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Fri Feb 10, 2006 00:00 - Mon Jan 16, 2006


Opening: Friday, 10 February 2006, 19:00
11 February - 30 April 2006
Wurttembergischen Kunstverein, Stuttgart

An exhibition about one ball, two bats and our life in a digital world

[The Project]
From 11 February to 30 April 2006 the Wuerttemberg Art Association in
Stuttgart hosts the premiere PONG.mythos exhibition, curated by Andreas
Lange. PONG.mythos presents over 30 works that revolve around the
game Pong. Pong, in the early 70s, turned the simple game of tennis into
the signal for the emergence of the computer game industry. Since then,
has developed from its historical origin in game halls to an important
social, scientific and cultural reference system.

[The Artists]
//////////fur//// (D), Ascii Art Essemble (NL/SLO), Ralph Baer (USA),
Blinkenlights(D), Jaygo Bloom (GB), Blunty (AU),James Clar (USA) (tbc),
Dirk Eijsbouts (NL), VALIE EXPORT (A), Kiia Kallio (FI),
Stephan ST Kambor(D), Andrew Milmoe (USA), Mathilde MuPe (NL),
Josh Nimoy (USA), Noel Nissen, (USA), Oska Software (AU),
Alan Outten (GB), Niklas Roy (D), Leif Rumbke (D), Antoine Schmitt (F),
Jan-Peter ER Sonntag (D), Olaf Val (D), buro vormkrijgers (NL),
Philip Worthington (UK).

For the first time the complex manifestations of one of the largest and
most popular establishment myths of our digital information society are
united in one place; the pong.mythos exhibition shows artistic, popular
and scientific works that expose how influential this little game has
become. Over 20 international artists take up the Pong game and its
directly. The exhibition moves consciously between the terrains of
computer history, the entertainment industry, science and art; research
projects that use Pong as an experimental playing field for future human
computer interfaces are presented along with historical game consoles
a Pong game for the blind.

In 1972, when Nolan Bushnell founded Atari, the first video game
to manufacture the Pong game console, he was hardly conscious of the
historical dimension of this act. The emerging digital games also marked
the beginning of the digitization of daily life. Computer games were the
first applications with which many humans learned computer engineering.
this sense, Pong, apart from its meaning for computer games history,
has a
significant social value. The success of Pong stands - in the sense of
concrete and transferred history - in direct connection with the
development of our digital information society.

Pong.mythos is a cooperation between the Computer Games Museum in
the Wurttemberg Art Association, The Games Convention/Messe, Leipzig,
Kornhausforum, Bern and other partners.

Pong.mythos is funded by the German Federal Culture Foundation and has
received support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Messe Leipzig and
Migros Kulturprozent. After the premiere in Stuttgart, the exhibition
will travel to Leipzig and the Games Convention (23.8. - 27.8.2006 ) and
to Bern and the Kornhausforum (17.8.2007 - 16.9.2007).

[The Computer Games Museum]
opened in 1997 with the first constant exhibition of the digital
interactive culture. Since then, the award winning venture has organized
or participated in 26 national and international exhibition projects.

Is the Director of the Computer Games Museum since 1997 and the curator
Pong.Mythos. After he studied Religious Science and Theatre at the Free
University Berlin, he wrote His Thesis "The Stories of Computer Games -
Analysed as Myths" (Berlin 94). Since then, Lange has worked as an
exhibition maker, author, and researcher on the theme of digital
entertainment culture.

Directors of the Wurttemberg Art Association, attach "pong.mythos" to
award winning project"Artist's Computer Games" which they realized 2003
co-operation with the curator Tilmann Baumgaertel in Dortmund.

[] [] [] [] [] [] []

Spokesperson: Andreas Lange
Tel: +49 (0)30 29049215

[] [] [] [] [] [] []

Wurttembergischen Kunstverein
Schlossplatz 2, D-70173 Stuttgart
Tel: +49 (0)711 22 33 70,
Fax. +49 (0)711 29 36 17,,

[] [] [] [] [] [] []


FW: opening at THE THING 11/28

Caspar Stracke ---MAIN FRAME --- site-specific video installation at THE
THING --- November 28 - December 4

on view: mon - sat from dusk until 7 pm

reception: Friday November 28 7 - 10 PM

THE THING /// 601 W 26th St 4th floor NY 10001 212.937.0444


MoMA Mediascope

------ Forwarded Message

MoMA at the Gramercy Theatre presents
Monday, November 24, 8:00
An Evening with Bjorn Melhus (Berlin)

Berlin-based artist Bjorn Melhus recontextualizes images, sound, and
narrative elements of feature films and television talk shows in his films,
videos and installations. The artist performs all the roles in each work,
creating multiple doppelgangers in an uncanny interpretation of the
relationship between fictional and real-life characters and the construction
of identity through the absorption of mass media. The program includes the
U.S. premiere of his film Auto Center Drive (2003), in which the artist
examines the impact of American feature films on memories and longing; and
screenings and discussion of The Oral Thing (2001), No Sunshine (1997),
Prime Time (2001) and Again and Again (1998).

