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: 6.20.07
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 20:52:56 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: June 20, 2007


1. Lauren Cornell: Rhizome 2007-08 Commissions Announcement

2. ana otero: Digital Art Curation and Practice: Aesthetics, Participation, Diversity
3. Johannes Birringer: international media lab
4. a.bayliss AT (re)Actor: international conference on digital live art
5. John Fillwalk: Assistant Professor, studio artist in Electronic Art and Animation
7. info AT SHARE PRIZE 2008 - Call for Digital Artist

8. Michelle Kasprzak: Blogumenta opens today
9. matthew fuller: New Book: Digital Contagions. A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses
10. Chris Coleman: Particulate - a show of microcosms
11. Edward Picot: Yet another 3 ways of Looking at a Blackbird

+Commissioned by Rhizome+
12. Lauren Cornell: Interview with Charlie Gere, Christiane Paul, Jemima Rellie [PART ONE]

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From: Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT>
Date: Jun 14, 2007
Subject: Rhizome 2007-08 Commissions Announcement

Rhizome is pleased to announce increased funding for its Commissions Program. This year, eleven emerging artists/ collectives have been awarded commissions, for a total of $23,000, in support of new works of Internet-based art. The commissioned works will be presented on and at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as archived in Rhizome's online archive, the ArtBase.

The commissioned artworks were selected by Rhizome members and a jury composed of Suhjung Hur, Curator, Art Center Nabi; Rudolf Freiling, Curator of Media Arts, SFMoMA; Marc Garrett, CoFounder and CoDirector of Furtherfield; Christina Ray, Founder and Director of Glowlab and the Conflux Festival; and Lauren Cornell and Marisa Olson of Rhizome. Rhizome members awarded three of the eleven commissions including our first ever Community Award, a new category created to support projects that enhance participation and communication on This award went to (Tyler Jacobsen & Kim Schnaubert) for zHarmony (see below for details).

The Rhizome Commissions program is supported, in part, by funds from the Greenwall Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support is provided by generous individuals and Rhizome members.

08 Commissions Online At:

Descriptions and proposal urls are below.

Add Art ---- Member Selection
By Steve Lambert with Evan Harper at Eyebeam OpenLab
AddArt is a Firefox extension which replaces advertising images on web pages with art images from a curated database.

by Jack Stockholm
Eavesdropping is a networked audio system designed for guerilla performance to raise awareness of our ambient communication in public spaces. This project highlights the intentionality and exhibitionism of bringing our private actions into the public sphere.

Ebay-Generator will generate songs based on the public data mined from Ebay sellers and buyers. Users' rating, sold objects, times and frequency of transactions and other data will be automatically transformed into a structured text, which a supercollider-application will use to generate music and lyrics.

by Rafael Rozendaal will be a website with a single flash animation. You will see a green plate with a red Jello dessert. When you touch the jelly with your mouse, it 'wobbles'. It will shake and make a strange sound, the more you pull it, the more it will shake. I really want to emulate the feeling of jelly, something between solid and liquid. A feeling that is very familiar in real life that might seem strange on a computer screen.

by Melanie Crean with Chris Sugrue and Paul Geluso
Phrenology will investigate the perception of space, whether real, virtual or imagined, though writings created by incarcerated women in a workshop the artist will teach at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility . The piece will consist of a series of 360 degree photographic panoramas that interconnect through text included in the environments. Viewers will be able to move through the different environments to read the women's writing in a form of spatial poem, accompanied by an experimental sound track based on the text.

Remote Instructions
by Lee Walton
Remote Instructions is a web-central project that will utilize both the communication capabilities of the web and spectatorship of its users. From a central hub, Lee Walton will collaborate with strangers globally via the web and orchestrate a series of video performances that will take place in real cities, neighborhoods, villages and towns around the world. A Remote Instructions website will be created to host video projects and promote networking among collaborators.

Second Life Dumpster
by eteam
In Second Life each avatar has a trash folder. Items, that get deleted end up in that folder by default. The trash folder has to get emptied as often as possible, otherwise the avatars performance might diminish. But, where do deleted things end up? What are those things? Second Life Dumpster will explore these questions by starting and maintaining a public dumpster in Second Life for the duration of one year.

