization of arts, abolishing
the unique significance of a work of art and equaling art and science.
See more on Tendencies under Institutions, data bases, and the on-line
catalogue of a collection of works of early computer art by MSU
exhibited as part of the I am Still Alive project (2000).

Taking a point of view diametrally opposed to the scientification of
art, we can consider part of the conceptual art practice from the 1970s
and 80s as part of media art. Numerous works of the media-aware
conceptual art were made in the 1970s, such as a series of exhibitions
with posters as sole exhibits by Goran Trbuljak (1971-1981) and
performances of listening to the radio, watching TV, reading newspapers
and talking on the phone by Tomislav Gotovac (1980-1981). Free
experiments with mixed media were part and parcel of the poetry of the
so-called Group of six authors who mixed media such as photography,
film, and photocopy in the form of visual art, art books and (street)
performance. The following input came to media art from the film milieu.
In addition to his primary interest in working with experimental film,
Ivan Ladislav Galeta created numerous photo and video works,
installations, and multimedia performances. Tomislav Gotovac made
gallery and out-of-gallery performances and photo collages inspired by
movies. Vladimir Petek set up in 1971 the FAVIT art association (film
-audiovisual research - television) and created a series of multimedia
works with a number of collaborators, mostly multivision (multi-channel
video, film and slide projections), and realized ten computer movies
with Tomislav Mikulic in 1976.

Video art is the only form of media art dating back to 1971 and having a
production that has reached critical mass. Sanja Ivekovic and Dalibor
Martinis, both pioneers of Croatian video art, create jointly and
individually a series of video works and installations and, as their
personal preference, represent a duality of interests of media art from
the position of conceptual artists. Martinis is preoccupied with media
itself and its physical and semiotic possibilities and creates a series
of video installations (video installations at table in The Supper at
last, 1993, video installation in a form of a well filled with water
Circles Between Surfaces, 1996), interactive digital video installations
(Coma, 1997) and hybrid works in electronic media (Observatorium 1/2/3
exhibitions, 1997-98). On the other hand, Sanja Ivekovic moderates
social (feminist) activity through art by setting up an association of
women, Electra. She performs numerous video works and installations (In
the Frozen Images video work, the image is projected on the ice and in
the Travel Until the End of Thought work from 1994 the computer directs
the video projection of body parts in stellar movement). She creates
works in other media, too. Project Gen XX is a series of works published
in the form of advertisements in print media in 1997 and 1998. The
photographic reproductions show portraits of female top models and the
name underneath (in the graphic form of logo) comes with a brief
biography mentioned in connection to a heroine assassinated for her
political activities in the anti-fascist struggle in WWII.

In the late 1980s, the Nova Evropa (NEP, founded by Dejan Krsic) group,
Studio imitacija zivota (SIZ; Darko Fritz and Zeljko Serdarevic),
Grainer and Kropilak and the Katedrala project displayed artistic
activity carried out under a collective authorship (in the Katedrala
project a computer programmer has been included as a full-fledged
author). The above-mentioned used the media as their basic material
(reproductive, electronic, digital and mass media) and inaugurated
sampling/cut-up/quotation/recycling as an expression without specific
stylistic characteristics, i.e. the rejection of the idea about the
original. The medium of photocopy in the pre-Photoshop aesthetics of the
1980s (in the wake of experiences of copy art of the 1970s) was the
prime graphic tool. In the case of SIZ and NEP more indicative were
their media projects than the produced objects. NEP inaugurated a new
understanding of equaling politics and art, not just by ½borrowing? from
political rhetoric but also by using it on an equal footing, in the
spirit of post-modernist theories. In 1988, SIZ thrice opened an
exhibition (of graphics) using three manners of opening: live broadcast
over the radio, by a spoken word of an art historian, and by textual
print-outs of interviews. In 1990, SIZ stopped working after having
completed a three-year production and distribution (corporative) plan.
The Katedrala project (Bakal, Fritz, Juzbasic, Marusic, Premec; 1988)
took place on the anniversary of death of Andy Warhol and called for a
transformation of image to sound of a Mussorgsky composition and the
sound into a space performance of Kandinsky. It was a space generated by
a computer using joint sound, light, and video elements set in motion
through the movement of the audience and the signals of an EEC connected
to the performer, Joska Lesaj, the opera signer.

