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: 04.02.04
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2004 18:53:56 -0500

RHIZOME DIGEST: April 02, 2004


1. Kevin McGarry: posting to Rhizome Raw

2. Drew Hemment: Futuresonic04 Festival
3. McKenzie Wark: Playdate #1: War Games and Game Wars
4. M. River: Internet Art Survives, But the Boom Is Over -NY times
5. Christina McPhee: Ana Maria Uribe: a tribute

6. t.whid: Subway images

7. Juliet Davis: "Militantly Marginal": The First IDMAA Conference

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Date: 3.29.04
From: Kevin McGarry (kevin AT
Subject: posting to Rhizome Raw

There are two easy ways to distribute messages across the Rhizome
community via Rhizome RAW, Rhizome's unfiltered, higher volume email
subscription archived on as 'Fresh Texts'.

1) To post by email, simply send a message to list AT, and the
body of your email will be sent to all subscribers of Rhizome RAW and
appear as a text object in Fresh Texts.

2) To post online for the same effect, access 'Post a Message' from the
'Art + Text' drop down menu at and complete the posting
forms. Online, you're able to provide a date and submission type that
pertain to your post. If you include a date your post will be added to
our global new media calendar, and a submission type will enable readers
to distinguish your post from others as an announcement, opportunity,
comment, and so forth.

Any post made to Rhizome RAW may be published to Rhizome RARE by
superusers, a group of volunteer Rhizome RAW editors. Rhizome RARE is a
lower volume email subscription that also appears online on's front page, along with an image and link relevant to the

A selection of posts to Rhizome RAW will also be published in Rhizome's
weekly DIGEST sent to subscribers.

To add or modify your email subscriptions you can access 'Email
Subscriptions' under the 'Community' drop down menu at and
check and uncheck the boxes denoting your current subscriptions.

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Date: 3.29.04
From: Drew Hemment (drew AT
Subject: Futuresonic04 Festival

April 27th-May 8th 2004
Urbis and city wide
Manchester UK

A festival of electronic music and media arts
Featuring 250 artists & 50 projects and events
Est. 1995

Futuresonic04 programme
view in html |
view website |

Futuresonic live

Tuesday April 20th
The Matthew Herbert Big Band
A pre-festival special event - Pioneer of electronic music Matthew
Herbert (UK) performs live with a full 20-strong band, stunning vocals
and live sampling. With Bugge Wesseltoft (NO).

Saturday May 1st
Free outdoor May Day event Unite and Love Music Hate Racism present
Dizzee Rascal stablemate Wiley (UK), former N.A.S.T.Y. MC D Double E
(UK), Metz & Trix (UK) and Virus Syndicate (UK) showcasing the cutting
edge new urban sound of Grime.

Sat May 1st
Location live Live sound art in the unique surroundings of a
fifteenth-century hall including Glide by Echo and the Bunnymen's Will
Sergeant (UK), Mathew Gregory (UK), Vergil Sharkya' (UK), Phil
Mouldycliff (UK) and Colin Potter (UK). Curated by Colin Fallows.

Saturday May 8th
Arrange and Process Basic Channel live Closing party and profile club
event of Futuresonic04 - a rare UK live set and Futuresonic04 exclusive,
Scion (DE) plays re-arranged and re-worked tracks from the back
catalogue of the legendary German techno outfit Basic Channel (Moritz
von Oswald and Mark Ernestus). Plus very special guests.

Turntable re:mix

Celebrating 25 years of the Technics 1200MK2 with a series of events
featuring pioneers of turntable music and looking at the past and future
of the DJ with artists detonating the art of playback by using Phono
Fiddles and laser harps.

Tuesday April 27th
Pioneer of turntable noise Philip Jeck (UK) alongside Aleks Kolkowski
(DE) and Matt Wand (UK) performing with 78 cutting machines, old wax
cylinder players and Phono Fiddles.

Thursday April 29th
Part One: First ever scratch team outing for Finga Thing's Peter Parker
(UK), World ITC Scratch Champion DJ Woody (UK) and G-Kut (UK) - WITH A
TWIST: they will be cutting up vocal fragments and short stories
commissioned by the-phone-book Limited for mobile phones!
Part Two: Sirconical (UK) performs live with his band comprising of DJ
Woody (ITC World Scratch Champion/UK), live drums and bass. With Twisted
Nerve head honcho Andy Votel (UK) in support.

