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: 03.27.04
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 13:08:45 -0500

RHIZOME DIGEST: March 27, 2004


1. Richard Barbeau: Planetary vigil of NetArt
2. Tamiko Thiel: MIT's CAVS presents: Beyond Manzanar VR installation
3. Kirsty Boyle: East/West - Robot Culture & Perspectives

4. Indi McCarthy: CFP // Beall Center for Art + Technology // May 1st
5. Douglas Repetto: Call for Works: ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show
6. Johannes Birringer: announcement (for the Digest)

7. Sarah Oppenheimer: Supply and Demand: a techno tour of Tokyo with
Media Artist Shuichi Fukazawa

8. Peter Luining: interview with mouchette

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Rhizome is now offering organizational subscriptions, memberships
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participants of an institution to access Rhizome's services without
having to purchase individual memberships. (Rhizome is also offering
subsidized memberships to qualifying institutions in poor or excluded
communities.) Please visit for more
information or contact Jessica Ivins at Jessica AT

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Date: 3.22.04
From: Richard Barbeau (barbeari AT
Subject: Planetary vigil of NetArt

The Planetary vigil of NetArt

Veille planetaire d'art en reseau

French follows



It's my great pleasure to announce that the Vigil of planetary net art -
edition 03 - is now on line.

The Planetary vigil of NetArt is an event in which several members of
today's cyber community have been asked to choose an Internet work of
art and to comment upon their choice.

Thanks to all participants and congratulations to artists/autors of
selected sites.

________________________VPAR.VPNA_03_Participants ) selections

Wilfried.Agricola de Cologne ) Get real
Mateo.Amaral ) Presstube
b-l-u-e-s-c-r-e-e-n ) Grandir
Roxane.Bernier ) The Struggle Continues
Gregory.Chatonsky ) BetaGirl . 02
Nicolas.Clauss ) Vibration
Reynald.Drouhin ) GOOGLEHOUSE
Nicholas.Economos ) The Bomb Project
Fred.Fenollabbate ) SAMSUNG MEANS T0 C0ME
Gita.Hashemi ) Survey of Common Sense ) Escher and the Droste effect
Deb.King ) theBot (one infesting the horse)
Jeannette.Lambert ) ZeD
Barbara.Lattanzi ) MISHAPTIC
Abe.Linkoln ) i'm a net.artist
Xavier.Malbreil ) :: My Google body ::
Calin.Man ) nightScreen_v1
Anne-Marie.Morice ) ADaM-Project
Sylvie.Parent ) Life with Father (1994)
Matteo.Peterlini ) 4 untitled portraits
Catherine.Ramus ) T-deus
Sebastion.Seifert ) DELAWARE
Michael.Sellam ) UNDER FIRE
stephenaustin ) sleeping with amnesia
Edward.Tang ) Pro Wrestling Directory
Pall.Thayer ) Desktop Subversibles

Yours sincerely

Richard Barbeau
barbeari AT

VPAR: http:\



J'ai le plaisir de vous annoncer que l'edition 03 de la Veille
planetai= re d'art en reseau est maintenant en ligne.

La Veille planetaire d'art en reseau est un evenement o=F9
divers i= ntervenants de la cybercommunaute ont ete invites =E0
choisir une o= euvre d'art en ligne et de la commenter.

Merci aux participants et felicitations aux artistes/auteurs des sites
s= electionnes.

________________________VPAR.VPNA_03_Participants ) selections

Wilfried.Agricola de Cologne ) Get real
Mateo.Amaral ) Presstube
b-l-u-e-s-c-r-e-e-n ) Grandir
Roxane.Bernier ) The Struggle Continues
Gregory.Chatonsky ) BetaGirl . 02
Nicolas.Clauss ) Vibration
Reynald.Drouhin ) GOOGLEHOUSE
Nicholas.Economos ) The Bomb Project
Fred.Fenollabbate ) SAMSUNG MEANS T0 C0ME
Gita.Hashemi ) Survey of Common Sense ) Escher and the Droste effect
Deb.King ) theBot (one infesting the horse)
Jeannette.Lambert ) ZeD
Barbara.Lattanzi ) MISHAPTIC
Abe.Linkoln ) i'm a net.artist
Xavier.Malbreil ) :: My Google body ::
Calin.Man ) nightScreen_v1
Anne-Marie.Morice ) ADaM-Project
Sylvie.Parent ) Life with Father (1994)
Matteo.Peterlini ) 4 untitled portraits
Catherine.Ramus ) T-deus
Sebasti=E0n.Seifert ) DELAWARE
Michael.Sellam ) UNDER FIRE
stephenaustin ) sleeping with amnesia
Edward.Tang ) Pro Wrestling Directory
Pall.Thayer ) Desktop Subversibles


