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: 5.22.05
Date: Sun, 22 May 2005 11:45:44 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: May 22, 2005


1. Jess Loseby: doc-u project: participate (resent)
2. Chuck Mobley: C5 AT San Francisco Camerawork
3. Soil Media Suite: International Symposium & Event: re:mote regina

4. robert rowe: teaching position: multimedia, Fulltime Temporary - for fall

5. Emil Bach Soerensen: An Experience with Your Body in Space! -Interview
with Camille Utterback

6. Geert Dekkers: Fwd: <nettime> The Ghost in the Network
7. Joy Garnett: Art & Blogging: Recap

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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 Lauren Cornell
at LaurenCornell AT

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Date: 5.18.05
From: Jess Loseby <jess AT>
Subject: doc-u project: participate (resent)

doc-u is an interactive installation made up of visual self-documentation.
The project exploits user-friendly technology (mobile phone cams and
Macromedia Flash) to allow multiple images to be shown simultaneously. The
project focuses on the beauty of the ordinary, the domestic and the lo-tech
.The installation draws on popular culture and a viewer's familiarity with
concepts of self-documentation, video diaries and docu- soaps to encourage
participation and overcome fear of technology.

Jess Loseby and the Babylon Gallery ( have
been holding workshops with schools and community groups local to the
gallery using 5 mobile camera phones. The participants were asked to
randomly document themselves and their environment in a set time. They were
encouraged not to delete or alter any images, as part of the aesthetic of
the installation was to highlight the beautiful 'accidents' and to dismiss
attempts to 'make art'. The project is now open across the Internet to
everyone. If you would like to participate please see the guidelines below.
There is no age limit, focus or geographical restriction placed on the
submissions. The youngest participant in the project is currently 3 years
old - the oldest, 70!

Doc_u is online now at and will be shown at the
Babylon Gallery Saturday 11 June - Sunday 24 July

Participate [and win a phone!]

doc_u is now open to anyone who would like to participate in the project.
You can enter a doc_u by yourself or in small (3 or under) groups. If you
would like to participate you will need:1. A mobile phone with a camera (If
you live in the UK, near the Babylon gallery you can borrow a "library
phone" to use in the project. Email jess AT for more
details.]2. An email account3. If you are under 16, you will also need a
signed consent form from a parent or guardian. These are available at this

Participants will be entered into a Competition to win the 5 mobile camera
and video phones used in the making of this artwork (winners from groups
will still win a phone each). To be eligible for the competition you must:
a) include a contact email or phone number with your submission
b) if under 16, you must have returned a signed consent form from a parent
or guardian (

Please see for guidelines, online or email submission
and information.


Internet and Babylon Gallery 2005

Jess Loseby

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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: 5.19.05
From: Chuck Mobley <chuck AT>
Subject: C5 AT San Francisco Camerawork

C5 Landscape Initiatives
May 24-June 25, 2005
Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 24, 5-8 pm
C5 artists include: Steve Durie, Bruce Gardner, Amul Goswamy, Matt Mays,
Joel Slayton, Brett Stalbaum, Jack Toolin and Geri Wittig.

San Francisco Camerawork presents The C5 Landscape Initiative, an exhibition
featuring work by C5 Corporation, a new media collective based in San Jose,
California. The Landscape Initiative is the culmination of three years of
research and documentation of C5's performative expeditions into the
landscape through Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and big data
analyses. C5 is interested in how people interact with data, and how data
influences the way we interact with our environment.

The exhibition will include media installations that blend innovative uses
of digital technologies to explore, navigate and map the landscape on both
sides of the globe. Presented through work generated by database software
developed by C5, this exhibition features digital photographic prints,
fabricated sculptural objects, 3D visualizations and digital video. The
exhibition will allow viewers to interact with C5's expeditions, while
exploring our relationships to the land in a data driven world.

