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: 6.04.04
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2004 21:33:00 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: June 4, 2004


1. Francis Hwang: Director of Technology's report, April & May 2004
2. Francis Hwang: commission voting 2004, the debriefing

3. Luci Eyer: [] low-fi update 26 - Broken Histories
4. marc: Chinese Net protestors arrested
5. Kevin McGarry: Steve Kurtz and the CAE Resources + Protest

6. George: Invitation Elsewhere
7. Christina McPhee: FW: Call for an Emerging Curator
8. eduardo AT N_A_R contributing writers
9. Robert Praxmarer: Call for Artistic Director of the Ars Electronica Center
10. Dominique Fontaine: Programme de bourses pour chercheur résident :
Date limite le 31 août 2004 / Grant program for Researchers in Residence
: August 31 2004 deadline
11. matthew fuller: postgraduate opportunities: MA in Media Design Piet
Zwart Institute

+scene report+
12. jonah brucker-cohen: Report from FutureSonic 2004

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Date: 6.01.04
From: Francis Hwang <francis AT>
Subject: Director of Technology's report, April & May 2004

Hi all,

Here are some of the interesting things that happened (tech-wise) in

1. Server upgrade
This is the big one: We moved Rhizome to bigger, faster, angrier machines,
and the results have been pretty dramatic. If you've been wondering why
everything is so peppy all of a sudden, well, that's why.

2. Commissions voting
Rachel announced the various winners at . In the next month
or so I'll write a more techie/community-designy debriefing of our voting
process, complete with lots of stats.

3. Hiring
FYI, I ended up hiring David Galbraith ( ) as my main techie
consultant. David's a sound-artist/programmer, and for all his hard
work he now has the privilege and honor of hanging out with me in our tiny
office and hear me obsess about object-oriented programming.


+ + +

francis AT added: [6.03.04]

Hey T.,

Our linking policy is a work in progress--I don't know if I could properly
call it a "policy", even. I can describe our intent and our implementation
for you, though much of this is subject to change.

As Curt described at , the
intent is that if somebody at another web site links to a page deep inside
Rhizome, they should be able to see the first page without being logged
in, but further exploration will require registration.

The implementation uses the referer field in a web request, which can see
if you came from another site. So if you get linked to a Rhizome text
from, say,, the membership system reads the referral
field and sees that you came from another site, and lets you in. But any
further clicks will ask you to login.

This has no effect on RSS, or links in email. The RSS file we have now,
/netartnews.rss, isn't password-protected anyway, and it's unlikely that
we'll publish any protected RSS in the future. And it's my understanding
that clicking on a link in an email won't send a referer value, meaning
that you'll be asked to login in the first click.

Curt noted that it's possible to hack this. There are some ways to tighten
and restrict, but we don't actively pursue them, largely because the
solutions cause more harm than good, and there are almost no cases of
serious infringement. In general, we want to err on the side of too little
control. And for the rest, we depend on the good intentions of the rest of
the web, which is sort of how the internet works.


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Date: 6.04.04
From: Francis Hwang <francis AT>
Subject: commission voting 2004, the debriefing

Hi everybody,

This year, the Rhizome Net Art Commissions used a membership-driven voting
system to help determine who would win an award. Here are some of my notes
from the process; I look forward to hearing feedback & discussion from
anyone who participated in the process, either as a candidate or a voter
or just an onlooker.

The full voting rules can be found at .

When we kicked off the voting process I sent an email to all the
candidates, asking them to follow a few ground rules:
+ Candidates can follow along with any discussions about the proposals,
but shouldn't take part.
+ Candidates should not change their web sites in an effort to address
criticisms that could come up during the discussion.
+ Candidates _can_ vote, in the same way that, say, John Kerry will be
allowed to vote for himself in the U.S. Presidential election this

At least a few artists, it seemed, had not been aware of the public nature
of this competition, and asked me to remove their works from
consideration. Also, one artist expressed a concern about ideas in his
proposal being plagiarized, but wasn't concerned enough to withdraw his

The full list of proposals can be seen at .

During the approval stage, Rhizome members were asked to view proposals,
five at a time, and give a simple Yes/No vote. Members could vote for as
few or as many as they liked. At the end the proposals were ranked by the
percentage of Yes votes they received.

In order to make sure that each proposal got enough Yes or No votes, the
system rotated what proposals to vote on in such a way that the proposal
with the least Yes or No votes was viewed next.

I was uncertain about this part of the process, since it's a new strategy
for a new voting problem: My quick research on voting methods didn't turn
up anything that dealt with this situation well. When this process was
done, I was personally satisfied that the finalists represented the
opinion of the voting members, but that's a pretty subjective assessment
to make.

51 members voted in this phase, registering a total of 1282 individual
votes. Each proposal received 26 or 27 Yes or No votes.

The list of finalists can be seen at .

During the ranking stage, Rhizome members were asked to rank the finalists
from most favorite to least favorite. Tallying the votes would involve
repeatedly eliminating the candidate with the fewest first-place votes,
until one remaining candidate receives the majority of the first-place
votes. This is called Instant Runoff Voting, and it's a well-established
voting system used in many places, including in national elections in some
countries in western Europe.

The online ballot for this phase involved an area above for already-ranked
proposals, and an area below for proposals that have yet to be ranked.
(This interface, FYI, is shamelessly stolen from Netflix.) After the
voting was finished, somebody pointed out to me that the order that
candidates are listed in may have an affect on how they are ranked. This
ballot ordered the already-ranked proposals by rank, but didn't explicitly
set the order for the proposals to be ranked--I think they were displayed
by the order they were originally submitted.

19 members voted in this phase, registering a total of 286 votes. Each
proposal received from 9 to 15 votes. Carlo Zanni's piece, which was
awarded the winner, received 3 first-place votes the first round, winning
by process of elimination. By way of comparison, 1 other proposal also
received 3 first-place votes (but didn't do as well in the elimination
process), and 4 other proposals received 2 first-place votes.

