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: 11.08.06
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2006 14:02:28 -0800

RHIZOME DIGEST: November 8, 2006


1. Marisa Olson: Digest Date Change
2. Marisa Olson: New Site Editors & Curatorial Fellow

3. Pall Thayer: Fwd: CCRMA Faculty Opening
4. infoarts AT sfsu art history job in art & technology
5. sachiko hayashi: Call for Articles and Net Art

6. Christiane Paul: Translations: Misguided Machines and Cultural Loops -- Opening Sat. Nov. 4, 6-8PM
7. Turbulence: Turbulence Commission: [] by Mary Flanagan, Daniel Howe, Chris Egert, Junming Mei, and Kay Chang
8. Joseph DeLappe: RIFNM 06 The 1st Reno Interdisciplinary Festival of New Media

+member-curated exhibit+
9. Just opened: "Interfaces of Imagination" curated by Zack McCune

10. domenico quaranta: The Last Avant-garde. Interview with Mark Tribe & Reena Jana

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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 Rhizomes 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: Marisa Olson <marisa AT>
Date: Nov 8, 2006
Subject: Digest Date Change

Hi. More Updates!

As of today, we're switching the date of the Digest delivery from Friday to Wednesday. This is the result of feedback from many of you who felt that the Digest got lost in your inboxes at the end of the week or that you didn't have weekend time to contribute to discussions before they were threaded...

Also, we hesitate to pre-announce things, around here (given how technology works), but on the level of user feedback regarding the Digest, I also wanted to let you know that an html version of the digest and issue-specific url's are on the horizon.

Stay tuned and thanks for your feedback...


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Marisa Olson
Editor & Curator at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art

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From: Marisa Olson <marisa AT>
Date: Nov 8, 2006
Subject: New Site Editors & Curatorial Fellow

Hello. I'm writing with a few updates about our volunteer roster.

We had an overwhelming number of responses from people who wanted to be Site Editors. (I've tried to get back to everyone, though my email was briefly knocked out, last week.) Because there were so many responses and we're more interested in diversity than "gatekeeping," we decided to sign people up on a first-come basis. The newest additions to our list are Luis Silva, Seth Thompson, Lee Wells, and Tyler Jacobsen. They join recently-added Site Editors John Michael Boling, Hanne Mugaas, and Michael Parenti, and ongoing Site Editors Greg Smith, Ryan Griffis, Pau Waelder, Nicholas Economos, Mark Cooley, Lauren Cornell, and myself. Interns Ana Otero and Miguel Amado (see below) will also begin reblogging, soon. FYI, T.Whid and the former staff members who were previously Site Editors (Mark Tribe, Alex Galloway, Rachel Greene, Kevin McGarry, and Francis Hwang) have now become "Emeritus." Big thanks to everyone for their commitment. I'll be calling for more Site Editors in the future, for those who may be interested.

Meanwhile, I also wanted to announce that Miguel Amado will be joining the Rhizome crew as our 06-07 Curatorial Fellow, beginning this week. His bio is below.

Miguel Amado is a young Portuguese curator and writer. He has an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, in London. He was curator at the Visual Arts Centre, in Coimbra, from 2003 to mid-2005. Currently, he is curator at large of the Collection of Portuguese Contemporary Art of the PLMJ Foundation, in Lisbon. Selected curated shows include the annual exhibition "Options & Futures: Works form the Collection of the PLMJ Foundation" (2005-), "E=mc2" (National Museum for Science and Technology, Coimbra, 2005), "7/10" (Modern Art Centre of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 2003), and the Project Room programme at the Visual Arts Centre (2004-2005). Since 2005 he has been a regular contributor to books, catalogues and magazines such as Artforum,, Flash Art, Contemporary and Exit Express. Between mid-2005 and mid-2006 he was the editor of the Portuguese quarterly magazine W-Art. He has also edited books such as "25 Frames per Second: Videos from the Collection of the PLMJ Foundation" (2006).