Through a collaboration with the Whitney Museum's Artport site, you will be able to access The C5 Landscape
Initiative GPS Media Player. The GPS Media Player creates an implicit
timeline and meta narratives for each of the Landscape Initiative projects.
It provides a means of documenting the projects from their point of common
inception, data and process.

San Francisco Camerawork is located at 1246 Folsom Street between 8th and
Gallery Hours: 12-5 pm, Tuesday-Saturday
Gallery Admission is F R E E
For more information please visit:

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Date: 5.19.05
From: Soil Media Suite <ngsoil1 AT>
Subject: International Symposium & Event: re:mote regina

re:mote regina is an experimental symposium and international net-based
festival that links new media practitioners and theorists from diverse
areas through a mixture of live and online presentations.

The first festival took place in Auckland New Zealand in March 2005
( The second in the series 're:mote regina' is
about to be held on Friday, May 20 at Soil Digital Media Suite in, Regina,
Canada. (

re:mote: regina will feature on-site and online presentations analysing
the way that digital technologies can augment collaborations across
geographical and cultural distance. Artists and commentators from
Capetown, Auckland, London, Vancouver, Banff, Montreal, Los Angeles,
Toronto, and Newcastle will presentation their work via live video stream to
an audience in Regina. Artists from Regina and Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)
will also present their work onsite. re:mote regina is to be an ongoing
series of events, which will take place at locations around the world.
re:mote: auckland was the global premiere of this series.

re:mote explores questions like: what does it mean to be remote in an
electronic art world? Are there 'centres' and 'peripheries' within a world
increasingly bridged, criss-crossed and mapped by digital technologies?
Can technologically mediated communication ever substitute for
face-to-face dialogue? Is geographical diversity a factor in contemporary
art production? Is remote a relative concept?

Particpants include:
Jen Hamilton (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Dr. Shiela Petty (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Dr. Daryl Hepting (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Trevor Cunningham (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Jirayu Uttaranakorn (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Jeff Mortens (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Carrie Gates (Saskatooon, Saskatchewan)
Jon Vaughn (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Sarah Cook (Newcastle, UK)
Marc Tuters (Montreal, Canada)
Thomas Mulcaire (Capetown, South Africa)
Matthew Biederman (Los Angeles, USA)
Zita Joyce (Auckland, New Zealand)
Adam Willetts (Auckland, New Zealand)
The Gates (Vancouver, Canada)
Adam Hoyle (London, UK)
Toby Heys (Montreal, Canada and UK)

Proceedings will be streamed live and a chat room is available. For more
information about how to participate remotely please visit:

For a schedule and timezone converter please visit:

Additionally, with the second in this series (re:mote regina) the remote
series is experimenting with telematic workshops. Utilising standard
technologies it is hoped a model for these workshops can be established.
The first trial of this model will be a workshop on MAX/MPS/Jitter lead by
Matthew Biederman. Matthew will be leading the workshop from Los Angeles
and the particpants will be in SoilMedia Lab (Regina, Canada).

re:mote regina

re:mote regina is a collaboration between r a d i o q u a l i a and
Soil Digital Media Suite.

r a d i o q u a l i a

SoilMedia Lab

Soil wishes to acknowledge funding support from the Department of Canadian
Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the
Daniel Langlois Foundation for the Arts and SMPIA.

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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.

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Date: 5.19.05
From: robert rowe <rowe AT>
Subject: teaching position: multimedia, Fulltime Temporary - for fall 2005

The Multimedia Program at Bradley University seeks a faculty member with
cutting edge digital production skills to teach and create in an innovative
undergraduate program.

Anticipated Position for Academic Year 2005-2006: Temporary Instructor,
Full-Time, Multimedia. The Multimedia Program at Bradley University is
seeking a technologically sophisticated candidate to fill a full-time,
non-tenure-track position requiring teaching and creative production.

Teach interactive-program production courses in Multimedia, including (from
among) web work, CD/DVD/Kiosk development, video production, digital
photography, and/or animation/virtual environments; conduct New Media
creative production; provide the Slane College with multimedia training and

Temporary (non-tenure-track) Instructor. Temporary full-time positions are
contracted for one-year appointments that may be renewed for additional
one-year appointments at the discretion of the university.

