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: 7.23.04
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 14:06:53 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: July 23, 2004


1. Rex Bruce: "Cell-Outs and Phonies" at L.A. Center for Digital Art

2. Making History: featuring Ariel Yanay-Shani, Dana Levy, Liat & Ariel

3. Kevin McGarry: FW: FUSE MAG (ic-national)...
4. Kevin McGarry: FW: CURATOR OPENING BANFF CENTER (ic-national)...

5. Brett Stalbaum: C5 developments: Mt. Fuji, Perfect View

6. valery.grancher: webpaintings history
7. valery.grancher: webpaintings history part 2

8. Lewis LaCook: Dream Politics

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 7.22.04
From: Rex Bruce <rexbruce AT>
Subject: "Cell-Outs and Phonies" at L.A. Center for Digital Art

Cell-outs and Phonies:
an exhibition of cell phone media

August 6-27
Opening Reception
Friday August 6, 7-11pm

As the digital world grows to encompass all aspects of our life, we see the
gadgets of our day-to-day existence evolving into expressive art mediums.
The advent of cell phones with built-in cameras has sprung a revolution in
photography and digital filmmaking; its accessibility is eliminating the
boundaries between amateur and professional. Examining the line where art
and technology intersect, Cell-outs and Phonies, explores this new way of
creating and experiencing digital art.

Short films will be shown on LCDs and projected while other images are
printed, up-linked or never removed from the actual phone.

The opening reception will feature music assembled entirely with ring tones
by German experimental group Super Smart and continuous screenings of cell
phone videos.

Curated by
Laura Merians

Featuring local and international artists
David Zulaica
Krista Connerly
Mark Beck
Gina Clyne
Scott Myers
Michael Szpakowski
Brett Simon
Al B. Sure

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 7.23.04
From: Making History <virtu AT>
Subject: featuring Ariel Yanay-Shani, Dana Levy, Liat & Ariel

"Making History"
is a curatorial project by Stephanie Bensaquen
prepared in different steps and levels for
the global networking project
"Making History"
an essay by Stephanie Benzaquen
The first part of "Making History" is included and featured
on occasion of public_media_sace_festival Yerewan/Armenia
and features these three artists
see the works and details
Ariel Yanay-Shani

Dana Levy

Liat & Ariel Shechter-Mayrose

[Remembering-Repressing-Forgetting] <>
is an ongoing net based project environment
created and curated by
Agricola de Cologne,
media artists and new Media curator from Cologne/Germany.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 7.17.04
From: Kevin McGarry <Kevin AT>
Subject: FW: FUSE MAG (ic-national) instant coffee deranged arrangement of

------ Forwarded Message
From: ic-national AT
Reply-To: national AT
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 11:37:51 -0400
To: ic-national AT
Subject: (ic-national) instant coffee deranged arrangement of love

01. Fuse magazine is looking for an Associate Editor, Toronto

~20 hrs/week. Salary range $14 to 16K
Reporting to editorial committee and associate publisher

The Magazine:
With a twenty-seven year publishing record, Fuse magazineÅs mandate is
to provide innovative and culturally sensitive coverage of diverse
visual and media arts communities and practices in Canada. Our
editorial strategy is to offer readers in-depth critical analysis and
assessment of the relationship of the visual arts to the cultural
contexts in which it is produced, supported, exhibited and
disseminated. There are two general areas in which this analysis is
grounded. The first is cultural analysis as expressed in various
contemporary artistic practices and cultural expressions, especially
practices that are engaged in socially progressive issues. The second,
a corollary interest, is the pressures exerted on the cultural sector
as expressed in policy shifts of social and cultural institutions, both
private and public. As our content crosses many disciplines and
cultural perspectives, it is our ambition to ensure that the writing in
Fuse remains in the forefront of progressive thinking while being
accessible to non-specialist readers.

+ editorial experience necessary, magazine experience desired
+ strong awareness of contemporary art, especially socially engaged
+ ability to work to deadline

+ experience working with committees and boards on a nonprofit model
+ familiarity with prepress, design, and image processing
+ previous grant writing experience also an asset

Duties: editorial
+ Work with other staff/volunteers in development of workable
production schedule
+ Work with editorial committee in determining/soliciting content for
the magazine (includes drafting of formal solicitation letters).
+ Content edit all material for inclusion in magazine
+ Delivery of textual material to copyeditor, enter changes as required
+ Preparation of all content (visual and textual) for delivery to
+ Liaise with designer throughout design stage
+ Participate in proofedit of final drafts

Duties: other
+ Represent magazine at various public events
+ Write content-specific portion of grants

Please submit covering letter, CV, writing samples and previous
editorial work as available. Submissions by email preferred (do not
send high resolution images, please.). Only those chosen for an
interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.