One concern of this process is that there are too few voters for too many
candidates. Other than getting more people to vote, I'm not certain of the
best solution for this. Personally the votes seemed to work out okay;
generally speaking the proposals that I would've expected to do well
ranked pretty well. (Again, this is pretty subjective.)

Turnout was really low. Out of roughly 3000 eligible voting members, 51
(1.7%) members voted in the approval stage, and 19 (0.6%) voted in the
ranking stage. I'm not certain why it was so low or how such turnout can
be improved next year. Maybe the interface was too slow or confusing?
Maybe people didn't know about it? Maybe some Rhizomers just don't care?

Mindful of the fact that Rhizome is based in a country that doesn't have a
very good track record when it comes to holding elections, I took a number
of steps to ensure that the results could be validated if necessary.

+ Every time somebody submits a vote, it's logged in a separate log file
so the votes can theoretically be reconstructed from those logs by hand or
by an automated script.
+ At the end of each phase, I hand-checked the results to make sure they
were in line with the results that the software gave me.
+ I also looked over votes to ensure that people weren't voting with
duplicate accounts, trying to notice any cases where two voters' opinions
looked suspiciously similar. I didn't find any such cases.

I can easily think of a few things that will improve the process next time:

+ Improve the proposal submission tool. This year it was a sort of a
one-time submission process, which means if you changed your mind later
you had to resubmit and then email me telling me to fix it. Hassle for
me, hassle for the artist. Next year it would be good to have a tool
where you create a proposal and then can edit it constantly until the
voting begins.
+ Make it very explicitly to the artist that their proposal will be
viewed by the Rhizome community. I can even imagine this taking the
form of an opt-in form. Artists should know what they're getting into
from the start.
+ For the ranking process, unranked proposals should probably be
presented in some randomized order to prevent any proposal from gaining
a subtle advantage.

What do people think? Was the process clear? Fair? Easy-to-use?


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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 Rachel Greene at Rachel AT

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Date: 6.03.04
From: Luci Eyers <giraffe AT>
Subject: [] low-fi update 26 - Broken Histories

[] low-fi update 26

[] guest selection: Steve Dietz on Locative=?Yes?

[] low-fi selection: Broken Histories

[] [Natalie Bookchin & Alexei Shulgin]
[] [Natalie Bookchin]
[] [M. River and T. Whid]
[] []
[] [Martin
[] [Stephan (Spiv) Schröder]
[] [InIVA]
[] [SFMOMA, Benjamin
[] [ICA, Tom Holley]
[] [documenta XI] [Walker Art
Center, Steve Dietz]
[] [Steve

It is now possible to find many histories of new media art. These
histories appear as maps, timelines, plots and narratives. This includes a
number of totalising monographs, as well as online histories which range
from critical (see Introduction to Net Art 1994-1999) to parodic (see
Simple Net Art Diagram and Complex Net Art Diagram) to earnestly
autobiographical (see x-space and Each is inevitably partial
(some more concerned about their partiality than others). And each
attempted history invariably establishes definitions for new media art.

A simple observation anchors ?Broken Histories?: beyond their conceptual
partiality, many of these histories are literally (and more than
literally) broken. Many appear buggy: where dates and events might be,
there are gaps or ellipses or scrawls that appear to be graffiti (see
Telematic/s). Often, there are long spans between updates and then an
abrupt stoppage (see The New Media Centre ICA, Gallery 9, The Story of Net
Art, IDEA LINE, Verybusy). What was it about 2001 and 2002 that stymied so
many histories?

These bugs?the gaps, cessations and glitches?don?t always appear to be
tactical or polemical. They seem to want fixing. But what, exactly, is
broken? What is it about such histories that so fosters incompletion? Are
they, in fact, incomplete? Or are they incomplete-able? Do they challenge
what completion might look like or mean in the context of a history which
is also a definitional act? Do they make us ask why we would want to
finish such a project? Obviously broken histories make us look again at
the histories with no obvious flaws. How is the trick effected? Where is
the break that has been smoothed over?

Histories are machines and as such they have parts and these parts can
break: wear out with age, jam, be sabotaged. The history-machines we?ve
collected establish a particular image of new media art. New media
artworks, in turn, intervene in the process of their own historicisation,
even while participating in it. This month?s list invites consideration of
the aesthetics and politics of the historiographic glitch: of projects
that seek to historicise new media art and of the points in this process
where breakdowns are revealed or obscured.

Brief abstracts of the projects in ?Broken Histories? follow:

?Introduction to (1994 - 1999)? is the intriguing attempt by
Natalie Bookchin and Alexei Shulgin to define, explain and historically
locate the term '' It is wryly written with a definite air of
demystification worthy of any 'for Dummies' publication. It seems at first
to belie underlying ambiguities and complexities inherent to the period of
self-historicisation in 1999.

Bookchin's 'story of net art (open source)' was a teaching tool for her
Cal Arts students and as the title suggests it was maybe intended for
wider dissemination and modification. This timeline, from a
insider, relates net art projects to formative discussions and texts on through a parallel chronology.

'Simple Net Art Diagram' is a humorous and ironic image of
creation. Simple and probably true.

'Complex Net Art Diagram: A Remix' of MTAA is a remix of MTAA's simple net
art diagram, have created the complex version. It's a map, a
history, and a parody of one hundred things: net art and net art's various
historicisations, diagrams per se, histories per se, anything at all done
in a totalising spirit, etc.

'IDEA LINE' is a beautiful and very functional representation of web-based
projects that is displayed in a timeline, arranged in a fan of threads.
Each thread corresponds to a particular kind of artwork or type of
technology. The brightness of each thread varies with the number of
artworks that it contains in each year, so you can watch the ebb and flow
of different lines of thought over time. The time line maps web based work
up to 2002, and was created from a public request for projects.