Best regards,

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Marisa Olson
Editor & Curator at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art

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From: Pall Thayer <p_thay AT>
Date: Oct 27, 2006
Subject: Fwd: CCRMA Faculty Opening

Begin forwarded message:

From: Chris Chafe <cc AT ccrma.Stanford.EDU>
Date: 27. oktber 2006 16:45:37 GMT-04:00
To: cc <cc AT ccrma.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: CCRMA Faculty Opening

On behalf of Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics and our Search Committee, I'd like to bring to your attention a faculty opening at CCRMA. I am attempting to spread the word as far and wide as possible. I write in the hope that you could identify any exceptionally promising students or colleagues and encourage them to consider applying. This a wonderful opportunity for individuals who are likely to shape the field and are still at an early career stage. We are particularly looking for applicants who would add diversity to our faculty in many respects.

Please feel free to send me any names of individuals you think I might try contacting personally, and I'd be happy to answer any questions relating to this search.

Thanks very much for your attention, we're extremely excited by what this means for CCRMA's future and appreciate any assistance in our search.

Chris Chafe
Director, CCRMA


FACULTY POSITION (text version)
The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University hopes to fill a junior faculty (tenure-track) position in computer music*. The field of specialization is open, and might be, for example, in psychoacoustics, composition, engineering, new areas of performance, or a combination of interests. Teaching responsibilities at the undergraduate and graduate levels will include courses in the candidate's areas of expertise. Stanford University is an affirmative-action employer. The appointment can begin in the fall quarter of either 2007 or 2008. Candidates should send a letter of interest containing a brief description of relevant experience, a current curriculum vitae, and names and addresses (physical, e-mail, and FAX, if possible) of three referees to:

CCRMA Search Committee
Attn: Debbie Barney
Department of Music
541 Lasuen Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-3076

The preferred date for receipt of the above materials is on or before December 1, 2006. Please do not send any supplementary materials at this time.
* Computer music is a multidisciplinary field drawing on more
traditional fields such as music composition and theory, engineering,
psychology, computer science, physics, and applied mathematics. Qualified candidates may have doctoral degrees in any of these or related areas. An overview of CCRMA research and teaching programs is available at

Pall Thayer
p_thay AT

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From: infoarts AT <infoarts AT>
Date: Oct 28, 2006
Subject: sfsu art history job in art & technology

San Francisco State University has a job coming up in contemporary art history. One of the areas they are potentially interested in is art & technology. Please circulate widely.

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From: sachiko hayashi <look AT>
Date: Nov 1, 2006
Subject: Call for Articles and Net Art

Call for Articles and Net Art

On-line journal Hz ( is looking for articles on New Media, Net Art, Sound Art and Electro-Acoustic Music. We accept earlier published and unpublished articles in English. Please send your submissions to hz-journal AT

Hz is also looking for Net Art works to be included in its virtual gallery ( Please send your URLs to hz-journal AT

Dead-line: 1 December, 2006

Hz is published by the non-profit organization Fylkingen in Stockholm. Established in 1933, Fylkingen has been known for introducing yet-to-be-established art forms throughout its history. Nam June Paik, Stockhausen, Cage, etc. have all been introduced to the Swedish audience through Fylkingen. Its members consist of leading composers, musicians, dancers, performance artists and video artists in Sweden. For more information on Fylkingen, please visit or

Sachiko Hayashi/Hz
sachiko hayashi

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From: Christiane Paul <Christiane_Paul AT>
Date: Oct 29, 2006
Subject: Translations: Misguided Machines and Cultural Loops -- Opening Sat. Nov. 4, 6-8PM

Translations: Misguided Machines and Cultural Loops
Selected work Digital+Media students AT Rhode Island School of Design
Curated by Christiane Paul

Emergence AT Duo Theater
62 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

November 4 - 25, 2006
Opening hours: Thurs. - Sat. 1PM - 6PM
Opening Reception: Nov. 4, 6-8PM

Translations -- a selection of works by Digital+Media students at the Rhode Island School of Design -- brings together three groups of projects that reference a process of "translation," be it in the sense of processes mediated by machines, systems of transcription, or communication between cultures.

