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: 4.16.04
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 13:03:13 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: April 16, 2004


1. Rachel Greene: The First Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition
and Symposium opens May 28th in Beijing
2. jonCates: vrsn.NET_WORKS

3. Camille Baker: Call For Submissions: Artists and Researchers - Deadline:
May 14th, 2004 (New Forms Festival)
4. karina: Coded Cultures / Exhibition*Symposium*Workshops / Vienna-Austria
5. Patiño Juan Manuel: International Festival of Electronic Art 404

6. Joy Garnett: Copyright in the Digital Age

7. Tom Brecelic: Thai New Media Festival, Bangkok

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Date: 4.13.04
From: Rachel Greene (rachel AT
Subject: The First Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition and
Symposium opens May 28th in Beijing

Begin forwarded message:

From: z <z AT>
Date: April 12, 2004 11:33:11 AM EDT
To: rachel AT
Subject: The First Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition and
Symposium opens May 28th in Beijing


The Millennium Dialogue
- The First Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition and Symposium


The new millennium has witnessed the growing vitality throughout the
world of new media art, an art mediated via digital means, often with
the internet as its platform. This emerging art, originating from an
increasingly technologically dependent society, not only challenges
traditional creative media, and ways of thinking, but also posits to
artists and cultural workers new questions concerning all realms of
contemporary life.

"Millennium Dialogue" aims at creating a constructive dialogue and
promoting a dynamic interaction between Chinese artists and global
trends in digital art education, production and theorization.

At the crest of rapid economic growth, China has enjoyed a parallel
advancement in the digital realm, deploying the latest development in
communication technologies and nurturing vast opportunities for both
artistic creation and social progress. Chinese art has inevitably, like
the rest of the world, come to face similar challenges of the digital

Tsinghua University is commited to advocating the understanding of
humanity through cooperation and exchange, in promoting originality in
artistic creation and innovative thinking in the new millennium, and in
advancing excellence in education and research.

The ZKM | Center for Art and Media is a unique institutional model
comprising classical museum representation and artistic-technological
research and development in order to support new perspectives on future
technologies and modes of thought.

V2_ is an organization that concerns itself with research and
development in the field of art and media technology. V2_ concentrates
its efforts on the presentation of contemporary media art by organizing
exhibitions, lectures and workshops, masterclasses, symposiums and
performances. Through its activities V2_ makes a structural contribution
to the ongoing debate on art, technology and society.


To establish a global, high profile platform for dialogue and
exchange with the most current trends in all fields of new media arts
production in order to advance and promote new media arts and new media
arts education.


The First International New Media Arts Exhibition and Symposium
will be staged in two phases. Phase one titled: "LEADING THE EDGE" will
mount the international academic exchange component of the project which
is slated to open on May 28th of 2004, in which a number of
internationally acclaimed leading educational and research institutions
will join forces to participate in a fourteen day exhibition and a two
day symposium focusing on the academic and educational aspect of the new
media arts in order to foster a constructive and creative dialogue in
research and education excellence. A compilation of speeches and essays
will be published subsequently.

Phase two will launch the international exhibition titled "IN THE LINE
OF FLIGHT" in May 2005 to coincide with the Beijing Biennial. Along with
the curated exhibition, "IN THE LINE OF FLIGHT" will also invite new
media luminaries from world-renowned arts institutions and museums to
attend a two day symposium in Beijing. Among them, Center for Art and
Media (ZKM) of Germany, Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), The Whitney
Museum of American Art (US), Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (US),
V2 (Holland), Ars Electronica (Austria), and Kiasma Museum of Modern Art
(Finland) will be participating. A catalogue will accompany the opening.

Both events will take place at the China Millennium Museum with over
10,000 square feet of state of the art facilities boasting the largest
panoramic LCD screen in Asia and wireless broadband connectivity.    


Tsinghua University (Beijing, China)
ZKM | Center for Art
and Media (Karlsruhe, Germany)
V2_ (Rotterdam, Holland)

In collaboration with:
China Millennium Museum (Beijing, China)
Parsons School of Design (New York, US)


Central Committee of Chinese Youth
China Art and Literary Association
Chinese Artists Association
Ministry of Culture, P.R. China
Ministry of Science, P.R. China
Ministry of Information Technologies, P.R. China
Ministry of Education, P.R. China

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Date: 4.16.04
From: jonCates (joncates AT
Subject: vrsn.NET_WORKS

........................... ........................... .................
vrsn.NET_WORKS <-+-> NODE <-+-> Version>04: invisibleNetworks April
16 - May 1, 2004
........................... ........................... .................
mini aspects, projects + participants in the Version>04:
invisibleNetworks convergence engage with online networks as a part
of their theorypractices, however, the vrsn.NET_WORKS NODE of the
Version>04 features a selection of projects especially conceived for
[+/or] realized online.
........................... ........................... .................
Web based art projects, works + systems open ports to networks of
meaning + connections to distributed, collaborative + anonymous
activities. vrsn.NET_WORKS explores these intricate webs through an
online presentation of digital [arts/activism]. A diverse + dynamic
selection of projects, works + systems that engage cell phones,
mobile technologies, constellations of friends + forms of protest are
available via the Version>04 website during Version>04:
........................... ........................... .................
vrsn.NET_WORKS are organized in the following clusters: datamaps +
executables, secrets kept + leaked, keys unlock promises and personal
profiles + networks.
........................... ........................... .................
//datamaps + executables:
........................... ........................... .................


