The Rhizome Digest merged into the Rhizome News in November 2008. These pages serve as an archive for 6-years worth of discussions and happenings from when the Digest was simply a plain-text, weekly email.

Subject: RHIZOME DIGEST: 7.17.05
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 16:26:50 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: July 17, 2005


1. Francis Hwang: Coming next week: A new front page for

2. Jo-Anne Green: Turbulence Spotlight: "1001 nights cast" by Barbara
3. Ryan Griffis: Fwd: Invitation / Day-to-Day Data Project Launch
4. matthew fuller: software: OPEN HISTORY TIMELINE v1.1

5. Kevin McGarry: FW: Announcement for "Project 2005"

6. Thomas Petersen: Stars Fading on the Web - An Interview with Olia Lialina

+commissioned for
7. Ryan Griffis: Fielding Questions: Notes on the Fieldworks Symposium

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Rhizome is now offering Organizational Subscriptions, group memberships
that can be purchased at the institutional level. These subscriptions allow
participants at institutions to access Rhizome's services without
having to purchase individual memberships. For a discounted rate, students
or faculty at universities or visitors to art centers can have access to
Rhizome?s archives of art and text as well as guides and educational tools
to make navigation of this content easy. Rhizome is also offering
subsidized Organizational Subscriptions to qualifying institutions in poor
or excluded communities. Please visit for
more information or contact Lauren Cornell at LaurenCornell AT

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Date: 7.16.05
From: Francis Hwang <francis AT>
Subject: Coming next week: A new front page for

Hi everyone,

Starting next week, you'll be seeing a change in the front page here at
Rhizome. Currently the front page features artworks and texts from
inside the Rhizome site. But we've added a heavily-modified version of
Eyebeam's ReBlog software ( ), so the front page
will soon combine great texts from inside Rhizome with the best memes
from the internet as a whole.

The goal is for the front page to become a quick, easy filter for the
entire field of new media arts online--both for our current Rhizome
users and Members, and for anybody else who might be interested in the
field but not know where to start looking. At the same time, Superusers
will continue to enrich the archives by adding metadata to our internal
content. (External content will not be added to the archives.)

And another note: This new front page will be based on the consumption
of RSS feeds. So if you have any sort of new media arts site of your
own, and it's got an RSS feed attached to it, make sure to send that my
way so I can forward it to all the Superusers. And if you've got a site
without RSS, well, what are you waiting for?

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology

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Date: 7.11.05
From: Jo-Anne Green <jo AT>
Subject: Turbulence Spotlight: "1001 nights cast" by Barbara Campbell

July 11, 2005
Turbulence Spotlight: "1001 nights cast" by Barbara Campbell
In "1001 nights cast," Barbara Campbell performs a short text-based work
for 1001 consecutive nights. The performance is relayed as a live webcast
to anyone, anywhere, at sunset. A frame story written by the artist
introduces the project?s nightly performances. It is a survival story and
it creates the context for subsequent stories generated daily through
writer/performer collaborations made possible by the reach of the

Each morning Campbell reads journalists? reports covering events in the
Middle East. She selects a prompt word or phrase that leaps from the page
with generative potential. She renders the prompt in watercolor and posts
it in its new pictorial form on the website. Participants are then invited
to write a story using that day?s prompt in a submission of up to 1001
words. The writing deadline expires three hours before that night's

"1001 nights cast" is a project generated by the forces of that great
compendium of Arabian tales, The 1001 Nights also known as The Arabian
Nights. The project explores the theatrics of the voiced story, the need
for framing devices, the strategies for survival, the allure of the Middle
East and its contrasting realities.


Barbara Campbell is an Australian artist who works primarily in the medium
of performance. Since 1982 she has worked with the specific physical and
contextual properties of a given site, be it art gallery, museum, atrium,
tower, radio airwaves and now the internet, in developing and presenting
her works.