Friday April 30th
scratchDJ with C'mon Feet
Hip hop and next-level turntablism with D-Styles (Invisibl Skratch
Picklz) presents Gunkhole (four person DJ set including live drums/US),
Tigerstyles (DMC World Supremacy Champion/UK), DJ Homebrew (UK), Angry P

Saturday May 1st
futuresonicDJ with Music Is Better
Detonating the art of playback by DJing with Kaoss pads, Theremins and
laser harps. An all-star international line up includes Daniel Wang
(Metro Area collaborator/US), Ann Shenton and Pierre Duplan (Large
Number/Add N to X/UK), electro-funk pioneer Greg Wilson (Wigan
Pier/Legends/Hacienda/UK), Danny Webb (UK), Bonnie & Clyde (UK), Solid
State (UK) & Roger (special futureDJ set/UK/ FI). Also celebrating the
first birthday of Mancunian/Finnish electronic innovators Music Is
Better. Technology curated by Alchemy Audio Lab.
9.30pm - Demo of Final Scratch, and your chance to learn about the
advanced technology used in this event.

Mobile Connections

Exploring new horizons in wireless and mobile and the diverse ways in
which artists and DIY technologists are pushing the limits, and
soliciting unexpected or unforeseen results from communication media
past and present.

April 30th
Mobile Connections live
Renegade rollergirls from RICHAIR2030 (UK+++) patrolling the city in
search of wireless hotspots and SIGNAL_SEVER! (SLO/US/UK/FR/DE/RA)
surfing the radio zones of the electromagnetic spectrum

April 30th to May 2nd
Mobile Locations - Interactive experiences in the city streets
Set off into the city with InterUrban (US) to uncover an interactive
story. Try to make sense of a world in which you hear things 10 seconds
after they happen with Sonic Interface (JP). Text the numbers on the
(area)code (UK) signposts that have sprung up around Manchester to
discover secret histories or leave your own digital graffiti. Put on a
pair of Aura (UK) headphones and navigate the virtual sound environment
in Cathedral Gardens.

April 28th to May 8th
Mobile Connections exhibition
Trace a journey in sound through Tokyo's bustling streets with
Streetscape (JP). Explore the immersive environment of Come Closer (UK).
Play Schminky (UK) while sat at the bar. Remix the city with The Central
City (UK). Listen to Disembodied Voices (US) plucked from the air. Let
Auto Mobile (IN) zip you through the streets of Bangalore mobile in hand
in. Be a Wifi-Hog (US). Just say Telenono (UK).

April 28th to May 8th
Location installations
Sound installations curated by Colin Fallows. With John J. Campbell
(UK), Max Eastley (UK), Colin Fallows (UK), Lee Ranaldo (US), Russell
Mills and Ian Walton (UK)

April 30th to May 2nd
Mobile connections workshops
Create your own animations and ringtones for mobile phones with
the-phone- book Limited (UK). Collaborate in close-proximity network
communication through Oscillating Windows (US). Build your own wireless
network with Consume (UK). Explore the interactive creative
possibilities of the Soundbeam (UK) sensing technology. Road test
cutting edge location aware technologies with Locative Media Lab


The Mobile Connections conference at Urbis explores how geographical,
cultural and perceptual space are being reconfigured by wireless and
mobile media. Specific focus on the interventions of the freenetworks,
how locative media opens up new ways of experiencing the city, and how
sound artists explore space and the urban environment.