Richard Barbeau
barbeari AT

VPAR: http:\

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Date: 3.22.04
From: Tamiko Thiel (tamiko AT
Subject: MIT's CAVS presents: Beyond Manzanar VR installation

The MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) presents:


An American internment camp: Between fears and realities.
A 3D interactive virtual reality art installation
by Tamiko Thiel & Zara Houshmand (2000)

Exhibition dates:
April 26 - May 2, 2004
12:00 - 5:00pm

Artist's talk, reception:
April 28, 6:30pm
"Caught in the loop: Media hysteria in times of crisis"
Tamiko Thiel, CAVS Research Fellow

Center for Advanced Visual Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
265 Massachusetts Avenue, N52-390
Cambridge, MA 02139
(Entrance on Front Street next to the MIT Museum entrance.)

Email: cavs AT
Tel: (617) 253-4415
Fax: (617) 253-1660


Beyond Manzanar uses navigable 3D game technology, projected life-sized,
to immerse the user in a historical and cultural space and engage them
as a participant in history. The piece explores media scapegoating of
immigrant groups in times of crisis, drawing parallels between the
internment of Japanese Americans at Manzanar, California during World
War II and the threatened internment of Iranian Americans during the
1979-?80 Hostage Crisis ? with echoes in post-9/11 discrimination
against Muslims and people of Middle Eastern extraction today.

A poetic, surreal reconstruction of the historic Manzanar Internment
Camp is the framework for interior visions, personal responses to the
betrayal of the immigrant American Dream. Users experience the space
from the perspective of the immigrant, and their own movements are used
to trigger the dramatic inevitability of their own imprisonment. At the
heart of the piece lies a vision of the garden as an ancient form of
virtual reality, an image of paradise created as a refuge from the
outside world, that explores the healing processes of memory and
cultural grounding.

Beyond Manzanar was made possible by a production grant from the
International Academy of the Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Gifu,
Japan, plus generous support from Intel Corp., blaxxun interactive Inc.,
WIRED Magazine and the Asian American Arts Foundation of San Francisco.

It has been shown extensively world-wide at venues such as Siggraph, the
International Center for Photography in New York and the Tokyo
Metropolitan Museum of Photography. One edition is in the permanent
collection of the San Jose Museum of Art in Silicon Valley, California,
and another edition is currently touring with the group show Only Skin
Deep, currently opening at the Seattle Art Museum.

Artists' Bios:

Tamiko Thiel is an internationally known media artist whose current work
focuses on the dramatic capabilities of interactive 3D virtual reality
as a medium for addressing social and cultural issues. Past works
include the Totem Project, a series of video works influenced by Butoh
dance; Starbright World, an online virtual playspace for seriously ill
children done with Steven Spielberg; and the design of the physical form
for the CM-1 and CM-2 Connection Machine parallel supercomputers. She is
a Research Fellow at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS.)

Zara Houshmand is a writer, theatre director, and multimedia artist
whose work focuses on cross-cultural issues. She was a founder of
Chaksam-Pa, a Tibetan performing arts company, has studied Balinese
shadow puppetry, and translates classical Persian poetry and modern
drama. Her own plays have been produced in Los Angeles, San Francisco,
and New York. As executive producer at Worlds, Inc. she was involved in
pioneering development of virtual reality on the Internet.

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Date: 3.25.04
From: Kirsty Boyle (boyle.kirsty AT
Subject: East/West - Robot Culture & Perspectives

Much has been written about eighteenth-century automata, and of the
history, culture and language of interaction between man and machine in
the West.