ShiftSpace - An OpenSource Layer Above Any Website
by Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv
While the Internet's design is widely understood to be open and distributed, control over how users interact online has given us largely centralized and closed systems. ShiftSpace is an Open Source platform that attempts to subvert this trend by providing a new public space on the web. By pressing the [Shift] + [Space] keys, a ShiftSpace user can invoke a new meta layer above any web page to browse and create additional interpretations, contextualizations and interventions using various authoring tools.

VF, Virta-Flaneurazine-SL, Proposal for Clinical Study ---- Member Selection
by Will Pappenheimer and John Freeman
Virta-Flaneurazine-SL is a potent programmable "mood changing" drug for Second Life (SL). A member of the "Wanderment" family of psychotropic drugs; when ingested it automatically causes the bearer to aimlessly roam the distant lands of SL for up to a full day. As the prograchemistry takes effect, users find themselves erratically teleporting to random locations, behaving strangely, seeing digephemera and moving in circuitous paths. Many users report the experience allows them to see SL freed from its limitations as a fast growing grid of investment properties.

The Wrench
by Knifeandfork (Sue Huang and Brian House)
The Wrench will recast Primo Levi's The Monkey's Wrench into a mobile phone text-message exchange between participants and an artificially-intelligent agent. Taking place over the course of a week, the dialogue is not pre-determined; it employs Knifeandfork's nonlinear narrative software engine. The system is intended to present a convincingly human agent within a realtime plot progression. The AI will have specific, dynamic narrative goals for each interaction, designed to intertwine the lives of the character and participant through the ubiquitous yet restrictive communication channel of text-messaging.

zHarmony ---- Member Selection
by (Tyler Jacobsen & Kim Schnaubert)
zHarmony is an addition to Rhizome that will combine the Compatibility Matching System of online relationship services like eHarmony with Rhizome's existing database of artists. zHarmony will produce a unique artist profiling system that can automatically match artists with like-minded collaborators (or groups of collaborators) based on multiple points of compatibility.

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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: ana otero <4anaotero AT>
Date: Jun 13, 2007
Subject: Digital Art Curation and Practice: Aesthetics, Participation, Diversity

Digital Art Curation and Practice: Aesthetics, Participation, Diversity is a new resource available free online from AHDS Performing Arts.

The 2 year Digital Art Curation & Practice project set out to examine, through case studies, 'transitional' activities where galleries are expanding their events to include digital media. The project questioned existing definitions surrounding exhibit, event and performance in order to understand the potential for the future development of digital arts exhibition spaces. The resource includes articles in pdf format and images of digital performance. It can be downloaded from

All AHDS Performing Arts collections are available from

Daisy Abbott
AHDS Performing Arts

D.Abbott AT
Tel:0141 330 2758
Explore AHDS Performing Arts at

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From: Johannes Birringer <orpheus AT>
Date: Jun 14, 2007
Subject: international media lab

International Interaktionslabor

Göttelborn Coal Mine - Saarland, Germany, July 16 -30, 2007

Interaktionslabor Göttelborn, directed by Johannes Birringer, is still accepting applications for its fifth international summer workshop. The 2007 lab focuses on wearables and interactive choreography/installation, with a special focus this year on sensors integrated in garment design and networked performance. Please send proposals until June 30.

Cost: Full intensive: Euro 400 / Single day: Euro 50,-

Send informatl proposal and résumé to
Johannes.birringer AT

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From: a.bayliss AT <a.bayliss AT>
Date: Jun 15, 2007
Subject: (re)Actor: international conference on digital live art

Apologies for cross postings

(re)Actor2: The Second International Conference on Digital Live Art

"Bad Girls, Gadgets & Guerrilla Performance"

Broadcasting House & Leeds Met Gallery
Leeds Metropolitan University, UK
September 10th, 2007

sponsored by the Arts Council of England, University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University, BigDog Interactive and Nokia

jointly organised by
the School of Performance and Cultural Industries – University of Leeds,
Leeds Metropolitan University and
BigDog Interactive

Digital Live Art is the intersection of Human-computer Interaction (HCI), Live Art and Computing. (re)Actor2: The Second International Conference on Digital Live Art seeks to bring together practitioners and academics from the varying worlds of Live Art, Computing and HCI for a lively debate and event which will explore this emerging field. We are particularly interested in unanticipated performance spaces and playful arenas, such as festivals and nightclubs.