Friday April 30th
Introduction Drew Hemment (Futuresonic/UK)
Keynote Sadie Plant (UK)
Network Commons with Armin Medosch (AT), Jonah Brucker-Cohen (US),
TAKE2030 (UK+++).
Locative Media with Anthony Townsend (US), Marc Tuters (CA), Ben Russell
(UK), Anne Galloway (CA) - In association with Locative Media Lab
Creative Crossings with Tapio Makela (Programme Chair, ISEA2004/Vice
Chair, m-cult/FI), Susan Kennard (Executive Producer, Banff New Media
Institute/CA), Derek Freeman (UK) - Followed by reception. In
association with Banff New Media Institute, ACE and ISEA2004

Saturday May 1st
Keynote Matt Adams/Blast Theory (UK)
Wireless Interface with Marko Peljhan (Projekt Atol/Makrolab/SLO), Fee
Plumley (the-phone-book Limited/UK), Tom Melamed (Mobile Bristol/UK),
Zoe Irvine (UK). Sonic City with Christa Sommerer (AT) and Laurent
Mignonneau (FR), Tom Wallace (, Steve Symons (UK).
Location with Colin Fallows (Chair, UK), Tim Cole (SSEYO/Tao Group UK),
Hugh Davies (UK), Max Eastley (UK), Russell Mills (UK)

Workshops & Talks

Free Audio/DJ workshops and talks presented by Technics DJ Academy and
School of Sound Recording.

Tuesday April 27th
An overview of Digidesign's ProTools system with authorised instructors

Wednesday April 28th
Computer Music Production
Interactive workshop hosted by Elliot Eastwick and Steinberg's Neil
Cooper. Based around Cubase SX2 and Reason. Advanced level.

Thursday April 29th
Electro-Funk: The missing link in the evolution of UK Dance Culture
Artist talk by Greg Wilson, DJ at Wigan Pier and Legends, promoter of
the first dance event at Hacienda, and pioneer of UK electro

Thursday April 29th
DJ technique workshop
Basic level mixing through to the most advanced scratch and
beat-juggling techniques. Hosted by DJs Masta Wong & G-Kut.

Saturday May 1st
DJ workshop: Final Scratch
Real-time manipulation and scratching of digital music files using
time-coded vinyl and a hardware interface.

Futuresonic City

Celebrating Manchester's new cutting edge with a city wide programme of
affiliated live music and club events plus a special event in Liverpool
to coincide with the festival launch. See for full
listings. Futuresonic City events are not included in festival pass.

Tuesday April 27th
Hive at FACT
Kaffe Matthews & Riz Maslen play live, plus Futuresonic-commissioned
films by Coldcut, Ultra Red, Battery Operated.

Wednesday April 28th
Blood And Fire Sound System
Live from Jamaica, Dancehall DJ Legend U Brown, plus selector Steve
Barrow & Dom on dex & fx.

Thursday April 29th
Life Begins when You're Ready to Face it
Snazzy Records Showcase with Doublejo(H)ngrey, Viva Stereo, Cholo,
Testrack vs Protoplasm Daddy, IZU and the A La Mode resident DJs, Dylan,
Goon, Betty Botic and Nigel Anlaog. Visuals by Dot matrix, Betty Botic &
Rubber Ghandi.

Friday April 30th
Joe Zawinal
The legend of frontier music with Graham Massey's Toolshed (7 piece) in

Friday April 30th
Phush & Hippocamp - Joint Birthday
Moodsaver, DNCN, Maurofleur, Batfinks, Domestication of the Dog. DJs
Xander & Neemo. Phush TV, Artwork and installations by RTFM & friends.

Friday April 30th
Club Suicide presents Spektrum
With Gabriel Olegavich (Medasyn/Non-Stop/The Sweatshop).

Friday April 30th-Saturday May 15th
A New York-Manchester multimedia theatre collaboration by the award
winning Contact - a tale of cyber crossed lovers.

Saturday May 1st
Beans on Toast Phonic Art
Anomali, Human, Bot, Gate 33, DKD Girl, Formula Ghost.

Saturday May 1st
Friends & Family
With very special guests.

Sunday May 2nd
Daniel Weaver, Lee Patterson and Owl Project

Sunday May 2nd
Valentine Records present Dark Shores
Helen Lagoe, Triclops, Lynskey and The Roar of the Guns.

Sunday May 2nd
Alison Crockett live
The Brooklyn based diva with DJs Kelvin Brown and Jon-K (Eyes Down).

Sunday May 2nd
The Beards at the Bearbash
The Beards (Homo Electric) vs Matt Rothery and friends present electro-
klash, glitch and micro house at a gay event for large, hirsute, bigger
built men, their partners and their admirers by the new queer creatives.

