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: 10.3.07
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 18:47:05 -0400

RHIZOME DIGEST: October 3, 2007


2. daniel AT VIDA 10.0
3. info8 AT Call For Entries: Dreaming A New Real
4. aisling kelliher: Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Interactive Visual Media
5. Sang Um Nam: Assistant Professor in Imaging Media
6. Turbulence: Visionary Landscapes: Call for Papers and Media Art

7. Yves Bernard: iMAL new Digital Culture Center in Brussels, 4-7 October (Exhibition, concerts, performances)
8. hornett4 AT PING!4 Festival for experimental and new media art
9. Catherine Forster: LiveBox Video Art and New Media Lounge announcement
10. Andrew Stern: EXHIBITION: Grand Text Auto

12. Ryan Griffis: For An Art Against the Cartography of Everyday Life
13. Alexander Galloway: Notes on "Gaming"

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From: ana otero <4anaotero AT>
Date: Sep 30, 2007

// Deadline for proposals: 15 October 2007
Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, UK

AV Festival is an international festival of electronic arts, featuring visual art, music and moving image. A biennial event, the festival takes place in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough in the North East of England. The next AV Festival will be held 28 February - 8 March 2008.

The theme of AV Festival 08 is Broadcast.

This October, the BBC begin to switch off analogue television signals in the UK, paving the way for television to become entirely digital. At the same time as this profound change in our experience of broadcasting takes place, the internet and mobile networks have created opportunities for us to 'broadcast ourselves' in entirely new ways. As the landscape of broadcasting changes irrevocably, AV Festival 08 will be a catalyst for debate about the future of broadcasting, and an event to celebrate a century of on-air and online transmission.

AV Festival 08 will include internationally renowned artists, filmmakers, researchers and musicians as well as emerging practitioners. It will feature:
- New commissions of art, music and moving image
- Open Air: an outdoor programme of events
- Concerts & Performances
- Exhibitions in galleries and museums
- A moving image programme
- FM Radio Stations
- Club events and parties
- An industry debate
- Seminars, conferences and talks
- Workshops

We will be making a full announcement about the festival theme and some aspects of the programme mid October.

___AV Festival 08: getting involved

AV Festival 08 is providing creative practitioners with an opportunity to contribute ideas to the programme. In the next two months, we will announce a series of opportunities for artists, musicians, filmmakers, DJs, VJs, designers, theorists, technologists, scientists, philosophers and others to contribute to the festival.

The first of these opportunities is a call for proposals for a site-specific audio art commission at the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. The fee is GBP5000. If you have an idea for a new work which responds to our theme and the context of the Winter Gardens, we would like to hear about it. See below for more details.

In the coming weeks, we will also call for proposals from artists and producers who want to get involved with our radio stations, filmmakers who want to create a new work for the festival, and critics and philosophers who want to contribute to our conferences.

___AV Festival 08: call for proposals

AV Festival will commission new work especially for the festival, as well as present creative work which has already been produced.

We are now calling for proposals from artists or musicians for a new site-specific audio artwork for the Sunderland Winter Gardens. Experienced artists are invited to submit original ideas for a work that responds to both the festival's theme and the unique environment of the Winter Gardens.

The fee for this commission is GBP 5000.

Artists wishing to submit a proposal must download the brief for this commission from the AV Festival website, read the guidelines and send a proposal by email.

DEADLINE: 15 October 2007

We will announce further calls for proposals for other parts of the programme in the coming weeks. If you want to be kept informed of future opportunities, please subscribe to our mailing list by filling up the sign up box on

___AV Festival 08: joining our team

Over the coming weeks, we will be inviting tenders from freelance individuals, or companies, who want to get involved in the production of AV Festival 08. We are now inviting tenders for thefirst of these contracts: AV Festival Programme Manager, Middlesbrough. We are also inviting proposals for several paid placements for exceptional young people. There are more details about all these opportunities at:

___AV Festival: the story so far

The AV Festival is run by an independent charitable company called Audio Visual Arts North East.

AV Festival has run two successful festivals thus far. The first was held 18 - 22 November 2003 and consisted of over one hundred events across three towns in two weeks. It included new a newly commissioned film by The Light Surgeons which aired on BBC Television, screenings of Matthew Barney's
Cremaster Cycle, a Mike Figgis film retrospective, a world premiere by Peter Greenaway, new work by Richard Fenwick, performances by the Cinematic Orchestra, DJ Food, Tina Frank and General Magic, onedotzero screenings and a lively programme of workshops and lectures. The archived AV Festival 03 website can be found at:

The second AV Festival - LifeLike took place in over 25 venues from 2-12 March 2006. Over 10 days, AV delivered over 90 events in 3 urban centres. Curatorially, AV Festival 06 investigated life sciences. It featured challenging new work by Michael Nyman, Neil Bromwich & Zoe Walker, D-Fuse, Carsten Nicolai, and many others. It included 15 ambitious new commissions from artists, filmmakers and musicians such as Ryoji Ikeda, Ken Rinaldo, Andy Gracie and Anthony McCall, Gina Czarnecki, UMAMi, Time's Up, :zoviet*france:, Suguru Goto and others. The archived AV Festival 06 website can be found at:

___AV Festival 08: supporters

AV Festival 08 is organised by Audio Visual Arts North East, an independent charitable company.

AV Festival 08 forms part of NewcastleGateshead's world-class festivals and events programme managed by culture10, based at NewcastleGateshead

AV Festival 08 is supported by Arts Council England, North East, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, ONE NorthEast, Middlesbrough Council, Sunderland City Council, Tyneside Cinema, Northern Film & Media, UK Film Council.

___AV Festival 08: partnership network

AV Festival has developed close working relationships with some of the region's key cultural organisations. Our past or current partners include:
- University of Teesside, Middlesbrough:
- Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle:
- Arts Development, Middlesbrough Council
- Arts Development, Sunderland City Council
- The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead :
- Forma, Newcastle:
- Alt-Gallery, Newcastle:
- Discovery Museum, Newcastle:
- Hatton Gallery, Newcastle:
- Centre for Life, Newcastle:
- NO-FI, Newcastle:
- Isis Arts, Newcastle:
- Codeworks:
- CultureLab:
- Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle:
- Polytechnic, Newcastle:
- Name, Newcastle:
- Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens:
- National Glass Centre, Sunderland:
- Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art Sunderland:
- Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland:
- CRUMB, Sunderland:
- /sLab, Sunderland:
- University of Sunderland:
- Washington Arts Centre, Sunderland
- mima, Middlesbrough:
- Empire, Middlesbrough:
- Kino Cinema, Middlesbrough:
- Cleveland College of Art & Design, Middlesbrough:
- UMAMi, Newcastle:
- Dance City, Newcastle:
- White Hot Communications, Newcastle:
- Velcrobelly, Newcastle:
- Waygood Gallery, Newcastle:

___AV Festival 08: contacts

For more information contact:

AV Festival
c/o Tyneside Cinema at Gateshead Old Town Hall
West Street
Tel: +44 (0)191 2328289, ext 112
Email: info AT

AV Festival is run by Audio Visual Arts North East. A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No 06141603. Registered Charity Number
1120368. Registered Office: c/o Tyneside Cinema at Gateshead Old Town Hall, West Street, Gateshead, NE8 1HE, UK.