In Gideon Webster's Time Machine, a cast graphite object with 6 legs that is attached to the arm of an axle can be moved in a circular path around a slab of white concrete by means of a handle. Each 'step' taken by the six-legged wheel creates a drawing by slowly scraping away the concrete and at the same time wearing down the legs. The machine inscribes and translates the time of human usage into its materiality. A different form of mediation unfolds in Bokyung Jun's Drawing Machine, which consists of a long rod with a glass suspended on each end, containing water and traditional Chinese sumi ink, respectively. Releasing one drop of sumi and water on the paper every one second on opposite ends, the machine draws one big circle over the course of 45 minutes, with water and ink beginning to mingle and melt with each other after 20 minutes. The performative process of drawing again emphasizes the effects of different materials. By contrast, the action of Christopher Robbins' machines does not translate into a meaningful outcome. His Misguided Machines are trying to accomplish impossible tasks, engaging in futile endeavors. While the apparatus dutifully performs its actions, succeeding in what it has been built to do, it ultimately fails in achieving its objective. The Misguided Machines are life-support systems for "animals": while one end of the machine pumps air into a scrap of fake fur, the other end saws away at a branch from which an already dead mackerel is hanging, trying to release it into a bucket full of water below it. The Misguided Machines serve as a reminder of the ways in which automated actions can become detached from their good intentions and meaningful effects.

A second group of projects explores translation through a process of transcribing different forms of data. Cristobal Mendoza's Every Word I Saved is a digital video loop featuring a self-portrait in data. The project consists of each word Mendoza wrote and saved in documents, emails, and chats since September 2005, presenting words alphabetically and in chronological order within their group. The scrolling words become a decontextualized representation of their author, a dynamic database portrait rendered in structural rather than semantic relations. A different form of abstraction emerges in Sarah Renshaw's print series of Translations, in which she translates the alphabet and short excerpts from texts into 'crack formations' that attempt to create a literal inscription of the language of time as it affects matter and memory. The cracks, however, cannot be read as any other language system and the story becomes encoded in them. Naomi Kaly's projects Ephemeral and Dualogue t!
ake a different approach to language systems by exploring new spaces for reading and writing enabled by the fusion of different technologies. Suggesting a hybrid between a traditional paper page and the page on a digital screen, Ephemeral is an interactive paper installation that consists of an abacus-like apparatus with handmade paper beads onto which letters are projected. Sliding the beads, visitors 'trap' the projected digital characters and compose their own text. In the interactive sound piece Dualogue, layers of language and identity are interwoven in a multilingual audio mosaic. Using a small bead as an interface, visitors are invited to scan and decipher the audio encoded on a conductive thread. Sliding the bead to the left or right reveals chunks of Hebrew or English text respectively, enabling multiple readings or interpretations of the story depending on the sliding direction and speed.

Cultural translations and loops are also at the core of works by Monica Ong and Hye Yeon Nam, as well as a collaborative project by John Ewing, Ebe Odonkor, and Christopher Robbins. Ong's My Fathers Mother is a multi-media installation consisting of a portrait contained in a custom mahogany box and accompanied by audio. The sonic narrative reflects on the complexities of memory in a multi-cultural family. Hye Yeon Nam's Self-Portrait depicts the experience of displacement brought about by immigration through four videos that show her performing what seem to be simple, everyday actions, such as eating, drinking and walking. In each scenario the artist is engaged in a frustrating struggle since she literally finds herself equipped with the wrong 'tools' for completing the respective task. For Ghana Think Tank, John Ewing, Ebe Odonkor, and Christopher Robbins identified a series of problems they encountered in their community (Providence, Rhode Island), described them in sho!
rt design briefs and sent them to ad-hoc think tanks formed in Ghana, Cuba, and El Salvador. The think tanks were offered a day's wages to reflect on these problems and send their solutions, which a group of art students then translated into specific plans of action and enacted. The documentation was returned to the think tanks for feedback. The focus of the project is not to resolve problems but to investigate the assumptions that are made in transposing solutions generated in one cultural context to another.

