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: 1.14.05
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 18:47:44 -0800

RHIZOME DIGEST: January 14, 2005


2. matthew fuller: A Decade of Webdesign
3. Alexander Galloway: The Mario Movie
4. Rachel Greene: Fwd: The Status Sweepstake.

5. Kevin McGarry: FW: Eyebeam - Open Call for Proposals
6. Rachel Greene: Fwd: University of Illinois at Chicago: Tenure-track
Teaching Position in Electronic Visualization
7. Kevin McGarry: FW: Loyola Marymount University - Assistant Professor of
Photography -Tenure Track
8. wolfgang muench: media art & film jobs in singapore

9. Just added to the Rhizome ArtBase: 800-178968 by Luca

10. Ivan Pope: The 'Long Tail' of Contemporary Art

+book review+
11. Defne Ayas: Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music

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Date: 1.11.05
From: Rob La Frenais <roblafrenais AT>

The Arts Catalyst presents


In person:

STEVE KURTZ of Critical Art Ensemble, artist, activist and researcher,
detained last year by the FBI and still facing charges

with CLAIRE PENTECOST from the Critical Art Ensemble Defence Fund.

Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street
London W1S 2BS

Monday 7 February 2005 8pm

Book online at (from 11th Jan)
or buy tickets from Artwords shops in the Whitechapel Art Gallery and
Shoreditch, London, UK

STEVE KURTZ, member of the internationally celebrated Critical Art Ensemble
(CAE), was detained by the FBI last year. He faces a pre-trial hearing in
the US on February 10 and speaks 3 days earlier in the UK about this
fundamental threat to academic freedom of expression.

CAE is known for its critical discourse and activist practice. CAE stands
for the bottom-up appropriation of scientific knowledge and its utilisation
for tactical purposes. In recent projects, CAE has created a mobile DNA
extractor, which tests groceries for possible genetic modification, and a
transgenic bacteria release mechanism. It was this equipment and Kurtz'
home biotech lab that generated a chain of bizarre events after the death of
Kurtz's wife when Kurtz himself was detained by the FBI as a suspected

Although the bioterrorism charges against Kurtz were finally dropped in late
2004 by a Grand Jury, after an international storm of protest, he was
charged with mail fraud (a charge traditionally used by the Department of
Justice when they can't pin another charge on someone they think should be
gagged or neutralised).

Also indicted was Robert Ferrell, head of the Department of Genetics at the
University of Pittsburgh's School of Public Health. The charges concern
technicalities of how Ferrell helped Kurtz to obtain $256 worth of harmless
bacteria for an art project. These new charges still carry a potential jail
sentence of 20 years and threaten many researchers in the sciences who
source material in a similar way.

You can read more about this case at

The Arts Catalyst

Steve Kurtz will also be speaking at transmediale 05, Berlin, on Sunday 8
February 2005, 3pm, discussing his new project on biowarfare.

Presented in association with transmediale 05, Berlin
Funded by Arts Council of England

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Date: 1.12.05
From: matthew fuller <fuller AT>
Subject: A Decade of Webdesign

A Decade of Webdesign
Two day international conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Friday 21 and Saturday 22 January, 2005.
More information & registration at
Entrance fee (including lunch):
30 euros per day / 50 euros for two days,
Students: 17,50 / 30 euros
Make web history at!

Piet Zwart Institute, MA Media Design Research, Rotterdam
Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam (
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (

Conference Programme:

10:20 Doors Open

10:45 Introduction to the conference by Geert Lovink

11:00 Histories of Web Design
with: Adrian Mackenzie, Peter Lunenfeld, Franziska Nori
chair: Matthew Fuller
What do technical and cultural historians, or those active in the world
of museums, propose as ways to make an account of the last decade?

13:00 Lunch break & Timeline Hot Spots

14:00 Distributed Design
with: John Chris Jones, Olia Lialina, Hayo Wagenaar
chair: Femke Snelting
The web amplified an explosion of non-professional design. This panel
will ask what happens to design once it becomes a non-specialist network

16:00 Tea break & Timeline Hot Spots

16:30 Meaning Structures
with: Steven Pemberton, Angela Beesley, Schoenerwissen/OfCD
Moderator: Richard Rogers
As automated site-design becomes increasingly important, the history of
the interweaving of technology and culture up to the point of semantic
engineering is mapped out.