A witty subversive action Zagreb Virus 1990, whose author was Svebor
Kranjc, took place at the 22nd Youth Salon exhibition (1990). Having
sent a great number of (quasi)artistic products of various styles and
under assumed names, the jury ½missed on? a certain number of works. At
the opening itself, the author personally distributed his catalogue in
which he explained how a ½virus that the body (jury) failed to
recognize? entered thereby demystifying a part of authorship of the
exhibits and leaving the other part undiscovered referencing the
strategy of computer viruses. Kranjc had earlier on carried out a series
of TV viruses (1989) where he had infiltrated the mainstream TV program
by a system of simulacra as an art terrorist. He was a representative of
the Image Liberation Organization. These strategies of simulation were
characteristic of the conceptual art of the 1980s and were later often
used in net art that could easily simulate a system of corporative

The interactive character in its primary form is present in every video
installation involving a closed circuit system and a live video link.
Similar works originated in the 1970s but enhanced the probing of the
medium in the 1990s. In the above-mentioned Katedrala project, three
rooms were connected by sound and video closed circuit. Simon Bogojevic
Narath in his untitled work (Landscapes, 1991) set up a video link by
using a small mirror that optically distorted the electronic image.
Kristina Leko created a series of video link works with religious
content, using wireless transmission across greater distances and
employing to the fullest this technology for conceptual games with
dislocation (Flowers, 1997, Veduta, Kamenita vrata, 1998). At the 1998
Zagreb Salon, Sandro Djukic set up a closed-circuit system with delay.
Darko Fritz in his work on the End of The Message project used security
video systems as a specific form of closed circuit (at the Obsessions
exhibitions: From Wunderkamer to Cyberspace, 1995, and at Privredna
Bank, T.EST, 1997). In collaboration with Ademir Arapovic, he has
performed since 1998 a series of work space=space in which, using closed
circuit only, they have extended architecture with the use of media.
Andreja Kuluncic in her work Man Constructor (1996) used motion
detectors as well as slide and sound detectors. In 1998, Sandra Sterle
and Slobodan Jokic (Dan Oki) set up a complex interactive video
installation To Forget to Remember and to Know on the subject of
digitalized video image that changed according to the sound quality of
the spoken text. The installation was created in an Amsterdam school for
learning Dutch for Adults. Together they created an interactive internet
work called Interstory (2001) where the participant was given the
opportunity to work on partially pre-programmed film scripts. Sandra
Sterle created a series of works, Round Around (1998), in the media of
photography, linear video, and interactive CD-ROM. During a project
called Go Home that lasted several months (in collaboration with Danica
Dakic, 2001) she organized in New York a series of web cast dinners with
guests and an Internet diary.

Since 1997, Ivo Dekovic has been organizing summer workshops and
directed a sub-art gallery underwater at Razanj. A web site contains a
continual video signal showing the submerged gallery.

In the numerous one-channel video works by Narath, Vladislav Knezevic
and Igor Kuduz, a new reality in the specific phenomenon of the video
medium has been set up by a virtuoso use of digital effects in
combination with model making. The setting up of a parallel media
reality is a topic of an imaginary journey in a project that spanned
several years called Putovanje oko svijeta, which Sandro Djukic created
in photo and video media. Ivan Marusic Klif created a series of
interactive mechanized automata with picturesque figurative scenes in
the ambiance of TV monitors that inverted the expectations of the
electronic image. Klif also created computer-directed sound and space
installations by specifically combining high and low-tech (the
exhibition in the tunnel in 1995), a complex interactive manipulation of
live video image (closed circuit), and by himself programming software
for his own needs (the exhibition at Klovicevi dvori in 2000). Davor
Antolic Antas created a series of works by setting up a line of
electronically programmed neon lights in the architectural structures
(Neon, 1998-2001). Magdalena Pederin performed interactive light
installations that reacted to ambient sound. One of them, a composition
of several meters made up of LED diodes, was also the (inter)active
stage production of the Oko cuje, uho vidi performance (Marusic, Kuhta,
Rascic, 1997-1999). The sensors on the body of the performers set in
motion sound, video and light interactions. The Lights from Zagreb
exhibition at the De Parel gallery in Amsterdam presented light works by
Marusic, Pederin and Antolic 2001.

