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: 6.18.04
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 15:39:07 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: June 18, 2004


1. matthew fuller: fenlandia
2. Clemente Padín: Art.Emotion 04
3. Noel Kelly: XÃVER Visual Arts AT Fused 2004, Dublin, Ireland

4. patrick lichty: Mobile Exposure - Call for mobile video
5. Brooke Singer: Computer Technician Position Available AT SUNY Purchase,
New Media Program
6. Justine Bizzocchi: DiGRA 2005 Conference Announced
7. ryan griffis: Orlo News + call

+scene report+
8. Tom Brecelic: The Next Wave, Unpopular Culture, by Tom Brecelic

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Date: 6.15.04
From: matthew fuller <fuller AT>
Subject: fenlandia


a new online work by Susan Collins

Over 12 months from May 2004, images will be recorded from various sites -
rural and technological - in the Silicon Fen area of East Anglia (UK).

The first site is Sutton Gault in Cambridgeshire
(from the chimney of a 17C coaching inn).

The webcam records images pixel by pixel. Each image is collected from top
to bottom and left to right in horizontal bands continuously, recording
fluctuations in light and movement throughout the day (and night).
It will record at different rates over the course of the year and is
currently set to record a pixel a second, so that the whole image is made up
of individual pixels collected over 21.33 hours.

A selection of these images are displayed in the archive section of this
website, which will be added to as the year progresses.

fenlandia is being developed as a distributable artwork which can be viewed
full screen and updated live to your computer in real time.
Currently the (beta version) display software is available for Mac OS X.
PC and Mac OS9 versions will follow shortly.

fenlandia has been commissioned for Silicon Fen
By Film and Video Umbrella and Norwich School of Art and Design

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Date: 6.15.04
From: Clemente Padín <7w1k4nc9 AT>
Subject: Art.Emotion 04


in/en Itau Cultural, Av. Paulista 149, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Exhibition opening: July 1st (closes September 26th) = Apertura exposicion:
1ro. Julio (cierra 26 Setiembre)
Conference: from July 2nd to July 5th  =  Conferencias: del 1ro. al 5 de
Organization/Organizacion: Arlindo Machado and/y Gilbertto Prado
2nd July - 2:30 PM

Opening: Homage to Haroldo de Campos and Julio Plaza
Augusto de Campos (Brazil)
Regina Silveira (Brazil)
Irene Machado (Brazil)
Arlindo Machado (Brazil)
Gilbertto Prado (Brazil)
2nd July - 7:30 PM

Networks and the New Spaces for Intervention
Fred Forest (France)
Paulo Bruscky (Brazil)
Clemente Padin (Uruguay)
Gilbertto Prado (Brazil)
Maria Luiza Fragoso (moderator)
3rd July - 10:00.AM

Art & Tecnology: How to Politicize the Discussion?
Antoni Muntadas (Spain)
Jorge La Ferla (Argentina)
Davide Grassi (Slovenia)
Oliver Ressler (Germany)
Coco Fusco (Cuba/EUA)
Lucas Bambozzi (moderator)
3rd July - 2:30 PM

