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: 6.6.07
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2007 22:50:49 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: June 6, 2007


1. info AT Call for Entries to Redux\'s New Media Festival
4. Daphne D: LABworkshops - Game Art in Gijon - Call for Participation
5. Süleyman Okan: Applications for CONTEMPORARY ISTANBUL \\\\\\\'07 are accepted until June 22

6. Alessandro Ludovico: 10 years of Neural online
7. Colm Lally: Mobile Phone Video Art Classics
8. Eduardo Navas: Troyano Collective Stream
9. Turbulence: Turbulence Commissions: Mixed Realities

+Commissioned by Rhizome+
10. Miguel Amado: Interview with Susana Mendes Silva

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From: info AT <info AT>
Date: May 31, 2007
Subject: Call for Entries to Redux\'s New Media Festival

Call for Entries:
The Redux Contemporary Art Center will present “Redux: New Media Vol. 1” an exhibition devoted to the exploration of new technology and the visual arts. 5 artists will be selected from the Southeastern region (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana) to exhibit works challenging the relationship between technological discovery and visual art. Works which exemplify our computerized culture, especially data visualization and complex data environments as produced in gaming, mapping, and information searching will be appropriate for exhibition. New media performance is also welcomed. Work that predates 2005 will not be considered. DEADLINE: Aug. 15, 2007. Entry fee of $25.00 required. The exhibition will be on view from Nov. 16 to Jan. 6 of this year.

Additional Info:
This exhibition, with its opening tied to a conference on visual and computational thinking at the College of Charleston, aims to highlight new-media artists in this region while also educating the greater community about national trends in new media arts.
Several keynote speakers and performances will occur throughout the exhibition.

Send Entries to:
Redux Contemporary Art Center
136 St. Philip St.
Charleston, SC, 29403

For more details and application form visit:

Guidelines (Submission Check list):
-Entries received by Aug. 15, 2007
-completed application form
-current resume
-artist statement
-10 images on cd, Webpage link, or DVD less than 15 min.
(No slides, original works, or catalogs will be accepted)
(jpeg only, sized no larger than 1000px x 1000px or video dvd under 15min in length)
-image identification list
-stamped, self addressed envelope for return materials
-check or money order in the amount of $25.00 made payable to the Redux Art Center

Review and Selection:
Artists will be selected by the exhibition curators Dr. Marian Mazzone, Dept. of Art History, College of Charleston, and Seth Curcio, Director of Redux Contemporary Art Center.

Shipping and Delivery:
The shipping of work both to and from the gallery is the responsibility of the artist. All work must be delivered by Nov. 1st 2007 ready to be displayed. Redux is not responsible for damage to any item during shipment. Redux reserves the right to exclude any work from the exhibition that is not in satisfactory condition as deemed by the curators.

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Organizational memberships with Rhizome

Sign your library, university or organization up for a Rhizome organizational membership! Give your community access to the largest online archives of digital art and new media art-related writing, the opportunity to organize member-curated exhibitions, participate in critical discussion, community boards, and learn about residency, educational and professional possibilities. Rhizome also offers subsidized memberships for qualifying institutions with limited access to the Internet. Please visit for more information or contact Ceci Moss at ceci AT

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From: Marieke Istha <istha AT>
Date: Jun 1, 2007

Deadline July 1, 2007
********************* is the essential online tool for everyone involved in arts and culture who creates, collaborates, shares and produces across borders in Europe. This interactive web platform was launched in 2006 to encourage dialogue, networking and collaboration across physical, cultural and imaginative borders across 48 countries in the broader Europe. Initiated by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and jointly developed and supported by many of Europe's leading cultural organisations, LabforCulture offers a wealth of essential information, debate and research - including all the latest news, vital funding tips, blogs and a vast searchable database of cultural organisations operating from Rome to Reykjavík. will celebrate its first anniversary in the summer of 2007 and in this context we are pleased to announce a call for an experienced media art curator or curatorial collaboration to conceptualise and manage an online presentation of specially commissioned artworks, for presentation in early 2008.