Amanda Gutierrez


this is MAPS for you
Alan Sondheim

Trace Route
Mark Daggett

........................... ........................... .................
//secrets kept + leaked:
........................... ........................... .................


An investigation into the oddity of submarines
Joanna Griffin

minimal garden
holger lippmann

The Bomb Project
joy garnett (first pulse project)

//keys unlock promises:

usine de boutons

Make Your Choice
Nino Rodriguez

Christophe Bruno

........................... ........................... .................
//personal profiles + networks:
........................... ........................... .................




Stop Motion Studies - Tokyo
David Crawford

true looks
isabelle jenniches

........................... ........................... .................
vrsn.NET _WORKS is a project conceived, curated + organized by jonCates
as a NODE of the Version>04: invisibleNetworks convergence April 16 -
May 1, 2004.
........................... ........................... .................
to connect to these works + other NODES, aspects, projects + participants:
........................... ........................... .................
---> Version>04: invisibleNetworks curator
---> Version>04: invisibleNetworks organizer
NODES: vrsn.NET_WORKS, vrsn.NET_HUBS, vrsn.EXCHANGE, ...

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Date: 4.8.04
From: Camille Baker (camib AT
Subject: Call For Submissions: Artists and Researchers - Deadline: May 14th,
2004 (New Forms Festival)

The New Forms Festival is an annual event highlighting emerging forms at the
junction of art, culture and technology. It includes performances, panel
discussions, workshops, and interactive exhibits on contemporary Media Arts
issues. The NFF environment encourages new forms of Media Art to be
created, experienced, and understood. NFF04 will be held in Vancouver, BC,
from October 14 to 28, 2004. The theme is TECHNOGRAPHY: the inscription of
culture in technology.

NFF04: TECHNOGRAPHY is a forum to explore and embody these inscriptions in
the form of artistic expression and discourse.

NFF04: TECHNOGRAPHY looks at the ways in which cultures inhabit and
transform media spaces and technologies.

NFF04:TECHNOGRAPHY will bring together practitioners and theorists from
across grassroots, gallery academy and academic contexts and provide a
platform for conversations among the diverse voices of contemporary
digital regionalism.

NFF04: TECHNOGRAPHY programming incorporates the principles found within an
ecological model of the cultural sphere: complexity, variety and balance.
Like nature, culture is also a changing phenomenon, affected by the ways in
which technology inhabits the environment and relates to it.

Call for proposals for projects, presentations and performances

Deadline: May 14th, 2004

Proposals are invited for four areas of the festival: the Conference, the
Exhibition (digital art, performance, installation, immersive environments,
Net.Art), Performance Series (sound art, performance art, live film/AV) and
Late Night Events (music, visuals, post-digital, laptop, group performance,

Gallery Exhibition/Events/Workshops

This year the Exhibition (Gallery and Net Art), Performance Series, and Late
Night Events will present a range of works that embody and interpret the
theme of TECHNOGRAPHY as defined above.

For more details, see <>


The NFF04 Conference, Old And New Forms , negotiates new global parameters
for contemporary media culture, as it charts a post-traditional
?technography? of world Media Arts. The post-traditional is what remains of
modernism and postmodernism when modernization is abandoned as an unfinished
and unachievable project. While the post-traditional view is clearly
meaningful in the post-colonial and developing spheres, Old And New Forms
posits that it is equally germane to the global post-industrial scenario as
a whole.

For more details, see <>

Deadline: May 14th, 2004

Contact us if there are concerns at:

New Forms Festival 2004
Programming Committee
Suite 200, 252 East 1st Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
T: +1 604-648-2752
F: +1 604-648-2754
E: curatorial AT or info AT

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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: 4.13.04
From: karina (k.lackner AT
Subject: Coded Cultures / Exhibition*Symposium*Workshops / Vienna-Austria

CODED CULTURES | decoding digital culture
16.05. - 30.05.2004 | Freiraum/ MuseumsQuartier Vienna

*Coded Cultures is an open forum*

Digital realities are coded. In this context Coded Cultures decodes and acts
as an agent between the creator and receiver of information. The ways of
origination and reality design of various artists and art groups shall be
demonstrated on hand of workshops and an exhibition, whereas a new approach
towards digital art in the 21.century will be acquired beyond its technical

Young medial art, media- art and conceptional art from eastern and western
Europe of the last 20 years will be shown in the "Freiraum" in
MuseumsQuartier Vienna, presented by the well known slovenian curator Dunja

Parallel to the exhibition there will be a complementary, theoretical as
well as interactive line-up. It should help to decode and reflect upon the
ways of origination and the perception of various artists and art groups,
who either are or have been active in the aforementioned fields.