Poetics and Perspectives of Media Arts
Anne-Marie Duguet (France)
François Soulages (France)
Ivana Bentes (Brazil)
Christine Mello (Brazil)
Cláudia Giannetti (Brazil/Spain)
Milton Sogabe (moderator)
3rd July - 7:30 PM
Digital Inclusion, Free Software, Open Sources
Susana Noguero (Spain)
André Lemos (Brazil)
Rejane Spitz (Brazil)
Hernani Dimantas (Brazil)
Angie Bonino (Peru)
Guilherme Kujawski (moderator)
4th July - 10:00 AM
Conflict and Resistance in the Global Society
Fran Ilich (Mexico)
Maria C. Costa (Brasil)
Maurício Dias & Walter Riedwec (Brazil & Switzerland)
José-Carlos Mariategui (Peru)
Fábio Duarte (moderator)
4th July - 2:30 PM
Emergent Realities
Diana Domingues (Brazil)
Rodrigo Alonso (Argentina)
Sílvia Laurentiz (Brazil)
Iliana Hernandez (Colombia)
Marcos Cuzziol (moderator)
4th July - 7:30 PM
The City as Interface
Christian Huebler - Knowbotic  (Netherlands/Germany)
Giselle Beiguelman (Brazil)
Michael Rakowitz (USA)
Simone Michelin (Brazil)
Nelson Brissac Peixoto (Brazil)
Marcelo Tramontano (moderator)
5th July - 10:00 AM
Immersive Virtual Spaces
Jeffrey Shaw (Australia)
Arlindo Machado (Brazil)
Tânia Fraga (Brazil)
Rejane Cantoni (Brazil)
André Parente (Brazil)
Lúcia Leão (moderator)
5th July - 10:00 AM
Immersive Virtual Spaces
Jeffrey Shaw (Australia)
Arlindo Machado (Brazil)
Tânia Fraga (Brazil)
Rejane Cantoni (Brazil)
André Parente (Brazil)
Lúcia Leão (moderator)
5th July - 2:30 PM
The New Biological Paradigm
Eduardo Kac (Brazil/EUA)
Paula Sibilia (Brazil)
Annick Bureaud (France)
Roy Ascott (Great Britain)
Eduardo de Jesus (moderator)
5th July - 7:30 PM
Subjectivities on Line
Suzette Venturelli (Brazil)
Sara Diamond (Canada)
Giselle Beiguelman (Brazil)
Minerva Cuevas (México)
Mariela Yeregui (Argentina)
Paula Perissinoto (moderator)

Another service to the community of Clemente Padin, follow his example!
Otro servicio a la comunidad de Clemente Padin, siga su ejemplo!

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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: 6.16.04
From: Noel Kelly < AT>
Subject: XÃVER Visual Arts AT Fused 2004, Dublin, Ireland

XÃ?VER Visual Arts AT Fused 2004
curated by The Art Projects Network
21st June - 20th July 2004
South Dublin Libraries:
Tallaght, Castletymon, Lucan, Ballyroan, Clondalkin, and County Hall
Multimedia Center KIBLA, Maribor, Slovenia

FUSED:XÃ?VER is a curated website exhibition. This website is made available
to the online community both locally and internationally, as well as being
available free of charge within the 5 local libraries in the area. Within
thiss website are 12 featured artists working in the area of new media that
is either realised or supported by Internet-based Art Works. Also contained
within the website are links to chosen artists' notebooks, web logs (blogs),
on-line diaries, and other sites that enhance the understanding of new media
and contemporary visual art. The exhibition space also provides for a
discussion area so that all viewers can enter into dialogue about their
experiences, and opinions.

Featured artists: Lionello Borean & Chiara Grandesso, Geoffrey Thomas, Heath
Bunting, Reynald Drouhin, Joseph & Donna McElroy, Lasse Rae, Young Hae Chang
Heavy Industries, Pierre Mertens, Vuk Cosic, and Shirin Kouladjie.

On June 24th AT 4pm, in the Loose End Studio, Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Pierre
Mertens will provide an opportunity for dialogue. This discussion on the
role of new media, and its assistance in the realisation of the possible,
the impossible, the improbable, and the ideal seeks to explore where the
limits lie, and more importantly who sets these limits.

This exhibition will simultaneously open in Multimedia Center KIBLA,
Maribor, Slovenia.

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

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Date: 6/13/04
From: patrick lichty <voyd AT>
Subject: Mobile Exposure - Call for mobile video

(Distribute widely)

Call for works

Mobile Exposure

An international exhibition of Mobile Video

Presented by Microcinema International

Curated by Patrick Lichty

Deadline: Nov. 31, 2004
Project launch: February 2005

Even though the use of mobile phones for still photography is

Gaining more widespread acceptance, more and more cell phones, PDA's and
handheld devices are being equipped with video capabilities. What then, are
the potentials of the handheld device as a cinematic tool for expression &

To paraphrase Antin, what are the distinctive qualities of cell Phone video,
and how do the stories and images from this technological set differ from
its predecessors? Does the intimacy and mobility of the video-enabled cell
phone create a change in perspective? Does it represent a culture of
universal surveillance where there is a universal intimacy but a complete
lack of private space? How does the mobile perspective shift our perception
in the way the mediated image of the cellular/network individual is
represented? Does its low-resolution somehow challenge the aesthetics,
'truthfulness', or technofetishism of the increasingly filmic nature of
video? These are some of the questions that Mobile Exposure hopes to


The Mobile Exposure handheld video program is an exploration of the
potentials of mobile motion imaging. Practitioners are invited to submit
all lengths of work, although the focus will be on short works

(less than 15 minutes in length).