Call for proposals
This is an open call to Europe-based curators to propose a creative concept for the LabforCulture anniversary project, be responsible for the ultimate selection of artworks and critically reflect on the project throughout its duration and after its end. The concept and commissioned artworks should address, challenge and rethink issues such as cross border dialogue, cultural intersections, crossings or networks, in the context of LabforCulture and cultural cooperation in the broader Europe. The curatorial proposal will contextualise and document the work in relation to the scope, content and technological framework of

Curatorial profile
The selected curator/s should:

* have demonstrated experience in either curating Net Art and/or artists who use the internet as integral to their practice.
* have a curatorial track record in the field of media art
* have demonstrated cultural project management experience
* demonstrate their ability to write about and critically evaluate the presented works

The curator/s will be contracted by the European Cultural Foundation on a freelance basis for the period of August 1, 2007 to May 15, 2008, and will receive a fee of 7000 Euro (excluding 2 required trips to Amsterdam for work with the LabforCulture team, but including any additional travel required to deliver the proposed project, to be discussed with the LabforCulture Director). In addition to the fee, a fixed commissions and documentation budget will be provided.


* design a concept and thematic framework for the project
* make the final selection of artists
* maintain an appropriate timeline for agreed outputs
* be the main contact person for the commissioned artists (LabforCulture will be responsible for the administration of the project in terms of contracts, payments and overall coordination of the project)
* manage the agreed commissions and documentation budget, which will be overseen and administrated by LabforCulture
* write an engaging curatorial statement to be published on LabforCulture in November 2007 and a subsequent series of texts to accompany the presentations in 2008, introducing and reflecting on the selected artists/artworks
* be available to travel to Amsterdam as required, to meet with LabforCulture staff over the course of the project
* work in close collaboration with the LabforCulture team in relation to the technical framework and requirements of the commissioned artworks
* work with the LabforCulture team to agree and implement an appropriate page/section for the project that integrates with the current website design and branding
* work with the LabforCulture Communications team to promote the project and be available for press interviews
* gather and prepare documentation about the commissioned artists and artworks for presentation on
* ensure appropriate documentation of the project is undertaken and after its end, reflect on the process, challenges and experience of the project in a final text/public discussion forum.

Selection panel
Annet Dekker (Head of Exhibitions and Artlab, Netherlands Media Art
Institute, Amsterdam, NL) and Kelli Dipple (Webcasting Curator, Tate,
London, UK) will join the LabforCulture content development team to
select the curatorial proposal.

Interested curators are asked to submit the following material BY EMAIL
ONLY no later than July 1, 2007:

1. Cover letter
2. Curator's CV
3. Proposed title for the project
4. Curatorial concept
5. Examples of artists and/or artworks that demonstrate the curatorial
6. A proposed timeline for associated landmarks and outputs
7. An estimated budget with preliminary allocations for commissioned
work, associated travel and documentation activities (broad areas of
expenditure only)

Proposals should be sent to the attention of:

Angela Plohman
Content Development
angela AT

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From: intern.aac AT <intern.aac AT>
Date: Jun 1, 2007

Arlington Arts Center is currently accepting submissions for Solo Exhibitions 2008 occurring in Fall and Spring 2008. The AAC has seven galleries with 525 combined running feet of wall space as well as 2 galleries dedicated to installation, technology or other works requiring a complete environment. The grounds surrounding the AAC can accommodate outdoor sculpture.

ELIGIBILITY : Open to all artists in all media in the Mid Atlantic States (DE, PA, MD, DC, VA, WV)
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: submit up to 20 slides or JPEGs (PC compatible, 300 dpi (or smaller) files, no larger than 4 x 6 inches), along with artist statement, resume, and description of exhibition proposal.
DEADLINE: All entries must be received by June 25, 2007
ENTRY FEE: $25 for non member, $15 for AAC members
JUROR: selected by a panel of artists, arts professionals and collectors. Panelists for 2008 Review are collector Philip Barlow (DC), Independent Curator Angela Jerardi (Philadelphia), Claire Huschle (AAC), Carol Lukitsch (AAC), Theresa McFadden (NVCC), and Anne Hancock (AAC Board President).
MORE INFO: to download a prospectus and view floor plan, visit , or send a SASE to 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201.

