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: 02.17.06
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 09:21:21 -0800

RHIZOME DIGEST: February 17, 2006

++ Always online at ++


1. Kanarinka: Art Interactive: Call to Curators
2. Kangok Lee: CALL FOR ENTRY : Seoul Net Festival 2006
3. Dena DeBry: Call for Speakers/SIGGRAPH 2006 Panels
4. rtvideo01 AT Video Professor - Tenure Track
5. Sarah Kanouse: Digital Culture & Intermedia Arts Positions (2)
6. andrew bucksbarg: Perform.Media

7. Myron Turner: artport gatepage Feb. 06: The Bstat Zero Project by
Myron Turner
8. Cary Peppermint: SUPERCOOL: A quicktime interview with Cary Peppermint
on Dvblog
9. Christiane_Paul AT artport / Tate Online commission: "The
Dumpster" by Golan Levin with Kamal Nigam and Jonathan Feinberg
10. Christiane Paul: jihui Digital Salon presents Scott Snibbe - Friday
Feb. 24, 6-8 PM
11. Marjan van Mourik: MediaLAB Amsterdam presents: Mark Meadows lecturing
on "Spirituality and

12. Eduardo Navas: NMF INTERVIEW: Jose Luis Brea

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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: Kanarinka <kanarinka AT>
Date: Feb 11, 2006
Subject: Art Interactive: Call to Curators


Art Interactive, a non-profit exhibition space in Cambridge, MA, invites
curators to submit exhibition proposals for 8-week exhibitions. Art
Interactive's mission is to provide a public forum that fosters
self-expression and human interaction through the exhibition of art that
is contemporary, experimental, and participatory. Interested curators
should submit:

1) a cover letter
2) a one-page project outline

Submit all materials via email, to proposals AT
Deadline May 1.

For more details, please visit:

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From: Kangok Lee <program3 AT>
Date: Feb 12, 2006
Subject: CALL FOR ENTRY : Seoul Net Festival 2006

CALL FOR ENTRY : Seoul Net Festival 2006

The 7th Seoul Net Festival is open for entries in Digital Express
(International Competition) in both categories respectively : <Web-Work>
and <Cinema 4 Net>. Seoul Net Festival is trying to introduce talented
visual artists all over the world and their brilliant works and to lead
the new audio-visual experiences based on ¡°the Internet¡± and ¡°New
Media¡±. We sincerely hope you consider this an exciting opportunity to
show your great endeavors in the digital convergence era.

WHEN : May 15 - September 24, 2006
- May 15 - July 31 : screening of competition section and
out-of-competition section
- August 1 - September 24 : screening of award-winning works

WHERE : / Mobile and DMB


For the official competition section, only works completed after January
2005 may be submitted to the Festival. Submissions should be creative
works produced or adopted through digital technology. There will be no
restrictions regarding the genre, length or subject matter of the work and
all types of works, including fiction, documentary, experimental, music
video, animation, motion graphic, flash animation, game, web-art, etc.
will be accepted.


1. Completed application form (can be downloaded from
2. Preview material

- By Post : DVD / DV6mm / CD / VHS (Seoul Moving Image Forum - Program
Dept. of Seoul Net Festival, 1308 Woorim Bobo County, 75-8 Samsung-Dong,
Kangnam-Gu, Seoul 135-870, Korea)

- By FTP Server (under 300 MB) : FLASH / WMV / MOV / AVI / MPEG
* For File-Transferring indications, please mail to program3 AT

- By E-MAIL : URL address to program3 AT
3. Complete script in English (.doc)
4. Photo of the Work (.jpg) : more than 300 dpi
5. Photo of the Artist (.jpg) : more than 300 dpi
6. Any other publicity materials related to the submitted work (optional)

* Application form and photos can be submitted by E-MAIL.
* Resolution should be more than 640 * 480.

Seoul Moving Image Forum - Program Dept. of Seoul Net Festival
1308 Woorim Bobo County, 75-8 Samsung-Dong, Kangnam-Gu, Seoul 135-870, Korea

program3 AT / Tel. : +82-2-518-4332 / Fax: +82-2-518-4333

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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, today!