Ivona Kocica and Kristina Babic have been working on the manipulation of
the electronically generated and digital photography since 1994. Darko
Fritz has explored different aspects of media art - as part of group
projects such as SIZ, Katedrala and Balkania and various network art
projects, as well as independently by staging fax actions (since 1991,
Hype), digital photography (since 1990, La Strategia del regno), the
laser installation Measure for Measure, 1992, the first attempt at
webcast in 1994 (Keep the Frequency Clear) while one of the eight stages
of the End of the Message project that spanned several years (1995-2000)
has been on the internet since 1996. As part of the project, the End of
Message (Archives live!) sound and video work takes place simultaneously
in a gallery and over the radio (1996). Expert input was involved in the
Theater Time project (1995) through the participation of theorists and
critics in a TV program (that ran parallel to the event in the gallery
and the movie theater). Since 2001, p.sound (remix), an open sound
network piece has been taking place on the internet. A sound piece by
Rino Efendic with taped sex phone conversations from 1998 inspired his
colleagues from Split, the artist Petar Grimani and the curator and
theorist Ana Peraica, to include sound pieces at the 21st Springtime
event in 1998. Twenty-four authors created a series of sound
performances and installations in a public space entitled ArtAKUSTIKA
and the Technology of Sounded Space web project, presented at the Lada
98 exhibition (Rimini, 1998) that included a live audio stream. Ivan
Marusic Klif created a series of sound performances in which he used
various analogue and digital recordings and sound processors, as well as
text-to-speech programs (Planet majmuna, 1997, Komunisticki Manifesto,
2000). In the Speaker System project by Kristina Leko, apart from
various actions and public installations, a part of the project was
performed on radio air (the 3rd channel of HRT, 1994). The Kad razmjena
tezi maksimumu tad priljeze nuli work (1998) was comprised of remixes of
intimate nature from his answering machine. In collaboration with Darko
Fritz she created a piece called Kristina Leko, Darko Fritz and Nina
Simone, a documentary recording of the exchange of the phone address
books which was also an overview of their social and professional
network. As part of the Big Torino exhibition (1999), Tomo Savic Gecan
published an ad in the local newspapers with the date of the opening and
the phone number of the gallery. The visitors could take turns answering
the phone displayed in the gallery. Ivan Ladislav Galeta created a
series of sound projects (Speed Up, 1977, Forwards-Backwards: Voice,
1977, Forwards-Backwards: Guitar, 1977, Minutenwalzer, 1978, Piano,
1979, Obrnuti Glas, 1985)

Zvonimir Bakotin has created a series of web projects since the very
beginning of the web. Examples of pioneering work are
Transnavigation and Fresh - shaped for the participation in the Refresh
project, 1996, one of the first network art works on the internet. In
1996 he was awarded the first price for an experimental model of a 3D
interface for the de DAM (De Digitale Stad Amsterdam). In 1997, he
created a 3D project for the De Waag Society of the New and Old Media in
Amsterdam. Between 1996 and 1998, he created a 3D model of the
Diocletian Palace that underwent an extensive testing on the Digitale
Stata network. The Diocletian Palace is still a work in progress and the
project will be put on the internet in due time. Merzbau 3D is a joint
project with the Van Gogh television (VGTV) for the Sprengel Museum
Hannover from 1999, a 3D interactive (VRML) model. A member of the
VRML-ART board, Helena Bulaja called the visual artist, Petar Grimani to
join in an internet project descriptively entitled Freedom in the City
or just illusion... 1/2OokS?.WWWSCULPTURES?.introducing real space to
cyberspace and vice versa - METAPHORS, performed at the 1996 Youth
Salon. The newly designed portal incorporates in the work a simultaneous
and multiple choice of web works of other on-line authors, created in
the then new frames on the browser (Netscape Navigator 2.0). The project
was first shown in the Art Electronic web gallery in 1997. The next
project that continues the idea - Freedom in the City of just Illusion -
Urban Alphabet) also included the architect Vlatka Turniski and was
first shown at the Zagreb Salon (architecture, 1997). The project used a
new form of Netscape (3.0) and attempted at a fusion of about 50 web
cameras from different cities. The project succeeded in exploiting the
sending but not the receiving of the web cast. The interesting point of
the architecture of this work is in the use of the web user that set in
motion a web cast in the gallery without consciously controlling the