Wednesday May 5th
Cut n Paste
With very special guests

Sunday May 9th
Burst Couch # 11
Post-festival special event and Lotta Continua label showcase with
Illuminati, Unplugboy Meets Disco Operating System, DOS. Visuals by VJ


International taster events leading up to Futuresonic04 in Berlin and
San Francisco plus the Broken Channel tour featuring Kaffe Matthews and
Riz Maslen plus films by Coldcut, Ultra Red and Battery Operated in
Bristol, Birmingham and Liverpool.

February 2nd, 2004
MobiloTopia AT transmediale04. Berlin
Exploring the emerging field of 'Locative Media' and the utopian hopes
generated by location aware media.

April 21st, 2004
MobiloPhobia AT CFP2004. San Francisco
The panacea of openness and accessibility has not arrived and
MobiloPhobia looks at the dystopian vision of a future in which our
every move is monitored and tracked.

Broken Channel tour

Noises of dissent and visions from the shattered lens of CCTV and

April 17th, 2004 Cube - Bristol
Kaffe Matthews & Riz Maslen live. Films by Coldcut, Ultra Red,
Battery Operated.
Tickets/Info +44(0)1179299008

April 23rd, 2004 Feed Festival - Birmingham
Kaffe Matthews & Riz Maslen live. Films by Coldcut, Ultra Red,
Battery Operated.

April 27th, 2004 Hive AT FACT - Liverpool
Kaffe Matthews & Riz Maslen live. Films by Coldcut, Ultra Red,
Battery Operated.

Tickets and Info

Ten events are free and tickets are available individually. But if you
are planning to make the most of Futuresonic04, we recommend you buy a
Festival Pass, which at £40 (£32.50 concs) will save you £52.50 if you
go to all events.
Festival Pass covers all Futuresonic<04> events except The Matthew
Herbert Big Band and Futuresonic City events (some discounts may apply)

Book online...

Festival/Day Pass Tickets only. +44 (0)161 605 8200. Booking fees apply.

Individual event and Festival Passes: Piccadilly Box Office. +44 (0)161
832 1111. Booking fees apply.


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Date: 3.31.04
From: McKenzie Wark (mw35 AT
Subject: Playdate #1: War Games and Game Wars

Dear friends, please come if you can, and pass the invite along.
-- Ken Wark

Playdate #1: War Games and Game Wars
Friday 9th April 1-3pm Wolff Conference Room
The New School 65 5th avenue (at 14th st)
Free. All welcome. Lunch provided.

Ed Halter, War Games: Digital Gaming and Military Culture An
audio-visual presentation on the interconnected histories of computer
gaming and the culture of war, including the military prehistory of
video games, how real wars have been depicted in games, and new ways
in which the US military is working with commerical gaming companies.

Ed Halter is a regular contributor to the Village Voice and other
fine publications. He has organized the New York Underground Film
Festival since 1995, and has curated film, video and media
exhibitions for various other events and spaces.

Alex Galloway, Social Realism in Gaming On March 21, 2003, a day into
the war in Iraq, Sony filed a trademark application for the phrase
"shock and awe," apparently for future use as a PlayStation game
title. The phrase, and the American military strategy it describes,
was in fact not such an unlikely candidate for the PlayStation. The
console system has long flirted with game formats based in realistic
scenarios, from Sony's own SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals to Electronic
Arts' Madden NFL. A month later, responding to criticism, Sony
dropped the application, stating they did not intend to use the
expression "shock and awe" in any upcoming games. But they have
not dropped their fetish for realistic gaming scenarios This talk
will examine the possibility of true realism in gaming, with
reference to current global geopolitics.

Alexander R. Galloway is assistant professor of media ecology at New
York University. Galloway previously worked for six years as Director
of Content and Technology at He is a founding member of
the software development group RSG, whose data surveillance system
"Carnivore" was awarded a Golden Nica in the 2002 Pri x Ars Electronica.
Galloway's first book, "PROTOCOL: How Control Exists After
Decentralization," is published by The MIT Press.