Dedicated to experimentation with cinematic form and content, MediaScope
presents emerging and recognized artists who discuss their work with the
audience. The program explores filmmaking, video making, Web-based,
installation, and digital art practices.

Upcoming MediaScopes:
Pablo Helguera, Dec 8
Mary Ellen Strom and Ann Carlson, Dec 15

MoMA at The Gramercy Theatre
127 East 23rd Street at Lexington Avenue
For ticket information: <>
SUBWAY: 6 to 23rd Street
BUSES: M23 to Lexington Avenue; M1 to Park Avenue and 23 Street; M101, M102,
M103 to Third Avenue and 23 Street




video and installation work on contemporary
new york architecture

Wolfgang Staehle
Diller + Scofidio
Raphael Vinoly Architects
Dominique Gradenwitz
Priam Givord and Martin Lenclos
Brian Doyle
Julio Soto
Brian McGrath
Zohar Kfir
Yang Zhenzhong

curated by Caspar Stracke

Sunday October 12th, 7pm

Galapagos Art Space
70 North 6th St.,
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Documents of New York's architectural transformations since 9/11 meet
new visions on the urban condition.Revitalizations of the mega-metropolis in which we live. Idiosyncratic sites and spaces around Manhattan - observed and re-modeled in video and virtual views.

details on:


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caspar stracke
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Power outage traced to dim bulb in White House


August 15, 2003


The Tale of The Brits Who Swiped 800 Jobs From New York,
Carted Off $90 Million, Then Tonight, Turned Off Our Lights

By Greg Palast

I can tell you all about the ne're-do-wells that put out our
lights tonight. I came up against these characters -- the
Niagara Mohawk Power Company -- some years back. You see,
before I was a journalist, I worked for a living, as an
investigator of corporate racketeers. In the 1980s, "NiMo"
built a nuclear plant, Nine Mile Point, a brutally costly
piece of hot junk for which NiMo and its partner companies
charged billions to New York State's electricity ratepayers.

To pull off this grand theft by kilowatt, the NiMo-led
consortium fabricated cost and schedule reports, then
performed a Harry Potter job on the account books. In 1988,
I showed a jury a memo from an executive from one partner,
Long Island Lighting, giving a lesson to a NiMo honcho on
how to lie to government regulators. The jury ordered LILCO
to pay $4.3 billion and, ultimately, put them out of

And that's why, if you're in the Northeast, you're reading
this by candlelight tonight. Here's what happened. After
LILCO was hammered by the law, after government regulators
slammed Niagara Mohawk and dozens of other book-cooking,
document-doctoring utility companies all over America with
fines and penalties totaling in the tens of billions of
dollars, the industry leaders got together to swear never to
break the regulations again. Their plan was not to follow
the rules, but to ELIMINATE the rules. They called it

It was like a committee of bank robbers figuring out how to
make safecracking legal.

But they dare not launch the scheme in the USA. Rather, in
1990, one devious little bunch of operators out of Texas,
Houston Natural Gas, operating under the alias "Enron,"
talked an over-the-edge free-market fanatic, Britain's Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher, into licensing the first
completely deregulated power plant in the hemisphere.

And so began an economic disease called "regulatory reform"
that spread faster than SARS. Notably, Enron rewarded
Thatcher's Energy Minister, one Lord Wakeham, with a bushel
of dollar bills for 'consulting' services and a seat on
Enron's board of directors. The English experiment proved
the viability of Enron's new industrial formula: that the
enthusiasm of politicians for deregulation was in direct
proportion to the payola provided by power companies.

The power elite first moved on England because they knew
Americans wouldn't swallow the deregulation snake oil
easily. The USA had gotten used to cheap power available at
the flick of switch. This was the legacy of Franklin
Roosevelt who, in 1933, caged the man he thought to be the
last of the power pirates, Samuel Insull. Wall Street
wheeler-dealer Insull created the Power Trust, and six
decades before Ken Lay, faked account books and ripped off
consumers. To frustrate Insull and his ilk, FDR gave us the
Federal Power Commission and the Public Utilities Holding
Company Act which told electricity companies where to stand
and salute. Detailed regulations limited charges to real
expenditures plus a government-set profit. The laws banned
power "trading" and required companies to keep the lights on
under threat of arrest -- no blackout blackmail to hike

Of particular significance as I write here in the dark,
regulators told utilities exactly how much they had to spend
to insure the system stayed in repair and the lights stayed
on. Bureaucrats crawled along the wire and, like me, crawled
through the account books, to make sure the power execs
spent customers' money on parts and labor. If they didn't,
we'd whack'm over the head with our thick rule books. Did we
get in the way of these businessmen's entrepreneurial
spirit? Damn right we did.

Most important, FDR banned political contributions from
utility companies -- no 'soft' money, no 'hard' money, no
money PERIOD.