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From: Daphne D <daphnedragona AT>
Date: Jun 4, 2007
Subject: LABworkshops - Game Art in Gijon - Call for Participation


Modding, Reversing and Intervening in Today’s Gaming Worlds
02.07.07 – 27.07.07


In July LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries is organising four workshops exploring the intersections between videogames, art and reality today. A different side of videogames will be revealed by creators who can uncover their codes, subvert the standards imposed by the industry and can even address social and political issues through them. Game hardware and software will be used for performances, activism and critique and participants will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the language of videogames and create new meanings and results.

An intense workshop tackling the basic notions about modding and editing of Quake III Arena levels with the aid of open source code elements. In order to create fully redistributable games, participants will learn to generate interactive 3D contents for Quake III and to engineer new game features in the game engine’s source code.

Workshop led by:
JULIAN OLIVER (NZ) is an artist, educator and media theorist specialising in the development of free software. In 1998 he set up Select Parks, an artistic game development collective.

Dates: 02. – 07. 07.2007
Hours: 10 am – 2 pm & 4 – 7 pm
15 participants, age +18, selected by CV and motivation letter in English
Registration fee: 100 €
Deadline: 15.06.2007
Working language: English
Prior experience in programming and 3D modelling will be valued

The Fiambrera Obrera team will work with digital cameras and image editing, teaching basic levels of 3D modelling as well as some “tricks” and activities related with their software: narrative design and characters, modelling and remodelling of scripts and characters. Participants will be involved in field work in the area of Gijon.

Workshop led by:
LA FIAMBRERA OBRERA (ES) is an open group that works in areas charged with a high degree of political and social conflict. Their methods are primarily direct action and intervention.

Dates: 09. – 13.07.2007
Workshop limited to members of Asociación Mar de Niebla
Hours: 12 am – 2 pm & 4 – 8 pm
Working language: Spanish

Second Life (SL) is an online virtual world currently inhabited by over six million “residents”. This workshop explores SL as a platform for art expression, activism and critique. It will be led by a machinima professional, two media artists and a programmer who work on SL on a practical and theoretical level using it as an ideal platform to share ideas and to perform. Participants will learn through collaborative work how to make machinimas, how to write basic scripts and how to use SL as a platform for social action and artistic expression.

Workshop led by:
RICARD GRAS (ESP) is an artist, producer and director of machinima Europe Board. He explores new creative uses for technologies and relationships between art and the media. In 2003, he founded LA-INTERACTIvA, one of the companies that are officially in charge of the development of SL.
KRISTIAN LUKIC (SERBIA) is a writer, artist and a cultural and game researcher. He is a program manager in New Media Center – and the founder of Eastwood – Real Time Strategy Group and also of Napon - Institute for flexible culture and technologies.
ILIAS MARMARAS (GR) is a new media artist and a leading member of the international group Personal Cinema. He has been working in gaming environments and game art since 1999.
YANNIS SCOULIDAS (GR) is a technical director, administrator and programmer of Personal Cinema and specialist in software and hardware.

Dates: 17. – 21.07.2007
Hours: 10 am – 2 pm & 4 – 8 pm
15 participants, age +18, selected by CV and motivation letter in English
Registration fee: 100 €
Deadline: 03.07.2007
Working language: English
Experience in on-line game environments and especially familiarisation with SL will be valued

8bit sound and music is a distinctive feature of early videogames, and has become a seminal contemporary music style utilized by artists and DJs in engaging live audiovisual performances and remixes. This workshop will bring together creators from US and Spain who will work with young people to create music using Gameboys. The workshop will close with an evening of Chiptunes performances with sounds by the artists, the workshop participants and visuals by media artists Entter.