Fuse Magazine
454-401 Richmond St W
Toronto ON M5V 3A8

content AT

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 7.17.04
From: Kevin McGarry <Kevin AT>
Subject: FW: CURATOR OPENING BANFF CENTER (ic-national) instant coffee
deranged arrangement of love

------ Forwarded Message
From: ic-national AT
Reply-To: national AT
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 11:37:51 -0400
To: ic-national AT
Subject: (ic-national) instant coffee deranged arrangement of love

08. CURATOR OPENING ­ The Banff Centre

The Walter Phillips Gallery is one of Canada¹s leading public art
galleries for contemporary art with an international reputation. It is
uniquely located within the Visual Arts department of The Banff Centre,
in the context of an active artist residency program and in association
with the Banff International Curatorial Institute. Research in
contemporary art and curatorial studies is the gallery¹s primary
activity, from which it derives a range of activities: exhibitions,
publications, symposia, lectures, performances, screenings and a
significant collection of over 1,400 works.

An active exhibition program of at least six exhibitions a year,
touring exhibitions and other programs are created by the Director,
Curator and contract staff, featuring research and work from the artist
residency programs at the Centre and other work of national and
international significance. The gallery has a permanent staff of 6
with contract and work study positions, and an annual budget of
approximately $725,000.

The gallery operates a dedicated exhibition space of 325.5 square
metres and is responsible for the display of work across the Banff
Centre campus.

The Banff International Curatorial Institute is a unique division of
the department which provides professional development and research
opportunities for professional and emerging curators, artists and
writers through annual symposia, publications and other activities.

Curator ­ Position
Collaborating with the Director, Visual Arts & Walter Phillips Gallery,
the Curator of the Walter Phillips Gallery for contemporary art,
develops and implements all gallery programs and projects. This
requires originating, researching and developing annual exhibitions,
performances, screenings, publications, special events, and related
educational programs. The incumbent plays a key role in researching
and securing appropriate external funding support for Gallery activity.

Liaises closely with the Visual Arts residency programs, augmenting the
activities of the overall Visual Arts department. The Curator develops
and maintains a strong curatorial workstudy program in the gallery,
providing leadership and mentorship to the participants on an ongoing

Develops the program and research role of the Banff International
Curatorial Institute, leading the implementation of these initiatives.

This position carries day-to-day responsibility for the leadership of
gallery activity and budget management, as well as for the
administration, registration and logistical coordination of all gallery
and related programs. Responsibility also includes a permanent
collection of approximately 1,400 objects.


? Proven track record of innovative projects in contemporary art. Areas
of specialization may include, but are not limited to, Aboriginal art,
new media, popular culture/visual culture or curatorial studies within
contemporary art context. Gallery and curatorial institute initiatives
pay special attention to the social contexts of art.
? A minimum of 3-5 years experience in a public art gallery or
? Supervisory experience required.
? Track record of successful grant writing and fundraising.
? Experience in a post-secondary educational institution in an
instructor or administrative capacity is an asset.
? MA, MFA or equivalent experience/education in studio art, art
history, visual culture, curatorial studies or related discipline.
? Collection management experience an asset.
? Excellent writing and public speaking ability
? 2nd language an asset due to highly international environment.
? Applicants must submit two writing samples or publications, a CV and
names of three references.

To apply for this opportunity, please contact:

Dana Tremblay
Recruiting Manager
The Banff Centre
Phone: 403.762.6173
E-mail; dana_tremblay AT

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 7.23.04
From: Brett Stalbaum <stalbaum AT>
Subject: C5 developments: Mt. Fuji, Perfect View

The Analogous Landscape: C5 climbs Mt. Fuji
July 2004
C5 ascended its second ring of fire volcanic peak by summiting Mt. Fuji, the
tallest mountain in Japan at 12,395 ft. (3,776 m).

A simultaneous climb was executed on Mt. Lassen in California by a stateside
C5 team. The Lassen Peak volcano rises 10,457 ft. (3,187 m) above sea level,
C5's third major ring of fire volcanic peak.

