mark cooley
Since 2002
Works in United States of America

Mark Cooley is an interdisciplinary artist interested in exploring the intersections of art, activism and institutional critique in a variety of contexts. Subjects of particular interest are U.S. foreign policy, corporate culture, and the political economy of new technologies. Recently, Mark has focused his attention on food production and consumption and the ways in which artists may mediate in these processes.

The New American Dictionary

The Boston-based performance group Institute for Infinitely Small Things has published a book called The New American Dictionary.

The dictionary highlights the terminology of fear, security and war that has permeated American English post 9-11. It includes 68 new terms i.e. Preparedness and Freedom Fries as well as terms that have recently been redefined i.e. Torture.

The dictionary also has an interactive dimension. 58 terms are left undefined for the reader to pencil in their own definition. Furthermore, readers are invited to submit their additions to the institute for a possible inclusion in the 2nd edition.

The New American Dictionary is available at several online stores.


exhaust emissions balloons

a huge balloon, tied to a car�s vent-pipe, depicting the amount of exhaust emissions a car releases a day.

the "bursting earth" project is similar, but more dynamic. activists attach world globe balloons on exhaust pipes of cars in Berlin. the exhaust gas inflates the ballons. after the message becomes readable, there is a big "bang".

[link: & &]



Aram Bartholl is a german artist renowned for making physical abstractions of the digital world, particularly game-worlds.

One of Aram's not-to-be-missed performances is inspired by the popular computer game World of Warcraft (WoW).

In WoW, the nickname of the player's avatar is constantly hovering above the head of the player so that the identity is visible for everyone else in the game.

Aram took this little feature out of cyberspace to see how it would look if people's names would float above their heads in the physical world too.

WoW has been performed at different locations around the world. Luckily, it is well-documented!

Getting coffee WoW style Workshop in Ghent Project Site




Aesthetics and Politics

REALIZING THE IMPOSSIBLE: ART AGAINST AUTHORITY by Josh MacPhee, Erik Reuland, editors :: There has always been a close relationship between aesthetics and politics in anti-authoritarian social movements. And those movements have in turn influenced many of the last century's most important art movements, including cubism, Dada, post-impressionism, abstract expressionism, surrealism, Fluxus, Situationism, and punk. Today, the movement against corporate globalization, with its creative acts of resistance, has brought anti-authoritarian politics into the forefront. This sprawling, inclusive collection explores this vibrant history, with topics ranging from turn-of-the-century French cartoonists to modern Indonesian printmaking, from people rolling giant balls of trash down Chicago streets to massive squatted urban villages and renegade playgrounds in Denmark, from stencil artists of Argentina to radical video collectives of the US and Mexico. Lots of illustrations, all b&w.;


Discussions (102) Opportunities (7) Events (39) Jobs (2)

Re: Re: My Email Is Longer Than Your Email: Gender in Online Communities

Tue Jun 24, 2003 00:00 - Tue Jun 24, 2003

There are a number of issues that I found troubling about this essay - or better - with what seem as fundemental assumptions upon which the essay is structured. Most importantly (at least to me) is a lack of critical thought on how gender functions as culturally constructed behavior. Making the point that masculinity and femininity are not necessarily tied to being male or female doesn't get us out of the trap of essentialism. It seems to me that more could be done exploring how gender roles themselves are constructed and then played out online (and everywhere else) would be a more useful starting point for a feminist (at least the left of center feminist position). To say that there is a natural masculinity and femininity does nothing but throw us back in the same ball game of claiming nature rather than taking the responsibility of claiming culture as responsible for sexism. I think it is important to remember that Masculinity and Femininity are themselves culturally constructed concepts (made by a sexist society) that are used to naturalize sexism by claiming these identities as natural.