This year's theme, BAD GIRLS, GADGETS & GUERRILLA PERFORMANCE focuses on women who are practicing at the intersection of Computing and Live Art. In focusing on women, Computing and the Arts, this year we look to celebrate the diverse skills, knowledge and experience that women bring to the field. It is our hope that bringing these people together will foster an environment for mutual learning, mentoring and support. Proposals and participation are welcomed from all genders.

Our keynote presentation this year will be from the Guerrilla Girls ( of New York. In 1985, a group of women artists founded the Guerrilla Girls. They assumed the names of dead women artists and wore gorilla masks in public, concealing their identities and focusing on the issues rather than their personalities. Between 1985 and 2000, close to 100 women, working collectively and anonymously, produced posters, billboards, public actions, books and other projects to make feminism funny and fashionable. At the turn of the millennium, three separate and independent incorporated groups formed to bring fake fur and feminism to new frontiers. Guerrilla Girls, Inc.,, was established by two founding Guerrilla Girls and other members to continue the use of provocative text, visuals and humor in the service of feminism and social change. They have written several books and create projects about the art world, film, politics and pop culture. !
They travel the world, talking about the issues and their experiences as feminist masked avengers, reinventing the “f” word into the 21st century. They could be anyone; they are everywhere.

As before, this year we include both a daytime and evening event. The formal daytime event will take place in the old BBC Broadcasting House, a newly refurbished building at Leeds Metropolitan University on Monday, September 10th, 2007. The day will consist of keynote presentations, formal papers and interactive installations. Leeds Met Gallery will curate a special exhibition which will see some of the accepted proposals exhibited in the gallery during the conference.

The daytime event will be followed by an exhilarating after party with commissioned installations, DJs, VJs and live performances in the vibrant city of Leeds. Commissioned performances will be followed by the incredible Lost Vagueness of Glastonbury fame. Over the years, Lost Vagueness has picked up a reputation for being the most anarchic and culturally twisted location at the festival, a place where performers and guests languish together in the warped decadence of the surroundings. This will be the first time Lost Vagueness has performed in the city of Leeds.

We have a limited number commissions available for live performances and installations. You can make a request for funding when you submit your proposal. We also have a limited number of travel bursaries available for those who may not be otherwise able to make it to the conference.

All proposals will be peer reviewed by the conference committee. Proposals must not exceed the 2-page limit and must be prepared using the conference publications format provided on our website. However, you may provide additional info (links to digital material including online video, photos and websites) using the third page of the proposal template. We are accepting proposals for:

* academic paper presentations (day)
* live performances (including DJ/VJ sets) (day and evening)
* interactive installations (day and evening)

Topics of interest included but definitely not limited to:
• Technology as a vehicle for social and peformative interactivity
• Human-computer interaction and intervention
• Women, performance and technology
• Audience behaviour and rules of engagement in interactive works
• Non-complicit performance
• Stumble performance and digital live encounters
• Guerrilla interventions
• Performative contracts – rule making and rule breaking
• Digital/live performance and the club space
• Experimental visual and sonic interfaces for live performance
• Performance and social infection

Accepted proposals will be published in the conference proceedings and included on our website. Following last year’s conference, participants were invited to submit their papers to a special edition of the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media on Digital Live Art (2007 - Intellect Press). A similar publication will be produced from this year's conference.

Proposal submission deadline: 28th June, 2007
Notification of acceptance: 28th July, 2007
Conference date: September 10th, 2007

Jennifer Sheridan, BigDog Interactive
Alice Bayliss, University of Leeds

Rebekka Kill, Leeds Metropolitan University
Alice Bayliss, University of Leeds
Jennifer Sheridan, BigDog Interactive