The site, created in 1998 and still operative, works as a
combined interactive portal, forum and archive for where user
collaboration is what creates the portal. Verybusy has consciously created
non-hierarchical ways to access their database so that no
particular work is privileged or made more visible than another. They are
working against the tendency to select and historicise. As the user
collaboration is infrequent at the time, the site is now dozing, and the
archive contains many abstracts attached to links which no longer
exist in the webspace any more.

Since 'x-space' was launched in 1996, this repository and archive of
commissioned artworks is self-proclaimed as 'central to inIVA's online
presence.' Yet with its most recent work dated May 2002, we can only
assume that this 'online presence' is not too central to inIVA as a whole.

'' launched in spring 2000. Most of the work is a museum collection
of digital, online projects acquired between 1997 and 1999 by Aaron
Betsky, former Curator of Architecture, Design, and Digital Projects at
SFMOMA. The site is an exhibition space for work acquired by the museum.
Other commissioned work is also represented on the site. The last
commissions date from 2001.

The ICA's newmediacentre site is a further example of an institutional new
media site which is completely out of date. Although the ICA has
maintained a small new media programme, this hasn't had any online
presence since 2001/2.

"Gallery 9 is the Walker Art Center's online exhibition space. Between
1997 and 2003, under the direction of Steve Dietz, Gallery 9 presented the
work of more than 100 artists and became one of the most recognized online
venues for the exhibition and contextualization of
Internet-based art" [from the website]. But Steve Dietz hasn't been there
for some time now, and the juxtaposition of present and past tense here is

The 'Open Source Telematic Timeline' was developed in relation to the show
on communication based art curated by Steve Dietz 'Telematic Connections:
The Virtual Embrace'. The open contribution system has allowed a broad
approach and the timeline starts with some interesting entries with for
example info on a proposal in 1684 for 'The First Coded Optical Telegraph
System'. The timeline remains useful and relevant but the unmoderated
system has allowed the system to break down with some graffitied and
spurious, futurist contributions at the end of the timeline for instance
"end of all life on 3rd planet from sol" should have occurred earlier this

[] Artists are welcome to submit info on new projects to the database -
please use the submission form on low-fi locator.

[] net art locator

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Date: 6.04.04
From: marc <marc.garrett AT>
Subject: Chinese Net protestors arrested

Chinese Net protestors arrested
Chinese authorities have detained a number of Internet dissidents as the
15-year anniversary of a massacre of pro-democracy activists looms.

The latest such arrestee, Liu Xiabo, had written a number of articles,
including an essay that condemned the Chinese government for using
subversion laws to prosecute and silence its online critics. He had also
launched a campaign to free cyberdissident Du Daobin, who himself had
been forced to plead guilty to subversion charges in a trial that was
savaged by various groups, including Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF-a
GILC member). Liu has since been placed under house arrest. Liu's
detention comes just after two other Internet activists, Yang Jianli and
Liu Shui, were convicted and sentenced by Chinese criminal courts on
charges that are being widely perceived as politically motivated. Many
of these individuals had participated in the pro-democracy protests at
Beijing's Tienanmen Square that the government brutally suppressed on 4
June 1989.

In addition to this wave of arrests, Chinese censors are also stepping
up restrictions on various forms of Internet activity. For example,
government agents have closed down over 8600 cybercafes over the past
three months, claiming that they provide "unhealthy information
online"-a term that apparently covers political commentary and material
critical of the country's rulers. Additionally, according to the
state-run Xinhua news agency, a government committee will be formed to
stop the flow of imported computer games that contain messages that are
deemed taboo by Chinese authorities, such as discussion of Taiwanese and
Tibetan sovereignty or the Falun Gong spiritual movement. The Chinese
government has already banned Hearts of Iron, a computer game made in
Sweden that, among other things, portrayed Tibet as an independent

For more on the Liu Xiabo case, visit the RSF website under

Further details regarding the Du Daobin case are posted at

See "China silences Tiananmen critics," BBC News Online, 3 June 2004 at

Read "Net activist's trial unfair: watchdog," South China Morning Post,
24 May 2004 at

For more about the Yang Jianli and Liu Shui cases, click

See "China jails journalist for posting articles on Net," South China
Morning Post, 12 May 2004 at

Read "China censors online video games," BBC News Online, 1 June 2004 at

See "China bans game for 'distorting history,'" Agence France Presse, 31
May 2004 at

Read Chow Chung-yan, "Special censors to root out 'unhealthy' internet
games," South China Morning Post, 25 May 2004 at

See also Jonathan Watts, "Nanny knows best," Guardian Unlimited (UK), 14
May 2004 at,7792,1216808,00.h

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Date: 6.06.04
From: Kevin McGarry <kevin AT>
Subject: Steve Kurtz and the CAE: Resources + Protest

[the following is a selection of posts relevant to Steve Kurtz and the
CAE's ongoing struggle with the US FBI - pertinent links, a briefing of
the situation, and letters of support for you to sign, translate, and


CAE Defense Fund -
press from the washington post -

+ + +

from: ryan griffis <grifray AT>:

Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 21:28:59 -0400 (EDT)
From: CAE Legal Defense Fund <caedefense AT>

June 2, 2004

Contact: Beatriz da Costa, mailto:media AT

Feds STILL unable to distinguish art from bioterrorism
Grand jury to convene June 15


Three artists have been served subpoenas to appear before a federal
grand jury that will consider bioterrorism charges against a
university professor whose art involves the use of simple biology

The subpoenas are the latest installment in a bizarre investigation
in which members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force have mistaken an
art project for a biological weapons laboratory (see end for
background). While most observers have assumed that the Task Force
would realize the absurd error of its initial investigation of Steve
Kurtz, the subpoenas indicate that the feds have instead chosen to
press their "case" against the baffled professor.

Two of the subpoenaed artists--Beatriz da Costa and Steve Barnes--are,
like Kurtz, members of the internationally-acclaimed Critical Art
Ensemble (CAE), an artists' collective that produces artwork to
educate the public about the politics of biotechnology. They were
served the subpoenas by federal agents who tailed them to an art show
at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. The third artist,
Paul Vanouse, is, like Kurtz, an art professor at the University at
Buffalo. He has worked with CAE in the past.