Required: Bachelor's degree in new media-related discipline. Record of
successful university teaching. Cross platform experience relevant to an
Apple computing environment. Evidence of successful (professional and/or
published) multimedia design and production experience. Facility with
production software, for example including Director, Dreamweaver, Photoshop,
InDesign, Final Cut, Avid, Quark, Flash, PowerPoint, LightWave, QTVR, or
similar software).

Preferred: Professional computer-related job experience. Video production
and/or animation experience a plus.

Appropriate to degree requirements.
Starting Date
August, 2005.

Applicants may send digital files of application materials. Hard copy of
application and vita/resume also required, along with contact information
for three current references to:

Edward Lee Lamoureux, Ph. D.
Director, Multimedia Program
Bradley University
Peoria, IL 61625

ell AT

Online or digital materials may be submitted as supplementary aspects of the
application file. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue
until position is filled.

Bradley University, highly rated by U.S. News and World Report, is an
independent, comprehensive university enrolling 6000 students. Midway
between Chicago and St. Louis, Peoria hosts numerous professional arts
organizations and is home for many interactive media firms and outlets.

The Multimedia Program is in the Slane College of Communication and Fine
Arts with the Departments of Art, Communication, Music, and Theatre Arts and
consists of approximately 100 majors (and additional minors) taking course
work in Art/Graphic Design, Communication/Audio and Video, Multimedia, and
supporting departments (music, computer science, education, sociology). The
program is unique among its peers and offers students and faculty numerous
opportunities for professional and collaborative sponsored projects.
Bradley's renowned Caterpillar Global Communication Center, completed in
1996, is home to the Multimedia Program and the Department of Communication.
The CGCC houses computer labs, videoconference facilities, high-end
multimedia classrooms and technology and the interdisciplinary
radio-television facilities associated with the Department of Communication.
The Multimedia Program also utilizes facilities in the Heuser Art Center,
the home of Multimedia's other interd!
isciplinary partner, the Department of Art.

Visit Bradley University online at:
Visit the Slane College of Communication and Fine Arts at:
Visit the Multimedia Program at:

Bradley University is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.
The administration, faculty and staff are committed to attracting qualified
candidates from groups currently underrepresented on our campus.

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Date: 5.17.05
From: Emil Bach Soerensen <emilsoe AT>
Subject: An Experience with Your Body in Space! -Interview with Camille

Originally published at Artificial,
Article with images and links:

An Experience with Your Body in Space!
- Interview with Camille Utterback

Camille Utterback, a digital artist from New York, is famous for her
interactive installations and her use of advanced video tracking technology.
Emil Bach Soerensen met her for a talk about Untitled 5, a generative
artwork where the physical presence of the audience has agency in a real
time painting process. Utterback received one of the transmediale.05 awards
for this piece. The talk about Utterback's video tracked universe turned out
as an alternative route involving visions about the artwork as an opening,
intuition in the process of coding and a strong claim for embodiment in the
digital age.

Q: You just won an award for your piece Untitled 5 here at Transmediale.
Congratulations! Maybe you should describe the work with your own words, now
that we are standing in front of it.

A: Ok! Well, I sometimes thought of it as a living painting, but this isn't
quite right because it has a momentum that is more like a kinetic sculpture.
It's a system that has rules about how things can move in it, and then these
rules are combined to make an overall composition. We can watch these people
that are walking through! The first thing that happens when you enter the
video tracked area is that you see grey marks around your body. Then your
trajectory is filled with a red line. As soon as you have left your
position, other little marks appear along that line. This is marking
different kinds of time. The little grey lines are there immediately but
they don't leave any trace, they are just the immediate presence.