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: Dena DeBry <denas AT>
Date: Feb 13, 2006
Subject: Call for Speakers/SIGGRAPH 2006 Panels

//Call for Participation//

SIGGRAPH 2006 is looking for knowledgeable and interesting speakers on
topics such as:

-Digital Rights, Digital Restrictions
-Video Games: Content and Responsibility
-Ethics in Image Manipulation

If you have strong opinions or are an expert in one of the areas mentioned
above, or would like to see if you might have something to say about other
topics of interest to attendees at SIGGRAPH 2006, go to :

The deadline is March 1st, 2006. Tell us what you know, what's important
to you, and why.

//SIGGRAPH 2006/The 33rd Internation Conference on Computer Graphics and
Interactive Techniques/ Boston/ 30 July-3 August 2006//

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From: rtvideo01 AT <rtvideo01 AT>
Date: Feb 13, 2006
Subject: Video Professor - Tenure Track


Position: Television/Video Production---Assistant Professor (tenure track)

Department: Radio-Television.

Date of Appointment: August 16, 2006 or until filled.

Salary: Competitive, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Qualifications: Expertise required in contemporary television/video
production, together with capacity to (a) teach production effectively at
both undergraduate and graduate levels, and (b) integrate media history,
theory, and aesthetic practices in the classroom. MFA or PhD required.
Professional experience desirable. Promise of excellence in research and
publication. Candidates must be prepared to screen their production
projects finished since 2000 at interview. Preference will be given to
applicants who can contribute to a climate that values and uses diversity
in all its forms to enliven and make more inclusive the mission of the

Duties: Teach in at least two of the following areas: multi-camera/live
event production, field production, editing and graphics, writing,
performance, lighting or visual storytelling. Serve on and direct Masters
and PhD committees as appropriate. Actively engage in creative work or
research. Participate in professional associations and serve on
Department, College, and University committees.

Application Deadline: March 17, 2006 or until filled.

The Department: The Department of Radio-Television is housed in the
College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, and offers innovative
programs in radio, television, and associated media. The Department
features an interdisciplinary approach to electronic media education that
emphasizes both theory and practice in such areas as media studies, media
criticism, television and video production, sound arts, and media

The undergraduate program is annually recognized for its outstanding
record of award-winning radio and television productions. The faculty
participate actively in the MA, MA/MBA, MS, MFA, and PhD programs housed
at the College level. The Department is closely associated with WSIU
Public Broadcasting, which operates PBS-affiliated television stations and
NPR-affiliated FM stations. Faculty have the opportunity to participate in
the College's Global Media Research Center. SIUC is a Carnegie Research
Intensive university, enrolls approximately 22,000 students each year, and
is located 90 miles southeast of St. Louis in Carbondale, a city of
25,000. The Shawnee National Forest, which is famous for its rugged hilly
terrain and natural beauty, is immediately to the south of campus. Visit
our website at <>.

TO APPLY: Screening of applications will begin March 1, 2006 and
continue until the position is filled. Send letter of application,
curriculum vitae, at least two samples of creative work and three letters
of reference to:

Search Committee Chair
Department of Radio-Television
1100 Lincoln Drive
SIUC-Mail Code 6609
Carbondale, IL 62901

Telephone: 618-536-7555

SIUC is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer which strives to
enhance its ability to develop a diverse faculty and staff and to increase
its potential to serve a diverse student population. All applications are
welcomed and encouraged and will receive consideration.

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Rhizome ArtBase Exhibitions

Visit "Net Art's Cyborg[feminist]s, Punks, and Manifestos", an exhibition
on the politics of internet appearances, guest-curated by Marina Grzinic
from the Rhizome ArtBase.

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From: Sarah Kanouse <sarahk AT>
Date: Feb 14, 2006
Subject: Digital Culture & Intermedia Arts Positions (2)

and Photography, College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, Southern
Illinois University Carbondale is seeking applications for two
tenure-track positions. Appointment date: August 16, 2006.