The Japanese vision of the 21st century is one of "co-existence with
robots". Japan's love of robots lies in the history of the Karakuri
Ningyo. The word 'Karakuri' means a mechanical device to tease, trick,
or take a person by surprise. It implies hidden magic, or an element of

The website is an effort to archive and make
available information about the Karakuri Ningyo tradition in English.
Until now there has been little interest from outside Japan regarding
the Karakuri Ningyo craft, and its influence on technology and the arts.

Karakuri has influenced many current day inventions and technologies.
With its creative blending of tradition, spiritual philosophies and
technology, Karakuri continues to inflect Japanese culture in
significant ways.

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For $65 annually, Rhizome members can put their sites on a Linux
server, with a whopping 350MB disk storage space, 1GB data transfer per
month, catch-all email forwarding, daily web traffic stats, 1 FTP
account, and the capability to host your own domain name (or use Details at:

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Date: 3.20.04
From: Indi McCarthy (indi AT
Subject: CFP // Beall Center for Art + Technology // May 1st Deadline

Beall Center for Art and Technology
University of California, Irvine

Call for Exhibition Proposals

The Beall Center for Art and Technology supports artistic exploration
and experimentation in new technologies through a competitive exhibition
grant program. We are currently soliciting proposals for exhibition in
2005 and 2006, to fill a total of five exhibition periods. The proposals
will be reviewed in June of 2004 by the Beall Center Curatorial Review

Please utilize the pdf application form available at

The Beall Center produces exhibitions and performances in the visual
arts, theater, dance, and music, and particularly seeks works that
successfully integrate new forms or uses of technology with artistic
production or performance. In addition, as the Beall Center has an
exceptionally well-developed and flexible infrastructure, such as is
found in very few art and technology centers, preference will be given
to works that can not easily be displayed or performed elsewhere.

Artists, curators, or institutions are eligible to submit proposals.
Priority is given to cross-disciplinary projects. Artists or
organizations that have previously received funding from the Beall
Center must wait at least two years before reapplying. Women and artists
of color are encouraged to apply.

Available Facilities
The Beall Center is a 2500 square foot black box with a highly
configurable network grid, and connectivity to gigabit speed Ethernet.
See "Facility" for additional information.

Deadline for Spring Application: May 1, 2004

Contact Information
Indi McCarthy, Assistant Director
(949) 824-6206
indi AT

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Date: 3.24.04
From: Douglas Repetto (douglas AT
Subject: Call for Works: ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show

ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show

Call for Works

The third annual ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show, an international art
exhibition for robotic art and art-making robots, will take place in New
York City in early fall 2004. Creators of talented robots are invited to
submit their work for possible inclusion in the show. Proposals and
works-in-progress are welcome, provided a detailed production timeline
and samples of previous work are included in the application. The
deadline for entries is May 1st, 2004.

Please see for more information and entry

About ArtBots

ArtBots is an international art exhibition for robotic art and
art-making robots. Each year we publish an open call for submissions,
inviting artists from around the world to send us information about
their work. No firm rules exist on the types of work that can
participate; if you think it's a robot and you think it's art, we
encourage you to submit. The final list of participants is a mix of
works selected from the open call submissions and additional artists
invited by the ArtBots curators.

The ArtBots curators for 2004 are: Douglas Repetto (Columbia University
Computer Music Center), Mark Tribe (Columbia University Digital Media
Center), and Mary Flanagan (Hunter College Film/Media Department).
ArtBots is sponsored by the Columbia University Computer Music Center
and Digital Media Center.

The first ArtBots took place in May 2002 at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn
and included the work of ten artists/groups. The show was curated by
Douglas Repetto and Philip Galanter (New York University). Nearly six
hundred people visited the show during its one-day run, and the show
received very positive coverage in many print and online publications in
the USA and internationally, including The New York Times, TimeOutNY,, and NASA's Cool Robot of the Week website.

The second ArtBots show was held at Eyebeam Gallery in Manhattan in July
2003 as part of Eyebeam's summer robotics festival, ROBOT. Twenty two
works by artists and groups from six countries participated in the show,
which again received extensive press coverage, including national TV
(CNN, NBC, NY1), radio (NPR, Future Tense, WBAI, Studio 360), print
(Newsweek, Wired Magazine, New York Times, New York Press, Nature), and
online publications. About two thousand people visited the two-day show,
which was curated by Douglas Repetto, Philip Galanter, and Jenny Lee
(Pratt Institute).