Playdate is an occasional seminar series sponsored by Eugene Lang
College and organized by McKenzie Wark

McKenzie Wark ~~~~~~~A Hacker Manifesto version 4

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Rhizome is now offering organizational subscriptions, memberships
purchased at the institutional level. These subscriptions allow
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: 4.01.04
From: M. River (mriver102 AT
Subject: Internet Art Survives, But the Boom Is Over

In a small article in the New York Times this morning (sorry, it does
not seem to be online) entitled "Internet Art Survives, But the Boom Is
Over", Cory Arcangel, Rachel Greene, Jonah Peretti, Mark Tribe and
Lawrence Rinder talk about the death of Net Art. Yup, that's right, it's
now officially officially, officially over and dead.

Or, as Mark Tribe calls it and MTAA officially agrees, "Undead".

So, let's all get together tonight to celebrate Undead Net Art at the
Drinkin and Drawin? Championship, 2004

+editor's note+
article url (registration required):

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Date: 4.01.04
From: Christina McPhee (christina112 AT
Subject: Ana Maria Uribe: a tribute

------ Forwarded Message
From: "Jim Andrews" (jim AT

This brief on the long life of Argentinian Ana Maria Uribe deserves to
be passed along, apologies for cross posting...

She was to be our guest on the empyre list in March, but, graciously,
told us at the end of February that she could not commit to it. Little
did we know how close she was to the end of her life.



The Argentine visual poet and web.artist Ana Maria Uribe passed away
March 5, 2004.

Ana Maria's involvement in visual poetry was an important part of her
life for thirty five years. In her first post to the webartery list in
May 2001, she said:

"I started with visual poetry in the late 60's after seeing some of
Apollinaire's poems and Morgenstern's "Night Song of the Fish". Shortly
afterwards I met Edgardo Antonio Vigo, who was then editing a magazine
called "Diagonal Cero", devoted to visual poetry and mail art, and other
poets such as Luis Pazos and Jorge de Lujan Gutierrez. They all lived in
La Plata, a town which is 50 km from Buenos Aires, where I live, and we
communicated by ordinary mail, either because there was a shortage of
telephones at that time or to save costs, I don't remember which. I
still keep some of the letters..."

She started developing her web site in 1997. At that point, the only
other Argentine visual writing site on the net I was aware of was
Postypographika by Fabio Doctorovich, which has since gone offline not
long after the economic collapse in Argentina during 2001.

Ana Maria's web site is divided into "Tipoemas" and "Anipoemas", ie,
typographical and animated poems. As she said in an interview by Jorge
Luiz Antonio,

"Rather than being a source of inspiration, getting to know other
digital poets via the Internet has helped me a lot in many ways. My
source of inspiration - as I say elsewhere - are the letters themselves.
I never participated in a collaborative work, although I made pieces for
certain websites, like "Zoo", for "The Banner Art Collective" and "Deseo
- Desejo - Desire"
(, for
Muriel Frega, who was putting up a page on desire. Exchanges in sites
like Webartery taught me many things I might otherwise have missed or
never tried."

Looking at her work, we see the secret life of letters and their
rendering in a style that is much influenced by the concrete work of the
fifties and sixties--that was a cultural heritage and way of knowing for
Ana Maria from the sixties through the turn of the century. Her web site
was not simply a transposition of her earlier work to the new medium,
however. The sense of motion and change, and the sense of the
carnivalesque, the life of letters, the sense of proceeding via
engagement and celebration of life comes into her anipoemas in memorable
and exciting ways. As she said, her source of inspiration was the
letters themselves, and this gives her work both an international and
enduring quality. She was conversant in about seven languages. Language,
reading, writing, translation and travelling the world, getting to know
it from many perspectives, was a crucial part of her life.

I invited Ana Maria to be a featured guest on empyre with Regina, Jorge,
and Alexandre some months ago. She had told me earlier of her bad health
and surgery, but I was not clear on how bad it was. She did not want
others to be told that she was ill, and it seemed by her reticence about
her health that it was quite bad indeed. She eventually declined the
invitation because of her health and told me that she "could not make
plans for March."

Ana Maria loved to travel. She spent considerable time in India and
travels through Asia and the Americas. I recall that during the time war
was widely publicized as an immanent possibility between Pakistan and
India over Kashmir, Ana Maria was travelling in or near Kashmir and sent
posts to the webartery list describing the holidaying and enjoyment
going on in the area where war was apparently the last thing on peoples'
minds and considered to be a barely existent possibility. "Things
sometimes look worse from far away" she said. Hers was a very close look
into poetry.

