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: 4.29.05
Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 09:29:39 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: April 29, 2005


1. Kevin McGarry: FW: UBERMORGEN.COM in Japan
2. Rachel Greene: Fwd: CRISIS - commissions & residencies at ISIS Arts - web
& project launch
4. Rachel Greene: A Goodbye of Sorts
5. Rachel Greene: Rhizome Names Lauren Cornell as Executive Director

6. Kevin McGarry: Call for New Superusers!

7. Rachel Greene: Fwd: Mongrel launch AROUNDHEAD and LUNGS - Sat May 7th,

8. curt cloninger, Plasma Studii - judsoN, ryan griffis, Michael Szpakowski,
Patrick Simons, Matthew Mascotte, Pall Thayer, Jim Andrews, Jason Van Anden,
Dirk Vekemans: Net Art Market
9. Plasma Studii - judsoN, Jonathan, Matthew Mascotte, Rob Myers: Boxer's
Trouncing of the Boston Cyberarts Festival

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 2005 Net Art Commissions

The Rhizome Commissioning Program makes financial support available to
artists for the creation of innovative new media art work via panel-awarded

For the 2005 Rhizome Commissions, seven artists were selected to create
artworks relating to the theme of Games:

The Rhizome Commissioning Program is made possible by generous support from
the Greenwall Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation
for the Visual Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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

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

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


Date: 4.25.05
From: Kevin McGarry <kevin AT>
Subject: FW: UBERMORGEN.COM in Japan

------ Forwarded Message
From: Hans Bernhard <hans AT>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 00:29:37 +0200
To: killer AT
Subject: UBERMORGEN.COM in Japan

NTT ICC - Inter Communications Center Tokyo

Open Nature Exhibition

Curated by Yukiko Shikata

Psych|OS, Digital Cocaine - Children of the 1980s

Artists Talk, 29 April 2005

Other current exhibitions...
The Premises Gallery Johannesburg / South Africa
GWEI / Google Will Eat Itself - Exhibition Slideshow
Lentos Museum of Modern Art Linz / Austria
"JUST DO IT!" Exhibition

Stay off them tech drugs say...

lizvlx and Hans Bernhard

------ End of Forwarded Message

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

Rhizome Member-curated Exhibits

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

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


Date: 4.28.05
From: Rachel Greene <rachel AT>
Subject: Fwd: CRISIS - commissions & residencies at ISIS Arts - web &
project launch

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Michelle Hirschhorn <michelle AT>
> Date: April 27, 2005 7:34:45 AM EDT
> To: Michelle Hirschhorn <michelle AT>
> Subject: CRISIS - commissions & residencies at ISIS Arts - web &
> project launch

> Commissions and Residencies at ISIS
> ISIS Arts is pleased to announce the launch of the CRISIS website, showcasing
> 6 new web and moving image works by laurie halsey brown, Rob Kennedy, Manu
> Luksch, Sophia New, Spencer Roberts & Anneke Pettican, and Miranda Whall. Also
> featuring documentation from recent artist/curator joint residencies with
> Sarah Cook & Saul Albert and Ange Taggart, Chris Graham & amino (Ben Ponton
> and Lee Callaghan).
> ***For those of you in Newcastle, please join us from 5 - 7pm at ISIS Arts for
> drinks & nibbles to celebrate***
> CRISIS is a programme of new media commissions and residencies at ISIS Arts.
> Launched in 2004, the pilot programme combined a series of production-based
> and discursive activities that brought together artists, curators and
> technical resource. CRISIS supported the process of artistic production and
> the engagement with ideas surrounding interdisciplinary collaboration and
> creative possibilities.
> The programme sought to increase the ways that artists engaged with the
> organisation in its new city centre premises, as previously, much of the
> programme was delivered away from base.
> CRISIS was centred around the process of production - the concepts and
> activities that take place between the spark of an idea and the finished art
> product. This complimented the other strands of ISIS' programming (new media
> training, mentoring, arts in education, residencies) and lack of exhibition
> space. Another integral aspect included peer to peer training and exchange
> between regional, national and international participants, as a way of sharing
> skills and facilitating new partnerships.
> The 12 month programme included 6 small commissions and short residencies, 2
> two-month joint artist and curator residencies, 3 evening networking events at
> ISIS and 2 presentation events hosted for visiting international artists.
> CRISIS was supported by the Arts Council England, North East and Newcastle
> City Council.
> Programme curated by Michelle Hirschhorn
> ISIS Arts
> First floor
> 5, Charlotte Square
> Newcastle upon Tyne
> NE1 4XF
> t: 44 191 261 4407
> e: isis AT

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


Date: 4.28.05
From: Pau Waelder <pau AT>

18-21 MAY 2005

Lion Arts Centre, North Terrace at Morphett Street, Adelaide, South

Since the early 1960s the social impact of computer technology has been a
dominant issue and since the early 1980s the digital revolution has been
provoking profound changes in the way we live. Now, in the twenty-first
century, we realize that the next frontier of artistic investigation is
The field of biological studies is changing from a life science into an
information science Biosemiotics, for example, is an interdisciplinary
science that studies communication and signification in living systems.
Biotechnologies are introducing complex ethical issues, such as the
patenting and sale of genes from foreign peoples. Genetic engineering is
transforming forever how society approaches the notion of "life."
A few contemporary artists have been responding to this change and are
already working with transgenics, interspecies communication, cloning,
tissue culture and hybridization techniques to redefine the boundaries
between the artwork and living organisms. This workshop will discuss the
complex and fascinating relationship between biology and art in the larger
context of related social, political, and ethical issues.

