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: 10.07.05
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 11:30:16 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: October 07, 2005


1. Lauren Cornell: Rhizome 04-05 Commissions event on October 18th

2. Lauren Cornell: Open Call for Transmission Art Web Projects
4. Pattie Belle Hastings: Faculty Job Posting
5. izabella AT Call for entries - Digital video Festival
6. lonneke AT Triggered by RFID

7. Jeremy Turner: LIVE 2005 Biennial of Performance Art opens

+Commissioned for

9. Pall Thayer <p_thay AT>, Jason Van Anden
<robotissues AT>, Lewis LaCook <llacook AT>, Antoine Schmitt
<as AT>, Jim Andrews <jim AT>: A few words concerning
open-source and art

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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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From: Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT>
Date: Oct 5, 2005 1:48 PM
Subject: Rhizome 04-05 Commissions event on October 18th

To Rhizome members based in the NYC area or passing through on the night
of October 18th:

Please come celebrate Rhizome's 2004-2005 Commissions! All seven of the
works--by Warren Sack, Carlo Zanni, Jason Van Anden, Paul Catanese, Kabir
Carter, Michael Wilson and Luis Hernandez Galvan--will be on view and
drinks will be served.

For more information on the 04-05 Commissions, and the artists go to: -

The reception is from 7-9pm on October 18th at the New Museum which is
located at 556 West 22nd street at Eleventh Ave. Please RSVP in advance
to rsvp AT Thanks.


Lauren Cornell
Executive Director
tel. 212.219.1222 X 208

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From: Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT>
Date: Oct 3, 2005 9:22 AM
Subject: Open Call for Transmission Art Web Projects

Please submit to Open Call! See below, and at: for details.

Rhizome and free103point9 Open Call for Transmission Art Web Projects

free103point9 and Rhizome are pleased to announce a collaborative call for
web-based works that explore transmission as a medium for creative
expression. Projects should practically and/or conceptually incorporate
transmission themes and tools. Applicants are encouraged to visit
free103point9's online Study Center resource for historical, technical,
and cultural reference materials on Transmission Art.

Projects should have been completed within the last year of the opening of
the exhibition: January 7, 2006. Projects that are in-development at the
time of submission will be considered as long as their completion date
seems to fit realistically with the exhibition timeline. A modest artist
fee will be provided in support of selected projects. We welcome a wide
range of interpretations and ideas.

Selected projects will be included in an online exhibition featured by
both free103point9 and Rhizome websites January ? March 2006. A live
performance and/or presentation event will also take place during the
duration of the exhibition.

Open Call October 1, 2005
Submission Deadline October 31, 2005
Notification November 14, 2005
Online Exhibition January ? March 2006
Presentation/Performance March 2006

Please include the following items in your application materials.
Proposals should be emailed to opencall AT no later than midnight
October 31, 2005.

Questions regarding your proposal should be directed to Lauren Cornell and
Galen Joseph-Hunter.

Name of Artist/Collective
Contact e-mail
Contact phone
Artist Statement
Without exceeding 500 words, please describe your current artistic practice.
Proposed Project Narrative
Without exceeding 1000 words, please describe your project.
Project Timeline
Please outline your development strategy in order to meet a launch date of
January 1st.
Work Samples
Please provide a list of URL references to previous work.

Lauren Cornell, Rhizome Executive Director
Francis Hwang, Rhizome Director of Technology
Galen Joseph-Hunter, free103point9 Executive Director
Tianna Kennedy, free103point9 NYC Project Coordinator
Tom Roe, free103point9 Program Director

Open Call links:

Lauren Cornell
Executive Director,
New Museum of Contemporary Art
210 Eleventh Ave, NYC, NY 10001

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

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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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From: sonya nielsen <artsonya AT>
Date: Oct 3, 2005 4:56 PM


The gendered machine? Will the human?s disposition for categorising things
cause a binary split for the machine as well? Or will the merging of human
and machine see a breakdown of gendered dichotomies? The gendered machine
is closer to our hearts than we can imagine, physically we are already
unconsciously becoming machines through pacemakers and tooth fillings; the
constant shift between the two states of reality and virtual reality can
either transcend the idea of the split between human/machine or forge a
new class of categories that determines the gender of a machine.

We would like to see contributions: experimental e-poetry, new media art,
digital video that takes the above ideas and to transform them into your
own interpretation.

Prizes will be awarded to first and second place, while the top ten will
be showcased in an online exhibition.