Assistant Professor Digital Culture: Qualifications: Ph.D. in Media/
Cinema/ Screen/ Cultural/ Visual Studies, Visual/Digital Culture, Art
History, Critical Theory or related fields in the arts and/or humanities
required by date of hire. Expertise in the aesthetic, cultural, social,
political, and ideological implications of digital culture and a
demonstrated understanding of how technology affects media arts practice
and the contextualization of digital culture in the history and theory of
the still and moving image. Responsibilities: Teach and develop courses
in the aesthetics, history, theory and critical studies of digital culture
and artistic practices. Engage actively in research/ creative activity.
Areas of teaching and scholarly activity could include: history, theory,
and critical analysis of contemporary artistic practices, formal and
theoretical issues surrounding postmodernity and globalization, new media
history and theory, digital reworking of genres such as s!
torytelling and documentary, the culture and political economy of digital

Assistant Professor Intermedia Arts: Qualifications: Terminal degree
(M.F.A. or PhD) in Intermedia, New/ Digital Media, Studio Art,
Photography, Video, Film or related field required by date of hire.
Expertise in the aesthetics and craft of intermedia arts practice and a
deep understanding of related technologies. Responsibilities: Teach and
develop courses in intermedia arts practice and the media arts. Engage
actively in research/ creative activity. Areas of teaching and creative
activity could include: installation and performance art that crosses
various screens and lived spaces and the development of alternative
technologies and methods of dissemination.

For both positions: Potential for excellence in teaching at the
undergraduate and graduate levels, teaching experience desirable.
Potential for excellence in research/ creative activity and contributions
to the intellectual/ cultural agenda of the Global Media Research Center.
Potential for securing external support for research/ creative activity.
Serve on and/ or direct MFA thesis and/or Ph.D. dissertation committees.
Participate in professional associations and serve on Department, College,
and University committees. Preference will be given to applicants who have
a strong interest in addressing the interdisciplinary nature of media
culture and the global economy foregrounding class, race, gender, and
sexuality. Application deadline: March 1, 2006, or until filled. The
Search Committees will only review hard copies of application materials
received by mail.

For Digital Culture: letter of application, vita, three letters of
reference, and samples of scholarly writing and/ or publications. Send
to: Chair, Digital Culture Search Committee, Department of Cinema &
Photography-Mail Code 6610, College of Mass Communication and Media Arts,
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 1100 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale,
IL 62901.

For Intermedia Arts: letter of application, vita, three letters of
reference, and samples of creative work. Send to: Chair, Intermedia Arts
Search Committee, Department of Cinema & Photography-Mail Code 6610,
College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, 1100 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901.

SIUC is committed to developing a diverse faculty and staff population.
SIUC is an affirmative action/ equal opportunity employer that strives to
enhance its ability to develop a diverse faculty and to increase its
potential to serve a diverse student population. All applications are
welcomed and encouraged and will receive consideration.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 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 commissions.

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: andrew bucksbarg <andrew AT>
Date: Feb 17, 2006
Subject: Perform.Media


++Art Work and Creative Practices

++Papers Presentations, Panels, Workshops, Intellectual Environments and

Perform.Media - A Transdisciplinary Festival of Creativity, Research,
Theory and Technoculture
September 29th-October 14th, 2006, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana


Deadline for Abstracts: April 30th, 2006
Acceptance Notification: May 15th, 2006

Deadline for Proposals: April 30th, 2006
Acceptance Notification: May 15th, 2006

Deadline: May 15th, 2006
Acceptance Notification: June 15th, 2006

Perform.Media is an international media arts festival and symposium
creating an innovative venue for creative and intellectual work around the
momentary process and performance in new media art and culture. We begin
with the premise that newer media, along with modes of representation and
narrative, embody momentary processes from roots in cybernetics and the
biological, to the embodied performance of interface, improvised network
exchanges and spontaneous social acts in multi-user synthetic worlds.
Such mediated experiences and actions form meaning in sense experience and
performance along with interpretive processes like depiction and
reception. The dynamic, reciprocal process of the user(s) generating,
configuring, interacting, choosing and authoring is an important component
of new media and technologies, expressed in both the design of the media
and in the momentary, improvised performance of the participant.