Q: The presence of the body in spaceâ?¦

A: Yes exactly, and then the path is the more boiled down idea of how you
moved. Basically it's your centre point that I'm tracking. This is showing
where you have moved over time. It's also paying attention to the speed of
your movement since this will determine the size of the marks on the
trajectory line, so it creates variation this way as well. Let's look at the
piece again! What happens now is that he has moved across the line that the
other person put, and all these greenish marks that were along the first
person's path got pushed out of the way, and then they draw as they return
to their original location. It's like second or third order movement because
the marks don't draw when they are pushed out of the way; they draw when
they are going back. In this work I am conceptually interested in thinking
about movement or connections between people. I'm making an abstract
visualization about how people intersected in time.

Q: Layering traces of different persons - is that adding a social dimension
to your work? At the press conference you said that Untitled 5 is not very
socially or politically engaged. How social is your work?

A: I think it is socially engaged, because obviously people have some
dynamics with each other in front of Untitled 5. You can have more than one
person negotiating how to move in the video tracked area. If they are
friends or not friends they might interact differently. Strangers might
start moving in different ways when they see each others movements here, so
it's definitely a social piece. And â?? I don't know if this is very social
- but it's definitely a process of discovering and exploring yourself in the

Q: You also said to the press that your piece creates some kind of an
opening. Can you try to explain that a bit more?

A: Ah! It is hard to talk about that without sounding weird or spiritual but
I do feel that if people have an experience in this piece where they are
open to questioning things, thenâ?¦
I think the process goes like: â??Oh this thing is reacting to me!' And then
you ask: â??Well, how is it reacting to me?' There is nothing written in
here, so the only way to discover that is to try things out, and you start
thinking: â??What happens if I try this? What happens if I try that?' I
think this questioning mode puts you in a state where you are present, aware
and very open. And I also believe that you are most creative, when you are
in that kind of mode. As an artist I have to put myself in that mindset to
make the work.
I guess it's about allowing yourself to be in a space where you don't really
know what you are doing and where you don't really know what is going on,
but where you are engaged. I like to think that helping people to have that
kind of experience might change how they approach things in a very
subconscious way after they leave this space. I don't know if it is possible
to transfer the experience directly, but I feel strongly that it is
important to have these kinds of open spaces in our social reality.

Q: This sounds very much like an artist in general, and it goes for many
works of art. But in terms of being a computer artist I tend to think of
programming as something rational. And you talk about being intuitive and
loosing yourself. How do these two sides correspond? Rational programming
and being intuitive at the same timeâ?¦

A: Well, how I work drives some of my friends crazy! I think there are
different ways for working with technology. It is complicated and you do
have to code and sit down and work out these problems, which is a little
less direct than using a paintbrush. The more you do it, the more it becomes
like using a paintbrush, but it still doesn't feel quite so viscerally
connected to me.
I think some artists work in a way where they have planned everything, and
have a very specific vision or goal for what they are trying to do. Then you
can almost hire someone, to do the technological part of the work. But I am
doing my own programming and I have to do that because I didn't have a
specific vision about how this piece should look like when I started. I
began playing and developed these systems. In the same way as you would
compose a painting I layered it together in the end. But it was always trial
and error. In that process you get to a lot of dead ends where you feel:
â??Oh it's really ugly today'. You have to not freak out when you get to
these dead ends and stay open to your ideas.

Q: Maybe you can you tell a bit about the technical aspects of your work?
For someone who is not into programming already!

A: It is pretty simple. A video camera is an excellent input device, because
it gives so many points of information. A computer mouse is one point in
action-wise space. But if you think about all the pixels in a camera image
as information, it really contains a lot of information about the space!
Now, the tricky part is to decipher that image to decide where a person is.
I do that by take a still image of the space with nobody in it when the
program starts, and then I'm working at every frame that is coming into the
camera and comparing it to the picture of the empty space to tell if there
is somebody there. The difference between the images is the person.
What is a little harder is to figure out from frame to frame if it's the
same person. It is amazing what we do automatically in our brains! Like the
idea that just because someone is here, and now here, it's the same person.
The only way that I can do that is to compare if the image of the person is
overlapping in the different frames. When they overlap by a certain amount
I'm going to assume that it's the same person.