18 May 1:30-4:30pm
A Brief History of Art and DNA
Presentation (slides, video) and discussion
Questioning the Ideology of Biology
Participants will be asked to read before the beginning of the workshop the
following texts: "A Reasonable Skepticism", "All in the Genes?", and "Causes
and Their Effects" in: Richard C. Lewontin: The doctrine of DNA : the
biology of ideology (London; New York : Penguin, 1993). Participants will be
expected to discuss these texts.
19 May 1:30-4:30pm
Art and Ecology Presentation (slides, video) and discussion
20 May 1:30-4:30pm
Art and Genetics Presentation (slides, video) and discussion
21 May 1:30-4:30pm
Consciousness in Non-human Animals and Plants
Screening and discussion of "Why Dogs Smile and Chimpanzees Cry".
Discussion will be based on the following texts: Thomas Nagel. "What is it
Like to be a Bat?" in Philosophical Review October 1974, pp. 435-450; R. H.
Bradshaw. "Consciousness in Non-Human Animals: Adopting the Precautionary
Principle" in Journal of Consciousness Studies Vol. 5, N. 1, 1998, pp.
108-114; Alexandra H. M. Nagel. "Are Plants Conscious?" Journal of
Consciousness Studies Vol. 4, N. 3, 1997, pp. 215-230; Daniel Dennett.
"Animal Consciousness: What Matters and Why" in Social Research 62 (3), Fall
1995, pp. 691-710.

The Workshop is FREE. Travel and accommodation is at cost to the
There is limited capacity.
Workshop texts will be available from the EAF and can be distributed via
Register your interest in attending the Workshop by Thursday 5 May providing
contact details and brief resume:
Email: biotech AT - "Biotech Workshop"
Post: Experimental Art Foundation, PO Box 8091, Station Arcade, South
Australia, 5000
Fax: +61 (0)8 8211 7323

Phone EAF Director, Melentie Pandilovski, for further details +61 (0)8

Eduardo Kac's residency in Australia has been made possible with the
assistance of the South Australian Government through Arts SA's Artist in
Residence Program.

EXPERIMENTAL ART FOUNDATION curates its exhibition program to represent new
work that expands current debates and ideas in contemporary visual art. The
EAF incorporates a gallery space, bookshop and artists studios.

Lion Arts Centre North Terrace at Morphett Street Adelaide
PO Box 8091 Station Arcade South Australia 5000
Tel: +618 8211 7505 Fax +618 8211 7323
email: eaf AT bookshop email: eafbooks AT web:
Director: Melentie Pandilovski Administrator: Julie Lawton
Program Manager: Michael Grimm Bookshop Manager: Ken Bolton

The Experimental Art Foundation is assisted by the Commonwealth Government
through the Australia Council, it arts funding and advisory body, by the
South Australian Government through Arts SA, and through the Visual Arts and
Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory
Governments. The EAF is proudly smoke-free.

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


Date: 4.29.05
From: Rachel Greene <rachel AT>
Subject: A Goodbye of Sorts

To Everyone in the Rhizome Community,

As the Executive Director of Rhizome for almost the last two years, I have
been privileged to work with a very talented core staff in an environment --
the New Museum -- that has doubly inspired me. The people I work with make
art and artists their number one priority and I hope you are all as proud of
their commitment as I am. I have met so many terrific Rhizome members and
enthusiasts; it has been almost ten years of seeing mind-blowing art and
being part of an emerging new lifestyle and art scene. It has been a real

I am writing to announce that I will be stepping down as Executive Director
in the few weeks to develop some individual projects before starting a
family. There will be a new model for Rhizome usability announced soon, and
I have worked hard over the last year to make it practical and scalable. The
fine points are still being finalized, but keep your eyes peeled for a more
open community system coming soon!

I will leave Rhizome in very capable hands, in fact, in the hands of my
friend and colleague Lauren Cornell. I always admired and saved all of
Lauren's press releases for Ocularis -- a cinema/video organization she put
on the cultural map here in NYC -- and I always hoped we could lure her
here to work with Francis Hwang, Kevin McGarry, and me. We succeeded. As
this is a public annoucement, I want to thank the amazing, professional and
supportive Board of Rhizome as well as all the Trustees of the New Museum.
Rhizome's Board -- Saul Dennison, Bob Wyman, Paul Schnell, Chris Vroom,
David Ross, Mark Tribe, Lisa Roumell and Lisa Phillips -- a deep bow for
giving Rhizome safe haven when we needed it most. We would have been lost
without you.

Most of all, thank you to all the individuals who continue to make Rhizome
relevant and meaningful by sharing their ideas, art work, and with their

See you soon I hope, online or off. I will be around at Rhizome events of


Rachel Greene

Rachel Greene
Executive Director,
Adjunct Curator
New Museum of Contemporary Art
210 Eleventh Ave, NYC, NY 10001

tel. 212.219.1222 X 208
fax. 212.431.5328
ema. rachel AT

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


Date: 4.29.05
From: Rachel Greene <rachel AT>
Subject: Rhizome Names Lauren Cornell as Executive Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Names Lauren Cornell as Executive Director

NEW YORK, NY, April 28, 2005 -, the leading online resource
for new media art, today announced that it has named Lauren Cornell as
its next Executive Director, effective May 2. Cornell has strong
management, fund-raising and curatorial experience in the media arts.
She will replace Rachel Greene, who has been Executive Director since
2003 and with the organization since 1997.