mark cooley

Eryk Salvaggio wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kanarinka"
> > This essay raises excellent points and is well thought-out. The only
> > thing that I find problematic is creating constructions of gender or
> > gender-driven behavior that are too specific and narrow (e.g.
> > "Femininity is the gender of networks, traditionally seeking out
> > relationships to others as a means of definition.", "In chat rooms,
> > women are looking for intimacy and men are looking for sex.") I
> realize
> > that in order to say anything meaningful about the role of gender in
> > these issues you must make distinctions but I think it's important
> to
> > retain a level of fluidity and also talk about exceptions to the
> rule
> > (in order to present a full, balanced picture). I, for one, post
> more to
> > mailing lists than I go to chat rooms.
> I agree; and there are my own momentary lapses; but there is one very
> important statement I placed in parenthesis: "I should point out that
> I use
> the term "feminine" and "masculine" to represent patterns of behavior-
> and I
> do not resort to "male" and "female" as indicators of that behavior."
> So
> occasionally I do return to "men" to mean "masculine" and "women" to
> mean
> "feminine" simply because it's usually the case, and because it's what
> the
> polling data uses, but there is certainly a difference. And what I
> wrote
> doesn't touch the concept of androgyny. An androgynous web would be
> very
> interesting as well.
> I also think the project at the artport right now- "Bumplist"- is
> really
> interesting in terms of sociological experiment. In a sense, it is
> taking a
> predominantly masculine media and putting in factors that would
> exaggerate
> its masculinity by limiting the time one has to make one's point. I
> have to
> wonder what the result is, but I haven't subscribed and haven't had a
> chance
> to look at the archive. Conversely, MTAA's project "Endnode" is an
> interesting excersize in feminine mailing lists dynamics, since the
> way the
> list was promoted was as a short term collaboration where the team
> worked
> together for the sake of the tree (roots working for the benefit of
> the
> trees.) And, ehhh, both of these projects are made by men.
> > What about usages of technologies that are not exclusively male or
> > female, such as googling to find information about programming
> syntax or
> > helping someone online find a solution to a problem? Or are all
> usages
> > prompted by gender? I would argue not. What behaviors can you
> > characterize as motivated by gender and why? Is that only because
> they
> > fit our stereotypes of what gender is (e.g. women are more
> emotional,
> > men are more competitive, etc)?
> Well; thats the important distinction right there. "Women" are not
> more
> emotional, but feminine personalities are. This, at least, according
> to the
> bulk of gender identity research I have done. There are tests which
> determine your gender based solely on how you identify yourself; I
> mentioned
> on another list recently that I myself scored a 2.53 on a test where
> 2.50
> was considered "extremely feminine" [0 = androgyny, -2.5 = extremely
> masculine.] At the same time, I engage in a lot of masculine behavior
> online
> that I do not at all engage in in real life.
> There are concepts of gender which inform every culture; every culture
> has
> some construct of "what a girl should be like" and "what a boy should
> be
> like." From a Freudian perspective all the way down to modern
> psychotherapy
> [Nancy Chodorow, etc] and even to more straightforward cognitive or
> social
> learning models of gender, it is a huge component for how we interact
> with
> the world. If your social learning took place in a sphere somewhat
> removed
> from placing emphasis on gender, you still got lessons on gender
> somehow.
> Even if, as a girl, you were told "Girls don't have to be feminine" or
> as a
> boy you were told "boys don't have to be masculine," these are still
> gender
> constructions and still create a very large area of one's identity.
> > I think essays like this could be supported by both a quantitative
> > perspective (which you have provided) and a qualitative perspective
> --
> > e.g. some primary source material about why people use technologies
> in
> > certain ways, what prompts their thinking about the technology, etc.
> I agree; though the problem with any sort of qualitative research is
> you get
> "opinion" and not many people would be self aware enough of why they
> act the
> way they do- and most would deny the idea that gender is important at
> all.
> It's very easy to dismiss something like that in the modern, PC world
> of
> alledged "equality" between the sexes. But at the same time; entire
> concepts
> of power, relationships, sexuality and god knows what else were
> informed
> under a flagship of masculine control. In this regard, women don't
> have
> "power" simply because "power" has been defined by way of masculinity
> to
> equate "control" which of course it doesn't have to do. Power can come
> through unification, consensus, etc. [and a lot of the modern
> buisiness
> world is starting to change into a more feminine model, ever since the
> word
> "empowerment" came down to the employees. But whats neat is that the
> feminine model supports a rhizomatic network, whereas the masculine
> systems
> of management emphasize hierarchy and "power." These are also the huge
> distinctions between the internet and traditional media like
> television and
> radio.]
> > Quantitative data can often be reductive (as in the sense of
> > demographics -- I find it rather offensive when people tell me I
> belong
> > to a certain demographic - as if all your wants, needs and values
> can be
> > predicted based on a few accidental variables).
> Well, again- the distinction of "masculine and feminine" from "men and
> women" is designed specifically for that purpose. There are, however,
> demographics that support the theory. And yes, men do tend- on a
> whole- to
> be more "masculine" and women more "feminine," as the demographics I
> provided kind of demonstrate, but it shouldn't be seen as all
> encompassing.
> There aren't many hermaphodites or transgendered individuals being
> polled to
> see how they interact with the web; but the results could be
> interesting.
> Even terms like "feminism" have some level of contention. There is the
> feminism of "women can do what boys can do" but modern feminism tends
> to
> concern itself with embracing the strengths of femininity. The web is
> a
> major boon to feminism for this reason; which is why I had been
> relatively
> dismayed that one of the more popular images of feminity on the web
> happened
> to be Mouchette, the perpetual victim. Cyberfeminism seems like this
> murky
> ghetto and it doesn't have to be. The web- and web art, with its
> emphasis on
> collaboration and interactivity- is *inherently feminist*.
> -e.