Q: And it might not beâ?¦

A: Right! When it's not, it's because we were become to touch shoulders and
then come back apart. Then it's impossible for me to tell exactly what
happened. And there is also another problem which is philosophical but
interesting. How do I decide if a person is standing still? What is the real
definition of stillness? In coding you are making assumptions and
simplifying things to a certain degree. My rule about stillness is that a
shape is overlapping between frames in time and the centre of it is not
varying by more than say 20 pixels. But that is arbitrary, I could say 5
pixels, and then you would have to be so still that nobody could do it.

Q: We are obviously standing in front of some kind of an interface here, but
not a normal Human Computer Interface. What is your opinion about interfaces
if we talk about computer culture in general? In which way do you think the
design of HCI is developing and how can your work inspire for the
development of new designs or new ways of perceiving HCI?

A: I don't know if video tracking will become a practical interface for
doing the work tasks we have to do on our computers. But I hope that if
people see this piece then afterwards they might be a little pickier about
the interfaces that are surrounding us more and more. Everything has its own
interface. You are an interface and the bank machine is an interface. But a
lot of the interfaces that we are surrounded by are designed terribly, so
they make us feel stupid and frustrated.
It is like the classical problem about the door handle. Donald Norman is a
writer and designer and he talks about how you see everywhere these doors
that have the sign â??PUSH' or â??PULL' on them, which is absurd. What it
means is that the handle looks exactly the same on both sides, so you have
no clue whether you are supposed to push or pull. If the door handle is
designed well, you don't even think you just push or pull because it is so
obvious from how the handle is that this is what you should do. Even though
there are these signs people are always doing the wrong thing! I think it's
a very good lesson about design that people react in an amazing and
intuitive way to the things they meet. If you get frustrated by a design,
it's not you but the designer that is dumb. With HCI it's the same problem -
it's a little more complicated than with the door but it is the same issue.

Q: What you are saying is that HCI has to work in a more intuitive way?

A: I don't know if it needs to be more intuitive, but it needs to be well
designed, so that your instincts about how it should work make sense. Here,
with the video tracking, I give you a clue which should make you understand
something about the system. Part of the problem is that with interfaces you
don't necessarily have a real world metaphor or experience with it. So since
it is all virtual you have to be even clearer about the clues that you give
people. This is why the whole desktop metaphor caught on so well at first,
because it gave people a way to think about these paths. To delete something
is abstract, but everybody knows what it means to throw something in the
garbage can, so that icon helped people to understand the activity.
Now the desktop metaphor is starting to be not functional. There are tons of
interfaces where this metaphor becomes unwieldy. We have so many files now
that there are better ways to show information than by using folder
structures. So probably interfaces based on desktop metaphors will migrate
into other ways of showing information. Anyway, I hope that people who have
an experience with Untitled 5 can maybe also make the leap to say: â??Why do
these other experiences with HCI have to be so frustrating?'

Q: So it is about giving people good experiences with computers?

A: Yeah! I think most people who see this piece don't think that they are
having an experience with a computer or a computational system. I think they
are having an experience with their body in the space. Machines and the
technology disappear when it becomes part of our life. We don't think of
turning on the light as having an interaction with technology, but of course
it is. You are having a very complicated interaction with the whole system
of electricity; including wires, switching machines etc. But because the
interaction is not causing you problems, and you understand the metaphor for
switching on the light, it disappears from our thinking about it as
technology because it just works!

Q: Does it matter to you where your works are exhibited? I mean, we are now
at a festival for new media art, but when the technology behind the pieces
disappear the works could as well be exhibited on any art festival?