Under Greene's leadership, Rhizome transitioned into residence at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art, expanded the breadth of its
constituency through a host of new programs and organized exhibitions
on- and off-line. In collaboration with the Rhizome staff, Greene has
developed new usability plans for Rhizome which Cornell will implement
in the near future.

Cornell previously served as Executive Director of Ocularis, a
nonprofit media arts organization in New York. She has curated
exhibitions and screenings at venues throughout New York and
internationally and has written about contemporary art and emerging
technologies for a wide range of publications, including Rhizome.
According to Rhizome Chairman Mark Tribe, "Lauren Cornell is a capable
leader with a deep commitment to new media art. She has the skills,
energy and vision to lead Rhizome into the future."

As Executive Director, Cornell will be responsible for overseeing and
growing all aspects of the organization, and will report to Rhizome's
Board of Directors. "I have long admired Rhizome and have enjoyed
getting to know the organization better as a contributing writer over
the past year," Cornell said. "I am thrilled to work more closely with
the staff and board as well as the network of individuals who make
Rhizome such an exciting and vital resource."

About is an online platform for the global new media art
community. Our programs support the creation, presentation, discussion
and preservation of contemporary art that uses new technologies in
significant ways. We foster innovation and inclusiveness in everything
we do. takes its name from the botanical term for an
underground stem that connects plants into living networks, a metaphor
for the organization's non-hierarchical structure. Widely considered to
be the world's leading online resource for and about new media artists
and their work, connects, supports, and educates the new
media art community through a wide range of on- and offline programs.

Rachel Greene
Executive Director
210 11th Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001

Email: rachel AT
Tel: (212) 219-1288 x208
Fax: 212.431.5328


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


Date: 4.26.05
From: Kevin McGarry <kevin AT>
Subject: Call for New Superusers!

Call for New Superusers:

The central column of content showcased on the Rhizome website is
published by Rhizome's volunteer editors or "Superusers." As such, the
Superusers play an important role in the Rhizome community specifically,
and in the process of historicizing new media art more generally.

Becoming a Superuser is an ongoing responsibility: we're asking for a
commitment to archive a minimum of 5-10 texts a month. We're looking for
participants who have some time and focus.

If you're intrigued by all this and want to volunteer, then please get
in touch. Send an email with the subject 'SUPERUSING' to Kevin McGarry
(kevin AT, and include around 2 sentences why you want
to get involved. We hope to hear from you soon!

Kevin McGarry
Content Coordinator

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


Date: 4.26.05
From: Rachel Greene <rachel AT>
Subject: Fwd: Mongrel launch AROUNDHEAD and LUNGS - Sat May 7th, Southend

Begin forwarded message:
> From: "richard" <richard AT>
> Date: April 26, 2005 8:03:13 PM EDT
> To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>
> Subject: Mongrel launch AROUNDHEAD and LUNGS - Sat May 7th, Southend

> Mongrel invites you to the launch of two new projects at the Jelliedeel Shed
> in Southend-on-Sea:
> 18:00pm to 21:00pm
> Saturday May 7th, 2005.
> -----------------------------------
> "ARoundhead"
> Oliver Cromwell's head is passed around the telephone system of a Scottish
> mental hospital. A telephony installation first developed for the staff of
> the Royal Edinburgh psychiatric hospital, commissioned by Artlink for
> Functionsuite.
> "Lungs"
> A software poem memorial to the slave labour that worked in the ex-munitions
> factory in Karlsruhe during WWII. By computing the vital lung capacity of
> these forced workers, the program emits their last breath of air. First
> commissioned by ZKM, Karlsruhe for "Making Things Public".
> ___________________________
> The Jelliedeel Shed,
> Unit 38, Grainger Road Industrial Estate,
> Southend-on-Sea,
> Essex, SS2 5DD.
> T: 01702 460590
> Getting there:
> Trains from Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria. (15, 34 and 55 minutes
> past the hour, journey time - one hour).
> Grainger Road estate is 5 mins walk away - turn left out of the station,
> across the B&Q car park and take the right fork at the corner shop into
> Milton Str. Grainger Road is first on the left.
> RSVP to: admin AT
> ========================
> Supported by Arts Council England.

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

Spring Hosting Special from BroadSpire

Want to consolidate multiple domains? Rhizome members can sign up for a
Bundle hosting package that allows for up to five separate domains under one
Broadspire hosting contract -- through May 9.

Purchasing hosting from BroadSpire contributes directly to Rhizome's fiscal
well-being, so think about about the new Bundle pack, or any other plan,

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


Date: 4.24.05-4.29.05
From: curt cloninger <curt AT>, Plasma Studii - judsoN
<office AT>, ryan griffis <grifray AT>, Michael
Szpakowski <szpako AT>, Patrick Simons
<patricksimons AT>, Matthew Mascotte <mascotte AT>, Pall
Thayer <palli AT>, Jim Andrews <jim AT>, Jason Van Anden
<jason AT>, Dirk Vekemans <dv AT>
Subject: Net Art Market (Part 2)

(continued from a thread published in the 4.22.05 Rhizome Digest)

curt cloninger <curt AT> posted:

judsoN wrote:

> art only exists as a solution, a vehicle, for getting
> what you really want, be it respect or a new pair of shoes.

This kind of statement always riles me. It's so materialistic, cynical, and
overly simplistic. It's like something a marxist economist would teach to
freshmen. What if making art is a celebration? What if it's play? What if
it's worship out of a heart of thanksgiving for the mere fact that we exist?
It's pretty cold (but not at all uncommon) to reduce play and celebration
and worship to unconscious self-serving activity. I object.

