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: 06.23.06
Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2006 09:51:24 -0700

RHIZOME DIGEST: June 23, 2006


1. Doug Easterly: Book Opportunity - Artists Working With Flash
2. noell AT Call for Proposals, TRANS Visual Culture Conference at
UW-Madison, Oct. 19-22, 2006
4. Marisa Olson: Fwd: BNMI Announces International Co-production Labs

5. joy.garnett AT Newly Launched: The Fair Use Network
6. sachiko hayashi: Hz #8 - new media articles and net art
7. Leonardo/ISAST: Sean Cubitt Named New Editor-in-Chief of Leonardo Book
8. eric_bury AT Implant Matrix
9. Franco Mattes: The Influencers festival / Barcelona 6-7-8 july 2006

+Commissioned by
10. silva.luis: Review of Curating Immateriality by Luis Silva

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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: Doug Easterly <playfight AT>
Date: Jun 16, 2006
Subject: Book Opportunity - Artists Working With Flash

I am doing a book project with Thomson Press, consisting of about 12-14
chapters, where each chapter will highlight an artist doing interesting
work with Flash. I'm especially trying to find contributors who have
engaging content in their work. Preferably, you produce good work AND
know your way around Flash.

The process will require some interview sessions via email, where I will
collect some notes for writing out the chapter. I will also need some
high-res images, and some screen caps, as well as possible code-views.

The main format of the chapter will be something like this:
1) introduction of the artist(s) and background
2) creative process / inspirations / working methods
3) how/why flash is used
4) introduction of a particular work
5) step though a technical detail in the work

The book is to be produced over the course of 2006, with the release being
in January 2007.
I still need about 6-8 artists. It is important that you have a body of
work utilizing Flash (at least 3 or 4 projects).

While the chapter will have a breakdown of some technical process using
Flash, my real passion for creating the book resides in the first part of
each chapter, where the ideas and concepts are fully explored.

If interested, send an email with "Flash Book Inquiry" in the subject line -
and in the body of your email have a URL that showcases your work.

Doug Easterly
playfight AT

D o u g l a s E a s t e r l y
Assoc. Professor of Computer Art
Syracuse University / Transmedia playfight AT

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From: noell AT <noell AT>
Date: Jun 19, 2006
Subject: Call for Proposals, TRANS Visual Culture Conference at
UW-Madison, Oct. 19-22, 2006

What happens in an exhibition where the traditional boundaries-between art
and activism, theory and practice, origin and diaspora, science and
aesthetics-are not an organizational theme, but a point of departure?
Imagine a space that takes us beyond the 'in-between' and toward the
generation and practice of viable integrations of art, history, math,
science, theory, practice and activism.

We are seeking submissions of visual and performance-based work that
complicates, negates, exceeds, or reflects the gray areas between and
within academic disciplines, theoretical models, and methods of creative
production. Submissions from a variety of disciplines and areas of
study/practice are encouraged. For instance, consider collaborations
across disciplines, aesthetic forms that blur boundaries between art and
science or text and image, or projects that transcend or transmute the
limitations of our individual senses.

The exhibition will be an integral part of the TRANS: Visual Culture
Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from October 19-22,
2006. A diverse array of panels, workshops, and breakout sessions will
showcase papers, demonstrations, and performances on dozens of
'trans'-interpretations. The Conference will also include keynote
speakers Nicholas Mirzoeff, Olu Oguibe, Sue Golding, and the performance
team of Leslie Hill and Helen Paris.

Before submitting your work to the exhibition team, be sure to consult the
Conference's website for more information: Although you are not
limited to any specific topics, we encourage you to review the titles of
the Conference's working 'sub-themes' to help brainstorm possible

The exhibition venue is a former ironworks facility with up to 20,000
square feet of raw industrial space, as well as significant adjoining
outdoor space available for the exhibition. You can see images of
Ironworks on the Conference's website.