After completing undergraduate degrees in fine arts and art history,
Campbell was awarded a Master of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the
Arts, The University of Sydney in 1998. She has undertaken residencies at
Griffith University, Queensland, The University of Melbourne, The
University of Sydney and the Australia Council studios in Santa Monica and
New York. In 1994 the NSW Ministry for the Arts awarded her the Women and
Arts Fellowship and in 2004 she received one of four Fellowship grants
awarded by the Visual Arts/Craft Board of the Australia Council for the

For more Turbulence Spotlights please visit

Untitled Document Jo-Anne Green, Co-Director
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.:
New York: 917.548.7780 ? Boston: 617.522.3856
New American Radio:
Networked_Performance Blog and Conference:

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Rhizome ArtBase Exhibitions

Visit the fourth ArtBase Exhibition "City/Observer," curated by
Yukie Kamiya of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and
designed by T.Whid of MTAA.

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Date: 7.11.05
From: ryan griffis <grifray AT>
Subject: Fwd: Invitation / Day-to-Day Data Project Launch

Begin forwarded message:
> You are warmly invited to the launch of the Day-to-Day Data project on
> Wednesday 20 July from 6 ? 8pm at Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham.
> Day-to-Day Data is a national touring exhibition, publication and
> web-based exhibition curated by artist Ellie Harrison.
> It features newly commissioned work by: Abigail Reynolds, Adele
> Prince, Anders Bojen & Kristoffer Ørum, Christian Nold, Cleo Broda,
> Ellie Harrison, Gabrielle Sharp, Hannah Brown, Helen Frosi, Hywel
> Davies, James Coupe, Hedley Roberts & Rob Saunders, Jem Finer, Kevin
> Carter, Lucy Kimbell, Mary Yacoob, Richard Dedomenici, Sam Curtis,
> Therese Stowell, Tim Taylor and Tony Kemplen.
> If you are unable to make the launch, then you can find out plenty of
> information about the project and the artists involved on the
> exhibition website:
> The web-based exhibition featuring new work by Adele Prince, Anders
> Bojen & Kristoffer Ørum, Jem Finer and Kevin Carter also launches on
> 20 July and will be viewable on the Day-to-Day Data website.
> Angel Row Gallery
> Central Library Building
> 3 Angel Row
> Nottingham
> NG1 6HP
> Exhibition Dates: Wednesday 20 July ? Wednesday 7 September 2005
> Launch Event: Wednesday 20 July, 6 ? 8pm
> Open: Monday ? Saturday, 10am ? 5pm, Wednesday, 10am ? 7pm

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Date: 7.13.05
From: matthew fuller <fuller AT>
Subject: software: OPEN HISTORY TIMELINE v1.1


The Open History Timeline v1.1 (OHT) is an open-source
content-management system designed to support online community-based
history writing. It is a system that can be used to work
collaboratively on defining and writing history about any subject you
would like. Which questions need to be asked, and which answers are
valid? The OHT is designed with the idea in mind that history is a
practice - not fixed but alive, and invites users to make history
through adding experiences, anecdotes and personal perspectives.
The Open History Timeline is now available for download and can be
used in your own projects. Built on open-source software, you can run
the OHT on any web server with PERL & PHP installed.

Read more, see a working example, and download the files at:

The OHT and were built and designed by
Femke Snelting and Michael Murtaugh. The project was financially
supported by Thuiskopiefonds and Digitale Pioniers. With thanks to
Institute for Network Cultures, Amsterdam.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 2005-2006 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 2005-2006 Rhizome Commissions, eleven artists/groups were selected
to create original works of net art.

The Rhizome Commissions Program is made possible by support from the
Jerome Foundation in celebration of the Jerome Hill Centennial, the
Greenwall Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and
the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support has
been provided by members of the Rhizome community.

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Date: 7.15.05
From: Kevin McGarry <kevin AT>
Subject: FW: Announcement for "Project 2005"

------ Forwarded Message
From: Keisuke Oki <k-oki AT>
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 21:53:26 +0900 (JST)
To: Kevin McGarry <kevin AT>
Subject: Announcement for "Project 2005"

"Project" 2005 - 1st announcement

1. From "Art on the Net" to the new "Project"

2. Call for the nomination

3. The schedule


1. From "Art on the Net" to the new "Project"

>From 1995 to 2003, The Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts hosted the "
Art on the Net" project promoting the Internet as a space for artistic
expression. For nine years, this project had been calling on artists
around the world to investigate the relationship between Art, the
Internet and the Society.