The festival and symposium seeks the accordance and collision of ideas
through the lens of interdisciplinarity, exploring the performance of new
media and the performative qualities of human-computer and technologically
mediated social interaction. Perform.Media will examine sense experience
and meaning at the threshold and in the performing action, along with the
reflexive construction of narrative, where creative play, social
practices, augmented embodiment and exploratory methods establish
processes that spin out, overlapping locales of influence, in networked,
glocal, mobile, participatory, socially interactive, live processed,
locative, responsive and multi-user realms.

Perform.Media aims to examine and melt the usual spatial and temporal
prescriptions of author and spectator in art, creative work and
intellectual practice. Perform.Media traverses transdisciplinary
territories in collaborations and social feedbacks of live sound+image,
interactive and game media, HCI, improvisations, performance processes,
interactive gallery environments, mobile and locative work, live art
works,, research practices, theoretical discussion, paper
presentations, workshops, intimacy and communication both online and off.

Submission forms can be downloaded at-

++Paper Presentations, Panels, Workshops, Intellectual Environments and

The Perform.Media symposium welcomes submissions of papers, panel
discussions, workshops and intellectual environments around the theme of
the festival- performance process in new media, theory, research and
technological practice. The Perform.Media symposium seeks to promote
discussion and collaboration. The environment of the symposium will be
conversation based. Proposals for panels, workshops and presentations
that energize into new areas of intellectual exchange will be welcomed.
All presentations will be moderated and encourage participation,
questioning and debate. An online forum, discussion and
exhibition will precede the festival. Paper abstracts will be published
on the Perforrm.Media website.

++Art Work and Creative Practices

Work criteria-
Perform.Media seeks new media work and proposals for black box, white cube
or network that engage in the practice of performing media or media
performance. We are looking for work that asks the questions- How does
the doing, the performing inform us in this new media? How does this
media perform, what does it do and how does it engage us?

Types of work-
Ambient/Ubiquitous Technologies and Creative Practices, Avatars,
Dance/Embodied work, Environments and Space Based work, Games, HCI,
Interactive/Participatory Installation, Interface Art, Live Art, Locative
Media, Mapping, Mobile Screens, Mobile/Wireless Devices, Net.Art, New
Media Performances, Simulations and Synthetic Worlds, Theatrical Pieces,
Video Processing and VJ/DJ styles

Submission forms can be downloaded at-

For questions contact- abucksba AT

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From: Myron Turner <myron_turner AT>
Date: Feb 12, 2006
Subject: artport gatepage Feb. 06: The Bstat Zero Project by Myron Turner

February 06 gatepage
for artport, the Whitney Museum's portal to Internet art:

The Bstat Zero Project
by Myron Turner

Bstat Zero is a cooperative project focused on opening up the normally
hidden interconnections among new media web sites and so give us some
insight into the cultural contexts which make up the world of new media.

It is, first of all, a "log analyzer". Whenever you visit a web site, a
record of that visit is logged by the web server. Bstat Zero examines
these logs and shows the results in your web browser.

While Bstat Zero shows most of the standard statistics found in web log
analyzers, its emphasis is not statistics but on where the traffic comes
from (countries, domains, IP addresses, browsers, operating systems), and
how it has been "referred" to the site (search engines, search terms,
other web sites). Its most significant feature is its ability to do
"cross-site" comparisons.

Bstat Zero comes in two versions, one running on the web sites of
participating artists and groups and the other on On a
participating web site, you can view your own results, which are updated
daily, and then archived monthly so that you can check back in time. At
the end of each month downloads to its own server the
monthly archives from each participant. It's at that the
cross-site facility comes into effect, making it possible to investigate
the underlying patterns of viewership and use among new media web sites.

Myron Turner is a multi-media artist whose work combines photography,
light-boxes, printmaking and computers. He has exhibited in galleries and
artist-run centers throughout Canada, in the US, the U.K. and South
America, and his digitally produced woodblock prints have won several
awards at Boston Printmakers North American Biennials.