18:00 End

18:30 Conference dinner at the Westergasterras

10.30 Doors open

11:00 Digital Work
with: Danny O'Brien, Michael Indergaard, Rosalind Gill
Moderator: Geert Lovink
Can we redesign work? From economics, sociology and design, key
observers and critics of the changing patterns of work in web design will
on the decade and encourage you to have your say.

13:00 Lunchbreak & Timeline Hot Spots

14:00 Modeling the User
with: Helen Petrie, Geke van Dijk, Peter Luining
Moderator: Caroline Nevejan
Creativity and usability have often been set up as the two key poles of
web design. This panel asks instead for a more sophisticated narrative
about the change in understanding of user needs and desires over the
last ten years.

16:00 Tea break & Timeline Hot Spots

16:30 Plenary Session
With all speakers.

18:00 - 19:30 Drinks at Club 11

Don't forget to register at
Also, please check the resource section for interviews with Max Bruinsma
and Luna Maurer, and extended bios of the speakers, by INC researcher
Goran Batic.

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Date: 1.12.05
From: Alexander Galloway <galloway AT>
Subject: The Mario Movie

[This text accompanies the publication of the source code to "The
Mario Movie," opening at Deitch Projects in New York this Saturday
January 15th. Cory Arcangel also has a second show opening this
Thursday at Team gallery in New York. -ag]

"The Mario Movie," Deitch Projects, New York City, January 2005

Cory Arcangel (Beige) and Paper Rad

This is a group effort, so let me first introduce the principle actors.
Paper Rad: Benjamin Jones, Jacob Ciocci, and Jessica Ciocci. Beige: Cory
Arcangel, Paul B. Davis, Joe Bonn, and Joe Beuckman. They work in
collectives for the same reason that punks play in bands: it's funner
that way, and it's easier to make more noise. There is the
Lennon/McCartney question of who is responsible for what, and I can't
make head nor tails of it. But from what I know Ben and the Paper Rad
kids have a shameless affection for dirt-style, fan fiction comics about
Garfield and Howard the Duck. And then there's Paul who I am told once
entered the DMC turntable competition under the DJ name "Spin Laden."
(He advanced through the opening heats, a challenge in itself, before
being thrown off for scratching in the Notorious B.I.G. lyric "Time to
get paid / blow up like the World Trade.") The clothes that the Paper
Rad kids wear they sew themselves. Cory wears them too, I think, when
he's not wearing pizza-shaped animal pullovers knit at home with his
other chums. And on more than one occasion, I've been present when,
sauntering past a stray guitar, in a Kmart aisle or friend's house party
it doesn't matter which, Cory has spontaneously tapped out the full
arpeggios of Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" with ten fingers at full
frills. Then there was the music performance in Brooklyn when the Paper
Rad three sat cross-legged on the floor performing a pretend recital on
some Sony "My First Laptops," while the music was droning on prerecorded
throughout. I thought electronic music was the one thing you didn't have
to lip-sync? Oh well. Here's how I understand it: I've done way more
ecstasy than Beige and Paper Rad put together, but they've done way more
acid. And that makes all the difference. As Ben scribbled in a comic
once, "Can one be tanned at night by stars?"

But it gets weirder: "The Mario Movie," Deitch Projects, New York City,
January 2005. There is not much a rational person can say about a
psychedelic rave fantasy, with messed up graphics, with castles floating
on rainbow colored clouds, with dance parties and raves in underwater
dungeons, all starring Mario the plumber who does little more than weep
through the tumult. And the whole thing plays live off a hand-soldered
video game cartridge. Gosh. But if I may observe one thing it would be
merely the following: this is the real deal. Which is to say that it's
not the real deal. This is computer code. But what you see is not what
you get. To watch the code itself would bore to distraction. Instead
this code runs on a video game console that converts it into sound and
image. The game console is the Nintendo Entertainment System, known
affectionately as "the NES" to every youngster lucky enough to receive
one for Christmas in 1985. (Raised by hippies in Oregon, we were not so
fortunate.) The NES is a magical device, for given the proper code it
can synthesize any sort of video signal from scratch. This is not the
sort of video made with a camera and edited on a computer, mind you. How
do we know? First, the compiled Mario Movie is 32 kilobytes in size, or
about twice as long as the few paragraphs you are reading now. Even
compressed, a ten minute video is roughly a thousand times larger.
Second, the movie runs directly off the customized game cartridge pushed
into the socket of the NES console--without, Cory is keen to observe,
altering the factory-soldered graphics chip shipped on the original '80s
cartridges. "Yo sound the bells / school is in sucker," MC Hammer would
come to say a few years later. "U can't touch this." This is the real

