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: 8.07.05
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2005 22:29:05 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: August 7, 2005


1. Francis Hwang: Director of Technology report, July 2005

2. Jeremy Turner: Karl Bartos on!

3. Felix Sattler: Call for Papers: Essay Competition "backup.plaintext"
4. slinn AT Faculty Opportunity at SAIC
5. Paul Slocum: Readme 100 Deadline Approaching

6. Thomas Petersen: 10 Questions for 10 Nordic artists

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7. Nathaniel Stern: Interview with Joshua Goldberg

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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: 8.01.05
From: Francis Hwang <francis AT>
Subject: Director of Technology report, July 2005

(or: what I did on my summer vacation, by Francis Hwang)

For better or for worse, changes keep coming. Below are some of the
bigger ones that happened this past month:

1. New front page
The new front page allows our superusers to cast a broader net,
collating interesting things both from Rhizome Raw and from the broader
world of new media arts online. The backend involved all sorts of
components stuck together inelegantly with chicken wire and duct tape,
but I won't bother you with the details (other than to thank the teams
behind the reBlog and Wordpress projects for putting out said
newly-sticky software). The end result is far more interesting: A front
page that pulls content from all corners of the web. And if you've got
a new-media-arts-related RSS feed out there, please email it to me, so
I can pass it on to all our superusers.

2. Location
From time to time at Rhizome, I get emails that read like this: "Dear
omniscient webmaster, I just moved to [city that is not New York or
London], and would like to find out about the new media arts scene in
the area. Whaddya got for me?" Thus was born our new Location feature,
in which Members can opt-in to display their location. We hope this
will help people build and strengthen new scenes in places outside the
stereotypical art hubs. It's also just sort of cool; right now you can
see that there are at least two Rhizome Members living in Finland.
Shout-out to my peeps in Finland.

Keep an eye out for more cool Location-y features in the future. In the
meantime, browse it all at:

3. Featured Member-curated exhibit

Once a month, we're spotlighting a member-curated exhibit. When such an
exhibit is featured, that means it can be viewed by everyone (not just
Members), and the artworks it points to can be viewed by everyone else.

4. Featured Artwork

We're also featuring an artwork once a month; this art will be out of
the Rhizome Archives and viewable to everybody. As of now, this work is
"Nio", by Jim Andrews.

5. Member RSS

Every single Member can have an RSS feed, which will track their texts,
artworks, and member-curated exhibits. This was rolled out last month,
and it's pretty cool to see an extra 300 feeds added to our list of RSS
feeds ... However, I have to admit this first phase of the features
isn't quite done, since I think there's something a little off about
the updating of this feeds ... With any luck, I'll get the gremlins out
of this feature this week or the next.

That's it for now. Please be generous with the feedback--do these
features makes sense? Are they easy to use? Are they useful to you at
all? etc., etc.

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
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Date: 8.07.05
From: Jeremy Turner <jerturner536 AT>
Subject: Karl Bartos on!

Karl Bartos on!

Karl Bartos (ex-Kraftwerk) has 1 second digital audio pieces on

Be sure to check them out and also to check out his webpage:

To submit your own audiobit, please email a sound file in either .wav or
.mp3 to: transmitbit AT - Jeremy Turner - Janne Vanhanen.

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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: 8.01.05
From: <felixsattler AT>
Subject: Call for Papers: Essay Competition "backup.plaintext"