Several workshops will take place during Coded Cultures. These will picture
the tools and methods of digital art and progressvive projects.

How does digital art define itself?
Can one speak of the complete loss of the aura of digital media art in order
of decentralisation in the creation and distribution of art in terms of
Walter Benjamin? Is there a new aura being created? A step backwards cannot
be considered, but how can the step forward look like? Where are the
prospects of digital media art and what are the new approaches and
discourses like, which absorb or are taken up by the artists?

The production of art has massively changed because of digitalisation and
the global network resulting in the decentralization of the locations of
creative production. Inspite of- or because of- the elusive elements used by
electronic media, many digital groups of people with same interests (digital
subcultures, "Öffentlichkeiten") evolved. Through the permanent creation of
new (digital) groups of interest, many projects are formed which point out
new ways of distribution and presentation of artistic content. The
presentation of new trend- setting channels, as well as the demonstration of
common aims of subcultures, which organize themselves by means of new media,
are part of Coded Cultures. Since 20 years new forms and methods of
publicising are shaped by these groups, which often have the same

Aside massculture the image of the artist is not clearly defined. Many
"digital artists" do not refer to themselves as such. Furthermore, the
artistic work is coded on behalf of different cultural backgrounds, cultural
connotations and (visual) symbolism.

These codes will be pointed out and compared. The aim is to make the "art of
the new media" apprehend- and experiencable. Apart from the technical
approach, narrative elements, interaction and transparency are of importace
to the viewer.
The term of "digital art" will be discussed- the ways of creation,
perception, aesthetics and norms will be reflected upon and decoded. Artists
and the interested audience shall be brought together in the open forum
Coded Cutures: the contemporary situation of digital forms of expression is
to be illustrated, new ways and possibilities in these disciplines to be
found and the discussion about digital art shall be stimulated.
detailled schedule and programme at

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Date: 4.16.04
From: Patiño Juan Manuel (jmp AT
Subject: International Festival of Electronic Art 404

"Astas Romas" is organising the first "International Festival of Electronic
Art 404", to be held at "Juan B. Castagnino Art Museum" and ?CEC?, in
Rosario, Argentina on 7th -12th December 2004.

Our Organisation is making a world-wide call to artists and theorists to
take part in this Festival 404.

Authors may participate in the following areas: net-art, website, static
image (digital prints, photography, etc.), animation, video, electronic
music, theory, installation, performance and any other proposals made by the

Participation in this festival is free, open, and has no age-limit.

The only requirements to submit your work are to follow the instructions
detailed in the participation terms published on

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Date: 4.16.04
From: Joy Garnett (joyeria AT
Subject: Copyright in the Digital Age

Copyright in the Digital Age

Lawrence Lessig
Professor, Stanford Law School
Wednesday, April 14, 2004; 1:00 PM

Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Lessig was online to discuss his
book, "Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock
Down Culture and Control Creativity." In his book, Lessig argues that the
entertainment industry conspires with Congress to use copyright law to
destroy our traditional notion of freedom in culture. reporter David McGuire moderated the discussion.

A transcript follows.

Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over
Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests
and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.


David McGuire: Dr. Lessig, thanks for joining us. In your new book: "Free
Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture
and Control Creativity," you argue that the debate over piracy has
obscured a larger movement on the part of the media industry (movie, music
and software makers) to "remake the Internet, before it remakes them."
How, practically, is that movement unfolding? Where are those battles
being fought?

Lawrence Lessig: The content industry has done a good job convincing the
world that the internet will enable what they call "piracy." That has
obscured the fact that the internet will also enable an extraordinary
potential for creativity. And it has obscured the fact that the weapons
they use to eradicate "piracy" will also destroy the environment for this
"creativity." They spray DDT to kill a gnat. We say: "Silent Spring."


Bellingham, Wash.: What are your thoughts on the debate on
anticircumvention regulations and how they may impact fair use? Do
antipiracy concerns outweigh the importance of allowing legitimate uses of
circumvention software (for example, by DVD owners making backup copies)?

Lawrence Lessig: The anticircumvention regulations of the DMCA have been
interpreted in a way that does plainly restrict any sensible understanding
of "fair use." They are therefore regulations that will be found, imho, to
violate the constitution. As the Court indicated in Eldred, fair use has a
constitutional basis. Congress is not free simply to remove it. Thus
whether Congress -- "persuaded" by the content industry -- believes that
antipiracy concerns outweigh the constitution or not, no law may outweigh
the constitution.


