JM Haefner
Since 2002
Works in Menomonie, Wisconsin United States of America

J.M. Haefner's art varies from computer-mediated art to artist's books, collage, and photography. Through combining imagery and materials, the artist layers meanings and concepts which are often framed within a feminist context. The work is sometimes considered reactionary based on political, social, or environmental issues.

With degrees in Advertising Design and Photography and a MFA in Interactive Forms, MS Haefner has taught in these areas, and worked professionally as a Web Designer and Online Course Developer, and is currently involved developing various Web presence on a University of Wisconsin campus and spearheading a campus-wide e-portfolio initiative for a Title III grant in addition to teaching multimedia in an Art and Design Department. Presently, she is working on developing the first interdisciplinary Game Design and Development course at her university along with a colleague in Computer Science.

Her areas of interest include: Web 2 interaction and emerging design principles, interfacing with the metaverse (Second Life) and video conferencing with an interest toward learning communities, learning portfolios, student-centered teaching, and game design and theory.

She currently serves as Chair of the Minneapolis - Saint Paul ACM SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter, and is seeking a Ph. D. in Education Technology.
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Re: Thinking of art, transparency and social technology

Response as prompted by:

From: [] On Behalf
Of bensyverson
Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2004 7:24 PM
Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Thinking of art, transparency and social

Ben, about if you help define what you mean by FlashFormalism? If we
are talking about how Flash defines the use of color, form etc, I don't
know how far that discussion will go without sounding pedantic -unless
we talk about the tool producing a generic look, its limitations, etc
(but there are other lists that do that too).

Unfortunately, when you talk about Web design for economy, there is
little choice when it comes to subject or content, and metaphor is more
or less trite (lashings anyone?). Therefore, I'm more likely to approach
a discussion of Flash Web design from utilitarian point of view.

Perhaps a discussion of the work in the ArtBase is in order, as I assume
people are putting their work up to be critiqued, if not, then archived?

Perhaps refreshing the purpose of ArtBase seems reasonable, because the
selection criteria pretty much define what you seem to be talking about
-but the work does not always seem to hold up to that standard in my
view (also what you intimate). When these works are selected, there are
no reviews by those selecting the work, only an artist statement and bio
produced by the artist. It then stands to reason, that work selected
might not be all the selection criteria say it is.

I suppose you are near correct in that there seem to be few interns
reading -tho some time back, I caught one of mine (yup, on the job)
reading The Age of Spiritual Machines.



Re: Thinking of art, transparency and social technology


Are you suggesting that design is a natural talent? That critical,
historical, contextual discussion doesn't happen in an academic
environment in graphic design? That concept is not an issue in this type
of curriculum? This seems a bit biased or naive.

I agree that too often schools are under funded, and I certainly don't
defend "processing" students using outdated software because after all,
they are the customer, but to blanket state that that a "designer" can
not be trained... Obviously, they are not going to be masters without
experience, but then there doesn't seem to be a demand or pay for

As to New Media, perhaps what we should be talking about is what an
ideal environment might be to allow an artist to experiment and thrive
-within an academic setting if they choose. The conversation is there,
but I don't think you are listening.

The silence that you hear is everyone wondering why you don't know
-based on your statements- that not EVERY Flash piece is intended to be
purely -> pretty, and if it conveys meaning/intent/criticality and it's
ALSO pretty...hummm maybe that can be discussed as part of a built-in
generics (like word processing software that only knows X number of
words)...and not necessarily an insipid artist.

>Read more closely -- I'm not trying to import newMedia into the
>"pre-existent" criticalModels used in contempArt
> There are so many discussions that
>have been woven together to form newMedia, and now you want to pretend
>not to see them and start over with new language.

Can we say ...flip flop?

I keep running into an old argument that in order art to be accepted as
art it needs to be engaging on some level and that it is successful if
it is understood. According to some who have weighed in on this topic,
Abstract art fails this test, but when I consider generative programs
and their extended explanations, I feel the same way and even consider
it an abstract! It's that abstractness that IS engaging. AND another
one...if the concept has to be explained or it's not understood, then it
doesn't fit the criteria as successful either. I do have a bias about
that for I might not be remotely interested in a work that
captures other people's work, generates multiple images, or creates an
online "society," but you can still tell me why you "like" it, and I
won't shut you down.


OH, and want your Web site redesigned?