The artists involved are at a loss to explain the increasingly bizarre
case. "I have no idea why they're continuing (to investigate)," said
Beatriz da Costa, one of those subpoenaed. "It was shocking that this
investigation was ever launched. That it is continuing is positively
frightening, and shows how vulnerable the PATRIOT Act has made freedom
of speech in this country." Da Costa is an art professor at the
University of California at Irvine.

According to the subpoenas, the FBI is seeking charges under Section
175 of the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, which has
been expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act. As expanded, this law prohibits
the possession of "any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system"
without the justification of "prophylactic, protective, bona fide
research, or other peaceful purpose." (See for the 1989 law and for its USA
PATRIOT Act expansion.)

Even under the expanded powers of the USA PATRIOT Act, it is difficult
to understand how anyone could view CAE's art as anything other than a
"peaceful purpose." The equipment seized by the FBI consisted mainly of
CAE's most recent project, a mobile DNA extraction laboratory to test
store-bought food for possible contamination by genetically modified
grains and organisms; such equipment can be found in any university's
basic biology lab and even in many high schools (see "Lab Tour" at for more details).

The grand jury in the case is scheduled to convene June 15 in Buffalo,
New York. Here, the jury will decide whether or not to indict Steve
Kurtz on the charges brought by the FBI. A protest is being planned at
9 a.m. on June 15 outside the courthouse at 138 Delaware Ave. in


Financial donations:
The CAE Defense Fund has so far received over 200 donations in amounts
ranging from $5 to $400. This is a wonderful outpouring of sympathy,
but a drop in the bucket compared to the potential costs of the case.
To make a donation, please visit

Letters of support:
Letters and petitions of support from biologists, artists, and others,
especially those in positions of responsibility at prominent
institutions or companies, could be very useful. See for a sample letter of support.

Legal offers and letters of support:
If you are a lawyer, offers of pro bono support or offers to write
amicus briefs would be very helpful.

+ + +

from: "marisa AT" <marisa AT>:

Original Message:
From: Amanda McDonald Crowley amc AT
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2004 20:55:44 +0300
To: reader-list AT
Subject: [Reader-list] CAE - open letter of protest - request for

Helsinki / Amsterdam, June 4, 2004

Dear friends and colleagues on the Sarai reader list,

We are sure that many of you have been following the deeply worrying events
around the subpoenas that have been served to members of the US-based arts
collective Critical Art Ensemble and have read Shuddhabrata Sengupta's
recent posting on this issue. We, Eric Kluitenberg and Amanda McDonald
Crowley (with support from a range of colleagues), have taken the initiative
to write an open letter of protest asking for an immediate cessation of
legal proceedings against our esteemed and distinguished colleagues. We
think that this case signals a most worrisome trend in public political life
in the United States and cannot be left unaddressed.

We ask all of you who have worked with the Critical Art Ensemble in recent
years, and others who feel offended by this unacceptable infringement on
artistic freedom, to contact us to sign this letter of protest as members of
a deeply concerned professional community.

Please find the letter below. if you wish to sign send either one of us an
email stating your name, your profession, your institutional affiliation (if
you have one) and possibly a url that best represents your work or
professional activity.

Thank you.

Amanda McDonald Crowley
amc AT

Eric Kluitenberg
erick AT


To whom it may concern,

We, the undersigned artists, curators, critics, cultural producers,
theorists and writers who have worked with or followed the work of the
collective known as Critical Art Ensemble, are writing to express our
serious concern over legal proceedings brought against members of this
highly respected artists group.

Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) is a collective of internationally recognised
artists who work within pedagogic frameworks and art contexts to raise
awareness of a range of social issues. Most recently their work has been
directed towards providing the general public with awareness and
understanding of issues to do with biological research. Their work is not
alarmist but rather provides knowledge.

CAE's work is always undertaken in a safe and considered way, using
materials which are commonly available in scientific education and research
practices. Their main motivation is to provide the public with the tools
needed to make informed choices.

It has come to our attention that there was a recent seizure of a
substantial amount of the artists' work and research material. The
international art scene was shocked and surprised to learn that the US
Federal Bureau of Investigation, following an analysis of the materials by
the Commissioner of Public Health for New York State which returned the
result that the material seized posed no public safety risk, have continued
with their investigation and are now seeking to charge members of the
collective under the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act as expanded by
the USA Patriot Act.

Whilst it is perhaps understandable in the current international political
climate that such research might raise alarm bells with American
authorities, it would have also been clear, upon investigation, that the
aims of CAE are not a terrorist act, but an awareness raising action
undertaken with cultural, artistic and educational agendas. Indeed CAE's
work is quite in keeping with mainstream art practices, which have,
throughout history, had pedagogical aims.

Having worked with CAE in various settings throughout the world we have
found CAE's approach has always been to understand and to know the topic
that they are presenting. It comes as no surprise, given the current focus
of their work, that the research tools included biological material.
However, those of us in the art world who have worked with this artists'
group also know that their work is undertaken with thorough research, in
continuous consultation with members of the scientific community, in order
to ensure that the artworks they produce are safe, but also real, in terms
of the investigations they pursue. The work of CAE is internationally
recognised as thorough, investigative, educative and safe.

This matter is one that raises serious concerns internationally that the
actions of the American government undermine the freedom of artistic
expression, a fundamental democratic right, which is one of the cornerstones
of the liberal democracies.

As the materials have been tested and been shown to pose no public health
threat, we demand that the American Government immediately cease legal
action against members of the Critical Art Ensemble collective.

The good reputation of Critical Art Ensemble must be immediately restored.

Yours faithfully,

Amanda McDonald Crowley,
cultural worker/ curator, currently executive producer ISEA2004
(International Symposium of Electronic Art 2004),

Eric Kluitenberg
Head of the Media Program
De Balie - Centre for Culture and Politics
Amsterdam, The Netherlands



+ + +

from Dante Smirnoff <dante.smirnoff AT>

Here's a translation into spanish of the letter. Translations han help
to raise help worldwide.