ArtBots FAQs:

Q: Is ArtBots a robot competition like BattleBots, RobotWars, etc?
A: No. ArtBots is an art exhibition featuring robotic art and art-making
robots. While ArtBots is not a competition, we do give out two awards at
the end: the "Audience Choice Award" and the "Artists' Choice Award."

Q: Then why do you call it a talent show?
Q: We call it "ArtBots: The Robot Talent Show" because the robots
demonstrate their talents during the show. However, it's not structured
like a traditional talent show. It's really an art exhibition with a
funny name.

Q: How many works will be in the show?
A: Fifteen to twenty.

Q: I'm not sure if my work qualifies for your show. What exactly are you
looking for?
A: As the name of the show implies, we're looking for work that is some
part art and some part robot. The meanings of "art" and "robot" are left
open. Possible formats/media include objects, installations, sculpture,
live performance, etc. If you're still not sure, the documentation of
previous participants on should give you some idea
of the kind of work we're looking for.

A: Are the artists that participate in the show compensated in any
Q: Each participating artist/group will receive an artist's fee of $500.
This fee may be used in any way the artist/group desires. All other
costs, including transportation, shipping, lodging, etc. are the
responsibility of the artist/group.

Q: When/Where will the event take place?
A: In early fall 2004, in New York City, most likely in upper Manhattan.
The exact date and location have not yet been determined.

Q: Is ArtBots open to people outside of New York City?
A: Yes, ArtBots is an international art show, and has featured the work
of artists from around the world. Unfortunately we're not in a position
to offer anything in the way of support or accommodations for
out-of-town participants, beyond the artist's fee described above.
(Although we can probably help you find a place to stay if needed.)

Q: What's the point of ArtBots?
A: We started ArtBots because we wanted to have fun and to celebrate
some of the creative, non-violent, and not-so-competitive aspects of
robotics. People all over the world are making work that combines art
and robotics and they're asking interesting, important questions about
art, technology, creativity, responsibility, authorship, consciousness,
and so on. ArtBots is our way of focusing attention on that work.

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Date: 3.25.04
From: Johannes Birringer
Subject: announcement (for the Digest)

Johannes Birringer
artistic director, Interaktionslabor Göttelborn

Interaktionslabor 2:
interactive architecture - movement - adoptive systems

Göttelborn Coal Mine - Saarland, Germany
July 5th-18th, 2004.

directed by Johannes Birringer

Interaktionslabor Göttelborn is currently accepting applications for its
second international summer workshop in the former coalmine intended to
encourage and facilitate transdisciplinary creative practice. A
laboratory for new media arts, performance and interactive design is
created within the changing landscape of industrial culture. The former
coal mine becomes an emergent space for integrative projects in artistic
and scientific research.

Full intensive: EUR400 / Single day: EUR 50,-
* This cost does not include travel to Göttelborn and lodging. Those
arrangements should be made by the participant. The Lab is happy to
offer suggestions and/or facilitate room/ride sharing.

Send your application with résumé before May 31 to
Magalie.Trognon AT or orpheus AT
Magalie Trognon, IndustrieKultur Saar GmbH, Zum Schacht,
66287 Quierschied-Göttelborn
Tel. +49 6825-94277-50 Fax. +49 6825-94277-99


Interaktions-Labor 2:
Interaktive Räume - adoptive Systeme

Göttelborner Bergwerk (Saarland)
5.-18. Juli 2004

Leitung: Johannes Birringer

Die Werkstatt für Interaktionsdesign, Kunst und Technologien nimmt ihre
Arbeit zum zweiten Mal auf und lädt ein zum experimentellen Prozess in
der transformierten Industrielandschaft. Das ehemalige Bergwerk
Göttelborn wird auch in diesem Sommer zum Raum für Integrationsprojekte
in Medien-Kunst, Performance, Technik und Design.