Myron Turner has been working with the Internet since 1994. His work for
the Web has been included in various on-line exhibitions and collections,
including "data/reference/art" at, the
software art repository, the Rhizome artbase, RRF 2004---XP, Machinista
2003 / Artificial Intelligence and Art, and He has
received New Media grants from the Banff Centre for the Arts, where he has
participated as an invited panelist, and in 1994, he co-founded the
Manitoba Visual Arts Network. His work can be accessed through his web
site at

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From: Cary Peppermint <cp70 AT>
Date: Feb 14, 2006
Subject: SUPERCOOL: A quicktime interview with Cary Peppermint on Dvblog

A quicktime interview of Cary Peppermint by Christine Nadir will be
released midnight Wednesday, February 15th at

?This is the first time in a long while that I have issued a public
statement of my thoughts on digital art, performance, practice, and
theory. I hope viewers will find this an informative and educational
update. Christine?s questions are incisive, pushing me to get at the
source of what network art and restless connectivity are at this point in
time.? ?C.P.

This quicktime video premiered in DVD format at Fran Hill Gallery in
Toronto, Canada, August 2005 as part of Wegway?s Exhibition of Primary
Culture. It is the first in a series of performances by Peppermint & Nadir
that will be posted on, including chapters from their most
recent DVD release titled, ?A Series of Practical Performances In The
Wilderness - Summer 2004.? For more information, see

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From: Christiane_Paul AT <Christiane_Paul AT>
Date: Feb 14, 2006
Subject: artport / Tate Online commission: "The Dumpster" by Golan Levin
with Kamal Nigam and Jonathan Feinberg

"The Dumpster," 2006
Golan Levin with Kamal Nigam and Jonathan Feinberg
artport, the Whitney Museum's portal to Internet art

"The Dumpster" is an interactive online visualization that attempts to
depict a slice through the romantic lives of American teenagers. Using
real postings extracted from millions of online blogs, visitors to the
project can surf through tens of thousands of specific romantic
relationships in which one person has "dumped" another. The project's
graphical tools reveal the astonishing similarities, unique differences,
and underlying patterns of these failed relationships, providing both
peculiarly analytic and sympathetically intimate perspectives onto the
diversity of global romantic pain.

"The Dumpster" is the first in a series of three works co-commissioned in
collaboration with Tate Online. See

Critical texts and video interviews with the artists will accompany the
works at

Upcoming commissions:

Launch Date: March 1

The Battle of Algiers by Marc Lafia and Fang-Yu Lin
This work recomposes scenes from the 1965 film The Battle of Algiers by
Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo. The original film is a reenactment of
the Algerian nationalist struggle leading to independence from France in
1962. The success of the actual battle for independence has been
attributed to the nationalists? organization: a pyramidal structure of
self-organized cells. For the Whitney's artport, Lafia and Lin recomposed
the film along a cell-based structure, in which French Authority and the
Algerian Nationalist cells are represented by stills from the film and
move according to different rule sets. When cells of different camps
intersect, they trigger video cells displaying each side's tactics (as
depicted in the film) according to the rules of the system.

Launch Date: March 22

Screening Circle by Andy Deck
This project adapts the cultural tradition of the quilting circle into an
online format. Visitors to the site can enter the drawing area to compose
loops of graphics and affect and edit each other?s screens. The pieces can
be made by one person or by several people and the arrangement of the
segments can be haphazard or precise. In the screening area, the resulting
motion graphics will be on view instantaneously.

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From: Christiane Paul <Christiane_Paul AT>
Date: Feb 16, 2006
Subject: jihui Digital Salon presents Scott Snibbe - Friday Feb. 24, 6-8 PM

jihui Digital Salon
in cooperation with The Project Room AT Chelsea Art Museum
Scott Snibbe

Friday Feb. 24, 2006 - 6-8 PM
Chelsea Art Museum, 3rd Floor
556 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011

"Body, Space and Cinema"

Scott Snibbe will present recent works that explore interaction between
cinematic projections and viewers' bodies along with his most recent work,
"Blow Up," which amplifies human breath as a large field of wind. He will
discuss the philosophical divide between language and visceral perception
that motivates his creation of interactive media art. Working with
technologies at the forefront of contemporary research including computer
vision and synthetic touch, Snibbe explores how a minimal intrusion of
technology can provide insight into the nature of observer's minds and
their sense of self. Works shown will range from large-scale body-centric
physical installations to interactive sculpture and screen- and web-based
interactive graphics.