+ + +

Plasma Studii - judsoN <office AT> replied:

>> art only exists as a solution, a vehicle, for getting
>> what you really want, be it respect or a new pair of shoes.

>This kind of statement always riles me. It's so materialistic,
>cynical, and overly simplistic. It's like something a marxist
>economist would teach to freshmen. What if making art is a
>celebration? What if it's play? What if it's worship out of a
>heart of thanksgiving for the mere fact that we exist? It's pretty
>cold (but not at all uncommon) to reduce play and celebration and
>worship to unconscious self-serving activity. I object.

ok, and that's cool. i would too at first. it definitely turned me
off about psychology only until recently. but it's kind of like
assuming computers can't make art because they are cold and
heartless. (so are paint brushes. but both are just tools.) you
may be assuming "what we want" and "celebration" are incompatible?

but we can still be driven by a desire to be happy . you could also
say we're driven by an addiction to the chemicals released in the
brain. but that's a method not an end. that doesn't say happiness
can't be spontaneous, that explains what differentiates happiness
from non-happiness technically, just not poetically. And a poetic
calibration isn't useful technically (though it's all over the US
legal system).

it's not that these free-will vs. reaction arguments are ever right
or wrong. it's that often, they can be the same thing. for
instance, how does a god end up making happiness in people and have
them want to keep trying to attain it? do it with dopamine. it's
just a tool!

arguing against "self-serving" motivations is like saying
masturbating is a sin. ok, some people love their hang ups. i can't
expect you to agree, but may suspect we'd be saying the same thing if
it weren't clouded by centuries of repressed and displaced taboo

+ + +

ryan griffis <grifray AT> replied:

>> art only exists as a solution, a vehicle, for getting
>> what you really want, be it respect or a new pair of shoes.

> This kind of statement always riles me. It's so materialistic,
> cynical, and overly simplistic. It's like something a marxist
> economist would teach to freshmen. What if making art is a
> celebration? What if it's play? What if it's worship out of a heart
> of thanksgiving for the mere fact that we exist? It's pretty cold
> (but not at all uncommon) to reduce play and celebration and worship
> to unconscious self-serving activity. I object.

i understand your response to the above statement, which i object to as
well... i agree with many of your contributions to the discussion on
selling net art, etc.
but to label that above statement as similar to a marxist position
might as well be red baiting. marx was not anti-play. and the notion
that someone would work as something other than an artist, then spend
leisure time engaging in creative activity in order to create something
aesthetic, participate in a community, or learn more about something is
entirely a marxist one.
i would replace "marxist economist" in your response to "classical
economist" or if you want to be more specific, possibly a "free market
economist." viewing work as a means to obtaining shoes (unless you're
making your own shoes) is the position of capital, not marxism.

+ + +

Michael Szpakowski <szpako AT> replied:

Absolutely! This Marxist at least Curt, has no problem
accepting your characterisation of at least some of
the roots of art.
Marx wouldn't have either.
Ryan is spot on, too, on who actually does sound like
that -ie. the free marketeers; and, admittedly, also
those who have drunk deep of the poisoned well of
academic Marxism as it descends from Zhdanov and Mao
-although given the political evolution of many of
those, at least in the UK, it's quite difficuly to
tell the two camps apart. I hear, for example, New
Labour, loud and clear.


+ + +

Patrick Simons <patricksimons AT> replied:

To take this further, isn't the very idea of producing work which is beyond
the commodifying process, of making something which has some resonance for
other people, but has no possibility of being reduced to capital just
magnificent and life re-affirming?

+ + +

Matthew Mascotte <mascotte AT> replied:

once the market catches up to electronic art production,
when aquiring digital art is as common as buying painting
you all will be clamoring for a piece of the action...and
no one will hate you for it and it won't mean that your work
has been sacrificed in any way...the fact that getting
grants for work like this now is so intnesely competitive has
already established a "market" for certain types of production
and influences things considerably. so we're already there...

i just cant get behind the utopian vibe "has no possibility of
being reduced to capital" as if works that sell are somehow sell-outs...
or if an artist strives to be commercially successful they're
some how sacrificing artistic integrity. warhol has taken care of
this for us... media art necessarily intersects with commericial
production...the very fact that consumer electronics are required to
create and witness these works is an example of this.



+ + +

Patrick Simons <patricksimons AT> replied:

Hi Matthew

Why would you want to suggest that I would "clamor"?
and what would the "action" be?
and loads of people would hopefully hate me for it
AND I imagine there is a whole chorus (massed) behind the "utopian vibe"
humming ecstatically.
And Andy Warhol... didn't seem to be able take care of himself, never mind
taming the bastard art market
"media art necessarily intersects with commericial
> production"
Just sounds like something the Borg would say..
Im off to look at some brilliant free work.

+ + +

Pall Thayer <palli AT> replied:

That statement, "clamoring for a piece of the action", implies changing
what you were doing and customizing it for this expected market. I would
hate myself for doing that. No thanks. I'll just maintain my pace and if
the art market doesn't catch up while I'm living, perhaps it will after
life itself has stopped my progress. Having a "day job" that provides me
with whatever I need actually gives me a sense of artistic freedom. I
don't have to worry about whether or not someone's going to give me
money for my art, although I don't mind it when they do. But my next
meal doesn't depend on it.