Essay competition backup.plaintext â?? Theory and context of moving images

Topic 2005: »Avant-garde today - beyond or beside film?«

In which sense can the concept of avant-garde, originating from the first
decades of the 20th century and proclaimed dead several times, be formulated
in such a way that is plausible for films of the 21st century? Transcending
the common definition of art â?? that was one of the chief concerns of the
"classical avant-garde". Is it still legitimate today to try and transcend
film, as the exhibition "Future Cinema" at ZKM, Karlsruhe, proposed a few
years ago? Is experimental film looking for new spaces, places, ways of
presentation? Where are moving images moving to? Where can the filmic
avant-garde of 2005 be found â?? beyond film? Beside film? Offside? Is
filmic avantgarde shifting, out of the cinema, e.g. into galleries and
museums? Into television? Into the club scene? Is there any room or
potential left for an avant-garde in film/cinema? Has the avant-garde of
moving images become nothing but a technological project, recycling
traditional imagery and trying to reconstruct historical dispositives? Is
filmic avant-garde a social project? An aesthetic one? Might not the true
avantgarde exist not in the invention of new ideas, but rather in the
creative reprocessing of old ones? Could it be that montage, which was
judged the most important means of filmic avant-garde by Sergey Eisenstein,
has found its up-to-date equivalent in Copy&Paste?

The submitted texts must be no longer than 10,000 characters, texts in both
German and English are acceptable (the festival catalogue is bilingual).
Submission via post or (preferrably) e-mail in PDF or RTF format.

Jury members include Prof. Dr. Joseph Vogl (Weimar/Princeton), Roger
Behrens) & Dr. Ulrike Bergermann (Bochum), see PDF (below) for a full list
of jury members.

The deadline for the submission of papers is Aug, 15th 2005

Please review our PDF for detailed information on the background, topic,
selection criteria and jury members:

or contact David&Felix: plaintext AT

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Date: 8.04.05
From: <slinn AT>
Subject: Faculty Opportunity at SAIC

The Department of Film, Video, and New Media at the School of the Art
Institute of Chicago invites applications from artists working in video to
teach and expand an innovative curriculum in moving image media. We are
looking for artists who work with various applications of video/digital
media, experimental narrative and non-fiction forms, installation, video
performance, interactive environments and web-based work. Candidates should
have a strong conceptual and historical grasp of contemporary issues in the
intersecting worlds of independent video production, experimental
filmmaking, and new media. The department is committed to alternative forms
and practices that emphasize experimentation, innovation, and the
hybridization of existing media and modes of presentation. Candidates should
demonstrate the ability and desire to participate in curricular initiatives;
should be able to work with undergraduate and graduate students in an
interdisciplinary, fine arts context; and should have advanced proficiency
in one or more areas of the media arts. Applicants must have an active
professional creative practice. Teaching experience preferred. The position
is full-time, tenure-track and begins in the fall of 2006. Rank and salary
are commensurate with experience.

Please send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, artistâ??s statement,
teaching philosophy, portfolio samples which may include CD-Rom, DVD, VHS,
mini-DV, and/or website URLs, names and contact information for three
references, and an SASE (if you wish to have the materials returned) by
November 15, 2005 for priority consideration to:

FVNM Search/Rhizome
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Office of Deans and Division Chairs
37 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603

For more information on the School and its programs, available faculty
positions, and details regarding application, consult For additional assistance, questions may be
directed to Shanna Linn at slinn AT, 312.899-7472.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 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: 8.06.05
From: Paul Slocum <>
Subject: Readme 100 Deadline Approaching

Alexei Shulgin's Readme 100 (that's 4 for the posers) is contest format this
year and the deadline for submissions is Monday, August 8th! The festival
this year is in Dortmund, Germay and will take place in November.

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thorough review of the web hosting industry, we selected BroadSpire as our
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Date: 8.03.05
From: Thomas Petersen <thomas AT>
Subject: 10 Questions for 10 Nordic artists.

10 Questions for 10 Nordic artists.

Artificial sets out to dig an alternative route through the activities on
the Nordic scene for computer based art. We wanted to find a way to sidestep
the restrictions in our own particular outlook so we are therefore launching
an unpredictable series of interviews, which will hopefully help us uncover
the hidden potentials out there.

We handed Norwegian artist Trine Eidsmo a set of 10 questions and she will
in turn pass them on to an artist of her choice. After answering the same
questions, this artist will choose a new artist ... and so forth. The only
criteria for the participants are that they live and work in Scandinavia and
create computer based art. In the end, 10 Nordic artists will have answered
10 questions about their art, working process and much more.