Because of this, computer art is more like sculpture than like painting
or video. In making the work computer artists actually fabricate the
substrate of the medium, they don't apply things to surfaces or use
prefab tools to move images on a screen. The code is the medium. So in
writing code, and running it, the computer artist builds the work from
the ground up. It's all math and electricity. To engineer the
soundtrack, Cory pokes the audio registers on the NES's chip in specific
frequencies. When he does they chirp. To get the video, he writes
hundreds of lines of code, code like "lda $2002" (translation: load the
value from memory position 2002 into the "a" register in the processor),
or like "jsr vwait" (translation: jump ahead to the subroutine called
"vwait" to stall for a few milliseconds while the television¹s electron
beam repositions itself). What appears on the screen is the image of
pure data. It is, in a manner of speaking, what numbers look like (if
they could). Translation: this is not video art. Maybe call it math art,
geek art, whatever. The Mario Movie makes tedium profound, and the other
way around.

They say everything becomes interesting in the long run. Super Mario
Bros might be nostalgia to you. But it's not to them. All media is dead
media, that's what Paper Rad and Cory understand. It's all garbage from
the beginning--so don't yearn for a time when it was otherwise. When you
understand media as trash then there is no nostalgia. If there is any
shred of longing that remains in the work, it's not for our childhood
friend Mario. It's for an acid high, for a simulated hiatus in a far off
land that no one has ever been to. It's for watching a cartoon schmuck
trip rather than you. It's nostalgia for raves sucked from the fevered
brains of raver-haters. Everything is as new as it is old. Everything is
as sucky as it is good. This is the movie.

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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 Kevin McGarry at Kevin AT or Rachel Greene
at Rachel AT

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Date: 1.12.05
From: Rachel Greene <rachel AT>
Subject: Fwd: The Status Sweepstake.

Begin forwarded message:

From: heath bunting <heath AT>
Date: January 12, 2005 7:32:04 PM EST
To: Kayle Brandon <kayle AT>
Subject: The Status Sweepstake.

The Status Sweepstake.

Saturday 22 January 2005

AT Decoy, 22 Green St, Digbeth, Birmingham B12 0NE

Modelled upon The United States' Visa lottery:

The Duo Collective:

present The Status Sweepstake:

taking place during the DIY CULTURE festival:


12:00 Presentation of the Status Project -
13:00 Last chance to obtain statuses in and around town.
18:00 Picking of winner and awarding of new identity.


During the proceeding week, create one or more true
statuses for the following identity:

Unisex Name: Terry Smith
Date of birth: 1 April 1976

The status project manual may be of use.

Collaboration and trading before and during the event is

Then on Saturday, bring your statuses to DIY CULTURE festival
to be entered in The Status Sweepstake.

A winner will be randomly chosen from the participants and will
receive all statuses entered and will thus be furnished with
a functioning alternate identity.

Fictional statuses may be used to obtained legitimate statuses,
but may not be entered in the draw. For example, you can create
a fake student card to obtain an ISIC card, but we will only
accept the ISIC card.

Best of luck.

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Date: 1.11.04
From: Kevin McGarry <kevin AT>
Subject: FW: Eyebeam - Open Call for Proposals

------ Forwarded Message
From: Margaret Heinlen <margaret AT>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 11:35:03 -0500
Subject: Eyebeam - Open Call for Proposals

- Artists in Residence (AIR) Program Winter/Spring 2005
- Social Sculpture Commission in Conjuntion with the LMCC

Eyebeam is now accepting applications for the next round of Artists in
Residence Program as well as the Social Sculpture Commission, our
first public art commission conducted in conjunction with the Lower
Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC).
Applications accepted Jan. 5 - Feb. 13, 2005

Artists in Residence Program:
Artists receive production support through 24/7 access to newly
renovated studios in Eyebeam¹s Chelsea facility in New York City; a
$1500 honorarium; the opportunity to participate in public programs
(exhibition, prototyping events, live events); access to production
and exhibition equipment; technical support from Eyebeam staff and
production help from interns. Artists may work with the resources of
the Moving Image Studio, R&D Lab and Education Studios depending on
the needs of their project.