+ + +

Matthew Mascotte <mascotte AT> replied:

i agree calmoring was poor wordsmithing...but i think
the landscape for funding is so slim and competitive that
artists "clamor" for what little there is. i wonder
for example how many of the game proposals that were sent
in last year for a Rhizome commission were done so by artists
whos practises are solely engaged in game art...i think we
saw plenty of proposals by artists that would never have
ordinarily worked on gaming projects in their studios in



+ + +

Jim Andrews <jim AT> replied:

i wonder how the different financial pressures different places exert on
people shape attitudes to art, and what is 'viable' and 'of value'?

on a related though slightly digressive note, we are having a great
television hockey season. much like the net (not the one with goalposts). i
watch tv by no schedule, channel surf sporadically. i might find a game from
the swedish league on. or one from the junior leagues. or even more
junior--this season i've seen a championship pee wee game (12 year olds).
and have seen international 'under 17' games. and AHL games. And the
Canadian women's team. And local hockey on TV. And it's just as interesting
to watch as NHL games. Moreso in certain ways. It isn't bloodsport. The best
game I've seen this year was the Canadian University championship game.
Excellent! I like the net approach to televised hockey: diversity.

When professional dominance of the media fails, we discover the televised
game in a fresh way and are able to see the relevance of the professional is
highly constructed, artificial. once the strike is over, this diversity of
televised hockey will diminish, no doubt, to the previous state. but that is
not so much because it's what people want as what the machines of capitalist
media prefer as high octane fuel (to make and take money).


+ + +

Jason Van Anden <jason AT> replied:

Matthew Mascotte brought up last year's Rhizome videogame art commission as
an example of artists "clamoring" for crumbs. My proposal, Farklempt! was
proposed as a way to break a creative loop I was stuck in. Luckily it was
selected by the community - and this brings the discussion full circle.

Farklempt! received a lot of press after its release last January. Tens of
thousands of visitors from all over the world came and interacted with it.
This was tangible evidence to me that net art has legs.

There are plenty of working models of self sustaining ephemeral media.
Movies, Radio, TV, WWW, videogames, iTunes and NetFlix come to mind ... I am
guessing that these models are based upon the publishing industry that
preceded them.

Speaking of books, on my commute I am currently listening to "The Speed of
Sound, 1926-1930" by Scott Eyman. This is an interesting history of sound
in film. It starts out describing several failed attempts at sound before
"The Jazz Singer" captured the public's attention and completely changed the

.. stay with me a sec ...

I recently finished "I Bought Andy Warhol" by Richard Polsky and
"Emmergence" by Steven Johnson. The former recounts the author's personal
odyssey to own a Warhol Silkscreen - and in the process describes some of
the inner working of the gallery system. The latter is an easy read about
emergent systems.

Connecting the dots ... I suspect net art will be supported by the public,
eventually. I am not sure the current top down "brick and mortar" gallery
system is built for this.

Bottoms Up.
Jason Van Anden

+ + +

Dirk Vekemans <dv AT> replied:

That's probably what it boils down too, & it kinda takes the whole point
from underneath this discussion: if you see the media as a gigantic scanning
device looking for money everywhere it can, and getting more refined at it
every day, you don't need to worry about to sell or not to sell or even
about how to sell, it's just a matter of you being picked up by it or not.
In fact, trying to get sold could be disadvantageous to your profit, 'cause
you might be pushing up the wrong parameters to the system.

It doesn't do away with the very real problem of how to finance making the
kind of art no large supporting or commercial institute is interested in,
though. You still have to bend & twist that in all directions just to be
acceptable, it's dicatorial: i mean you can write poetry with a piece of
paper and a pencil,you don't need any money, if you want to make net art or
installation art or anything involving computers, you will need your basic
infrastructure and lot's of time for research/learning.

I could manage pretty well writing/working regular jobs and have some nice
results, not caring about any commercial pressure at all and i'm pretty sure
i would have written different things when i did care about getting
published within the existing publication media. As it turned out, i have
far more people reading my poetry than i would have the traditional
publishing way, plus i've written stuff that i'm actually happy about.
Of course, the kind of poetry i'm talking about doesn't have any commercial
value at all, it's not exactly the love & romance stuff song texts are made

I'm finding it very hard doing the writing/developing/net art/working
combination without starting to bend my highly poetic notions into some
stuff that's sellable. I don't like that because i feel i'm wasting time
with that kind of detour, I would like to do it the same way like i used to
do when writing & not change anything because it would give me money. I just
can't maintain my strict division of this i do for money and this i do
because it fullfills my artistic needs (i really don't care why I have
those, i have 'm so i have to do sth with it). And i do believe that i have
some meaningful things for others to say & do in this field, that couldn't
be done by people who haven't gone to the depth of how language can be
turned into poetry.
It's a rather unknown perspective, but if you'd care to check out some of
the stuff that my compatriot and much better writer Peter Verhelst is doing
with Crew Online at , you'll see that
the very same perspective can lead to some amazing and very relevant art.

Well, heck, i'm just starting out with net art , i'll find a way to ram it
up the system anyway.


+ + +

Dirk Vekemans <dv AT> replied:

"Encapsulation of type is thus achieved when there is an abstract class with
derivations (or an interface with implementations) that are used
polymorphically. "

Alan Salloway & James R. Trott , Design Patterns Explained. A New
Perspective on Object-Oriented Design,
Boston: Addison-Wesley (2004), p.121

Quote of the day at

Objects to RAM into society:
Artistic freedom. Artistic freedom is thus achieved when no abstract class
can be thought of or generated that has derivations (or an interface with
implementations) that are used polymorphically in order to encapsulate your
artistic process and make money from your art when you don't want it.

Capsule: any living process reduced to an object by commercial systems to
make it managable & profitable.