In a series of his work, Tomo Savic Gecan used (that a group of people
had conceived) new communication tools in order to make almost
imperceptible alterations in space. The web users (by web cast)
unpredictably set in motion (only a few millimeters) an architectonic
element at the SKUC gallery in Ljubljana (1999). The sensorially
detected presence of the visitors of the Begane Grond gallery in Utrecht
briefly interrupted an escalator in the Kaptol shopping center in Zagreb
(2001). In his next work, the sensors in a gallery in Los Angeles turned
on and off the lights in the flat of the artist in Amsterdam (2002).
Andrea Kuluncic has created a series of internet works since 1997.
Closed reality: Embryo is an interdisciplinary web work that actively
incited internet users to think out and participate in the discussion
about the creation of new life. In 2002, with a group internet work
called Distribucija pravde, she participated at the Big Torino and
Documenta 11 exhibitions. After her postgraduate studies in interactive
multimedia (1996-1997), Maja Kuzmanovic took residence in the
Netherlands and Belgium. She created a great number of media work: web
sites since 1996, CD-ROMs since 1995, performance, installation, video,
hypermedia works, etc. In the Once Upon a Time project (1997) she used
interactive photography, interactive film and interactive narration, and
used and developed new technologies in collaboration with scientists. In
2001, she founded the FOAM association. Blazenko Karesin created a
series of internet works. In 22% (1998), he used a web browser with the
knjiga keyword since the project tackled the subject of (high) tax
levied on book commerce in Croatia, and in the Strategic.Competitor work
(2002) he created a politically engaged and, at the same time, intimate
internet piece. In the late 1990s, a new aesthetic of internet works
appeared that abolished the line between art and design, the so-called
Flash generacija. Ingrid Stojic participated with her Interfaces work at
dotCulture 2002. The Broadcasting project (dedicated to Nikola Tesla,
Zagreb, 2002) involved a series of video streaming performances of
Croatian authors (Lala Rascic and Ana Husman, Ivan Marusic Klif, Marjan

The transformation of digital information into the analogue domain is
present in the work of several authors. In the Biblioteka project,
Sandro Djukic (since 1999) has been transforming media reality
(digitalized video) into the archives of 200,000 video frames in the
form of a book, being lost through the generations of digital
compression, the possibility of returning to the re-establishment of
primary (digital) format. In 2000-2001, in the 204_NO_CONTENT graphic
folder (2001), Darko Fritz and the net. artist Mez - Mary Ann Breeze
(Australia) transformed the text with www. Reports on server mistakes
and coded artistic texts into a graphic language on paper. Dalibor
Martinis performed works from the Binarni sistem series. In the
Zabranjeno parkiranje work, the message coded in the binary code was
written by parking 45 new silver and black cars in a line (150 meters)
at the main square of the German town of Rosenheim. Several works with
binary messages have been created by tolling the bells (since 2000).


We invite your comments and suggestions at info AT web portal .

darko.fritz.propaganda .

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Date: 9.29.03
From: Metaphorz (fishwick AT
Subject: Art Software

"Art Software"

Paul Fishwick

There has been some intense discussion targeting the subject of
"Software Art". Even though the debate manifests itself within the
context of Ars Electronica, some of the recent comments suggest that the
issue is not so much the conference activity, but rather the issues that
the conference has surfaced. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this
conference, but would like to add some thoughts on Software Art and
suggest a new direction that Software Art may lead, which would create
new synergies with computer science.