Workshop led by:
HAEYOUNG KIM (BUBBLYFISH) (KO) is a sound artist and composer who explores the textures of sounds and their cultural representation. Her work has been presented in art venues, clubs and new media festivals around the world.
CHRIS BURKE (GLOMAG) (USA) has been making 8bit music since 2001. He has performed in many countries and his music has played in films, on television and on the Internet. The machinima series “This Spartan Life”, features his music as well as other 8bit artists and is featured in Gameworld.
RABATO(ESP) composes music with the famous software Littlesounddj created by Johan Kotlinski for a Nintendo Gameboy consoles. He is the co-founder of microBCN and has participated in festivals and concerts in various cities.
YES, ROBOT (ESP) mix Gameboy sounds with other instruments like synthesizes, samples and toys modified by themselves. They are founding members of the 8bit collective microBCN.
ENTTER(ESP) is formed by Raúl Berrueco and Raquel Meyers. Entter was formed to create a collective space for the expression of the common restlessness felt by many creative people in the interactive media art field. Their fields of research include AVperformance, installations, non-linear narrative, videogames, interfaces, experimental music, VJing and

Dates: 26. – 27.07.2007
Hours: 11 am – 2 pm & 4 – 7 pm
15 participants, age +18, selected by CVand motivation letter
Registration fee: 50 €
Deadline: 16.07.2007
Working language: English and Spanish
Prior basic programming experience and music ability will be valued

Concept and Coordination of workshops:
Daphne Dragona, independent new media arts curator, Athens
Carl Goodman, Deputy Director and Director of Digital Media,
Museum of the Moving Image, New York

Activities will take place at the labs and workshops of the LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries

LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries is a space for artistic exchange. It is set up with the purpose of establishing an effective alliance between art, design, culture, industry and economic progress and the goal of becoming a space for interaction and dialogue between art, new technologies and industrial creation. It throws a special spotlight in production, creation and research into art concepts still being defined.

LABoral Centre for Art and Creative Industries
Director: Rosina Gómez-Baeza
Universidad Laboral s/n, 33394 Gijón, Asturias – Spain
T. +34 985 185 577 F. +34 985 337 355
labworkshops AT

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The Rhizome Commissioning Program makes financial support available to artists for the creation of innovative new media art work via panel-awarded commissions.

For the 2006-2007 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: Süleyman Okan <suleyman AT>
Date: Jun 5, 2007
Subject: Applications for CONTEMPORARY ISTANBUL \\\\\\\'07 are accepted until June 22

Following the successful debut of 2006, Contemporary Istanbul, the first and most recognized contemporary art fair of Turkey and the region, is currently accepting applications from exhibitors. The second edition of this young and prominent gathering will take place in the Rumeli Halls of the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre, located in the heart of the chic downtown area of the city. The visitors may enjoy the show from November 29 to December 02.

Contemporary Istanbul will strive to accept the most contemporaneous and daring art—this year, increasingly so—as much from the East and the South of the globe as from the Euro-American line. Turkey’s unique stance and place in the region will be utilized towards this goal of forming a truly cosmopolitan hub of artistic and commercial activity that may not be as easily attainable by other art events around the world.

The 2007 Application Forms may be downloaded from The form can be filled and submitted through e-mail to 2007 AT by June 22nd for the consideration of the Selection Committee. Institutional applications only.

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From: Alessandro Ludovico <a.ludovico AT>
Date: May 31, 2007
Subject: 10 years of Neural online

The first Neural 'online update' was uploaded 10 years ago (31 May 1997).

To celebrate this event, here's a link to the amazing software we included in the first online issue. It's causing a short hallucination, kicking your sense of deepness through an optical illusion. It's called Pinwheel (for PC, originally we included a Classic Mac version called BugEyes)

Furthermore we also offer a free original Neural issue #1 (printed in 1993, language: Italian, to everyone who will subscribe or renew within a week, so till 7 June

Be quick to grab one of the last copies of this quite rare issue!

Have visions!

Alessandro Ludovico
Neural Magazine - English ( Italian
Latest Printed Issue -
Subscribe -

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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: Colm Lally <colm AT>
Date: Jun 4, 2007
Subject: Mobile Phone Video Art Classics

E:ventGallery is delighted to present an exhibition of work by Mark Amerika.

5 July–29 July, 2007
[gallery open from 12–6pm Friday to Sunday]

Private View: Thursday 5 July, 7–11pm

Mark Amerika’s recent artwork has investigated the emergence of digitally constructed identities, theoretical fictions, meta-histories, and collaborative networks. In his new artwork, Mobile Phone Video Art Classics (MPVAC), the artist composts various art personas and artworks into a narrative sequence of mobile phone video images that conjure up both the spirits of the past as well as hauntological actors of the present.