Scott Snibbe's work has been shown internationally at venues including the
Whitney Museum of American Art's Artport and The Kitchen, New York City;
the InterCommunications Center, Tokyo; Ars Electronica, Austria; and ICA,
London. He has taught at several prominent American academic institutions
and held research positions at Adobe Systems and Interval Research. Snibbe
lives and works in San Francisco.

jihui (the meeting point), a self-regulated digital salon, invites all
interested people to send ideas for discussion/performance/etc.
jihui is where your voice is heard and your vision shared.
jihui is a joint public program by NETART INITIATIVE and INTELLIGENT AGENT |
THE PROJECT ROOM is a special projects and education program that brings
together international artists, curators, cultural, educational and
corporate organizations.
Producer / Curator: Nina Colosi

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From: Marjan van Mourik <webmaster AT>
Date: Feb 17, 2006
Subject: MediaLAB Amsterdam presents: Mark Meadows lecturing on
"Spirituality and

In this lecture Mark looks at how machines are replacing humans.
Addressing such important issues as microwave ovens, Hans Moravec,
Spiderman, The Gorillaz, Japan, and new forms of electronic art, Meadows
presents his recent work and discusses the rise of the digital human. The
lecture promises to be very interesting as he is planning on "throwing one
hell of a curveball!"

Mark Stephen Meadows (alias pighed) works at the point where visual art,
literature, and computer interactivity coincide. He has spent time at
Xerox-PARC, Stanford Research Institute, and has co-founded three
companies that relate to artificial intelligence, interactive narrative,
or virtual reality. His 3D animation and interactive design has been flown
by a list of companies that include Lucasfilm, Sony Pictures, and
Microsoft. Since 1987 he has been selling his artwork in galleries and
museums throughout the United States and Europe, with his work winning
awards that include the Ars Electronica Golden Nica, and The Cooper-Hewitt
National Design Museum's highest honors. In 2002 he wrote, Pause & Effect;
The Art of Interactive Narrative and he is currently writing Simulus &
Response: The Art of Digital Humans. He is also working as creative
director on a 3-part video game that includes the creative talents of
Frank Gehry, Radiohead, and Annie Lennox. He spends his spare time
sailing, painting, and playing accordian. His website, 'The BOAR.DOM'
consists of,, and

The MediaLAB Amsterdam is a creative, interdisciplinary workplace where
high potential professional and technical students, and researchers work
together on innovative interactive media ideas. In the MediaLAB Amsterdam
the smartest students from the various institutes of the Hogeschool van
Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam study how digital interactive
products can contribute to innovative solutions for societal problems.

The lecture takes place at the first of March from 17:00 till 18:00 in the
auditorium at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Weesperzijde 190 (next to
Amsterdam Amstel railwaystation). There is free entrance for everyone who
is interested and a route description can be found online at

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From: Eduardo Navas <eduardo AT>
Date: Feb 13, 2006
Subject: NMF INTERVIEW: Jose Luis Brea.

INTERVIEW: ³Jose Luis Brea. The Critic Operator of the Web 2.0?" by
Ignacio Nieto
February 12, 2006

NMF¹s contributor, Ignacio Nieto interviews José Luis Brea who was
formerly Dean of the Fine Arts Academy of Cuenca and Director of
Exhibitions for the Ministry of Culture between 1985 1988. As a free
lance art critic, he is a regular contributor to Spanish and international
art magazines including Frieze, Flash Art and Parkett. He is Spanish
correspondent for Arforum and regional editor for Rhizome. He has
organized multiples exhibitions as independent curator and has published
several books including Auras Frias and El Tercer Umbral. Currently, he is
prefessor of Esthetics and Theory of Contemporany Art at Carlos III
University in Madrid, editor of the magazine Estudios Visuales and he is
director of two new online projects: salonKritik and ::agencia crítica::
Ignacio Nieto [IN]: With the popularization of blogs, a number of spaces
have developed which had no place within the logic of political economy;
contained and produced by media, creating a new front for ideas and
critical thinking. For you, what would be the advantages and
disadvantages that blog technology has over traditional media
(newspapers, radio and television)?

