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: 7.30.04
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 11:57:36 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: July 30, 2004


1. Jessica Ivins: Organizational Subscriptions Program
2. Marieke Istha: upcoming exhibition: Channel Zero
3. kurt bigenho: Fun With Videophones : The Hookup

4. Carol Hobson: CRCA/UCSD Job Opening

5. huong ngo: dream machine
6. Pall Thayer: Proximity Mapper - Matias Arje, Java (M)applet - Pali
Thayer (Trans-Cultural Mapping: Iceland inside and out)

7. Color's Torrid Function!: on network art
8. Jim Andrews: "Digital Writing Circa 2004"

+book review+
9. Andrew [unwrinkled ear] Choate: Remaining Adventures: NTNTNT and the
<> conference

10. Valery Grancher, mark cooley, marc, curt cloninger, trashconnection,
ryan griffis, steve.kudlak AT, neil jenkins, Jess Loseby,
//jonCates: After on 1998, my personal view...
11. mark cooley, Lemmy Caution, steve.kudlak AT Some thoughts
on computer security and the living dead

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Date: 7.25.04
From: Jessica Ivins <jessica AT>
Subject: Organizational Subscriptions Program

To the Rhizome Community:

My name is Jessica Ivins, Intern/Assistant with the staff at Rhizome. I?m
writing on behalf of Rhizome to seek your assistance in promoting our
organizational subscriptions program. Purchased at the institutional
level, these subscriptions are offered so that staff/faculty/members can
have access to Rhizome without having to pay for individual memberships.
Subscriptions are available to institutions worldwide such as museums,
universities, art centers, media centers, libraries, etc.

As you know, Rhizome depends primarily upon foundation funding and
individual membership fees for financial support. Organizational
subscriptions help to expand our membership base while earning funding for

We are especially seeking colleges and universities to subscribe with us
for the upcoming academic year beginning in August/September. A list of
colleges, universities, and other institutions currently subscribing to
Rhizome can be viewed at the organizational subscriptions page:

Please contact me, Jessica Ivins at Jessica AT, or Rachel Greene,
Executive Director, at Rachel AT, with any questions regarding
organizational memberships. A wealth of information about organizational
subscriptions, including pricing and sign-up procedures, is also available

If your organization is in a poor or excluded community, contact me as we
can subsidize memberships for qualifying institutions.

Please help us expand the ranks of who can use and access Rhizome by
passing on this information to colleagues, friends, etc.


Jessica G. Ivins
Jessica AT

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Date: 7.26.04
From: Marieke Istha <istha AT>
Subject: upcoming exhibition: Channel Zero

The Netherlands Media Art Institute presents the exhibition:

Channel Zero
28 August ­ 23 October 2004
Opening 27 August 17.00 - 19.00 uur

Participating Artists: Sergei Bugaev Afrika (RU), Maja Bajevic ( F/BA), Marc
Bijl (NL), Heather Burnett (UK), Ritsaert Ten Cate (NL), Nikos Charalambidis
(CY), David Claerbout (B), Christophe Draeger (CH), Rainer Ganahl (A),
Kendell Geers (SA), Kostas Ioannides (GR), Katarzyna Kozyra (PL), Boris
Mikhailov (RU), Elahe Massumi (IR), Personal Cinema (International),
Francesco Simeti (I), Eliezer Sonnenschein (IL), Lina Theodorou (GR), Palle
Torsson (S), Simone Zaugg (CH)

Curator: Katerina Gregos (GR)

We live within a culture marked by violence, both real and simulated. In the
society of the spectacle where the image exercises an all-pervasive power
and everything tends to be reduced to mere representation, images of
violence have become commonplace, yet another product for consumption.

In the wake of the recent war in Iraq, the international ?war against
terrorism¹ and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this culture of
violence seems to be heightened. As a result, it appears we increasingly
exist in a state of (almost) constant alert; post-1989 euphoria and optimism
have given way to cynicism, pessimism and the return of fear as a very real
issue. Invisible walls of terror, ignorance and hate have replaced the walls
of the cold war. Within this expanding culture of violence, the relationship
between fact and fiction has been conflated, as it is often difficult to
distinguish between the two. Real life events involving explicit violence
have become the basis of a perverse sort of entertainment in television and
the entertainment industry; on the other hand, news casting and journalism
have become increasingly formulaic, sensational and less ?neutral¹ and
?objective¹. The barrage and repetition of a specific kind of media-related
violent imagery in many cases causes detachment and indifference. The fact
is, that calamity (of any kind) remains largely ungraspable and
un-representable as we, the audience, increasingly experience the world
through the filter of the media.

The artists participating in Channel Zero make art that responds to the
culture of violence that surrounds us and explore representations of
violence in the media, entertainment industry or society in general to
analyze, undermine, deconstruct or simply critique them. They examine the
social, political, and cultural as well as the personal aspects of violence
through film, video, photography, digital media and the Internet. In many
ways, this is an exhibition about media using new media.

However, apart from being fixated with images of violence and catastrophe
Channel Zero will also aim to offer a redemptive alternative, which reflects
the ever-increasing desire for a culture of peace and a critique of
war-mongering. Through their works, the comment on, counter, and transform
the conventions of the mass media which frequently objectifies violence.
Sifting through the often-deceptive images created by the media, they point
to the heavily mediated perceptual field of the representation of violence
and offer alternative readings of them.