[Introductory text]
El caso de Steve Kurtz y otros miembros del Critical Art
Ensemble(, que están siendo investigados
por el FBI en virtud de las nuevas leyes antiterroristas en EEUU
(Patriot Act), trae de cabeza a la comunidad artística de Internet.

Para quien no conozca el caso, la pesadilla comienza para Kurtz cuando
su mujer y colaboradora Hope fallece en el domicilio de ambos de un
ataque al corazón. Al presentarse la policía a requerimiento del
propio artista, los agentes efectúan una inspección de la vivienda y
encuentran en ella parte del material con el que Kurt trabaja:
cultivos biológicos. Parece ser que cualquier cosa distinta del
bricolage doméstico es capaz de despertar susceptibilidades en los
agentes del orden estadounidense, así que la policía informó al FBI,
estos se presentaron en el escenario de la desgracia y detuvieron al
desolado esposo, requisaron su material... y el cuerpo de la
fallecida. Y a su gato, puestos a dar detalles ridículos.

En estos momentos, tanto Kurtz como otros miembros del Critical Art
Ensemble (CAE) están sometidos a investigación por parte del FBI y si
la paranoia no remite serán juzgados por cargos que pueden ir desde
bioterrorismo a asesinato (se investiga también la muerte de Hope).

La biotecnología es uno de los campos en los que se desarrolla el
trabajo de CAE, también ampliamente conocidos por su difusión de los
Tactical Media, una práctica artística cada vez más difundida entre
artistas y activistas que combina investigación, crítica social y
nuevas tecnologías para crear situaciones que denuncian las tendencias
autoritarias en un contexto político. Lo que le faltaba al FBI:
bacterias, cadenas de ADN y crítica al sistema. En el actual escenario
de pánico inducido la suma de todo esto te convierte en alguien
necesariamente sospechoso.

Pero al margen de lo anecdótico y de la tragedia personal de los
implicados, este caso es uno más en la larga lista de acciones contra
la libertad de expresión en las democracias occidentales, muy
especialmente en los EE UU, en los últimos años. La uniformidad y la
previsibilidad parecen ser los únicos comportamientos sociales
lícitos, y cualquier otra actividad, en especial si es crítica con los
poderes, se consedera como mínimo sospechosa.

Es importante que quienes se sientan preocupados por estos ataques a
la libertad de expresión y artístíca manifiesten su apoyo a Kurtz y al
CAE firmando la carta que se incluye bajo este texto (u otras de
contenido similar) y la envíen a:

media AT

Más información sobre el tema se encuentra en:

Carta de apoyo a Steve Kurtz y Critical Art Ensemble
(traducida del original de Amanda Crowley y Eric Kluitenberg)

Aquien pueda interesar:

Nosotros, los abajofirmantes, artistas, comisarios, críticos,
productores culturales y escritores que hemos trabajado con o seguido
la obra del colectivo Critical Art Ensemble, escribimos para expresar
nuestra seria preocupación por el proceso legal abierto contra
miembros de este respetado grupo de artistas.

Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) es un colectivo de artistas
internacionalmente reconocidos que trabajan dentro de marcos
pedagógicos y contextos artísticos para crear conocimiento sobre
diversos temas sociales. Recientemente su trabajo se ha dirigido hacia
la difusión entre el público general de temas relacionados con la
investigación biológica. Su obra no es alarmista sino divulgativa.

El trabajo de CAE es siempre abordado de manera segura y consciente,
empleando materiales comunmente disponibles para la educación
científica y las prácticas de investigación. Su principal motivación
es proveer al público de las herramientas necesarias para decidir

Ha llamado nuestra atención que se haya producido la reciente requisa
de un conjunto considerable de obra y material de investigación de
estos artistas. La escena internacional del arte está asombrada y
sorprendida de saber que el FBI, después de un análisis por parte de
la Comisión de Salud Pública del Estado de New York que concluyó que
el material requisado no suponía un riesgo para la seguridad pública,
haya continuado la investigación y ahora acuse al colectivo según la
Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act (medidas contra el terrorismo
con armas biológicas), ampliadas por el Patriot Act.

Si bien es tal vez comprensible en el actual clima político
internacional que tal investigación pueda levantar sospechas de las
autoridades de EE UU, también debería haberse aclarado, tras la
investigación, que los objetivos del CAE no son realizar un atentado
terrorista, sino una acción divulgativa emprendida en un contexto
cultural, artístico y educativo. La obra de CAE está en armonía con
prácticas artísticas habituales que han tenido, a lo largo de la
historia, objetivos pedagógicos.

Quienes han trabajado con ellos saben que el enfoque de CAE ha sido
siempre comprender y conocer el tema que presentan. No sorprende, dado
el campo en que desarrollan su trabajo actualmente, que sus
herramientas de investigación incluyan material biológico. También es
sabido que su obra siempre se desarrolla mediante cuidadosos estudios,
en continua comunicación con miembros de la comunidad científica para
asegurar que las obras que producen son seguras, pero también reales.
La obra de CAE se considera en todo el mundo cuidadosa,
investigadora, educativa y segura.

Este asunto ha provocado la alarma al considerar que el gobierno
americano está minando la libertad de espresión artística, un derecho
democrático fundamental y una de las piedras angulares de las
democracias liberales.

Toda vez que los materiales han sido analizados y se ha demostrado que
no suponen una amenaza para la salud pública, exigimos que el Gobierno
de los Estados Unidos de América cese inmediatamente la acción legal
contra los miembros del colectivo Critical Art Ensemble.

La reputación de CAE debe ser inmetiatamente restituida.