Washington, D.C.: You are on the board of the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, which has recently volunteered to defend alleged copyright
infringers that are being sued by copyright holders, the RIAA.

As a law professor and a copyright holder yourself (Free Culture book), do
you feel that the RIAA has a legitimate gripe in protecting what property
is legally belongs to them?

Would you support a foundation established to defend literary copyright
suits, if professors were to crack down on student text book copying - or
even worse, yours?

Lawrence Lessig: I believe that copyrights, properly defined and
reasonably balanced, ought to be defended by copyright owners, and
organizations (whether the RIAA or others) devoted to defending such
rights. I'm sure everyone at the EFF believes the same. But just as a
lawyer who defends someone charged with auto theft does not therefore
support auto theft, so too with the EFF: They are, rightly, defending the
rights of individuals that they believe, rightly, should not be prosecuted
in this way under this law.

As a law professor -- and more importantly, as a citizen of the United
States -- I absolutely support their actions. We here are supposed to
believe in the right to a defense. We are supposed to believe that laws
are not to be overreaching in their effect. We are supposed to oppose
abuse of the power of prosecution. And I fundamentally oppose those who
would question anyone who would defend rights that our constitution was
designed to guarantee.


Washington, D.C.: Good afternoon - Prof. Lessig, will you state once and
for all that the widespread theft (or whatever term you wish to apply) of
copyrighted works online is illegal? Can the conversation about copyrights
in the digital age at least recognize this? Don't you feel that it is a
dangerous society that believes that because the Internet lets you do
something, it is permissible to do so...whether morally or legally right
or wrong? I find that in all of your articulate presentations, you seem to
blame the people who create and invest in the creation of music, movies
etc. and place no blame on those who take those works without compensating
the artists/copyright holders.

Lawrence Lessig: Great question. First, I have "recognized" this. Here's a
great derivative work of my book -- permitted because I released my book
free under a Creative Commons license.
On that page, each paragraph of my book has been marked by its own url. As
you'll see at paragraphs 84, 110, 367, 372, 377, 382, 388, 389, to mark a
few. Or go to ( and download the book and look at
the section "Why Hollywood is Right" beginning at 124.

But my whole point is that if we as a people can think about only one
issue at a time, then we as a culture are doomed. For if we set our policy
focused on one end only -- ending piracy -- then we will end a tradition
of free culture as well.

Yet the content industry has done so well because they've convinced DC
that there is really just one issue out there -- piracy. And they
certainly are more successful than I in shaping this debate. So it may
well be that we as a people can think about only one issue at a time. And
again, if so, then we as a culture are doomed.


Takoma Park, Md.: Is it fair to call pervasive free availability of any
copyrighted song anyone can think of a "gnat"? I appreciate your concerns
but it seems to me that you're downplaying the impact of file-sharing on
creative industries.

Lawrence Lessig: Is it fair? Well, what's the harm. In my book, I assumed
there was a substantial harm, and the question I asked is: how might we
minimize the harm while not destroying the internet or its potential. So I
would push for different policies even assuming the gnat is a lion.

But since my book was published, there has been substantial work -- by
independent researchers, not paid by the content industry or anyone else
-- to suggest that there is no substantial harm from p2p sharing. More
precisely, that when you add up all the effects (people exposed to new
content which they buy, etc.), the effect of sharing is statistically
indistinguishable from zero.

Whether you buy that analysis or not -- and, I think we should remain
skeptical about it until it has had a good chance for further peer review
-- I do think that relative to what we lose by waging this war, the
interests of one particular industry are small.

By this system of federal regulation, we are creating a regime of
creativity where the only safe way to create is to ask permission first.
You might think that's simple, but just try it someday. But I'm with those
who think that there's something fundamentally wrong about this regime,
whether it is simple or not. I as an academic don't need anyone's
permission before I write an article criticizing someone else. But the
same freedom is not accorded a filmmaker, or webmaster, under the rules as
they exist today.


Madrid, Spain: Do you really think there will be a unbreakable technology
to protect CD, video or stop MP3 exchanges in the web? In others words, is
it possible to protect intelectual property with a piece of software? Do
you really think the technological measures will be effective?

Lawrence Lessig: By "do you really think" you make it sound as if I've
suggested such a "solution." I have not. Indeed, I think all solutions
that rely upon technology to control access suffer important and
unavoidable costs. More importantly, an arms race around technologies for
locking up and liberating content is a waste. We should push for a regime
that helps assure artists get paid without simultaneously breaking the
most valuable features of the internet.


New Orleans, La.: Do you think that the Court's strict constructionist
reading of the Copyright Clause in Eldred blows open the door to the
continued and expanding success of special interests appropriating the
public domain?