Eyebeam's AIR Program is a multidisciplinary initiative that supports
creative research, production and presentation of projects that query
art, technology and culture. Projects range from moving image, sound
and physical computing works, to software, websites, technical
prototypes, performances, workshops and other kinds of public
For more information please visit our website:
To complete an online application please

Social Sculpture Commission:
Eyebeam and the LMCC jointly offer a commission to support artists
creating work that engages the public in new ways. These artistic
interventions into social processes can take a variety of forms,
including gaming, tactical media, network, interactive installation,
moving image or conceptual projects that blur traditional boundaries
between production, education and exhibition. Though projects will
culminate in some form of final work/intervention/demonstration, the
process by which these experiences come about will be strongly

The program, running from March - August '05, provides a grant of
digital production services at Eyebeam's studios (including moving
image / sound production, programming and systems design), a stipend
of $20,000 for producing the work, and public development support from
For more information please visit our website,

To complete an online application please

For more information on Eyebeam and upcoming events and programs please

Eyebeam's Artists in Residence Program is made possible through the
generous support of Atlantic Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for
the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Alienware, the
Jerome Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, the LEF Foundation, the
New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, the Sony
Corporation, Lily Whitall and the Avery Foundation.

If you would like to unsubscribe from the Eyebeam email list please
send an email to info AT To join this list, please visit our
web site and complete the online form.

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Rhizome Member-curated Exhibits

View online exhibits Rhizome members have curated from works in the ArtBase,
or learn how to create your own exhibit.

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Date: 1.11.05
From: Rachel Greene <rachel AT>
Subject: Fwd: University of Illinois at Chicago: Tenure-track Teaching
Position in Electronic Visualization

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Edu-News" <info AT>
Date: January 11, 2005 10:15:43 AM EST
To: "rachel AT" <rachel AT>
Subject: University of Illinois at Chicago: Tenure-track Teaching
Position in Electronic Visualization
Reply-To: Edu-News <info AT>

Tenure-track Teaching Position in Electronic Visualization

The School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago is
seeking a full-time tenure-track faculty member at the rank of Assistant or
Associate Professor to teach real-time computer graphics programming,
interactive computer experiences and/or the production of 3D computer
animation. The candidate would be encouraged to participate as a leader in
research and media creation at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL)
and the new Center for Virtual Reality in the Arts. There are opportunities
for cross-disciplinary teaching with our Graphic Design and Industrial
Design programs. Appointment begins August 16, 2005. Salary commensurate
with experience and qualifications.

Terminal degree (MFA, MS, MA, PhD) in electronic visualization or equivalent
College level teaching experience with demonstrated commitment to
undergraduate and graduate education.
Strong professional/research record in art or design with emphasis on
real-time interactive graphics and/or virtual reality. Experience in
graphics programming languages as well as interactive media theory and

General Information
The computer art and design experience in both undergraduate and graduate
Electronic Visualization programs focuses on real-time and interactive
computer graphics, utilizing both programming languages and software
packages. The undergraduate program is taught in the collaborative Design
Visualization Laboratory (DVL) sharing resources with Industrial Design and
Graphic Design. The graduate program operates out of the world renowned
Electronic Visualization Laboratory, which is a shared facility of the
School of Art and Design and the Department of Electrical Engineering and
Computer Science. The Electronic Visualization program is also interested in
developing curriculum in the areas of computational design, museum exhibit
design, game design, and location-based entertainment.

Application Procedure
Complete applications must include a letter of intent not more than one
page, a resume with exhibition/publication record, a list of three
references (including phone and e-mail), and documentation of visual work
(preferred formats: DVD and/or CD ROM in standard web formats of VHS (NTSC)
video tape). Web sites will also be reviewed when appropriate. An index of
the visual documentation with project descriptions and applicant's role in
any collaboration should accompany the application.

Please send to:

Chair, Electronic Visualization Search Committee
School of Art and Design (M/C 036)
The University of Illinois at Chicago
929 West Harrison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607-7038

See for complete information on
the position.
See for more information on EVL.
See for more information on the School of Art and

For fullest consideration applications must be submitted by February 1,
2005. Review of applications will continue until position is filled. The
University of Illinois is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Date: 1.12.05
From: Kevin McGarry <kevin AT>
Subject: FW: Loyola Marymount University - Assistant Professor of
Photography -Tenure Track

------ Forwarded Message
From: calls AT
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 00:48:04 -0800 (PST)
To: kevin AT
Subject: calls x 57 pt 1

Assistant Professor of Photography -Tenure Track
Loyola Marymount University 

Start Fall 2005.