Software Art suggests that we consider how art can be created through
programmmatic elements - code and software as the raw material of art.
This could be seen as an offshoot of digital media except for the
assumption that by programming and delving into the innards of code, one
might produce a different sort of art or design than would otherwise be
possible through off-the-shelf commercial programs. This would appear to
be a correct assumption, with languages such as "Processing" [1]
providing the artist with new materials and modalities of expression.

Some of the criticism leveled at the Ars Electronica program was
intriguing and requires further discussion. For example, let's consider
a well-developed, recent Rhizome commentary by Lev Manovich [2].
Manovich makes numerous references to "larger" issues such as
"sociology," "politics," and "contemporary cultural production" as if to
pine for these attributes, and the lack thereof in Software Art. While
it may be true that all art has a cultural context (be it an artificial
or natural culture), to suggest that "larger" art need embed
sociological or political elements is exaggerated. What ever happened to
viewing digital media or software art from the perspective of sensory
immersion, interaction, engagement, and sheer enjoyment? Are these now
to be considered foreign artistic or design goals?

Manovich may be correct when he states "Today's digital artists are
typically proper formalists," which is not a bad thing. In fact, it may
be a very good thing. Over the past two years, we have been developing a
community of artists, mathematicians, designers, and computer scientists
in an area called "Aesthetic Computing" [3]. The goal of Aesthetic
Computing is slanted toward "Computing" by ensuring that any application
of the theory or practice of art to computing result in something that
"reflects" computing as a discipline (i.e., programming, visualization,
HCI, discrete structures). From the standpoint of Aesthetic Computing,
Software Art plays a key role of 1) introducing the computational
material to the artist, and 2) suggesting that not only can the
computational material be considered "raw material," but that it can
also be considered "subject material." It is the range of activity
between treating computing elements (data structures, programs,
architectures) as material to treating the elements as subject material,
which provides Aesthetic Computing with a diverse set of creative
possibilities. Consider [4], which uses the Processing language to
demonstrate a "matrix/array". This sort of formal construct is important
to programming, and the piece provides an interactive artistic
'reflection' of an item of interest for computing. The piece not only
uses code as a raw material, but also reflects and surfaces the
underlying data structure as the subject material for the art.

Software Art, with its emphasis on code and program as raw material, and
Aesthetic Computing, with its focus on exploring the "Utility Space"
extending from Software Art to Art Software (using art for new
representations for all aspects of the computing discipline) will forge
a stronger connection between art and computing. We are re-establishing
a previously lost connection between usable artifacts and new cultures
for artistic expression. The two need not be complementary goals.

[1] (

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Date: 9.26.03-10.02.03
From: Shirley Shor (ShirleyS AT by Rachel Greene
(rachel AT, Andreas Broeckmann (abroeck AT, Pall
Thayer (palli AT
Subject: Rhizome -- Software Art Installation

Shirley Shor (ShirleyS AT posted:

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Shirley Shor" (ShirleyS AT
Date: Fri Sep 26, 2003 1:48:32 PM US/Eastern
To: "Shirley Shor" (ShirleyS AT
Subject: Rhizome -- Software Art Installation

Rhizome, 2003 Software Art and sound installation by Shirley Shor PC
projection, custom software, balloon, speakers


"Is art programmable? Can software itself be art?" -- Gerfried Stocker

In this piece I'm using software as a material and a medium for artistic
work. The visuals are dynamically generated in real-time by custom PC
software and are projected on a 8' diameter weather balloon. the result
is an evolving ambient light- sculpture.

In Rhizome space itself becomes engulfed in time. Space becomes
temporal. The environment is generated by software code that generates
an on- going random path, and a playful evolving structure. The complex
system is twisting around unfixed center point, and creates a notion of
turbulence. (

Now on view AT San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery
September 10 - October 26, 2003

** Experimental electronic soundtrack credit: Alon Sadot

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Andreas Broeckmann (abroeck AT replied:

if shirley's project (which looks beautiful) were to fall under the
category of 'software art', wouldn't that mean that we have to group
everything that is 'generative design' under this header, just because
there is a piece of code generating the graphics in realtime?

for me, it still makes more sense to use the notion of 'software art'
for projects that reflect on software as an artistic material and as a
cultural artifact, rather than simply _using_ software.

i have not seen the documentation for the piece, but from what i can
see, it would not qualify for the transmediale software art competition.