Taking different approaches, the projects in the exhibition explore and juxtapose the layers of translation that inform systems of representation and communication -- from cultural exchanges to machine mediation.

Bokyung Jun, Drawing Machine
Naomi Kaly, Dualogue / Ephemeral
Cristobal Mendoza, Every Word I Saved
Hye Yeon Nam, Self-Portrait
Ebe Odonkor, Christopher Robbins, John Ewing, Ghana Think Tank
Monica Ong, My Father's Mother
Sarah Renshaw, Translations
Christopher Robbins, Misguided Machines
Gideon Webster, Time Machine

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From: Turbulence <turbulence AT>
Date: Oct 30, 2006
Subject: Turbulence Commission: [] by Mary Flanagan, Daniel Howe, Chris Egert, Junming Mei, and Kay Chang

October 30, 2006
Turbulence Commission: [] by Mary Flanagan, Daniel Howe, Chris
Egert, Junming Mei, and Kay Chang

[] is an Internet service that blends software art and search tool to visualize participants' interests in prevalent streams of information, encouraging browsing and interaction between users in real time, through time. Utilizing the WordNet lexical reference system from Princeton University, [] introduces concepts of temporality, space, and empathy into a network-oriented search tool. Participants search for words which expand contextually through the use of a lexical database. English nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are organized into floating synonym "seeds," each representing one underlying lexical concept. When participants "plant" their interests, each becomes a tree that "grows" over time. Each organism's leaves are linked to related streaming RSS feeds, and by interacting with their own and other participants' trees, participants create a contextual timescape in which interests can be seen growing and changing within an environment that endures.

The [] software was created by an eclectic team of artists and scientists: Mary Flanagan, Daniel Howe, Chris Egert, Junming Mei, and Kay Chang.

[] is a 2005 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support from the PSC-CUNY research fund.

For more information about Turbulence please visit

Jo-Anne Green, Co-Director
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.:
New York: 917.548.7780 . Boston: 617.522.3856
New American Radio:
Networked_Performance Blog:
Upgrade! Boston:

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From: Joseph DeLappe <delappe AT>
Date: Nov 2, 2006
Subject: RIFNM 06 The 1st Reno Interdisciplinary Festival of New Media

RIFNM 06 The 1st Reno Interdisciplinary Festival of New Media

The Department of Art
University of Nevada, Reno

The 1st Reno Interdisciplinary Festival of New Media (RIFNM) highlights an international selection of work by graduate and Phd students working with new digital technologies for the creation of art. Artists working in and across disciplines were invited to submit works to be considered for five interrelated events/venues: exhibit, netart, perform, project(full-dome) and present. The resulting festival schedule of events presents a unique opportunity to directly experience innovative work being created by a diversity of emerging artists exploring digital systems for visual and experiential production.

RIFNM 06 will feature a wide range visual and performative media incorporating digital systems, including but not limited to: interactive art, robotics, movement/dance, net art, full-dome video/animation, generative systems, video installation, electronic music an performance art.

Participating Artists/Affiliations:
-Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
-Gudmundur S. Gunnarsson, Mills College
-Sabrina Berryman, University of Utah
-Margaret Noble and Edyta Stepien, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
-Jolanta A Lapiak, NSCAD, Nova Scotia, Canada
-Martin Machado, San Francisco Art Institute
-Suzanne Yo Martinsen, University of Central Florida
-Pete Froslie, Massachusetts College of Art
-Alejandro Duque, European Graduate School, Switzerland
-Jamie Timms, University of California, Santa Barbara
-Mike Godwin, University of California, Santa Barbara
-Conor McGarrigle, National College of Art & Design Dublin, Ireland
-Stephanie Jeanjean, Graduate Center of CUNY (City University of New York)
-Melissa Grey and Robert Kirkbride, The New School, New York City
-Pamela Kray, The New School, New York City
-So Jung Kwon, Otis School of Art and Design, Los Angeles
-Si Jae Byun, School of Visual Arts, New York City
-Walter Nelson, Griffith University, Australia
-Stephen Cady, University of Illinois, Chicago, School of Art and Design
-Jeanne Jo, Rhode Island School of Art and Design
-Jake Lee High, Massachusetts College of Art