All submissions must be submitted electronically, via e-mail as an
attachment or send url of work

A brief author bio and approx. 4 sentence description must accompany the

SUBMISSIONS DUE: 15 October 2005

Works submitted will be assessed by a judging panel consisting of new
media artists:

Norie Neumark: sound/radio and new media artist. Associate Professor in
Sound and Cultural Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. (Out-of-Sync is a collaboration between and
Maria Miranda and Norie Neumark)

Maria Miranda (aka Max) Media artist and is currently a PhD candidate at
Macquarie University in Sydney with researching 'artists making fictions

Jason Nelson: Net poet and Lecturer, Griffith University,

Please send materials or correspondence to:

Sonya Nielsen
artsonya AT

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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 2005-2006 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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From: Pattie Belle Hastings <pattiebelle AT>
Date: Oct 3, 2005 5:11 PM
Subject: Faculty Job Posting

The Department of Computer Science and Interactive Digital Design at
Quinnipiac University invites applications for a full-time tenure track
position in print and web design for appointment beginning August, 2006.
Interactive Digital Design is a major leading to a B.A. in the College of
Liberal Arts.

Position requires terminal degree in the field and fluency with industry
standard software and hardware for print and web design. Professional
graphic design/web design experience and/or knowledge of web standards a

Candidates should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae,
statement of teaching philosophy, description of research and artistic
interests, three letters of recommendation, 20 samples of
personal/professional work and 20 samples of student work (if available).
Slides or any digital format will be accepted for portfolio material.
Applications should be sent to: Professor Jonathan Blake, Chair,
Department of Computer Science and Interactive Digital Design, CL-AC1,
Quinnipiac University, 275 Mt. Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518 or
jonathan.blake AT Consideration of candidates will begin
January 15, 2006 and continue until position is filled.

Quinnipiac University has a strong commitment to the principles and
practices of diversity throughout the University community. Women,
minorities and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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Support Rhizome: buy a hosting plan from BroadSpire

Reliable, robust hosting plans from $65 per year.

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

About BroadSpire

BroadSpire is a mid-size commercial web hosting provider. After conducting a
thorough review of the web hosting industry, we selected BroadSpire as our
partner because they offer the right combination of affordable plans (prices
start at $14.95 per month), dependable customer support, and a full range of
services. We have been working with BroadSpire since June 2002, and have
been very impressed with the quality of their service.

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From: izabella AT <izabella AT>
Date: Oct 3, 2005 5:39 PM
Subject: Call for entries - Digital video Festival

The producers of MostraMundo ? The Moving Image Festival invites you to
take part of it?s 2005 edition, that will take place from November 3rd to
November 11th, in Recife/Brazil, exhibiting the best contemporary
international audiovisual productions. The MostraMundo is an international
film and video festival that ranges from competitive and non-competitive
exhibitions to courses, workshops, lectures, and debates about the
contemporary cinematographic production and market. Awards will be given
to talent video makers in four competitive screenings: School, College,
Professional and Web. If you have made any original movie, using digital
devices, since january 2004, submit as many videos as you want, until
October 14th. You will not only be showing your work, but also enhancing a
lot our exbibitions.

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From: lonneke AT <lonneke AT>
Date: Oct 6, 2005 9:05 AM
Subject: Triggered by RFID

Mediamatic workshop
Triggered by RFID 2
November 7| 8| 9| 2005
AT Amsterdam

Are you tired of standing in line in front of the cash desk? Lost your
luggage at the airport? Your cat is missing again? Or could?nt find your
favorite parfume on the store shells anymore? RFID seems to be the
solution! RFID is the barcode of the future, equipping individual objects
with IP addresses. Metadata for physical objects will make an internet of
things possible.

After a succesfull RFID workshop in July, Mediamatic introduces the ideas
and technology behind RFID for the second time in November. It seizes
initiative to adopt RFID for artistic and social purposes and is designed
for artists, designers and researchers, who want to look beyond the
logistical horizon of this emerging technology.

In 3 days, theoretical views are combined with practical experiments. You
will learn all about the technical components with an RFID set of tags,
readers, and database in your hands. There is enough space to develop your
own ideas and discuss them with like-minded fellows and professionals.