Her poetry, her correspondence, and her massive assistance with
translation into Spanish of the entire Paris Connection project we
worked on together last year, and her encouragements remain with me amid
her extrordinary life of letters. Her work spans thirty five years of
thinking and feeling and living through visual and, latterly, digital
language and poetry.

There is a mirror of her work on my site at . I
would like to add to this mirror writing about her work and any work
that addresses hers. Please contact me if you know of such writing or
works or wish to contribute to what will be an ongoing archive in this
regard. If you are familiar with her work and would like to write about
it on empyre, please do so. As I mentioned, she had been invited to be
featured this month with Regina, Jorge, and aLe. It did not become
evident to her until February 8 that she could not. One of the last
emails I received from her was this:


Although three days ago I accepted your invitation to the empyre debate,
I have had a lot of problems since then, and I will therefore have to
decline it.

My apologies to you all and I hope we may do some other collaboration in
the future.

Besos and regards,

Ana Maria"

My heart goes out to Ana Maria and her family and friends. It is with
deep regret that I inform you of her passing which I learned of last
week from her brother Diego. Her work and influence remains, though, and
it is with respect and admiration that I turn to experience her poetry



Ana Maria's site:

Ana Maria at

Ana Maria at

Ana Maria at Iowa Review:

Ana Maria at BeeHive:

Ana Maria at Inflect:

An interview of Ana Maria by Jorge Luiz Antonio

Ana Maria did all the translations into Spanish of all the work at

David Daniels has done a visual poem about Ana Maria at

empyre forum
empyre AT

------ End of Forwarded Message

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Date: 3.29.04
From: t.whid (twhid AT
Subject: Subway images

Hi Rhizome,

I came across this piece on the NYTime's website this morning (reg requ):

It's an interview and slide show (flash) with the photographer Bruce
Davidson regarding his late 70s/early 80s photographs of and in the NYC
subway system.

It reminded me of David Crawford's 'Stop Motion Studies' series:

As some may know, MTAA is interested in 'updates'
( of older
art work and it's interesting to read Crawford's work as an update of
Davidson (though I'm certain that Crawford didn't intend it to be).

If you compare Davidson's photos to Crawford's animations both formally
(still photo as opposed to sorta-still) and you compare how the subject
has changed over the intervening years, you will see a greater narrative
develop which neither of the two projects could achieve on their own.

Don't misunderstand, both projects are brilliantly executed on their
own, but the comparison creates a historical arc that adds another
fascinating layer.



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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: 4.02.04
From: Juliet Davis (juliet.davis AT
Subject: "Militantly Marginal": The First IDMAA Conference

"Militantly Marginal": The First IDMAA Conference
by Juliet Davis and Suellen Regonini

Gather 25 digital media educators into a room and urge them to confess
their secret doubts: that they might be marginalized in their
departments; that people "don't really get" what they do; that
administrators aren't sure how to assign value to their work; that
curriculum changes so fast that the catalogs are out of date as soon as
they're printed; that their field harbors an uncertain intellectual
core. Then, watch these same people brainstorm, collaborate, mutate
across disciplines, seek common ground, and strive to legitimize. If
this sounds as much like a support group as a conference workshop, then
you've already grasped an unusual aspect of the new International
Digital Media and Arts Association (IDMAA) and its first conference,
held in Orlando March 10-12. "It's about support," says Ray Steele, the
Director of the Center for Media Design at Ball State, who started the
association with part of a grant from the Lilly Foundation and
sponsorship from such industry notables as Electronic Arts and Pearson
Prentice Hall. It's also undeniably political (conference title: "For
the Militantly Marginal"). One gets the sense that this group is going
to move and shake this field with or without you.

This impression might be owed in part to a list of founding members that
seems anything but marginal, including Ball State, Bowling Green State
University, Columbia College, Florida State, Stetson, SUNY, Union, and
the Universities of Central Florida, Denver, Florida, Georgia, Montana,
Warwick, and Wisconsin. Furthermore, IDMAA officers and board members
come from leading-edge positions in their fields
( ).