Amanda McDonald Crowley,
cultural worker/ curator, currently executive producer ISEA2004
(International Symposium of Electronic Art 2004),

Eric Kluitenberg
Head of the Media Program
De Balie - Centre for Culture and Politics
Amsterdam, The Netherlands


nombre/ profesión / cargo / país / url

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Date: 5.28.04
From: George <conceptuallyconfused AT>
Subject: Invitation Elsewhere

ELSEWHERE, art processes re-invent Art contexts.
(interpret THE SPLACE speaking TO ITSELF)

Dear eyes right at origin,
Elsewhere Artist Collaborative, a conceptual artists space in
Greensboro, NC, is seeking journeypeople to pursue artistic
creations and criticism in a contextually interpreted and designed

Participating in a residency-like program, Journeypeople
will be provided access to a 12,000 sq. ft. converted thrift store and
haunted mansion (stuck in a locational palindrome). Artists are expected
to integrate the plethora of 70 years of thrift resources: toys,
furniture, books, clothing, fabric, etc. or their experience at Elsewhere
into the content (subject or object) of their work. Elsewhere artists
explore traditional and emerging media and media fusion, representational
possibilities, and community/communication models.
Elsewhereâ??s non-commercial space is a constantly reflexive environment
where artwork becomes the medium of expression between other members of
the living installation. Located in Greensboro, NCâ??s small town,
historical district, the experience of southern America offers a backdrop
to Elsewhereâ??s conceptual, artistic and intellectual realm, which houses
a gallery, orientation center, press office, studio, kitchen, performance
venue, library, closet, lounge. Artists are encouraged to redesign space
and its accompaniments (objects) for a contextual artistic experiment that
can be as powerful as the works created within. Elsewhere seeks writers,
musicians, painters, designers, and others to make-up the living art
installation piece.

Toys are people too.

Journeypeople are needed to engage projects: spatial development and
construction, documentation via still and video photography, fashion
design, interior design, graphic design, magazine and newspaper publishing
run via the press office, archiving, research, educational programming and
design, and artistic pursuits in traditional and emerging art forms. After
participating in the community for a week, Journeypeople will submit
proposals for independent or collaborative projects. With a project
underway, you will be given free rent (some utilities are requested),
inexpensive meal options with the food co-operative, access to the
seemingly infinite resources, customizable space within which to work, and
involvement in a community of artists all speaking to and interacting in a
post-modern thematic of Americana and re-application. Journeypeople will
also be involved in the larger conceptual project which includes a
functioning performance venue in addition to other community interfacing
programs. Gallery and performance space will also be made available to
journeypeople free of cost. Work becomes property of Elsewhereâ??s concept
and contextual environment for a negotiated period of time. Nothing of the
space leaves the space (objects function like a number set), however
possibility exists for works to become part of a national collaborative

Those interested in the residency program or in booking a performance or
art show should contact
George Scheer and/or Stephanie Sherman at wanderingzoo AT or
336.549.5555. We will respond
with a brief application to gauge interest and experience. Elsewhere, a
501(c)3 organization, is funded in part by a grant from Greensboroâ??s
United Arts Council. For more information, check out
Signed, the understated.

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Date: 5/30/04
From: Christina McPhee <christina112 AT>
Subject: FW: Call for an Emerging Curator

soundart performance videoinstallation multimedia painting theory


------ Forwarded Message
From: Emma Stewart <Emma.K.Stewart AT>
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 22:47:03 +1000
To: christina112 AT
Subject: Call for an Emerging Curator

Hi Christina,
I was wondering if you could forward the below information to Rhizome again?
- it would be great if you could.
emma stewart.

Electrofringe Festival -
Call for an Emerging Curator

30 September -  4 October 2004, Newcastle, NSW Australia

Electrofringe is a hands-on, all-in new media arts festival dedicated to
unearthing emergent forms, highlighting nascent trends and encouraging young
and developing artists to explore technology and its creative possibilities.

Electrofringe 2004 is looking for an EMERGING CURATOR to co-curate a media
art based exhibition at Rocket Art Gallery, Newcastle. You will be working
with Ashley Whamond from Rocket art based on the ideas of  mediation of the
everyday through technology. You will also be able to assist in the curation
of the Net.Art exhibition with Electrofringe co-directors.

The ideal person will have a good knowledge of the Australian media art
landscape, have some experience in curating, is able and willing
collaborate and can work with limited resources. (You do not have to be NSW

The exhibition will run from  September 16 until October 4 2004, at the
Rocket Art Gallery Hunter Street, Newcastle. For more info on Rocket Art go

Please send us a one page biography/description of your prior work to
electrofringe AT with subject header Electrofringe Emerging Curator
Deadline: June 17 2004

More information on the Festival

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Date: 5.31.04
From: <eduardo AT>
Subject: N_A_R contributing writers

Net Art Review is looking for contributing writers.

Contact: Lora McPhail at editor AT

Eduardo Navas at info AT

Net Art Review ( <>
) has been online for over a year and is glad to still be going strong.
We, the netKru, would like to invite members of online communities to join
us. Writing in other languages other than English is welcomed.

Current netKru:

Lora McPhail <mailto:editor AT> -- Editor in Chief (Los
Angeles, CA)

Eduardo Navas <> -- Founder/Contributing Editor/
Webmaster (Los Angeles/San Diego, CA)
Yong S. Kim <mailto:yongskim1969 AT> -- Copy Editor (Los Angeles, CA)
Garrett Lynch <> -- Information Architecture
Developer/Contributing Writer (Kent, UK)
Garland Kirkpatrick <> -- Design Consultant
(Santa Monica, CA)

Contributing Writers :
Ana Boa-Ventura <> (Austin, TX)
Neil Jenkins <> (Bristol, UK)
Lewis LaCook <> (Richmond, VA)
Peter Luining <> (Amsterdam, NL)
Francesca De Nicolò <mailto:fradenic AT> (Rome, IT)
Kristen Palana <> (Brooklyn, NY)
Isabel Saij <> (Paris, FR)
Ludmil Trenkov <> (Pasadena, CA)

If you are interested in opining, critiquing or simply sharing your ideas
about works of art in the field of net art and its crossover to new media,
then become a contributing writer and join our netKru.