For more infomation on The Analogous Landscape project:

The Perfect View Geocache Expedition Underway
July 2004
Jack Toolin has logged 6,600 miles on his Honda Super Hawk motorcyle as he
traverses the U.S. in pursuit of Perfect View geocache sites solicited from
the geocache community. Beginning in San Jose, California on June, 21st he
is currently in Maine by way of a southwest/south/northeast route.

For more information on the Perfect View Project:

For more information on the the C5 Landscape Initiative:

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 7.20.04
From: "valery.grancher" <valery.grancher AT>
Subject: webpaintings history


Hereafter some news about the webapintings project and its consequence, it
has started on 1998, and is now copied by various international artist !
I am very pleased to have been the first to paint webpage and to see that
this idea is starting a new kind of revolution in artworld world wild:
First I was influenced by the great german artist Blank and Jeron who did
'dumb your trash" on 1997:
They are making sculpture on marble from webpages:

Second I was influenced by the great greek artist Miltos Manetas with his
computer and wires paintings:

So I started on 1998 the "Pump your page" project:

and the same year i initiated the "webpaintings" project:

On 1999 Carlo Zanni sent me an email to show me his great paintings he
started to produce on the end on 1998:

On 1999 Ola Pehrson did a terrific installation, one of my favourite called

This installtion is confronting computer icons as sculpture, paintings,
physical space and virtuality by streaming on real time through a webcam a
viwe of this installtion: on the screen a new windows 95 screen is appearing
In Russia a friend of Olia Liliana called Masha Moriskina painted screen on paper with pencil and gouache (2000): A
terrific drawing.

Then on 2001 after the big and crazy emergence of google, I perceived it as
the perfect new internet icon and I produced in Miltos Manetas place
(electronic orphanage) in Los Angeles the "google painting" (september

Shown in Artsonje center in Seoul and Gwangjyu "less ordinary" show on 2002
in south Korea.
On 2002 the british artist Thomson and Craighead produced a e-bizness:

dealing with off line net art pieces and one of them is "google tea towels"
which is a best seller:

i have boght all the four for my personnal collection, this eally one of the
nest webpaings I have ever seen.
Still on 2002 Miltos Manetas has done a great project called "internet

On 2003 exonemo ( produced a project called "Natural
process" by mixing and copying two pieces by two artist:
"Desktop" 1999 by Ola Pehrson, and "Google paintings" by me: "Natural
process flow":

shon on beging 2004 at Mori art Museum and sold to google on May 2004.

We can see that through this tiome line a great revolution is starting and
may be subject of a terrific collective show including all of these artists
with a great catalog !

read also the conceptual statement of webpaintings!


Valery Grancher

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 7.22.04
From: "valery.grancher" <valery.grancher AT>
Subject: webpaintings history part 2

1- Prehistory of webpaintings:

On early 80's and 90's some artist has dealt with computer concept and
screen both on visual level and conceptual level. They did it at least ten
years before internet age !
Artist Like Rainer Ganahl and Miltos Manetas have started very soon to deal
with computer iconology and environment. Miltos has more dealt with the
video game, the computer entertainment revolution and its iconology. Rainer
Ganahl has more focused on language concept regarding computer by using the
interface metaphor:
Rainer has used the guidelines metaphor* He has dealt with it at the age
when France was connected to network through minitel !!! (early 80's)
For sure rainer Ganahl is according to me a crazy genius who has opened this
door in visual art.
Surf on these links to see how terrific are these pieces !


<> on 1990 with catalog and reviews


<> 1992 view of an
installation at Dalllas Art museum

You may check also his first ever one person show only on the web at
1992 NY - trash can and other computer items

- <>

1996: "les ateliers" in Marseille, France


Kwangju Biennial, Korea, 1997 commissioned by Harald Szeemann


Without Rainer Ganahl, the idea of using computer iconology directly in
visual art would never emerge !
On 1995 another artist called Philip Pocock has printed out a whole website
for 'photography after photography' show. On 1996 he did an email reading
performance in Berlin with email slide show.
At this time, the web interface has not emerged. We can see that these
previous work were so closed to webpaintings concept for one simple reason:
both of them are dealing with interface iconology. But the web interface is
just the son of the computer operating system interface. I have to say if
you are just focusing about this point,you are missing another point.
Because webpaintings are also dealing with painting iconology and not only
computer interface...