To submit your work to the TRANS exhibition, please send the following
electronically to visualculture AT by August 15, 2006:

1.A description or proposal of approximately 250 words

2.Image(s) of your work; either for the TRANS exhibition or similar work

3.Any necessary requirements for space and supporting technologies

4.An attached CV (one for each project participant, if working in

Please note: Funding for the TRANS exhibition is limited. While the
curatorial committee will make every effort to meet all of your
technological needs, please consider that you may be responsible for the
transportation and support of any unconventional technology that you may

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From: eimboden AT <eimboden AT>
Date: Jun 19, 2006

Stanford is seeking to hire a practicing sculptor, preferably with
expertise in areas such as installation, site-specific practices, or
advanced fabrication technologies, to start September 2007 with the rank
of Assistant Professor. The ideal candidate will possess a record of
important exhibitions, a studio practice that will attract gifted graduate
students, and a strong commitment to teaching and advising. An M.F.A. (or
equivalent) and college-level experience in teaching sculpture are
required along with a demonstrated ability to engage graduate students at
a high level. Responsibilities will include the teaching of sculpture
classes for majors and non-majors and the teaching and advising of M.F.A.
students. We are seeking someone eager to participate fully in a dynamic
studio art program that grants B.A. and M.F.A. degrees in the Fine Arts,
an M.F.A. in Documentary Film, and an M.F.A. degree in Product Design (in
cooperation with the Department of Mechanical Engineering). Application
deadline: October 1, 2006. Please send a letter of introduction, a
statement of artistic and academic goals, a c.v., a record of teaching
experience, and 20 slides labeled with slide script, video documentation
on DVD (as applicable), and a SASE for return of slides and/or DVDs. In
addition, please provide three confidential letters of recommendation.
Application materials should go to: Search Committee in Sculpture,
Stanford University, Department of Art and Art History, Stanford, CA
94305-2018. Stanford University is an equal opportunity, affirmative
action employer.

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From: Marisa Olson <marisa AT>
Date: Jun 19, 2006
Subject: Fwd: BNMI Announces International Co-production Labs

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ceperkovic, Slavica <Slavica_Ceperkovic AT>
Date: Jun 19, 2006 3:40 PM
Subject: BNMI Announces International Co-production Labs

BNMI Announces International Co-production Labs

BNMI has just launched its new co-production residency model which
includes three exceptional programs led by three peer advisors per lab.
Apply today for one of these outstanding opportunities!

Co-production Lab: Almost Perfect
Program Dates: November 5 - December 2, 2006
Application Deadline: July 1, 2006
Tuition: $1,850

Peer Advisors: Chantal Dumas (CND), Paula Levine (CND/US), Julian Priest
(DK, UK)

Almost Perfect is a rapid prototyping lab that explores the creation of
pervasive mobile media in the Banff region. With the dedicated support of
peer advisors, technicians, and production facilities, participants can
develop basic to advanced level prototypes in the areas of locative media,
telematics, audio art, and responsive environments. This residency will
also explore the political and social economic contexts of locative media.

Almost Perfect is a joint venture between BNMI and HP Bristol. Prototype
development will be realized through the use of GPS enabled HP iPAQs and
software developed by HP Research Labs Bristol.

Co-production Lab: Liminal Screen
Program Dates: March 5 - March 30, 2007
Application Deadline: October 2, 2006
Tuition: $1,722
Peer Advisors: Willy Le Maitre, (CND) Kate Rich (UK), Amra Baksic Camo (Bih)
Liminal Screen examines the ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy of
cinema in current new media practice. Working with peer advisors and
technicians, participants are invited to work independently or
collaboratively to focus on questions of screen-based work that is in

Co-production Lab: Reference Check
Program Dates: June 24 - July 21, 2007
Application Deadline: December 1, 2006
Tuition: $1,850
Peer Advisors: Andreas Broeckmann (De), Anne Galloway (CND), Sarat Maharaj

Reference Check invites post-graduate students and researchers whose work
connects to new media, to come to Banff to develop concepts, create
prototypes, have group discussions and realize projects. Reference Check
welcomes applications for both theoretical and applied research at all

BNMI's Co-production program is devoted to the production and presentation
of the work of new media practitioners. The connections between art,
technology, media, and cultures are continuously explored, by bringing
together interdisciplinary participants in intensive co-production media
lab residencies. The residencies support individuals and teams in the
creation of new works, knowledge, and technology. The program is
international in scope, accepting applications on a tri-annual basis.
The BNMI is committed to equal opportunity and access to all programs for
artists of diverse cultural and regional communities. Applications are
peer adjudicated.

