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: 10.25.03
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2003 19:13:01 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: October 25, 2003


1. Amy Alexander: Discordia welcomes Guest Host Stella Rollig on

3. Rosanne: stipend 2004
4. Shawn: Faculty Position in Mechatronics, Telematics and Robotics UW
5. Elliot Anderson: Job Opening--Assistant Professor, Electronic Media
6. Vicente Matallana: CALL FOR PROPOSALS: ARANEUM/Art, Science and
Technology Award/Awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and
Technology (MCYT)

7. Jo-Anne Green: Turbulence Artists Studio: Left To My Own Devices by
Geoffrey Thomas

8. Dyske Suematsu: Understanding the Medium of Video Game

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Date: 10.19.03
From: Amy Alexander (plagiari AT
Subject: Discordia welcomes Guest Host Stella Rollig on Curating

This week Discordia welcomes Stella Rollig as our current Guest Host!

Please join us for a discussion on the field of critical
curating launched by Curating Degree Zero Archive: A Touring
Exhibition, Archive and Web-Resource Exploring the Field of Critical

The discussion will focus mainly on how to curate critique: is this
only a question of content or is it equally a question of
structuring/disturbing the space of representation and therefore of
the exhibition space?

Also this week on Discordia:

Group activity: Amy Alexander invites you to rewrite the histories of
the Apple computer and of Internet art.

In keeping with Discordia's interest in experimenting with different
forms of communication, several new features have recently been added:

E-mail digest for those who still prefer e-mail:
Just click the "user prefs" link in the red box after you log in, and
you'll see a box that lets you subscribe to Discordia Digest on a
daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Discordia's rdf feed:
Feeds (summaries of news from a website) allow you to get notified
when there's a new post to discordia, or any other RSS syndicated
site, or when there's a change to a blog or wiki you like.
For more information:

Discordia-bytes for WAP-enabled phones:
Get the latest Discordia story intros on your mobile phone. Just point
your WAP-capable phone at:
Discordia - and welcome to it.

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Date: 10.22.03
From: Shelley Stamp (stamp AT

The Film and Digital Media Department at the University of California,
Santa Cruz, invites applications for the position of Professor or
Associate Professor of Critical Studies. Applicants with a specialty in
the theory and/or history of film and/or television are of particular
interest, but we will also consider candidates concentrating in other
areas of media studies. We are seeking an established scholar with a
record of excellence and a unique orientation to the field.

Candidates should submit: a curriculum vitae; samples of recent
publications; syllabi from courses previously taught; and names of
three confidential references. A summary of past student evaluations is
also desirable.

Send materials to: Search Committee, Film & Digital Media Department,
University of California, Porter Faculty Services, 1156 High Street,
Santa Cruz, CA 95064. Refer to provision #0700-04 in your reply.
Postmark deadline: November 3, 2003. UCSC is an EEO/AA Employer.

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Date: 10.22.03
From: Rosanne (r.altstatt AT
Subject: stipend 2004

(scroll down for English)

Das Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst vergibt für das Jahr 2004 drei
6-monatige Arbeitsstipendien für internationale Künstler, die sich mit
Neuen Medien beschäftigen. Jedes Stipendium ist mit 10.225,84 Euro
(20.000 DM) dotiert, es besteht keine Residenzpflicht. Die Stipendien
werden durch eine Förderung der Stiftung Niedersachsen ermöglicht.

Wichtig! Informationen und Bewerbungsunterlagen:
Deadline für die ausgefüllte, unterschriebene Bewerbung mit

31. Januar 2004 (Poststempel).

Die Stipendiaten des Jahres 2003 waren: Dave Allen (GB/D), Bernadette
Corporation (USA/F), Naomi Ben-Shahar (USA/ISR). Die Stipendiaten des
Jahres 2002 waren: Johan Grimonprez (B), Dagmar Keller/Martin Wittwer
(D/CH) und Florian Zeyfang (D).

Bewerbungen bitte an:
Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst
Edith Russ Site for Media Art
Peterstraße 23
26121 Oldenburg
t. +49 (0)441 235 32 08
f. +49 (0)441 235 21 61
info AT


The Edith Russ Site for Media Art will award 3, six-month stipends for
2004, aimed at artists working with new media. Each stipend is 10.225,84
Euro (20.000 DM). There are no residency requirements. The stipends were
made possible by the Foundation of Lower Saxony.