Current artist: Trine Eidsmo:

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Date: 8.03.05
From: nathaniel stern <nathaniel AT>
Subject: Interview with Joshua Goldberg

Joshua Goldberg was the Digital Artist in residence at Wits School of the
Arts, University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) for the
month of June, 2005

the live visualist cometh
a Q&A with Joshua Goldberg, by nathaniel stern

I remember meeting Joshua at a group interview for graduate school - we were
both trying to get in to New York University's "Interactive
Telecommunication Program" (ITP) - what Newsweek has called the "Harvard of

We both did miserably, and neither of us thought we'd get in.

After starting there the following year, we became pretty good friends;
although I, along with most of ITP, thought Josh and the software he was
using (Cycling74's "Max") to be more than a bit mad. We all believed it
wasn't going much anywhere. More than 5 years later, he's an expert in said
application, which is now a main focus at ITP as well as my own teaching at
the WSOA Digital Arts MA (Josh himself is still mad). I was pleased to have
Josh as our first Digital Artist in Residence at Wits School of the Arts
(with a full schedule of events all over town); after dinner one night, I
had a quick email discussion with him about his art, his curating, the party
scene, teaching, and what he was doing here.
Why would two geeks ever transcribe what could be typed in the first place?

nathaniel stern: Joshua, talk about your work. How would you define
yourself? Does it differ for you in your hats as artist, curator and live

joshua goldberg: Right off the bat, you're encouraging me to get incredibly
pretentious.  Sometimes when I talk about my work I get frustrated, because
I find myself using such dry terms to describe my stuff.
But I'll try not to do too badly, bear with me.

I'm a video artist who specializes in exploring abstract patterns.  These
patterns can come from found material, such as television or the motion of
bodies through space, or they can come from mathematical equations.  I love
working as a curator and encouraging other artists to think the same way,
and I love the visceral, exciting experience of doing it in real time, as a
performance.  How's that?

NS: Perfect. But I have to add that said patterns are astoundingly beautiful
- and this coming from someone who isn't really into the VJ style or
culture. I think you once said about your work, something like, "at its
worst, my stuff is the best screen saver you have ever seen; at its best,
it's almost transcendental beauty." Tell me your schpeel about VJ vs live

JG: I'm being called a Super-VJ all across South Africa.  I love publicity,
but I really hate being called a VJ.  The VJ term comes from DJ, who is a
guy who plays records in clubs.  DJs almost always play other people's
stuff, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.  They know how to
manage a crowd by playing rhythms and melodies which veer from familiar to
new, and familiarity is one major tool in their arsenal.  When you listen to
a song you love over and over again, the emotional resonance grows.  The
song touches you in ways you did not anticipate when you first listened to
it.  It's just not the case with video.  When you watch a video, you rarely
want to watch it again fifteen times, even if it's short or you really love
it more than anything.  It becomes stale, it becomes less meaningful.  So
it's much more of a responsibility for people who do live visuals to only
work on their own content, because its freshness is so fleeting.  VJs play
other people's clips.  I craft a visual experience, I'm a visualist.

NS: Just to clarify, not only do you make your own clips, but your self-made
software allows for a more improvisational performance which is always
different, right?

JG: Exactly. I work between video feedback, different clips to start with,
and play with numbers and oscillating effects in the visuals to match the
feel and the rhythm in real time. In simplest terms, people can expect to
see trippy moving images that match the set.

NS: I know it's hard to explain.... Let's get to Mark Shuttleworth and free
culture. He's a huge hero here in SA amongst the geeks, and we also just had
a big Creative Commons conference in Joburg. Shuttleworth promotes free
software available for use and change, and CC does the same for content -
re-usable and editable music, text, images, etc. What's your take on them in
the artistic and African contexts?