Schedule of Events:

EXHIBIT Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, UNR
November 9 December 15th
November 9, 6:00pm: Opening Comments by festival director, Joseph DeLappe and Marjorie Vecchio, Director, Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, followed by a Panel Discussion with the artists featured in the exhibit.
Room 153, 1st Floor, Church Fine Arts Building
Festival Opening Reception to follow 6:30-8:30pm in the Gallery
This event is free and open to the public.

PRESENT Black Box Theater, UNR
Friday, November 10th
Individual Grad Artists Presentations
Selected graduate student media artists from throughout the United States and abroad will gather to present and speak about their respective creative production.
This event is free and open to the public.

PERFORM The Nevada Museum of Art
Wayne and Miriam Prim Theater
Friday, November 10th
7pm 9pm
New media in performance, featuring:

1,2,3,5,8 Breezy Berryman Dance, University of Utah

Boltatilraun 1, music performance for four saxophones and electronics.
Gudmundur Steinn Gunnarsson, Mills College

Morphology and Face Shift, two "algorithmic choreography" pieces involving computer-controlled movements of the human face. Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

160 W. Liberty Street, 329-3333 for tickets
$5 general $4 members and students
advanced tickets recommended:

PROJECT Fleischmann Planetarium, UNR
Thursday, November 16th
Experimental video art and computer animations designed for full-dome, 360 degree projection.
7:30pm and 9:00pm
$5.00 General, $4.00 Students

NETART (application deadline extended to Monday, November 6 - send URL for consideration!)
Online exhibition of Internet based artworks.

Contact info:
Joseph DeLappe, Chair, Festival Director 775-784-6624/delappe AT
Marki Vecchio, Director, Sheppard Gallery 775-784-6658
Dan Ruby, Associate Director, Fleishmann Planetarium

Reno, Nevada 89557

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From: <webmaster AT>
Date: Oct 28, 2006
Subject: Just opened: "Interfaces of Imagination" curated by Zack McCune

Just opened ...

+ Interfaces of Imagination +
+ Curated by Zack McCune +

Since its inception, the video game has been preoccupied with presenting the world how players would like the world. From the arcade games of the 1980s to the societal metaphors of contemporary gaming, video games have remained an agent of fantasy and imagination. Often video games allow users to play along as characters they could never actually be (Indiana Jones or Harry Potter) or to interact within digital landscapes that are of this world (Hogwarts or Star Wars' Planet Hoth). Many video games feel intrinsically hedonistic. The mock situations, characters, storylines or actions that a user might want to participate with but cannot. These games fulfil and satisfy. They substitute contrived cyber experiences for the real thing.

This exhibit titled Interfaces of Imagination examines artwork on the artbase that explore the way in the video game can be used as an artistic medium to manifest fantasy. Throughout the works, artists try to reconcile what human imagination wants and desires with virtual interactions that satisfy these cravings. Some see the video game as an agent of revisionist history, a way of interacting with an imagined reality that is somehow preferred to the way true history played out. Other artists see the video game hs a way of narrating their own life and growth alongside the development of gaming technology. For the artists featured exhibit reality can be totally re-informed by the virtual world of the video game. Whether this is intended or intrinsic to the works is almost inconsequential all of the artists consciously or subconsciously pay homage to the video game as an interface of imagination. Instead of seeing the constraints of gameplay, setting, player characterization, and gaming narrative, these new media artists understand the video game to be a medium of manifesting fantasy. Their works, by extension, re-define the conventions of video gaming.