Along with the video program Microcinema invites scholars, writers, and
curators for their comments upon the role mobile cinematography will have in
the ongoing evolution of video, as well as the cultural effects that the
handheld perspective might shift mediated culture from a critical
perspective. Over 1000 words preferred; images are also encouraged, and
text format in plain text, Rich Text Format, MS Word, or Word Perfect 9 or
less, MLA format. Essays will be considered for inclusion in the exhibition
catalogue as well as consideration for publication in Intelligent Agent


A brief description of the work(s) of up to 150 words and a short biography
of up to 50 words maximum is also requested. Please submit work in DV, VHS,
Quicktime, AVI, MPG or other native format (if available). Please keep in
mind that it is our intent to try to show these works in theatrical and
mobile settings, with the theatrical setting being the taking priority. We
will try to handle all format conversion, but any assistance on the part of
the artist (multiple formats) is helpful.

Still .jpeg or .gif (PC formatted) should be included on a CD.

Please mail all submissions to:

Mobile Exposure

c/o Microcinema International

1530 Sul Ross 1
Houston, TX 77006

Please address all inquiries to:
Patrick Lichty

voyd AT


Upon acceptance, practitioners will be contacted by Microcinema

International regarding the exposure of works through exhibition, online
media, screenings, promotional materials, and on print media

(prints/catalogues) for gallery showings.

Selected works will be considered for inclusion on a DVD for distribution
through Microcinema International's Blackchair DVD

Collection, and may be featured on the website.

About Patrick Lichty

Lichty is an artist, scholar, and curator in New Media and

technological arts, and is noted for his expertise in arts using mobile
technologies. He is Editor-in-Chief of Intelligent Agent Magazine.

About Microcinema International

Microcinema's mission is to curate, exhibit, promote, and distribute
innovative international moving image artists whose deeply personal and
culturally relevant works are typically marginalized by the mainstream
entertainment industry.

Microcinema's Independent Exposure is a touring screening program of
independent films, videos, and digital art that has been in existence since
1996. Independent Exposure is screened worldwide at various microcinemas and
alternative venues and festivals around the world. Microcinema has presented
the short film, video and digital works of over 1200 artists in 43 countries
plus Palestine and Antarctica.

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Date: 6.14.04
From: Brooke Singer <brooke AT>
Subject: Computer Technician Position Available AT SUNY Purchase, New Media

New Media Computer Technician - $40k deadline: July 1st 2004.
Position to be filled by August 15th 2004 Purchase College/State University
of New York seeks to hire an experienced computer technician to serve the
New Media Program. Requirements: The successful applicant will have at least
a bachelor's degree, solid computer skills, including experience in video
post-production and server administration, and the ability to communicate
and work with faculty, student and technical staff. Duties expected of the
successful applicant include: 1. Maintain, administer, backup and
An 18 seat PC computer lab ; Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Adobe PhotoShop,
Macromedia Flash, Java, MIDI and more; A 12 seat PC video editing/3D
computer lab; A Cross platform research lab of 4 workstations running
appropriate software for student and faculty projects;Two department
2. Consult with the department faculty and participate in the planning,
designing and equipping of the new digital media facilities as well as
develop long range resource upgrade strategies.
3. Work collaboratively with faculty and staff to devise and support the
successful implementation of technology in the classroom, including
managing the allocation of server space.
4. Identify, train and supervise College Lab Assistants and student
assistants appointed to the areas and facilities, which utilize computers
and digital technology systems.
5. Help plan and then manage anticipated new technologies. Future
capabilities could include running streaming audio and video and supporting
peer-to-peer applications. 6. In addition to above technical
responsibilities, the person would be available during specified hours to
help students with video post-production and senior projects as well as
mentor student technical workers. As the facilities evolve, there is a
requirement as well as opportunity for continual learning and professional
growth. Send a letter describing qualifications and experience with a
current resume and names of three references to:

Purchase College
Office of Human Resources
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
human.resources AT

An Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer

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Date: 6/18/04
From: Justine Bizzocchi <justine AT>
Subject: DiGRA 2005 Conference Announced

[June 16, 2004] Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) and Simon Fraser
University, Canada, hereby announce that the agreement for the organisation
of the 2005 Digital Games Research Conference ("DiGRA 2005") has been
signed. The conference will take place from June 17 to June 20, 2005 in
Vancouver, British Columbia.

The event will bring together the digital games research communities from
around the world as well as keynote speakers from Europe, America and Asia
and looks set to be the largest academic digital games research conference
ever held in North America.

The 2005 conference is the second in the series of world conferences,
designed to facilitate dissemination of information from the increasing
multidisciplinary research, both theoretical and practical, on digital
games, game playing and players, game design, user communities, cultures and

"Scientific and scholarly advances in games research are currently rapid,
and conferences like DiGRA 2005 are important for the discussion, critique,
and community formation", says Frans Mäyrä, President of DiGRA. "To further
these aims, particular attention will be paid to the review process and
publication of the conference papers, to further contribute to the growing
standards of this new field."

Of the 2005 conference, titled 'Changing Views: Worlds in Play', the
Conference Chair, Professor Suzanne de Castell, says, "The goal of this
conference is to facilitate a richer and more comprehensive grasp of the
present and future capabilities and applications of digital games by
inviting and supporting work which demonstrates the values, means and ends
of 'changing views' in and on digital games and games research. This work
necessarily embraces interdisciplinarity and internationalism, and is, in
sum, work which bridges between and across worlds in play. To that end, a
wide range of approaches and formats are encouraged, including paper
presentations, symposia, poster presentations, author sessions, workshops,
senior scholar roundtables, and, especially, innovative formats which bring
together games researchers and developers and emerging user communities."

"Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A high tech
city, it is home to companies such as Electronic Arts and Creo, cutting edge
learning institutions such as SFU Surrey, and innovative technical research
institutions. Simon Fraser University offers all the crucial elements
necessary to host an event of this calibre; the location, the facilities,
the support, the desire, and the determination to host a significant,
successful and memorable DiGRA conference.

More information and a call for papers will appear soon at,, and in the mailing lists (digra-announce AT,
Gamesnetwork AT

Suzanne de Castell Frans Mäyrä
Professor President
Simon Fraser University Digital Games Research Association
<decaste AT> <frans.mayra AT>


Simon Fraser University opened in September 1965. In less than 40 years SFU
has gained an international reputation for its strengths in the liberal arts
and sciences, as well as for its innovative interdisciplinary and
professional programs. It has been rated as Canada's best comprehensive
university five times (1993, '96, '97, '98, and '00) in the annual rankings
of Maclean's magazine and has consistently placed at, or near, the top of
the publication's national evaluations.

Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) is a non-profit international
academic association, established in 2003. The main aims of DiGRA are to
encourage high-level digital games relevant research, and to promote
international collaboration and dissemination of work by its members through
research, development, commercial, practitioner and policy communities,
networks and organisations.

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Date: 6/18/04
From: ryan griffis <grifray AT>
Subject: Orlo News + call



1. After many months of discussions about how to improve and update
our website, Orlo is very pleased to announce that we have completed
the first phase of our new site. We will now have better capability to
bring you all the amazing programming at Orlo through the window of the
World "Wild&Free" Web! Please join us at and let us know
what you think. In the coming months we are looking forward to moving
into the archival stage of developing this exciting resource.

2. Orlo has an amazing new show at the Orlo Exhibition Space. We
welcome Keith Yurdana and his stunning work. We are currently holding
open hours on Saturdays from 2-6pm or by appt. Be sure to call the
office before you come, as our volunteer hosts are, well, volunteers.

