Charlotte Frost
Since 2002
Works in United States of America

Mute at its Meatiest

In 2009 the editorial team at Mute (in association with Autonomedia) published a collection of past magazine content under the title Proud to be Flesh: A Mute Magazine Anthology of Cultural Politics after the Net. It was an exercise in content curation, but not, as they point out, an attempt to assemble a greatest hits album. Rather, it reorganises a body of Mute’s diverse output around a selection of themes that are perhaps more apparent (up to) fifteen years later.

In many respects - through the early newspapers, magazines, websites and recent print-on-demand journals - Mute has long engaged in providing content navigation systems for internet-inspired knowledge and the darker side thereof. And they have been doing so in an era defined by its obsession with charting and re-charting the information landscape. What Proud to be Flesh does, therefore, is offer up yet another entry portal to Mute’s rich and important net-knowledge while, in its very book-i-ness, commenting on the current upheaval in text interface products.

"Decode" at the V&A: Digital Reflections and Refractions

A large installation in the Grand Entrance of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum clatters away, registering its presence in this historic hallway. Jointly commissioned (by the V & A and SAP), bit.code (2009), by Julius Popp, consists of a large panel of black and white blocks which appear to represent a curious, indecipherable code as they rotate around their frame. Periodically its units align, clearly depicting popular terms streamed live from news site feeds. In this physical form and location, this is real-time made somehow more timely. Looming over visitors, a literal staging of data being decoded, the work asserts itself as an apt entry portal to "Decode", the V & A's inaugural exhibition of contemporary digital and interactive design.

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Jargon-busters pick top offenders after 25 years of rewriting history

To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited site, go

Jargon-busters pick top offenders after 25 years of rewriting history John
Ezard, arts correspondent Monday July 26 2004 The Guardian

The Plain English Campaign today celebrates the anniversary of a mission as
vital, unglamorous and unending as sewage disposal. For a quarter of a
century, it has been struggling to cleanse the muck of jargon and
circumlocution from British official writing.

The campaign was co-founded with the vehemence of a crusade by Chrissie
Maher, a Liverpool woman furious because the official forms she received
were indecipherable. Its combined tactic of public ridicule and backstairs
training for repentant organisations can claim credit for the clearer forms
and leaflets now seen in many health clinics, post offices and government

Yesterday its 7,000 supporters in 80 countries marked the anniversary by
nominating their choicest item of gobbledygook from the last 25 years.

The winner is a sentence from draft national minimum wage regulations
introduced by Tony Blair's government in 1998.

John Lister, campaign spokesman said: "It shows that even everyday words of
one or two syllables can cause confusion when they are poorly chosen."

The campaign pays its costs by working as a consultant for organisations
eager to improve communication with the public. Its success in this job has
inspired several rivals. Yesterday one of these, Emphasis Training, conceded
that the Plain English Campaign's high-profile crusade had simplified the
way businesses wrote to consumers. "Unfortunately, the same isn't true of
business documents," said Rob Ashton, an Emphasis director. "UK businesses
waste billions every year paying people to write documents that their
colleagues struggle to - or never - read".

Mr Ashton added that an Emphasis survey of 150 companies found they felt an
average of 17% of the documents they received were badly written, with
emails the worst.

Sixty-four per cent of companies cited emails, with end-of-year reports,
letters, web texts and technical language as the next worst offenders.

Faults regarded as most vexing were bad punctuation (34%), bad spelling
(31%), jargon (10%), "generally hard to understand" (16%) and misuse of
words (8%). Unexplained acronyms and unclear technical terms also caused
anger. Emphasis has issued a dictionary of the 131 most misused terms.

Mr Ashton cited a recent company document inviting tenders.
"Description/objective of the contract: to provide evidence on the extent to
which north-west organisation's needs for enhanced and modified skills and
knowledge among their existing adult employees are being met."

The author of the tender document should have written, according to Mr
Ashton: "We want to discover how much employees of companies in the
north-west have improved their skills and knowledge".

An equally bad example was a Department of Health guidance document: "The
aim of this resource pack is to help organisations promote and implement the
use of an HR Leadership Qualities Framework that describes those behaviours
which enhance NHS HR capacity and capability to improve the patient

This should have read, according to Mr Ashton: "This resource pack will help
NHS organisations promote and introduce a Human Resources Leadership
Qualities Framework. The framework will assist NHS HR departments in
improving the patient experience".

