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: June.29.01
From: list@xxxxxxxxxxx (RHIZOME)
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2001 19:30:56 -0400
Reply-to: digest@xxxxxxxxxxx
Sender: owner-digest@xxxxxxxxxxx

RHIZOME DIGEST: June 29, 2001


1. Christiane Paul: Idealine posting

2. schoenerwissen: AverageOutput
3. eric: invisiblenation
4. José Luis Brea: Inserts--Dora Garcia

5. Andy Clarke: COSIGN 2001

6. Marisa S. Olson: ArtCade AT SFMOMA

7. Mark Tribe and Alex Galloway: Net Games Now

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Date: 6.29.01
From: Christiane Paul (paulc AT
Subject: Idealine posting

Request for Help for Online Project:

a project by Martin Wattenberg
for the Whitney's artport site

Martin Wattenberg is currently working on an "Idealine" for the artport
website. The "Idealine" is meant to be a map of net artworks created
over the past six years--visualizing a "history" of net art in terms of
the ideas and concepts the works are based upon. A crucial aspect of the
project is the idea of context and visualization of relations/thematic
connections between net artworks. The map is a visualization of a
database that has been created for this project.

We're appealing to the net art community to help us create our database.
We've set up an open page on Quickbase, an online data center, which you
can use to add information about yourself, your art, and its relation to
other works of net art. The context information is very important: your
artwork's visualization in the final map will be influenced by the
number and type of works you've cited as contexts (artworks that
influenced you or have similar goals or your own previous works).

We're hoping that you can add your data. We really appreciate your
effort and advice!

For detailed instructions, please go to

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On Monday 28 May 2001 a three-judge panel in Nanterre, France, issued a
preliminary ruling dismissing all of the charges filed by Transasia
Corp. and Leonardo Finance against the international arts organization
Association Leonardo. For more information:

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Date: 6.25.2001
From: schoenerwissen (yg AT
Subject: AverageOutput
Keywords: visualization, survey, emotion

the output is now online.
thanks to the contributors.

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*MUTE ON THE ROAD* Recently the Mute team has been to some pretty
exciting festivals & events. To find out what we thought of the Venice
Biennale, Sonar Festival & the LMC Festival of Experimental Music, go to To respond to our responses or discuss
events you've been to:

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Date: 6.26.2001
From: eric (eric AT
Subject: invisiblenation
Keywords: internet, interact

The first version of invisiblenation is online. Feedback is welcome.

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JUST OUT - Sandbox Magazine #9: GENDER PLAY
Featuring Cupcake, JT LeRoy, Bob Flanagan, Sheree Rose, Dred King, The
Backdoor Boys, Black Lily, Pet(e) Silvia, Matthew Shepard/Angel Action
interviews + articles + reviews (Cupcake -

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Date: 6.24.2001
From: José Luis Brea (jlbrea AT
Subject: Inserts--Dora Garcia
Keywords: performance, internet, database, duration

"Inserts in Real Time" is a project unfolding as a series of "real"
interventions in "real" time by means of performances, carried out by
actors following the instructions of Dora García.

These performances will take place in different venues throughout the
year 2001, within the context of different festivals and/or exhibitions
("Festival a/d Werf"- Utrecht, "Stromereien"- Zurich, "Marres"-
Maastricht, "La Gallera"- Valencia, "La Caixa" - Barcelona)

Each of the projects-performances has its own time development, from a
few minutes (The Locked Room) to several hours (The Notebook, Proxy) and
even to months (The Black Veil, The Circle, Coma), or, potentially,
forever (All The Stories). Because of this temporal extension, nobody
(not even the artists, sometimes not even the performers) can witness
the performances in their totality. Therefore a very important part of
the "Inserts in Real Time" project is the distribution of information
about the project (which is done through the net).

Each performance, or "insert", is completed by a "Diary", consisting of
notes, reflections, documentation, photographs, QT movies, and real
diaries written by the artist or the performers, and sent by means of
e-mails to the site every day that a performance takes place. This means
that each insert exist both as action and as narration.

All this information can be visited in the website "Inserts in Real

Aleph has created as well a distribution/subscription list offering you
the possibility of receiving directly in your mailbox the messages
constructing the diaries.

This means that you can easily follow the development of the
performances, being part of a parallel audience to the project, an
audience slightly "shifted" from the real time audience directly
witnessing the performances.

"Inserts in Real Time" consists of 10 projects, three of them being
performed right now ("Proxy", "The Glass Wall", and "Crowd", this last
project made in collaboration with the American choreographer David

A fourth insert is being launched these days: All The Stories. In "All
The Stories", public and performer are one and the same person. This
means that every visitor of the site

is a potential performer of the insert. If you subscribe to "Inserts",
then you will be a potential performer forever, if you wish. Check it

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Artbyte celebrates its third anniversary with a stunning May/June issue
and shiny new website. This month, directors Bernard Rose and Agnes
Varda measure the effects of the digital video revolution. Go to for news, reviews and a special online subscription offer:

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Date: 6.27.2001
From: Andy Clarke (andy AT
Subject: COSIGN 2001
Keywords: conference, language, practice, interface

1st International Conference on

CWI, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

10th September - 12th September, 2001

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Registration is now open for COSIGN 2001: Computational Semiotics in
Games and New Media. There are discounts for early registration and
special student rates. Details can be found at:

Early registration is encouraged, and attendees are advised to book
their hotel rooms well in advance due to the limited amount of
accommodation available in Amsterdam. Links to hotel listings are
available on the main conference website:

The programme for the conference will be posted to this website shortly.

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This cross-disciplinary conference explores the ways in which semiotics
(and related theories such as structuralism and post-structuralism) can
be applied to creating and analysing computer-based media. It is
intended for anyone with an interest in areas of overlap (or potential
overlap) between semiotics and interactive digital media - including
artists, designers, critics, computer scientists, HCI, AI and VR
practitioners, semioticians, narratologists and new media practitioners.

Computational semiotics is understood here to be the application of
semiotic theories to interactive digital media and has three main areas
(which overlap). They are:

+ The way in which meaning can be created by, encoded in, or understood
by, the computer (using systems or techniques based upon semiotics).

+ The way in which meaning in interactive digital media is understood by
the viewer or user (again using systems or techniques based upon

+ The use of semiotics as the starting point for a system for looking
critically at the content of interactive digital media - devising a
critical framework equivalent in status and depth to art theory or
academic film criticism.

Media that make use of the unique capabilities of digital systems are of
particular interest to this conference. These include: computer games,
interactive narratives and other forms of interactive entertainment;
interactive video; virtual reality systems and virtual environments; and

In addition to academic and theoretical papers, there will be
presentations by several digital artists of practice-based work relevant
to the themes of this conference. Selection of these artworks has been
based upon their relevance to the themes of the conference, their
interest in demonstrating or exploring the potential of new media, and
their challenging of perceptions, theoretical assumptions, or
understanding in any areas related to the conference.

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The conference brings together academic papers and posters from as far
afield as the USA, Australia, Japan, Norway, Denmark, Croatia, Italy,
Germany, Brazil, and the UK. Topics covered include: the aesthetics of
virtual environments; the production of place in role-playing games;
semiotic and non-semiotic MUD performance; literary theory and computer
games; the design of interactive narratives; the mapping of movement to
sound; web-based documentaries; the design of content management
systems; montage; the semiotics of interface design; etc.

In addition to academic and theoretical papers, there will be
presentations by several internationally-known digital artists of
practice-based work. Selection of these artworks has been based upon
their relevance to the themes of the conference, their interest in
demonstrating or exploring the potential of new media, and their
challenging of perceptions, theoretical assumptions, or understanding in
any areas related to the conference.

A list of selected papers, posters and artworks can be found on the main
conference website at:

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The Electronic Literature Directory is a valuable resource for readers &
writers of e-literature. The ELO's directory provides an extensive
database of electronic texts, their authors, & their publishers. Entries
include poetry, fiction, drama, & nonfiction written for new-media
environments. Read the web: <>!

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Date: 6.27.2001
From: Marisa S. Olson (marisa AT
Subject: ArtCade AT SFMOMA
Keywords: symposium, video games, historical

The members of SMAC (SFMOMA Media Arts Council) would like to invite you
to our second symposium "ArtCade: exploring the relationship between
Video Games and Art", at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This
event aims at bringing together artists, academics, industry pioneers,
designers and technologists, to discuss the dynamics between video games
and art. In addition to a panel discussion, the event will include an
ArtCade, showcasing games and informal presentations by their authors.

The panel discussion, moderated by Linda Jacobson (co-founding editor of
WIRED magazine), will feature Nolan Bushnell, inventor of Pong and
founder of Atari; Will Wright, designer of SimCity and the Sims; Lev
Manovich, media artist, theorist and author of The Language of New
Media; and Margaret Crane, media artist and former artist in residence
at Xerox P.A.R.C.

The ArtCade will include a cross section of video games from the 70's to
the present, demonstrations of yet to be released games as well as
CD-ROM and online work by artists that use the esthetic of video games
as a departure point in their work.

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DATE: Thursday, July 19, 2001

TIME: 5:00 p.m. ArtCade Reception - 6:30 p.m. Panel Discussion

PLACE: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

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Date: 6.29.01
From: Mark Tribe and Alex Galloway (alex AT
Subject: Net Games Now

[This essay was written for "Game Show," an exhibition at MASS
MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts (USA). Mark Tribe and Alex
Galloway curated the online portion of the show, selecting the
five works listed below. Game Show is on display through Spring

Did you know that at any given moment in the year 2001, all around the
world, close to thirty thousand people will be playing the same computer
game? EverQuest is an on-line role-playing adventure game, "a real 3-D
massively multiplayer fantasy role-playing game," according to its
creators. An on-line world filled with monsters and humans, complex
economies and social politics, EverQuest was developed by Sony and is
one of the most popular games in the history of computing, on par with
other megagames such as Ultima Online and Sim City. Players often band
together in groups to increase their chances of survival. Many are
already referring to the game as "EverCrack" because of its addictive
qualities, with some players devoting most of their waking hours to the
game. EverQuest Enchanters and other sought-after characters routinely
sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

Game culture is big business. First-person shooter video games such as
Quake, Deus Ex (created by game guru Warren Spector), and the wildly
popular Half-Life have established the long-term legitimacy of gaming,
maturing from its roots in the run-and-jump "side-scroller" console
games of the 1980s. In 2000 the gaming industry surpassed Hollywood in
gross annual revenues to become the second largest entertainment
industry after music in the United States.

Net artists have their own statistics to brag about. In December 1999,
etoy, a European art group, staged a two-month global art game called
Toywar (, which is described by the artists as
"the single most expensive performance in art history: $4.5 billion in
damage!" In 1999 etoy was sued by Internet toy retailer eToys, which
claimed that Internet toy buyers might be confused and potentially
offended by the artists' web site (a work of art itself) if they typed
"etoy" rather than "etoys" into their Internet browsers. Because the
artists had been using the name well prior to the toy retailer, many in
the art world were angered by the lawsuit. In response to the lawsuit,
etoy created Toywar, an on-line gaming platform playable simultaneously
by multiple users around the world. The goal of the game was to wage an
"art war" against eToys, Inc., and drive down the value of the company's
stock. As the etoy press agent wrote in December 1999: "We will release
an action entertainment game. People are part of a huge battlefield,
where they can fight against eToys, Inc." The Toywar battlefield was a
complex, self-contained system, with its own internal e-mail, monetary
system, social actors, geography, hazards, heroes, and martyrs. In the
first two weeks of the game, eToys's stock price fell more than 50
percent. The corporate efficiency and energy of etoy--who would rather
disband than part with its dot-com domain name, the core of its artistic
identity--was directed at another commercial entity, creating what
indeed may have been the most financially damaging performance piece in
the history of art. Money aside, Toywar was certainly the first epic Net
art project. It was big and exciting. Players in Toywar felt like real
soldiers with a cause, participating in an effort that was meaningful,
new, and fun.

Role-playing, spoofing, and general chicanery are par for the course on
Net art e-mail lists like 7-11, asco-o, and Rhizome Raw. Often, artists
invite others to play along with their participatory art games. In 1997,
M.River & T.Whid Art Associates (MTAA) started a participatory game
called Direct to Your Home Art Projects. Each month, MTAA would e-mail
to participants a set of instructions for activities that could be done
at home, often involving a computer. The "players" were to follow the
instructions, document their actions, and e-mail their documentation
back to MTAA. MTAA, in turn, acknowledged each piece of documentation as
an "edition" of the overall artwork by sending participants certificates
of authenticity for their contributions.

In a similar piece, Eryk Salvaggio posted seven installments of his Free
Art Games on e-mail lists, inviting his readers to perform a series of
free, fun activities. Free Art Game #4 offered instructions on how to
"Start your career as a Net artist." The sixth game, The Slowest Modem,
gave specifications on a 0.00243809523809 kb/s modem created by snail-
mailing data on diskettes rather than via the Internet.

The general buzz around artist-made games solidified in 1999 with Anne-
Marie Schleiner's on-line exhibition Cracking the Maze
( Schleiner was particularly
interested in "mods," "patches," and other game hacks. Mods and patches
are custom versions of video games that feature graphics, scenarios, and
other modifications created by players of the original games. As
Schleiner wrote, "Game-patching in the 1990s has evolved into a kind of
popular hacker art form, with numerous shareware editors available on
the Internet for modifying most games." Her exhibition chronicled many
of the original artist hacks, such as RTMark's now legendary
modification of the game SimCopter.

Like many other artist-created games, BlackLash, from the British group
Mongrel, adds a layer of political critique to a familiar game
structure. In BlackLash, the player must fight back against swastika-
bearing spiders and hooded Ku Klux Klan members. Part video game, part
social commentary, BlackLash illustrates the drama of political activism
in a fun, computer game format. SiSSYFiGHT 2000 by Eric Zimmerman (with
the staff of is a slick on-line game that lets users don the
identities of bratty schoolgirls, each trying "to physically attack and
majorly dis [their] enemies until they are totally mortified beyond
belief." Though hilariously funny, the game takes a hard look at the
real peer pressure faced by adolescent girls. The game has more than one
hundred "girls" playing on the site at any given moment.

During the "net_condition" exhibition at the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany,
a group called "esc to begin" created Font Asteroids, a game based on
the arcade classic Asteroids. First the user selects a web site. Then
the text from the web site provides interplanetary debris that must be
destroyed. Also riffing on old-school video game aesthetics, a duo from
Beige Records has released a vinyl 12-inch called "8-bit Construction
Set." Among the many squiggles, beeps, and other audio samples taken
from old Atari and Commodore computers, the record preserves the actual
source code from old games in audio format, just as the original
hardware did using a tape drive. Though the analog hiss may make for bad
listening, it does make for good art--like a computerized ready-made.

Is there a difference between games and art? We might be wise to take
the advice of leading game designer Warren Spector when he tells us to
"run in terror from any game developer who says 'I'm an Artist!'" When
an artist says "I'm a game developer," however, run, don't walk, to the
nearest computer.

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The following games are included in the online portion of Game Show:

The Intruder
Natalie Bookchin

Maciej Wisniewski

Pencil Whipped
Lonnie Flickinger


Trigger Happy
Thomson & Craighead

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Rhizome Digest is filtered by Alex Galloway (alex AT
ISSN: 1525-9110. Volume 6, number 26. Article submissions to
list AT are encouraged. Submissions should relate to the theme
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