For further information and registration visit, call Klaas Kuitenbrouwer: +31 20 6389901 or
mail to workshops AT

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Rhizome Members can purchase the new monograph on Thomson & Craighead,
Minigraph 7, for a discounted rate: £10.80 which is 10% off £12.00 regular
price plus free p+p for single orders in UK and Europe.

thomson & craighead
Minigraph 7
Essays by Michael Archer and Julian Stallabrass
Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead ¹s extraordinarily varied, almost
unclassifiable artworks combine conceptual flair with sophisticated
technical innovation. Encompassing works for the web alongside a host of
other new media interventions, this book ? the first monographic survey of
the artists¹ work ? highlights a number of impressive installation and
internet-based pieces which use digital technology to echo the
art-historical tradition of the ready-made.

Part-supported by CARTE, University of Westminster.

Published by Film and Video Umbrella
52 Bermondsey Street London SE1 3UD
Tel: 020 7407 7755
Fax:020 7407 7766

To order, Rhizome Members should write Lindsay Evans at Film/ Video Umbrella
directly and use the reference ³Rhizome T + C² in the subject line.

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From: Jeremy Turner <jerturner536 AT>
Date: Oct 3, 2005 5:57 PM
Subject: LIVE 2005 Biennial of Performance Art opens

Hello Rhizome readers,

October 15th is the opening of the LIVE Biennial of Performance Art in
Vancouver, Canada. Please check the website for more details:

The grand opening is the 14th but officially, it begins on the 15th and
runs until November 26.

The theme for 2005's Biennial is Altered States.

If you are in town during this time, I hope you can attend some of the
Jeremy Turner -Coordinator,
LIVE 2005 Biennial of Performance Art, Vancouver

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From: NStillman AT <NStillman AT>
Date: Oct 4, 2005 8:33 AM
Subject: F103p9 Interview

By Nick Stillman

free103point9 has an array of goals toward which it is perpetually
working, each ultimately focused on expanding the scope of radio's
possibilities and advancing the genre of Transmission Arts. The nonprofit
organization's online radio transmissions introduce audiences to
aggressive and challenging contemporary music and also include diverse
sets like Field Recordings (found sounds, weird abstract noise) and live
performances from artists visiting free103point9's new Greene County, NY
Wave Farm site. A pioneering Transmission Arts presenter, free103point9
originated in Brooklyn, in 1997, as a quasi-collective of artists,
musicians, and community members dedicated to providing an airwave
alternative to corporate radio. The organization's center has recently
migrated north, to Wave Farm, offering them a vastly greater amount of
physical space. They have implemented an artist residency program, and by
2007 (their tenth anniversary) will have completed the construction of a
study center, studio, and archive dedicated to Transmission Arts. Over the
course of several days, NYFA Current Editor contributor
Nick Stillman exchanged emails with Galen Joseph-Hunter and Tom Roe,
Executive Director and Program Director, respectively, of this dedicated,
vital organization.

Nick Stillman: Let's begin by talking about how renegade transmission has
changed from 1997 to now, specifically because of online radio. Has it
tarnished the romance of pirate radio? Or, because it's difficult to
regulate and can be heard all over the world, is online radio nothing but

Tom Roe: During the early years of free103point9, we thought of the
organization as something akin to a library, and most weekends some
different art organization or collective would come to borrow the
transmitting equipment to microcast whatever it was they did. We
found we could be of more use to artists acting as a high-profile
nonprofit media arts organization than as a clandestine collective with
civil disobedience as its main modus operandi. Thanks to all the pirates,
lawyers, and political novices who lobbied Congress, went on the air, and
challenged laws, low-power FM stations are now legal in the United States.
We think a more important fight now is to get the content of radio to be
more interesting. This is less a political battle and more of a culture
war, or ideological shift. Radio should be endlessly different, richly
creative, and interesting to listen to. So we have set out to present
radio projects that inspire others and start a dialogue about the lack of
creativity on the airwaves. Online radio is a good way to build audiences,
which is the goal of most arts organizations. Where before we might reach
ten or fifteen blocks, anyone with economic means around the world can
listen now.

NS: The free103point9 Gallery (
continues on in Southside Williamsburg, your organization hosts music
festivals in the neighborhood, and much of your activity is accessible
from the non-site that is transmission. To what degree will the expanse of
space at the new Wave Farm site further free103point9's activities and
what were the motivating factors behind the relocation?

Galen Joseph-Hunter: The topography of the Wave Farm property includes
meadows, streams, ponds, forest paths, and views of the Catskill
Mountains. This stark contrast to the environment of New York City and
other urban locations provides an important comparative context for
artists working with the airwaves and audiences experiencing these works.
That is not to say we are lessening our in activities in the city. While
public programs at the free103point9 Gallery have taken a bit of a hiatus,
activities have remained vibrant and public events are scheduled to resume
in the coming months. Additionally, free103point9 presents projects in
collaboration with partnering organizations throughout New York City,
State, and nationally and internationally. For example, earlier this year
we co-presented the exhibition Airborne
( with the New Museum of
Contemporary Art in New York. These collaborative programs are an
important means to provide opportunities for transmission artists and
build audiences in general.