3. We are spreading the word far and wide about our next show
featuring proposals for what Portland should do with Ross Island once
it is aqcuired back by the city. Please read below the call to artists
and let us know if you are interested in participating in this exciting

Call to Artists and Designers
ORLO invites artists and creative designers to offer proposals for
imaginative engagement with Ross Island as it is restored and brought back
into the city's natural and cultural life.

The restoration of Ross Island offers a unique opportunity to explore how
natural and cultural values can be powerfully linked together through the
integration of art, ecology, and design. 

1. Intro- describe R.I. and the opportunity for art/nature/culture.
2. Call to Artists and Designers
3. Goals, Criteria, Format, Duedate, Mailing
4. Outcomes
5. For further information

1. Introduction: The Opportunity
Ross Island, in the midst of the Willamette River and within sight of
downtown, will be handed over to the City of Portland after 75 years of
industrial use. After a ten year restoration process, Ross Island will
become the next important addition to Portland's urban wildlife refuge

The island is 1 1/4-miles long and over 1/2-mile wide. It is ecologically
connected to 160-acre Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge by the narrow Holgate
Channel. On the west bank side it faces Portland's South Waterfront
district, currently being designed as an important new urban development
complex with a 100 to 150-foot greenway along the river.

When restored, the Island will include a large lagoon with both deep and
shallow water, forested berms or uplands, and extensive shoreline. Its
ecological functions include offering refugia for migrating salmon and
nesting sites for great blue herons and bald eagles, and represents the only
remaining relatively natural island in the Portland harbor. Ross Island will
become one of the premier wildlife habitats in Portland Park and
Recreation's 10,000 acre park system and one of the most ecologically
important elements of the interconnected regional greenspace system.

The restored Ross Island will thus be a unique opportunity to explore how
natural and cultural values can be powerfully linked together through art
and design. Seeing people and nature as "opposites" has been a destructive
thought-pattern for a long time. Ross Island is a place where Portland can
evolve beyond that separation toward original ways of co-existence.

Artists and designers are presented with a multi-dimensional problem: the
differing yet overlapping needs/pressures of culture and nature; the
different physical locales of Ross Island, Oaks Bottom, South Waterfront;
the larger contexts of metropolis and urban ecosystem, past, present,
future. How to experience, explore, and create in the spaces thus
defined--with all their practical and ecological limits--and their
corresponding opportunities for creative solution?

2. Call to Artists and Designers
ORLO invites artists and creative designers to offer proposals for
imaginative engagement with Ross Island as it is restored and brought back
into the city's natural and cultural life.

All media and approaches are welcome: traditional, nontraditional,
conceptual, etc.

Proposals could be creative responses to any of the following questions:
" How could the public be brought to understand, support, and participate in
the restoration process?
" What ultimate result for the Island itself can artists envision that would
both respect the natural values, and imaginatively engage people who live
and work nearby?
" How could art or design help reveal the real although sometimes invisible
connectedness of Island, river, ecology, and people?
" How could we see the various histories inscribed here--Native American and
settler, and also natural?
" What contradictions, complications, dangers, or challenges are implied?

3. Goals, Criteria, Format, Duedate:
Orlo's goals are three:
1) To awaken public awareness and support for the Ross Island restoration
through the proposed or actual artworks/designs.
2) To generate imaginative and possibly new ways for people to enjoy a
natural area in their midst, from any perspective or vantage (Island,
riverbanks, elsewhere).
3) To re-conceptualize and explore more deeply the human/natural
interaction, via the various discourses of gallery show, catalog, essays,
and public dialogue.

-The ecological integrity of Ross Island is an essential value for all
work.. (Bald eagle and great blue heron nesting areas, in particular, are
Extremely sensitive to human encroachment.) But this value need not rule out
Wildly imagined designs.
-sites for art/design could include Island, east riverbank, west riverbank,
-temporary or permanent okay
-any medium of art, urban design, or landscape design

Format and duedate for submissions:
-Conceptual ideas and sketches, works on paper, small-scale architectural
-No larger than 36 inches in any dimension.
-The artist will be responsible for shipping costs both directions.
-Must be received at ORLO by August 12, 2004. Mail or deliver to:

ORLO Ross Island Art/Ecology Design Project
PO Box 10342
2516 NW 29th
Portland, OR 97296

4. Outcomes:
" A gallery show (August 28- October 9, 2004) will present designs. These
will be either finished works, or graphic presentations of proposed

" All artists/designers will receive a certificate of participation in
Orlo's Design Project for Ross Island and a membership in Orlo.