A: Yes, definitely. This topic was part of what we were talking about in the
panel discussions. Is it bad in a way to show this work in the context of
new media, because does that mean that it's not just contemporary art? But I
think the reality is that it is still hard for a lot of traditional art
spaces to show a piece like this. They are not sure how to talk about it,
and they are not sure how to sell it. Yet! And it does involve some amount
of cables and cameras etc.
It is important for me to be in a festival like this. Also, because when you
are with other people dealing with similar issues, you get a lot of good
feedback. I had a gallery show in New York recently and I even got a review
in Art in America which is a big art publication, but it was not helpful to
me at all, because all the review did was to describe very basically:
â??Here is the piece and when you move it reacts to you'. It didn't say
anything about the aesthetic issues and all the things that we have been
talking about! People on this festival are thinking about these issues, so I
get a lot of good feedback which I wouldn't get in other contexts. Hopefully
that will change over time.

Q: We already talked about crossing the border to design. You are both an
artist, you teach on Parsons School of Design and you have your own firm,
Creative Nerve, which, in addition to your works, is trying to see how your
artistic ambitions can be transformed into design and communicative
strategies. I know that you have done pieces for Children's Museum in
Pittsburg and for The American Museum of Natural History. How do you see
that artistic ambitions, and now we are talking about digital art, can be
transformed into new designs and new ways of communication?

A: Occasionally I have done pieces where there is a specific goal of
communicating something through the work. For The American Museum of Natural
History, the show that I was in was about the human genome, and it was a
very didactic exhibit. They wanted an experience for people that made them a
little more self reflective. My piece was exhibited in the last room, where
you saw yourself on a screen, but turned into letters. We were hoping that
this experience would raise some awareness in people about the question:
â??What is a representation of yourself?'. DNA describes a certain way of
looking at yourself, but you are so much more than that, which was what they
were trying to show in the exhibit.
My work is trying to bring the bodily experience back into technology. You
always use your body. You use your body when you are typing on the keyboard
and when you are moving the mouse around. But these activities are only
activating a very limited amount of our body and a limited amount of your
knowledge about the world. It could be interesting to take some of the other
things we do really well or know well into account. Human beings have
evolved over millions of years and we always had a body, which we sometimes
tend to forget! Using the body is actually how we first learn about the

Q: So, this is important to remember as things get more and more digital and
immaterial, you would say!

A: Yes! A lot of my works deal with the sense of embodiment. I have a piece
called Liquid Time which is playing with the idea that in English you say:
â??Where do you stand on this issue? What is your point of view?' All these
things imply that you have a body somewhere in the world, and that we use
the body to refer to consciousness or intellect. So I'm really interested in
the idea that we have a body and how integral that is to who we are and how
we function and that it sometimes gets lost in all our media.

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Date: 5.17.05
From: Geert Dekkers <geert AT>
Subject: Fwd: <nettime> The Ghost in the Network

The last post wasabout something on nettime, not rhizome. So to correct
myself -- here's the piece to which I referred...