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of bensyverson said:

Yes, and that's exactly the point. So if you find aesthetic discussions
titillating ("ooh, more brown!" ... "too many boxes!"), by all means,
keepOnRawxin'InTheFreeWorld. I'm just trying to publicly raise the
issue of whether this is how we want to let newMedia come to be
defined. If it nM does become pigeon-holed as nice-looking clickable
data pictures, I won't be a part of it, and neither will a lot of
people who are currently engaged with this discussion. It's great that
you bring up graphicDsign, because one needs only to look at your local
graphicDsign [college/department] to see the Jihad that's being waged
on ideas there. Kids arrive in graphicDsign classes expecting to
receive training in industry-standard applications and be kept
up-to-date on industry design trends, so that they may graduate with
sufficient "mastery" to be employable as designers directly out of
college. The expectation is that you can be trained as a Dsigner just
like you can be trained as a XeroxMechanic. Given the radical artistic,
conceptual and social hystorical hyperthreads that make up the
area-of-activity we delineate (for economic reasons) as "graphicDsign,"
I find myself dismayed that the graduates of these programs are more
excited about software upgrades than the ideas they're working with.

And this is your model for how you want to talk about nM? Does anyone
else have a problem with this?


Re: they must not be very bright

Of course, the noble thing to do is work for one's own reasons, but
today how often is that really true? How can an artist be such without
someone knowing about their work in some way? Artist seems to presume
some thing is to be experienced that was created by them.

Yes, the areas we choose to explore are purely our choice, but once it's
put out in the world it becomes something entirely different. If thought
is focused on the outside world viewing our becomes about all
that goes along with it. Like the artist statement -now the work is not
the focus, but THE ARTIST.

Culturally, I think we are setting up another form of audience targeting
by providing competitions. It's a kind of self censoring in reverse.

Hummm even art for storage seems to presume someone will take a look at
it -don't you think.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Plasma Studii - uospn


Re: Re: Thoughts on Dreaming in code

Actually Michael, I think it smacks more of elitism than my
response....oh those high-mindedd "programmers" at it again.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Michael Szpakowski
Sent: Sunday, October 03, 2004 5:16 AM
To: bensyverson;
Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: Thoughts on Dreaming in code

I don't understand what it is about this set of
responses ( rather than, say, any of the others,
earlier) that incenses you so much.
There are things in the world that are worth railing
against with every satirical tool in the toolbox and
then there are rather thoughtful responses to
Why this hostility?

--- bensyverson <> wrote:

> In 2000 AD, J WROTE:::::::
> 04shore. Me too. I have tried since 1989, but 04 the
> most part, I type
> in HyperTalk (sumTimes SuperTalk).
> >


Re: Thoughts on Dreaming in code

I've been offline a bit more than usual and found this while going through
my Rhizome folder...I've been doing tangible things - like painting. More of
a be here now, than in my second head i.e., my laptop. I hope all of you
will indulge me, by allowing me to revisit this topic. Please feel free to
add to, correct or try to interpret my thoughts...just don't put words in my
text =)

> 1.) What programming languages do you use?

I know very little code when compared to some, and the ones I know are
more of the pig Latin of other codes such as; HTML, ActionScript and
JavaScript, and the derivative apps that use them.

> 2.) Why did you choose the language(s) that you use,
> and how did you learn it/them?

I started coding as a student artist in BASIC, that lead quickly to the
Internet (Web wasn't coined yet) and HTML. Web design lead to GIF
animations, which lead animation programs on the Amiga, and interaction
using Mandala. Eventually technology somewhat caught up, leading to WYSIWYG
editors, Director, RayDream, Splash ->then Flash, and the host of graphic
and video editing apps to make the "art" that makes up the content in
whatever form I deliver it.

> 3.) Were you university-trained in programming or
> self-taught? What advantages and disadvantages do you
> see in this method of learning?

How much does college teach you...while you're teaching yourself in

> 4.) How concerned are you with a language's political
> implications, i.e. with whether the language is open
> source or not? Why?

I'm concerned with the cost of the software apps I use. The cost is
prohibitive, and stifles what you might consider ubiquitous use. I'm
concerned that companies now have controls that keep you from copying things
like money. I'm concerned that nearly everything associated with the Web is
also associated with cookies/spyware. I am concerned that there are fascists
lurking the Web.

> 5.) Does your choice of programming lamguage effect
> the way you approach a problem you wish to solve with
> that language?

If the computer is a blank piece of paper, then a programming language or
a computer app is a tool. Knowing the tool and the attributes of the tool
should be a factor in the choice of tool used to produce the desired effect.
As long as I'm doing an analogy... code is to the computer what DNA is to
people (feel free to add to or correct this notion).

> 6.) Did you come to New Media Art from Computer
> Science or from the Arts? Discuss the transition.

If you consider BASIC computing, I hit them both at the same time.
However, I always intended an art track.

> 7.) What does programming add or subtract from an art
> object? Is the artist-programmer giving up control of
> the object by coding it, or introducing more control?

I think the the long way to get to the art. Like buy a
farm and raising sheep to make a sweater.

I think an artist/programmer generally always has control. Control being the
choices made to produce said "object." Even the decision to use an ai agent,
or bott, or whatever is part of the control. What can't be controlled is the
viewer/user's reaction to the art. Sure, some reactions can be anticipated,
but the truly interactive part of art -even static painting -is the
interaction between the viewer/user (what