" A symposium panel will discuss art, ecology, and restoration

" A catalog with critical essay(s) will document the show and symposium.

" Orlo's Bear Deluxe magazine (46,000 readers) will provide the medium for
continuing discussion and (with other media) will make the announcements and
results available to a broad public.

" Longer-term outcomes: Orlo hopes that some of the proposals will be so
wonderful that a public agency or private foundation will provide funding
and support for actual installation. But we have no control over that!

5. For Further Information:

Orlo website-

Virtual tour of Willamette River, Ross Island, South Waterfront, Oaks

South Waterfront Greenway Development Plan (March 2003 report from River

Wild in the City, A Guide to Portland¹s Natural Areas, Eds. Mike Houck and M
J Cody,  (Oregon Historical Society Press, 2000) for detailed discussion of
Oaks Bottom, Ross Island, ecological context.

Wild on the Willamette, Exploring the Lower Willamette River, a Portland
Audubon Society map of the lower Willamette between the Willamette Narrows
and the Columbia River.


The Orlo Exhibition Space
The Bear Deluxe Magazine
Mailing address: P.O. Box 10342
Street address: 2516 NW 29th
(see for directions)
Portland, Oregon  97296
Phone: 503-242-1047
Fx: 503-243-2645 (call first)
email: bear AT

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Date: 6/18/04
From: Tom Brecelic <t_brecelic AT>
Subject: The Next Wave, Unpopular Culture, by Tom Brecelic

The Next Wave, Unpopular Culture, by tom brecelic
One hot summer night in Newcastle a small group of agitating
twenty-somethings left a four-story-high social comment ­ "THIS IS NOT ART²
­ on the side of an abandoned building in the West End of Newcastle, the
central Coast of New South Wales.

A long time ago the building was the headquarters of the Latec Insurance
Group, but it's been empty for years; something of a sign of the city's
decline. Now everyone calls it the "THIS IS NOT ART building."
One of these artists was Marcus Westbury, a former organizer of the LOUD,
Noise, and This Is Not Art festivals. He¹s also the dissenter and artistic
director of the 10th Next Wave Festival, Australia¹s only youth-arts
festival curated exclusively by emerging artists under the age of 30.
Flagrantly shunning anything mainstream, this year¹s festival, held in
Melbourne, Australia, 18-30 May, was dedicated to ?Unpopular Culture¹. The
under-thirty artists conformed their works to the notion that popular
culture is bland and uninteresting. As Westbury says, the artists were
encouraged to "reflect, reject, dissect and infect the way the world does

The Next Wave Festival engulfed Melbourne¹s CBD, flooding through nooks,
crannies, alleyways, public spaces, even the sky, before it rippled outwards
across urban, suburban and regional environs with a series of satellite

The high art versus popular culture debate is largely misplaced, asserts
Westbury, who thinks the real debate is about ideas and their application.
³It¹s about commercial versus independent culture and not about the
relatively worth of different historical and contemporary forms.²
The festival encourage audiences to cross pollinate between different events
through staggered starting times, close proximity between events, and the
construction of social spaces. ³I hope that the net effect will be a
festival that causes people to react, reflect and respond and not merely a
bit of entertainment,² says Westbury.

Pushing the threshold of Political Correctness was Azlan McLennan who only a
few weeks earlier exhibited 24/7 with Utako Shind. 24/7 installation was
displayed in a Flinders Street shop front featured a Star of David and a
written list of alleged atrocities by Israel against Palestinians.
The installation, partly funded by the Melbourne City Council, was closed
after Jewish groups, councilors and both sides of State Government condemned
it as inflammatory, offensive and anti-Semitic, opening up the debate of

"I don¹t think it¹s justifiable for politicians to pull works or exhibitions
based on short-term pressures,² says Westbury. "I think we have a great
system here in Melbourne of arms-length arts funding and it has served the
state and the city really well. Melbourne is the city in Australia that
young artists look to, and that¹s the main reason why I - and many people I
know - moved here.