Process to RAM into society:
Transcoding of programming concepts into society needs critical and artistic
analysis and a counterbalance building upon that analysis.

Priority: none. I'll probably change my mind about this again tomorrow. Or
rephrase it. Processes don't work the RAMMING way. There's no need for
revolutions. If you make art, deny it's art. Destruction is an essential
part of creation. Love's function is to create unknownness. My body is the
car I drive. The vehicle inside me contains a person. I am caught in the
trap of life. I know only how I make it. A tree is not a tree. Silence is
not equal to absence of speech. I could go on like this for ages, but I have
a commercial deadline to meet. In fact I'm dead already.


+ + +

Plasma Studii - judsoN <office AT> replied:

if you see the media as a gigantic scanning device looking for money
everywhere it can

though eventually folks have figured out how to make most media marketable,
media isn't at all designed to find that market?

probably, "media" is just a vague term, but do you mean media as art on
computer screen versus print, delivered via web versus a truck, or stored on
a disc versus stored on a tape? some of these differences have been gotten
used to, are now mainstream, while some still foreign. many are just
getting used to the idea that storage on disc is just as "real" as storage
in a box. but it's taking a lot longer to get used to the delivery methods.

>I'm finding it very hard doing the writing/developing/net art/working
>combination without starting to bend my highly poetic notions into some
>stuff that's sellable. I don't like that because i feel i'm wasting
> time with that kind of detour

from another point of view, one could also say :
my criteria is always most important to me because, well, it's mine. it's
my baby. i developed it. giving it up sucks. but i also want to get as
much (reward, even if it's just appreciation or joy delivered) for what i do
as possible. so people often assume there's a choice between them.

but appeal isn't really even related to any particular criteria. for
instance, harpo marx, who wasn't really saying anything of public interest
(wasn't saying anything at all!) but his interests (in the harp!?) became
mainstream. not because of what his interests were specifically, but
because of the WAY he shared them. and you may even say because he was so
excited, it was infectious. later we wonder "why did anyone sit through
those harp solos?", because we missed the pitch.

mostly, we really just sell salesmanship, out attitude, our presentation.
people get excited about and forget the actual aesthetics so easily they
aren't even relevant. get em excited and they'll buy a used kleenex. the
work has nothing to do with it. getting in touch with what gets people
excited is a separate skill/gift. that alters peoples' memories and
perceptions of the product. the question then isn't how can i make a
painting that is good by my criteria, or saleable by another one, but how
can i word the description of it, that raises buyers blood pressure. may
sound pessimistic, but only if you think the old way is good and the new
bad. neither, just different, and probably more suited to what peoples'
brains are capable of. and then if you literally think of the sales pitch
as a sales pitch.

SO, ultimately, selling out has less effect than starving, but feeling good
about your integrity has better effects on your "pitch" than feeling like
your aesthetic is of no interest to others. whatever lets you work/sell the
most comfortably is the only ideal.

+ + +

Dirk Vekemans <dv AT> replied:


When I used the word media it was in the general sense of anything that
broadcasts information, organised in commercial companies and competing to
make the most money from anything they can pick up as content. Internet used
to escape most of that infrastructure, it is now getting to be increasingly
a functioning part of it. You don¹t really exist as a website, unless you
get listed by it¹s infrastructure. Eg: if you develop an internet game on
your own, you stay offline with its potential unless you get commisioned,
inscribed, talked about in the ?media¹. We Dutch ponies use the word in that
sense constantly J

Your Harpo example is well chosen, also because it illustrates that an
essentially poetic process, your ?pitch¹, is shown to be a more mundane
process than most people tend to think, that it can be dependent on
external, and therefore changeable, dynamic ways of perceiving things.
Whenever people get carried away by something like that they often say sth
like¹it had a very poetic feeling about it¹ and they usually refer to the
logic that is behind a complex of evocations of parts of reality. If you
deal with poetry intensively, you learn how to spin that logic, make it a
repeatable process, a working method. Correlating those kind of methods to
programming practices is what I¹m after, but I find that I need to find new
ways of programming because I don¹t see our current practice of OOP very
effective in this area, although it is a proven technique with great results
elsewhere. It¹s so much of a succes no one wonders any more that it still is
a choice that is being made?So it¹s not a critique in the meaning of saying
Object Oriented Programming is bad, it¹s very good actually and I don¹t see
how you could claim it to be other, but it could turn out to be not the
right way of programming for artistic purposes. It¹s just a haunting idea I
have, based on what I know from ontological discussions, and I want to
investigate it.

Oh well, o, sorry, I got on my pony again. Anyway, you¹re probably right
that i overestimate the importance of the sales wrap that you see as the
main divergence. Perhaps I overestimate it because in what I was doing the
subject was and is a very sensitive one. It¹s so sensitive because the
amount of work you put into writing ?serious¹ poetry is never gonna be met
with any respect or respons you could expect. You might write your guts out
in a manner of speakin and still gain less respect than any third rate
novelist. It¹s not a bad situation though, because you know all of that when
you start doing it.