+ + +

Pall Thayer (palli AT replied:

I was almost tempted to agree. I'm not really sure why though. Maybe
because we've become accustomed to accessibility to software art via the
internet. In this case however, the internet doesn't appear to have
anything to do with it. Then maybe it's because it appears that we don't
get to use it (no interactivity). It's something created only for
Shirley's use. Maybe because it includes elements that have nothing to
do with the computer (weather baloon). The more I tried to come up with
a reason to not categorize this as 'software art' the closer I came to
actually classifying it as 'software art'. Of course the lack of
information about the project doesn't really help. But what it comes
down to is that if Shirley claims to be using artist made software in an
art context then it must be 'software art'. How does this work (or at
least our perception of it based on the information provided) differ
from say, Mark Napier's "SpringyDotsApplet" in CODeDOC?

I understand what you mean about the notion of 'software art' as
reflection on software as an artistic material and cultural artifact and
despite the preferred theories of ReadMe and Transmediale, I don't think
this is the generally accepted idea of 'software art'. What I mean is
that when people hear the term 'software art', I don't think your
definition is the first thing to enter their minds. This may even be
reflected in the transmediale '03 jury statement for the software

"The jury was also very aware that the particular set of projects
submitted to the competition do not completely reflect the full range of
the activities that fit into the scope of the competition."

It sounds like they didn't receive the types of submissions they were
expecting which may just be because the artists themselves have
conflicting understandings of the term 'software art'. But if this is to
be the case, that the term 'software art' applies only to work that
reflects on software and software culture, then what term do we apply to
the other stuff?


+ + +

Shirley Shor replied:


I think that we are beyond the point of thinking about software art (or
code art) only as a tool separated from the art discourse. I agree that
for a while we had a need to define this art form in order to
investigate, understand, learn to use, and to realize what kind of
medium/material we are dealing with. We had to find the limitations of
this medium but also to find the cracks, and the folds. In this sense,
it was natural to deal and to focus on works that reflect on software as
an artistic material. My point is that we where in this situation about
seven years ago. This doesn't mean that we need to stop asking those
questions about that medium itself (did we ever stop asking about the
nature of panting? photography?). What I'm saying is that we are now
ready to express software art through fine art itself. In other words,
to combine code (as a raw material) with other methods, other mediums,
and other disciplines in order to create works of fine art. It doesn¹t
mean that these work are not going to deliver the essence of "software
art", on the contrary, in my opinion, a good software are piece is going
reflect on this issue anyway as one of several layer of meaning. I would
like one to understand what software is by experiencing it. The
software-ness of the piece emerges with the real-time experience,
without being talked about directly.

In my personal work I attempt to create real-time visuals that are
generated by a code, and based on a set of simple rules that create
complex orders. My pieces usually consist of abstract lines and surfaces
in motion. These generate organic-like architectures to challenge our
perception of space, time and boundaries.

I do software art because I feel it is the best medium for me to express
the notion of real-time. It is the only way for text-image and the world
to become one. Real-time allows me to reclaim the lost aura of the
digital product, since every given moment is unique, and never

My piece ³Rhizome² is a software art installation. The physical space,
the objects and the settings are the body of this piece, but the code is
the heart and soul of it. Code keeps it alive. I have the access to
penetrate it, to change it and to deconstruct it,

I'm using the subtitle "software art installation" for several reasons.
First, this is what the work is. It is not a Video or a DVD projection,
it is not linear animation, and it is not a traditional installation.
Secondly, the code that generates the piece is a very important
component. It is actually not "just a piece of code", but a custom C++
software that took a large amount of time and effort to design and
write. The code was born from a conceptual idea I had, and was evolved,
modified and virtually grown to become a customizable platform that I'm
using in several of my projects. This is a big part of the artistic
process. In one level, the code operates as a raw material to be
realized in the physical space. This allows me to specify concepts and
ideas that are visually realized by the computer in the space.
Simultaneously, on another level, the code generates stochastic
mutations and variations of my ideas and constraints so it function more
than a traditional physical material ­ it is actively participating in
the piece on the creative and dynamic level.