TR: As location becomes less important in a hyper-wired world, the Wave
Farm's breadth of size allows for larger projects that were never possible
in the free103point9 Gallery. The residency program is already helping
foster new works that need longer to incubate, and can cover more ground,
literally. Light is one area of transmission arts, and it is more
plentiful upstate then in New York City. All of the airwaves are less
cluttered, which presents different sonic opportunities.

NS: Galen, as you mention, free103point9 has been active in the
visual/performance art world. The organization has presented several
exhibitions since 1997 and your project for the upcoming PERFORMA05
biennial will be a four-day series of transmission performances. What is
it about the audience's physical confrontation with transmission art that
an exhibition or live performance setting offers that's appealing to you?

GJH: I am interested in projects that have living, evolving qualities.
Transmission works, whether in a performance or exhibition context,
incorporate and create live content. While these works may or may not ask
the public to interact physically, they impact our experience as a viewer
by inhabiting the space around us like a kind of invisible earthwork.
free103point9 projects such as "Tune(In)))
(," "Radio 4x4
(," "Microradio Soundwalk
(," and the upcoming
"On The Air" ( for
WHITE NOISE at PERFORMA05 at White Box, in early November, are performance
events in which individual artists participate. These projects, which
include multiple transmissions and a constantly changing group of
performers, encourage participation from the audience. We consider these
events a means to conceptually map the airwaves and educate participants
about transmission art?the transmission and reception of content,
expression, and gesture?via their experiences as artists and audiences.

NS: Transmission art, by its very nature, depends on engagement with and
adaptation to new technologies. What are some future technological
developments that could substantially impact (positively or negatively)
free103point9's mission of cultivating the genre of Transmission Arts and
supporting its practitioners?

TR: The advent of digital radio will soon impact a lot of what we do. I
just saw that the first hybrid radios, which receive both analog and
digital signals, are being sold in the UK, I think. Eventually the analog
radio and television bands will be given up for dead, yet there will
remain millions of receivers. While the money and high-priced content
switch to digital and/or satellite signals, perhaps experimental creative
radio and television might thrive for a time in the future in that dead
zone. At the same time, radio is becoming intertwined with every aspect of
our lives. Radio ID tags are now attached to every product at Wal-Mart;
most iPods now are attached to micro-FM transmitters; thousands of people
run their own internet radio stations; and cell phones, text messages, and
other wireless communication continue to multiply. But the number of radio
waves battering our brains daily could turn out to be bad for humans in
all sorts of ways. And we might not even be able to aim those waves at
each other, if governments continue to limit control over this most public
of resources.

GJH: As Tom mentioned, the radio spectrum is now being integrated into
almost every aspect of our daily lives, and there are pros and cons to
this saturation. In the pro category, I would suggest that with so many
wireless products being produced commercially, there exists a wide
spectrum of relatively affordable equipment for artists to repurpose for
creative uses. Also, as these technologies are becoming more and more
familiar to our audiences, the "techcentric" aspect of Transmission Arts
is demystified, allowing for these projects to be considered in a greater
contemporary art context. It is important to clarify that free103point9
defines Transmission Art as a conceptual practice that utilizes the
airwaves in as many diverse approaches as possible. Our recent publication
"Wave Guide" ( includes a section
identifying a selection of key transmission works from the early twentieth
century to the present. These historical projects were experiments with
early radio, television, and telecommunication technologies, and many
contemporary transmission works employ these same fundamental tools today.

NS: One of free103point9's obvious strengths is its ability to act both as
practitioner and educator, given its history of action in the field of
transmission art. How much is transmission art education a goal of the new

GJH: I subscribe to a broad definition of education and would say that
this is a goal in everything we do: performances, exhibitions, online
radio, workshops, dispatch releases, residencies, and research facilities.

TR: Our goal is to get folks to understand what Transmission Arts are and
how radio can be used creatively. It is exactly like creating a wave and
watching the ripple churn out endlessly into space. The more we speak of
the idea that radio is a polluted public area that needs to reclaimed and
replanted with fresh ideas, the more these ideas circulate and take hold.
Several universities are now working transmissions into their curriculum,
and more groups are attempting creative radio projects all the time. We
hope the Wave Farm can help this movement grow.

