Posts for June 2004

In[ternet].decent Proposals

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Debate around rhizome fees and website access aside, there's no question about rhizome's efforts to keep net.art alive and well, whatever the New York Times has to say on the subject of its death. Rhizome will see 5 fully commissioned projects, and 2 smaller awards, going to Paul Catanese, Warren Sack, Jason van Anden, Luis Hernandez Galvan, Carlo Zanni, Kabir Carter and C-Level, respectively. Artists were asked to 'propose projects that will contribute to the art game genre, or reflect on broad interpretations of 'game'.' The commissioned projects range from Sack's 'agonistics,' a language game that literalizes the metaphors of popular theorists as interactive graphical objects, to C-Level's 'Waco Resurrection,' an 'Endgame' where 'each player enters the network as a Koresh and must defend the Branch Davidian compound against internal intrigue, skeptical civilians, rival Koresh and the inexorable advance of government agents.' Catanese's proposal, 'Misplaced Reliquary,' even goes so far as to catalogue real-world objects in the virtual environment of a gameboy, turning collections of 'misplaced relics of the animal saintyard' into a map of our own curiosities. - nathaniel stern

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Manic Richey is 4 Real

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Glam-goth pop star Richey James Edwards of the infamous British band Manic Street Preachers disappeared in February 1995. The cult star manqué known for his tiaras, glitter and thick black eyeliner garnered a devout teen fan base. So when a journalist challenged the authenticity of Richey James' gloomy countenance, he publicly carved '4REAL' into his forearm. Although officially pronounced dead in 1997, Richey’s devoted developed an elaborate mythology about the singer, which spawned a supposed pilgrimage-cum-suicide by a teen fan in 1998 at his rumored site of disappearance by the River Severn in Marple, England. Four years later, Dublin-based artist and programmer Oliver Moran launched 'Virtual Richey Manic.' Visitors can re-program their own version of Richey's media stunt by choosing a four-letter word to carve into his forearm. Pressing the 'razor' button generates the iconic media image of bloody Richey James but with a new inscription. Moran's project is a morbid tribute in the form of a goth greeting card, which revives Nineties fandom and pop mythology. - Matt Wolf

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Work It: The Magazine

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When Philadelphia's Tony Smyrski and Melissa Farley launched Work Magazine, a fabulous net rag that showcases local and international visual talent of all stripes, they had one goal: 'To give people the opportunity to show their work in a harmless, painless way.' And the first three issues of their screenzine have done just that. No long-winded editorials, no prescriptions, no slavish devotion to what - or who - is hot at any given moment. With loose titles like this month's 'What’s That Gun For?' Smyrski and Farley strive to let the artworks and audio clips speak through and for themselves, and to each other. Clean design, curatorial vision, and a range of media and aesthetics: it all, well, works.

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Rhizome Hosting Promotion -- 3 months for $1

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It's the home stretch of Rhizome.org's Spring hosting promo, and until June 15th, $1.00 will cover Rhizome members' first 3 months of top-of-the-line web hosting from Broadspire, on all plans Copper and higher! Copper clocks in with 400MB disk storage space, 2000MB of data transfer, 5 POP accounts, and 5 email forwarding accounts. And as always, for $65 per year, a starter plan sets your site up on a Linux server, with 350MB disk storage space, 1000MB data transfer per month, catch-all email forwarding, daily web traffic stats, 1 FTP account, and the capability to host your own domain name (or use http://rhizome.net/your_account_name). Remember to mention Rhizome.org in the 'how did you hear about us?" field on the signup form, and send an email to hosting@rhizome.org, so we can get you linked up and know that you're helping nourish the larger .ORG. - Rhizome.org

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Is Free Speech a Form of Terrorism?

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In the dim morning hours of May 11, 2004, American artist Steve Kurtz, a member of the internationally-acclaimed art collective Critical Art Ensemble, called 911 to tell dispatchers that his wife Hope had passed away in her sleep. When police arrived at the couple's Buffalo, New York, home, they discovered that Kurtz posessed a mobile DNA extraction laboratory, part of the Critical Art Ensemble's latest art project, 'Free Range Grain'. The small labortory was being used to test food for possible genetic tampering -- an endeavor quite in keeping with the Critical Art Ensemble's emphasis on revealing and resisting bio-imperialism. Saturated with post-September 11 anti-terror rhetoric, the police called in the FBI to investigate, and, on June 8, seven subpoenas were issued to artists associated with the Critical Art Ensemble, including Kurtz. The artists are to appear before a Federal Grand Jury on June 15. A protest is being planned for the same day at 9 a.m. outside the courthouse in Buffalo, New York, at 138 Delaware Ave. A defense fund has also been established, and suggestions for ways to support Kurtz and the Critical Art Ensemble are available on the CAE Defense Fund website. - Lewis LaCook