Important! Information and application:

Deadline for the completed, signed application, which includes a project
description: 31 January, 2004 (post date).

The artists who received stipends in 2003 were Dave Allen (GB/D),
Bernadette Corporation (USA/F), Naomi Ben-Shahar (USA/ISR). The artists
who received stipends in 2002 were Johan Grimonprez (B), Dagmar
Keller/Martin Wittwer (D/CH) und Florian Zeyfang (D).

Send applications to:
Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst
Edith Russ Site for Media Art
Peterstraße 23
26121 Oldenburg
t. +49 (0)441 235 32 08
f. +49 (0)441 235 21 61
info AT

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Date: 10.21.03
From: Shawn (shawnx AT
Subject: Faculty Position in Mechatronics, Telematics and Robotics UW

University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS)
University of Washington, Center for Digital Arts and Experimental
Media, is seeking a Multidisciplinary Arts Assistant Professor Position
in Mechatronics, Robotics, and Telematic art forms to teach and conduct
research. Masters degree or equivalent required.

Application must include: CV, artist statement, statement on pedagogy,
and a cohesive portfolio of professional creative work. Support
materials must include three references with phone numbers, mail and
e-mail address, samples of previous course design and recent student
work. Portfolio work may be formatted for viewing on any platform and
may include video. Please include a SASE for return of materials. Also
inform us if you will be attending the CAA conference in Seattle, WA.

Application materials should be addressed to: Professor Shawn Brixey,
Chair, Digital Arts Search Committee, DXARTS, Box 353680, University of
Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-3680. Priority will be given to
applications received before January 15, 2004. The University of
Washington is building a culturally diverse faculty, and strongly
encourages applications from female and minority candidates. The
University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer.

A competitive recruitment and selection process is being conducted and
if a U.S. worker is not selected pursuant to this process, an
application for Alien Employment Certification may be filed on behalf of
an alien to fill this job opportunity. Any person may provide
documentary evidence bearing on the application (such as information on
available workers, wages, working terms and conditions, or other
pertinent information) to either:

Employment Security Department
AEC Unit
P.O. Box 9046
Olympia, WA 98507-9046


Employment & Training Administration
Region VI, U.S. Department of Labor
Certifying Officer
P.O.Box 193767
San Francisco, CA 94119-3767

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Date: 10.23.03
From: Elliot Anderson (ewanders AT
Subject: Job Opening--Assistant Professor, Electronic Media Art

University of California, Santa Cruz

The Art Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz, invites
applications for a tenure-track position in Electronic Art. The
Electronic Media program in the Art Department offers theory and
practice courses in electronic/digital media, Internet based artmaking,
computer-based interactive installation, video art and robotic and
kinetic sculpture. We seek an innovative electronic artist with a broad
knowledge of historical and contemporary art practices, as well as a
thorough understanding of technical, critical, and theoretical issues in
electronic art, and a commitment to the integration of theory and
practice in teaching.

The successful candidate will be expected to teach all levels of
electronic art, special topics in interactive technologies, foundation
courses, and art seminars. These courses utilize Art Department and
Arts Division computer studio facilities that include Macintosh and PC
workstations with digital video editing systems. Other representative
responsibilities may include curriculum planning, course development,
participation on committees, and teaching graduate courses. The
candidate will also be required to participate in the development and
implementation of both a interdisciplinary graduate program in Digital
Arts/New Media and a proposed departmental MFA program. Experience
working with graduate level students is desirable.

The Art Department is dedicated to research, teaching excellence, and
its mission to serve an increasingly diverse population. It has
established programs in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography,
sculpture, installation, intermedia, electronic art, and issues in
theory and practice. Our program currently serves 300 majors. We seek
candidates able to function in a team environment in which collaborative
teaching is encouraged. We are especially interested in candidates who
can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community
through their research, teaching, and service.

The campus operates on a schedule of three 11-week academic quarters per
year. Faculty members are required to teach five 5-unit courses per
year, or their equivalent, in accordance with the department?s workload
policy; advise and mentor students; actively engage in creative
research/activity; and actively undertake administrative service for the
department, Porter College and the University.

RANK: Assistant Professor I or II.

SALARY: $46,300-$48,900, commensurate with qualifications and

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates must have a terminal degree in
studio art or equivalent professional qualifications, a strong
exhibition record, demonstrated potential for teaching excellence, and
an ability to communicate and work effectively with students, faculty,
and administrators; and demonstrated potential for undertaking
administrative service. Knowledge of the Macintosh environment is
required. Knowledge of PC environments is desirable.