After the years of the "Art on the Net," we launched a new event called
the "Project" last summer. The " Project"
consists of an Internet Art exhibition, artist essays, theoretical
articles, and an online forum.

The Exhibition section of the project will feature recent developments
in Internet Art and is open to all forms of creative expression that use
the Internet as their primary medium. The essays and articles from
artists, critics, curators and other contributors, will be featured in
the Writings section. The Online Forum is open to everyone who is
interested in Internet Art and other hybridized forms of Digital or
Media Art that use network technologies.

Although this project is primarily focused on the latest developments in
the field of Internet Art, we are also very interested in considering
contributions that reflect the influence of Internet Art production on
the wider fields of Media-Art, Digital Art, curatorial practice, digital
pedagogy, and online publishing.

2. Call for the nomination.

This year, the artworks for the exhibition and the " 2005
prize" will be chosen by our Selection Committee. The prize fee for the
top selection will be 200,000 yen.

The members will make their own nominations, but we will accept
nominations from the web also. Please send your nomination to us
directly at our website .

The members of the Selection Committee are:

Mark Amerika (
Susan Hazen (
Akihiro Kubota (
keisuke Oki (
Rick Silva (
You Minowa (Curator, MCMOGATK).

For further information, please visit

3. The schedule

We will accept nominations by mail from 15th, July 2005 to 15th, Sept.

The award-winning artwork will be selected by 30th Sept. The exhibition
will be launched 1st, Nov. 2005. We will soon announce some physical
events to take place in Nov. at the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts,

You Minowa
Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts
webmaster AT


------ End of Forwarded Message

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Purchasing hosting from BroadSpire contributes directly to Rhizome's fiscal
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BroadSpire is a mid-size commercial web hosting provider. After conducting a
thorough review of the web hosting industry, we selected BroadSpire as our
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Date: 7.13.05
From: Thomas Petersen <thomas AT>
Subject: Stars Fading on the Web - An Interview with Olia Lialina

Stars Fading on the Web - An Interview with Olia Lialina

Artificial has previously explored how stars are used in digital artworks
( With remarkable
frequency, digital artists have used stars as aesthetic elements in their

Coincidentally, stars on the web also turned out to be a great interest of
Russian artist Olia Lialina - especially the outer space backgrounds that
once adorned so many pages on the early web. Olia has dealt with these
digital stars in both her texts and artworks. Today these stars are
fading, as the host pages eventually become redesigned and the stars
removed. The disappearing stars are thus poetic examples of the state of
transience that web expressions are born into. Thomas Petersen talked to
Olia about her peculiar interest, which resulted in a discussion about the
ephemeral nature of web expressions and how to archive them.

Interview here:


Thomas Petersen

+45 2048 2585 <> <>

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Date: 7.17.05
Subject: Fielding Questions: Notes on the Fieldworks Symposium

Fielding Questions: Notes on the Fieldworks Symposium
Ryan Griffis

In an April broadcast of the radio program "On the Media," ABC News
editorialist John Stossel was asked why he had invited well known fiction
writer Michael Crichton to appear on one of his programs to discuss
science and the global warming debate. The exchange ended like this:

On the Media's Brooke Gladstone: "In December, you featured novelist
Michael Crichton on 20/20, and you praised him for contradicting something
most people believe and fear. You went on to say that environmental
organizations are fomenting false fears in order to promote agendas and
raise money. Why use a fiction writer to refute the scientific

John Stossel: Because he's famous, and he's interesting, and he's smart,
and he writes books that lots of people read, and I could interview the
scientists for 20/20, but more people will pay attention when this
particular smart fiction writer says it.
( )

This particular exchange is interesting to consider in light of debates
around all manner of cultural and scientific developments, including stem
cell research, evolution, sex education and energy production just to name
a few. What makes this interesting to me is the visible and unashamed
collision of claims to truth with tactics of representation. Stossel
recognizes that the global warming debate is constructed as a "he said,
she said" debate, so truth claims are only as valid as the prominence of
the person making them, not the verifiability of the claims themselves.
Likewise, the "other side" often points to consensus as verification.