For more information / Images: Marieke Istha (Communication)

+31 (0)20 6237101 / istha AT

Exhibition open: Tuesday - Saturday and the first Sunday of the month 1:00 -
6:00 pm

Entrance 2,50 (1,50 with discount)

Netherlands Media Art Institute
Montevideo/Time Based Arts
Keizersgracht 264
1016 EV Amsterdam
The Netherlands
T +31 20 6237101
F +31 20 6244423
istha AT

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Rhizome is now offering organizational subscriptions, memberships
purchased at the institutional level. These subscriptions allow
participants of an institution to access Rhizome's services without
having to purchase individual memberships. (Rhizome is also offering
subsidized memberships to qualifying institutions in poor or excluded
communities.) Please visit for more
information or contact Rachel Greene at Rachel AT

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


Date: 7.30.04
From: kurt bigenho <kurt AT>
Subject: Fun With Videophones : The Hookup

July 8, 2004 (San Francisco)

Multiverse presents "Fun with Videophones: The Hookup" a live, interactive
reality spectacle using (or perhaps mis-using) the marvels of videophone
technology. Our two contestants hop from bar to bar trying to score; the
imagery is sent back to the gallery via videophones where the audience gets
to decide what happens next! *Fun with Videophones: The Hookup* takes place
Thursday August 5, 2004, at Rx Gallery. Doors open at 8pm, show begins at
9pm. Rx Galllery, recently voted best gallery by the SF Weekly, is located
at 132 Eddy Street, in San Francisco.

The premise is simple. During the show, our contestants are sent out
accompanied by a "videophonographer" equipped with a video-enabled mobile
phone, to capture the action as it unfolds. Each contestant will go "on the
prowl", trying to score in bars throughout San Francisco. The crew records
the action, then emails it back to Rx Gallery, where the video is displayed.
The audience then votes on what happens next: where to go, who to talk to,
what to say. Basically, the audience writes the script!

"Fun with Videophones: The Hookup" is the first show ever to use video phone
technology for the purposes of live entertainment, brought to you in-part by
the creator of the Mobile Phone Photo Show. It's reality art! It's a
spectacle! It's embarrassing! It's ridiculous! It's fun with video phones!

A special afterparty produced by Soda will follow the show, with djs Philip
Sherbourne (Soda, Flavorpill) and The Fresh Blend (Soda, Iris Distribution).

"Fun with Videophones: The Hookup", is a production of Multiverse, the
genre-bending art-party that always keeps you guessing. "Fun with
Videophones: The Hookup", was created by Kurt Bigenho and Harmon Leon, with
assistance by Hal Philips. Visit the Multiverse website (
for additional information.

Kurt Bigenho is a multidisciplinary artist, curator, and designer. More
information about his projects and provocations can be found at his personal
site, unfinished. ( He is the creator of The Mobile
Phone Photo Show (, the first exhibition in the nation to
examine the artistic potential of mobile phone photography, which was
exhibited in San Francisco from May 20-June 18th, 2004. A primary on-going
project is The Dept. of Shape Research, an organization which is currently
hard at work developing many 1000s of completely useless shapes
( He is the curator of Multiverse, a monthly art-party at Rx
Gallery. He has shown work at New Langton Arts, Southern Exposure, four
walls, Somarts, the Webbys, Rx Gallery, and the Oakland Museum of Art. He
has a degree in architecture from UC Berkeley and consults as a brand,
experience, and information strategist through his consultancy Kurt for Hire
(; clients include Leapfrog Toys and Robert Mondavi

Harmon Leon is a San Francisco comedian/writer. Heâ??s the author of the
award-winning book The Harmon Chronicles, as well as a writer for Details,
Salon, NPR, High Times, Black Book, Cosmopolitan, Wired, Stuff, Maxim, Salon
and National Geographic. Harmon has appeared on the Howard Stern Show, and
performed solo-comedy shows around the globe, including at The Montreal
Comedy Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Melbourne Comedy
Festival. Recently, Harmon co-starred with OJ Simpson in a hidden camera
show called Juiced. Harmon described the experience as "creepy." His other
TV credits include Penn&Teller's Showtime series, the Jamie Kennedy
Experiment, Blind Date, as well as writing and performing on the BBC.

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Date: 7.27.04
From: Carol Hobson <chobson AT>
Subject: CRCA/UCSD Job Opening

The position of TECHNICAL DIRECTOR is open at the UC San Diego Center for
Research in Computing & the Arts (CRCA). As the Technical Director and
Systems Administrator, this position will implement and manage network and
upgrades, support new and ongoing research activities, and participate in
planning and implementation of new facilities and infrastructures for the
New Media Arts within the California Institute for Telecommunications and
Information Technology (Cal-(IT)2).

Applicants should check the UCSD online posting (see link below for job
#33614), where you may also apply for the position. NO resumes will be
considered sent via email or direct post. You MUST apply via the online
system. The filing Deadline is August 4, 2004. The payroll title for this
position is a Programmer/Analyst III.

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Date: 7.25.04
From: huong ngo <huong AT>
Subject: dream machine

Record your dreams : Trade your dreams
Share your subconscious as we archive your dreams. Call 773-HUM-9035, and
record your dream after the beep. If you leave a phone number, we'll send
you another dream from our archive. Call and record as often as you like:
immediately after waking, perhaps before you're even fully awake, before you
realize it was all just a dream.

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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: 7.29.04
From: Pall Thayer <palli AT>
Subject: Proximity Mapper - Matias Arje, ava (M)applet - Pall Thayer
(Trans-Cultural Mapping: Iceland inside and out)

The Trans-Cultural Mapping: Iceland Inside and Out workshop produced
some really exciting projects. One of these projects, the Proximity
Mapper by Matias Arje, has now been finished and can be viewed at

It was agreed upon that all projects would be released with source-code
under the GPL license. Enjoy.