AVAILABLE: July 1, 2004

APPLY TO: Applicants should submit: 1) a letter of application; 2)
a curriculum vitae; 3) documentation of recent work (in the form of
slides, video tape, CD-ROM and/or URL) and of student work; 4) syllabi
and relevant undergraduate curriculum plans; 5) three letters of
recommendation. All letters will be treated as confidential. Please
direct your references to UCSC?s confidentiality statement at and 6) a
self-addressed stamped envelope, if you desire Item 3) materials
returned at the end of this recruitment.

Search Committee Refer to Provision #0596-04 in your reply.
Baskin Visual Arts
University of California
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Questions regarding the department or position may be addressed to
visart AT .

CLOSING DATE: Screening will begin with applications received by the
postmarked date of January 9, 2004, and continue until the position is
filled during the 2003-04 academic year.

UC Santa Cruz is nestled within 2,000 acres of redwood forest and
meadows, overlooking the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary of
California's beautiful Central Coast, about 70 miles from San Francisco
and 30 miles from Silicon Valley. Information about UC Santa Cruz is
available on our Website at


Inquiries regarding the University's equal employment opportunity
policies may be directed to: Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative
Action Office at, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064; (831)

If you need assistance due to a disability please contact the Academic
Human Resources Office at 350 McHenry Library (831) 459-4300. This
position description is available in alternate formats, which may be
requested from Academic Human Resources at (831) 459-4300.


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Date: 10.24.03
From: Vicente Matallana (vicente AT
Subject: CALL FOR PROPOSALS: ARANEUM/Art, Science and Technology
Award/Awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (MCYT)

Art, Science and Technology Award
Awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (MCYT)

The Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology announces its 1st
Science, Art and Technology Award ARANEUM, a collaboration with the ARCO

The award aims to promote the production of art and critical thinking
related to the Internet. It seeks to encourage the link between
technological research and artistic thought by fostering communication
between manufacturers and artists. In this manner it will engage
industry with the intellectual community. The interaction of these two
worlds will expand their horizons with unlimited new creative and
productive possibilities.

Applications will be accepted in the following two fields:
"Internet-related artwork" and "Research project on Internet
creativity." The proposals selected for the "Internet-related artwork"
category will receive 20,000.00 Euros; the selected "Research project on
Internet creativity" will receive 10,000.00 for its development.

The aim of this award is to promote artistic and intellectual creation.
The selected proposals will receive a monetary award to assist in the
production of the final work. Completed works will not be accepted.

Applications will be received from October 15th to December 15th, 2003.
The winners will be announced during an event at International
Contemporary Art Fair ARCO, in Madrid, on Saturday February 14th, 2004,
fowling day.

Any scholar or artist in the world can participate. Submissions will be
accepted in English or Spanish.

The jury will be composed of 5 internationally renowned specialists.
The members of the jury will be announced on November 1 2003.

Regulations, application forms and more information can be found at:

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Date: 10.19.03
From: Jo-Anne Green (jo AT
Subject: Turbulence Artists Studio: Left To My Own Devices by Geoffrey

For Immediate Release
October 17, 2003
Turbulence Artists? Studio: ?Left To My Own Devices? by Geoffrey Thomas

?Left To My Own Devices? uses the codes of digital games to explore a
narrative of loss and awkward renewal. The game's main character
navigates a space of playful interaction and fragmented animation. Game
segments take inspiration from the shifting emotional states associated
with loss. The character's backstory is gradually revealed through game


Geoffrey Thomas has worked as a programmer, interaction designer, and
university professor. He has trained in the fields of fine art,
animation, and multimedia. His work has been exhibited and screened at
Siggraph 2002, File2003, Select Media Festival, Kunst Aus Strom, Popcorn
Incident, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Chiangmai First New
Media Art Festival and featured online at ArtMedia2002,,,, and

For more Turbulence Artists? Studios, please visit

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Date: 10.25.03
From: Dyske Suematsu (dyske AT
Subject: Understanding the Medium of Video Game

Throughout history, even before computers came into existence, human
beings have wrestled with the notion of "real". In the 60s, it was
psychedelic drugs that inspired the question, "What is reality?" Now, it
is the medium of computers armed with high-performance graphics
processors that inspire the same question. Los Angeles based art
cooperative C-Level seems to be keen on understanding the message of
this modern medium.