Part DVD installation, part Powerpoint presentation, and part blog performance, MPVAC reedits art history using low-tech mobile phone technology and simple iMovie software. Starring Salvador Dali, Bruce Nauman, Mark Amerika, Nam June Paik, Baby Jane Holzer, Susan Sontag, Marilyn Manson, and Madonna as themselves.

Mark Amerika returns to the UK this summer to undertake a collection of media interventions. These include a visiting artist residency at iRES, University College Falmouth, Cornwall. As part of this residency he will deliver a keynote address at the ‘Disrupting Narratives’ symposium at Tate Modern on July 13th. Amerika is also launching his latest book ‘META/DATA’ (MIT Press, 2007).

These distributed textual performances create a viral-like presence throughout the eventnetwork.

This exhibition is organised in conjunction with the 'Disrupting Narratives' symposium
Tate Modern, Friday 13 July 2007, 10am–6.30pm (contact Tate for more details)

You are invited to a post symposium reception with Mark Amerika
E:ventGallery, Saturday 14 July 7-10pm

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From: Eduardo Navas <eduardo AT>
Date: Jun 4, 2007
Subject: Troyano Collective Stream


Troyano Collective's presentation at Calit2/CRCA, which originally took place on May 29th is now online.

Direct link to realplayer:

I would like to thank CRCA and Calit2, in particular Helena Bistrow, Todd Margolis, Toshiro Yamada, and Matthews, Alexander, as well as CRCA's director Sheldon Brown for their ongoing support with my research.



Info about Troyano below:

TROYANO Collective presents their publication Art and Digital Culture

The Chilean Collective TROYANO will present their recent bilingual publication, Art and Digital Culture, at CRCA on UCSD campus, on Tuesday, May 29th 4-7 PM in the Main Auditorium in Atkinson Hall.

TROYANO¹s members, Alejandro Albornoz, Ignacio Nieto, Italo Tello and Ricardo Vega, will discuss their past projects which have made possible their recent publication. Moderator for the panel is Eduardo Navas.

TROYANO is an artist collective from Chile which formed in 2005 to do interdisciplinary research on art and digital culture. Their recent publication, Art and Digital Culture, brought together work from contributors as diverse as artists and theorists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, and the U.S. This publication grew out of two major conferences TROYANO organized in 2005 and 2006 with the support of the Spanish Cultural Center and the Museum of Contemporary art in Santiago, Chile: Elena (2005) and Updating, Art and Technology (2006).

TROYANO¹s presentations in Southern California are made possible by the joint efforts of:

Telic Arts Exchange ( )
The UCLA Latin American Center (
The interdisciplinary working group, Visiones: Art & Activism in the Americas
The Center for Research in Computing in the Arts ( ) at CALIT2 (
UCSD Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies (

The publication of Art & Digital Culture and Troyano¹s travel arrangements are made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Chilean government.


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From: Turbulence <turbulence AT>
Date: Jun 5, 2007
Subject: Turbulence Commissions: Mixed Realities

June 5, 2007
Turbulence Commissions: "Mixed Realities"
Venues: Ars Virtua (Second Life); Huret & Spector Gallery (Emerson College, Boston); and
With funds from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. is pleased to announce the winners of "Mixed Realities," an international juried competition and exhibition. The five commissioned works ($5,000 each) will be exhibited simultaneously at Ars Virtua (Second Life), Huret & Spector Gallery (Boston), and in spring 2008. They are:

John (Craig) Freeman
Usman Haque, Georg Tremmel and Neill Zero
Scott Kildall and Victoria Scott
Michael Takeo Magruder, Drew Baker and David Steele
Pierre Proske, with technical assistance from Artem Baguinski and Brigit Lichtenegger