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Go OFFF

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'I am not a digital artist, I am a' is the open-ended theme of the fourth edition of OFFF, a meeting, melting of, 'experimental audio and unusual video'. Over the first three days of July in Valencia, Spain an international mix will meet to fill in the blank of the theme, or more likely, to realize there can be no one definition in the digi-world. Conference presentations extend from urban art trends to CSS-XHTML standards. The Mercadilo marketplace offers a swapmeet of ideas and products, while the Open Room presents work that utilize, as medium for production or inspiration, digital technology. In the Machina works from the Film Festival can be seen in the format they were meant to be. The melange includes the UK's luv2.tv questioning the responsibilities of today's digital artists, Manila's Inksurge and a retrospective of 'Once upon a forest', the work of Joshua Davis, winner of the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica. If you can't get to the Mediterranean, just the website can take you on a trip. - Bronwyn Mahoney

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Interstate Interventions

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Why restrict anti-war commentary to the information superhighway, when the original, concrete-and-asphalt superhighways beckon? That's the back-to-meatspace guerrilla ethos behind Freewayblogging, a site that advocates a low-tech means to reach thousands of captive eyeballs: hanging posters on overpasses and signs with punchy, simple messages. The site includes a fotoblog of placards from around the U.S.-- ranging from old standbys like 'Bush Lied' and 'Who Would Jesus Bomb?' to more inventive invectives like 'You can have my gun when you pry it from the hands of my cold, dead child' and the enigmatic 'Chimpeach', as well a how-to guide of tried-and-true poster-hanging maneuvers like 'The Nighthawk' and 'The Hidden Dragon'. By providing a cleaning house of past posters, Freewayblogging serves as a vector for slogan-spreading. With right-wing talk-radio clogging American drivetime airwaves, why not offer commuters a political alternative? - Ed Halter

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Interstate Interventions (correct URL)

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Why restrict anti-war commentary to the information superhighway, when the original, concrete-and-asphalt superhighways beckon? That's the back-to-meatspace guerrilla ethos behind Freewayblogging, a site that advocates a low-tech means to reach thousands of captive eyeballs: hanging posters on overpasses and signs with punchy, simple messages. The site includes a fotoblog of placards from around the U.S.-- ranging from old standbys like 'Bush Lied' and 'Who Would Jesus Bomb?' to more inventive invectives like 'You can have my gun when you pry it from the hands of my cold, dead child' and the enigmatic 'Chimpeach', as well a how-to guide of tried-and-true poster-hanging maneuvers like 'The Nighthawk' and 'The Hidden Dragon'. By providing a cleaning house of past posters, Freewayblogging serves as a vector for slogan-spreading. With right-wing talk-radio clogging American drivetime airwaves, why not offer commuters a political alternative? - Ed Halter

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Squatters' Writes

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Bruce Barber knows squat, and he's not afraid to talk about it. The artist/writer/curator/ teaches Media Art, Historical and Critical Studies at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia -- a city whose easygoing lifestyle and derelict buildings have made it the squatters' Mecca of eastern Canada. Novel Squat is the latest project in a series of interventions involving homelessness and the production of art. Capitalizing on the internet's capacity for dialogical, collaborative, interactive artmaking, Barber adds to the theoretical discourse surrounding the sociocultural and political implications of littoralist art practice. The site gives a history of previous Squats that saw Barber and colleagues offered homeless writers abandoned urban spaces, each fitted with a webcam, in which to live and work, all in the public eye. Visitors can check out multimedia documentation of those projects, read essays on littoral art, collaborate in an online novel project, or download the 'squatscreen.' A Room of One's Own just got bigger. - Peggy MacKinnon

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Radio Art: Is There Life After Death?

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Radio has been such a neglected medium, and for so long that 'radio art' scarcely exists in the U.S. today. WPS1, a 24-hour internet-only radio station put together by MoMA and P.S.1, seeks to change all that. Drawing on the vast audio archives of MoMA, as well as on the knowledge and collections of their Curator of Contemporary Music - downtown composer/ guitarist Elliot Sharp - and invited appearances by notable DJs and musicians like David Grubbs and Kim Cascone each week, the station finds a way to use radio as more than a transmission device: radio as a means of exploring art. Shows with people like radio-artist Gregory Whitehead confront this problem head-on, while others, like writer Linda Yablonsksy's show featuring famous, creative couples playing and talking about their favorite music, let the sounds themselves tell stories that would otherwise remain secret. After the demise of New American Radio several years ago, the launch of WPS1 provides a viable hope for the future of radio art in this country. - Andrew Choate

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