Their new project "Waco Resurrection" premiered on October 16 at the
Kitchen in New York City. It is a 3D role-playing game where players
become Vernon Howell (aka David Koresh), the cult leader of Branch
Davidian in Waco, Texas. The game is played with a "hard-plastic 3D
skin" featuring a voice-activated interface. Participants run around the
Branch Davidian compound with a variety of weapons shooting at FBI
agents and other adversaries. They are also bombarded with the
government "psy-ops" such as the blasting of Nancy Sinatra's "These
Boots Are Made for Walking." It is a complex experience in many ways,
triggering many emotions, which in turn prompt many questions.

This summer, a similar game called "9-11 Survivor" was available on the
Internet, and was quickly labeled by many as exploitative. Brody Condon,
a member of the team that developed "Waco Resurrection," was the teacher
of the game-design class that produced "9-11 Survivor." My first
question when I observed the installation of "Waco" at the Kitchen was:
What are the criteria for something to be "exploitative"?

To exploit, according to Merriam-Webster, is "to make use of meanly or
unjustly for one's own advantage or profit." Monetary gain is the most
obvious, but neither game is a commercial venture. Why then are people
so quick to label "9-11 Survivor" exploitative? The only other motive
that I can think of is fame, or recognition, but this is merely an
assumption, albeit an obvious one. The truth of the matter is that the
critics of the game do not know what the motive of the creators was.

There is nothing inherently exploitative about trying to recreate
experiences of others. The public smoothly accepts movies like "Titanic"
and "Pearl Harbor" only because the actual events happened decades ago.
Why should time be a factor in the notion of exploitation? Why are text
descriptions of the event acceptable, but not a 3D graphical
representation? Why are web-based interactive presentations by news
organizations such as New York Times acceptable? It appears that what is
required in order to be publicly acceptable is reduction or dulling of
information either in time or in resolution. If the time is too soon,
your presentation will feel too real. If the resolution of your
presentation is too high, it will feel too real also.

Something that looks and feels real, yet is protected from any real
consequences, has an entertainment value. We are tempted to see and feel
what it was like without risking our own lives for it. This
entertainment value is what is perceived to be vulgar or of bad taste.
But again, this is a projection of our own questionable motive or
desire. Why should we assume that the same motive applies to everyone
else, as common as it may be?

The theme that runs through much of C-Level's work appears to be the
disconnect we experience in computer generated reality. Mainstream games
such as Unreal Tournament and Grand Theft Auto are based mostly on
fictional scenarios. Despite the fact that players continuously massacre
people with powerful guns or by running them over with cars, the
emotions generated tend to be those of excitement, not sorrow or guilt.
When the context of the game is closer to reality, such as Waco or 9-11,
it is more difficult to disconnect from natural emotions or empathies.
In playing "Waco", emotions are mixed and confused. The context prevents
players from simply enjoying the excitement of blowing up people and

This feeling of disconnect is explored in a different way with another
work by C-Level, "Tekken Torture Tournament." Tekken is a popular
fighting game where players assume a role of a master of martial art. In
the C-Level version of it, for every blow received, one is also given an
electric shock, thereby matching what is seen with what is felt
physically. In high-resolution video games like Tekken, there is a
substantial discrepancy between what the eyes and ears experience and
what other parts of the body experience. By filling in the gaps, one
becomes more aware of the disconnectedness of the original game.

But to blame this feeling of disconnect to the technology itself would
be a mistake. It is more a product of our alienation than it is an
effect of high technology. One can create a similar feeling of
disconnect without technology. For instance, pinch your nose so that you
cannot smell anything, and take a sip of expensive brandy. Your sense of
smell is disconnected from the flavor of the brandy, and it creates a
very different experience. Better yet, wipe the surface of raw fish with
a piece of tissue paper, plug your nose with it, and take a sip. When
you drive through a thunderstorm, what you are looking at is the same as
what the pedestrian outside is looking at, but you are nice and dry,
comfortably chatting with your company, a far cry from what the
pedestrian is feeling. In a freezing cold weather, you are wearing 10
layers of clothes, and you are actually feeling too hot. This too is a
feeling of disconnect.