JG: Shuttleworth's a worthy hero.  I've been reading quite a bit about him
since I got here; his actions are incredibly noble and inspiring with
reference to the push to develop Linux [the open source Operating System]
more in academic and governmental systems.  I think he's great.  I love
Creative Commons because it gives me a way to widely disseminate my work
with the purpose of inspiring and jumpstarting emerging artists without
being worried about losing credit for the pieces themselves.  And Africa is
a perfect match for CC- everyone can inspire everyone else without getting
bogged down in typically American stupidity like endless copyright.

NS: It seems we've taken most advantage of your live visualization skills
while on your visit. Tell us about that. How did you get into that scene?
Burning man? From what you can see, why does that seem to turn people on
here in South Africa?

JG: I got into visualization because music and movement in clubs seemed to
be a perfect match for the first visual programming experiments I began
making in early 2000.  I have my friend Carlos Gomez de la Llarena, the
architect and net.artist, to thank for that; he got me my first gigs and
gave me the confidence to keep on performing.  Doing work at Burning Man was
really more of a result of the joy i get from performing and showing;
Burning Man is all about sharing your absolute best strengths with as many
people you can.  I think South Africans love live visuals for the same
reason everyone else in the world gets into them; they enhance great music
and a great experience and a great party.  Who wouldn't like that?

NS: A bit about your work as an artist and curator.  I know you've just
arrived, but what can you see in the new media scene here? Where do you
think it can, will and/or needs to go?

JG: I think that there's one word which I can use to sum up what needs to
happen:  MORE.  But I can also say more.   To everyone who is interested in
doing new media work in a live context, or in a gallery context:  be
unafraid to fail.  Keep doing experiments, don't restrict yourself.  Don't
second-guess your own work, trust your own conceptual instincts, so that you
have the patience, bravery and energy to follow an idea through to
completion.  Getting started in work like this can be difficult because of
the complication and breadth of the tools.  Trust your instincts enough to
remember your original ideas, and be skeptical enough about every tool you
use so your ideas don't get lost in the tech.  Just because I use
Max/MSP/Jitter as a primary artistic tool doesn't mean it's perfect; it
means that it's the best thing for me until something better comes along.

NS: OK, Josh, finally, tell us about your gigs here. You had a full weekend
here in Jozi (with four events!), something at the Johannesburg Art Gallery
the following Friday, and a gig in Cape Town that next night Saturday.

JG: I lectured at Wits to the grad students all week, and I couldn't miss a
safari in the Kruger Park (with laptop). The other stuff  in Joburg and Cape


June 10th  15:00 ­ 16:30 ­ a public seminar -  ³Time and Abstraction -
Real-time video art²  -  The Friday Digital Soiree -  WSOA Digital Convent,
Wits Campus. 

June 10th  19:00 ­ 20:00 - a video art installation ­ ³Improv²  AT The Drill
Hall,  Joubert Park.  With electro-acoustic musician João Orrechia

June 11th 10:00 ­ 14:00 -  a free workshop -   ³Dervish² AT The Bag Factory,
Newtown.  Learn how to use real-time free VJ software with Joshua Goldberg.

June 11th 21:00 till late -   a dance party -   ³When Two Cities Collide² 
AT   Carfax, Pim Street, Newtown.  See Joshua Goldberg perform live with the
top JHB VJs and deep house DJs.

Cape Town:

June 18th 21:00 (sharp!) till late. IGNITE02: first a lecture on dervish,
then The Liquid Fridge presents a night of VJs, DJs and live electronic
music. At LB's Lounge, on Long Street, Cape Town.

NS: So really you were just wasting your time here in Africa then?

JG: Heh. Thanks for having me!

NS: Thanks Josh. I was at every event - it was fantastic to have you here;
you've been amazing with your knowledge, generosity, and general attitude,
and our students and community at Wits gained a lot from you. Hope to have
you back, and that many others will follow....

Joshua Goldberg was the Digital Artist in residence at Wits School of the
Arts, University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) for the
month of June, 2005


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Rhizome Digest is supported by grants from The Charles Engelhard
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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Kevin McGarry (kevin AT ISSN:
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