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)

The Bureau of Piracy denounce responsibility for the

The Bureau of Piracy (Piratbyran) denounce responsibility for the
internet attacks!


The last days authorities and other institutions homepages has suffered
from DDOS attacks. Piratbyran declines involement in this type of
destructive actions.

- Attacks of this sort which we have seen here is not only attacks
against individual homepages, it is an attack of the internet as a
whole, says Marcin de Kaminski from The Bureau of Piracy (Piratbyran).
It is not a worthy reaction to what have happened the last couple of

The Bureau of Piracy (Piratbyrans) activities is building on an
for communication, information exchange and a free internet. Therefore
we are very worried about the fact that our homepage, toghether with
many others, got shut down the way they did. We encourage everybody
would like to help us, the Pirate Bay and other affected to report the
wednesdays police actions to JO (a political representative). We also
encourage the affected to demand thier servers back, and to demand
compensation for possible loss of hardware, information and income.

- If you want to help The Bureau of Piracy (Piratbyran) you do best so
by continuing using the internet in a creative way, says Marcin de
Kaminski. And other than that, to buy bigger HDDs and to help your mom,
your neighbour and your friends from work to fileshare!

Furtherfield -
Node.London -


Re: net art dead or just moved neighborhoods.

nicely put. the academic dillema is difficult because getting work into bigger institutions also leaves out certain possibilities. i've a list of projects that i've been putting off now partly because they are more activist oriented things and won't count for anything to my bosses. how can they evaluate an installation in a Walmart parking lot. There are publications that may be interested in that sort of thing but it takes a constant effort to educate those in charge of tenure process ect that these things are valuable.

however it possible to be subversive within the institutions (and fun when you can get away with it) as net art moves into the institution and takes on a place in Art History it becomes even more important to have voices on the inside critiquing that process. There are artists that have done this beautifully for years in other genre. Hans Haacke, Andrea Frasier, Martha Rosler and many others. I think in general the problem with New Media art is that there seems to be very little criticism of the institution in terms of political economy. sure there is a boat load of political work but very little that touches on the political economy of New Media. Artist's are happy to work with criticism of U.S. foriegn policy etc, economic globalization etc. but it seems whenever we start talking about how Art might be implicated in those things then people get very uncomfortable. if you talk about the coffee trade people get up in arms, but if you talk about how computers are manufactured and under what conditions all of a sudden there is all kinds of reactionary statements about how New Media Art has nothing to do with politics and economics. That's like saying the gas i put in my car has nothing to do with the war we're in because I like to drive my car. There is an ideologies that help us to avoid seeing these connections. Long ago I noticed that Rhizome has "technophobia" as a key word. I'm waiting for "Technophilia" to be added. I'm guessing that there are not a whole lot of technophobes reading this list. Technophiles though may be another story.

Jason Nelson wrote:

> Jim (and others),
> Such great words here. There always seems to be this fight, this
> sort of strange
> need for institutional acceptance. These institutions with heavy
> doors, locked with
> tents and sleeping bags of artists waiting outside for entry. The
> large bouncer of
> curators, and funding bodies.
> I might have mentioned this before. But I'm in a quandry. The
> difficulty of being in
> academia is that one must constantly "measure" the impact of their
> work.
> So in one way, the pay and security is pleasing, but in another an
> artist must find
> the most "known" institutions and send your work there. And while
> those venues are
> most likely filled with gorgeous people, with sturdy ankles, they
> really shouldnt be our sole audience. And in fact they should be a
> very minor part of how net artwork should be shared, let's say 15
> percent. Lets say that.
> And yet that is the audience that gives the
> For example
> I recently had a few older works, Uncontrallable Semantics, This is
> how you will die,
> and Hermeticon, picked up by sites like and
> and other
> link aggregators. And with that has come 2.2 million visitors to my
> site in the past 4 months. In addition this
> audience e-mails you and
> suggests your work in that wonderful viral way, that blog to site to
> forum to newspaper sort of way. And you can see them go through entire
> works, spending sometime
> an hour or more exploring. This is the audience I want and this
> should be the audience
> we seek.
> What this then suggests is that part of this discussion about net
> art dead or dying or
> failing because so much of it moving to institutions.
> While this could lead to
> more funding, more respect in some circles, it is the wrong
> direction for net art to swim. Or maybe it simply is the wrong SOLE
> direction. Institutions are here to share artwork
> with some audience. But we circumvent the need for institutions.
> Well....almost
> there is still the point about funding. Well....not sure what to say
> about that.
> does appear that many former net artists have moved to
> installation or
> what seems to be mislabelled as new media art: video art. This again
> seems to be
> sign of net artists moving towards buildings, rather than the web.
> So consider this missive another well traveled call for swimming in
> what ever the hell
> direction you want. I want to be a cowboy.
> Jason
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta.