April 25, 2003


The deck:
Info and ordering:

In the wake of the U.S.'s "pre-emptive" destruction of Iraq, her
people, and her culture, the Trade Regulation Organization is issuing
a "55 most wanted" playing-card deck ( similar
to the one that the Pentagon issued two weeks ago in Iraq

The TRO, estimating that the U.S. governing regime is no longer
consistent with world peace or prosperity, hopes that the playing
cards will show the way to regime change and, eventually, large-scale
war crimes proceedings.

According to the TRO, the victims of the unprovoked U.S. war fall into
three categories:

* People. In the 1991 Gulf War, 100,000-200,000 civilians and
80,000-150,000 soldiers were killed directly by bombs.
In addition, poisoning from the U.S.'s depleted uranium (DU) weapons - banned by the Geneva Convention - has led to hundreds of
thousands more Iraqi cancers and deaths; the 80,000 cases of "Gulf War
syndrome" among U.S. veterans are most likely also due to DU exposure.
In the 2003 Iraq War, the U.S. once again used massive amounts of
DU in its weapons. Iraqi death counts are unknown or unpublicized.
(See for links.)

* Culture. Because of a U.S. policy giving carte blanche to looters -
only the Oil Ministry and Interior Ministry were protected - the
Middle East's leading archaeological museum lost almost all of its
unique ancient artifacts, and two libraries full of irreplaceable
medieval manuscripts were destroyed. (See for

* Prospects. The U.S. is now considered the primary world criminal by
the vast majority of the world's citizens. The implications for the
U.S.'s long-term prospects are grim.

Many of those featured on the "55 most wanted" cards are in government, and removing these people from power will go a long way towards making the world a safer place.

Others include corporate CEOs; in those cases, the corporations
themselves must be dissolved or otherwise rendered incapable of
further harm.

"If one day the people on these cards are indeed brought to justice,
'just following orders' or 'supporting our troops' will be no excuse
for the rest of us," said TRO spokeswoman Hedwig Ixtabal-Mono.