Net Art Review focuses on net-art and its crossover to other new media
fields. The purpose of the site is to provide a space for sharing links to
net-art works that contributing writers find interesting; these include
actual net-art projects, exhibition opportunities, as well as online

Net Art Review was founded on a community based approach, which means that
anyone can become a contributing writer. If a person has the time to
comment, and shows a strong understanding of new media and net art, then
we welcome the writing, as long as the contributor respects the posting
guidelines (
<> ).

For details please contact Lora McPhail at editor AT or
Eduardo Navas at info AT

We hope to hear from you <>

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Date: 6.02.04
From: Dominique Fontaine <dfontaine AT>
Subject: Programme de bourses pour chercheur résident : Date limite le 31
août 2004 / Grant program for Researchers in Residence : August 31 2004


Programme de bourses pour chercheur résident : Date limite le 31 août 2004

Veuillez noter que dans le cadre de son concours international ouvert aux
historiens, aux conservateurs, aux critiques, aux chercheurs indépendants,
aux artistes et aux scientifiques, la fondation Daniel Langlois offre la
possibilité à deux chercheurs de travailler au Centre de recherche et de
documentation (CR+D) à Montréal, à même ses fonds documentaires et ses
fonds d'archives. Les projets de recherche doivent porter sur un des fonds
d'archives de la fondation ou sur des projets soutenus par la fondation.

Vous pouvez consulter le profil des collections de la fondation à
l'adresse suivante :

Vous pouvez consulter les projets soutenus par la fondation à l'adresse
suivante :

Pour lire les lignes directrices du Programme de bourses pour chercheur
résident :


Grant program for Researchers in Residence: August 31 2004 deadline

Please note that as part of its international competition open to
historians, curators, critics, independent scholars, artists and
scientists, the Daniel Langlois Foundation is offering the chance for two
researchers to work at the Centre for Research and Documentation (CR+D) in
Montreal, specifically in its documentary and archival collections.
Research projects must be directly related to one of the Foundation's
archival collections or research projects supported by the foundation.

A description of the collections is available at:

Descriptions of the project supported by the foundation is available at:

Guidelines for the Grant Program for Researchers in Residence:

La fondation Daniel Langlois a pour vocation de faire avancer les
connaissances en art et en science en favorisant leur rencontre sur le
terrain des technologies. La fondation souhaite ainsi encourager
l'épanouissement d'une conscience critique à l'égard des implications des
technologies sur l'homme, ainsi que l'exploration d'esthétiques propres
aux nouveaux environnements humains. Par le biais de son Centre de
recherche et de documentation (CR+D), la fondation contribue à documenter
l'histoire, les oeuvres et les pratiques associées aux arts technologiques
ou médiatiques, électroniques et numériques, et à rendre cette information
accessible de manière innovatrice par des moyens télématiques.
[] <]>


The Daniel Langlois Foundation's purpose is to further artistic and
scientific knowledge by fostering the meeting of art and science in the
field of technologies. The Foundation seeks to nurture a critical
awareness of technology's implications for human beings and their natural
and cultural environments, and to promote the exploration of aesthetics
suited to evolving human environments. The Centre for Research and
Documentation (CR+D) seeks to document history, artworks and practices
associated with electronic and digital media arts and to make this
information available to researchers in an innovative manner through data
communications. []

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Date: 6/02/04
From: Robert Praxmarer <cubic AT>
Subject: Call for Artistic Director of the Ars Electronica Center

Artistic Director

Your Responsibilities:
+ Acting as top management spokesperson
+ Artistic-substantive program development in
all of Ars Electronicaâ??s fields of activityâ??the
Ars Electronica Festival, the Prix Ars Electronica,
the Museum of the Future and the Ars
Electronica Futurelab
+ Public relations and press relations
+ Planning and execution of the Ars Electronica
Festival and the Prix Ars Electronica

Your Qualifications:
+ Excellent knowledge of and connections to the
international art and technology scene
+ Outstanding track record in an artistic and/or
scholarly leadership position and proven ability
to provide substantive orientation and leader-
ship to a top international cultural institution
+ Team-oriented approach that makes for a
good fit in a cooperative management model
+ Fluency in English and German

Short-listed candidates will be invited to interview
in person. The successful applicant will be signed
to a five-year contract with an option to renew.

for more informations visit:

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Date: 6.03.04
From: matthew fuller <fuller AT>
Subject: postgraduate opportunities: MA in Media Design Piet Zwart Institute

MA in Media Design
Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The MA in Media Design is a two-year full-time english-language course
offered by the Piet Zwart Institute. We are the postgraduate centre for
art and design of the Willem de Kooning Academy Hogeschool Rotterdam.

Systems not surfaces
Too often, media design has simply been the arrangement of pixels and
plug-ins. For us, the computer and the networks are where dynamics that
are aesthetic, social, political, technical, spatial, linguistic, economic
and numerical, meet and shape each other. The role of the designer is to
track, sort and remix these dynamics in relation to others.

A primary focus of the work is the internet, thorough education in these
technologies is a staple part of our work. Core themes in our programme
are: transmission, use, behaviour, and experience; knowledge and memory;
the political economy of the information society; citizens and consumers,
public and private identities; urban and virtual reality, network and

Theory, Practice, Technology
In a working context where software is doing half the thinking and doing
for you, where is the divide between theory, technology and practice?
This course is committed to a fundamental revaluation of the division
between these terms. We will look for and invent the technology that is
in media philosophy; find the conceptuality of an operating system; and
design in a way that synthesises the power of all three.

Connected to the MA programme is that of Media Design Research, hosting a
set of projects testing the social and experimental possibilities for
networked and computational digital media. Researchers in this programme
also act as tutors, guaranteeing a wide range of contacts and insight for

For participants, work is carried out as a series of group and
self-initiated projects. Information on these projects can be found on
the website below.
In certain cases participation in single projects may also be arranged.