On the other hand I watched myself going through the first building stages
of my first net art project and I noticed that from the moment I started
applying for commisions and such, there were heaps of microdecisions that I
let be influenced by the very fact that I applied for those commisions.
Knowing that I hardly stood a chance of getting any (it would have been a
small miracle), I still didn¹t want to blow my changes and I was very
prudent about lay-out decisions, exact wordings and such. I got increasingly
annoyed by this, in so far that I now am very glad I didn¹t score anywhere
and I feel freed now, back to square 1, free to not care about anything else
and just let the process grow on itself. Somehow I seem to have made the
project¹s not-for-sale part an essential basis of it. The only thing I do
sell is what I call dead processes, objects, garbage that is left after the
act. But that¹s more of a joke, critisizing today¹s ?traditional¹ art market
prizes, where the value of a painting is decided by whether your work is
taken up in the elite circle of commercial speculation objects or not. Once
you are there, you can scribble away anything you want, it will still fetch
prizes a tenfold of the allready exuberant prices I ask for my horridly
amateuristic varnish covered layers of water paint. Traditional painting in
that respect is a prime example of how commercial structures and value
attribuations dictate the market, in so far it has nothing to do with art
anymore imho. Painting is pretty much killed by the painting market and
financial speculation there.

So yes there is a difference if you add up all the small choices to how a
net art work comes into being, especially so with net art ?cause you get
immediate feedback: your economic value is as good as equal to how many
pageviews you get, and you can watch new users clicking away from you if you
add or delete an element that does or does not ?compile¹ in your viewers
conception of your work. Off course this is true also when you¹re not
focussing on economical value, but you I think are more easily satisfied
with something that scares some of your audience away, when you don¹t focus
your pageviews. I deal with my project as something that changes every day,
so I just can¹t let the sales wrap take over. I think I just lost my ?pitch¹
as you call it the moment I started applying for commissions, it made me
think too much, and hesitant.

Don¹t know if this is still clear or even related to what you were saying.
I¹m sorry that I keep referring to my own work, but it¹s the only thing I
feel I can make general remarks about that make any sense



+ + +

oliver scott <os AT> replied:

a bit off subject here...

in reference to this...

> 2. As for collecting. People collect everything and
> anything. So will eventually happen that
> people collect net art on a large scale. It just seems
> that now, before it happens, we have a chance to mold
> the way it happens.

i am not so sure of this statement.

people will definatelly collect, but...

as people started to collect music in the mp3 format they could get so much
and 'have it all' [well, at least what they wanted]. I now know of people
deleting thier whole collections. there is so much new, so often on this
huge scale that people are giving up collecting music. listening to online
radio instead.

i think that poeple will collect but the unexpected will show its face soon

the networked approach to collecting means maybe there is no need to

[i am obviously talking of ripped-off music, but i am refering to the
collecter in us all.]

+ + +

Jason Nelson <newmediapoet AT> replied:

Dearest All,

Excuse the overblown and awkwardly worded subject
line, but it does point point.

Perhaps I can make a slightly askew statement and say
that idea of supporting ones self through their art
can be tied (not solely but related to) two other
factors (again not the only factors): One (yes I like
to list), the generation of larger audiences for our
work, and Two, more and more diverse and more
personalized engagement with our audience.

First the second: people collect prints (copies of
paintings or photographs) often because they are
signed, because they know that the artist they admire,
that touches them, has touched, has added to the
print. So can we....being all creative and
intelligent and quirk-handsome, how can we devise new
methods to make our work both universally available
and personalized? Perhaps there needs to be some type
of signing? Perhaps work can have additions, like
variants of the work (which we do already)? Perhaps
the work could be tied to the physical object the work
contains. Like much of my work is ficto-biography. So
could I create artifacts to compliment that work?

Secondly the first: of course, you say in a gurgling
mad voice, of course we need larger, more varied
audiences. Yes, but then what is being done to gather
those audiences? Most of us shoot for the Ars Elec or
the Siggraph or the Tate or whatever. But the
audiences there are largely ourselves. Poetry has the
same problem. But poetry does better then we, despite
it being doomed to small sections of bookstores, and
we with the entire web, and the skills to manipulate
said environment.

I suppose my call should fall to myself, but I am just
a displaced country boy who forgets the punch line at
fancy parties.

cheers, Jason Nelson

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


Date: 4.29.05-4.30.05
From: Plasma Studii - judsoN <office AT>, Jonathan
<violinz AT>, Matthew Mascotte <mascotte AT>, Rob Myers
<robmyers AT>
Subject: Boxer's trouncing of Boston Cyberarts festival

Plasma Studii - judsoN <office AT> posted:

> Boxer's trouncing of Boston Cyberarts festival
> is at:

it's sad because she's totally right. stuff that the creators
probably thought was so cool or didn't matter, was all the same stuff
she thought was annoying or fundamentally a sign the thing even
works. sad because she's now been taught that when she detects a
work is particularly techno, she'll hate it, before she even tries
it. conditioned to think all interactivity is intrinsically bad
because most of the examples she's seen are. sad because it's hardly
(not particularly funny, but a good portrait from both sides)

artists and audiences can argue if something is a feature or a bug,
but whoever wins, the artist gains nothing and the audience goes
away, slightly disappointed. if we want things like collectors and
price tags, the first step isn't re-conceptualizing a market. the
first step is making stuff somebody else might be interested in.
it's just using some much needed social skills.

we have plenty we CAN still change. if we made anything they were
into, all these excuses for the work not being buy-able would just be
ignored, forgotten.

one way, is to put in more effort on these productions to HIDE the
computer-ness/quirks we love. a real skill that takes up probably
90% of the work. (tailors do the same thing, making their work,
interesting to themselves, invisible to the world) even if we're
talking about computers (like a book about books, if you're not into
books, you won't read it. but you may even enjoy a painting of a
book). boxer's stuck at a party full of geeks shouting at her about
things like transporter beam anomalies. the subjects would even be
tolerable, maybe even fascinating, if they made more pleasant
conversation and actually paid the slightest attention to the other

computers demanding idealized input from the real world, may be an
unimportant side effect to working with these cool toys to some. but
to others the toys are kinda boring, particularly if they only seem
to be talking about and only work in a few rigidly selected cases.