He said: "Concise writing means calling a spade a spade, not a manual
earth-moving implement."

The winners


1989 National minimum wage regulations
The hours of non-hours work worked by a worker in a pay reference period
shall be the total of the number of hours spent by him during the pay
reference period in carrying out the duties required of him under his
contract to do non-hours work


1989 STC Technology Ltd document
There is an unavoidable conflict of terminology in naming the classes Class
and Instantation. Instantation is not itself a real instance but a class
(namely, the class of all real instances). Likewise, Class is not a class of
real instances but a class of classes (namely, the class of all classes of
real instances). Instantation could be renamed Class and Class renamed Type
to avoid this. In that case, the members of Class would not be classes and
the members of Type would not be types.


1982 letter from the Department of Health and Social Security From and
including 26.2.81 an additional component is payable at the weekly rate of
5p which is the rate appropriate to 11/4% of the amount of the surpluses in
the earnings factors for 3 years in the claimant's working life after
reduction on account of his guaranteed minimum pension of £2.04 (the
guaranteed minimum pension was originally notified to the claimant as
£1.99 and has subsequently been amended to £2.04) (Social Security
Pensions Act 1975 Section 6 and 29 (1) and the Social Security (Earnings
Factor) Regulations reg 2 and the Schedule) and graduated retirement benefit
at the weekly rate of £2.37 (£2.58 from 26.2.81) which is the
amount appropriate to 67 units of graduated contributions paid or treated as
paid by the claimant (National Insurance Act 1965 Section 36 and the Social
Security (Graduated Retirement Benefit) (No.2) Regulations reg 3 (3) and
Schedule 1)

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited


Summer of Furthertxt!!!

Summer Furthertxt is here....


And its all about breaking things!!!

Dyske Suematsu wants to break some traditions in Western knowledge...
Oliver Ressler wants to break us into the way he thinks and the way he
Nick Lambert wants to break the canon and reinsert early computer art by
revisiting some old ground...
And I have broken out of the editorial slot to hint at some new directions
for Furthertxt in the future...

Having recently broken my nose, it seemed a good time to think about breaks
in general, and how disjunction can create not just new paths but whole new
ways of traversing those paths!

Dyske Suematsu is a writer based in NYC. He received his undergraduate
degree from School of Visuals Arts in Fine Arts and has created,, and His artwork
"NETABSTRACTION" was shown at 2001 New York Digital Salon and 2003 Boston
Cyberarts Festival (Transcodex). This text looks at the wider knowledge we
should all be attempting to gain and use in our understandings of new media.

Oliver Ressler carries out exhibitions, site specific projects in public
space and videos on issues such as racism, the economy, genetic engineering
and forms of resistance. His recent ongoing exhibition project "Alternative
Economics, Alternative Societies" has been realized in Galerija Skuc in
Ljubljana and Kunstraum Lueneburg and this interview provides valuable
insight into his work.

Dr Nick Lambert works at the CACHe Project, Birkbeck College, studying the
origins of British Computer Art. This is the 2nd part of the article which
we featured in the last issue looking at Computer Art's status as an art
form, its origins and some unexplored facets of its history.

Charlotte Frost is the editor of Furthertxt, regularly writes for Rhizome,
and has written for Mute and Net Art Review. Current research involves
list-serves having made a selection for Low-Fi and she will discuss the
subject at ISEA 2004. This text is a little look at why text is so important
to net art, and a hint at what's next for Furthertxt....

Charlotte Frost :~) Furthertxt Editor



Furthertxt wants your txt!

Wed Mar 03, 2004 13:46

Furthertxt is looking for contributors for future issues!!!

Please take a look at the January/February Issue of Furthertxt

which featured:

Caroline Koebel serving up a doggie dinner
Christian Nold serving notice to those who wont listen
Nick Lambert serving a sample of early computer art history
and Barley serving a reminder that the changes we wait for might have even
weightier implications.........