For more information and to apply visit:

Banff New Media Institute
Email: bnmi_info AT

The Banff Centre
Box 1020, Station 40
Banff, Alberta T1L 1H5

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From: joy.garnett AT <joy.garnett AT>
Date: Jun 16, 2006
Subject: Newly Launched: The Fair Use Network

from: NEWSgrist - where spin is art - June 16, 2006

Newly Launched: The Fair Use Network


This is the site we've all been waiting for, the hub of "all things fair
use", a newly launched online resource tailored for artists, scholars and
creative people that includes practical resources, reference guides and
glossaries, a budding attorney network, and a nifty newsfeed in the left
sidebar generated by their internal blog.... brought to you by the folks
at the Free Expression Policy Project AT the Brennan Center for Justice,
NYU School of Law.
via their homepage:

About Us
The Fair Use Network provides information to activists, artists, scholars,
and anyone else who has questions about "IP" (intellectual property) law.
Our basic purpose is to support fair use and other free expression
safeguards within the law, because free expression is essential to
creativity, culture, and a healthy democracy.

The Fair Use Network is part of the Free Expression Policy Project
(FEPP), a program of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
It grew out of the findings and recommendations in FEPP's 2005 report,
Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Control.
The report found massive confusion among artists, scholars, and others
about fair use, and a need for pro bono legal help and comprehensible
resource materials.

The Fair Use Network staff are:
Laura Quilter, Coordinator, Fair Use Network.
Marjorie Heins, Coordinator, Free Expression Policy Project.
Neema Trivedi, Research Associate.
Evan Hill-Ries, Legal Intern.

A Bit of Background
In the last few decades, the rights of copyright and trademark owners to
control the use of their works has increased dramatically. Corporations
have lobbied successfully for longer copyright terms and expanded their
control over trademarks through legal doctrines such as "trademark
dilution." They also have used cease and desist letters and section 512
takedown notices to try to stop legitimate, fair uses of copyrighted
materials, or well-known trademarks, for such purposes as criticism and

The enhancement of IP owners' powers has come at the expense of those who
build upon, critique, or make other creative, scholarly, or political
uses of existing works. The wholesale shift of rights from the public's
to the owner's side of the scale has fundamentally changed the delicate
balance in IP law that makes creativity and informed political debate

The combination of rapidly shifting laws and new technologies has left
many people uncertain about their rights as users. In the face of
uncertainty, many individuals and groups have understandably steered a
conservative path around possible legal landmines. Unfortunately, this
response fails to take advantage of significant rights that users retain,
even today ? first and foremost, the rights to fairly use trademarks or
copyrighted material.

Why the Fair Use Network?
How much can you borrow, quote or copy from someone else's work? What
happens if you get a "cease and desist" letter from a copyright owner?
These and many other questions make "intellectual property," or "IP,"
law, a mass of confusion for artists, scholars, journalists, bloggers,
and everyone else who contributes to culture and political debate.

The Fair Use Network was created because of the many questions that
artists, writers, and others have about "IP" issues. Whether you are
trying to understand your own copyright or trademark rights, or are a
"user" of materials created by others, the information here will help you
understand the system ? and especially its free expression safeguards.

If you have received a "cease and desist" letter from a copyright or
trademark owner, or a notice from your Internet service provider about a
"takedown" letter, you'll also find useful information on this site.


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Rhizome Exhibitions

The GIF Show, open May 3-June 3, at San Francisco's Rx Gallery, takes the
pulse of what some net surfers have dubbed ?GIF Luv,? a recent frenzy of
file-sharing and creative muscle-flexing associated with GIFs (Graphic
Interchange Format files). Curated by Rhizome Editor & Curator at Large,
Marisa Olson, the show presents GIFs and GIF-based videos, prints,
readymades, and sculptures by Cory Arcangel, Peter Baldes, Michael
Bell-Smith, Jimpunk, Olia Lialina, Abe Linkoln, Guthrie Lonergan, Lovid,
Tom Moody, Paper Rad, Paul Slocum, and Matt Smear (aka 893). GIFs have a
rich cultural life on the internet and each bears specific stylistic
markers. From Myspace graphics to advertising images to porn banners, and
beyond, GIFs overcome resolution and bandwidth challenges in their
pervasive population of the net. Animated GIFs, in particular, have
evolved from a largely cinematic, cell-based form of art practice, and
have more recently been incorporated in music videos and employed as
stimulating narrative devices on blogs. From the flashy to the minimal,
the sonic to the silent, the artists in The GIF Show demonstrate the
diversity of forms to be found in GIFs, and many of them comment on the
broader social life of these image files.