More projects to come soon.

+ + +

Another project to come out of the Iceland Inside and Out project, was
of course the java map that can be seen on the website. The source code
for this has now been made available and can be downloaded here:

On the same page you can see and use the applet.

More projects coming soon.

Pall Thayer
Pall Thayer

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Date: 7.26.04
From: Color's Torrid Function! <llacook AT>
Subject: on network art

excellent essay on network art by someone you may be familiar with

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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: 7.30.04
From: Jim Andrews <jim AT>
Subject: "Digital Writing Circa 2004"

"Digital Writing Circa 2004" (139 kb)

This is an attempt to say something about digital writing in the current
social and political context (and with reference to wider contexts).

It was written as a talk for the trAce symposium on "Writing and the
Internet" earlier in July.

By the time the symposium roled around, I actually had some new hypermedia
cooking ("War Pigs", still not finished), so I showed the hypermedia and
distributed print copies of the essay for people to read at their leisure.

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Date: 7/30/04
From: Andrew [unwrinkled ear] Choate <ralphleo AT>
Subject: Remaining Adventures: NTNTNT and the <> conference

Remaining Adventures: NTNTNT and the <> conference

NTNTNT is four and one quarter inches wide, five and a half inches tall and
one inch thick. It is a book. <> was a series of lectures
initiated and curated by Natalie Bookchin at the California Institute of the
Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. This conference
took place under the <> rubric from the Fall of 1999 until the
Spring of 2000. A visiting artist or artistic collective working with the
Internet or via media technology appeared every few weeks. Participants
included Vuk Cosic, the Critical ArtEnsemble, Fiambrera, Irational, I/O/D,
Cornelia Sollfrank, Alexei Shulgin, AT rtmark and others.

Before the project began, Bookchin nursed a desire to publish the
proceedings of the interviews and speeches. As the project unfolded,
CalArts students disappeared into graduates, transcripts decomposed, the
stock bubble burst, and hype about the Internet and its art metamorphosized
into an often unchallenged proliferation of gripes. Enthusiasm from two of
the students involved in Bookchin¹s original class lingered. Ultimately, Zoe
Crosher became the managing editor of NTNTNT and Jason Brown became its

NTNTNT, © 2003, sprang from <> the way leftovers spring from a
meal: by remaining when all else is gone. Three teams of CalArts students
assembled and dissolved over the course of the book¹s production, dividing
responsibilities, finding/ misplacing/ transcribing the recordings and
brainstorming what to do with what remained. What we hold in our hands when
we pick up NTNTNT is a montage of the <> proceedings, relevant
journalism from the time period in question, print reproductions of
from the artists featured, and historical texts ­ Benjamin, Borges,
Burroughs, Gibson, etc. ­ which provide philosophical and cultural context
for the ideas discussed during the conference and presented in the book.
NTNTNT is less a document of the <> project than it is a trove of
cogent fragments. None of the original interviews are presented in full;
rather, they are cut up into significant bits, scattered across the book¹s
six main sections (there are twenty-seven subsections) and placed within the
area of investigation most akin to their respective focus of attention.

Excluding the introductory texts ­ essays by Crosher and Brown, and an
interview with Bookchin ­, no sample from the book is over 500 words long.
Brown¹s editing determines how we read the book, while the book, in turn,
forcefully demonstrates that a collection of framed fragments is more useful
and more representative to our time than documentations of ³what happens.²
With the history of texts, images and urls at his fingertips, Brown compiled
a book of evocative ideas which read much like Henri Michaux¹s Tent Posts or
Franz Kafka¹s Blue Octavo Notebooks, except that here we have a lot of
people who work with computers talking poetically ­ in a way that incites
thought ­ about technology and culture, and these dialogues are embedded
within a selection of resonant historical and commercial reproductions. For
example, Geert Lovink, in a 9 February 2000 interview with Dee Dee Halleck
and Sarah Diamond at MOCA, says ³Europe is in immediate danger of being
turned into a sort of reality park where you can go and experience
history?Amsterdam runs on the Rembrandt and Van Gogh industry?Culture in
Europe is in immediate danger of being reduced to a description of national
heritage. (p. 25, 26)² This brief passage from Lovink is included in the
MELANCHOLY subsection of the book, which includes four other items: a
reproduction of Paul Klee¹s painting ?Angelus Novus;¹ an email from Aureia
Harvey to regarding the blues of writing code, impermanence
and ³the point of it all;² an excerpt from Walter Benjamin¹s diaries
interpreting the ?Angel of History;¹ three sentences from a 2002 Los Angeles
Times article about the statute of limitations for insider trading as it
would effect Silicon Valley inhabitants in the wake of the
boom-bust. By using the power of conjunction as a diagnostic tracking of
modern cultural trajectories, NTNTNT identifies the constellation of issues
at stake for concerned citizens and agents of the mediated class. Without
depending on the accumulative effect of exhaustive analysis for the
production of intellectual potency, NTNTNT¹s fragments burst on a subject
and reveal it from a fresh perspective, self-consciously divulging the
underpinnings of NTNTNT¹s own methodology while illuminating how these
processes are at work on larger scales. As the Giorgio Agamben quotation on
p. 297 demonstrates: ³Alienating by force a fragment of the past from its
historical context, the quotation at once makes it lose its character of
authentic testimony and invests it with an alienating power that constitutes
its unmistakable aggressive force?[T]he authority invoked by the quotation
is founded precisely on the destruction of the authority that is attributed
to a certain text by its situation in the history of culture.²