*J.C Licklider 1905 -1990 was one of the founder of the internet ancestor
called arpanet. He has invented the concept of visual interface for
computers. He has also conceived the first computer mouse to interact with
the visual interface he conceived. He did this great job on early seventies.
At the Begining of the eighties he got in the Xerox parc the visit of two
major personalities in computer industry: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. We can
say today that without Licklider 'windows' software would never exist, and
the mac interface would never exist also. By conceiving this kind of
interaction with computer on visual level with visual interface and mouse he
has defined the concept of "HMI": Human and machine interaction. The visual
interface conceived by Licklider to interact with computer program has
brought the concept of what we call today 'guidelines':
For example the main guidelines in Apple system is the apple icon.
The icons abd menu in windows software are also guidelines. They help the
computer interactor to navigate in the software.

texte en français sur ce lien:

Valéry Grancher

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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:

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


Date: 7/23/04
From: Lemmy Caution <llacook AT>
Subject: Dream Politics

Dream Politics: Randomness in Network Art

Lewis LaCook

INTRODUCTION: Stochastic Computing

Chaos comes before all principles of order & entropy, it's neither a god nor
a maggot, its idiotic desires encompass & define every possible
choreography, all meaningless aethers & phlogistons: its masks are
crystallizations of its own facelessness, like clouds.

Everything in nature is perfectly real including consciousness, there's
absolutely nothing to worry about. Not only have the chains of the Law been
broken, they never existed; demons never guarded the stars, the Empire never
got started, Eros never grew a beard.

No, listen, what happened was this: they lied to you, sold you ideas of
good & evil, gave you distrust of your body & shame for your prophethood
of chaos, invented words of disgust for your molecular love, mesmerized you
with inattention, bored you with civilization & all its usurious emotions.

There is no becoming, no revolution, no struggle, no path; already you're
the monarch of your own skin--your inviolable freedom waits to be completed
only by the love of other monarchs: a politics of dream, urgent as the
blueness of sky.

Hakim Bey, Chaos, The Temporary Autonomous Zone


Computers have a difficult time with spontaneity. By themselves, they're as
predictable as any fundamentalist. This is what makes computer programming
possible, the assurance I have that the code I write will be executed
exactly as I wrote it. If I write a conditional loop, my computer will make
a decision based on the parameters I feed to it; it won't take into account
the weather, nor its own emotional state, nor will it ever be hung over from
ten too many Guinesses and perform the function haphazardly from behind the
haze of a violent headache. Computers, it would seem are very clean
machines, not subject to noise or entropy. What you code is what you get.

This, naturally, hasn't stopped humans from introducing randomness into the
computer. Most high-level programming languages have a function to simulate
random numbers; and, while said numbers are very often predictable, the
results can sometimes seem just as authentically random as more adroit
sources of randomness. "True random numbers, captured in the wild, are
clearly superior to those bred in captivity by pseudo-random generators?or
at least that¹s what the theory of randomness implies." Brian Hayes writes
in his essay "Randomness as a Resource" ."But (one researcher) has run the
output of various hardware and software generators through a series of
statistical tests. The best of the pseudo-random generators earned excellent
grades, but three hardware devices flunked. In other words, the fakes look
more convincingly random than the real thing."

Hayes is writing here of the two main methods of generating random numbers
in modern computing: pseudo-random number generation, which is just what
those rand() functions do, and the harnessing of external entropy sources,
such as atmospheric noise or radioactive decay rates. Entropy is an index of
the disorder or noise in a closed system; and, in physics, all systems are
sliding inevitably toward disorder. Thus, linking certain parameters in your
code to an external source of entropy is the most effective way of utilizing
the ultimate disorder of the universe in your scripts. Pseudo-randomness,
however, is essential for research purposes, where a sequence of random
results must be repeated in order to provide a stable set for analysis.

One can wonder why there would be a human desire to introduce randomness
into computing. Take, for instance, the World Wide Web; instant global
communication there, and wouldn't our ultimate preference be to clear this
communication channel of all noise? It turns out, however, that randomness
is a vital concept in the development of web networks, and much of the
electronic economy would not exist without it. Ever buy anything online?
Fill out one of those snoopy forms asking for potentially sensitive data
such as your social security number or credit card number? If so, you more
than likely want your privileged information to be secure, protected;
viewable only by those involved in the transaction, if even then. Encryption
is how one secures data over the HTTP protocols the World Wide Web is based
on. Encryption performs character substitution on the data, which can then
be decrypted (read into human-readable language) via a key file or function,
which was at one point randomly or pseudo-randomly generated. Encryption is
a sign of trust between a web service and a consumer; and it depends
heavily on randomness to ensure that bond.

