Artists Burnish RFID's Image
In Artists Burnish RFID's Image, Mark Baard conjures RFID as rather complex social and cultural assemblages:
"[A]rtists in the United States and Europe are adding RFID to their palettes as well. They're drawing hip crowds as well as the attention of the RFID industry, which hopes to gain some good publicity for its controversial tracking technology. 'There is a lot of public aversion to RFID because of privacy issues,' said Paul Stam de Jonge, global RFID solutions director at LogicaCMG, a large European technology services company. 'And anything that will bring to it a more positive attitude will be beneficial.' [...]
The RFID industry seems to be cautiously reaching out to artists. The trade publication RFID Journal recently invited artists from the RFID-Lab in The Hague to its European industry conference last fall...'It was quite remarkable to have been invited to this rather closed and expensive conference for executives,' said RFID-Lab organizer Pawel Pokutycki.
Accenture Technology Labs senior manager Dadong Wan said he's pleased the artists are drawing positive attention to RFID. 'Artists definitely have a role in facilitating and accelerating the technology by raising (the public's) awareness,' Wong said."
The inter-dependence of artists and technology industries is clear, but the politics and ethics perhaps less so. While not wanting to ignore the history of net-art and critical internet culture, it seems to me that wireless art is offering a special challenge to traditional leftist critique-at-a-distance.
By actively and explicitly embracing their inevitable interconnectedness, both artists and corporations are able to achieve things that are not possible if either resists or retreats from the other. This sense of communal exchange need not imply collusion or assimilation - although both are, of course, possible - and it need not imply consensus either. Convergence ...
Check out the info. below, on CAE's new book and Claire Pentecost's
'Reflections on the Case by the U.S. Justice Department against Steven
Kurtz and Robert Ferrell.'
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben at Autonomedia
Date: Jan 18, 2006 9:18 PM
Subject: [Autonogram] Mid-January Autonomedia report
Autonogram subscribers --
Here's a mid-January update on some of what's been going on around
1. Critical Art Ensemble: trial update, new book
2. Shut Them Down!: New book on the G8 protests in Scotland
3. 50% off 2006 Autonomedia Jubilee Saints calendars
4. Some highlights from the Interactivist Network
1. Steve Kurtz (and by extension, the Critical Art Ensemble) was denied a
motion to dismiss his trial last week in Federal court. Critical Art
Ensemble are the collective authors of a series of Autonomedia books
analyzing the authoritarian uses of science and technology, particularly
where these mechanisms operate with a positive, "everyone's a winner" face
(the full-stomached promises of food genomics, for example, or the
healthy-and-smart-kids promises of the reproductive industries). Not
content to be armchair critics, the CAE also produce art and performance
that brings their analysis to museum and gallery audiences and into the
public sphere, demystifying the spectacle of what they've called the
"military techno-security cineplex."
Of course, this got Steve in big trouble with the security-happy
administration, and for close to two years now he's been under
investigation for an artwork found in his home at the time of his wife's
death. The absurdities of the case seem apparent to nearly everyone except
the court itself, which insists on draining everyone's resources to pin a
mail-fraud charge on him.
There is good news, though. Despite these many months of strain and
Create an e-annoyance, go to jail
By Declan McCullagh
Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.
It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a
prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail
messages without disclosing your true identity.
In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog
as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small
favors, I guess.
This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet,
is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of
Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and
two years in prison.
"The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv
Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
"What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else."
Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called
"Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment
law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his
identity and with intent to annoy."
To grease the rails for this idea, Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania
Republican, and the section's other sponsors slipped it into an
unrelated, must-pass bill to fund the Department of Justice. The plan:
to make it politically infeasible for politicians to oppose the measure.
The tactic worked. The bill cleared the House of Representatives by
voice vote, and the Senate unanimously approved it Dec. 16.
M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online, specifically, has returned with issues #1 and #2 available again and part of the 2006 issue up. The magazine, with print and online dimensions, deals provocatively with art and includes writing from poets and critics as well as artists. Of particular interest to us here on Grand Text Auto: the second issue, from 2003, on collaborations. (Interestingly, the Summer 1961 issue #2 of Locus Solus, edited by by John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Harry Mathews, and James Schuyler, was about collaborations, also.) Issue #2 of M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online includes, for instance, an article by Michael Mazur about his collaborations with Robert Pinsky and Robert Townsend. And lots of other collaboratively-written articles about the topic, too.