Find more information and application forms at
Application dates for 2004-2005:
Recommended: July 1st
Final application deadline: September 1st

For further information contact Leslie Robbins, l.j.drost-robbins AT

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Date: 5.24.04
From: Jonah Brucker-Cohen (jonah AT
Subject: Report from FutureSonic 2004

Mobile Connections
April 30-May 1, 2004

by Jonah Brucker-Cohen (

Held in the oblong shaped, glass-surfaced, URBIS center in Manchester, UK,
the Futuresonic festival began with a conference focused on the theme of
"Mobile Connections", or the role of mobile technology and location-based
media in creative arts practice. Covering everything from mixed reality
mobile gaming to mobile ad-hoc networking to biometric recording devices,
the conference and accompanying exhibition provided a concise overview and
impressive showcase of emerging mobile media projects.

Media theorist Sadie Plant opened the event with a keynote address on the
history of technology-mediated communication and the social ramifications
of this phenomenon on our daily lives. She outlined how human behavior
shifts when communication is siphoned through different mediums. For
instance, when using the Internet a typical question asked among users is
"Who are you?" since anonymity of identity remains important. In contrast,
the fixed telephone causes people to ask "How are you?" since in most
cases you already know who you are calling and it being a specific
location. Finally, the mobile telephone sees people asking "Where are
you?" since their location plays a key role in determining the type and
duration of the conversation. These subtle clues attest to how people
adapt to shifting contexts of interaction and how these nuances play out
within the corresponding spaces of each device.

Following this discussion was the "Network Commons" panel, moderated by
Armin Mendosch, which brought up some interesting debate and arguments
centering around the use and deployment of community wireless networks in
urban areas. I presented my Wifi-Hog project as an example of a device
that challenges the claim of ownership over public wireless spaces by
corporate nodes looking to populate urban centers with their pay-per-use
networks. Although the project has received numerous negative reactions
from proponents of free networks, its main point is to examine both the
positive and negative effects of territorialism with networks that seep
from private spaces into public areas. Also on the panel, Adam Burns from
London's outlined a plan for ways community groups could
overthrow the mobile carriers by building home-spun GSM access points.
However, this approach still requires centralized access points, placing
control in the hands of few. In contrast, an ad-hoc network approach would
allow everyone to be a router and pass information directly to each other
without the need for a central relay.

The second day featured a keynote by Matt Adams of Blast Theory, the
artist group responsible for launching a wave of pervasive gaming
projects, most notably "Can You See Me Now?" and "Uncle Roy All Around
You". These games pit online players against "runners" on the street who
try to chase each aother down in both spaces simultaneously through the
use of mobile digital devices and wireless technology. Adam's speech
outlined a remake of Hakim Bey's "Temporary Autonomous Zones", where
instead of merely occupying a space in physical proximity and association,
technology mediated spaces affect our actions and thus produce "Temporary
Performative Zones". For instance, when receiving a call on a mobile phone
we must "perform" to separate ourselves from people in our immediate area
or mask our discussions if they become too personal. Halfway through
Adams' talk, he received strong opposition from the audience who accused
him of "selling out" to corporate sponsors since his emphasis on the
growing mobile communications industry seemed to overshadow his artistic
intent with Blast Theory's work. Although the idea of pure art might seem
utopian, Adams was quick to point out that it is "naive to think that this
cultural form is independent from the capitalist economy that these
devices are coming from." In a sense, these games and project comment on
the current and future uses of these devices as they gain ubiquity.

The exhibition featured a wide range of work focusing on both the negative
and positive effects of mobile technology in physical spaces. One of my
favorites was "Mobile Clubbing", a flash-mob-like urban performance where
participants with portable MP3 players and headphones show up in public
spaces like train stations and party down. Reactions caught on video by
onlookers were amusing. Playing off the health risks of mobile phones was
Rupert Griffith's "Telenono", a sealed phone booth that supposedly blocks
out all radiation from devices such as mobile phones, televisions, radios,
and Bluetooth signals. When inside, the booth forces others to physically
find you to communicate. Around the URBIS grounds, several projects were
on demo that allowed visitors to traverse the urban landscape of
Manchester. "InterUrban", by Naomi Spellman, Jeremy Hight, and Jeff
Knowlton, consisted of an interactive narrative that constructed itself
based on a person's movement around the physical grounds such as time of
day, distance traveled, and actual direction. Going for abstraction was
the Japan-based artist Akitsugu Maebayashi's "Sonic Interface", a wearable
sonic re-sampler that inputted live audio, remixed it, and spit it back
out to the wearer's headphones. The exhibition traded slick production
value for proof of concept and rapid deployment to gain feedback from the
attentive audience.

As the conference ended, a prevalent theme seemed to form around the
concept of "minimal aesthetics" and social potential. The most successful
projects were realized with little technological overhead and
simultaneously created a space for collaborative intervention among
members of the public or a specific location. Mobile Connections was meant
to highlight the rift between location-based media and everyday
experience, where technology takes a backseat to human and critical
engagement. This was felt at the event, but the question remains if theses
devices should maintain a foreground or background role in our everyday
lives. Does the effort to interact with a technology overshadow the result
of the interaction? Since the inclusion of digital technology in social
situations creates tension over accessibility, perhaps increased
transparency will help to relieve this conflict. Futuresonic initiated a
debate on these questions and provides a good starting point to examine
the sociological and personal effect of mobile technology on society at

-Jonah Brucker-Cohen (

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and an affiliate of
the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Rhizome Digest is supported by grants from The Charles Engelhard
Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for
the Visual Arts, and with public funds from the New York State Council
on the Arts, a state agency.

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Kevin McGarry (kevin AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 9, number 23. 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
Digest, please contact info AT

To unsubscribe from this list, visit
Subscribers to Rhizome Digest are subject to the terms set out in the
Member Agreement available online at

Please invite your friends to visit on Fridays, when the
site is open to members and non-members alike.

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