"We're really an odd bunch."
The term "militantly marginal" could appeal on many levels to people in
digital media and art. It acknowledges rebellion against tradition,
giving a nod to digital dilettantes who have crossed disciplines, broken
with academy traditions, and reinvented themselves as rogues of raster,
vagabonds of vector. "We're really an odd bunch", Steele commented in
his closing statements. At the same time, the term suggests a movement
toward institutionalizing the future. As all good students of revolution
know, today's militantly marginal are tomorrow's monoliths; fortunately,
this irony was not lost on the IDMAA group, which seems to embrace
disparate voices and be wary of quick solutions.

IDMAA acknowledges that the digital media and art programs created by
universities and colleges around the world involve diverse and
ever-changing technologies, markets, values, and goals; and that these
programs tend to emerge more organically than strategically from
partnerships of Art, Communications, Science, English, Music, Theater,
Film, Journalism, and other disciplines. The IDMAA web site furthermore
points out that "these programs often don't fit within the neat and tidy
confines of traditional university structures--their creators and
champions often forge interdisciplinary partnerships to create
opportunities, attract money, and stimulate explosions of creativity.
The International Digital Media & Arts Association was organized by and
for people working in these margins. Margins are frontiers, but they are
also uncertain places. Marginal people upset the establishment, take
risks and make new things happen."

Sue Regonini and I have had the opportunity to develop (or help develop)
seven digital media arts programs since 1997, yet we still feel at times
as though we're operating on the fringe-and perhaps we're not alone in
this feeling. Approximately 200 people attended this conference to
access its 30 workshops, three presentations by industry and academic
leaders, gallery exhibit of experimental digital work, new peer-reviewed
journal, and array of networking opportunities. Differences in this
conference from SIGGRAPH or similar gatherings became obvious. Rather
than sitting in a big hall, absorbing information being disseminated by
the speaker/panel in a (mostly) one-directional outpouring of content,
the IDMAA conference participants became part of a mE9lange of
discussions, mediated by workshop leaders, on a wide range of topics,
from funding for digital media projects, to game technology and theory;
curriculum design to interactive performance. For a complete list of
workshops (summaries of which will soon be posted to the IDMAA web
site), see .

Call for Standards?
If the conference was "designed to answer the key questions for faculty
and administrators building Digital Media and Digital Arts academic
programs around the world," it probably asked more questions than it
answered. While we were not able to get around to all 30 workshops in
the two-and-a-half days, we did notice some common themes among those we
did attend. "Who are we?" was a question that arose many times. "What do
we call what we do?" Terms such as "new media" and "digital media" seem
to fall apart under scrutiny, as they are based on specific and changing
technologies. And what of the diplomas we hand out to our students that
say "M.F.A. in New Media" today, only to sound old tomorrow? Jan
Cannon-Bowers, mediator of the workshop entitled "Graduate Programs in
DM&A", reported that USC is working with the term "Dynamic Media", which
ironically seems to fix, by means of terminology, a state of continuous
and energetic change. "Convergent media" has become a popular term as

Perhaps even more important is the question of what we should be
teaching-for example, in associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral
programs. How do we incorporate the teaching of technology, project
management, aesthetics, critical theory? Or, as one participant put it:
"How do you teach Flash without, well, teaching Flash?" Is it even
appropriate to incorporate the teaching of technologies per se at the
university level, or should it be relegated to workshops outside of
class meetings? And what should we expect students to teach themselves?
At what level? When we develop graduate programs, what foundations
should we assume students to have when they enter? While some workshop
participants seemed to feel that a call for standards is needed to
legitimize digital media/arts in the academy, others felt that the
protean and interdisciplinary nature of the field was essential to its
nature, and that the field should stay in flux. Can a room full of
programmers, artists, and social scientists really agree on these
issues? Should we really be able to?