Patsy Robertshaw, Leeds Met University

Maribeth Back, FX PAL, California
Christopher Baugh, University of Leeds
Steve Benford, University of Nottingham
Joanna Berzowska, Concordia University
Teresa Brayshaw, Leeds Metropolitan University
Daniel Brine, Live Art Development Agency, UK
Susan Broadhurst, Brunel University
Nick Bryan-Kinns, Queen Mary, University of London
Linda Candy, University of Technology, Sydney
David Collins, Doncaster College
Beatriz da Costa, University of California
Steve Dixon, Brunel University
Jon Dovey, Bristol University
Linda Drew, Chelsea College of Art and Design
Matt Fenton, Nuffield Theatre Lancaster
Geraldine Fitzpatrick, University of Sussex
Bill Gaver, Goldsmiths University of London
Gabriella Giannachi, University of Exeter
Ceri Hand, Metal, Liverpool
Rania Ho, Korean Advanced Institute of Culture & Technology
Moira Innes, Leeds Met Gallery
Clare Jackson, Axis
Lois Keidan, Live Art Development Agency, UK
Boriana Koleva, University of Nottingham
Charles Kriel, London Metropolitan University
Annie Lloyd, Leeds Metropolitan University
Suzy Mason, Speedqueen, UK
Jill Morgan, Leeds Metropolitan University
Angela Piccini, Bristol University
Sita Popat, University of Leeds
Michelle Teran, Artist, Canada
Mick Wallis, University of Leeds

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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: John Fillwalk <jfillwalk AT>
Date: Jun 15, 2007
Subject: Assistant Professor, studio artist in Electronic Art and Animation

Assistant Professor, studio artist in Electronic Art and Animation.

Contract faculty position as a studio artist available August 17, 2007, with possible renewal. Major responsibility: teach from a menu of courses in the Department of Art and the Institute for Intermedia and Animation. This institute will integrate curricular experiences with real-world practice and expand the BFA program in Electronic Art and Animation. The Institute will be an instructional and production laboratory that acts as a center for the creation of independent artistic and interdisciplinary collaborative projects in art and related disciplines.

Minimum qualifications: masters degree by time of appointment; record of scholarly/creative productivity; expertise in 3D modeling, animation, and other time based and 2D applications; proficiency in Maya and/or SoftImage; ability to work collaboratively within the university, department, and the Institute for Intermedia and Animation.

Preferred qualifications: Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree by time of appointment; significant exhibition record; college and graduate level teaching experience; industry work experience; knowledge of the history and criticism of the electronic arts; experience in installation and interactive approaches; ability to convey the relationship between technology and aesthetics.

Send letter of application, current curriculum vitae, names and contact information of three or more references, transcript copy of highest degree earned, media of personal work, examples of student work (Power Point or DVD), and SASE to:

David Jackson
Animation Search
Department of Art
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Ball State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community.

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From: Karen Gaskill <karen AT>
Date: Jun 18, 2007

Deadline for Submissions is Monday 25th June 2007 at 6pm

Turnstile - Single Use

Interval is looking for new media art works that respond or relate to the concept of 'Single Use'.

Turnstile is a new concept in art tourism - an innovative exhibition format developed around the idea that most people only visit an exhibition once.

Turnstile utilises this observation as an approach and redesigns the approach to an exhibition, mimicking an audiences actions and flow.

Turnstile will consist of a series of 4 single-day exhibitions. Each day will see 5 artists install, exhibit and remove their work from the venue. This style of event is new and innovative, responsive to tight schedules and busy lifestyles. The space will be open for preview each evening from 5-9pm, after which the work will be removed ready for the next 5 artists to install. Each day is sub themed, aiming to explore different contextual approaches around the notion of Single Use. The exhibition will take place in a large empty retail space in central Manchester at the end of July.

Interval is looking for media based artworks exploring the field of Single Use, and responsive to one or more of the 4 themes:
Successful Failure
Everything Must Go
Outside of Parallel
Portable Rest

Turnstile is conceived and directed by Karen Gaskill

Download an application form and submission details:

About Interval

Interval is an independent artist led platform with a focus on new media practice. Established in 2005, it acts as a critical springboard, offering collaborative exhibition opportunities to both emergent and established practitioners using technology as a key component within their work.

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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: info AT <info AT>
Date: Jun 20, 2007
Subject: SHARE PRIZE 2008 - Call for Digital Artist

Competition Announcement: Share Prize 2008


Piemonte Share announces the fourth edition of the Festival by calling a competition

Piemonte Share Award . See registration form.