To that end, providing sequences of dependably random integers has proven to
be a crucial--and colorful--web service. The wildest example would be the
Lavarand system, a random number generator developed at Silicon Graphics.
Lavarand was a hybrid of the two methods of random number generation; it
seeded pseudo-random functions with an external entropy source; in this
case, data derived from the slow motion of blobs in Lava Lite lamps.
Lavarand itself seems defunct; though trademarked by Silicon Graphics, the
original project seems to have all but disappeared as a service, but Lavarnd
( ), a similar project derived from the methodology
of the original project, continues. The Lavarnd API, downloadable in both C
form and as a Perl library at the site, allows developers the freedom of
replacing the original Lava Lite lamps with virtually any entropy source;
one feature is the ability to use simple web cams, such as the Logitech

A similar web service, ( ), uses a radio tuned
between stations to inject their data with true random flavor; Swiss
Fourmilab offers HotBits ( ), which reads
radiation via a Geiger-Muller tube detector.


Writing about randomness recently on the list-serv, American
artist Jeremy Zilar ( ) doesn't believe in
randomness per se. "It is the dialog that we have with the process of
observing of ourselves. The observed self, or the object, performance,
process being created is a clear reflection of ourselves, and when we are
able to gain that distance, we become more aware of what is going on inside,
we make changes,. and then we correct the reflection to mirror ourselves
once again....Randomness does not occur. It is a controlled element that
somehow figures in to the image that we have of ourselves. Even when things
do happen by chance, we immediately incorporate that action into the image
and judge it's relationship to the whole, and juxtapose the whole to
ourselves. If it doesn't fit, we remove it."

The distance Zilar writes about here is analogous to the "disinterestedness"
that nineteenth-century German philosopher Immanual Kant proposed as a
integral element in the aesthetic experience. "...a judgment on the
beautiful which is tinged with the slightest interest, is very partial and
not a pure judgment of taste," Kant wrote in his Critique of Judgment. "One
must not be in the least prepossessed in favour of the real existence of the
thing, but must preserve complete indifference in this respect, in order to
play the part of judge in matters of taste." In other words, if a painting
is figurative, and of a sunset, concerning ourselves with the beauty of the
sunset and not of the painting itself is a bad judgment call. The painting
is not the sunset. The sunset is not the painting.

It's this idea that nudged art toward the nonfigurative. If the
contemplation of an art object is a disinterested contemplation, i.e. if we
are to consider the painting isolated from what the painting represents,
then why produce mimetic art at all? Why not simply delve into a "pure"
painting, completely divorced from representation? In the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries, this became a central theme in the narrative
of artistic development: freeing the art object from representation, and
breaking through to the realm of pure being. Art, once a way to represent
the natural, now strove to create the natural; instead of painting a sunset,
the artist wanted to paint an experience that had all the impact of the
sunset, but was its own phenomenon. Or, as Remko Scha asserts: "Esthetically
motivated art...faces a curious challenge: if it is created by humans, it
will always be inferior to nature! In the course of the twentieth century,
this challenge has been taken up by many artists. Some of them have
suggested that they are in fact natural forces, beyond the ken of ordinary
humans. Others have tried to withdraw from their artworks, by developing
objective art-generating processes which they initiate without controlling
the final result."

Or, as Hakim Bey, perhaps the most eloquent proponent of randomness in art,
has reassured us: "Everything in nature is perfectly real including

INTRODUCTION: The Bacchanates

"Noise ­ or random data, or interference ­ has long been an obsession of
digital artists. That obsession reflects the Nietzschean idea of a creative
tension between the Apollonian and Dionysian," maintains Peter Carty in his
review of C6 's ( )NEST, or Network Examination of
Seredipitous Transfer. "First outlined in The Birth of Tragedy, the idea is
that Dionysus represents fundamental primal energy, while Apollo stands for
rationality, logic and structure. Noise is unbounded dissonance; it is
Dionysian. Information which is structured and rendered directly meaningful
by IT protocols is Apollonian."

NEST ( )is a peer-to-peer client with a twist. Unlike
Morpheus or Kazaa, NESTers have access to only one file; a single audio
file, corrupted by each pass through each user's computer. Instead of using
TCP, C6 uses the notoriously unreliable UDP (User Datagram) protocol to hand
data off from one client to another. UDP is unreliable because it performs
very little error-recovery on the data passed through it; the experience is,
as C6 themselves put it, "...much like the children's game of ?Chinese
Whispers¹, where each client is linked to their closest geographical
neighbour. Passing a ?virtual whisper¹ around the internet, each link in the
chain can create new versions with each imperfect cycle."