Readers inclined to turn to the book for answers to questions like ³what is² are sure to be disappointed. The 10 page NET.ART subsection is
probably the most boring one in the book, as it contains expected
repudiations of the term by various conference luminaries and banal
digressions on other problematic self-referential semantics. Few of the
excerpts are explicitly about, thankfully, but the subject is
well-explored when it remains under the surface and in the background of the
discussions taking place about more specific topics. Focusing on how
software ­ Microsoft Word in particular -­ programs its users, Matt Fuller¹s
May 2000 interview with the <> collective penetrates into the
heart of the most basic and profound issues regarding human relationships
with technology. Picking up the baton from Marx, Fuller begins: ³We (I/O/D)
believe that every form of technical innovation affects social composition
(p. 193.)² As we use computer technology to express ourselves and construct
our society, we become inextricably coupled with this medium. Fuller tracks
this process by examining the edifice of Microsoft Word:

Word has solidified, in a sense, what word processing ?is.¹ It has become
our model of interacting with all kinds of text from love letters to
literary texts to resumés? These [templates] lock certain types of language
into place. If you look at the grammar checker, it constantly tells you
that your grammar is incorrect because you have what they call ?passive
sentences,¹ sentences which are not straight sequences of well-formed
grammatical objects. You get caught up in it, and this is a negative
because people begin to write like computer manuals in order not to be
judged as ?passive.¹ (p. 194)

Fuller is careful to point out that there is no overarching conspiracy
behind the manufacturing of such software; instead, the unfortunate and
uncontrollable menace is that the software successfully propagates a
standardization of language, especially among uncertain and non-native
authors. There is no ghost in the machine, in other words, but the
development of language is haunted by programming code.

The excerpt from the Unabomber¹s essay ³Industrial Society and its
Future² is a crucial inclusion in the context of the internet¹s boom and
bust years so serendipitously charted by <> and NTNTNT.
Kaczynski¹s primary grievance is against the injustices that gush from the
fact that ³technology is a more powerful social force than the aspiration
for freedom. (p. 108)² This is obvious, especially in hindsight, throughout
history. The 9/11 hijackers didn¹t want freedom; they wanted to be
sheltered from our technology and the affects it has on people and social
arrangements. A sentimental resonance between the people that are the most
negatively affected by technology and the people that are its most eminent
critics and artists subliminally recurs throughout the book.

The dissolution of the Internet bubble is summarily addressed in two
pages ­ one white, the other black (pages 19-20). On the left (white) page
is a report from documenting the purchase of Flyswat Inc.
by NBC Internet Inc. (NBCi) for ³about $100 million in stock.² The bottom
of the page features a graph representing the NASDAQ monthly averages from
1994 till late 1999. The right (black) page continues the graph until 2002,
while the top of the page includes one sentence from a
report documenting the closing of NBCi by NBC. This kind of critical
montage expresses the story more accurately and more swiftly than any kind
of analysis could, while it also serves the function of balancing the
content of the interviews with the immediate history we¹re all familiar with
now. Another image containing emotional and practical polysignificance is
The Skeletal Remains of Utopia (p. 32), a one-page map of the internet circa
1998 created by the Lumeta Corporation. I can¹t look at this image without
feeling nostalgia for my own ignorance and naiveté.

All of the interviewees were asked about their conceptions of themselves
as artists or as activists. They unanimously agree that the distinction is
beside the point, but several articulate vital positions while answering the
question. ³The highest level of return that we could obtain as cultural
profit is by furthering activism against corporate rights and making that
activism known (p. 211)² says ?Raoul¹ of AT rtmark. ?Frank¹ goes on to
describe how AT rtmark¹s activities negotiate and challenge the relations
between culture and capital, ³We fund sabotage. We attempt to do the worst
taboo with money, which is to give it away and not expect a financial
return. (p, 212)² ?Raoul¹ elaborates:

Our job is publicity and propaganda. Five thousand dollars isn¹t going to
change anyone¹s life, but the idea of it can. The fact that there¹s five
thousand dollars going to somebody to do something politically active, or
one thousand dollars, or even five hundred dollars ­ suddenly it makes it
seem serious. (p. 212)²

Not only does it make political action and critical sabotage serious, it
stimulates neophytes and amateurs to get into the fray. Brown soberly notes
in his introduction that the ³notion of activism [is] radically different
from post-Seattle 1999 to post-New York 2001, (p. xlviii)² an understatement
to which Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) co-founder Steve Kurtz¹ recent arrest
can attest. Intelligent, rigorous subversion as practiced by AT rtmark and
CAE seems even more necessary and treacherous after the intervening W years.
The 2 November 1999 interview with CAE dissects the popular but
fundamentally flawed ³Trojan Horse approach to subversion.² CAE pinpoint
the inherent paradox at work when artists or activists try to subvert the
system from within without becoming who they pretend to be:

When I have students who talk about going into business administration
because once they rise up through the ranks they will screw the system up, I
am [suspicious]. That notion is a complete fantasy, absolute insanity,
because the only way you can rise up is when you have been socialized to get
into that position, and that is an assurance that you won¹t screw anything
up. And to think that you can maintain radical subjectivity while going
through that kind of socializing process of grooming for the elite is
absolutely naïve. (p. 53)