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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: domenico quaranta <qrndnc AT>
Date: Oct 30, 2006
Subject: The Last Avant-garde. Interview with Mark Tribe & Reena Jana


Rough version of an interview with Mark Tribe & Reena Jana, authors of NEW MEDIA ART (Taschen, Kln 2006). A shorter version has been published in Flash Art Italia, Issue 260, October November 2006, p. 73.

Domenico Quaranta: Even from an editorial point of view, your book describes new media art as a movement (such as Surrealism or Conceptualism) rather than a mere possibility of the medium. This is a very interesting point. Do you believe in it or is this a marketing strategy? Is new media art the last avant-garde, and why?

Mark Tribe: Before we discuss New Media art as a movement, we describe it more generically in terms of "projects that make use of emerging media technologies and are concerned with the cultural, political, and aesthetic possibilities of these tools." I think this is more-or-less what you mean by "a possibility of the medium." We go on to write, "New Media art is not defined by the technologies discussed here; on the contrary, by deploying these technologies for critical or experimental purposes, New Media artists redefine them as art media." We then talk about New Media art as an art movement because, from our perspective, that is an important aspect of the historical context that has been largely ignored. In order to understand the work that was made by people who called themselves "New Media artists" and thought of what they made as "New Media art," it is crucial to consider the historical specificity of that term (it's relation to the corporate New Media industry, the Dot com boom and bust cycle, etc.), as well as the place of New Media art practices within a broader art-historical framework. I believe strongly in the value of this kind of contextual reading, as opposed to a more formalist approach that considers the intrinsic qualities of the work in isolation. Your question about the avant-garde actually raises a similar issue: like New Media art, avant-garde can be defined generically as any cultural practice that pushes beyond the limits established norms through innovation and experimentation. But avant-garde can also be defined with historical specificity as a set of movements, such as Dada and Constructivism, that linked experimental cultural practices with radical social and political change. But, to answer your question directly, I do think that New Media art was one of the few historically significant art movements of the late 20th century. There were a lot of other historically significant practices, but none of them galvanized as movements per se. The defining characteristics of art moveme!
nts, in
y view, are: self-definition (the artists tend to use a common term, or set of competing terms, to name their practice); the existence of dedicated organizations, venues, publications, and discourse networks; and a common set of artistic strategies and concerns. Often one finds the last of these without the first two, as was the case with identity-focused work in the early 90s. I do think that New Media art could be described, generically, as avant-garde.

Reena Jana: Mark very eloquently described the parameters of our definition of New Media as a movement. Our point is that during the 1990s, with the dawn of the Internet's popular rise as a mass-market communication medium coupled with the increasing presence of PCs among households, a specific art movement started to take shape that both used these tools as primary artistic media to comment on the effect of these media on society and culture. This movement entailed self-organization and definition on the part of the artists involved on chat rooms, on artist-run Web sites, in gallery exhibitions and at institutions devoted to the movement. We seek to document this phenomenon, and to point out that New Media art is a specific term that refers to a particular historical moment. Our goal is to offer more than simplistic clumping of all work using digital media with a blanket term such as "digital art." New Media artists were not simply experimenting with digital editing to make their video art easier to produce or creating online animations of their paintings (two examples of practices that often were described as "digital art" in the late 1990s and conflated with New Media art). Instead, New Media artists use emerging mass-communications tools to comment on the social, cultural, and philosophical effects that such tools trigger.
And yes, in my view, New Media art as it evolved from 1994-2004 can be understood as "avant-garde." As for New Media art's description as "avant-garde," I think it's key to see an antecedent in the Dadaist and Surrealist points of view that avant-garde art strives for using inventive artistic techniques to jar audiences and affect their understanding and experience of life. New Media art also can be described as generically "avant-garde," by definitionconsider the term and the artists' imaginative use of emerging mass-media and distribution channels involved to comment on the larger "new media" as a dominant cultural force and influence in the 1990s.

DQ: Why do you focus on the Nineties, seemingly forgetting the Telecommunication art of the Seventies and the Computer art of the Eighties?

