Melinda Rackham
Since the beginning
Works in North Adelaide Australia

Over the past fifteen years Melinda Rackham has engaged with emergent practices and hybrid artforms as a pioneering networked artist, writer, curator, media consultant and cultural producer.

Melinda was the first Curator of Networked Media at the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) and in 2002 she established -empyre-, one of the world’s leading online critical theory forums. As Director of the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) - Melinda lead Australia's foremost cultural research and emerging technologies organisation to new levels of public engagement.

Currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Media and Comminications at RMIT University, Dr Rackham's interests focus on the intertwining cultural, aesthetic, technological and conceptual aspects of networked, virtual, distributed, multi-user environments, and responsive and wearable art practices.
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Aotearoa - fresh southern summer | January on -empyre-

Aotearoa - fresh southern summer
with The Paul Annears, Susan Ballard, Stella Brennan, Ian Clothier, Adam
Hyde, Trudy Lane, Helen Varley Jamieson, and more guests throughout the

Surely one of the most desirable global destinations, Aotearoa | New Zealand
is currently experiencing a renaissance in media arts and culture. 2005
at -empyre- brings you fresh perspectives from net, sound and media artists,
theorists, educators, curators and writers, who are working in, or have
recently returned to their home islands. Much is bubbling to the surface
from deep pools of creativity such as the Aotearoa Digital Arts list; recent
and planned festivals include Version, SCANZ and re:mote; and exhibition
venues include Artspace, the Physics Room, the Moving Image Centre and [NON]
gallery. Join our guests at to data mine this
southern resurgence of new media and online practice.

The Paul Annears [ ] find there are many advantages to
being two people. For many years we have successfully amplified our separate
brilliances and recently, through the power of the web, have joined with
other 'Paul Annears' in a unique franchising arrangement to produce The
Concise Model of the Universe.

Paul Annear 404 [ ] has always been anthropographic.
Because of this, Paul finds it difficult to avoid strong emotions and
unpleasant situations. An obsession with people and her ability to identify
with a variety of these creatures has brought her here.

Susan Ballard [ ] is an
artist, writer and musician whose interests cover the broad historical field
of new media art with a particular emphasis on contemporary digital and
time-based installation from Aotearoa/ New Zealand. Her current PhD research
explores relationships between noise and materiality in digital installation

Stella Brennan [ ] is an Auckland-based artist,
writer and curator. With Sean Cubitt she founded the Aotearoa Digital Arts
discussion list in 2003, and has hosted two subsequent ADA meetings. Her
artwork is based in video and installation. Stella teaches at the Auckland
University of Technology.

Ian M Clothier [ ] is a Pacific based
artist writer. In 2004 he was selected for ISEA (Estonia), Digitalis:
Ethno-techno (Canada) and ReJoyce Festival (Ireland). Editor of, he has contributed to, and was an invited
speaker to the Ninth International Conference on Thinking.

Adam Hyde [ ] exhibits frequently internationally
and recently won a UNESCO Digital Art Award. He is the Digital Artist in
Residence at Waikato University, and is currently organising the 're:mote'
festival with Honor Harger and NZ artist duo 'Ethermap', formed by Adam
Willets and Zita Joyce.

Trudy Lane [ ] works in online design and publication
for the art/museum industries and as an artist collaboratively creating
projects which cross-breed participatory art & educational resource. Trudy
has recently returned to New Zealand after 12 years living abroad.

Helen Varley Jamieson [ ] is a writer and
theatre artist who has been exploring the concept of cyberformance - remote
performers creating live performance via the internet - during the last 5
years. She does a lot travelling with this work, but is currently enjoying
some time back home in Aotearoa. Helen writes for Rhizome, Furtherfield and
other publications.


Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life. November on -empyre-

Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life - November on -empyre-

Described as "provocative, literate, subtle, and knowledgeable" [1]
Mitchell Whitelaw's "Metacreation" (MIT Press) is the first detailed
critical account of the new field of creative practice of a-life art. This
appropriation and adaptation by media artist's of the techniques from
interdisciplinary artificial life science, has produced not only artworks,
but unique generative and creative processes.

- empyre- is proud to host what promises to be a stimulating discussion,
with Mitchell Whitelaw being joined throughout the month by eminent a-life
practitioners Paul Brown (UK), Mauro Annunziato (IT), Ken Rinaldo (US), and
Maria Verstappen (NL).

Over the month Whitelaw and guests will extrude the book's concepts - how
artificial evolution alters the artist's creative agency; the complex
interactivity of artificial ecosystems; the creation of embodied autonomous
agencies; the use of cellular automata to investigate pattern, form and
morphogenesis; and well as examining the key tenet of a-life, emergence.