Readers will be grateful that a book filled so precisely with only the
most coherent and incisive portions of interviews and paragraphs of sampled
text also leaves ample room available for humor. One of my favorite
lighthearted, but still appropriate, entries are the Bizhaq Field Data
reports from Starbucks #5308; one report publishes the transcript of an
overheard cell phone conversation, including the dress, mannerisms, and
technical possessions of the subject, and another documents an overheard
conversation regarding trade show freebies. Rachel Baker and Heath Bunting,
as members of Irational, crop up in five out of the six main sections, but
the publication of this April 2000 interview bomb speaks to what makes the
book so pleasurable: its only pretensions are toward readability and

Bunting> Rachel, what are you doing?
Baker> I¹ve got sore feet.
Bunting> Do you have to pick them into the dinner?
Collective> You¹re lovers. You eat her feet. My feet itch too,
Baker> Do you guys have a bathtub here?
Collective> No, there¹s no bathtub. There¹s a sink?
Baker> There¹s no bathtub here?
Collective> There¹s a shower and a sink.
Baker> Oh, that sucks. In a big apartment like this? That¹s
Collective> Pretty weird with all this space you guys have.
Collective> Okay, yeah, we¹re going to delete that part.

Without a playful spirit to accompany all the scissoring and juxtaposing,
NTNTNT would read like a sepulcher of good ideas from vanished times.

As a collection and demonstration of ideas and their kernels, NTNTNT is
a success. It is not a successful explication or elaboration of these
ideas, nor is it a strict documentation of the <> conference. It
just so happens that the ideas originated in a single project while Brown
created their lineage: his editing makes the ideas come alive to share
interhistorical force. If the interviews were simply collated and
presented, the reader would be left with a hodge-podge of idle talk and
enlightened perspicacity, but the fast-snipping editing bestows coherency
and impact when there isn¹t any immediately apparent. Brown begins his
introduction with the famous anecdote about the first Internet transmission
from UCLA to the Stanford Research Center in 1969: due to a bug, the system
crashed after three letters were typed. But, on second try, it was fine.
He then points us to the 9 September 1947 discovery of an actual moth in the
Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator; the moth was saved and taped to a report
sheet, now on view in the Smithsonian. ³First actual case of bug being
found² was written on the report sheet. NTNTNT ends with a translation of
the last line of Guy-Ernest Debord¹s film Hurlements en faveur de Sade: ³We
live like lost children, our adventures incomplete.² How we relate to
technology ­ whether we try to become the bug in the system or we try to
extract it ­ will always be an incomplete adventure, but an adventure
nonetheless. NTNTNT retains and manufactures the childlike sensitivity
essential to keeping the adventure inspired.

­ Andrew Choate

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Date: 7/25/04 - 7/26/04
From: Valery Grancher <vgrancher AT>, mark cooley
<mgc868f AT>, marc <marc.garrett AT>, curt cloninger
<curt AT>, <steve.kudlak AT>, trashconnection
<www AT>, neil jenkins <neil AT>
Subject: After on 1998, my personal view...

Valery Grancher <vgrancher AT> posted:

"Webpaintings": 1998-2004
After on 1998, my personal view...

If you look art history and how it is dealing with paintings, you can
perceive that the main topic is always the subject painted on canvas: From
Giotto to today. Paintings has dealt with physical subject, dealt with
sometimes narration or no narration, and has interacted with other media
like photography or with just its materiality and iconology...

For artist from my generation, we grew up with video games and computers.
The first iconology I perceived were icons from interface and software. The
screen has defined a new window and has killed the camera obscura. The
screen is not reflecting and difracting the light like pigment but is
generating electronic light. So today how to paint something ? The skill
doesn't matter. The main topic is to paint something that nobody painted
before you (Miltos Manetas (1)). And in my case, I would like to add: to
paint something by defining a new iconoly (painting semiology)...

Some peoples from my art public were surprised on 1998 to see that a
conceptual artist like me who was one of the first to use internet media on
1994, 4 years later during the time when Net Art was really the most
successfull art practice, is taking brush to produce images on canvas !

I would say that I always perceived internet as a dynamic process, a network
space where nothing may be freezed. Internet is dealing with new concept of
time and space, and is defining on another way human identity and
phenomenolgy. Net art is a process.This media has evolved from 1998 until
today to a huge market where we cannot find any TAZ (Hakim Bey (2)) like on
1994 when net art was conceived! The web and internet is today a space where
branding icons are bringing a new kind of consumerism (the hyperconsumerism)
where also language may be commercialized ("google adwords", C. Bruno (3)) ,
a new kind of 'pop' with its visual signs, logo, VIP and so on, so on...

Like Vuk Cosik (the father of net art) is saying, NET ART IS DEAD ! (4) it
is dead because the context where net art was produced doesn't exist

But on the other I still think that some art form would and will be produced
in interactions with Internet, but we cannot call it 'net art' anymore ! I
do and I will also...

But at the same time I decided to jump into the most 'prestigious',
'serious', 'outdated' and 'unpolitically correct' media on an ironical way:
'Paintings' ! Many artist came from paintings to net art by using on the
screen the paintings iconology and metaphor (5), in my case I felt clearly
that the only thing to do was to reverse the process:
How should be paintings during internet time ? How to use computer iconology
in paintings ?