KALININGRAD AND THE SEVEN BRIDGES OF KOENIGSBERG by John (Craig) Freeman is an extension of Freeman's "Imaging Place" project; a place-based, immersive, virtual reality project that takes the form of a user navigated, interactive computer program combining panoramic photography, digital video, and three-dimensional technologies to investigate and document situations where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. The famous Swiss mathematician Leonard Euler invented Topology--the key to understanding how networks are formed--in the city of Koenigsberg, now Kaliningrad, in 1735. When Euler visited the city, there were seven bridges connecting the city's center to the banks of the Pregel River. A favorite pastime for visitors was to try to solve the puzzle of whether or not a person could walk throughout the city and cross each of the bridges exactly once. Freeman will retrace the imaginary steps of Leonard Euler across these seven bridges. Users will be able to navigate the virtual space as the story of the seven bridges unfolds, as well as the story of how globalization is impacting this remote Russian city. Full proposal here:

REMOTELY COUPLED DEVICES by Usman Haque, Georg Tremmel and Neill Zero: This proposal takes as its starting point that the distinction between 'virtual' and 'real' is as quaint as the nineteenth century distinction between 'mind' and 'body'. As such, the spaces of Ars Virtua and Huret & Spector Gallery will be treated equivalently. A device will be constructed for each space which--via the EnvironmentXML framework--will enable people around the world to build remote devices and environments that respond in real time to the local environmental conditions of the two galleries. A Java applet and historical data repository, residing on the server, will enable the tracking of real time and historical sensory data from the two locations as well as the connections that people make over time. Full proposal here:

NO MATTER by Scott Kildall and Victoria Scott: No Matter is an interactive installation that translates the psychology of the Second Life virtual economy into physical space. Virtual economies--where artificial currencies are exchanged in online worlds for dematerialized goods and services--are presently impacting the 'real' economy. The leakage of one to another appears on eBay, on the SL Exchange and through virtual land brokers. This mixed economic model overturns established relationships between labor and production. As specialty items can be obtained at a fraction of their real world cost, our perception of the value of objects becomes further obscured. No Matter reflects this conflation of imaginary and real economics by: (1) commissioning the creation of imaginary objects in Second Life; (2) inviting viewers to re-construct these immaterial 3D objects in physical space; (3) paying them Second Life wages; and (4) reselling the replicas on eBay. Full proposal here:

THE VITRUVIAN WORLD by Michael Takeo Magruder, Drew Baker and David Steele: In the 1st century BC, Roman writer, architect and engineer Vitruvius authored specific building formulae based on the guiding principles of strength, utility and beauty. For him, architecture is intrinsically linked to nature and is an imitation of cosmic order. The most well-known interpretation of this postulate is the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci in which the human form is depicted in unity with the square and circle--representing material and spiritual existence respectively. Given that this tripart union of human body, material form and spiritual essence maintains relevance within the current climate of distributed presence, mixed realities and internet culture, The Vitruvian World will embody the principles of Vitruvius within a contemporary context. Full proposal here:

CATERWAUL by Pierre Proske, with technical assistance from Artem Baguinski and Brigit Lichtenegger: When someone screams in real life, do they hear us in virtual reality? Do they want to? The proliferation of networked online worlds has provided a small quota of the human race the option to seek refuge in utopian, less troubled imaginary lands. Rolling synthetic green pastures offer us respite from a planet undergoing exploitation and climate change. For those of us too firmly rooted in this material world to join them, how shall we communicate with them? In what way shall we lament their departure? The essence of Caterwaul is a large, monolithic, dark wall that is represented both in the real and virtual worlds. It is a one-way portal to the virtual world through which people can whisper their thoughts, scream their frustrations and convey regret without the privilege of reply. It is a wailing wall through which to mourn the loss of our humanity to the virtual network. Full proposal here:

The competition was juried by Yasmine Abbas, Founder, Neo-Nomad; Michael Frumin, Technical Director Emeritus, Eyebeam; James Morgan, Director, Ars Virtua; Trebor Scholz, Founder, Institute for Distributed Creativity; and Helen Thorington, Co-Director, Turbulence.