Re: Re: implosion killed net art?

I think you make some nice conncetions here. I especially like how you conflate to some degree economic value and perceived aesthetic value.

> this diminishment in the economic value of the whole activity results in less
> involvement all round in the art. which brings about also not simply a
> diminishment in the economic 'value' of the activity but a subjective
> change in the perceived 'value' of the art or activity.

As far as your statement on the lack of an economy of the art object whereas net art is concerned it might be interesting to look at conceptual art and early performance work as a way to understand how they were brought into the major art institutions and what was gained and lost in the process. i think there is an uneasy alliance that happens here. If we are talking conceptual and performance of the 60's and 70's (as an example) much of the work resisted the aesthetics, politics and economics of the modenist art museums, but found itself being absorbed into those same institutions eventually anyway. Artists were able to support themselves and the genre gained widespread acceptence as "Art", yet much of the original point of these works was hidden or lost and replaced with an institutional narrative. It is now possible, for instance, to open an art book and see Kosuth's One and Three Chairs discussed with a formalist vocabulary. I think I may have taken this off in another direction. Sorry. It would be nice to see more written along the lines that you have laid out here.

Jim Andrews wrote:

> i wonder how economic factors affect art in different places. for
> instance,
> in large cities, where everything is so expensive, i wonder if the
> 'value'
> (in the broadest sense) of something like net art is more inflected
> with
> economic associations than in smaller places. if an art does not or
> cannot
> establish an explicit economy of the art object and, further, the
> economic
> culture (dot com industry in this case) tanks, people in larger cities
> may
> find the art increasingly difficult to fund even indirectly, and this
> diminishment in the economic value of the whole activity results in
> less
> involvement all round in the art. which brings about also not simply a
> diminishment in the economic 'value' of the activity but a subjective
> change
> in the perceived 'value' of the art or activity.
> whereas in smaller places, where it's sometimes more possible to do
> things
> that aren't necessarily funded (if anything at all is to be done), the
> economic state of the art is not as influential. and people in smaller
> places can mistake the influence of economic imperative in larger
> cities for
> shallow, fickle fashion-mindedness whereas it's mostly people going
> where
> there are at least a few dollars to pay the rent and get paid for work
> in
> places that are outrageously expensive and, even at the best of times,
> artists have to spend more time paying the rent than making art.
> and, in smaller places, the big city collectors, curators, publishers,
> patrons and gallerists etc are more or less out of reach anyway, ie,
> that
> 'economy' is 'irrelevant' to getting on with things, is no help. and,
> similarly, in the big cities, notions of the value of art that are not
> predicated on some sort of pseudo economic market value are
> insupportable by
> the above logic.
> or am i all wet on this?
> also, compare the 'economy' of visual art with literary art. ezra
> pound once
> remarked 'It's true there's no money in poetry. But, then, there's no
> poetry
> in money, either." the ragged 'economy' of poetry trades in things
> like
> teaching positions and who publishes your work and who writes about
> it, not
> at all in the monetary worth of the work itself, because everybody is
> penniless in that regard.
> ja


Re: Re: Re: Re: net art?

Alexis Turner wrote:

> No, it's not new, nor is it total crap on a theoretical level - that
> said it IS
> worthless crap on a more practical level.

I think it is a mistake to seperate theory from practice. Every practice already has a theory built in (though it often goes unrecognized as such). Stating that a theory is not practial makes no sense as a blanket statement. Every theory is practical given that it is not put into a practice that runs counter to the theory's aims. Greenberg's theory may be practical if you want to be an abstractionist, but it may seem like a load of crap if you're into conceptual art. This is because there are two different desires at work here. It's like when the neocons say diplomacy doesn't work. What they mean is that diplomacy is not going to get us what we want. We'll need a war for that.

> I certainly don't need to open
> another book on it, when there are already appoximately 25,000 books
> on the
> particular subject. If we as academics haven't identifed a connection
> between
> these topics thoroughly enough yet, let's stop kidding ourselves and
> admit we
> aren't going to until we take a different tack.

There's no "if" about it. The connections have been made. And sorry about the crack about picking up a book - that was a little harsh.

<On the other hand, if
> we HAVE
> identified your precious connections, we obviously haven't translated
> that
> knowledge into anything productive for society at large - rather,
> we're still
> writing 25,000 MORE books rehashing the same old shit. A little air
> freshner is
> in order.

Speak for yourself. I know many artists who put theories of political economy to work in art and their everyday lives and they are doing productive things for society. It seems that you have contempt for academics who just write books about theory and never do anything with it in the world. But I'm perplexed because when someone writes on this list attempting to discuss theory in a practical sense you react with scorn. You've not offered any logic behind your arguments - just that you have a general bad attitude toward looking at art as a part of a politically and economically engaged system. I see little value in continuing.