Werkstattgebühr für 14 Tag: EUR 400,- / EUR50 pro Tag
Anmeldung mit Résumé (begrenzte Teilnehmerzahl) bitte an:
Magalie.Trognon AT oder orpheus AT
Magalie Trognon, IndustrieKultur Saar GmbH, Zum Schacht,
66287 Quierschied-Göttelborn
Tel. +49 6825-94277-50 Fax. +49 6825-94277-99

Die Werkstattgebühr ist unabhängig von Anreise- und
Unterbringungskosten. Das Labor berät Sie gerne bei Fragen zur
Unterkunft am Ort.


Laboratorio Göttelborn:

Laboratorio de Interacción inicia su segundo taller experimental en arte
interactivo, tecnología en medios de comunicación y ambientes virtuales.

Göttelborn, la antigua mina de carbón--Saarland, Alemania.
5 de julio al 18 de julio de 2004

Director del proyecto:Johannes Birringer

Cuota de inscripción para artistas y técnicos:
E400.00 (taller completo) o E50.00 por día.
Fecha límite de inscripción: el 31 de mayo.
orpheus AT o Magalie.Trognon AT

Magalie Trognon, IndustrieKultur Saar GmbH, Zum Schacht,
66287 Quierschied-Göttelborn, Alemania
Tel. +49 6825-94277-50 Fax. +49 6825-94277-99


Atelier Interactif 2


Mine de Göttelborn - Sarre, Allemagne
5 - 18 Juillet, 2004

Direction: Johannes Birringer

Un laboratoire expérimental de recherche sera organisé pour la deuxième
année sur le site de l'ancienne mine de Göttelborn. Ce site fait partie
du projet de restructuration d'anciens sites industriels mené par la
société IKS - IndustrieKultur Saar GmbH. Göttelborn deviendra un espace
évolutionnaire pour des projets intégratifs dans les domaines de l'art
et de la recherche.

Coûts : 400 EUR pour els 2 semaines / 50 EUR par jour Ces coûts ne
comprennent pas le transport ni l'hébergement, que le participant doit
lui-même organiser. Les organisateurs se tiennent à votre disposition
pour vous conseiller dans ces domaines.

Informations: Magalie.Trognon AT ou orpheus AT

Magalie Trognon, IndustrieKultur Saar GmbH, Zum Schacht,
66287 Quierschied-Göttelborn
Tel. +49 6825-94277-50 Fax. +49 6825-94277-99

Le site: Göttelborn se trouve dans le Land de la Sarre, à proximité de
la frontière française et à environ 20 min au nord de Sarrebruck.


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Date: 3.26.04
From: Sarah Oppenheimer (soppenheimer AT
Subject: Supply and Demand: a techno tour of Tokyo with Media Artist
Shuichi Fukazawa

Supply and Demand: a techno tour of Tokyo with Media Artist Shuichi

We begin in Shibuya Station. The heart of the teen scene in Tokyo, we
stand encased in glass overlooking "Hachiko" ­ the ever-loyal dog
awaiting a long lost master. The street below is densely populated; the
crush of pedestrian traffic at the "Scramble" crossing makes the
differentiation of bodies impossible. Three large monitors overhang the
intersection. Each enormous monitor displays a different pop star. On
rare occasions, there is synchronicity between monitors. Matching images
are a product of a well-coordinated marketing scheme; screens are owned
by different ad agencies. The illuminated characters drown out the flow
of bodies below. Young smiling Japanese pop stars. Over and over again.

>From the street of Shibuya, we traveled to Akihabara, the "basement" of
Tokyo¹s technology universe. We begin in a seven story game center.
Similar centers can be found on almost every block inside the Yamanote
line. The pick and grab candy colored animal-toys on the ground floor
give way to more complex digital games upstairs. Game machines are
sophisticated architecture. They vary from surround sound headgear to
musical instruments. Drums, batons, buttons and guns are available
mediators with the digital universe.

We each drop 100Y into FZERO. Shuichi is seated in the low-slung vacuum
form car seat to my right. We gear up out separate machines, select our
characters, our vehicles, our car characteristics, and we¹re off. Inside
the game, while working from different platforms, the machines
coordinate our movements. I¹m racing him. My car swerves around the
cylindrical roadway, a magnetic tube-like street where gravity takes a
back seat to speed. Not familiar with the controls, I swerve again and
again into the red line. I lose.