This discussion was in the back of my mind when I attended the Fieldworks
symposium just a month later. Organized through a collaboration between
Departments of Art, Art History, Geography and Architecture at the
University of California, Los Angeles, Fieldworks was designed to discuss
"the emerging relations between geographic sciences and artistic
production" found in the work of certain contemporary practitioners. From
the preliminary program, it was apparent that the two-day event would
attempt this exploration through both creative works and traditional

The first event included a video screening and audio performance within
the space of UCLA's Hammer Museum. Heather Frazar, a recent graduate in
cultural geography from UCLA and one of the organizers of the conference,
presented "Core Matters," a video narrative of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Project Two core sample. This sample of ice, the deepest ice core record
of the Northern Hemisphere at more than 3000m ( ), was
traced from the site of its recovery in remote Greenland to its residency
in an archive at the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver, Colorado,
where it is parceled out for research. By focusing on the language, images
and instruments through which this object of inquiry is understood as one
containing "information," Frazar reveals how scientific knowledge is
produced, distributed and differentiated from other kinds of knowledge.
The difference, for example, between the way the core sample is treated by
the technicians collecting it as a material artifact and those preserving
and distributing it as a container of knowledge illuminates the process of
transformation that occurs as material becomes information.

Following the screening, the LA-based sound artist/activist collective
Ultra-Red ( ) performed a site-specific audio
intervention. Called "Silent/Listen," the performance began with an
interpretation of John Cage's famous silent composition "4'33"," used here
to invoke ACT-UP's famous "Silence=Death" slogan, redirecting attention
away from the phenomenological experience of the space and toward
experiences that may not be seen or heard in the moment, yet are ever
present as we move through any space as an HIV positive or negative (or
somewhere in between) identity. After the scripted silence, pre-arranged
participants were invited to a table to speak of their ongoing battle with
the personal and political ramifications of HIV and AIDS. These speakers'
stories, both deeply personal and polemic, were recorded and mixed into an
increasingly complex montage by the members of Ultra-Red, highlighting key
phrases within ambient and discordant soundscapes. This technique has been
used by the collective before, especially in their collaborations with
activists in LA's fair housing struggles. While it may seem to stretch
Fieldwork's thematic to the point of breaking, Ultra-Red's practice has
been well defined by the group as site-specific and has consistently
tackled perceptual and political conditions as inseparable properties of
space. In this context, the performance, perhaps arguably, offers a
challenge to a science of geography that does not account for its role in
the distribution of housing and health care and especially people.

The next day, formal presentations set the stage for discussions about the
developing exchange occurring between the sciences and aesthetic
production. The presentations ranged from artist and architect Laura
Kurgen's analysis of declassified satellite images to examine the
political implications of imaging technologies and information networks ( ) to Canadian draftsman Juan Geuer's
anecdotal narrative of his experience as an artist and researcher among
geophysicists ( ) and Trevor Paglen's
summary of his performative research on the "black world" of the US
Military's classified defense programs ( ). One common
thread to all of the presenters, aside from the whole geography thing, was
their deliberate transgression of recognized academic fields, while still
maintaining a rigorous relationship with them.

Cross-discipline research, especially between the humanities and
technology-based sciences has become something of a holy grail in academia
(in the US, at least), as both sides seek to capitalize on new funding
sources in an increasingly privatized funding environment. One of the
targets of Fieldworks is the accepted definition of the "field" itself,
i.e., the boundaries that compartmentalize knowledge into discreet regions
that must be defended. University departments now routinely offer joint
degrees, and many art programs have dissolved the traditional walls
between media. This may seem like an academic problem, and perhaps it
largely is, but when Business Journals assert that "the MFA is the new
MBA," the paths of commerce and academia don't seem so divergent ( ).