But then came George the First. In 1992, just prior to his
departure from the White House, President Bush Senior gave
the power industry one long deep-through-the-teeth kiss
good-bye: federal deregulation of electricity. It was a
legacy he wanted to leave for his son, the gratitude of
power companies which ponied up $16 million for the
Republican campaign of 2000, seven times the sum they gave

But Poppy Bush's gift of deregulating of wholesale prices
set by the feds only got the power pirates halfway to the
plunder of Joe Ratepayer. For the big payday they needed
deregulation at the state level. There were only two states,
California and Texas, big enough and Republican enough to
put the electricity market con into operation.

California fell first. The power companies spent $39 million
to defeat a 1998 referendum pushed by Ralph Nadar which
would have blocked the de-reg scam. Another $37 million was
spent on lobbying and lubricating the campaign coffers of
the state's politicians to write a lie into law: in the
deregulation act's preamble, the Legislature promised that
deregulation would reduce electricity bills by 20%. In fact,
when in the first California city to go "lawless," San
Diego, the 20% savings became a 300% jump in surcharges.

Enron circled California and licked its lips. As the number
one contributor to the George W. Bush campaigns, it was
confident about the future. With just a half dozen other
companies it controlled at times 100% of the available power
capacity needed to keep the Golden State lit. Their motto,
"your money or your lights."

Enron and its comrades played the system like a broken ATM
machine, yanking out the bills. For example, in the
shamelessly fixed "auctions" for electricity held by the
state, Enron bid, in one instance, to supply 500 megawatts
of electricity over a 15 megawatt line. That's like pouring
a gallon of gasoline into a thimble -- the lines would burn
up if they attempted it. Faced with blackout because of
Enron's destructive bid, the state was willing to pay
anything to keep the lights on.

And the state did. According to Dr. Anjali Sheffrin,
economist with the California state Independent System
Operator which directs power deliveries, between May and
November 2000, three power giants physically or
"economically" withheld power from the state and concocted
enough false bids to cost the California customers over $6.2
billion in excess charges.

It took until December 20, 2000, with the lights going out
on the Golden Gate, for President Bill Clinton, once a
deregulation booster, to find his lost Democratic soul and
impose price caps in California and ban Enron from the

But the light-bulb buccaneers didn't have to wait long to
put their hooks back into the treasure chest. Within
seventy-two hours of moving into the White House, while he
was still sweeping out the inaugural champagne bottles,
George Bush the Second reversed Clinton's executive order
and put the power pirates back in business in California.

Enron, Reliant (aka Houston Industries), TXU (aka Texas
Utilities) and the others who had economically snipped
California's wires knew they could count on Dubya, who as
governor of the Lone Star state cut them the richest
deregulation deal in America.

Meanwhile, the deregulation bug made it to New York where
Republican Governor George Pataki and his industry-picked
utility commissioners ripped the lid off electric bills and
relieved my old friends at Niagara Mohawk of the expensive
obligation to properly fund the maintenance of the grid

And the Pataki-Bush Axis of Weasels permitted something that
must have former New York governor Roosevelt spinning in his
wheelchair in Heaven: They allowed a foreign company, the
notoriously incompetent National Grid of England, to buy up
NiMo, get rid of 800 workers and pocket most of their wages
-- producing a bonus for NiMo stockholders approaching $90

Is tonight's black-out a surprise? Heck, no, not to us in
the field who've watched Bush's buddies flick the switches
across the globe. In Brazil, Houston Industries seized
ownership of Rio de Janeiro's electric company. The Texans
(aided by their French partners) fired workers, raised
prices, cut maintenance expenditures and, CLICK! the juice
went out so often the locals now call it, "Rio Dark."

So too the free-market British buckaroos controlling Niagara
Mohawk raised prices, slashed staff, cut maintenance and
CLICK! -- New York joins Brazil in the Dark Ages.

Californians have found the solution to the deregulation
disaster: re-call the only governor in the nation with the
cojones to stand up to the electricity price fixers. And
unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gov. Gray Davis stood alone
against the bad guys without using a body double. Davis
called Reliant Corp of Houston a pack of "pirates" -- and
now he'll walk the plank for daring to stand up to the Texas

So where's the President? Just before he landed on the deck
of the Abe Lincoln, the White House was so concerned about
our brave troops facing the foe that they used the cover of
war for a new push in Congress for yet more electricity
deregulation. This has a certain logic: there's no sense
defeating Iraq if a hostile regime remains in California.

Sitting in the dark, as my laptop battery runs low, I don't
know if the truth about deregulation will ever see the light
-- until we change the dim bulb in the White House.


See Greg Palast's award-winning reports for BBC Television
and the Guardian papers of Britain at
Contact Palast at his New York office:
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller,
"The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" (Penguin USA) and the
worstseller, "Democracy and Regulation," a guide to
electricity deregulation published by the United Nations
(written with T. MacGregor and J. Oppenheim).

Copyright (c) 2003 Greg Palast. All Rights Reserved.