Become MySpace friends with the exhibit!

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From: sachiko hayashi <look AT>
Date: Jun 19, 2006
Subject: Hz #8 - new media articles and net art
Hz #8 presents:


by Suguru Goto
Composer Suguru Goto's "Augumented Body and Virtual Body" is a combination
of his previous project "BodySuit" utilising 12 censors on a human
performer and his new project "Robotic Music," in which 5 robots performs
following percussions: Gong, Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Tom-Tom, and Cymbal.

by Jeremy Hight
Jeremy Hight has developed an experiment for the International Space
Station that questions all the current notions of location in locative
media by the inclusion of perspective: he proposes a new field of art to
trigger above cities and the landscape at various altitudes.

by Ewa Wojtowicz
"The Internet-based culture has a global impact although its origin is
blurred. Is it local? Are there any tendencies of locality visible in the
world of net art?" Ewa Wojtowicz, theoretician/historian of art & culture
and new media, examines the present net art practice from the perspective
of locality and gloval networked community.

by Annika Olofsdotter Bergstrom
Annika Olofsondotter Bergstrom discusses three New Media performances in
which all use technology as body's extension: Troika Ranch's "Future of
memory", Stelarc's "Ping Body" and Laetitia Sonami's "Lady?s Glove"

by Bjorn Norberg
New Media Art Curator Bjorn Norberg leads us through the back-stage of the
exhibition "Man Machine" shown at the National Museum of Science and
Technology in Stockholm, February this year.

by Pat Badani
Interviews in 6 cities (Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Mexico City, Buenos
Aires and Paris) are compiled in Pat Badani's net art project "Where Are
You From" to reveal the dynamics between the notions of "place" and

[Hz Net Gallery]

by Andrew Bucksbarg

by Tom Badley

by Francesca Roncagliolo

by Chris Mann

by Babel

Hz is an on-line journal published by the non-profit art organization
Fylkingen in Stockholm. Established in 1933, Fylkingen is the oldest forum
for experimental music and intermedia art in Sweden. Throughout its
history Fylkingen has been known to be a driving force in the Swedish art
scene to introduce and promote yet-to-be-established art forms, the
examples of which include the music of Bartok, the video works of Nam June
Paik, Electro-Acoustic music during the '50s as well as the New Media
performance of Stelarc in recent years. Our members are leading
composers, musicians, dancers, performance artists and visual artists in
Sweden. For more information on Fylkingen, please visit

Sachiko Hayashi/Hz

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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 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: Leonardo/ISAST <isast AT>
Date: Jun 22, 2006
Subject: Sean Cubitt Named New Editor-in-Chief of Leonardo Book Series

For immediate release
June 2006
Contact: isast AT

Sean Cubitt Named New Editor-in-Chief of Leonardo Book Series

"The 21st century will be a period of intense exploration in the sciences,
arts and technology. We can expect unseen beauty and unheard-of ideas; but
we know that we will face unheralded risks and unprecedented ethical
dilemmas. Leonardo authors are at the forefront of these new frontiers and
challenges. Today wireless is having the effect that the Internet had 15
years ago. Biomedia, genomics, nano and the new brain science will
undoubtedly re-forge what we think we know about human, natural and
technological creativity, and beyond them new slopes will rise. Leonardo
Books will be there to document, to predict, to comment, to critique and
to send intelligence back from the places where the future is emerging."
---Sean Cubitt

Leonardo/ISAST is pleased to announce the appointment of Sean Cubitt as
the new Editor-in-Chief of the Leonardo Book Series. Established in 1994
by Leonardo and the MIT Press, the Leonardo Book Series publishes texts by
artists, scientists, researchers and scholars that present innovative
discourse on the convergence of art, science and technology. The Leonardo
Book Series includes such seminal titles as Information Arts, by Stephen
Wilson; The Language of New Media, by Lev Manovich; The Visual Mind,
edited by Michele Emmer; and The Robot in the Garden, edited by Ken

Cubitt's duties as Editor-in-Chief include soliciting and reviewing
manuscripts submitted for inclusion in the series as well as
administrative oversight of the series in collaboration with the MIT Press
and the Leonardo/ISAST Governing Board.