It¹s refreshing work, and very rare for artists to push the envelope of
expression for fear of artistic persecution by the current right wing Howard
government who concocted the biggest media performance to get re-elected in
the 2001 federal elections. They whipped the ³throw baby overboard² affair,
whipping up racist and xenophobic sentiment by accusing Iraqi asylum seekers
of throwing their children over board. At least 24/7 was grounded on truth,
and it¹s also an indictment against the one sided mainstream reporting of
the Palestinian/Israel debate that most people seem to subscribe too.

The Next Wave was originally set up to present ideas without being didactic
or formulaic about the artists approached theme. Ten festivals later, this
year¹s theme of Unpopular Culture is certainly a departure from 2002 The
Next Wave: Wide Awake Dreaming at Twilight, which explored ideas of
collective dreaming and slipping between subliminal states of alertness.
Motion is inherent to animation - without it there is only image. Four
independent animators examined their own learning curves, influences,
passions and persuasions on the subject of motion with Critical Culture ­
AniMotion, presented on 28 May at the Next Wave Festival Club by four
artists, David Blumenstein, Isobel Knowles , Joel Zika and Phip Murray.
This sparked a passionate debate on the course Australian animation has
taken in the wake of the recent Oscar Award, Australian Adam Elliot¹s who
won the category of best animation with his Harvey Crumpet.

³Pop culture has been manufactured over the last sort of 20 years or so,
³says Marcus Westbury. ³It tended to be much more top down, much more based
around a very hierarchical distribution be it through television, or books
or magazines or any other form of pop culture.

³Now people are noticing its cultural legacy,² he says. ³That animation is
becoming a very grass roots phenomenon and it's actually seeding influences
and ideas all over the place.²

He says people are noticing shows like South Park and The Simpson¹s, and
he expects that there will be a whole range of things going on like that in
next five or ten years, spurring an animation revolution.

The Next Wave Festival is supported by The Program, ,
an informative arts and culture based website which aims to help connect
young people with all aspects of the arts community and which is also
sponsored by the Australia Council.

The Kickstart Program is for young emerging artists seeking support for the
creation of new works or projects in art forms as varied as visual arts,
dance, theatre, new media, film, music, text, community cultural
development, sound art, video, and just about anything else you can think
of. The 2003 program saw 19 projects selected for development, most of which
had an outcome in the 2004 Next Wave festival.

The 2005 Kickstart Program will be launched in August this year to germinate
new projects for The Next Wave 2006 that¹s become one of the premium New
Media Festivals in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the wake of the Next Wave Festival, the Australian Centre for the Moving
Image, one of the main venues of Unpopular Culture, recently pulled the plug
on the The Shadowers, by Sydney artist Monika Tichacek, which was
commissioned earlier this year by the ACMI. Depicting images of
self-mutilation, this $3000 commissioned video shows the artist nailing her
tongue to a tree stump, sewing her legs together and simulating
strangulation. Which was then removed from the exhibition space it was
intended for.

ACMI eventually screened The Shadowers in a small room in fear of agitating
a very sensitive art set in Melbourne. ³The reason I was given was that the
work was too intense to be viewed by a broad audience, children in
particular, and I agree with that," said the media artist.
Melbourne has become the new media capital of Australia, where flirting with
preconceived thresholds seem the norm which seems the big attraction for the
down under art scene.

² I am personally very attracted to art that is made by artists that are
engaged with bigger questions about the world regardless of whether I
personally agree with their views or not. I think we are big enough as a
society to have those discussions,² says Westbury who by his very nature, is
certainly a champion of Unpopular Culture.

- Tom Brecelic

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Rhizome Digest is supported by grants from The Charles Engelhard
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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Kevin McGarry (kevin AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 9, number 25. 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

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