Seeking innovative photographer. Submit letter of application,
teaching philosophy, CV, 20 slides of recent work and 20 slides of
student work and/or CD-ROM/DVD, syllabi and relevant undergraduate
curriculum plans, 3 letters of recommendation, SASE for return of

Send to Rev. Michael R. Tang, Chair, Department of Art & Art History,
MS-8346, Loyola Marymount University, One LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA

Deadline March 1, 2005, or until filled.

Requirements: The ideal candidate will possess an MFA, have both
traditional and digital skills, and be well versed in the History and
Criticism of Photography. Additional areas of competence include:
Color, Studio, Documentary, Alternative Processes and/or New Media.
Active exhibition record and three years teaching experience at the
college level preferred with a demonstration of teaching excellence.
Required Education: MFA.

The Department of Art & Art History has approximately 180 students
majoring in studio arts (fine arts, graphic design, multimedia arts,
art education), and approximately 30 students majoring in art
history. It has a well equipped B&W and Color photolab with a full
time lab tech. The Department also hosts 2 computer graphics
classrooms and a lab for student digital work.

LMU is a private liberal arts Catholic University in Los Angeles 3
miles from the Pacific Ocean. Academic Organization: 80+ majors and
programs in 4 colleges. It is a comprehensive university in the
mainstream of American Catholic higher education and seeks
professionally outstanding applicants who value its mission and share
its commitment to academic excellence, the education of the whole
person, and the building of a just society. (Visit
for more information.) LMU is an equal opportunity institution
actively working to promote an intercultural learning community.
Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
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This is a gift economy product. If you can, please give back.
Send a check to Mandiberg, PO BOX 220051, BKYN, NY 11222
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Open Source: please keep the header and footer intact

Sources: listings come from calls sent directly to me, listervs (syndicate,
nettime, rhizome, thingist, LACN), online sources (artswire, fine art forum,
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To join the list, go to
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Date: 1.13.05
From: wolfgang muench <wolfgang.muench AT>
Subject: media art & film jobs in singapore

LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore is offering positions in the
faculty of media arts:

Senior Lecturer / Lecturer - Interactive Art
Programme Leader - Media Arts
Head of School of Film

for more information, please contact me or visit the college's website
(->about us->carreer opportunities)

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Date: 1.13.05
From: <artbase AT>
Subject: Just added to the Rhizome ArtBase: 800-178968 by Luca Bertini

Just added to the Rhizome ArtBase ...

+ 800-178968 +
+ Luca Bertini +

A toll-free number which will try to establish with you an obsessive and
addictive relationship.

Calling you back.
Even after a few weeks.
Pleading with you to come back.

800-178968 is a project of an invasive nature, capable of insinuating itself
into the homes and mobile phones of the people contacted, violating their
privacy, and becoming a part of their daily lives.

The adverts for it -which began three months before the start of the
service-, hidden among information channels (and adopting their language,
codes and instruments), reach an audience/spectator still unaware.
And thus more vulnerable, because they are incapable of recognising the

The 800-178968 project has been designed and developed to interact with a
"conscious" audience, close to the world of art and its problems but,
and above all,

for everyday people.

The project ended on July 2003 with over 10.000 people contacted

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Luca Bertini
'79 | lives and work in Milan

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Date: 1.12.05
From: Ivan Pope <ivan2 AT>
Subject: The 'Long Tail' of Contemporary Art

This is a repost of something I wrote for my blog Absent Without

The 'Long Tail' of Contemporary Art

January 10, 2005 What Envelops Me

The concept of the 'Long Tail' (LT) has suddenly become commonplace
across the networks. The Long Tail can be simplistically described as
the mass of product that is suddenly available to the mass of consumers
due to the effect of computer power and computer networks. For example,
in music it used to be almost impossible for musicians and bands who
didn't have contracts with major record labels to get their albums made
and distributed. Now, the combination of access to cheap reproduction
technology (including no-cost download systems), distribution via
networks, online payment systems and, crucially, an efficient word of
mouth recommendation structure, more and more 'unknown' music is selling
to more and more consumers. Record companies shriek that they are being
ripped off, when it is more likely that consumers have gone elsewhere to
find music that really appeals to them.