Standing is disorienting. The world of the game, in a very short
2-minute race, has disrupted my balance. We scan the room; it is about
half full. Walking out, Shuichi points to the clock: 2:30 pm, Tuesday.
"At six, it¹ll be overflowing."

And out onto the sun drenched street. We cross the street, entering a
vast market. In this street level arcade, architecturally reminiscent of
the covered markets of Mexico, stalls are jammed with parts. Buttons,
micro-cameras, voltmeters, fuses, parallel ports, sensors, dot matrix
modules. Men stand in small clusters browsing different stalls.

Smaller stores in the adjacent alleys sell used digital equipment not
yet in production in the US. Hot off the shelves and already discarded.
Storefronts overflow with files resembling used record outlets. Files
are crammed with small Ziploc bags, each carefully labeled and highly
priced. These DIY shops specialize in small computer kits. Build your
own motion sensors, sound sensors, sonic distance measurers, and
automatic battery re-chargers. Check out for
available kits. Blank chips and boards line the walls: electronics for
the professional and the hobbyist.

But as we walk away from this wealth of activity, Shuichi refers back to
the games and the anime. The neighborhood is changing, he reflects. It¹s
all manga porn now. It¹s all entertainment. Akihabara is still the
technology basement of Tokyo, but people no longer make it. They want
only to play.

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Date: 3.26.04
From: Peter Luining (email AT
Subject: interview with mouchette

Interview with Mouchette

Of course everybody knows Mouchette or better everybody thinks (s)he
knows Mouchette. Here's an interview with Mouchette that I made for the
P2P show that momentarily is held at the Postartum galery in L.A. It
tries to uncover what's behind Mouchette and focusses amongst others on
issues as "the life of a virtual character", copyrights and art

Peter Luining: - Mouchette has been for quite a while on the net. How
did you find out about the Internet and are there any specific reason
why you started with "Mouchette"?

Mouchette: Internet arrived very early in Holland and it was like a
democratic revolution. For the first time in the history of information,
a medium was created where every receiver could become a sender. There
was a sort of euphoria, a utopia of the information age was suddenly
made true. Everything you saw on the web was something you could make
yourself and put out there for everyone to see. I didn't have much
technical background but web technology was very simple at that time, so
if I could do a web page, a child could do it too. I was very amused by
the phenomenon of the personal homepage, which I immediately experienced
as a popular "genre" in that medium. I am the kind of person who thinks
that art is never where you expect it, and that art is only in the eye
of the beholder: a true descendant of Marcel Duchamp.

PL: - By now everybody knows that there are links to Mouchette and the
movie by Robert Bresson--you were even in a legal fight with the heirs
of the director. Could you tell something more about links inspiration?

Mouchette: I knew I wanted to make a young girl's character. There were
others I liked. It could have been Alice (by Lewis Carroll) or Zazie
(from "Zazie dans le Metro" by Raymond Queneau) but they were too well
known (Zazie in France) and their lineage was already claimed so much. I
liked the dark aspects of the character of Mouchette. She was not cute,
pink and pretty, although I must say I didn't know the film very well at
that time, I'd only seen it once. I was very impressed by the art of
Robert Bresson. His film making was so pure and minimal, with essential
facts like a Greek tragedy. His actors didn't "play" or "pretend", they
embodied the character by their physical presence only and plainly spoke
out the text, he always chose non-professional (amateur) actors. The
work I created in reference to the film (the Film Quiz) is a homage. Too
bad Bresson's widow didn't see it like that! She didn't like the spirit
of it, a certain cold humour. The dispute ultimately worked out in my
favour: I had to remove the work from my site, but through the
solidarity of the community it got hosted by more than 50
different sites.

PL: - You give shape to a character on the Internet. A lot of art on the
net is about playing with identity, especially in the early days. We
nowadays see a tendency in art that is called identity art in the true
sense, meaning searching for where do I stand, who am I, going back to
your roots, through self. Do you think Mouchette still fits in this last
category or do you think she is a product of a certain period?