Writers Featured:

Caroline Koebel endeavours through a range of activities to complicate
commodity culture and hopefully shrug off its chilling effects. 'Dead Dogs,
Live Presidents, Interferences' reacts to various communication and
information bodies as if together they form a mass congestion that asks to
be first observed, then reordered, and finally re-released so that each of
the initial bodies can flow simultaneously alongside of and away from the

Christian Nold is an artist, activist and designer of tools for social
change. Having published a book for Book Works about technologies of
political control, he is now studying at the Royal College of Art. His work
is focused on developing new tangible and conceptual tools that allow groups
to create their own representations.

Dr Nick Lambert works at the CACHe Project, Birkbeck College, studying the
origins of British Computer Art. This article looks at Computer Art's status
as an artform, its origins and some unexplored facets of its history.

Barley is a writer and generally overdramatic-type. This poem was written
when the writer went though a period of life change and was then given a new
watch as a reward for academic achievement...and suddenly the world seemed a
very different place when measured with this new time.

Please also peruse our back issues which feature written work by:
Patrick Lichty, The Critical Art Ensemble, Saul Albert, Marc Garrett, Lewis
La Cook, Ryan Griffis, Millie Niss, Peter Yeoh, Gayle Wald, Bruce Eves...and

If you would like to contribute to furthertxt, contact me now!!!! :-)

Charlotte Frost - Furthertxt editor.

(If you are on this mailing list by mistake or you wish to unsubscribe,
simply put 'unsubscribe' in the subject header & return the email - thank


Review of Internet Art by Julian Stallabrass

Net Art is Rarely Black and White

Book Review of:

Internet Art: The Online Clash of Culture and Commerce
Julian Stallabrass (Tate Publishing, London, 2003)

By Charlotte Frost

For Julian Stallabrass, the gap between culture and commerce is nowhere
narrower than on the Internet. His latest book, Internet Art: The Online
Clash of Culture and Commerce (Tate Publishing, London, 2003) notes that
although net art and commercial web exploits have vast distinctions, their
co-inhabitation of an essentially commercially driven space unites them, and
further than this, net art often treats its cyber-neighbour as a somewhat
ironic muse.

Initially Stallabrass appears to posit culture and commerce on opposing
sides. The book title, chapter headings and subdivisions, and even the black
and pink colour scheme of the cover appear to have been chosen to show how
the brash world of commerce clashes with the more activist elements of net
art. Reading texts on the net can illustrate this divide,



Nov/Dec Furthertxt

November/December Issue of Furthertxt

In the new issue of Furthertxt:

Millie Niss is wondering why the world is the way it is...
Peter Yeoh is wondering why the virtual world is the way it is...
Patrick Lichty is wondering how we can change the way the world is...
and Philip Jackson is pre-empting and lamenting the loss after change is

In the case of Concorde, what goes up, must come down, but is it the Fall of
falling technology or merely time to take stock?

Writers Featured:

Millie Niss is a web artist, poet, and activist on behalf of persons with
mental illness. She has work on line in trAce, Beehive, Rhizomes/hyperrhiz,
The Museum of the Essential and Beyond (Brazil),, and others.
She is afraid to get this piece published in her native USA (although she
has read it to like-minded audiences) because of the persecution of people
who publicly oppose the Bush Administration-thankfully in the UK, we are all
for it!

Peter Yeoh is a PhD student in Digital Art History at Birkbeck College
researching on war and its effect on digital art and architecture. In 2004
he will be a visiting fellow at the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan
University, Kyoto. He also works as web administrator for the Sainsbury
Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. This text is a delve
into his research so far.

Patrick Lichty is a technologically-based intermedia artist, writer,
activist, and independent curator living in Baton Rouge who has explored the
effects of mass media and technology for over a decade and a half. This text
is a bid to subvert the technology that permeates our day to day lives.

Philip Jackson relishes continual learning and discovery, and is certain
our life on this planet is purely a fragment of our entire existence. This
poem looks at the tragedy of any relationship where a person tries to change
another into what they seek, rather than appreciating what they have.

Please also peruse our back issues which feature written work by:
The Critical Art Ensemble, Saul Albert, Marc Garrett, Lewis La Cook, Ryan
Griffis, Gayle Wald, Bruce Eves...and more!

If you would like to contribute to furthertxt, contact me now!!!! :-)

Charlotte Frost - Furthertxt editor.

(If you are on this mailing list by mistake or you wish to unsubscribe,
simply put 'unsubscribe' in the subject header & return the email - thank