The Leonardo Book Series Advisory Board, appointed by Cubitt in June 2006,
includes Annick Bureaud, Laura Marks, Anna Munster, Michael Punt, Sundar
Sarukkai, Joel Slayton and Eugene Thacker.

Biographical Information

Sean Cubitt is Director of the Program in Media and Communications at the
University of Melbourne. Among his publications are Digital Aesthetics,
The Cinema Effect and EcoMedia. His research interests are in media arts,
the history and philosophy of media and globalization.

Annick Bureaud lives and works in Paris. She is a critic and theoretician
of new-media and techno-science art. Bureaud is the director of
Leonardo/OLATS, the French sister organization of Leonardo
( Her main research interests are in space art,
biotech art and communication and network art.

Laura Marks, a citizen of both Canada and the U.S., began as a journalist
and is now a scholar and curator of independent and experimental media
arts. Currently she is working on contemporary Arab cinema, and Islamic
genealogies of computer-based art. She teaches at Simon Fraser University
in Vancouver.

Anna Munster is a writer, artist and senior lecturer at the College of
Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Australia. Her latest book is
Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aesthetics. Her
research interests include new-media arts and theory, science, art and
politics, especially bioart, and network and mobile media and theory.

Michael Punt is Editor-in-Chief of Leonardo Reviews. He is Reader in Art
and Technology at the University of Plymouth, where he is Director of
Trans-technology Research. The key concern of his research is the
understanding of science and technology as a manifestation of a range of
human desires and cultural imperatives. A full list of his current
projects, recent publications, films and exhibitions can be found at

Sundar Sarukkai is a professor at the Centre for Philosophy, National
Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India. His research interests
are in the areas of philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics,
phenomenology and philosophy of language, drawing upon both Indian and
Western traditions. He is the author of Translating the World: Science and
Language; Philosophy of Symmetry; and Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of

Joel Slayton is a professor and director of the CADRE Laboratory at San
Jose State University. He is the founder of C5 Corporation
<>. His artworks involving networks and information
visualization have been exhibited internationally. He was formerly
Editor-in-Chief of the Leonardo Book Series and is Chairperson of
ISEA2006/ZeroOne San Jose.

Eugene Thacker teaches in the School of Literature, Communication and
Culture (LCC) at Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author of
Biomedia and The Global Genome: Biotechnology, Politics, and Culture, and
co-author with Alex Galloway of The Exploit: A Critique of the Network
Form. He has also collaborated with art collectives such as Fakeshop and
Biotech Hobbyist. His current book-project is Necrologies: Bare Life and
the Body Politic.

Titles published in the Leonardo Book Series to date:

The Leonardo Almanac, edited by Craig Harris
The Visual Mind, edited by Michele Emmer
Designing Information Technology in the Postmodern Age, by Richard Coyne
Immersed in Technology, edited by Mary Anne Moser and Douglas MacLeod
Technoromanticism, by Richard Coyne
The Digital Dialectic, edited by Peter Lunenfeld
Art and Innovation, edited by Craig Harris
The Robot in the Garden, edited by Ken Goldberg
The Language of New Media, by Lev Manovich
Metal and Flesh, by Ollivier Dyens
Information Arts, by Stephen Wilson
Virtual Art, by Oliver Grau
Uncanny Networks, by Geert Lovink
Women, Art and Technology, edited by Judy Malloy
Windows and Mirrors, by Diane Gromala and Jay Bolter
Protocol, by Alex Galloway
At a Distance, edited by Norie Neumark and Annmarie Chandler
Visual Mathematics II, edited by Michele Emmer
CODE, edited by Rishab Aiyer Ghosh
The Global Genome, by Eugene Thacker
Media Ecologies, by Mathew Fuller
Aesthetic Computing, edited by Paul Fishwick

More information can be found on the Leonardo Book Series website:

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From: eric_bury AT <eric_bury AT>
Date: Jun 22, 2006
Subject: Implant Matrix

Philip Beesley and Will Elsworthy's Implant Matrix
is an interactive sculptural installation currently on exhibition in
Toronto. The piece uses purpose programmed micro-controlled sensors and
actuators that provide a mechanical response to user stimuli. Arrays of
shape memory alloy (SMA or 'muscle wire') driven pores open and close as
people touch sensors that are suspended from the matrix. Despite being
digitally manufactured of acrylic and mylar, the piece becomes an organic,
living entity.