Competition announcement

Art. 1
Piemonte Share Festival announces the second edition of the Share Prize 2008 for digital art.
The competition jury will award a prize of €2,500.00 to the work (published or unpublished) which best represents experimentation between arts and new technologies.
The candidates for the prize (a short list of a maximum of 6 competitors) will be guests at the 4th edition of the Share Festival, taking place in Turin March 2008 at the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti, Turin. In order to be declared winner of the prize, every artist has to take part in the 4th edition of Share Festival, by preparing his or her work of art, to be properly evaluated by jury and public.
The organization is available at offering all the costs regarding the preparation of the 6 selected works as well as travel and accommodation expenses for the artists, and, possibly, the prize itself".
Nomination of 6 candidates for the prize: by November, 2007. The announcement will be published on the following website:
The winner will be announced in March 2008 during the award ceremony at Share Festival.

Art. 2
The prize aims to discover, promote and sustain digital arts.

Entry Conditions
The contest is open to any Italian and foreign artist using digital technology as a language of creative expression, in all its shapes and formats and in combination with analogical technologies and/or any other material (i.e. computer animation / visual effects, digital music, interactive art, net art, software art, live cinema/vj, audiovisual performance, etc.). Each artist or group can enter up to 3 works. Artists who are part of a group participating in the contest may also enter up to 3 individual works.

Participating entries must be registered on the site using the registration form.

Registration and description of the competition entry forms should be either in English or Italian; English is preferred.

Art. 4
Conditions of exclusion

The competition is not open to:

- Jury members, organising body, their partners or relatives up to the sixth degree inclusive
- employees or collaborators of Jury members or announcement committee
- anyone who drew up the competition or any associated document
- any person working as a civil servant in Public Institutions or Administrations unless it is specifically permitted by the administration of affiliation
- unfinished projects or work

Art. 5
a. Entries must be registered on the site by using the registration form only.

b. Registration must take place by 12.00 pm on 30 September 2007. Entries after that date, for whatever reason, will be excluded from the competition.

Art. 6
Required documents
Candidates must fill in the on line registration form available at
Applications must contain the following information:
- Title of the work
- C.V. of artist or artists (in case of new groups of artists, each member’s C.V. is necessary)
- Concise description of the work (max. 150 words).
- URL documents concerning the work itself, where further details of the work can be found (see Art. 6bis)
- No material must be sent (paper, DVD, CD, etc) in addition to the specific requests of the public notice.

Art. 6bis
Further details on URL document
Every participant must provide further details from those given in the information on a specific web site. It must contain:
- Description of the work (max 500 words) explaining the main concept and technologies used
- Images (.jpg) and/or video (.avi) and/or audio (.mp3) of the work
- C.V. of artist or artists (in case of new groups of artists, each member’s C.V. is necessary)
NB: competitors are responsible for the design and costs incurred in producing the Web Site regarding the work for the contest.

Art. 7
Selection jury
The jury, meeting in non-public sessions, will select 6 works among those presented for the contest within November, 2007. The candidates for the prize (a short list of a maximum of 6 competitors) will be asked to take part in the 4th edition of the Share Festival, taking place in Turin March 2007 at the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti, Turin.
The announcement will be published on the following website:
The winner will be announced on March 2008 during the award ceremony at Share Festival.

The jury is composed by:

Bruce Sterling (writer and journalist, Austin) - chairman
Piero Gilardi (artist, Turin)
Anne Nigten (managing director, v2 e DEAF, Rotterdam)
Oscar Abril Ascaso (curator Sonar, Barcelona)
Stefano Mirti (architect, Interaction design Lab, Milano)

Art. 8
The Contest Information offices are located at Association The Sharing premises.
General coordination: Manuela De Caro
tel. +39.011. 588.36.93 faxes: 0039.011.83.91304
manuela.decaro AT

Art. 9
Property and rights concerning projects and selected works
With the registration to the contest, the authors of the winning works grant The Sharing Association the right to publish and reproduce the works, totally or partly, as part of cultural promotion.

Publishing this notice
This notice is made up of three pages and will be published via Internet at the following address: News will also be available via all interested parties.

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From: Michelle Kasprzak <michelle AT>
Date: Jun 16, 2007
Subject: Blogumenta opens today

Initiated by Robert Labossiere, Blogumenta is a response to the confluence of super-sized art events taking place in Europe at the moment: the Venice Biennale, the Muenster Sculpture Project, Art Basel, and of course, Documenta.

I call it a response, but Blogumenta is more than that - it is a different kind of art event entirely. It has no physical gallery to visit, but there is an image repository on the website and in Facebook, one of the most popular social networking websites. It has no curator, but it was initiated by Robert and he is also the “Admin” of the Facebook group. The work itself is not for sale, but in the “Shopumenta” online store, you can purchase a Blogumenta ringer tee.