José Luis Brea [JLB]: I believe that there are two fundamental advantages:
an extended possibility of access, and participation. The first is very
important, of course, because it proposes access to critical thinking that
is made available to a larger part of the population, something that was
not possible in the past (this is without exaggeration, of course, one
must never forget that the supposition of total access is an illusory
fantasy?an interest of Capitalist ideology). Considering television and
the culture of diffusion, Bourdieu called this the ³lowering of the level²
(of access). Let¹s say that more people heard and saw?maybe even read?for
example philosophers; Derrida, and now Zizek, whom they would never have
had heard, seen or read before. This is much more evident with new media
(especially since the development of the web 2.0)

But for the same reason this amplification (possibility to access) would
not have an excessive importance; it would be purely quantitative, it
would not contribute without making ³more of the masses² the culture of
masses, and maybe to incorporate in it cultural objects, of the critical
tradition which before belonged to areas in culture less popular, more
³elitist² or more reserved for specialized communities, let¹s say (for
example ³deconstruction,² ³Theory of acts of speech,² or ³antagonist
thinking²). This is why I think that the quality that is important is the
latter, that which I have called ³participation.² This is something that
the web 2.0 has re-enforced a lot. Before, of course, it had already
occurred that all new media, obviously from radio to video, from
³vietnamita²[1] to photocopy or the fanzine, and of course, the website
programmed in HTML, makes possible a certain extension of interactivity
(in the construct of collective critical thinking), related to the
conversion of the spectator/reader/ receiver into emitter. But with the
emergence of the blog, forums postnuke, and phpBB, wikis, and podcasting
in general all DIY media publication has grown exponentially, and it is
there where a great leap has been produced; its impact on the discursive
field we currently entertain, (critical thinking), necessarily is huge;
and it will ultimately culminate in those diverse forms authors call
³collective intellectualization.²

Let¹s say that all the manifestations of technologies of treatment,
gesture, diffusion, archiving, and organization of access to knowledge
(not only the tools of e-science, but also those dialogical and
interactive prototypes of the web 2.0), necessarily open and submit
critical thinking to processes much more intense and, to put it this way,
frantic public contrast. The challenge for critical thinking resides in
confronting the consequences of its new logic and its social construct.

And it is there where it should be pointed out, also, the disadvantage,
the danger, which respectively corresponds to new media: that the elusive
³lowering of the level² is not only produced in the terms mentioned above
(of more open access), but also produced as a lowering of the level for
content. Let¹s say that the public dialogue ends up converting critical
thinking into chatter, vulgarity, in an ineventual series of commonalities
badly developed and repeated from blog to blog, like echoes each time more
hollow of ideas, which in those repostings lose more and more panache and
sharpness. In my reflection on the transformation of the tools of cultural
criticism with the apparition of these new media, I dedicate an ironic
post to this question specifically titled ³Chatter² (of unquestionable
Benjamanian references, which surely some readers will recognize).


IN: Do you believe that blogs could displace ranking terms in search
engines like Google?

JLB: If I tell you the truth, I don¹t think so. I don¹t doubt that tools
of semantic articulation of content (and in some ways efficient for the
organization of searches) like Technorati or, or metablogs,
could serve a similar function. But, in any case, its utility would be
principally limited to the extended blogosphere, let¹s say projects
specific to the web 2.0, linked to the ³personal publication.² Regardless,
there are fundamental spaces?all those related to science, with the tools
of the web of knowledge, with the new structure of access to the web of
academic research (with all the transformations that it is
experiencing)?that keep needing tools of organization for navigation, to
classify and search, let¹s say. On one side, it is evident that this have
not been developed autonomously (for instance, there is no search engine
for the ³web of knowledge,² at the periphery of the search engines proper
of databases for specific data, for example ISI Thompson), and on another
side, search engines like Google do not stop attending also to those
necessary searches. I want to say that at the same time that projects are
developed, like Blogger, also they place in effect the digitalization of
great libraries. Or, let¹s say, that they attend the development of the
web of ³publication of personal e-culture² as well as the re-conversion
and turnaround of the web of ³high cultural research² and ³academic
culture² linked to the development of e-science (I choose general
terminology and I use it in an imprecise way, because after all, this is
all about trying to understand my response in relation to your question
and up to what point I think that the development of those proper
mechanisms of the ³web of collective intellect² does not cover aspects of
change for which old search engines are still essential).