I think quite differently than some painters of my generation: I said that
we should paint something which was never painted before... that is true...
but painting is also a language and is not dealing with just images and
subject and that's why I'm talking about iconology. I deeply think that the
only way to paint a painting in our internet time should not be to paint
computers objects (still life) but what computers has brought in our reality
theater, to paint what computer technology has changed in our way of seeing.
That's why I choosed to paint website screen, computer screen, computer
codes. By doing this, I try to show that the computer iconology is changing
all the time and paintings are perfect Flat Dead Things which are freezing
the topics painted. The result is that the paintings produced are always
reflecting dead icons: The design of the website are changing all the time,
the software are changing also, and this is the same for the codes...

Otherwise, I would say that the internet screen are little bit like
landscape and still life. These pictures are osbsolete, and were used so
much that we cannot define anything specific, but at the same we are always
fascinated by them. This is like a sunset, this is a stupid and very kitsch
'cliché', but all the time by facing this natural phenomenon we are always
fascinated because a specific and undefined detail inside this phenomenon is
catching us: Miltos Manetas is calling it "Neen"(6).

I will finish by saying that this is the first time in history that human is
consuming language and iconology like daily products:
I defined my own way of seeing by being confronted to my generation computer
iconology, but my son will get another way of seeing by being confronted to
other technologies iconology.

We jumped from the 'nature' phenomenology based on nature perception to
cyber-phenomenology based on technologies interactions with our perception !

Valéry Grancher

N.B: This text will be published in my book "internet drawing" on fall 2004
onestarpress editions:

+ + +

mark cooley <mgc868f AT> replied:

"Like Vuk Cosik (the father of net art) is saying, NET ART IS DEAD ! (4) it
is dead because the context where net art was produced doesn't exist

But on the other I still think that some art form would and will be produced
in interactions with Internet, but we cannot call it 'net art' anymore ! I
do and I will also...

But at the same time I decided to jump into the most 'prestigious',
'serious', 'outdated' and 'unpolitically correct' media on an ironical way:
'Paintings' ! Many artist came from paintings to net art by using on the
screen the paintings iconology and metaphor (5),"

At the risk of opening up the "death of net art" debate again. It seems
that you are saying that you switched from net art to painting-the-net
because the context for net art was dead, but, one could argue that the
context for painting was dead when the photograph was developed over a
hundred years ago, yet you are calling what you do "Painting." So why do
artists who use networks as an approach to making art have to rename the
practice? Why not rename what you do something else besides "painting?"

Personally, i think this whole "the death of net art" stuff stinks of
avant-gardism, which one may think died with Modernism, but i guess both
myths are alive and well. the myths vary but often go something like
this... declare the practice that you do extinct (along with everyone doing
it) and go on to the NEXT LEVEL (which in this case is something much older
and arguably out of date than net art) and then declare yourself THE FIRST
to do that. but i say art only exists as a simple hierarchical timeline if
you want to be reductionist (and a modernist). If the newness of painting
exists in the subject as you suggest (painting what has never been painted)
then why does the newness of net art exist in the context of the technology?
...and on a related note the whole "Father of Net Art" stuff is so
patriarchal and boring.

+ + +

Valery Grancher replied:

Dear Mark Cooley,

If you read my seconde text egarding my webpaintings, I say after 'post net
art' and 'post paintings', for the reason you are mentionning.
Webpaintings is also mentionned as an ironical project for the same reason,
but on the other hand webapintings is modernist by rversing the modernism
process, this is waht is interesting on conceptual level.
Of course regarding technology was also a myth and something
neverdefined before ....

All the art may be symbolized as socks: we may use them sometimes by
reversing them, puting inside space outside and aoutside space inside...
This is the way I am playing

+ + +

marc <marc.garrett AT> replied:

Hi mark,

I agree...with you. I am so bored with all this shoulder jumping via
institutionally led propoganda.

Yep - Vuk Cosik can say whatever he wants, but it certainly is not
reflecting the reality of what is actually going on right now in many of our
lives as practicing networked/relational artists, and soft groups. Surely
this is all about claiming a section of history, (yawn) yet again, taking
away the 'authenticity' of what many of us are actively continuing without
the insecure need of institutional justification. Killing and placing a flag
on that mythical 'hermitcally sealed' moon, just so one's name can be seen
in lights as part of the delusory spectacle, instigated by provincially
minded academics, and tired and worn out institutionally dissatisfied
dependents. A sad state of affairs indeed. It is a very interesting time -
and we can observe now more than ever where people's real intentions lie...

We are in the process of setting up a gallery in London, UK called HTTP (The
house of technological termed praxis), and we are already filled up with a
whole year of artists/soft groups who are actively involved with with net
art, sound art and relational art; young and old. We set up this gallery,
because we feel that fine art and connected institutions and some curators
have failed in democratizing, showing what is of value out there, we are
left with no other choice but reclaim what has been taken away from
networked creatives by institutionally bound power hungry centralists, with
an aim re-balance the ever changing picture out there. And what is great
about this is that we are getting a lot of genuine interest from new,
independent fine art groups, nationally and locally and people, who would
not normally view net art, and things related - so all of this 'trying to
kill' is a tactic to place certain people on thrones, and it does nothing
that is positive or progressive to open up debate, or even empower the
fluidity of the artist, curator or connected creatives, or culture in the
wider context.

Let those who rode the boom who are have run out of imagination and
fresh verve, fizzle out inside their bursted, restrictive bubble - who in
reality were obviously desperately reliant on capitalist-led trappings and a
need for historical mirrors to see themselves rather than the larger
picture, reflecting a weakness and failure to transcend canon-led protocls -
yes, may be they are dead. But there are plenty more who are vibrant and
alive, and they are the ones who will teach the so called encased 'heroic
period' - DEAD gurus, how to move beyond lip-service. There is a lot going
on, and it is linked to non-linear behaviour, flexible manouvering, and
beyond the remits of imposed gate-keeping.