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

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From: Miguel Amado <miguel.amado AT>
Date: Jun 6, 2007
Subject: Interview with Susana Mendes Silva

+Commissioned by

Interview with Susana Mendes Silva,
by Miguel Amado

Lisbon-based Susana Mendes Silva is a pioneering artist in the Portuguese new media art scene. Although her practice reaches beyond the conventional genres of this field, her technologically mediated performances, in which she explores the emotional states underlying personal relationships in general and intimacy in particular, granted her a deserved recognition both locally and abroad. She is about to relocate to London, where she will do a studio-based PhD at Goldsmiths College and, recently, she presented the latest installment of her important work ‘art_room’ in the US at Upgrade! International in Oklahoma City. This led Rhizome Curatorial Fellow Miguel Amado to interview her about her practice.

MA: Tell me about your background.

SMS: I have studied Visual Arts in Lisbon’s University and have been showing my work since 1996, being part of what one defines as the generation of Portuguese artists of the mid- to late-1990s. Recently, I have had a solo show, called ‘Did I hurt you?,’ in the Zoom program (dedicated to cutting edge projects) at Lisbon’s Carlos Carvalho Gallery, and a site-specific installation was commissioned for the group show ‘(Re)Volver’ at Lisbon’s independent space Plataforma Revolver. My practice, however, is not only studio-based, as I participate in several projects that take the form of discussions or talks. For example, I was a participating guest in the ‘Bare Life’ conversation, moderated by Christina McPhee, that took place during July 2006 at Empyre - - in a collaboration with Documenta 12 Magazine.

MA: What are your interests as an artist?

SMS: My practice addresses the human condition in general and allegorically explores constraint in particular. Constraint can be related to a physical or a psychological condition as well as to an ethical positioning and socio-cultural conditioning. There are also related concepts playing an important role in my work: limit - in its physical and psychological meanings; impossibility - as an imposed boundary (by the self or by others); violence - as a visible or invisible exercise of force; affection - in the sense of a human feeling and of disease, either of the mind or the body; and desire - as a powerful human drive. I am very interested in subverting concepts, rules, and prevailing points of view. I am therefore committed to a critical vision about art and of the world.

MA: You operate in different media, some that one defines as ‘traditional’ (drawing, photography), and other that one calls ‘new’ (video, Internet)...

SMS: I am not very concerned if the media that I employ is seen as old or new, but whether their properties are suitable for my work. I understand media as tool, as something that can be used according to the project that I am developing in a given moment. I use media very freely, and frequently in a grouping manner – for example, in installations and performances. If one considers Lev Manovich’s definitions of cyberculture and new media, some of my works would belong to the first category, some to the second, and others to both.

MA: How do you approach these different media?

SMS: For me, it is fundamental to use media in an experimental way, and to explore specificity, whether site-specificity, media-specificity, or context-specificity. This is a strategy that encompasses and is an attempt to overcome the dichotomy of constraint-freedom that exists in artistic practice. My work is associated with some kind of discovery, mapping, or combinatory method. This is quite present in the way I function and brings together the dimensions of each project.

MA: Can you discuss one of your most well known projects, ‘Artphone’ (2002)?

SMS: In 2002, I applied to be a participating artist of ‘Free Manifesta.’ This was a project by the New York artist Sal Randolph, that was part of Manifesta 4 held in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. A place in Manifesta 4 was purchased by Sal, for $15,099, in an ebay auction. Any artist who wished was invited to show their work, and over 225 artists and groups participated in public art projects which took place across the city as well as through the broadcast airwaves, telephone and mail systems, and on the Internet. I did a performance, via mobile phone, called ‘Artphone.’ There was a flyer and an online page with my personal mobile phone number and the sentence: ‘Don’t be afraid to ask everything you always wanted to know about contemporary art.’ I received the calls and established a completely spontaneous and improvised conversation (about a contemporary art issue) either with someone I knew or with someone I had never met before.

MA: This work led to ‘art_room’ (2005), right?