As we become more and more confident with the networks and we learn to
use tools, such as blogs and their associated management systems, that
give us constant interaction, the Long Tail of almost any area becomes
evident and valuable. There is also an element of trust and belief. The
first wave of recommendation sites were almost universally distrusted.
Why would you believe someone who had a vested interest in recommending
Now we've all moved on. We have gotten to know how networks of sites
work, and to recognise authority, even without using tools such as
Technorati <>. Chris Anderson at The Long Tail
on how Blogs are becoming key players in the LT recommendation game.

/Blogs are shaping up to be an equally powerful source of influential
recommendations. There are independent enthusiast sites such as PVRblog
and Horticultural (an organic gardening blog), commercial blogs such as
Gizmodo and Joystiq, and then the random recommendations of whichever
blogger you happen to read for any reason (there does seem to be a
natural connection between mavens, who know a lot and like to share
their knowledge, and blogging). What they may lack in polish and scope,
they more than make up in credibility: their readers know that there is
a real person there that they can trust./

So the Long Tail is when massive inventory can be made available to the
mass of consumers at minimal additional cost or effort. It's about
routing around bottlenecks and opening up supply to meet the demand.
Most industries have some form of artificial bottleneck, created over
time by the industry itself, the better to manage and assure profit. The
art world is notorious for this, from the creation and support of a
'superstar' system, to management of access to magazines, galleries, art
schools, agents, curators, museums, public venues and auction houses.
The glamorous world of contemporary art, with its round of international
festivals, prizes, exhibitions, collectors and top galleries, carries a
huge Long Tail. For every artist who makes a living through the gallery
system, there are hundreds or even thousands who carry on making art
alongside other ways of making a living.
Historically this Long Tail of art either suffered in silence or
attempted to make some return on their investment by selling through
local galleries. However, local galleries, by their very nature, will
never reach a sizable potential customer base. And a global customer
base which must by definition be fairly huge, can never find the artists
that move them and in whose work they may want to invest. Thus, a
classic Long Tail exists, swinging behind the small body that is
contemorary art.

It's not really that all the artists who currently struggle with a day
job or a teaching job and who make art on the side, who still dream of
'making it', will suddenly be able to quit their jobs and move full time
into the studio. It's that there exists a huge Long Tail of art and
artists, and there are countless opportunities to start to convert this
tail into sales, into collectors. A support system for the contemporary
art Long Tail is building by the week.

Since I have been blogging my art regularly I have noticed a lot more
artist blogs arriving on a regular basis. The more artists that blog,
the more regular reading there is for the non-artist public. The more
popular blogs are, the more likely people are to read artists blogs. The
more artists and curators and gallery workers and museum staff and
writers and teachers blog, the more power the movement will have against
the usual art press. No Artforum can cover more than a tiny subset of
the global exhibition scene. This have historically given them vast
power, a power that is guarded and welcomed by the equally bottlenecked
gallery system.

A global system of public writing about local art scenes, multiple
reports of high end art events, individual artists, collectors and
general public all blogging away, will create an alternative ecosystem
to the established art industry. This has obviously been happening for
years to some degree, with online galleries, individual sales sites and
collective endeavours springing up. But the critical underpinnings of
these endeavours has not been there - and it is hard for consumers to
find, let alone believe in, these outlets without a thriving media that
is intimately related to and interested in these projects.

Now we can see that the combination of blogging and online galleries may
give rise to a new ecosystem of art. The Long Tail of art may be about
to be exposed.

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Date: 1.14.05
From: Defne Ayas <dayas AT>
Subject: Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music

Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music

Editors Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner

Reviewed by DA

"Over the past half-century, a new audio culture has emerged, a culture of
musicians, composers, sound artists, scholars, and listeners attentive to
sonic substance, the act of listening, and the creative possibilities of
sound recording, playback and transmission." In Audio Culture, editors
Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner bring to readers an educated, timely and
much needed critical perspective of our contemporary musical experience
through the writings of some of the most important musical thinkers,
including Jacques Attali, John Cage, Umberto Eco, Brian Eno, Karlheinz
Stockhausen, Edgar Varese, just to name a few.

Audio Culture offers a collection of essays that filter a range of
experimental musical practices in an unusually refreshing way. Maybe not
since Gregory Whitehead's reader "Wireless Imagination" (1994), which
recorded the "silent" history of audio, has literature on this subject
sufficiently captured the attention of both the sound enthusiasts and
academics at the same time. Having brought together an intriguing selection
of articles from a range of significant radio-sonic heroes as well as
important thinkers and philosophers, the editors decided that this time a
book should not conform to the highly traditional and historical categories
and definitions of music but investigate new paradigms for music criticism
and history, even for artmaking.