And yes - history will unfold...and it will not be fine art or singular
'minded', visionless academics who will be looked upon positively as new
histories/stories are declared, but the ever flourishing expansionist
individuals and groups, who are exploring their, collective, collaborative,
and authentic, re-evalutaing progressions of a socially networked, and
relationally 'embodied' creative world, beyond institutionally directed
mythologies - the real heroes (if there is such a thing anymore).

'Kill the patriarch, not net art - you muppets...'

+ + +

curt cloninger <curt AT> replied:

+ + +

mark cooley replied:

i understand that the paintings are somewhat ironic, yet i don't see how
modernism is being reversed (rather it is being progressed - so maybe
"postmodern" is a better term?) because the subject of painting has changed
from so-called landscape, still life etc. to the web, which could be thought
of as an extention of still-life or landscape. Whereas much of the history
of European/U.S painting can be seen as a celebration of private property
(capitalism) whether through representing actual objects (still-life) or
landed property (landscape), web-paintings can be seen as a representation
of capital in the information economy. you are capturing the icons of
global capital (uncritically from what i can gather) - the digital landscape
(not as a battleground of different interests and powers) but as stable,
static (painting) landed property - google - the final frontier!

+ + +

mark cooley added:

very nicely put marc. it is ironic that the essay that sparked alot of this
death business "the death of the author" can be read itself as an attack on
capitalism, authenticity and avant-gardism. oh well...

good luck with the new gallery space - sounds great.

+ + +

steve.kudlak AT replied:

I am kind of amused and saddened by all of this. This happened
a couple of years ago in the zine community. What it really meant
is that one or two of the luminaries decided he (rarely she) kind
of woke up one day and decided "the thrill is gone".

I know this will sound like sour grapes, but some years ago, well
it was around the time of the Loma Preita Earthquake (1989) someone
academics mainly art and lit types gave a conference on "cyberspace" and
some of us techies submited proposals but none of us got accepted because
we didn't fit "Gibson's vision" who was the author William Gibson of
Cyberpunk Science Fiction Fame at the time. It certainly did not relate to
how "cyberspace" was evolving at the time. Now luckily a local person
with better academic art credentials than I produced a pretty good book on
how cyberspace as evolving through the local
tree structureed(think threaded message mode) computer bulliten
boards in the local (Santa Cruz, California 1980s-1990s era).

Now I am techie, and I left my academic art side in stasis i.e. I was
probably still am a printmaker)...From my world view the technology is
finally getting rich enough and powerful enough that really reaaly
interesting stuff could be done, so it is hard to say it is dead.

In ways it is just beginning, this was why I was/am still so alramed with
the intrusion of the federal government into the doings of the the CAE
(Creative Arts Ensemble). I was hoping that a full and rich interaction
between the arts and biological sciences would start.

I dunno whether this whole think of declaring patricarchs is kind
of a high arts thing or something. I know that Bill Joy has made
all sorts of declarations about technology. I now that Bill Gates
makes his statements about technology and Linus Torvaldis and Richard
Stallman propose perfectly viable alternatives and no one takes any of
their statements as "the last word". But I notice that "X is Dead" is a
favourite proclamation of people in the arts and alternative
communities. Why would one person presume so much power over things? Seems
kind of arrogant to me.

+ + +

Valery Grancher replied:

Dear Mark;

That is the point !

perfectly understood ! this is the second meaning layer of these project, a
way to criticize it as I said in my text:
"paintings are perfect dead flat stuff..."
they becaome alive through the meaing given by its context, modernism,
capital fetichism....
as you said google is the last frontier.....

+ + +

Valery Grancher added:

Dear All,

As i said is term invented by some guy which is corresponding to one
specific context and time which are over today.
Like I said in the same text it doesn't mean that produceing art with
internet is over also ! but that is emaing that producing art or whatever
with or through internet is still alive and doesn't match anymore with
'' as defined by Vuk.
There is no debate regarding this jsut an evidence, we shoud be integrist
regarding a ghost or a shadow...
Since 1998, thing has evolved and art practice with or throough internet is
terribly strong today:
Website numbers has explosed, same for biennial , festival and so on and so

The eaming of my text is to show how '' defined by Vuk is so much
much modernist as was paintings on 19th.
By mixing this two practice I show how much that is weird and post painting
and post internet on ironical way by producing like i said in my texte
"perfect flat dead stuff".

By seeing your text I can feel how much I am right, today is much
more like a ghetto than an open land. Tell me why paintings should not be for example ? you can say only if you are defing criteria which is
defining '' that is meaning this is a kind of academism:
A perfect dead practice like paintings.

That's whyu today we are just mixing practice thourgh media... and you
should call it whatever...

+ + +

trashconnection <www AT> replied:

VG> A s i said is term invented by some
VG> guy which is corresponding to one specific
VG> context and time which are over today.

Over today? Today of all days I get a message called Net Art News.
Possibly is this discrepancy artistically demanding. Does the point
between 't' and 'a' make difference? Let's try to translate.

( is over today) News

Looks like somebody's ironic project I participate in.
I feel a bit ****ed over.