+ + +

Jonathan <violinz AT> replied:

i am participating in the boston cyberarts festival with my installation
particle playground (video at, and i was
upset about the reaction in the nytimes article. i cannot speak directly to
those pieces mentioned, but i think you can see from the video of my piece
(which contains touch sensitive monkey bars) that young children really
enjoyed the interaction. there was learning and coordination involved as
well. i noticed that older participants regardless of whether they liked
the piece, were more interested in content and function than interaction
with media, which is ultimately an essential part of what this art is about.
i think it is difficult to separate out content and interaction and arrive
at a meaningful experience. i am not sure what the age divide is and
whether it is dependent on technological awareness, but i thought it would
be interesting to point out how age in this particular case is a significant
factor in enjoyment of art.

+ + +

Matthew Mascotte <mascotte AT> replied:


an interesting point you make. i curated
a solo exhibition for Daniel Shiffman at
the Savannah College of Art and
Design in February of 2004.

I was amazed at how naturally it seemed for children
to engage Shiffman's interactive video pieces. I think most
adults feel embarrassed and uncomfortable interacting
with work in gallery settings...that uneasy feeling one
has when you're selected from an audience to go on stage
at a performace.

I like your piece at BostonCyberarts perhaps we're seeing
glimpses of future interactive art collectors in the making!!!!



+ + +

Plasma Studii - judsoN <office AT> replied:

your observation, albeit a pretty subjective one, seems right on.

but i'd hardly say the phenomenon describes interactivity vs. content, as
much as about kids have fun playing, particularly learning from things that
react to them differently than expected. adults' curiosity/method of
exploring often shifts from tactile/visceral to more cerebral/observing.
(i'd be curious how older people react to interactive pieces? like 60-80
year olds.).

i suspect, with these larger installation/interactive works, what you are
seeing are kids focusing on the activity, what they do, watching how the
thing behaves (which does seem like the heart and soul of interactivity).
but the adult, who may like some abstract pieces better or worse (not
automatically love or hate all non-figurative work), will judge the quality
of the piece by how good (in their esteem) the thing ends up looking. if
they can then improve the way it looks in some way by interacting.

they look at things like the color combos. the arbitrary blends that
include a very linear mix from a standard red to a standard purple are just
not gonna be visually stunning. if it's for adults, they expect to register
something sensually (or conceptually) compelling.

but more power to you. completely legitimate to make a toy (not
decoration), a work for kids to play with. but to put anything in an art
show is going to open it up to being scrutinized by adults. adults who have
really different expectations/criteria, don't have the same impulsive
curiosity, and particularly see the noun as opposed to the verb. maybe you
just like playing, are more of a kid.

matthew had a good point about people who resist interactivity when he cited

...that uneasy feeling one
has when you're selected from an audience to go on stage
at a performace.

+ + +

Rob Myers <robmyers AT> replied:

On 29 Apr 2005, at 23:32, Plasma Studii - judsoN wrote:
> but i'd hardly say the phenomenon describes interactivity vs. content,
> as much as about kids have fun playing, particularly learning from
> things that react to them differently than expected. 

I've been taking Liam (4) to shows at PDA in Peterborough since he was
2, and he loves any kind of interactive art. Particularly projections,
and physical spinner or slider type kinetic/optical pieces. He also
likes talking about what he's seeing/doing and trying to work out
what's happening, so he's being "cerebral" about it as well.

The current show of static paintings really upset him. I had to take
him out.

Don't underrate play. :-) It's how we learn socially.

One problem with interactive art, and with hypertext, is the demands it
makes on the viewer. Giving the viewer "free rein" but with a
corresponding demand that they "do the right thing" risks the artwork
disappointing the audience, or the audience disappointing the artist.
This is part of the moral territory of interactivity, and is a feature,
not a bug. :-)

- Rob.

+ + +

Plasma Studii <office AT> replied:

>Don't underrate play. :-) It's how we learn socially.

sorry if you thought i was. just the opposite.

in fact, see toys probably having more of a legit function then art.
but since the function of art is so astoundingly unclear, it's hardly
a worthwhile issue at all. meanwhile, interactive pieces can easily
have several essential qualities, usefulness, as art, and as a toy.
it's just often programmers aren't thinking of all those things, and
really just how the actual gizmos themselves work. fine, but not
everybody's interested in the gizmos.

>One problem with interactive art, and with hypertext, is the demands
>it makes on the viewer. Giving the viewer "free rein" but with a
>corresponding demand that they "do the right thing" risks the
>artwork disappointing the audience, or the audience disappointing
>the artist.

agree. it's always a helpful notion to make the very first and
constant thought of interactivity is "what do they get for their
effort" then. avoid programming so any effort could be construed as
"the wrong thing", just whatever input, gets variant output. that's
just basic interface work.

the real world just behaves how it does, no wrong/right, it's just
harder to account for. we can fall short in accounting for it, but
the world isn't always going to cover for our short comings. we
can't realistically expect that.

> This is part of the moral territory of interactivity, and is a
>feature, not a bug. :-)

sorry, rob, but this conclusion seems like it came from outer space.
have no idea how you got there.

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

Rhizome ArtBase Exhibitions

Visit the third ArtBase Exhibition "Raiders of the Lost ArtBase," curated by
Michael Connor of FACT and designed by scroll guru Dragan Espenschied.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 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 10, number 18. 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.

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