The Trade Regulation Organization, committed to making trade benefit
poor people, is the World Trade Organization's successor; see for more details.

# 30 #

To receive no further announcements from the WTO or TRO, write


(Mediated) Reality, for the "Unmediated", Net.Artist (genius)

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Lewis LaCook" <>
> > --where are you finding an unmediated reality, eryk? even your
> opinions
> are a form of mediated reality---as are mine.....
> There is an unmediated reality which goes on exterior to any human
> involvement and which our internal thought-assesments have nothing to
> do
> with. Any period spent occupying a space without an awareness of the
> self is
> a step towards realizing it, although in general I think I am
> impressed when
> I can be within a situation on anything even resembling a pre-verbal
> level.
> If we relate to our own reaction to stimuli as if it was "reality" we
> are
> saying that the entire universe is dependant on what we "process" in
> it. By
> this logic, because I can't see you I could very well state that you
> don't
> exist. Of course, you do- or you don't- regardless of whether I
> *think* you
> do or don't, and how I *feel* about your existence [not to imply
> anything
> here :) ] is secondary mediation- you exist, whether I "like you" or
> not,
> and whether you are doing what I think you "should do" or not. You
> exist, I
> acknowledge you exist, and everything else is cherries.
> In a lot of how I have engaged with the world, I was operating on the
> idea
> that my analysis of reality was what needed to be "exhibited" or what
> "needed to come through" in my work. I have decided that it is a far
> better
> avenue for me to try to make work that cuts through any second hand
> interpretation of the world- and I consider emotional assesments to be
> "second hand." I have done this in a lot of my ascii based work,
> starting
> with the 9/11 piece- the 9/11 piece is essentially the first piece I
> made
> that dealt, on some level, with deconstructing "mediated" visions of
> reality
> [in this case, media, my own desire to connect to emotional events,
> and the
> connection of my internal events with external reality- and trying to
> sort
> all of that out] and it was designed to deliberately cut that frame of
> thinking down. I don't know if it is possible to succeed in this
> obviously-
> but part of what I want to create in my work is the feeling I get from
> some
> pieces of art that open up a range of possibility by simply exposing
> the
> nature of our own internal mediations from reality. Fluxus, Dada,
> Sufism,
> Zen, Haiku poets, Warhol, etc have been what have done it for me, have
> been
> responsible for insights that make me say "aha" as opposed to "I
> agree" or
> "I disagree" or whatever other reaction a person has. Of course a lot
> of the
> other works I have done are still exploring the idea of what is and
> what is
> not mediation, in particular the ascii nudes. I don't know if this
> "comes
> through" in my work- probably not, I am still relatively new at all of
> this-
> but it is a contributing element.
> Something that really captures the disappointment I feel within
> is
> the closing of possibility, and this I feel is part of what Marc was
> writing
> about when he criticizes the declaration of a "heroic" period of
> and what people seem to talk about when they complain about the
> structuring
> and institutionalization of any type of art. I mean all in all, we had
> a
> "new media," something that could have been used to open up
> possibilities
> for quite some time, but then you have it start to get smaller and
> smaller
> and more into emulation instead of genesis. To me, 97 is to
> was 77
> is to most punks- precisely, with all the "positive" and "negative"
> baggage.
> The fact that the window opened up for a while and then closed again
> is just
> the way it goes- something can only be new for so long, can only open
> up so
> many new avenues, before people start coming in and running emulation
> routines and the original potential is not so *easy* to hop in with.
> Net.Art
> was an easy art form to invent. It was probably the easiest "movement"
> there
> ever was. And the museums/gallerists/flood of critics- who are the
> first
> spoilers [in the sense of "giving away the ending"], the folks who
> come in,
> see a possibility and interpret it, and make these standards for what
> it
> should be- they're the ones responsible for establishing a "mediation"
> of
> the original concepts. However, a very important element of this, is
> that
> it's the fault of artists if they choose to look at those mediated
> opinions
> of what "is" instead of creating something on thier own, and many
> people do
> this unintentionally simply because they love the ideas but can't come
> up
> with something that new on thier own. I consider myself in that
> category-
> you can call me an evolutionist rather than a creationist, and I think
> this
> is unfortunate for me obviously- "I may not be remembered by history
> as a
> pioneer, boo hoo." And this is true regardless of how long I
> have
> been making this stuff. The window for total e-z-bake revolution has
> closed,
> though I don't think that means the death of, it's just a lot
> harder
> for me to make something "amazing."
> Obviously "opinions" are a mediated reality, which is why I recently
> apologized to the list for having them and then denounced my right to
> have
> them. Opinions are not a "right" really so much as a dangerous
> addiction, of
> course people will always have them, I will always have them, but I
> need to
> keep a more careful eye on my constant tendency towards analysis and
> evaluation, no different from anyone else you might say.
> Or not.
> Cheers,
> -e.