>From the Facebook group page:

"Blogumenta may be Facebook’s first art gallery/art fair. Anyone can join and submit an artwork by uploading a photo or writing on the wall or any other way you can think of to contribute. Everything is subject to moderation by admin. Please be courteous.

Blogumenta has approximately 7 days to assemble an online exhibition comparable in scope to Documenta XII, arguably the most prestigious art fair in the world, held only every four years in Kassel, Germany. But enough about them! join, contribute, blog like you ment a."

Today is the opening ceremony of Blogumenta, and Facebook users are asked to change their profile picture to acknowledge this. A selection of images have been made available to Facebook users (examples here:, and slowly but surely, I’m witnessing the Blogumenta-fication of profile photos. If you’re on Facebook, join the fun - and if you’re not, visit to comment, submit images, or browse the Shopumenta store.

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From: matthew fuller <fuller AT>
Date: Jun 18, 2007
Subject: New Book: Digital Contagions. A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses

Jussi Parikka: Digital Contagions. A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses. (New York: Peter Lang, 2007).

Digital Contagions is the first book to offer a comprehensive and critical analysis of the culture and history of the computer virus phenomenon. The book maps the anomalies of network culture from the angles of security concerns, the biopolitics of digital systems, and the aspirations for artificial life in software. The genealogy of network culture is approached from the standpoint of accidents that are endemic to the digital media ecology. Viruses, worms, and other software objects are not, then, seen merely from the perspective of anti-virus research or practical security concerns, but as cultural and historical expressions that traverse a non-linear field from fiction to technical media, from net art to politics of software. Jussi Parikka mobilizes an extensive array of source materials and intertwines them with an inventive new materialist cultural analysis. Digital Contagions draws from the cultural theories of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Friedrich Kittler, and Paul Virilio, among others, and offers novel insights into historical media analysis.

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From: Chris Coleman <evolcdc AT>
Date: Jun 18, 2007
Subject: Particulate - a show of microcosms

“Particulate” is a show of eight diverse and internationally known artists who have packaged their visual inspections for playback on micro players. These mp4 players, often illegally labeled as ipods range from 1” to 2.5” diagonal, offer very affordable and intimate venues for these introspective works.

"These nine particulate samples were gathered from across the US and Canada to settle briefly in Eugene. Packets blown about in the passing traffic of the tubes abandoned by DARPA. The dust of dangerous bodies and cultures are collected, appropriated, examined, and probed by a brave group of eight visual excavators. To make the particulate momentarily visible, transformations and codecs have been applied, solid state storage units feed Chinese liquid crystal micro displays, photons are filtered and scattered. To ensure public safety, all specimens are simulated in small form, isolated, and displayed behind glass."

“Particulate” is presented by Lump West Gallery in Eugene OR, and was curated by Chris Coleman.
The show opens June 22nd from 7-10pm.

Participants include:
Tom Bendtson
Colin Ives
Adrianne Little
Laleh Mehran
Alexander Renya
G.A. Rhodes
Adam Weekley

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From: Edward Picot <edwardpicot AT>
Date: Jun 19, 2007
Subject: Yet another 3 ways of Looking at a Blackbird

"A man and a woman
Are one.
A man a woman and a blackbird
Are one."

>From a work in progress: three more short animations, based on sections of Wallace Stevens' famous poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", are now online. The first three were completed in February, the second batch in April, and there should be more to come a bit later in the year.

Also available, if you visit my home page, is a one-off song/video entitled "Train Coming".

- Edward Picot - The Hyperliterature Exchange - personal website

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From: Lauren Cornell <laurencornell AT>
Date: Jun 20, 2007
Subject: Interview with Charlie Gere, Christiane Paul, Jemima Rellie

+ Editor's Note: Due to the long length of this interview, it will appear in two portions, in the Digest. Part Two will appear in Volume 12, number 25, on June 27, 2007.