Lawrence Lessig: Yes, it absolutely does. By ignoring the original meaning
of the constitution's text -- indeed, by ignoring even the text, for the
Court does not even try to explain what the words "to promote the Progress
of Science" means -- the Court has given Congress, and lobbyists, a
green-light to continue what they have done so well over the past 40 years
-- extend the term of existing copyrights. It is totally obvious that in
2018, there will be another bill to extend copyright terms. It is totally
obvious that all the money in the world will be spent by those who have
copyrights that are about to expire. And totally obvious that nothing
(yet) in the Court's jurisprudence that would stop such an extension.

Now of course, there's lots that can, and must be done, independent of the
Court., for example, is doing a great deal of good to
get Congress to consider reasonable balances in the field of copyright.
They have, for example, taken up the challenge of getting congress to pass
the Public Domain Enhancement Act, which would require a copyright owner,
50 years after a work has been published, to register the work and pay $1.
If the owner pays the $1, he or she gets the benefit of whatever term
Congress has set. If he or she does not, the work passes into the public
domain. We know from historical data that more than 85% of copyrighted
work would pass into the public domain after just 50 years under such a
regime -- clearing away a mass of legal regulation governing the ability
of people to reuse culture. But even this reasonable proposal is being
resisted by, for example, the MPAA.


Georgetown: Isn't the source of the problem in copyright law the extension
of the copyright to derivative works? This aspect of copyright should be
limited or eliminated after, say 50 years. That way Disney would be able
keep selling its classics while the others would be able to use the work
as the basis for new creations.

Have there been any such proposals in Congress?

Lawrence Lessig: This is a great suggestion. Yes, the one really radical
way in which copyright law today differs from the copyright law our
framers gave us is derivative rights: They didn't protect them, and we do.
And that extension does, in my view, muddy many issues. I understand and
support laws which control the ability of A to sell a verbatim copy of B's
copyrighted work without B's permission. But whatever wrong that is, it is
totally different from the "wrong" of building a work based on B's work.
Our law does not adequately distinguish between the two, and it should. A
shorter term might be one solution. I suggest others in my book. But it is
plainly an area where serious reform could do serious good.


Washington, D.C.: How is distributing copies of copyrighted works to a
stranger without the authorization of the artist, as in P2P, not a
violation of copyright? Do you not agree that an artist's ability to
copyright his work, if he chooses to, creates incentives for that artist
to innovate and create? Without intellectual property protections
incentives to innovate disappear.

Lawrence Lessig: So I answered something close to this question before, so
I won't repeat what I said there. But in summary:

(1) "How is distributing copies of copyrighted works to a stranger without
the authorization of the artist, as in P2P, not a violation of copyright?"

It may be under the law as it is just now. I've not contested that

(2) "Do you not agree that an artist's ability to copyright his work, if
he chooses to, creates incentives for that artist to innovate and create?"

OF COURSE I do! Absolutely it does. And most of my work these days is
devoted to making it easier for ARTISTS to choose how best to deploy the
rights the law gives them. (see, e.g.,

(3) "Without intellectual property protections incentives to innovate

In some contexts, absolutely correct. In other contexts, no. There's
plenty of incentive to innovate around Shakespeare's work, even though no
one has a copyright in Shakespeare. There's would be plenty of incentive
for law professors to blather on endlessly in law review articles, even
without copyright protection. In my view, rather than treating (3) as a
matter of ideology, we should treat (3) as a question of fact: IP is a
form of regulation; regulation makes sense where it does more good than
harm. So we should be asking where IP protection does more good than harm.


David McGuire: Does the pending case of 321 Studios over its DVD X Copy
software -- which allows users to make copies of their DVDs -- seem to you
a likely vehicle to address some of these fair use concerns before the
Supreme Court?

Lawrence Lessig: I don't think the Supreme Court is ready for these
issues. I thought it was. I was wrong. I believe 321 should prevail in the
case, and I hope it does. But the hysteria around this "war" is too great
just now for this Court to consider the matter with the usual balance of
judgment it has displayed in (most) copyright cases.


Alexandria, Va.: If a company has a valuable copyright and it wants to
continue making money off it, why should it not be able to renew that
copyright forever? I understand what copyright law says, but isn't it
naive or even greedy to suggest that everything we create should
ultimately be given away?

Lawrence Lessig: Well, first one might point out that the Constitution
says Congress can grant copyrights to "Authors" not companies. Second, one
might observe that the Constitution says Congress can secure "exclusive
rights" for "limited times." And third, one might ask when the term
granted corporations is already almost a century, who's being "greedy"

Of course one might well say the framers were idiots about this, and we
should reject their wisdom and follow the wisdom of corporate lobbyists on
this. Maybe.