Having recently returned from visits to two universities that are
collapsing the walls of departments in an effort to encourage
interdisciplinary work, I have observed an interesting movement toward
fluidity. Michigan State University has newly established its C.A.L.M.
department (Communication, Arts, Letters, and Music), which merges
previously sectioned-off departments such as Telecommunications, Art,
Theater, Music, English, and Journalism. At University of Texas at
Dallas, the School of Arts and Humanities, under the leadership of Dean
Dennis Kratz, has collapsed its walls so that it has no departments per
se. A dance professor teaches animation because she understands how the
body moves. An artist shows students how to slosh paint on a digital
scanner. A philosopher teaches a video class, emphasizing critical
theory. It's every accreditation team's nightmare (a thought
delightfully subversive in and of itself). While we think of knowledge
as becoming more and more specialized, we also see a trend toward
generalizing and "cross-pollinating."

What Employers Want

"We aren't even looking for specialists who know specific technologies
any more; we're looking for artists." -Jim Spoto, Computer Graphics
Supervisor for Electronic Arts (EA)

>From the opening plenary session of the conference, it was obvious that
major concerns of participants included the increasing speed of
technological change and the cultivation of curricula and methodologies
that allow students to become creative thinkers and problem-solvers,
rather than software specialists. Art David of Wave Light Digital
Images, Inc., who has worked in compositing and digital shot clean-up on
several major motion pictures such as The Matrix, Judge Dredd, Contact,
and Starship Troopers, said in his presentation that "students need to
develop problem-solving skills" in order to be competitive in a rapidly
shifting technological environment. David illustrated the challenges of
the digital effects industry by discussing the dramatic changes in
staffing at ILM and other digital effect houses worldwide over a period
of just eight years. He also emphasized that the workload is being
redistributed to smaller firms and to various locations worldwide, and
that students must be willing to adapt to the industry if they want to
remain viable.

Jim Spoto, Computer Graphics Supervisor for Electronic Arts (EA), the
world's largest computer game and electronic entertainment company,
brought a similar message. "You can't commodify creativity," said Spoto,
as he described the profile of workers that EA wants to attract.
Technical jobs, he explained, can be shipped overseas. Creativity can't
be. Art can't be. Storytelling can't be. Spoto believes that we are
seeing a shift from an "information economy" to a "creative economy" as
information technologies become commodified. EA is seeking to enhance
customer experience by developing new game designs, genres and models;
developing greater immersion in virtual experiences through more
meaningful and emotional interaction with "digital humans"
(photorealistic characters with sophisticated artificial intelligence);
designing more complex interfaces that allow users wider ranges of
interaction; and promoting more convergence with film to create higher
overall production values.

"We Tell Stories"
Perhaps one of the most resonant moments we witnessed came with a
comment from Jeff Rush, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in
the School of Communications and Theater at Temple University, who
suggested that what we all have in common is that "we tell stories." The
popularity of workshops involving narrative theory and gaming seemed to
suggest a lot of excitement about the future of digital story-telling.
We even met English-professors-turned-experimental-video-game-
developers. IDMAA directors have instituted an annual Award for Positive
Innovation in Media, which was presented to Joe Lambert and Emily Paulos
of the Center for Digital Storytelling at Berkeley, in memory of Dana
Atchley, founding Director of the Center. In accepting the award,
Lambert discussed the importance of digital media in helping people
learn how to present their stories and preserve them for the future. "We
address the sunshine as well as the shadow side", said Lambert, "and
question where we are going." The presenters of the award, Caroll Blue
of the University of Central Florida, and Nancy Carlson of Ball State
University, stated that "experience design," as defined in Nathan
Shedroff's book of the same name, is a major goal of digital
storytelling, in that it allows the author/artist to "capture,
objectify, and quantify" experiences and information that would be lost

The IDMAA Conference started conversations that will undoubtedly
continue in future conferences and publications-conversations that
promise to take us beyond the dialectical antagonism of statements like
"linear narrative is dead" or "video games are evil," to see ourselves
as part of an expanding, fluid field that partially defies definitions
because it entertains infinite possibilities.

Future IDMAA Resources
IDMAA promises to provide the following resources to its members in
upcoming months:

- a forum for sharing sample syllabi and curricula developed for media
arts programs.

- a master list of graduate programs in digital media and art, and
descript ions of content.

- summaries of the conference workshops, posted to the web.

- the new International Digital Media and Arts Association Journal

- ongoing conferences

- gallery exhibits of experimental work

IDMAA 2004 Conference Web Site

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