+Commissioned by

Interview with Charlie Gere, Christiane Paul, Jemima Rellie, by Lauren Cornell

On March 20th of this year, a vast and promising new space opened in Gijon, Asturias: the LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre. Devoted to the 'the exhibition, research, training and production of new art and industrial creation,' LABoral opened with four exhibitions: GAMEWORLD, EXTENSIONS-ANCHORS, LABCYBERSPACE, and FEEDBACK--the latter of which was organized by Charlie Gere, Christiane Paul, and Jemima Rellie. The three curators bring a tremendous amount of experience to FEEDBACK, a show that is ambitious in both scale and premise. Charlie Gere is Reader in New Media Research in the Institute for Cultural Research, Lancaster University & Chair of Computers and the History of Art (CHArt); Jemima Rellie is Head of Digital Programmes at the Tate; and Christiane Paul is Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art and director of Intelligent Agent. All have published widely on digital art and new media. Their exhibition breaks down established boundaries between disciplines to present a fresh perspective on art history, one that connects new media to artistic practices not usually seen as historical precursors. This interview was conducted via email after the exhibition opened.

LC: Your exhibition, FEEDBACK, casts a broad historical look at art that is responsive. It bridges categories that are often considered mutually exclusive by showing interconnections between software-based projects, net art, light works, early performance, and kinetic sculpture, amongst other forms. Could you discuss the themes of the exhibition and how you arrived at the exhibition title FEEDBACK?

CP: A main goal of the exhibition is to map out precisely the connections you mention above, between early performance, kinetic and op art, algorithmic software-based projects, etc. FEEDBACK focuses on two major themes relating to 'responsive' art. One theme traces the concept of feedback from 'algorithmic' art based on instructions (from natural language, e.g. Sol LeWitt, to code, e.g. Casey Reas) to art that sets up open systems (reacting to outside inputs or its own) and global connections. The second theme explores the concept of light and the moving image from early kinetic and Op Art to responsive notions of television and cinema.

The term 'responsive art' obviously covers a broad spectrum and, given the various themes we are covering, we wanted the exhibition to remain as focused as possible. The term 'feedback' goes beyond responsiveness, per se, since it means that the system is in turn changed by the output or response it produces. The works in the exhibition range from self-sustaining objects that rely on a closed system of feedback to systems with varying degrees of openness that receive input from instructions, the viewer, their environment, or information networks.

JR: We adopted the 'feedback' theme to illustrate the connection between new media and art history, as the term is not only descriptive of much new media art practice but also indicates how new media art is distinct from traditional painting, sculpture, and even photography, film, and video work. So we needed a term that was not media-specific. There are, of course, other terms or even qualities that we could have equally exploited to this effect, including for instance interactivity, non-linearity, or even participatoryness, but we felt that feedback was preferable because it is less loaded as an art-historical term and more importantly, it is more suggestive of the central tenet of the exhibition, that these earlier works have influenced new media art practice today.

LC: Jemima, you discuss in your essay how technology-based art is often marginalized or written out of art history. For this show, you construct a powerful argument that uses the concept of feedback to chart a new course through art history. Can you explain the art historical context you have carved-out for the show and what, if any, historical connections do you find most important or revealing? For instance, you discuss the relationship between instructions in Dada to generative and software-based art, or between Kinetic Art and cinema.

JR: A core objective of the exhibition is to demonstrate that new media art has a much longer history than is, at times, assumed. New media art did not emerge out of nowhere at the turn of the century, but rather its roots can be traced back to works created decades earlier, for instance Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's Light-Space Modulator (1930). In the exhibition we were keen to show that the earlier artists, such as Moholy-Nagy, were often interested in the same issues and opportunities for art that new media artists engage with today, in order to dispel the false notion that new media art somehow sits outside of modern art history.

CG: Art history always involves choices about what to remember and what to forget, choices made in retrospect and designed to simplify the complexity of art practice at any given period and to make it fit a particular narrative. The history of art concerning the 1960s and 70s seems to involve a massive disavowal of the importance of technology and technological utopianism in that period, which was strongly bound up with cybernetics and systems thinking. The recent show at Tate Modern, Open Systems c. 1970, was exemplary of this partial amnesia, as it seemed to suggest that the art being made in that period was mainly minimalist and conceptual, while leaving out exactly the works most directly and explicitly concerned with systems (which had a particular and specific meaning at the time in relation to technological discourses such as cybernetics). FEEDBACK is, to my mind, a directly polemical show intending to recover a forgotten heritage and in doing so show firstly the richer and more complex sets of influences at work then, and also the importance of technology for artists in the period, which, in turn, looks increasingly relevant to our current circumstances.