linked art object

warProductwar entry #1: the Good, Bad and the Profitable: or 54321

warProductwar: Will be an ongoing internet based meditation on the culture of war in the U.S. Entry #1, the Good, Bad and the Profitable is a noninteractive timebased montage that explores media representations, classic american mythology, and the material remains of "free" enterprise war culture.

warProductwar linked from (high speed access recommended runs slowly on dial up modem) -

mark cooley


FCC Rules in Question


Altering the rules of media ownership is currently part of the Federal Communications Commission's Strategic Goals program ( Review of the rules was prompted in part by a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit which stated, in part, that the FCC must show "empirical evidence" that the rules are necessary, or they must be revoked. Additionally a lawsuit by several major networks has brought the rules into legal question again and Congress itself has mandated that the rules be reviewed every two years.

The FCC had begun review of two ownership rules in 2001, the Broadcast-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Rule and the Local Radio Ownership Rule. Now six rules are being reevaluated.

*Broadcast-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Prohibition (1975) Bans ownership of both a newspaper and a television station in the same market.

*National Television Ownership Rule (1941) A broadcaster cannot own television stations that reach more than 35% of the nation's homes.

*Dual Network Rule (1946) - No entity can own more than one major television network.

*Local Television Ownership Rule (1964) - A broadcaster can't own more than one of the top four stations in a single market.

*Local Radio Ownership Rule (1941) - Limits the number of radio stations any one entity can own in a single market.

*Television-Radio Cross-Ownership Rule (1970) - Limits the number of TV and radio stations a single entity can own in any given market.
**There are currently exceptions to these rules, decisions made on a case-by-case basis.


The FCC will decide whether the rules are to be eliminated or modified by late June, according to FCC Chairman Michael Powell. The media ownership plan must be approved by a majority vote among the five commissioners, three of whom are Republicans (Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy, Commissioner Kevin Martin, and Chairman Michael Powell) and two of whom are Democrats (Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein and Commissioner Michael Copps).

To inform their decision, the FCC commissioned empirical studies of the current media marketplace. Other organizations, like the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) have done studies on the issue as well. On February 17, 2003 the PEJ released a five-year study on consolidation and quality called "Does Ownership Matter in Local Television News?" (

As the dealine nears, the pressure mounts on the commissioners. On March 19, 2003 Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) wrote a letter to Chairman Powell calling for a broader public debate in the FCC's media ownership review. (Read the full letter On April 1, 2003 six lawmakers wrote to FCC Chairman Michael Powell to urge him to adhere to his time schedule, which promises a final decision on the ownership rules by June 2, 2003. (Read the full letter. Also, questions about the quality of war coverage have led the additional discussions in the press about the pros and cons of further consolidation. See the NEW YORK TIMES," "War Puts Radio Giant on the Defensive" ( and THE BALTIMORE SUN, "War coverage could alter U.S. media policy." (

Reprinted from

See Bill Moyers on media consolidation @