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker <galloway AT>
> Date: 16 mei 2005 18:56:01 GMT+02:00
> To: nettime-l AT
> Subject: <nettime> The Ghost in the Network
> Reply-To: Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker <galloway AT>
> The Ghost in the Network
> In discussing the difference between the living and the nonliving,
> Aristotle points to the phenomena of self-organized animation and
> motility as the key aspects of a living thing. For Aristotle the
> "form-giving Soul" enables inanimate matter to become a living organism.
> If life is animation, then animation is driven by a final cause. But the
> cause is internal to the organism, not imposed from without as with
> machines. Network science takes up this idea on the mathematical plane,
> so that geometry is the soul of the network. Network science proposes
> that heterogeneous network phenomena can be understood through the
> geometry of graph theory, the mathematics of dots and lines. An
> interesting outcome of this is that seemingly incongruous network
> phenomena can be grouped according to their similar geometries. For
> instance the networks of AIDS, terrorist groups, or the economy can be
> understood as having in common a particular pattern, a particular set of
> relations between dots (nodes) and lines (edges). A given topological
> pattern is what cultivates and sculpts information within networks. To
> in-form is thus to give shape to matter (via organization or
> self-organization) through the instantiation of form--a network
> hylomorphism.
> But further, the actualized being of the living network is also defined
> in political terms. "No central node sits in the middle of the spider
> web, controlling and monitoring every link and node. There is no single
> node whose removal could break the web. A scale-free network is a web
> without a spider" [1]. Having-no-spider is an observation about
> predatory hierarchy, or the supposed lack thereof, and is therefore a
> deeply political observation. In order to make this unnerving jump--from
> math (graph theory), to technology (the Internet), to politics ("a web
> without a spider")--politics needs to be seen as following the necessary
> and "natural" laws of mathematics; that is, networks need to be
> understood as "an unavoidable consequence of their evolution" [2]. In
> network science, the "unavoidable consequence" of networks often
> resembles something like neoliberal democracy, but a democracy which
> naturally emerges according to the "power law" of decentralized
> networks. Like so, their fates are twisted together.
> Rhetorics of Freedom
> While tactically valuable in the fight against proprietary software,
> open source is ultimately flawed as a political program. Open source
> focuses on code in isolation. It fetishizes all the wrong things:
> language, originality, source, the past, status. To focus on inert,
> isolated code is to ignore code in its context, in its social relation,
> in its real experience, or actual dynamic relations with other code and
> other machines. Debugging never happens through reading the source code,
> only through running the program. Better than open source would be open
> runtime which would prize all the opposites: open articulation, open
> iterability, open practice, open becoming.
> But this is also misleading and based in a rhetoric around the relative
> openness and closedness of a technological system. The rhetoric goes
> something like this: technological systems can either be closed or open.
> Closed systems are generally created by either commercial or state
> interests-courts regulate technology, companies control their
> proprietary technologies in the market place, and so on. Open systems,
> on the other hand, are generally associated with the public and with
> freedom and political transparency. Geert Lovink contrasts "closed
> systems based on profit through control and scarcity" with "open,
> innovative standards situated in the public domain" [3]. Later, in his
> elucidation of Castells, he writes of the opposite, a "freedom hardwired
> into code" [4]. This gets to the heart of the freedom rhetoric. If it's
> hardwired is it still freedom? Instead of guaranteeing freedom, the act
> of "hardwiring" suggests a limitation on freedom. And in fact that is
> precisely the case on the Internet where strict universal standards of
> communication have been rolled out more widely and more quickly than in
> any other medium throughout history. Lessig and many others rely heavily
> on this rhetoric of freedom.
> We suggest that this opposition between closed and open is flawed. It
> unwittingly perpetuates one of today's most insidious political myths,
> that the state and capital are the two sole instigators of control.
> Instead of the open/closed opposition we suggest the pairing
> physical/social. The so-called open logics of control, those associated
> with (non proprietary) computer code or with the Internet protocols,
> operate primarily using a physical model of control. For example,
> protocols interact with each other by physically altering and amending
> lower protocological objects (IP prefixes its header onto a TCP data
> object, which prefixes its header onto an HTTP object, and so on). But
> on the other hand, the so-called closed logics of state and commercial
> control operate primarily using a social model of control. For, example,
> Microsoft's commercial prowess is renewed via the social activity of
> market exchange. Or, using another example, Digital Rights Management
> licenses establish a social relationship between producers and
> consumers, a social relationship backed up by specific legal realities
> (DMCA). Viewed in this way, we find it self evident that physical
> control (i.e. protocol) is equally powerful if not more so than social
> control. Thus, we hope to show that if the topic at hand is one of
> control, then the monikers of "open" and "closed" simply further confuse
> the issue. Instead we would like to speak in terms of "alternatives of
> control" whereby the controlling logic of both "open" and "closed"
> systems is brought out into the light of day.
> Political Animals
> Aristotle's famous formulation of "man as a political animal" takes on
> new meanings in light of contemporary studies of biological
> self-organization. For Aristotle, the human being was first a living
> being, with the additional capacity for political being. In this sense,
> biology becomes the presupposition for politics, just as the human
> being's animal being serves as the basis for its political being. But
> not all animals are alike. Deleuze distinguishes three types of animals:
> domestic pets (Freudian, anthropomorphized Wolf-Man), animals in nature
> (the isolated species, the lone wolf), and packs (multiplicities). It is
> this last type of animal--the pack--which provides the most direct
> counter-point to Aristotle's formulation, and which leads us to pose a
> question: If the human being is a political animal, are there also
> animal politics? Ethnologists and entymologists would think so. The ant
> colony and insect swarm has long been used in science fiction and horror
> as the metaphor for the opposite of Western, liberal democracies. Even
> the language used in biology still retains the remnants of sovereignty:
> the queen bee, the drone. What, then, do we make of theories of
> biocomplexity and swarm intelligence, which suggest that there is no
> "queen" but only a set of localized interactions which self-organize
> into a whole swarm or colony? Is the "multitude" a type of animal
> multiplicity? Such probes seem to suggest that Aristotle based his
> formulation on the wrong kinds of animals. "You can't be one wolf," of
> course. "You're always eight or nine, six or seven" [5].
> Ad Hoc
> Unplug from the grid. Plug into your friends. Adhocracy will rule.
> Autonomy and security will only happen when telecommunications operate
> around ad hoc networking. Syndicate yourself to the locality.
> Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker
> + + +
> [1] Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Linked (Cambridge: Perseus Publishing,
> 2002), p. 221.
> [2] Ibid.
> [3] Geert Lovink, My First Recession (Rotterdam: V2, 2003), p. 14.
> [4] Ibid., p. 47.
> [5] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (Minneapolis:
> University of Minnesota Press, 1987), p. 29.
> # distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
> # <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
> # collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
> # more info: majordomo AT and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
> # archive: contact: nettime AT