Mouchette: For me, identity is something that exists between the "I" and
the "you", it's not just a personal investigation. Mouchette is
constructed by her public. When they love her, when they insult her,
they make her who she is. And I design everything like this: words as
questions, identity as an empty space where people project their desire.
That is why it is still growing since the beginning, and that is why I
never get bored with it because I'm not just looking at my own
(artificial) navel; and evolve with the public, with the development of
the internet itself. I'm just another drop of water on the Internet
ocean, changing with it.

PL - Mouchette's website seems to be visited by a lot of people that
aren't aware of its art background. Do you think this, crossing over
different audiences, is a typical thing of net art?

Mouchette: No. I think most net.artists want to throw their CV and
artist's statement at your face before you see their work. Their work
can usually be understood by a child of 10 (which is a good thing) but
they want to force it into the art context that way. I think is
a form of public art, art for the public space, it should be accessible
for any kind of public, at any level. Let the curators and the art
institutions see Mouchette as art if they can, but if they can't, it's
only their problem. I'm not going to exhibit my artistic pedigree and
references to make my work fit into their frame of mind. They are the
ones who should change their frame of mind and understand what the
Internet public already sees very clearly. So if there is some crossing
over to be done, it's on the side of the art institutions, who should
find a new place between the net.artists and the public.

PL: Interesting. The point that you make about the "institutional"
art world sounds very similar to ideas of a lot of early "net artists"
that saw/see themselves not as artists (Michael Samyn, Heath Bunting,
Graham Harwood) but tried/try to get this different "frame of mind"
through too. What's your stance/view on this?

Mouchette: It's nice to know that on Internet you can propose your work
outside of ANY art context and that surfers who stumble on it by chance
will have some fun, some pleasure, some first-hand emotion without
having to relate to any known work of art or to any critical theory.
Yet, if your work can still function on that level and offer analytical
content to those who have an artistic or intellectual background, if
your work can be approached on several levels at the same time, then you
know you have the right frame of mind. Yes, that's the best of both
worlds, an ideal position. I know it doesn't always work like this, so
if I choose to ignore one type of public, it's the artistic public. When
they're smart enough they get the intellectual content by themselves,
without having it explained. And I know this analytical approach is
going to come out in my work one way or another because it's present
inside of me.

PL: Something related to this is that I know Mouchette won some art
prizes on festivals you had to apply for. If you do enter this for
competitions, do you just send your url or are you going for the full
form? What I mean with this is: does Mouchette adapt on this level to
get her "frame of mind" through?

Mouchette: In the very beginning I didn't connect to the art world at
all, but the art world connected to me at some point. Takuji Kogo (Candy
Factory, Tokyo) was the first one to pick it up as art in 1997, he made
collaborative exhibitions in his gallery, he introduced my work to
Rhizome. Net art people had no difficulty in seeing it as the creation
of a grown up and developed artist although nobody told them. They
spread it, commented it, linked it. So it was easy for me to enter my
work in competitions. Besides, most of them didn't request any
artistic references, you only had to send your URL. When I have to give
more details, I never break the rule of the anonymity of the author and
never disclose my gender. I'm still within my rules in this interview. I
like it when my work participates in the art world and I would make the
effort to bring it to them if I can stay within my rules. I want to add
here that this "mystery of the author" serves no personal purpose, only
an artistic purpose. But it makes it all the more difficult to connect
to the world of art as much as I would want to.

PL: And linked to the question above: do you see yourself as an artist
or net artist?

Mouchette: From the beginning I always saw myself as an artist, not a
net.artist or a something-artist, just an artist. For me is not
separated from the rest of the arts. It should be brought to the public
by museums and other art institutions.

PL: Above you say that net art should be seen as a form of public
art, art for public space, yet to bring it in the white cube is something
different. Explain.

Mouchette: Art in the public space should be enjoyed by the passing
people without any reference to the art context, that's what I meant. It
can be integrated in the street context to such a point that it's not
even seen as art, but still experienced as something meaningful, or
useful, or disturbing etc... When envisioned through the art context,
the standpoint is different and what makes it an artwork is a particular
mixture of the work itself and the public participation to the work.
That's why I don't see a contradiction between general public and art
public: it's just a different standpoint for the same work.


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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Feisal Ahmad (feisal AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 9, number 13. Article submissions to list AT
are encouraged. Submissions should relate to the theme of new media art
and be less than 1500 words. For information on advertising in Rhizome
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