>From the gallery text:

Implant Matrix
Interaccess Gallery June 1-29, 2006

Philip Beesley and Will Elsworthy
with Robert Gorbet and Steven Wood

Implant Matrix is an interactive geotextile that could be used for
reinforcing landscapes and buildings of the future. The matrix is capable
of mechanical empathy. A network of mechanisms react to human occupants
as erotic prey. The structure responds to human presence with subtle
grasping and sucking motions, ingesting organic materials and
incorporating them into a new hybrid entity.

Implant Matrix is composed of interlinking filtering 'pores' within a
lightweight structural system. Primitive interactive systems employ
capacitance sensors, shape-memory alloy wire actuators and distributed
microprocessors. The matrix is fabricated by laser cutting direct from
digital models. The project is supported by the Daniel Langlois Foundation
for Art, Science and Technology, the Ontario Arts Council and the
University of Waterloo School of Architecture.

Assistant Designers:
Eric Bury
Liana Bresler
Miriam Ho
Desmond Shum

Philip Beesley is an experimental architect and artist who often
collaborates with artists, performers and engineers. Textile-like 'field'
installations have characterized his work in the past decade. His work has
been recognized by the Prix de Rome in Architecture for Canada.

Implant Matrix:

Other sculptural works:

on exhibition until June 29th at InterAccess gallery:

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From: Franco Mattes <Propaganda AT>
Date: Jun 23, 2006
Subject: The Influencers festival / Barcelona 6-7-8 july 2006

Eva and Franco Mattes aka 0100101110101101.ORG and Bani present:

Festival of media action and radical entertainment

*July 6 7 8 - 2006*
Center of Contemporary Culture Barcelona

Welcome to episode three of The Influencers series, the live talk show you
won't see on TV! With us tonight, we have media pranksters, star remixers
of ideas, saboteurs of academic categories and reality agitators of every

Over the next three days, our 7 guests will present their work and discuss
it with us. They will take us into stories of collective hallucinations
that turn into reality and vice versa, like the time a Nazi icon was used
to celebrate the patron-hero of a socialist state, or that fun time we
spent bribing scientists and crushing workers so that our junk food
company would come out on top (at least in a videogame).

And more: porn movies transformed into sequences of letters and numbers,
fake newspapers announcing the end of the Polish communist regime and a
new king Wojtyla, stolen web pages, an apologia for copying, DIY artists
who have cracked the top ten, masked insects hanging from the billboards
of corrupt presidents...

Our 7 guests will talk about the origins of their projects, their
challenges and objectives, giving us all the dirt on the strategies that
work while suggesting clues we can use to explore subterranean affinities
through different periods, disciplines and cultural contexts. Acquisition
of other identities on a mass scale and a trip through the turbulences of
information flows are our recommended remedies to July sunburn and other

press office: Monica Muñoz, premsa AT / +34 933064100

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From: silva.luis <silva.luis AT>
Date: Jun 23, 2006
Subject: Review of Curating Immateriality by Luis Silva

+Commissioned by
Review of Curating Immateriality
(Autonomedia, 2006, edited by Joasia Krysa)
by Luis Silva

Curating Immateriality: the work of the curator in the age of network
systems is the third volume of Autonomedia?s DATA browser series, after
Economizing Culture and Engineering Culture. Edited by Joasia Krysa,
co-editor of the book series, curator, and teacher at the Faculty of
Technology, University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, Curating
Immateriality features texts that are to a large extent based on the
papers presented at Curating, Immateriality, Systems, an event held at
Tate Modern in June 2005, but re-edited for the purpose of publication.
The book features articles by Joasia Krysa, Tiziana Terranova, Marina
Vishmidt, Grzesiek Sedek, Geoff Cox, Christiane Paul, Eva Grubinger,
Jacob, Lillemose, Josephine Berry Slater, &
[epidemiC], Alexander R. Galloway & Eugene Thacker, Franziska Nori,
low-fi, Trebor Scholz, Beryl Graham, Piotr Krajewski, Olga Goriunova &
Alexei Shulgin and Matteo Pasquinelli.