CP: One of the art-historical lineages we are tracing in the show is a move from instruction-based, generative, and conceptual art to telematics and networks. FEEDBACK reflects on various models of open systems and their inherent characteristics. Instructions and rules as a basis for creating art were an important element of art movements such as Dada, Fluxus, and conceptual art, which all incorporated variations of formal instructions as well as a focus on concept, event, and audience participation as opposed to art as a unified object. This emphasis on instructions connects to the algorithms that form the basis of any software and computer operation. Instruction-based practice is closely related to contemporary generative art in which a process, such as software, a machine, or a procedural invention, is set into motion to create a work of art. FEEDBACK explores generative art in two related threads that connect 'machine-driven drawing,' from Roman Verostko to 5voltcore, with biological systems and artificial life and intelligence (for example, Harold Cohen's Aaron or Sommerer & Mignonneau's LifeWriter).

Another art-historical lineage we are sketching is the one between kinetic and op art works that employ motion, light, optics, and interaction for the creation of abstract moving images; video pieces based on input from the audience or the environment; and contemporary cinematic pieces that react to the viewer or construct a movie in real time on the basis of software or data from the internet. Mapping out this territory was important to us for two reasons: first of all, as Charlie says, these connections are often neglected or forgotten in the process of writing art history; secondly, the connections are frequently made within the new media field, at conferences, in writings, in discourse on mailing lists but, at the same time, nobody has actually seen the works physically together in the same exhibition space. At the opening, many people came to us saying that it was great for them to actually see Moholy-Nagy and the Sinas next to Herwig Weiser and Amorphic Robotworks, next to a Tinguely sculpture, etc.

LC: How do you distinguish interactivity from feedback, in this case?

JR: The two terms overlap, but interactivity suggests to me that a high level of active audience participation is involved, whereas in fact much of the work in FEEDBACK is actually responding to the environment, or the system itself, and does not demand human intervention for full effect. Furthermore, whereas the term 'interactivity' focuses closely on an object-level process under consideration, I would suggest that feedback can connote a relationship that extends beyond the work in question to the practice as a whole.

CP: I would agree with Jemima that interactivity is usually understood in relation to human interaction, although people occasionally use the term 'system interaction' to refer to works that interact with themselves. Feedback is a broader term referring to the process by which a system is modulated, controlled, or changed by the output or response it produces. Of course feedback also is a commonly used term for an evaluative response and the return of information about the result of an activity, and we wanted to include this meaning. On a more metaphorical level, the projects assembled in the exhibition function as a response to each other, returning information about their context to the viewer.

LC: In 2007, there is still so much debate about terms like 'new media art' and 'digital art' in regards to whether they are still relevant or useful. As a goal of this show is to contextualize what we call new media art in a broader trajectory, I wonder what you make of these classifications.

JR: I think we all agree that both of these classifications are fundamentally problematic, and I don't think it is necessary to rehearse all the reasons why to the Rhizome community. But even though they are clunky terms that are difficult to define precisely, they do, I believe, still hold value in that they allow us to point to and discuss a broad and diverse practice that has traditionally been excluded from mainstream art history.

The argument that says that these terms are now defunct and that all contemporary art is now new media art, as it inevitably all now involves new technologies in its production and/or dissemination, is spurious I believe. What this ignores is that there remains something quite distinct about new media art, which fundamentally challenges the established art world infrastructure in both concept and production. This challenge does not simply stem from the media employed in the works, but more importantly from the issues and values they raise.

CP: I very much agree with Jemima. Digital or new media art are certainly problematic terms, and there have been discussions--on the lists, at conferences, and in other contexts--about their shortcomings for years. Art that uses digital technologies as a tool for producing a photograph, video, or even painting, which is the case for a lot of contemporary art, tends to be better understood than art that uses these technologies as a medium, making use of its inherent characteristics--its participatory, networked, non-linear, modular, generative nature. As long as we do not understand the language of new media as we understand the language of painting and video, this art form will not be integrated in the traditional art world. By contextualizing new media art within a broader trajectory FEEDBACK tries to explore at least some of the aspects of the aesthetic language of the digital medium as it relates to more traditional art.



+ Lauren Cornell is Executive Director of Rhizome.

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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 24. 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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