Nick Stillman
Editor, NYFA Current
212.366.6900 x248

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Pall Thayer <p_thay AT>, Jason Van Anden
<robotissues AT>, Lewis LaCook <llacook AT>, Antoine Schmitt
<as AT>, Jim Andrews <jim AT>
Date: Oct 3-7, 2005
Subject: A few words concerning open-source and art

Pall Thayer <p_thay AT> posted:

Jason Van Anden <robotissues AT> replied:

Hi Pall,

Interesting ... and I am with you - because I code I can appreciate the
meaning code has for me, personally.

Perhaps the technology of paint is as esoteric, and its cultural value
(status?) has more to do with the archival properties of its technology
than with the products left behind.

Pall Thayer replied:

Hi Jason,

All art is more or less esoteric. It just depends on how deep you're
prepared to delve. Paintings "status" has very little to do with its
archival properties. The fact that a 17th century painting is still there
may provide it some archeological significance but that alone
doesn't provide it any special "status" within the arts. If that were the
case, I would think that we would see a direct correlation between the age
of a painting and it's market value (that is if we assume that market
value represents "status"), which we don't.

I look forward to seeing your code.

Jason Van Anden noted:

My point was that other likely candidates that may have attracted
interest/value expired because their technology rotted away.

Pall Thayer replied:

But artwork can still be seen as important even though it rotted away. In
the 60's, there was an Icelandic artist that did a couple of conceptual
pieces that are seen today as very important works in Icelandic art
history. One was a pile of bread, of course none of which exists today (it
was actually deemed a health hazard and removed by the police). Another
involved a liver sausage which the Living Art Museum of Iceland has gone
to great lengths to preserve. The artist is Kristjan Gudmundsson. Who
knows what people will be prepared to pay for that liver sausage in 50

Lewis LaCook <llacook AT> replied:

--i've always wondered why more artists working in code don't release
source code at all--and why, especially here at rhizome, there's so little
discussion of code where new media headz gather--

--seems that in the new media context, code becomes fetishized--but no-one
ever actually gets around to talking about code itself--i got excited when
i saw a post here announcing a "source code" blog, then horribly
disappointed when i recognized that the blog had nothing whatsoever to do
with code--

--perhaps what is needed is an artists' code community--one in which
artists working in code can share classes and libraries, where code
artists really do become hackers and not just fantasize about
sourceforge for art...

Pall Thayer replied:

Well, just to get the ball rolling a bit, here's a bit of info I've
recently discovered and am still examining. It has to do with OS X Tiger
widgets (like my level widget). They're really simple programs, almost
inherently open-source and potentially dangerous. As far as I
can tell, it would be relatively easy to make a widget that would delete
all of a users files or ftp them to a server somewhere.

Widgets are mostly just HTML/CSS/Javascript. Widgets are stored either in
/Library/Widgets or ~/Library/Widgets. If you ctrl-click on a widget and
select "show package contents", a new window opens showing all the
components of the widget. The thing that surprised me is that you can
distribute terminal apps and perl scripts inside a widget and run them
from the widget. For instance, if you have a perl script that looks like
this and is titled
deleteMe = `/bin/rm -rf ~/*`;

and your widget's html code contains the following javascript:
var doMe = widget.system("/usr/bin/perl", null).outputString;

Then that's it. You've deleted someone's files. Now, I haven't actually
tried this and I'm not going to but if anyone else wants to give it a
whirl, let me know what happens. But I haven't seen anything that would
indicate that you can't do this. As far as widget permissions go, it looks

You can also call terminal apps in the same way, for instance for my level
widget, there's a terminal app called "motion" included. It's called by
the javascript something like so:
var motionData = widget.system("./motion", null).outputString;

Then motionData contains the output from ./motion. Pretty cool.

For instance, we could do this:
var getScreen = widget.system("/usr/sbin/screencapture -m
myScreen.png", null).outputString;

To do a screen capture and then a simple perl script could send it to a
server somewhere where we could maybe find some use for it and all this
could happen without the user even being aware of it. Freaky. Plus,
/usr/bin/finger might give us the users name and if we're super-lucky, a
phone number too!

Yeah, widget's are cool.

Jason Van Anden replied:

Cool stuff. I still have os x.3 on my macs - so I have not looked into
widgets too much. Sounds like yet another iteration of batch files from
DOS days.