But I'd rather focus on the agreement we have: you write, "why should it
not be able to renew that copyright forever?" I'm all in favor of a
renewal requirement. Indeed, I've proposed a relatively long term (75
years) so long as the copyright owner "renews" the copyright every 5 year.
No doubt that might sound like a hassle -- and it is, given the way the
government typically does things. But imagine one-click renewal. Imagine a
system that was simple. In that world, I'd be totally ok with terms as
long as they are, so long as terms had to be renewed. We know from history
that the vast majority of copyrights -- 85% - 95% -- would not be renewed
even after 28 years. So my aim -- to minimize the senseless burden of
endless terms -- would be achieved with a renewal requirement.


Scranton, Pa.: It seems like you think the entertainment industry's
endgame is to control all content from the cradle. At that point,
presumably, all content would be puerile trash. But the industry likes
this idea because we've seen that the average American consumer loves the
smell of garbage. Is this the depressing landscape that you see on the
horizon based on our present course? Or is this scenario extreme?

Lawrence Lessig: I hope it is extreme. But it is an aspect of what I fear.
I think ARTISTS and CREATORS are great. I think our framers intended them
to be benefited by copyright law. But I believe our Congress (and FCC) has
produced a world where PUBLISHERS (in the broadest sense of that term) are
the real beneficiaries of our copyright system. And as they become fat,
slogging giants, the stuff they produce (or allow to be produced) will be
increasingly awful.


Anaheim, Calif.: Hello, Dr. Lessig. Is there any way to clearly define the
line between fair use and infringement? I am not a copyright expert nor am
I a lawyer. Is there a way to explain your answer in plain English?

Lawrence Lessig: No, there is not, and that 95% of the problem. Fair use
in America is the right to hire a lawyer -- which is fine for CBS, or NBC,
but useless for most creators. That's why I've proposed changes that
produce clear lines, rather than lines requiring the services of $300/hr
plus professionals. The great thing about the public domain, for example,
is that it is a lawyer-free zone. Anyone can use anything in the public
domain without asking permission first (except if you use Peter Pan, but
that's another story all together...).


Arlington, Va.: Reps. Boucher and Doolittle have introduced a bill (H.R.
107) that seeks to provide the kind of balance to the DMCA that you
suggest is important. Are you familiar with and, if so, do you support
their legislation?

Lawrence Lessig: Yes, and yes. Boucher and Doolittle have been rare but
important voices of balance in this debate. Zoe Lofgren and Chris Cox too.
All who believe in sanity in this "war" should be doing whatever they can
to support these few, brave souls. Especially Congressman Boucher, who has
a well funded opponent in this race (funded by whom I wonder?)


Flatland Crest, Mont.: You said earlier that if we can only examine one
issue at a time - in this case piracy - then we as a culture are doomed.
Doomed to what? Will artists fail to flourish because the entertainment
industry has a lockdown on copyright? I doubt that a 13-year-old who set
his or her pen to paper and suddenly produces a precocious, beautiful
novel even knows what "Fair Use" means.

Lawrence Lessig: I guess it depends on what you think "fail to flourish"
means. There were many who thought art flourished in the soviet union,
even though the artist couldn't publish or distribute his or her art. Of
course, we're not the soviet union, but the same point is true
nonetheless: I don't believe we have a FREE CULTURE if creativity is
criminal. I don't believe we respect the tradition of FREE SPEECH if the
act of remixing culture is an act that requires permission from publishers
first. I don't believe we will have a vibrant FREE MARKET if it is so
heavily regulated by lawyers. So even if in the dystopian future I
describe, a 13 year old is physically able to create an "precocious
beautiful novel," we don't live in a free culture unless she can create
that work without hiring a lawyer first.


Washington, D.C.: In a recent article published in Forbes by Stephen
Manes, he says that you are going to harm the creator and reward the
people doing illegal activity as well as put "the U.S. at odds with
international law." How do you respond?

Lawrence Lessig: I've responded at length on my blog: But I'll say that there was no review that more
disappointed me than Mr. Manes'. I've got great respect for Forbes the
man, and Forbes the magazine. And as, for example, Stu Baker in the Wall
Street Journal noted, my argument is not really an argument for the left.
Indeed, as he argued quite effectively, it is more powerfully an argument
for the right. (Copyright law, as he put it, is the "asbestos litigation"
of the 21st century). So I was very surprised both with the substance of
Mr. Manes's review (which was unthinking and ill-informed) and with its
tone (which was rude and abusive). Both seemed to me to be beneath the
quality of the publication. And as I said in my first response to Mr.
Manes, it just goes to show how much more work we in this movement have to
make to make our ideas understandable.


Washington, D.C.: Hi Prof. Lessig - with each book that you release on the
subject of IP rights and the 'net, I think you've become more readable for
the masses. I'm thrilled with this, because I think these issues are of
incredible importance for everyone. However, I think that there remains a
long way to go before the general public thinks of "fair use" as anything
other than an excuse used by those music-stealin' college kids. How can we
better present your (our) concerns to the public in a way that helps them
better understand the importance of these things to their lives?