At the Curating, Immateriality, Systems event, the debate was centered
around how curators can respond to new forms of self-organizing and
self-replicating systems, databases, programming, net art, software art
and generative media, and in general to systems of immaterial cultural
production and what new models of curatorial practice are needed to take
account of shared, distributed, and collaborative objects and processes.
Curating Immateriality not only follows this line of investigation, but
also tries to go deeper in exploring some of the critical ideas that were
central to the conference. As Krysa stated in her introduction to the
book, "The site of curatorial production has been expanded to include the
space of the Internet and the focus of curatorial attention has been
extended from the object to processes to dynamic network systems. As a
result, curatorial work has become more widely distributed between
multiple agents including technological networks and software. This book
reflects on these changes and asserts that the practice of curating cannot
be dissociated from social and technological developments."

One of the ideas put forward in this volume, giving it its critical
structure and theoretical framing, is one derived by Italian autonomists,
linking immateriality--seen as a response to the changes undergone by
labour in post-Fordist or networked societies, and curating. Immateriality
(or immaterial labour) is a Marxist concept that redefines labour in the
age of general intellect. Lazzarato and Negri identified how labour,
control, and power relations have changed and are currently structured,
due to the ever-growing importance of communication technologies and
distributed production. Curating, seen through this perspective, cannot be
dissociated from these changes and can be thought of as their reflection.

Besides investigating the notion of immateriality, the book also
introduces the concept of a distributed curatorial practice, or put in
other terms, the action of curation within the context of networked
systems. This vast exercise addresses issues of what can be curated and
what challenging new possibilities for curating itself may arise from such
a systemic point of view. Once again the political context in which these
changes occur is taken in consideration and control and power relations
are examined. For instance, in Pasquinelli?s article, the end chapter of
the book, free software is seen as something other than simply liberating.
It is seen, like other cultural products, as symptomatic of the new
immaterial conditions discussed previously.

Practice is an important part of the book. If some very interesting
articles constitute the theoretical backbone of this collection of
contributions, examples are by no means reduced to a simple illustrating
role. If different forms of curatorial practice are discussed, and
Christiane Paul?s text is a good overview of the multitude of
possibilities within new media curating, the concept of distributed
curating, presented and debated, is extended by the introduction of the
idea of software curating--that is, online curatorial systems that
incorporate software and networks in the curatorial process itself.

Two examples deserve a closer look, kurator and the better-known The kurator project is a free software application programmed
to curate source code. After being submitted the code is made available
for further processing through a set of modules. It actively tries to
reconfigure curatorial practice in line with the curatorial object. The
interest lies in the fact that both the practices and their framing adhere
to the same principles, the organization of data. It transforms curating
into a generative experiment about social relations, distributing the
curatorial activity over a network of people and thus breaking the domain
of the curator as a single individual. Also, it deletes, to a certain
extent, the issue of the importance of taste, by partially automating
activities associated to the curator. According to Vishmidt?s text,
"kurator deploys opens source programming technology to distribute the
function and de-privilege the figure of the curator as specialized subject
of institutional power." She later writes, "By displacing the curatorial
function from abstract subjective potential to binary code, it reproduces
the singular curator as a collective executable. In this way it preserves
the curator by exceeding the curator, the perfectly consistent paradox
that any art practice grounding its critique (...) is structurally bound
to enact.", the software repository emerged out from the Readme software
art festival, is a system of dynamic data storage and a presentation tool.
Its curatorial process is based on an open system, but with moderation and
a database allowing for the self-submission of works. Not quite as radical
as kurator, shifts the emphasis on the curatorial role in
different ways. After the broad initial filtering caused by the moderated
submission procedure, additional filtering happens in the classifying and
labeling of work, through the project?s "taxonomical" system. Software
submitted may be classified according to a list of software art categories
and a keyword cloud, describing the projects and allowing navigation. It
is the interaction between the processes of filtering, categorizing, and
labeling, with their imposition of boundaries and the democratic
possibilities of an open repository and database, that makes this project
curatorially interesting.

In these two examples, and all of the others presented throughout the
book, there is a more general acknowledgment of software curating, which
seems to place the strength and validity of Curating Immateriality in the
context of politics of curating. This act is portrayed as both a critical
and a creative practice and much connected to a wider socio-economical
system beyond the traditional art system.

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Marisa Olson (marisa AT ISSN:
1525-9110. Volume 11, number 24. Article submissions to list AT
are encouraged. Submissions should relate to the theme of new media art
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