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HDFEST's New York festival will be taking place October 10th and 11th from 6pm-10pm at the HD theatre at Sony Wonder Technology Lab (56th Street and Madison Avenue.) HDFEST is an exclusively High-Definition film festival which showcases the best in movies and animation created using HD technology. HDFEST festival events this year are also taking place in Seoul, London, Finland, and Los Angeles.

HD movies to be screened at the New York event originate from countries around the world including Japan, Seoul, Singapore, Germany, England, Ireland, Canada, and Spain. Participating filmmakers will be available at the festival to discuss their work and experiences using High-Def. Tickets are $12 per screening and are available online or at the event at the HDFEST box office. The New York HDFEST schedule or more information can be found at or by emailing admin AT

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From: daniel AT <daniel AT>
Date: Oct 1, 2007
Subject: VIDA 10.0

VIDA 10.0 - International Competition on Art and Artificial Life.
Project submission dates: September 17-October 22, 2007

Fundación Telefónica is attempting to promote the convergence of Art, Science and Technology by holding an international competition which rewards those works of art developed using Artificial Life technologies.

At previous editions, prizes were given to art projects created with robots, electronic avatars, chaotic algorithms, knowbots, cellular automatons, computer viruses, virtual ecologies which evolve by interacting with the participant and works which delve into social aspects of Artificial Life.

Selected Projects

A total of 20,000 euros will be awarded to the projects selected by the jury:

First prize: 10,000 euros
Second prize: 7,000 euros
Third prize: 3,000 euros


The selected projects will be exhibited at the International Contemporary Art Fair (ARCO) in Madrid in February 2008.

Incentive for Production

The competition's second category will help finance Artificial Life art projects (and those of associated disciplines) that have not yet been made. The competition is open to participants from anywhere in Latin America, Spain and Portugal.


The works submitted will be examined by an international jury that will be meeting as of November 7, 2007. The prize winners' names and special mentions will be announced at an award ceremony.

Members of the Jury
Mónica Bello Bugallo, Spain
Daniel Canogar, Spain
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Canada/Mexico
José-Carlos Mariátegui, Peru
Nell Tenhaaf, Canada
Simon Penny, USA/Australia

Project submission dates:
September 17-October 22, 2007.
Deliberation by the jury:
November 7-9, 2007.

You may send your proposal in along with the application form and required materials to any of the following addresses:

Ángeles Pérez Muela
VIDA 10.0
International Competition 2007
Fundación Telefónica
Gran Vía, 32. 5a planta
28013 Madrid, Spain
Phone: 34 91 584 23 05
Fax: 34 91 584 0656

Ana María Castañeta
VIDA 10.0
International Competition 2007
Fundación Telefónica
Av. Arequipa 1155
Santa Beatriz
Lima, Peru
Phone: 511 210 1544
Fax: 511 419 0501

Silvana Spadaccini
VIDA 10.0
International Competition 2007
Fundación Telefónica
Arenales 1540
1061 Capital Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone: 5411 4333 1317
Fax: 5411 4333 1307

Claudia Villaseca
VIDA 10.0
International Competition 2007
Fundación Telefónica
Providencia, 111 - P. 25
Santiago, Chile
Phone: 562 691 3741
Fax: 562 236 7138

Adriana Lomonaco
VIDA 10.0
International Competition 2007
Fundação Telefônica
Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 1188 — conjuntos 33 e 34
CEP 01451-001 São Paulo-SP, Brazil
Phone: 5511 3035 1956
Fax: 5511 3035 1950

Francisco Mijares
VIDA 10.0
International Competition 2007
Fundación Telefónica
Av. Prolongación Paseo de la Reforma, 1200 — piso 08
Colonia Cruz Manca. Cuajimalpa de Morelos
C.P. 05349 — México D.F. México
Phone: 5255 1616 7587
Fax: 5255 1616 8053

For further information on the competition, please write to:
Ángeles Pérez Muela: angeles.perezmuela AT

Applicants may consult the winning projects from previous years at the VIDA website, in order to determine whether their projects fit in with the philosophy
of the prize.

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From: info8 AT <info8 AT>
Date: Oct 1, 2007
Subject: Call For Entries: Dreaming A New Real

Dreaming A New Real: Film, Video and Multimedia Short Works
Call For Entries:

Loop Sanctuary IV, a recurring art/performance series at The Chapel + Cultural Center at Rensselaer, is accepting entries for a one-night presentation of projected film, video and multimedia works on the subject of dreams and the perception of reality. Accepted entries will be presented on January 11, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the Chapel + Cultural Center at Rensselaer, Troy, NY, USA.
Entries should be 10 minutes or less in length and must be postmarked by December 1, 2007. There is no application fee. Open to artists of any nationality. Acceptable formats: DVD, VCD, SVCD, CD-ROM, VHS-NTSC.

VHS Specs: Please cue to the beginning of the work on the tape.
CD-ROM Specs: Work should be accessible through an HTML page and must be compatible with Internet Explorer or Firefox on a Windows XP platform.
Plug-ins: Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Shockwave, Apple QuickTime, RealVideo, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Windows Media, For digital video, the maximum screen size is 640x480. Please use only standard compressors such as MPEG for video.

Selection criteria:
· Theme: Dreaming a New Real
· Deadline: postmarked by December 1, 2007
· No interactive works.
· Length: 10 minutes or less; shorter works encouraged.
· Experimental or non-linear works encouraged.

ENTRY checklist:
· Contact information
· Title of your work
· Brief description:
· Brief artist statement (optional)
· Artist resume (optional)
· SASE with sufficient postage if you wish your work returned.

Send to:
ATT: Loop Sanctuary Dreams
The Chapel + Cultural Center at Rensselaer
10 Tom Phalen Place
Troy, NY 12180

You will be notified by email by December 15, 2007 if your work is accepted.
Accepted entries will be presented on January 11, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the Chapel + Cultural Center at Rensselaer.

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Mills College - Assistant Professor, Electronic Arts/Sound
Full-time tenure-track position beginning Fall 2008

The Mills College Music Department and the Intermedia Arts Program seek an accomplished Electronic Arts/Sound artist with an established record of achievement in electronic media and sound, who possesses a broad understanding of contemporary art practices and computer technologies. Candidates should be fluent in the history and criticism of electronic media and sound art, as well as contemporary media theory. They should be prepared to contribute to the developing Intermedia Arts Program curricula, and to teach and advise undergraduate and graduate students working across and between disciplines, including experimental music, dance, visual art, installation, performance, creative-writing, and video. Courses will include a Sound Art studio class, and beginning and advanced Electronic Arts courses that address digital and electronic art production, including digital and analog electronics, internet and web art, and interactivity as art practices. At least three years of college teaching experience is preferred, and an MFA or equivalent experience is required.

Application: An application should include a cover letter discussing teaching experience and areas of expertise, a CV, a statement of your approach to teaching, an artist’s statement, a representative selection of art work (such as audio CDs, videos in DVD format, URLs for web based work, or Macintosh-compatible CD-ROMs), SASE, and contact information for three academic/professional references. Please send applications to:

Chris Brown, Chair, Electronic Arts/Sound Search Committee, Music Department, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613-1301

Reviews of submitted applications will begin on November 1, 2007.
Inquiries: 510.430.2330; cbmus AT

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mills is a selective liberal arts college for women, with coeducational graduate programs. Persons of color and those committed to working in a socially diverse environment are encouraged to apply. AA/EOE

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From: aisling kelliher <aisling.kelliher AT>
Date: Oct 1, 2007
Subject: Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Interactive Visual Media

The Arts, Media and Engineering Program (AME) ( at Arizona State University is announcing an opening for a tenure-track assistant professor in Interactive Visual Media.

AME is a nationally leading program for transdisciplinary research and education in media. The program has established digital media concentrations in the PhD and Masters degrees of ten different disciplines: Visual Art, Music, Dance, Theater and Film, Design, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Informatics, Bioengineering, Psychology, and Education. The program also offers a PhD in Media Arts and Sciences. Twelve AME faculty and thirty affiliated faculty from the participating departments work collaboratively with graduate students supported by research assistantships for the creation of innovative experiential media systems, models and applications. AME, a strategic initiative of ASU, has state of the art media facilities and diverse external support streams.

The successful candidate will take a leadership role in the design and development of the visual aspects of adaptive and responsive multimodal systems at AME and will also lead student training in this area. The individual hired will spearhead research in cutting-edge areas: interactive graphics and animation, dynamic information visualization, computational image generation and manipulation systems, visual displays for hybrid physical/digital applications. The appointee’s efforts will merge with efforts of other AME faculty for the achievement of significant advancements in interactive media. Teaching assignments are reasonable and will relate to the appointee’s interests, research and creation.

The appointee will have their tenure home with AME. They will further have the opportunity to place 25% of their appointment with the Intermedia division of the nationally ranked School of Art (SoA) at ASU ( This will allow close collaboration with SoA faculty, supervision of SoA students and opportunities for special topics courses within SoA.

Required Qualifications: Doctoral degree in Media or Visual Art or closely related field OR master’s degree in Media or Visual Art or closely related field and a minimum of four years industry experience in computational media and/or visual graphics AND a creative and/or scholarly record with emphasis on visuals for digital media appropriate to rank.

Desired Qualifications: Extensive experience in interactive graphics and/or information visualization; development of high-impact/high-use computational systems; interdisciplinary experience in research and creation spanning Media, Arts and Engineering; industry experience; funded research in visual media and/or related fields.

Application Deadline: November 25, 2007; if not filled, every FOUR weeks thereafter until search is closed. Anticipated start date is August 16, 2008.

Application Procedure: Send a letter of interest; CV; up to four (4) representative media products: demos of work or publications; and, names, addresses and telephone numbers for three professional references to: Chair, Interactive Visual Media Search, AME, Box 878709, Tempe, Arizona 85287-8709. Background check required for employment. For more information write to: ivm-search AT

Arizona State University is an AA/EO employer

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From: Sang Um Nam <sangumc AT>
Date: Oct 2, 2007
Subject: Assistant Professor in Imaging Media

Assistant Professor of communication technologies (9 month, full-time, tenure track).

Review of completed applications will begin December 1, 2007, and continue until the position is filled. Position is available August 20, 2008.

Teach courses in both our major core and Imaging Media Emphasis (see depending upon department needs and the candidate's expertise and interests. Candidate may be required to teach by alternative delivery methods. Other responsibilities include: advising students, professional and scholarly activity, applicable university and community service, plus other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:
Terminal degree (Ph.D., M.F.A., or Ed.D.) required in communication or related field. The successful candidate will have the vision and initiative to help shape curriculum for the future. Expertise required in image-creation and -manipulation software (Macintosh), with preference given to candidates also possessing Web design skills. Demonstrable skills in oral and written communication required. Observable dedication to undergraduate education, enthusiasm for professional engagement with students in and out of classroom and laboratory are a must. Ability to perform routine lab maintenance required. Demonstrated commitment to or experience with racially diverse populations required.

Commensurate with professional experience and qualifications. Outstanding fringe benefits included.

Send letter of application, curriculum vita, three letters of reference, undergraduate and graduate transcripts (unofficial copies acceptable), statement of teaching philosophy (should include an explanation of commitment to, or experience with, racially diverse populations), electronic portfolio (Web, CD, or DVD; may include additional works by your students), and names and contact information for five references to:
Dr. Arthur L. Ranney
Department of Communication Technologies
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza
Platteville WI 53818-3099
FAX: 608-342-1517
Email: ranneya AT
Final candidates will provide a teaching demonstration.

The Department of Communication Technologies has seven faculty and teaching staff members with approximately 200 students. The department emphasizes hands-on learning for technologies used for mass media and communication, with small class sizes and individualized attention. Our well-equipped labs for broadcast and computer imaging complement our emphases in broadcast production, imaging media, journalism, and public relations. The department is responsible for supervision of the campus radio station, programming for an educational access channel, and the student newspaper. More information is available at

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville, founded in 1866, enrolls about 7,000 students in more than 40 different undergraduate majors and a select few graduate programs. It has historic institutional strengths in agriculture, criminal justice, education, engineering, and technology management. More information is available at

Platteville is a friendly, progressive community of 10,000 in the beautiful rolling landscape of Southwest Wisconsin. It offers excellent school systems, high quality medical and hospital facilities, outstanding recreational opportunities, and a vibrant business/industrial base. More information is available at

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville, an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, seeks to build a diverse faculty and staff and encourages applications from women and persons of color. The names of nominees and applicants who have not requested in writing that their identities be kept confidential, and of all finalists, will be released upon request.

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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 sales AT

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From: Turbulence <turbulence AT>
Date: Oct 2, 2007
Subject: Visionary Landscapes: Call for Papers and Media Art

Visionary Landscapes: Electronic Literature Organization 2008 Conference
May 29 - June 1, 2008 Vancouver, Washington

Deadline: November 30, 2007

Deadline: November 30, 2007

Sponsored by Washington State University Vancouver and The Electronic
Literature Organization.
Drs. Dene Grigar and John Barber, Co-Chairs.
Contact: Dene Grigar - grigar at

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: Yves Bernard <yb AT>
Date: Sep 26, 2007
Subject: iMAL new Digital Culture Center in Brussels, 4-7 October (Exhibition, concerts, performances)

On October 4 2007, iMAL (interactive Media Art Lab, will open its new venue, the first Center for Digital Cultures and Technology in Brussels, a new place of about 600m2 for the meeting of artistic, scientific and industrial innovations.

The inaugural programme is composed of an exhibition, concerts and performances from 4 to 7 of October with artists from Belgium, Europe, USA and Second Life.

Ideally located in the very center of Brussels along the Canal in a district currently involved in an intense urban renewal process, the new Center will host the office, workplace and workshop rooms of iMAL, and will propose a public space of 400m2 entirely dedicated to the contemporary artistic and cultural practices emerging from the fusion of computer, telecommunication, network and media.

More on


The exhibition explores the hybrid world merging the Internet and the physical world. About a dozen works from artists coming from Belgian, Europe and USA are proposed.
With Yannick Antoine (BE), Yves Bernard (BE), Jonah Brucker-Cohen (USA), HC Gilje (NO), Linda Hifling (DK), Thomas Israïël (BE), Walter Langelaar (NL), Sascha Pohflepp (DE), Domenico Quaranta (IT), Antoine Schmitt (FR), SecondFront & Odyssey (Second Life), Walter Verdin (BE).


THURSDAY 4.10, 18:00
OPENING: performance Second Life<-> Brussels, with the collaboration of Second Front and Odyssey;

FRIDAY 5.10, 20:30
Espaces Croisés, Mathieu Chamagne (fr), Pyrogenesis, Pascal Baltazar (fr), 2006
These two artists supported by GMEA, the musical research group of Albi (<> will play personal compositions where they expore new types of gestual interfaces for controlling multi-channel computer-based sound processes.

Mikro, HC Gilje (no), Justin Bennett (uk), 2006
"Mikro" is a series of improvised performances using the immediate surroundings as raw material. A microscope captures everyday objects and surfaces like wallpaper, coins, clothing, furniture, newspapers and transforms it into an explosive universe of textures. Contact microphones and electromagnetic sniffers pick up unhearable sounds to create the live soundtrack.

SATURDAY 6.10, 20:30
EAVK, Visual Kitchen (be) & Eavesdropper (be)
Visual Kitchen explores the semantics of live AV performance and video art from a background of VJ'ing and music video production. Eavesdropper started as a drum'n bass breakbeats producer that soon found his way to theatre, performance soundtracks and sounddesign.

sCrAmBlEd?HaCkZ!, Sven König (de), 2006-07
s?H! is a conceptual software which makes it possible to work with samples in a completely new way by making them available in a manner that does justice to their nature as concrete musical memories. s?H! is performed live by Sven singing to travel through an improvised remix of symphonic orechestra audiovisual archives.

Detailled programme on

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Rhizome Commissions Program

Rhizome 2008 Commissions Announced!
This year, eleven emerging artists/ collectives were awarded commissions in support of new works of Internet-based art. The projects include distributed sound experiments, visually compelling interactive images that blend the sublime and the ridiculous, and pioneering applications that encourage the flowering of creativity across commercial areas of the web. Follow the link below for descriptions of and links to the eleven winning proposals, which also includes our first-ever Community Award, a project designed to enhance participation and communication on Rhizome.

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: hornett4 AT <hornett4 AT>
Date: Sep 30, 2007
Subject: PING!4 Festival for experimental and new media art

The PING!4 Festival
Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean, hosts the fourth edition of PING!, a festival dedicated to new media, experimental and electronic art and music. Dates: 11-14 OCtober.
This year the festival presents the work of more than 30 artists selected from Mallorca and Germany. Premiering several fascinating interactive installations along with a dozen concerts, performance pieces and workshops packed into four intense days, this year's PING! festival remains the most interesting thing happening in this corner of the Mediterranean in October. Organised by the cultural association Sa Taronja, it all takes place in an old chicken farm in Andratx, half an hour from the city of Palma.
More information at

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From: Catherine Forster <catforster AT>
Date: Oct 1, 2007
Subject: LiveBox Video Art and New Media Lounge announcement

Video Art and New Media Lounge at Around The Coyote Festival 2007
Curated by Catherine Forster of LiveBox

location: 1275 N. Milwaukee, Chicago
Media Lounge Dates and Hours
Friday, October 12th 6pm-10Pm
Saturday, October 13th 11am-10PM
Sunday, October 14th from 11am-6PM

The Video Art and New Media Lounge provides viewers with an opportunity to experience international and local new media projects in three settings:

1. Exhibition Hall: video and new media installations
2. Screening Room: experimental film and video art, scheduled screenings
3. Video Lounge: relaxed and intimate viewing of video art

Program Highlights:

Featured Artist Program. Two international Guest Artists will be featured this year:

Kurt Hentschlager: New York/Chicago based Austrian artist, Kurt Hentschläger creates audiovisual compositions in which audio and video actuate one another. The immersive nature of his work reflects on the metaphor of the sublime. Trained as fine artist, in 1983 he began as a sculptor, building surreal machine objects, followed by works with video, computer animation and sound. Hentschläger is a recipient of numerous prizes and large-scale commissions. He has represented Austria at the 2001 Venice Biennial and has shown his work internationally for two decades.

Carole Kim: An interdisciplinary artist with a focus on performance-based video installation combining digital/new media technologies and improvisational live performance. The work emphasizes video’s capacity as a live medium and the illusory architecture of layered video projection in space. The seamless cinematic distance of pre-edited film viewing is ruptured by the awareness that the moving image is being constructed in the moment. Recent venues include the Museum of Contemporary Art-Los Angeles, Museum of Modern Art-NY, REDCAT/Disney Hall, the Getty Center, the Stanford Jazz Festival, Engine 27 (New York), Beyond Baroque (LA), Electron Salon at the Rio Theater (Santa Cruz), Highways (Santa Monica), the Knitting Factory (LA).

Exhibition Hall: The Exhibition Hall features artists working in both video and new media technologies. Exhibiting artists include Adam Chapman, Kim Collmer, Robert Ladislas Derr, Kurt Hentschlager, Igloo, Carole Kim, Andrew Hicks, Robyn Voshardt and Sven Humphrey, Eun Sun Lee, Luftwerk (Petra Bachmaier and Sean M Gallero), Galina Schevchenko, and Stacia Yeapanis.

Kaleidoscope 1, 2 & 3: Kaleidoscope is a three-part program sourced from Around The Coyote submissions and through invitation. Kaleidoscope reflects the complex medley and richness of contemporary video.
Night of Animation: selections from Directors Lounge Berlin Festival 2007. It is all about location: locations that give us comfort or discomfort, allow us to imagine, laugh, squirm; locations that transport us or bring us quickly, and sometimes harshly, back to reality. This selection of animations from around the globe all touch somehow on the animator's place within the world.

Hi/Lo Film Festival San Francisco: touring selection from 2006 festival. Originally organized in 1997 by the San Francisco Production Company and comedy collective Killing My Lobster, the Hi/Lo Film Festival has evolved into a major West coast showcase for independent low-budget filmmakers. Now in its 10th year, the Hi/Lo film Festival continues to prove that big imaginations are more important than big wallets.

Chicago Fresh: curated selections from Chicago’s Art Schools, Including Columbia College’s Interdisciplinary Program and Film & Video Department; School of The Art Institute of Chicago’s Art and Technology Studies and Film and Video programs; Northwestern University, Dept of Art Theory and Practice; and Marwen Academy, Chicago’s leading youth program.

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From: Andrew Stern <andrew AT>
Date: Oct 1, 2007
Subject: EXHIBITION: Grand Text Auto

EXHIBITION: Grand Text Auto

LOCATION: The Beall Center for Art and Technology, UC Irvine

OPENING RECEPTION: October 4th, 6:30pm-9:00pm, Beall Center

SYMPOSIUM: October 5th, 1:00-5:00pm, Studio Art Bldg. 712, Room 160, UC Irvine

PERFORMANCE: October 5th, 6:00-8:00pm, Winifred Smith Hall, UC Irvine

GENERAL CONTACT: (949) 824-4339 or


Many blogs have become books - from The Baghdad Blog to Belle de Jour. But Grand Text Auto is the first blog ever to become a gallery exhibition. It opens October 4th and runs through December 15th at UC Irvine's Beall Center for Art and Technology. The exhibition features the work of Grand Text Auto members Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Mary Flanagan, Michael Mateas, Andrew Stern, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg, and their collaborators.

Grand Text Auto is a blog about the potential of digital media, from literary websites to experimental computer games. At the exhibition, the blog members will put these ideas into practice, showing a variety of cutting edge works. Some use the latest in artificial intelligence technology, such as Mateas and Stern's interactive drama Façade -- of which The New York Times says, "This is the future of video games." The Beall exhibition will feature the first public showing of a life-sized "augmented reality" version of Façade, created in collaboration with Georgia Tech's GVU Center. Virtual reality is also on display, as with Wardrip-Fruin's collaborative work Screen, a literary game played with 3D text -- never seen before outside of a research lab and presented with support from UC San Diego's Center for Research in Computing and the Arts. On the other hand, some works in the exhibition use decidedly do-it-yourself techniques, such as Montfort and Rettberg's Implementation!
, an experimental novel distributed around the world on mailing labels. Others are quirky, such as Flanagan's [giantJoystick], a replica Atari 2600 joystick so large that two people must work together to play (this has its North American debut at the Beall show).

In addition to the gallery show, the members of Grand Text Auto are working together with the Beall Center to present a live symposium and performance evening, both on October 5th. The afternoon symposium (1-5 p.m.) will discuss the power of collaborative blogging, new directions for computer games, and the place of language in digital media. The evening performance (6-8 p.m.) will feature the disturbing and humorous interactive cinema experience Terminal Time (which automatically creates outrageously biased documentaries of the past millennium) and a live performance of the award-winning hypertext novel The Unknown (which tells the tale of a rollicking cross-country book tour). Parking for these events is available in the Student Parking structure at the corner of Campus Drive and West Peltason.

Online, Grand Text Auto ( is a blog with more than 200,000 visitors a month, collectively authored by six artists and scholars. Offline, Grand Text Auto members have been shown in major art museums, been written about in leading national periodicals, and shipped games that have met wide acclaim and sold millions of copies. The Grand Text Auto exhibition is the first time that these artists will show their work together. Delve into Grand Text Auto's digital depths October 4 - December 15, 2007 (closed November 22-26) and witness the live debut of blog-meets-reality.

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From: lisa AT <lisa AT>
Date: Oct 2, 2007

Cory Arcangel (beige)
Request for comments
6th October – 16 December 2007
Private View: 6th October, 6:30 – 9:30

Max Wigram Gallery Ridley Road:
51-63 Ridley Road, London E8 2NP

Max Wigram Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Cory Arcangel. Creative "hacking" is what Arcangel is, perhaps, most renowned for. From Mario Brothers to Pope John Paul II, and the Beatles to the pop Indie film Dazed and Confused - Arcangel co-opts popular media and culture, manipulating these "new" platforms and media to subvert his subjects to the expectant whims of a growing audience of (often irreverent) Internet and media-savvy consumers.

Arcangel's work represents a shift in how artists and consumers alike are interacting with the world around them. By utilizing the Internet as a vehicle for the proliferation of his mutations, Arcangel's ideas can make the rounds in a fraction of the time as would have been possible years ago. Arcangel brings the viewer into this (now) familiar world and exposes the ease to which that world can be compromised. Though this is not to say Arcangel has a utopian view of technology, but rather, quite the opposite. His work often points out that technology-based artwork never achieves it goals.

Permanent Vacation, the centrepiece of the exhibition, is a new multi-channel work featuring two large-scale projections of computers running Microsoft Outlook in an unending exchange of 'out of office replies.' In a play on video installation, and video minimalism, Permanent Vacation is emblematic of Arcangel's work: it is both frustrating and humorous.

Photoshop Gradient and Smudge Tool Demonstrations is a new series of glossy prints made from the default backgrounds that come with the ubiquitous graphics software Photoshop. Essentially digital ready-mades, the prints make no attempt to escape the aesthetic of the tool that was used to create them.

In a more compositional piece, Sweet 16, Arcangel has appropriated the intro guitar line from Guns n' Roses song Sweet Child O' Mine and has applied the 1960's avant-garde compositional concept of phasing to the clip by shortening one video by a note. As the videos loop, the two intros grow farther apart until they are back in sync 17 minutes later. Another video work, features vintage footage of the Beatles from their first US press conference, although in Arcangel's version there is a laser pointer focused between Paul's eyes.

Arcangel also plays with notions of display and installation in works such as Plasma Burn. Plasma Burn is just that, an image – in this case, the description of the work, which in time burns itself into the screen. As the monitor burns it becomes a sculptural object.

Artist, Musician, DJ, and Computer geek, Arcangel is a frequent collaborator of like-minded people: the Beige Programming Ensemble, which Arcangel co-founded in 1998, and the Paper Rad Art Collective. Coinciding with his exhibition at Max Wigram, Tha Click is a group show at E:vent Space featuring various works and collaborations by members of both groups (opening 5th October, 7pm).

Arcangel (b. 1978, Buffalo, US) lives and works in New York. This year forthcoming solo exhibitions include a UK touring commission by Film & Video Umbrella which will be shown at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (December), Spacex Exeter (December) and Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (February, 2008)). Recent group exhibitions include: Automatic Update at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Time Frame at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, NY (2006); the 2004 Whitney Biennial and Greater New York at P.S.1/MoMA, NY (2005). He has also had a solo exhibition at migros museum für gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2005) and participated in group exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, and at The Guggenheim Museum.

Please contact the gallery at press AT for further information and images.

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From: Ryan Griffis <ryan.griffis AT>
Date: Sep 28, 2007
Subject: For An Art Against the Cartography of Everyday Life

This is a shorter version of a text published in the Re-Public
journal (links to notes and sources can be found at the article
hosted on the journal's site)
There are also articles by Peter Lunenfeld, Eyal Weizman, Arlen
Dilsizian, and others that would be of interest.

Simply put, everyday life might be the name for the desire of
totality in postmodern times.

(Ben Highmore, Everyday Life and Cultural Theory)

We should now talk of people making not their own history but their
own geography.

(John Urry, “Social Relations, Space and Time”, in Spatial Relations
and Spatial Structures)

The title of this essay is a remix of the title of an essay by artist
Martha Rosler originally published in 1979, “For an Art Against the
Mythology of Everyday Life”. Rosler’s text is an engagement with what
was then the emerging context now often referred to as “post-
industrial globalization.” More specifically, it is an engagement
from the perspective of someone attempting to make things - art works
- that can “address these banally profound issues of everyday life,
thereby revealing the public and political in the personal”. She was
particularly interested in both the oppressive and potentially
liberating aspects of “mass media.” Here, I want to take up where
Rosler left off, discussing the potential of art, and technology, to
“step toward reasonably and humanely changing the world” using the
example of what is commonly referred to as “locative media.”

The “Locative Media” label has been used to refer to both commercial
and “critical” avant garde applications of geospatially aware
technologies. Both often share a predilection for revealing the
individual experience of “everyday life” and connecting it to larger,
socially mediated and networked forms of experience. Locative media
relies on the placement and movement of devices that can compute, and
then transmit, their location to other, equally connected devices,
like computers. In a larger cultural sphere, this is visible in the
proliferation of the Geographic Positioning System (GPS) technology
that is becoming increasingly common in devices like cell phones and
automobiles. Locative media benefits from such deployment of
communication technologies as “ubiquitous” - to be everywhere, at all
times, and often unnoticed and inaccessible. Such notions of ubiquity
can’t help but intersect with notions of “the everyday” - where else
is “the everyday” if not in “the everywhere”?

Rosler begins “For an Art Against the Mythology of Everyday Life”
with the question, “Where do ideas come from?” (p. 3). She
immediately answers her question with, “All the myths of everyday
life stitched together form a seamless envelope of ideology, the
false account of the workings of the world.” Notions of “the
everyday” as a site of resistance, dissent and creativity have been
celebrated for their embodiment of what Michel deCerteau referred to
as “tactics”. This somewhat utopian depiction of “making do” in the
face of regimes of power, however, can equally serve to reinforce the
“myths of everyday life” Rosler is trying to make knowable. The
condition of always acting tactically requires a constant state of
sublimation and reactionary posturing, that while potentially
liberating in the face of short term oppression, can never respond
adequately to inequities.

On the commercial side, the ideological link between life and
consumption is even more seamless than before. The utopian side of
this is represented by the image of an endless network of consumers,
newly empowered to publicly share their experiences and encounters
with products and places. But is this consumer networking changing
the desires that have shaped centuries of violent inequity? For one
answer, we can look at the popularity of mapping applications that
facilitate commercial real estate transactions, such as that connects Craigslist real estate listings and
Google Maps. The following statement from Thai Tran, a Google Maps
product manager, commenting on the release of a new panoramic, photo-
based interface by Google, is revealing:

One day we were looking at two of the original Google Maps
mashups, and, and we realized it
would be even more useful if they could be combined because most
people wouldn’t want to live near high crime areas.

In Trans’ statement, we find that, for all the new technologically-
facilitated “communities” we can now create, they don’t look all that
different from those divided by racialized red-lines, created by
earlier generations of GIS applications. I will return to some of the
implications of this technological inscription of desire later, but
would like to shift into a discussion of locative media as it is
practiced and celebrated within the avant garde cultural sphere, and
more specifically, in contemporary art.

One contemporary locative media art work that has received much
attention (the 2005 Golden Nica Award at Ars Electronica and
exhibited in “Making Things Public” at the ZKM) is a mapping project
by Esther Polak, Ieva Auzina and the Riga Center for New Media
Culture (RIXC) titled “MILK.” Completed from 2003 through 2005,
“MILK” follows the production and distribution of cheese, from
Latvian dairy farms to the markets of Utrecht. Following the
movements of nine “participants” (selected people involved in the
making, moving and consumption of cheese) through the use of GPS
devices given to them, “MILK” proposes to give us a glimpse into the
social, and spatial, construction of cheese. The self-generated press
for the project positions it as a “locative art - mapping project,
that explores visual and documenting possibilities of GPS technology.”

The project’s basic components consist of some text, video and
photographic imagery that records the movements of farmers, dealers
and buyers of cheese. Through these mediations, the artists represent
the spatial histories and knowledges that are, for all practical
purposes, otherwise inaccessible and invisible in the material of
cheese. “MILK” re-presents “cheese” as a body of knowledge that can
be engaged on a human scale, through the actions and thoughts of
those involved in its production, and on a more macro scale, through
visualizations that reveal the geographic distances and time involved
in its materialization.

Not surprising, one of the primary influences in the creation of the
project, stated by Esther Polak, was the artist’s recollection of an
earlier documentary project of rural life, poet James Agee and
photographer Walker Evans’ 1941 account of poor farmers in the US
South, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.” Evans’ and Agee’s project,
begun as an assignment for Fortune Magazine in 1936, is in many ways
a classic example of New Deal era documentary work, combining the
aesthetic sensibilities of the two artists with the Progressive
political values of the emerging welfare state. As Polak and other
commentators on “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” have noted, the book
is both celebrated and criticized for its “experimental” or
“difficult” method of combining text and pictures. Polak goes so far
as to call it a “technological experiment,” echoing other common
impressions of the work as “challenging” and rejecting “any vision of
the world as clearly understandable and ordered.” This reading of
Agee and Evans’ collaboration provides Polak, and her perceived
audience, with a precedent for MILK - the creation of an
experimental, yet universalizing, narrative of the everyday existence
of rural farmers. Both share the familiar documentary aim of making
visible for their audience the stories of marginalized people and

This identification with documentary should not be surprising, but
should also not give undue import to the artists’ intentions. It
does, however, provide a lens through which to view the
materialization of meanings that locative media represents, meanings
that, I argue, can be productively read as a further development in
documentary image making. It is important to note that while some
instances of locative media are more easily relatable to documentary
traditions, such as “MILK,” other locative practices don’t begin or
end with those traditions.

Where locative media practitioners and proponents can point to the
difference between their work and conventional documentary practice
is in their desire and ability to annotate space - to link their
narratives to specific, geographic contexts. Many locative media
projects use geo-spatial technology to attach stories, sound and
relationships to locations such that an intersection between virtual/
networked space and geographic space can be used to visualize
invisible or imaginary realities. The Toronto-based [murmur] project,
for example, produces audio stories about specific locations, using
stickers marked with phone numbers to provide access to those stories
for people inhabiting those very spaces, attempting to “change the
way people think about that place” by bringing “that important
archive out onto the streets.”

In many respects, I can find in contemporary locative media practices
a response to critiques of archival and documentary models, by Rosler
and others, like artist and theorist Alan Sekula. [murmur]’s creation
of an alternative archive of Toronto, for example, could be read as
an answer to Sekula’s dictum that “the archive has to be read from
below, from a position of solidarity with those displaced, deformed,
silenced, or made invisible by the machineries of profit and
progress.” (”Reading an archive”, in Blasted Allegories, p. 184)

If locative media purports to provide tools for the creation and
reception of counter-archives, providing access to the very means of
knowledge (and therefore historical) production, this indeed seems an
emancipatory shift toward self-representation. But the means through
which locative media operates should also be considered. In recent
debates about the cultural capital that locative media has been
attracting, critiques leveled against its most visible instances have
accused it of complicity with capitalist spectacle and, worse, as
cultural research and development for surveillance and data mining
industries. Many have attacked this complicity and the historical
connections between contemporary technologies of geographic
visualization and the US military.

On the one hand, the significance of location-based media art can be
critically analyzed through the established framework of
representation; using the tools of cultural and visual studies, we
can arrive at a reading of how the content of locative media fits
into, or ruptures, the current paradigms of meaning, signification
and knowledge production. As Anne Galloway and Matthew Ward have
shown, we can see locative media as an extension of “representational
technologies,” as “ultimately understood as collections of cultural

But this would be only looking at locative media as a mechanism of
representation, without consideration of the affective qualities of
the technology itself. Without ignoring the importance of
representation, and avoiding a reductive technological determinist
analysis, we can look at the manner in which locative media could be
read through Gilles Deleuze’s notion of a “control society” in which
access and mobility are designed into systems, rather than enforced
through disciplinary means. This reading might, for example, begin
with the material history of Geographic Information Systems (GIS),
the mapping of quantifiable, spatial information about populations
and environments, with its origins in the combination of Cold War era
MGIS (Military Geographic Information Systems) and earlier forms of
mapping the urban housing crisis during the Great Depression, and
even earlier examples such as John Snow’s mid 19th Century map of a
London cholera outbreak (pp. 261-82). GIS became a valuable tool in
the ongoing domestic wars against the urban poor under the guise of
“urban renewal,” dissecting cities with highways and other forms of
what Mike Davis has referred to as “third borders.” In this light,
contemporary geo-tracking tools can be seen as part of what
geographer Stephen Graham calls “software-sorted geographies,” where
the sorting of social privileges is achieved not through enforcement
of compliance, but rather through a preemptive selection of allowable
conditions achieved through the employment of regulatory software in
spaces of potential conflict. Just as walls and massive highways can
serve to regulate movements between regions of a city, software, when
connected to mechanical access points, can be used to regulate access
to transportation, buildings and services.

The melding of knowledge and space requires the simultaneous fusing
of that knowledge with privileges of mobility and technological
access. Mediated space becomes an archive, not of political
contestation, but of narratives accessible only to those who benefit
from voluntary processes of surveillance. This is not the panoptic
surveillance of Foucault’s disciplinary society, it is the
surveillance of supermarket value cards, toll-road EZ passes,
automobile GPS tracking systems and biometric airline regulation.

The Italian collective Multiplicity provide a significantly different
instance of location awareness through which geographies of inequity
are visualized and experienced. In a project titled “Road Map,” the
collective made two journeys of similar distance, through Israeli and
Palestinian-controlled territories, one time using an Israeli
passport, the other time a Palestinian one. These two journeys were
mapped and recorded with video, documenting the disparity in duration
between the trips - roughly one hour with the Israeli passport, and
over five hours with the Palestinian papers. Opposed to the view of
space presented by MILK’s GPS derived drawings on pixelated,
abstracted renderings of Europe, what Michael Curry has called a
“view from nowhere,” “Road Map” presents an understanding of space as
inextricable from the systems that shape it (p. 52). There is no
neutral ground upon which to project narrative movements, only a
ground delineated with checkpoints and regulated zones for some and
by-pass roads for others. There is not one map, but (at least) two.

Acknowledging the shifting boundaries between the space we consider
inhabitable and these computerized spaces, the notion that we are
moving through the space created by satellites and control centers,
miles away from our perceived location, becomes thinkable. And if we
can move through these spaces, our movements can likewise be
regulated by them. And just as they become part of established
conceptions of “the everyday,” they likewise alter the boundaries of
knowledge, either opening or sealing the envelope of ideology
further. New Media theorist Drew Hemment has suggested that locative
media might be better termed “embedded media” in recognition of its
“inherent complicity in the operation of power,” referring, of
course, to the recent practice of journalists being “embedded” with
the US military. This notion of an “embedded” locative media turns
citizens into prosumers (the popular neologism referring to
productive consumers) of locatable content, content that is designed
as much to analyze their movements and habits as it is to entertain
or educate them. One might say the King’s minions have taken it upon
themselves to write a contemporary Domesday Book themselves. Only the
King isn’t such a simple entity anymore, but is rather some messy
chimera of state and corporate interests.

It seems important to ask if it is sufficient merely to acknowledge
complicity, to accept the dialectical utopian/dystopian visions. In
another text on documentary and photography, Rosler questions
representations of power that defy causal analysis:

“If there are no victims - or if, what amounts to the same
thing, we are all equally victims - then there are no oppressors.
Social inequality appears to be produced by a system without active
human agents or collective remedies. …in the present map of the
world, the self-same photo might simply be readable as an image of
the random Brownian motion of individuals present in the same unit of
space-time, and adding up only to numbers, not to ’society.” (p. 177)

Technology may further mediate power and control, and in many senses
physically embody them, but does technology replace ideology? Does
perspective collapse under the weight of 24 satellites? Michael Curry
suggests that the “view from nowhere” always and already occupies a
position of interest, but the interest becomes located further and
further from the place of power - in this case, literally in space
(p. 52). If the tendency of the control society is to embed ideology
into mechanisms of domination, essentially black-boxing oppression,
how can the black box be opened and its contents documented?

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From: Alexander Galloway <galloway AT>
Date: Oct 1, 2007
Subject: Notes on "Gaming"

Notes on "Gaming" (Oct 1, '07)

Has not Timothy Welsh paid the dearest tribute of all? Can one really be
writing on the as yet unknown? Is there even the faintest approximation
of "topics with no examples" in this text? If this is a form of thought,
is it not that special form of thought sought by all and realized by
none? One dreams of this. It is the "future future" tense, a grammatical
construction prohibited by the English language, but nevertheless
desired by so many. If one catches even a glimpse of Welsh's "avant
avant-garde" as it recedes ahead, always ahead--like Socrates' winged
soul in the Phaedrus which rises, rises only to peak, in its most holy
incarnations, over the precipice into the light itself--then one's work
is over in fact. In fact, over. The only act left to perform is the
final act itself: to expire, give up, draw with and withdraw.

But there is always more to write. And in the "future future" there
shall will be more to write too. Hence what follows is a series of
omissions, extensions, and reformulations encountered in the intervening
gap between the time when the book was written (Spring 2005) and the
present day (Fall 2007).

First let me address the so-called segregation effect. The segregation
effect has to do with vast movements within electronic media to cleanse
certain modes of signification from other modes. An example from World
of Warcraft (WoW) will illustrate this most easily. In this game, a
monument to the rise of ludic media in today's world, one sees quite
vividly the quest for a "world" without signification. Certainly WoW's
vaguely pre-modern narrative helps greatly in this regard, but one must
be vigilant about "explaining" such details through reference to
seemingly objective states (of narrative, of mise-en-scene, and so on).
So where is the segregation effect? It happens not in-world, but through
the generative friction contained in the "interface" itself. (Let me
point out that the word "interface" has been unfortunately infected by a
colloquial usage designating screens, keyboards, controllers, and so on;
I use the term instead in the specific computer-scientific sense of an
algorithmically and linguistically determined bridge of inputs and
outputs between two different code libraries.) Thus, in WoW
representational techniques rooted in textual and iconographic encoding
(texture images and multitexturing decals, mouseover highlights, the
heads-up-display) are starkly divorced from representational techniques
rooted in the traditional Enlightenment approaches (volumetric
simulation, matrix transformations, light and material states, collision
detection, ray tracing, etc.) The fantasy here, then, is not that of
swords and sorcery, but that of matter and mind: the spatial world of
matter is clear and lucid, unblemished by neither flesh, nor falsity,
nor language, nor the social, while the world of the mind is purely and
exclusively machinic, bound by the rules of semiotic exchange,
algorithmic parsing, the perpetual deferral of signifiers, the
exploitation of political power, debasement, and alienation.

The recent censorship of Manhunt 2 is also a useful index into this
segregation effect as well as larger anxiety over ludic media. With
Manhunt the segregation effect appears through figures of violence. The
difficulty with the ongoing public controversy around the game is that
many politicians and opinion leaders assume that media violence is
univalent. This of course is not the case. In Manhunt there are (at
least) two types of violence: (1) machinic violence of the algorithm,
versus (2) images of tortured flesh. What is often overlooked is that
the "actual" violence in the game almost exclusively appears in the
second register: the violence is mediated through a foregrounding of
low-resolution video aesthetics and/or optical spectacle in general. The
"actual" violence comes in the most in-actual modality: inert optical
spectacle. At the same time, the "normal" play of the game is relatively
non-violent vis-à-vis gore, guts and all the rest. The normal game play
is about stealth and shadows, safe spaces versus hostile spaces, the
collision detection between "dark" zones and "light" zones. Algorithms
have their own special brand of violence, but it has nothing to do with
crowbars and chainsaws. Algorithmic violence is a question of the
regulation of flows, behavior modeling and preemption, the selective
creation and prohibition of "worlds," not to mention the physiological
violence of repetitive stress disorder, the trauma of twenty-four-seven
work cycles, and so on. So an argument about the segregation effect in
Manhunt is really an argument about the divorce of algorithmic violence
from spectacular violence. The question one must answer today,
particularly in the wake of the non-event of Abu Ghraib, is: Do images
of tortured flesh have any power any more?

Second, previewed by the first, is the question of the interface itself.
The key issue with the "four moments of gamic action," and the real
reason why it is a useful framework, is that it gives center stage to
the nondiegetic. We have always known of the importance of the
nondiegetic, at least since ancient times (Homer's "Sing in me Muse...";
Genette's "paratext"). But today's media objects, games in particular,
have a special relationship to the nondiegetic. Would it be too
reductive to say that the nondiegetic realm is the same as the
algorithmic realm? The two domains are clearly related. (I've suggested
in the book that a "control allegory" might be the best way to map back
and forth between the two.) Thresholds occupy a very special place in
informatic media. In fact, if pressed, one might go so far as to say
that informatic media are nothing but a set of thresholds, layered and
nested in chains of systems and subsystems, shells and still greater
shells. This is why the nondiegetic is so crucial, because: (1) it
underscores the fact that informatic media are much more overtly
structural and formal than previous media formats (stressing that this
is always a purely material set of formal interactions); and (2) that
because of the intimate relationship that informatic media have with
actually existing material structures, they beckon toward a political
understanding that is more vivid, more readily accessible, and more raw
than in the past. We have, in short, a medium which tells its own story
through the interface itself. One must simply be ready to listen.
However this in no way assumes some sort of transparency of mediatic
"message" or immanent political emergence springing forth from the
medium. Not at all. Hence the return to what Eugene Thacker calls the
"occult numerology" of informatic media: the expression of number--an
arbitrary number perhaps, or perhaps a code that is part of some
superstition or conspiracy theory--is precisely the moment in which the
number becomes obfuscated. Or there is also the phenomenon of
"disingenuous informatics" (24, Metal Gear Solid, Fight Club) in which
sets of data are constantly and unrelentingly swapped with their
opposites in a hypertrophic update on the old whodunit mystery genre.

A first corollary to these divergent claims is that montage is on the
wane in today's moving image. This is mentioned in the book under the
banner of the first-person shooter. In crude terms: temporal cutting has
been superceded by spatial cutting. This phenomenon appears in the
graphical user interfaces (GUIs) of personal computers. Just as the
cinema created the sensation of coherent spaces through cuts from shot
to shot spanning different locations, the GUI creates spatial continuity
through the simultaneous windowing of different spaces: instant
messenger, browser, file-sharing client, programming IDE. Fusing cuts
within the frame replaces fusing cuts in time. All of this is not
surprising given the inherently networked quality of spatial
montage--windows are nodes, they form graphs on the screen, they may or
may not interconnect, and so on. In this sense, the Mac OS desktop of
1984 was one of the key moments in the use of the rhizome as an
aesthetic construction. To ask why and how this comes about--that is the
political question.

A second corollary is that the most important gamic genre today,
particularly vis-à-vis the political question, is the real-time strategy
(RTS) genre. The RTS genre best displays how informatic media and
informatic labor are essentially coterminous in today's world. But there
is a nefarious tinge to all of this, for the labor of the web surfer or
the gamer or the blogger goes unpaid. There is a massive development of
the productive forces happening right now--on par with the historical
transformation Marx dubbed "primitive accumulation." But what makes this
new revolution unique is the fact that labor today is often simply
donated as a "gift" to the economy. This will be the ultimate tragic
denouement of the open source movement: it will result in the
open-sourcing of all labor; the demand for "volunteer" outputs of
varying shapes and sizes will metastasize across all spheres of public
life. My desires and habits are "open sourced" to profilers like Google
or Amazon. The Web is, in this sense, the world's largest sweat shop.

"Multiplayer labor" encounters like in WoW will soon be the norm;
today's guilds, raids, and clans will be tomorrow's call centers,
product development teams, and leadership groups. All games simulate
miniature economics of some sort or another, but in the RTS genre these
economic simulations are featured center stage. In an RTS game one must
cultivate a multinodal ecosystem of flows and factories, resources and
expenditures, secure zones and hostile frontiers. The RTS genre is
informatic capitalism pure and simple. Hence the anticipation felt
around the future release of StarCraft 2. If previous media formats
disciplined human beings into becoming better workers, today's
informatic media liberate human beings so they may become better bosses.
(Distributed computing and global outsourcing go hand in hand in this
regard: command and control remain over here, while both the objects of
production and the manual or "variable" capital get piloted remotely.)

To formulate this same observation in psychoanalytic terminology:
previous media formats--cinema famously--were fundamentally masochistic;
new media however are fundamentally sadistic, in that they require the
manipulation, selection, transformation and command over objects (data
objects, commodities, behaviors, life forms, and of course other human
beings). It is no longer a question of "docile bodies" but rather a
question of commanders and overlords. This is the key problem for desire
today. The recent trend around casual, "mini" games such as Brain Age
for the Nintendo DS is a perfect instance of this. In years to come we
will see a steady rise in games devoted to informatic therapy and

People often comment on the so-called problem of Chinese gold farming in
games. Besides its corrosive racism, this claim also has the distinct
disadvantage of being wrong. We are the gold farmers.

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Rhizome Digest is supported by grants from 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 38. 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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