Lawrence Lessig: Thanks for the kind words. It is extraordinarily easy as
a professor to believe your ideas are clear and obviously right. And the
hardest lesson of the last 5 years for me has been the recognition of how
many ideas I was sure are right are, it turns out, wrong, and how hard it
is to make the rest understandable. That's especially hard for me, and it
has taken many years to learn differently.

I agree that it will take a great deal of work to make these ideas even
more understandable. But I think the way to do it is by showing people the
law, not arguing about it. Show parents the extraordinary creativity the
technology of Apple enables. Show them what their kids can do with it --
the music they can make, the films they can produce, etc. And then show
them the billion ways in which the law would deem that creativity
criminal. When people begin to see that this is a war we're waging against
the next generation, they might begin to wake-up to its threat.

(Then again, it's not as if our policy today is really much concerned with
our kids at all. We don't tax ourselves so we can tax our kids (deficits);
we don't pay to clean up our environment so our kids will; we wage wars
that will excite a generation of hatred directed against -- again -- our
kids. Etc. So I guess it is not surprising that here again, we wage a war
whose primary target and victims will be our kids.)


Edgartown, Mass.: Good afternoon. Is this the first time that you have
permitted your book to be made available for free on the Internet? How are
the sales of your latest book stacking up against your previous works?

Lawrence Lessig: It is the first time I've succeeded in convincing my
publisher, yes. I have tried before, but am blessed this time to have a
great and innovative publisher (Penguin Press) and an astonishing editor.
(It was my editor who did the real work convincing the publisher). And
sales are going much better than with any other book. But the part that
has been the most interesting and surprising to me is not the sales. It is
the derivative works. I released my book under a Creative Commons license,
which left others free to make derivative works. If you go here you can see a list of the amazing number
of "remixes" of the book that people across the net have made. There are
many different formats available now (we released a PDF only). There are
audio versions. There is a Wiki (which allows anyone to change or extend
the book). I never expected the energy that the net has demonstrated. And
as that energy will assure the ideas spread broadly, I am extraordinarily


San Francisco, Calif.: During the mid to late 1970's, the music industry
be came moribund by it marketing ploys of only promoting large sales music
groups who could fill arenas and stadiums. The response of musicians and
consumers to the lack of creativity in rock music were the punk movements
and new wave which developed on small independent labels. These were later
coopted into the larger music industry just as rap was in the '90s. Are
such consumer/artist uprisings still possible in our media controlled

Lawrence Lessig: They are possible, but would be more possible if the law
was not such a heavy handed regulator in this space. More important to me,
it would be possible if labels would be more tolerant of experiments by
authors. Creative Commons, for example, has launched a number of licenses
that enable authors to mark their content with freedoms -- freedoms that
will, many believe, lead to more sales of records. But these artists have
been met with strong resistance by the traditional labels. We should all
recognize something that no one admits: None of us know what will work
best in the future. So in the face of that ignorance, we must depend upon
a competitive market offering alternatives, and encouraging experiments.
And a room filled with lawyers is not a great way to inspire


David McGuire: Professor Lessig was good enough to take an extra half hour
to answer more of the many insightful questions we received. Unfortunately
we're out of time. I'd like to thank the professor for taking the time to
join us today and our audience for contributing so many thoughtful


2004 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive

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Date: 4.16.04
From: Tom Brecelic (t_brecelic AT
Subject: Thai New Media Festival, Bangkok

Thai New Media Festival, Bangkok. By Tom Brecelic

Koh Samet, an island in the Gulf of Thailand, surely doesn't look this
bizarre, but there's a virtual-reality version of the resort island in
Bangkok this month that's one of over 100 individual works from 30 countries
displayed at Thailand¹s Second New Media Festival, from March 20-28.

³The increasing use of communications technology in Thailand, combined with
the unique Thai lifestyle and culture, is an excellent environment for
exciting media art to emerge and fertilize the global art scene,² says
festival director Francis Wittenberger, an Israeli born Hungarian who has
spent the last ten years in top media labs in Europe.

This year's success was attributed to sponsorship from various European
institutions including the Israeli Embassy says, Francis, a media artist
himself who started the first media festival in Thailand last year, in the
northern resort town, Chiang Mai. Fifteen international artists
participated this year.

³I also wanted to tap into institutions that may not actually have supported
these kind of creative expressions,² says Wittenberger. . ³So much has been
written about the political perspective of Israel in the mass media that
people are not aware of the cultural and social dimensions of the country.
Taking this into context, the Israeli embassy extended its support to
facilitate Israeli artists and institutions for the festival.²

³The same goes for Srinakarinwirot University,² the main venue sponsor of
the event, says Mr. Wittenberger, ³where there are no media courses in the
Faculty of Fine Arts, let alone the incentive to support a New Media Event.²

But Mr. Wittenberger isn¹t deterred. He believes that Thailand is a new
media haven that just needs a bit of nurturing through festivals like this.
³You find teenagers at night-markets sitting on carton boxes cracking the
code of the latest picture phones. These kids are potentially electronic

Mr. Wittenberger set up a platform for cross-cultural exchange in 2001, the
International Cultural Exchange Computer Activities¹ (ICECA), non profit
organization that was set up to foster cross-cultural activities in the new
media industry in Thailand after being invited to participate in the Chiang
Mai social installation, titled ³Eu-ka-Buek² where he exhibited Oman, a
thinking robot that was programmed to communicate in Thai.