MT: We discuss Video art in the "Art-historical Antecedents" section of the introduction. We had to cut a paragraph or two on transmission art of Paik, Douglas Davis, et al due to space constraints (the length of the introduction was pre-defined by the publisher to conform with the series). We left out '80s Computer art (AKA Multimedia art, Electronic Intermedia, etc.) because we felt that it was not, in fact, a significant precursor. Although Computer art and New Media art, to the extent that they can be distinguished from each other, shared a similar set of enabling technologies, and many old-school Computer artists from the Siggraph/Leonardo/ISEA scene joined the New Media art bandwagon in the '90s, the two are crucially and fundamentally different in their relationship to media culture. Of course I'm generalizing broadly here, and there are lots of exceptions, but most Computer art was not as concerned with media culture as it was with information technologies and their cultural applications, whereas New Media art almost always takes a critical position in relation to media culture and media technologies.

RJ: Our focus is not on media art (i.e., video or other telecommunication art) or early experiments with computer, electronic, or biological material and themes, but instead on New Media art. For clarity, we place New Media art within the continuum of media art and computer-based art. Please refer to page 7: "We locate New Media art as a subset of two broader categories: Art and Technology and Media art..." New Media is also its own category.

DQ: What kind of criteria did you follow in the selection?

MT: From page 7 of the English version: "We chose to... focus on works that are particularly influential, that exemplify an important domain of New Media art practice and that display an exceptional degree of conceptual sophistication, technological innovation, or social relevance." Beyond that, we considered geographic diversity and generally selected work that we personally like. Unfortunately, do to the limitations of the series, we had to leave out a lot of work that we very much wanted to include.

RJ: In addition, I think it's important to circle back to the definition of New Media art that Mark mentioned in his first answer. We looked for "projects that make use of emerging media technologies and are concerned with the cultural, political, and aesthetic possibilities of [new media] tools." As for "selecting work that we personally like," such a criterion reflects basic editorial (and, for that matter, curatorial) practice. We spent many hours debating back and forth what the final list would be - an intellectually challenging - and rewarding - process that we feel resulted in a balanced selection of forms, themes, styles, geographical representation, gender, and technologies that reflects the diversity and dynamism of the international movement of New Media art. Please note that our introduction includes many examples of other important works that we had nominated for inclusion in the main entries, which is historically relevant, or was influential. Because the book is meant to be a brief introduction to New Media art, we were required to present a concise list of main entries that illustrate the scope of the movement.

DQ: A book like this is a strange event for media art practitioners: it is cheap, small, captivating and easy to read. Media art gets out of the ghetto and goes mainstream. Don't be shy: do you think New Media Art is going to change something in the history of new media art?

MT: New Media art started to emerge from the ghetto and swim in the mainstream several years ago, but I get your point. We tried to write the book in such a way that it would be both accessible to non-specialists and useful to our peers. I like the fact that the book has so many large images of the art work and that Taschen does such a beautiful job with printing and design. I do hope that the book helps broaden the audience for New Media art and generate more support for New Media artists and organizations.

RJ: Yes, the price-point, portability, and accessible-yet-informed tone are indeed intended to broaden the audience of New Media art, although certainly New Media art is quickly gaining attention in mainstream outlets (for example, one artist in the book, Cory Arcangel, was named best emerging artist of 2005 by Mark Stevens, New York magazine's critic/co-author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning de Kooning biography). At the same time, we hope to offer a fresh thesis within the ever-growing field of new-media studies. In 2006, it is possible to now look back and offer historical context for both of these audiences, the non-specialists and specialists. Our aim is to suggest a focused lens through which students, art-historians, artists, curators, collectors, and the general gallery and museum visitor alike can look at New Media art.

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

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Marisa Olson (marisa AT ISSN: 1525-9110. Volume 11, number 42. Article submissions to list AT are encouraged. Submissions should relate to the theme of new media art and be less than 1500 words. For information on advertising in Rhizome Digest, please contact info AT

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