Network art like this is ripe with entropy. There's just no telling what
will happen to that audio file as it passes from me to you; but chances are,
noise will distort it until it's no longer familiar to us. It's not
"interactive" in the way most web and browser-based art has been; there are
no Flash rollover buttons, no net video; its meat is the network itself, a
network designed to incorporate flaws into its very hide. C6 style
themselves as "conceptual marketers" (perhaps in keeping with the vogue of
artists appropriating and aping corporate behaviors, and also, as are all
such gestures perhaps, tongue-in-cheek), but what they've done here is more
conceptual than marketable (fortunately!). NEST is

Since uses a radio tuned between stations as their entropy
source, I often wonder what it would be like if they tuned in to rand()%
( ). This net radio station is a randomness-hound's wet
dream: all of the audio is composed at random in realtime, every time you
tune in. Named for the ANSI C rand function, the audio programming is a
collage of art-coders, including Lia and Carvalhais,, Karlheinz
Stockhausen (adapted for prime randomnessby Georg Hajdu), and Pix. rand()%
was developed by Tom Betts and Joe Gilmore as a commission by Media Centre
Network of Huddersfield, England.

Listening to rand()% , one might often believe that one's computer is
crashing. As with much random and chance art, you either enjoy it or you
don't. Helen Valery Jamieson, in a recent post to the Netbehaviour list,
expressed frustration with the flaws in randomly-generated artwork. She
confessed: "I am not a big fan of randomly generated art; the concept might
be interesting but I get bored by it fairly quickly. On the other hand,
random elements within a work can be really inspiring. and there's computer
random & human random - audience interaction with a programme or with a
computer-mediated performance. It's random to the extent that you don't know
what the audience is going to come up with, but it's within certain
parameters. structured randomness perhaps." As rand()%'s only interaction
with the audience is the act of tuning in, those less appreciative of random
art might find the station annoying. There is, however, much to love in the
program stream: pops, gurgles, grinds and static, peppered with actual notes
in some cases, cascade through your PC's speakers when tuned to rand()% .
When I was younger, I played in a lot of improvisational fusion bands, but
after a few years found myself getting rotyally bored with the experience;
it often seemed that all I was doing was going up and down scales in varying
increments. rand()%'s artists seem to have solved that problem; but, while
the works are composed anew with every listen, there can be an overwhelming
sameness to the pieces, as if, in absence of hierarchical structuring, the
works are so horizontal that they inspire no emotional interest. From an
audience's perspective (and perhaps it's conditioning from so many years
of absorbing more traditional 19th century narrative structures), the pieces
may seem flat.

Which begs the question: since random and chance works are relatively new
developments in the history of art (John Cage, perhaps the most famous
proponent of random compositional techniques, was, after all, a twentieth
century figure), does work like this require a new kind of audience? Network
art is even younger; remember, we couldn't even display images over the web
until the mid-nineties. Works like NEST and rand()% are radical works in
that they are, essentially, networks in themselves (radio was one of the
first electric communication networks, along with the telephone system;
imagine both of these works performed on analog networks; what if NEST was
dependent on the snail mail system? It would resemble the Mail Art movement
of the 80s, perhaps), and the concept of network-as-artform is so edgy an
idea in 2004 that you might get a bloody nose just thinking about it. It
will undoubtably take a decade or so before the aesthetics inherent in
network art to leech into the mainstream, and perhaps longer than that for
chance art to become commonplace.

Until then; enjoy the entropy.


URLs and Works Cited

Bey, Hakim. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic
Terrorism . Autonomedia Anti-copyright, 1985, 1991.

Carty, Peter. "Deep Corruption on the Web." Metamute Web Exclusive: July
14, 2004.

Hayes, Brian. "Randomness as A Resource," American Scientist, Volume 89,
Number 4, July-August 2001,;jsession

Jamieson, Helen Valery. "Re: randomness." Post to Netbehaviour list-serv.
July 2004.

Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Judgment , 1790, James Creed Meredith

Scha, Remko. "Readymades, Artificial Art, New Media", reprinted from
Annette W. Balkema and Henk Slager (eds.): Exploding Aesthetics. L&B
Series of Philosophy of Art and Art Theory , Vol. 16. Amsterdam & Atlanta:
Rodopi, 2001,

Zilar, Jeremy."Re: randomness." Post to list-serv. July 2004,

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 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.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Rhizome Digest is filtered by Kevin McGarry (kevin AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 9, number30. 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.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +