Ars Electronica Opens Sept. 1

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Ars Electronica, considered one of the world's premier showcases of new media art, opens this weekend in Linz, Austria. This year's theme is "Takeover: Who's Doing the Art of Tomorrow." Interactive art, Computer Animation, and innovative Web sites will compete for the coveted Priz Ars Electronica, a highlight of the festival, which takes place through September 6.

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Signwave Auto-Illustrator Presentation

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Join Adrian Ward, creator of the Signwave Auto-Illustrator Software, as he tackles the question "Is Creativity Programmable?" at a presentation in Berlin this Friday. Ward was co-winner in the Software Art category at the last Transmediale festival, which is sponsoring the event. Auto-Illustrator is a generative art application that is losely based on Adobe's widely used graphic design tool Illustrator. The presentation starts at 2pm on Friday, 31 August at Cinemas Kulturbrauerei in Berlin, Germany.

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Net Art Pioneer's First Show in a Decade

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Wolfgang Staehle, a pioneer in the field of Net art, will have his first solo exhibition in New York in a decade at Postmasters Gallery, a venue that specializes in new media art. A native of Stuttgart, Germany, Staehle relocated to New York in 1976, where he worked as a video artist. In 1991 he founded THE THING, an independent bulletin board system (BBS). It became one of the first online forums for new media art. Stay tuned to see what Staehle will present to the offline public at Postmasters.

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Hacking the Border

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Between August 24 and 26, net art became an element of political activism -- or, shall we say, hacktivism, even if only in a metaphorical sense -- at the border of California and Mexico. The second annual "Borderhack" event offered net art, ISDN connections, conferences and workshops at the Playas de Tijuana, near the physical area considered the division point between the first and third worlds -- and where the ocean meets land. The physical encampment symbolized the "hacking" and "deleting" of the man-made borders.

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Free Lectures on Art and Tech

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If you're in the Bay Area during the academic year, be sure to check out The Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium, which takes place at UC Berkeley's Kroeber Hall on selected Monday nights, from 7:30-9:00pm. The list of speakers has just been announced, and include Will Wright, creator of SimCity and Christiane Paul, new media curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. All of the lectures (coordinated by Net artist Ken Goldberg) are free and open to the public.

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Satirical Site Offers to Increase Artists' Value

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It's morbid but true: once an artist kicks the bucket, her stock goes up. A satirical Web site that claims to promote the Artist Protection and Benefit Program states that it will "remove" an artist from the art world so she can reap the rewards of her works' value increasing -- while she is secretly alive and in hiding and playing dead. Sally Minker and Jennifer Sloan created the deadpan site, which reflects a larger trend of faux-official home pages -- such as the now classic home pages of eToy and Rtmark.

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Artificial Life Online

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Maybe artificial life seems like the subject of science fiction movie. But it's a lot more real than most of us realize: online "life forms" such as computer viruses that are transmitted via email are quite alive, mutating and reproducing independently once sinister programmers create them. Canadian net artist Cheryl Sourkes's "Field Guide to Artificial Life on the Web" clarifies what "boids" and "floys" are...and their wild cousins the computer viruses, of course.

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EBay as An Artist's Platform

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Online auction site eBay continues to be a thought-provoking platform for artists. The latest: Keith Townsend Obadike's attempt at auctioning his blackness. Originally intended to be posted online from August 8-18, the listing was removed on August 12 by eBay officials, although a dozen bidders tried to participate in the sale (the highest proposition: $152.50). The project was the latest in a series of "Black.net.art" auctions presented by Obadike.

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