+ + +

neil jenkins <neil AT> replied:

the only 'problem' is the 'dot' and the difference between 'net' and
there are oh so many rules you can tie to a 'genre'

'net' art forever

ps: can i get a tattoo done like abe's ? mail me :)

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Date: 7/29/04
From: mark cooley <mgc868f AT>, Lemmy Caution <llacook AT>,
<steve.kudlak AT>
Subject: Some thoughts on computer security and the living dead

mark cooley <mgc868f AT> posted:


The term "Virus" is meant to associate a dead thing (and not really dead
having never been living) with a living biological body. A so-called
computer virus is linked to biology in language (and in reality) only
insofar as biology is made dependent on digital technology. The virus is
not neutral, and is seen as an attack on supposed life systems which are
widely viewed as, but are not either, neutral (techno culture). The
CorporateState defines the virus (with help from lots of technophiles),
while claiming that its own technology is a natural living organism with an
inherent right-to-life. It is interesting to note the ongoing case in
Florida involving a Husband's attempts to disconnect his wife's feeding
tube. Jeb Bush, the State and other interests have stepped into the matter
by declaring the case an issue of right-to-life vs. the so-called
right-to-die interests. What is omnipresent, but largely invisible to
mainstream debate (at least within the conservative bounds of mainstream
media) is the tendency to naturalize medical technology itself. The
technology itself becomes an invisible life force to which bodies must obey
(or defy). The feeding machine is viewed as a neutral (and natural)
necessity, and in the minds of right-to-lifers stands in for God itself. To
cut the body from the machine, that in fact lives for the body, is seen as
cutting the body itself. To kill the machine becomes confused with (and
then practiced as) killing the body. Computers are not alive, they are not
human, they cannot contract "viruses," they cannot be "attacked,"
"terrorized," or "infected," unless they are alive, unless they are human,
unless their "infections," and "attacks" are indistinguishable from human
infections, attacks, etc. Techno culture makes it possible for the murder
of thousands of humans to be discussed in the language of "surgical
strikes," and "smart bomb technology." Techno culture also makes it
possible for the pentagon to use the language of "Terrorism" when speaking
of a virtual sit-in!
, or sim
ple hacker prank.


"Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living
labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks." - Karl Marx

Computer networks are reproduced and modified continuously to work with and
to facilitate the trading of information (Capital) to predefined and often
highly secure locations. In this narrow system anything that slows the
speed of supply and demand is perceived as an attack on the body of capital,
therefore, dominance is needed, the body must be regulated to ensure the
continuity of power relationships within the system. The blood supply must
not be interrupted for vampires are relentless, don't die very easily, and
often have very little sense of humor.

Sweden's not a target

Technophobia is often described as an irrational fear of technology, and yet
a hammer is technology. Technophilia is described (much less often) as an
irrational adoration for technology, and yet a needle and thimble are
technology. The fact that fears aroused by forks and spoons, or driving a
car for that matter, are not spoken of as technophobia (any more than
irrational love for these things are spoken of as technophilia) reveals a
primary myth about technology: Namely, that technology acts independent from
human social systems, that technology is "out there" working for us (or
against us) toward some utopia (or dystopia). A hammer or needle and thread
are pretty benign in their effects on global power structures, but if they
were not we'd have reverse-hammer-engineers and needle hackers. A network
"attack" is possible only when the power relationships guarding a network
are so solidified, predictable and controlled that anything counter to it is
defined as dangerous and alien. Dangerous? perhaps, alien no. Violent
Domination and violent resistance always work hand-in-hand, which goes along
way toward explaining why the U.S. is a primary target for terrorism and
Sweden's not, why the New York Times web site is a target for hackers and
crackers "Joe's homepage" is not.

+ + +

Lemmy Caution <llacook AT> replied:

mark cooley <mgc868f AT> wrote:
Technophobia is often described as an irrational fear
of technology, and yet a hammer is technology.
Technophilia is described (much less often) as an
irrational adoration for technology, and yet a needle
and thimble are technology. The fact that fears
aroused by forks and spoons, or driving a car for that
matter, are not spoken of as technophobia (any more
than irrational love for these things are spoken of as
technophilia) reveals a primary myth about technology:
Namely, that technology acts independent from human
social systems, that technology is â??out thereâ??
working for us (or against us) toward some utopia (or

+ + +

steve.kudlak AT replied:

Fun with words. Can I play?;) After one faux pas a couple more
would be fun. My thought it is that "virus" was a reasonable
way to look at it, but of course it stretches a whole lot.
Although the image is enticing. You have a piece of code that
carries instructions that has does act like a biological virus.
But in other ways it is vastly different. For example computer
viruses often have things like "mailing engines" thar allow it
to send out copies of itself and a variety of forms. Or in case
of some it can be dormant until activated. This is strange in
the bio-image. It is like having a mini-brain that would for example
if it existed in the biological world might act like this. Mark catches
a virus from Steve. It somehow already has a mini-brain in it that
gets mark to write a bunch of letters, sigh them in Steve's handwriting
and style or lack thereof;). It might even make Mark's memory
work better!

The interesting thought which comes into my mind when reading Mark's
essay is not whether I agree with it or not. It is the idea thar our
society has "electrotechnophilia" and "biotechophobia" . I can easily
plan to build all sorts of electronic devices that people interact
with and that could change their interactions with the world in all
sorts of ways. If I try to do this by some biological or chemical
mechanosm, even at a lowest level as we see with the CAE case I am
apt to have the authority of the state come down on me in a very
intense way. Heaven forbid I should grow certain species of fungi
and share them with friends. It is very odd that an embryo that is
created to a fertility clinic and will be thrown away anyway can't be
used for stem cell research on any piece of equipment that has been
bought with one cent of public monies.

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