SMS: Yes, as a development of ‘Artphone,’ I created ‘art_room.’ I used a webcam in a webchat site called webcamnow. In this site there was only the possibility to exchange text messages as the software available did not support voice messaging. The performance occurred during a pre-set schedule, during June. When I started the performance, on the first day, I went to Room One to announce what I was doing by simply posting the sentence: ‘Don’t be afraid to ask everything you always wanted to know about contemporary art.’ I moved to a free room (from 30 rooms, only three had people in them), and I began to chat with some of the people. I soon realized that some of the users felt like they ‘own’ the website (no matter what room I moved into), and they began to become very aggressive towards me. If ones looks at the performance’s documentation, one will only see my eyes, as I was hiding behind my laptop, because some of the users kept saying that I was showing off too much (even though I was properly dressed). In order to avoid the disturbance, I ended up ‘veiled’ by my computer.

MA: The interaction with the user, in ‘art_room,’ was different from that of ‘Artphone’?

SMS: This time the result was totally the opposite from what I expected. Even though there were a couple of interesting chats, the experience of a certain degree of intimacy and significant questions was this time replaced by aggressivity and exclusion from most of the usual members. For example, in the second day I was expelled from the ‘family and friends’ area: my camera was shut down, and I was disconnected as a user by the moderator in an arbitrary way.

MA: Nevertheless, there was another installment of ‘Artphone’ later that year.

SMS: During ‘Prog:me’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil I did ‘Artphone’ again yet using Skype this time (still with no image). One of the interesting things was that visitors could talk to me from the exhibition space. This went quite well and it was not very difficult to overcome some shyness or awkwardness. I spoke with people from all ages and from different backgrounds, including some artists and curators. Several visitors saw the show more than once and spoke with me on different occasions. Every time I talked with a person it was a very intimate experience.

Carlos Sansolo (one of the curators of ‘Prog:me’) expressed this ambivalent feeling - of pleasure and fear - very accurately: ‘The Portuguese artist Susana Mendes Silva proposed the ‘Artphone.’ The idea is quite simple: she provides her address so we can talk to her through a microphone and headphones from the computer about contemporary art, using the computer as a telephone. I have talked many times with Susana, never about art, always about technical issues and always presenting one other artist that appeared while talking to her. Actually talking to an unknown person on the phone gives you a certain degree of intimacy that I always felt terrified about. As a matter of fact, I have always felt a certain compulsion to confessing things to this unknown voice. My first thought is always about the history of sexuality of Michel Foucault, about this fear of confessing in intimate moments. She says: ‘Have no fear, ask me what you’ve always wanted to know about contemporary art’ - and all I felt was fear. The simple presence of a voice that talks about contemporary art has the ability to inspire disturbing or great situations for whoever contacts it. One may think it is a reflection on intimacy on the Internet. The work is not only a proposition, but the result of this chat that can never be completely predictable.’

MA: When was the performance done for the last time?

SMS: The last time was at the Upgrade! International in Oklahoma City - as part of the Upgrade! Lisbon’s presentation - and I used Skype with voice and video on both locations. However, a year ago, I tried to do ‘art_room’ in a very different way. I was participating in the exhibition ‘Between word and image,’ at Fundacion Luis Seoane in A Coruna, Spain and, on the opening program, there were some performances. I distributed A4 posters in the museum building announcing that people could meet me in the patio next to the auditorium. I had a table with two chairs (one for me and other for the participant) and I received the visitors that wished to talk with me for two hours. It was very interesting to interact in physical presence, and some of the people started to call it the ‘confessionary’.

MA: Do you plan to reenact this version of the work?

SMS: I always try to do both the ‘Artphone’ and the ‘art_room’ with different components, and this version was an attempt to explore new features for the work, but repeating this performance will depend on the context of its presentation.

MA: What do you think about the passage of the piece from a technologically-mediated context to a face-to-face situation?

SMS: It might sound strange but the situations are not very different. I guess that, on face-to-face, I was a bit nervous because I was not sure if someone would participate. Also, it was more awkward when I was wondering who would be the next person to approach me, perhaps because there was no device separating us.

MA: What are you working on now?

SMS: I am working on my studio and doing research for some projects that will happen later this year. One of them is a group show that will take place within a Lisbon psychiatric hospital, and I am sure that the audience’s reaction will be very different from that of a conventional exhibition space. Next September I will start a studio-based research program at Goldsmiths College in London. I’m very excited with the prospects of this experience, as I will be living and working abroad for the first time and I am sure that this will initiate new directions in my practice.

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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 12, number 22. 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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