IN: The blogs that work like editors/directors (Salonkritik and Agencia
Critica) posses different directions, but they have various areas in
common; from the design to the technology that supports them, onto the
concept that validates them: criticism. Could you explain the genesis of
each of these blogs?

JLB: Of course you are right about both things. It is obvious that they
have a lot in common: mainly on a formal level and on their development,
which come from the same hand; our team is very small and I also confess
to you that all the programming and maintenance is done by myself; I do
not want, nor can I lose too much time in researching technical questions
(nor obviously in design), beyond of what is strictly necessary for the
final development of specific projects, logically; even though, in any
case, we dispose effectively of all kinds of tools?from wikis to systems
of podcasting, forums with postnuke or our own blogs running on MT or
Wordpress, and all on our own server, which allows us to launch a new
project that we find interesting in a matter of hours.

Regarding content and objectives, the two blogs are truly different.
SalonKritik basically is a resource of art criticism which is published in
Spain, without much pretension other than to align (therefore open to
other publics, at the same time and potentially to other debates)
something that at a moment occurs only in one medium that simultaneously
is elitist and functions very corruptly in Spain like a tool of power,
which is the ³cultural supplement.² Let¹s say that salonKritik tries to
destabilize a bit the supplemental economy of authority. Open it to other
dynamics (even though I have to admit that the success that we have
achieved with this project is not reason to launch fireworks), to enable
the publication of visions and perspectives that are not published in that
media, to which people can answer? ultimately, to validate justly those
other qualities that we know new media have in relation to old media
specifically in diffusion, contrast, and participation in the construction
of critical thought.

Regarding La Agencia, it is a more modest and ambitious project. More
modest in the sense, I suppose, that it would interest a smaller audience,
but which is more ambitious when aiming to make public something that did
not exist, and which, in my opinion, tainted the cultural landscape in
Spain, which is the critique of artistic and cultural politics. There is
Art criticism (quite a bit, which is not very good, of course, but very
common) but in contrast there is not a lot of criticism about politics of
art. And, well, more specifically that is the objective of the Agencia

The main problem that I encountered with La Agencia, is solitude (I don¹t
know if this is as a forward or a goalie before a penalty, to tell you the
truth), although it is true that with time la Agencia receives more
collaborations by diverse people, which is what I believe would make it
more interesting: that it could cover the most expansive set of multiple
points of view; as different as possible. In any case, la Agencia has
little time online still, and I am confident that little by little, the
number of collaborators that want to participate will grow.

IN: A last question: Tell me about your new book?

JLB: Well, I have a couple of years working on it. The dense nucleus is a
chapter titled ³e-ck: Electronic Cultural Capitalism² which in reality I
considered finished two years ago. It basically deals with the process of
transformation of Capitalism in which the accumulation of capital is
centered mainly on the processes of symbolic and cultural production, and
all of the multiplicity of consequences that it has, including in the new
political economy of societies of knowledge, as well as the critical
position found within these cultural practices.

In any case, the title that the book will have is not that one (of
Electronic Cultural Capitalism) but of ³Cultura_RAM,² since other previous
chapters have focused each time on such conundrum, specifically, of
characteristic transformation of cultural practices (and its rules of
production, distribution and archiving: there you have the concept of RAM
like a new form of characteristic memorization) and the models of
production and forms of knowledge, from the university, the museum, to
criticism? Some of the texts included, as it always happens with books,
have been previously published and distributed online?for example that one
on criticism of art, which is the one I referred to above?but many others
for now have not been edited. I am definitely finishing the book during
the next few weeks, and I hope to send it for publication very soon.

(1) Vietnamita: Spanish colloquial term given to ³do it your self² offset
machines that were used by the anti-Franco resistance to print pamphlets.

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Marisa Olson (marisa AT ISSN:
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