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Date: 5.18.05
From: joy.garnett AT
Subject: Art & Blogging: Recap

Special to Rhizome: Art & Blogging: Recap
NEWSgrist - where spin is art
Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 09:46 AM in Panels + Roundtabels | Permalink:

[image] < L to R: Chris Ashley, Patrick May, and Liza Sabater.

Last night's Blogging and the Arts Part 2 at the New Museum was fun.
Nice to finally meet some veteran bloggers whom I admire, and good to
see old bloggy/art pals. I offered an abbreviated version of the talk
I gave in Sept '04 at Columbia (and later elsewhere) about that ol'
frivolous copyright dispute hurled at me last year. Since I usually
present this story in the context of open source culture, art and
appropriation, fair use and copyright, survival skills for artists
etc., it felt good to do so in light of the blog phenomenon--without
which I would have had nothing much to tell in the first place. I put
some nice screen shots together.

Liza followed with a condensed recap of her recent forays into the
realm of activist blogging, and invited us to check out her new sister
blogs and other new developments over at culturekitchen. She mentioned
a relatively new nonprofit org called that
proffers an interesting model for building open source community
software. She dashed in straight from their all-day Users Conference
at The Tank in mid-town. That Liza's a busy one.

Next came Patrick May, who described the logic behind his experimental
portfolio-cum-blog, He has written a program that
publishes one's portfolio--just as it is organized on one's hard
drive--as a blog while preserving things like categories. A clever
publishing tool specifically conceived for visual artists, that allows
them to avoid redundant tasks (like creating duplicate subdirectories
and folders to upload images...yuck). And one ends up with not yet
another static site, but a portfolio-blog that has feeds and can be
aggregated. Very cool. Patrick is part of the artists' community

Last was Chris Ashley who took more time (it's nice being last), waxed
philosophical about weblogs and their potential, and commented on how
he (we) rely on weblogs as opposed to Art Mags for up-to-date
information. Frankly, he could have gone longer and I would have been
happy to keep listening. He also showed us some of his html work and
its precursors, and talked about the contrary notion of art as an
"open source" phenomenon. And yes, about how blogs function as test
beds for artists and are part of a process-oriented mindset.

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