In this competitive climate, where notions of a science free from
commercial influence have all but disappeared, the distinction between
making something of value and merely illustrating or understanding reality
has become all-important. The production of illustrations --
representations of different phenomena designed to reveal something about
them -- is now merely one step in the development of commercially viable
goods. For the physical sciences, it is a matter of not just reading and
interpreting the world, but of making something from interpretations,
whether it's a new pharmaceutical product, a faster computer processor, or
hydrogen powered cars. While art may not feel the same pressure toward
utilitarianism, the historic struggle of the aesthetic avant-garde to move
beyond illustration, whether one looks at modernist abstraction or
tactical media, is a provocative parallel development.

One of the comments made during the open discussion pointed out that as
social science moves more towards cultural studies (developing a critical
language of its own histories and languages), art seems to be moving
toward invention-oriented and empirical methodologies typical of the
physical and social sciences. In the work of Paglen, Kurgen, and many of
the speakers at Fieldworks, observational instruments that are considered
to be within the domain of science - statistics, geology, astronomy,
physics - are used toward creative ends not exactly familiar to their
origins, but not completely alien to them either. The tools of observation
and recording, considered illustrative in the hands of science, become
generative in the realm of art, where the "performance" of the instruments
is itself a final "product." The comment mentioned above about social
sciences moving towards cultural studies, made by a geographer, may be
true within high academia, where science is indeed becoming more
self-conscious and critical, but perhaps it also has some resonance with
the further commercialization of research within universities, where the
"scientific method" is applied to test the marketability of a particular
research venture. While the geographer most likely intended to reference
the growing numbers of science scholars, like Bruno Latour, who are
creating a critical theory of science, it could be argued that science and
art are becoming complimentary methods of production, both situated in
terms of "markets."

How does all of this impact upon daily life and cultural contexts broader
than museums, classrooms and conferences? Well, Michael Crichton appearing
as an "expert" on climate change may be one instance. The example of John
Stossel citing Crichton as both an expert and a popular figure, is what
Bruno Latour might call iconoclastic. For Latour, iconoclasm - the
renunciation of religious iconography - is used to describe the process
(in Western society) of destroying and creating images in a cyclical
search for truth. In this sense, images can be understood as instruments
that point to what is not immediately visible - and understanding that
encompasses satellite photography as much as religious icons, despite
major differences in how such images relate to notions of information
(see: )
Crichton can be seen as an iconoclast (or Stossel for using him), as he
keeps the distinctions between knowledge production and social conventions
intact while destroying images that seem to represent that distinction -
namely that of specialized experts. Images that are assumed "empty"
vessels of information for scientists, such as photographs of fetuses or
of the planet Earth, can become weaponized icons in fierce ideological
battles. And representatives of the scientific community, in attempts to
keep the distinction between truth and social invention in tact, are
finding themselves on the front lines of battles over such images and
their constructed meanings.

This concern for iconoclasm lay just below the surface of my experience of
the discussions framed by Fieldworks. While there was certainly much to
celebrate in terms of the diversity of practices and the ability of
artists and scientists to blend and stitch together innovative methods for
observing and imagining reality, I wondered if this collision could escape
the confines of professionalism. In many ways, it appears that these
collaborations between disciplines were taking up the role of producing
illustrations and questions about our surroundings that was once expected
to be played by an "autonomous" science. But, what is to prevent any
interdisciplinary effort from become just another, and potentially more
obscure, guarded dialogue? The question for me is how to replace the
"fielded" expert with interdisciplinary and amateur knowledges--without
following an iconoclastic program that seeks to destroy established fields
only to replace them with new, interdisciplinary ones, in a search for
more accurate and descriptive methodologies. In other words, how can the
field be expanded without leaving the position of expert open to Michael
The Fieldworks Art-Geography Symposium was held at the UCLA Hammer Museum
in Los Angeles, May 5-6, 2005

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

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Kevin McGarry (kevin AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 10, number 29. Article submissions to list AT
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