Re: Re: Re: net art?

It's about real people, big researchers and the little basement hobbyists being
intrigued by, pushing, hacking, tinkering,"

sounds like a microsoft commercial. but i suppose their "innovation" has nothing to do with Capitalism either.

Alexis Turner wrote:

> Okay then. I think the real discussion we are all having boils down
> to whether
> net art as has been practiced is "dead" or still evolving.
> Personally, I say
> neither. I say it hasn't been born yet at all.
> The Internet in its current incarnation is broken. It's dying. It's
> a short
> matter of time before it is supplanted by something we don't even
> begin to
> envision right now. So, quite simply, the thing we are calling "net
> art" right
> now will not have a chance to figure out how to work before its
> vehicle is
> completely snatched out from underfoot.
> So, for those who want to move on to bigger and better things: bully
> for you -
> that's the right attitude, even though what you discover tomorrow is
> going to
> be looked at as ancient and retarded by the new turks in 2 years.
> Enjoy
> being a turk now. You don't have an inkling where we will be, but you
> keep
> trying, and what else can you do? You might as well wring the life
> out of the
> thing while it is here. Plus, hell, it will put you in a better
> position to
> understand where we end up, and maybe even guide the way just a
> little.
> For those of you getting misty eyed over the lack of rumination in the
> field,
> you are both right and doomed. No art can be worth the pot it's
> pissed in if
> there's nothing "behind" it, and this is exactly why the majority of
> current
> net art sucks, and hard. That said, the Internet as it stands right
> now is
> a tiny, meteoric spark that is gleaming its last gleam. By the time
> you decide
> how to make net art that is worthwhile, it will be too late and you
> will have to
> start over from scratch. That is not to say that reflection is not a
> worthwhile
> goal, but to pine for the days when one could spend 30 years
> perfecting mastery
> of a medium exhibits an inherent lack of understanding of this
> particular
> medium. The very act of creating with it, of making it do beautiful
> or
> interesting things no one has thought of is the very act that causes
> it to
> evolve.
> So the issue about capitalism turning us all into consumers thirsting
> hungrily
> for the next big thing is misguided. It isn't about capitalism. It
> isn't
> about handy, tried and true paradigms that we all have in our back
> pockets
> to pull out as the bogeyman/trump card whenever we think a system is
> flawed.
> It's about real people, big researchers and the little basement
> hobbyists being
> intrigued by, pushing, hacking, tinkering, and ultimately being
> dissatisfied
> with an incomplete system. The Internet has a potential that hasn't
> been
> realized, and pushing to make it
> better, rather than sitting and mulling over a broken system without
> fixing it
> (because it demands our contemplation), is what people that realize
> this do.
> Not because they have already consumed it and crapped it out, not
> because
> they are bored with it, but because they realize it has an untapped
> potential that would be criminal not to try and discover.
> -Alexis
> On Fri, 28 Jul 2006, Ryan Griffis wrote:
> ::Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2006 17:58:50 -0500
> ::From: Ryan Griffis <>
> ::To: rhizome rhizome <>
> ::Subject: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: net art?
> ::
> ::On Jul 28, 2006, at 5:07 PM, Alexis Turner wrote:
> ::>
> ::> On the contrary, I'm suggesting that culture is made up of many,
> many things
> ::> and
> ::> evolves for many, many reasons, not merely the trite and lame
> argument that
> ::> we
> ::> are capitalist whores.
> ::
> ::it's equally lame and trite to equate capitalism with economic
> determinism. i
> ::don't think Mark ever made such a lazy equation. i also don't think
> anyone's
> ::talking about "culture" in some larger, universalizing sense. Of
> course
> ::culture is made of many things. You don't have to be Levi-Strauss to
> state
> ::that. But one can look for dominant systems within different
> contexts, and not
> ::fall into some relativistic paralysis.
> ::You also don't have to buy classical economic theory (or simplified
> marxism)
> ::to use the identifier "capitalism" and attempt a critique of it.
> ::Good lord, the Frankfurt School established that more than 60 years
> ago, if
> ::Marx didn't first. We can write that off as academic hoo-ha, but
> then we can
> ::write off anything if it doesn't suit our needs/reaffirm our ideas.
> i don't
> ::buy the totality of psychoanalysis, but i also don't think it's all
> crap
> ::either.
> ::Capitalism is a broad ideology, and arguably the one most directing
> our way of
> ::life. If you don't think so, i'd like to hear another suggestion.
> And not just
> ::another analysis of how economics is REALLY just the expression of
> other
> ::psycho-social desires. duh. Maybe the label is losing its usefulness
> here, but
> ::that's another discussion.
> ::i don't know what this is about any more, but i've contributed my
> worthless,
> ::non-art-related rant nonetheless :)
> ::ryan
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