Not sure if this is in the spirit of what Lewis is suggesting, but here is
something someone out there may be able to contribute to (answer, discuss,

While prepping Neil and Iona (my emotive robots) for their upcoming show
at Vertexlist one of my Linux boxes died. (Show opens Oct 22nd, in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn ... official announcement coming soon!)

Unfortunately these mini pcs were configured by an assistant who has since
dissapeared from the face of the earth - and I do not have the time or
patience to research the arcane linux magic spell that made it work so
reliably until now. Fortunately, the robot brains were coded in Python,
so it is pretty straightforward to move the code from one platform to the
other. Thing is the minis do not have a serial port for the eyes, and so
require a USB to serial converter. I have purchased a couple of Mac
compatible connectors - and so here is the question...

If anyone out there has experience with calling serial ports via USB on OS
X.3 using Python, that would be incredibly helpful. For the record, the
serial is currently being called using the 2.3 Twisted modules. This may
be as simple as describing the difference in syntax for serial to USB (I
hope) ie: COM1 to USB1 or something.

Pall Thayer replied:

he Geocinema project shows how a Perl script can read from a gps
device connected to a mac via a USB to serial converter. http:// Although it might not provide you with a
direction solution it will show you what the serial port is named in
OS X. (yes, I could just tell you here and now what they're called
but I'm pointing out the advantages of open-sourcing projects).

Antoine Schmitt <as AT> replied:

Dear Pall,
we've had the occasion to have some interesting discussions about software
art in the past. Your text is the occasion for me to continue by answering
with another text that I had written for my contribution to the CODeDOC II
exhibition at Ars in 2003, where the rule of the exhibition was that the
code was displayed alongside the artwork itself. This time, I do no agree
with your position : I don't think that artists-programmers _should_ show
their code (note that I'm not saying that they shouldn't either...), and
I'm giving arguments, and making parallels with other artistic mediums
like cinema :

Jim Andrews <jim AT> replied:

when there is some point to it, i like to make the source code available.

i would like to make the code of available. why?
well, with the exception of one part of it, the logic is not circuitous;
it is readable to a relatively casual reader-programmer. also, parts of
the code do interesting things fairly simply. and it is a literary work;
if possible and the code is conceivably of interest--and use--to some
people, it would be nice to make the source code available. and there are
some code ideas in it. and some code themes and techniques that run
through it.

there's one part of the code, though, that presents several problems in
making it public. it contains behaviors that i wrote and sell. it also
contains programming work of other people. and it is client-server
oriented; there's PHP involved also, besides the Lingo. so i can't really
make that particular little part of the code public. it won't be difficult
to take that part out. the code written by other people is code that was
publicly available, but if i release it as part of a work by me, then they
need to be properly credited (as they have been in the credits) and i
would need their permission to release it publicly.

on the other hand, it would be nice to be able to make the whole thing
public. because it will stand a better chance of survival that way. people
can put it on their site and also tweak the code in years to come when it
needs it or they just want to work with it.

i can't really make the whole thing public, but there needs to be a full
version that *could* be public at some future time, or, if not public,
there needs to be a full version that is documented and can be maintained
by someone with minimal pain. really minimal pain. or the thing doesn't
even stand a chance of surviving. if that's ok with you, fine. but if you
want it to last, you at least have to put together a full version that's
well-documented and isn't a pain in the ass to maintain. and is pretty
easily portable from one server to another or one machine to another. and
and and.

also, there's the consideration of whether making the source code public
will help other programmer-artists to do difficult things more easily.
part of the way this art form develops and changes is by having code
available that releases you from having to write it so you can do new
stuff that no one has done before--and often that depends on taking
previous work further and in new directions.

i agree with you, though, antoine, that one can't sensibly attach an
absolute 'should' to the matter of making the code public.

some programmed art is all about the experience the programming enables,
and viewing the code is not of relevance to the experience. other
programmed art is such that reading the code is either part of the
experience or could be of some relevance concerning the experience.
neither is inherantly superior to the other.

the code has to be pretty special for me to want to read it. would have
liked to have been able to read durieu's "oeil complex" but got the idea
in conversation with him in . and apparently
the code is quite short. definitely better to read code poems rather than
code novels. "oeil complex" has a wonderful code idea in it.

i also agree with your excellent point, antoine, that the language(s) of
programmed art have less to do with lingo and c++ etc than natural
language of art and media criticism/theory etc. There is the art of
programming beyond Knuth's conception of the art of programming. I think
that's an important point.

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Marisa Olson (marisa AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 10, number 40. Article submissions to list AT
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