Keep it real,
Shirley Shor

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Andreas Broeckmann replied:

dear pall,

thanks for your response,

"But what it comes down to is that if Shirley claims to be using artist
made software in an art context then it must be 'software art'. How does
this work (or at least our perception of it based on the information
provided) differ from say, Mark Napier's "SpringyDotsApplet" in CODeDOC?"

well, maybe it doesn't, which is why Napier's piece may also not
qualify; what i am trying to argue is that to say that any 'artist
made software in an art context must be software art', is reductive
and makes the term utterly redundant. you can do that, but it only
means that we have to develop a different term that holds the notion
of reflexivity which i am arguing for.

"It sounds like they didn't receive the types of submissions they were
expecting which may just be because the artists themselves have
conflicting understandings of the term 'software art'. But if this is to
be the case, that the term 'software art' applies only to work that
reflects on software and software culture, then what term do we apply to
the other stuff?"

depends what it is: can be net art, can be generative design, can be
interactive performance, all sorts of things; the way i understood
the last jury at transmediale, what they meant was more in the line
of what the tm.01 software jury also argued: within the field of
software art ('restricted understanding'), many possible tracks have
not been explored yet. you can also check out the many categories on

where, in this cosmos, would you locate shirley's work?



+ + +

Pall Thayer replied:

Hi Andreas,

My main concern is defining programming and scripting languages as
artistic tools. I think they should be more widely taught in art
academies and departments as artistic tools. It doesn't really matter
what the end product is called. Anyone can try as much as they want to
coin a certain term and decide it's meaning but in the end the artists
themselves will provide the definition. The only reason I have a problem
with what you are saying is this: take something like Napiers
SpringyDots. It's art. It's software. Isn't it then software art? I
think a term like 'software art' is too ambiguous to be something that
defines a specific genre of computer related artwork (one of these days,
we'll probably have a bunch of sub-categories like 'abstract visual
software art', 'interface software art', 'data-relation software art',
'faulty error-prone software art', etc). Besides, doesn't work that
reflects or critiques a certain element of daily life (such as the use
of computers and computer programs) already have some kind of
sub-category within the arts? Take for instance the project you mention
by Matthew Fuller (the MS Word dialogue boxes). Let's say someone does
similar work involving all the different street signs that can be found
along Main Street in Mytown, Whereever (it's probably been done by
someone). Isn't it the same sort of work? Aren't they addressing very
similar issues? Should we then call the streetsign project 'street art'?
Let's take another example, Eldar Karhalev and Ivan Khimin's Screen
Saver. One of the winners of the Read_Me 1.2 festival. This type of
instructional artwork isn't new and isn't unique to computers. Sounds to
me more like Fluxus than software. I don't feel that we need a term that
separates work about software from work about kitchen sinks. But I do
feel that there is a need to establish the process of creating certain
types of software as an artistic act so that it may be properly
addressed within the art community and schools.

As far as Shirley's work goes, as I said before, the artists will define
what is and what is not software art. If she says it's software art, who
are we to argue? Presenting this type of 'software art' as an
installation piece is very interesting. Poses a lot of questions. As I
mentioned sometime before, artists software is usually approachable by
the public. You can download it and do stuff with it and gain a first
hand experience of it as software running on your own computer. But why
should that mean that it's 'more' software than Shirley's project?
Appearantly she's using the same processes as artists who present their
software on the internet and elsewhere in that she's using code and the
essence of code to generate visual artwork.


+ + +

Andreas Broeckmann replied:

dear pall,

thanks for your interesting answer. i take your point and want to
think about what you say, because it seems reasonable, and i don't
want to argue just for the sake of an argument. my feeling is that a
case should still be made for a less general notion of software art,
but at the moment i could only repeat myself, so i will shut up and
come back to it when i have a clearer mind.

there are other people who have also argued against the notion of
software art altogether, as it creates another niche, another
imprecise sub-genre of the already contested media art field. i'm
aware of that problem, but i also believe that strategically the
attention to software in particular has some relevance.

i'll leave it here and will respond later, if i have points to add.

best regards,


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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Feisal Ahmad (feisal AT ISSN:
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