The book explores a number of potential connections between musical forms
and practices, while highlighting the conceptual cues they share. The
underlining suggestion is that there are numerous links at play between
movements and time periods, and it is perfectly ok to imagine
minimalism--considered to be rather an academic form--and Techno juxtaposed
together, or to find the "hyperlinks" branching out from experimental noise
music to HipHop.

The result is an elegant anthology that compiles the manifestos of "old
masters" such as Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo and statements by Edgard
Varese and John Cage while also spotlighting an interview on integration of
technology into artistic production by Christian Marclay as well as an
almost architectural analysis of DJ culture as put forth by omnipresent DJ

A topic such as "noise as music" that has reached beyond its academic
boundaries and become a widely accepted norm within popular music (revealing
the shifting definition of "music" as opposed to "noise" or arbitrary
sounds) gets its fair share of analysis for instance. Aldous Huxley wrote in
1994: "The twentieth century is, among other things, the Age of Noise [?];
for all the resources of our almost miraculous technology have been thrown
into the current assault against silence." A few years before, however, John
Cage had already proclaimed that "whereas, in the past the point of
disagreement has been between dissonance and consonance, it will be, in the
immediate future, between noise and so-called musical sounds." The essay as
such guides readers on a journey from the nineteenth century pioneering
challengers of tonality, through various debates on the classification of
"silence" and "noise", towards the eventually widely accepted greater
sonorous possibilities within our definition of music.

Another topic analyzed at length is the role of technology in shaping the
reception, modes of listening and production of music in last few decades.
With regards to musical perception and reception, Glenn Gould writes that
through technology and recordings, "today's listeners have come to associate
musical performance with sounds possessed of characteristics which two
generations ago were neither available to the profession nor wanted by the
public - characteristics such as analytic clarity, immediacy, and indeed
tactile proximity." Gould thought that the live concert had been eclipsed by
the audio recording, which could produce a superior interpretation the pure
composition, while remaining untainted from any performance bias. For the
composer, on the other hand, technological advancements in recording and
mixing suddenly enabled non-instrumental sounds to compete on a common level
with traditional sounds, opening whole new possibilities of sonorous
combinations. Brian Eno explains at length in his essay how he came to coin
the term Ambient Music as an emerging musical style of refined environmental

One cannot underestimate the complexity of the task of reanalyzing a quite
large section of culture that has undergone globalization and been therefore
affected by cross-pollination of media, technology and culture-?which
brought a certain degree of democratization. It is to the credit of the book
that it keeps up with the most interesting key texts and ideas in the field
and does not make a huge demand on our Windows-culture-inflicted patience.

The book is ambitious enough to cater to a broader audience and manages to
respond to the numerous demands made upon it. As many know, listening to
extended works of experimental music can make the both unsympathetic and
sympathetic ears nervous and uncomfortable, and reading the long literature
about it may often seem a daunting chore. The reader--educated in the field
or not--finds a surprisingly large selection devoted to exploring the
critical role of sound in the history of twentieth century art and its
implications on the most recent developments in the emerging fields such as
Electronica, ambient music, and Techno.

The book is each divided into smaller topics such as "Experimental Music" or
"Minimalism", each consisting roughly of a handful of essays drawn from a
heterogeneous collection of sources. The editors provide context to each
small topic and respective essay in an introductory paragraph, which makes
the writings very accessible to readers who are not familiar with the author
or topic under discussion. Texts and ideas come from a variety of sources
including magazines, journals and on-line.

With its focus on different musical strategies for composition,
improvisation and interpretation that are continually being adjusted and
reshaped, Audio Culture succinctly captures the last fifty years that has
been the most fascinating times for avant-garde experimentation,
performances and sonic landscapes. By treating the existing genealogies
between myriads of practices in a progressive fashion, it gives the last
decade, which confused us all for definitions in its vibrancy, its much
needed attention and vocabulary.

Audio Culture guides the readers an intellectual journey from the year 1877
when the first recording fundamentally transformed sound, towards almost
better understanding our present culture of omnipresent ipod-users,
polyphonic cell-phone ringers and Bjork's Medula, helping both the experts
and enthusiasts to new ways of thinking, tracing, developing and presenting
audio culture.

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the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

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

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