For most people, what they know about 9-11 came through the same
mechanisms they usually use to consume any other types of information.
There was nothing substantially different about their experience of 9-11
from their experience of Hollywood movies, other than their awareness of
the fact that 9-11 happened for real, and that Hollywood movies are
fictional. Some people were troubled by the fact that 9-11 did not feel
any different from watching a Hollywood movie. They felt guilty, and had
a difficult time admitting the discrepancy between how they felt and
what they thought they should feel. I believe there was a certain degree
of honesty in their feelings of disconnect. After all, there was no
substantial difference in the nature of their experience; it was only
psychological. In order to reconcile these feelings of disconnect, many
people flocked around Ground Zero to see the aftermath of the tragedy.
We all employ different ways of reconciling our feelings with what we
perceive. For some people, visiting Ground Zero was nothing more than an
amusement, but for others, it was a necessary process of reconciliation.
We cannot make an overarching judgment of other people's actions based
on what our own motive would be. Perhaps for some people, experiencing
what it was like to be trapped in the WTC towers through the means of 3D
computer graphics was meaningful.

In some ways, this is similar to the effort made by C-Level to add the
component of physical pain to the video game Tekken. Those who are
perceptive and conscientious enough cannot help feeling a sense of
disconnect in playing such a game, and they are tempted to make an
effort at reconciling it. This, however, has nothing to do with the
nature of technology per se.

There are people whose emotional pain is so great that they feel
comforted by inflicting and feeling physical pain on themselves. This
too is fundamentally the same effort of reconciliation. Whenever we feel
alienated, we try to reconcile. Alienation is a feeling that what we do
or feel is not part of us. The term is more often used to describe the
disconnect between who we are and what we produce (as in classical
Marxist critiques), but my concern here is with who we are and what we
feel. Just because we feel something, does not necessarily mean that it
is connected to who we are. The problem is not so much that there are
discrepancies and contradictions among the pieces of our sensory
information, but that there is nothing that can tie these mismatching
pieces into something coherent, something we can feel as our own. When
our emotions originate from within ourselves, as disparate and
contradictory as they may be, they make sense at least from our own
perspectives. If they do not originate from within ourselves, that is,
if they are being manipulated by external forces, we cannot make any
sense out of the chaos of our own emotions, and we feel alienated from

It is analogous to how an electrical motor works. If you feed
electricity into a motor, it turns. Reverse the process and turn it with
your hand, it generates electricity. The same can happen with human
beings. That is, there are passive emotions and active emotions. Just
because you feel something does not necessarily mean that it originated
in you. It might be a result of external triggers. You feel alienated
when most of your emotions are triggered externally, when your life is
filled with apathy, and when you are a slave to your own feelings. It is
not because of the fact that you work on a computer everyday that
necessarily causes the feeling of disconnect. It is not the impressive
realism of video games that causes it either. You could be a chef who
has never had any need to touch a computer, and still feel the general
feeling of disconnect in everything you do.

Shown on giant screens, in vivid color, and with surround audio, movies
are capable of impressive realism. Often they make viewers identify with
their characters. Literature too can feel so real that one starts
crying. Some of those feelings too are passive and active. The reason
why we hardly hear anyone complain about the disconnect between what
they see and what they feel in movies or novels, is because many of them
engender active emotions in us. This is the difference between art and
entertainment; the former is an opportunity to find our genuine, active
emotions, whereas the latter manipulates our sensory perceptions to
artificially induce emotions in us. This is why true art makes consumers
work hard, whereas a piece of entertainment is served on a sliver
platter for easy consumption, essentially telling consumers how to feel.
The reason why video games tend to invite criticism of disconnect is
because most of them provide no opportunity for our active emotions to
manifest themselves. "Waco Resurrection" is one such attempt at creating
this opportunity.

C-Level may face some difficulties in changing the perception that video
games are devoid of true emotions, but once the public understands and
sees the potential of the medium, we may soon see a wave of new art
using the medium. In other words, the name "video game" has a bad rap
that it needs to get over first. It is a form of prejudice; the common
associations with the label "video game" are getting in the way of
seeing the full potential of the medium. It is similar to the way
cartoon is perceived in this country. It may face a real uphill battle,
but I have a faith in the determinations of video gamers.

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Rhizome Digest is supported by grants from The Charles Engelhard
Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for
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 Feisal Ahmad (feisal AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 8, number 43. Article submissions to list AT
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