³Thais are innovative and ?auto-bridge¹ the gap between their traditional
culture and modern lifestyle,² says Mr. Wittenberger who use to teach
computer-related courses at Chiang Mai University, where the inaugural
festival was established in 2003.

The festival opened up at the Goethe Institute, where Benoit Maubrey
presented ³Performances with Electro-acoustic Clothes (1985-2004). The togs
did the talking in this startling concoction by Berlin¹s Audio Gruppe, of
which Maubrey is the director.

³Via movement sensors they can also trigger electronic sounds that are
subsequently choreographed --or "orchestrated"-- into musical compositions
as an "audio ballet " (YAMAHA choreography)² said Maubrey of Performances
with Electro-acoustic Clothes.

He also uses a variety of other electronic instruments --mini-computers,
samplers, contact microphones, cassette and CD players, and radio
receivers-- that allow them to work with the sounds, surfaces, and
topographies of the space around them in a variety of solo or group

" I was particularly interested in working with local Thai dancers and
integrating some of my equipment into their costumes and Thai classical
dance," says Maubrey, who has done this site-specific work in other
AUDIO BALLERINAS/ Bolshoi Dance St. Petersburg) --- reflecting local
customs, themes and traditions.

At the Alliance Françoise, South Korean artist Jung Chul Hur screened her
video art ³New Territory/A Beautiful Dream².
These computer-edited digital films about a Thai island, Koh Samet, depicted
Bangkokians¹ favorite getaway as a strange, aggressive place where anonymous
man could be a metaphor for life.
The video has been seen at Canada¹s Images Festival 2003, the Most
Significant Bytes 2003 gathering in the Midwest US and Breakthroughs: New
Experimental Films from Asia at Washington¹s Smithsonian Institute.

At the British Council, German artist Hermelinde Hergenhahn displayed his
video installation, ³Day in Day Out.² With the aid of a mirror, a segment of
a street and sidewalk are filmed from above for one hour each day, and then
the footage is projected via the same mirror onto the exact spot. Like a
security camera made visible, the video shows the ³remains of the day²,
creating a mix of past and present.

Lydia Ayers, the co-author of Cooking with Csound: Woodwind and Brass
Recipes, a CD-ROM package which gives wavetable synthesis designs for wind
instruments, demonstrated in a workshop at the British Council how to
solve tuning and compositional, using demos of flute harmonics, Tuvan throat
singing and synthesizing a bassoon tone. Then she compared the synthesized
examples of traditional Chinese music with live demos of the same pieces at
the workshop.

Inspector Londan, inspector AT, from the UK, a project
sited on eBay, was set up as a response to new possibilities emerging
through new technologies and the virtual marketplace. Inspector takes looks
at how ³these developments have redefined our interaction with the product
and transformed the notion of manufacturing itself.² They gave a lecture on
the implications of shopping culture. And eBay recently pulled the sockets
out of their online piece due to its irreverent approach to consumer

"The holy tree, the Banyan was where Buddha received enlightenment ," writes
Berlin based artist, Alfred Banze of the Banyan Project, that started in
January, 2004: on route to Tahiti and Thailand - to coincide with the
festival- and other South East Asian countries that have a cultural heritage
with the Banyan tree.
The Banyan Project only requires a generator, a projector and a laptop, that
is the technical basis of the project and is exhibited in the proximity of
the Night markets, temple areas and rendezvous points, ceremonial sites and
arterial roads of the metropolises and jungle locations.
"The Festival uses the infrastructure for the baking packman individual
tourism. That is called inexpensive Guesthaeuser, the public transportation
network and Internet cafe, " explains Alfred Banze of the Banyan Project.

The JavaMuseum - a forum for Internet Technologies in Contemporary Art-
launched it¹s "I-Ocean // Netart from all Asia & Pacific area", kicked off
at Festival here in Bangkok as part of the [R] [R] [R] 2004 (v.2) project, an experimental New Media
art project by media artist and New Media curator Agricola de Cologne. This
is a completely online project developed as a global networking project
during 2004 and 2005.

The local media showered the event with accolades. ³New Media has arrived,
and Mr. Wittenberger has been hailed as the techno-guru, ³ wrote the Bangkok
Post. ³Next year¹s festival will my my new media creation, ³ says Mr.
Wittenberger of MAF05, who will generate an online program where artists can
submit their work for the festival.

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Kevin McGarry (kevin AT ISSN:
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