Please join us at the -empyre- ( from November

Mauro Annunziato, ( artist and scientist, founded
the art group "PLANCTON in '94 with Piero Pierucci focussing the research on
the creative and aesthetical potentialities of chaos and artificial life,
the relation between art and science, mind and society, communication and

Paul Brown ( ) is an artist and writer who has been
specialising in art and technology, especially computational and generative
art for over 40 years. He was recently described by Mitchell Whitelaw as
"one of the unheralded pioneers of a-life art".

Ken Rinaldo ( ) is an artist, theorist and
author who creates interactive multimedia installations that blur the
boundaries between the organic and inorganic. Integration of the organic and
electro-mechanical elements asserts a confluence and co-evolution between
living and evolving technological cultures.

Maria Verstappen and Erwin Driessens ( )
have worked together since 1990. They both studied at the State Academy of
Fine Arts, Amsterdam and the Academy of Fine Arts, Maastricht. They have
held numerous exhibitions in galleries and museums. They received a 1st
prize at LIFE 2.0 and LIFE 5.0, an international competition for Art &
Artificial Life, with their Tickle robot projects.
Mitchell Whitelaw ( is an artist,
writer and researcher in new media and audio art and culture. He is
currently Head of Program, Media / Multimedia Production, School of Creative
Communication, University of Canberra. His book, Metacreation: Art and
Artificial Life, was published in 2004 by MIT Press
( )


[1] --Margaret A. Boden, Research Professor of Cognitive Science, University
of Sussex, and author of The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms

Dr Melinda Rackham
artist | curator | producer
-empyre- media forum


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networkOmania -empyre- in august


This year both ISEA and Ars Electronica have dedicated a stream of their
conference and exhibition programs to the theme of building, analysing and
visualising Networks. Join us at -empyre- with guests
drawn from both events, in an overdose of overlapping self-reflexive
(self-indulgent?) network mania:

Networks build strategic and powerful, social, critical and co-operative
alliances. In art, speaking in term of networks, social network analysis and
visualization of networks is almost becoming a genre. We are joined by Jonah
Brucker-Cohen, creator of the frustrating and fun list for the super
diligent subscriber -Bump List, Josh On who examines invisible power
relations at the kick arse, Marcos Weskamp with his elegant
visualisations of the social networks of mailing list culture in Social
Circles, and Anne Nigten Manager of V2_lab who further investigates through
visualisation these networks of communication and power.

One of the staples in the social fabric of networked life is the 40-year-old
email list - the surviving conduit of new media discussion where lists as
digital organisms are subject to growth, adaptation, corruption and decay.
Facilitators and writers for lists with diverse intents and formats like
Kathy Rae Huffman from faces, Charlotte Frost, a rhizome writer and
Furthertxt editor, Dr Axel Bruns from fibreculture and M/C - Media and
Culture, and Melinda Rackham from -empyre-, examine ethical issues and
strategies in networking and list management to encourage an workable ratio
of signal to noise - harnessing this ubiquitous communication medium.

Ars Electronica

--> Anne Nigten works as manager / artist / project coordinator / lecturer /
author / researcher. Nigten is the manager of V2_Lab the
aRt&D department of V2_Organization, Rotterdam. She's working on her PhD
dissertation on research and development in the interdisciplinary field from
an art perspective in the Smartlab program, at the London University for the
Arts (UK). Nigten is advisor for several art and science initiatives in
Europe and international.

--> Dr Axel Bruns is a fibreculture facilitator, who teaches and conducts
research in online publishing, electronic creative writing, online
communities and popular music in the Creative Industries Faculty of QUT,
Brisbane, Australia. He is the General Editor of the premier online
academic publication M/C - Media and Culture

--> Charlotte Frost is the editor of, the site for text-based
net art analysis and contextualisation. She regularly writes for Rhizome and
has written for Mute magazine and Net Art Review. She is currently studying
for her PhD on the historicisation of Net Art and has just produced a guest
selection for Low-Fi on list related artworks and will showcase further
projects in this area on Furthertxt later this year.

--> Jonah Brucker-Cohen works as a Research Fellow in the Human
Connectedness Group at Media Lab Europe in Dublin, Ireland, and is a Ph.D.
candidate in the Networks and Telecommunications Research Group (NTRG) at
Trinity College Dublin. His work focuses on subverting existing
relationships to human / networked interfaces by building new real-world
inputs to networks, redefining how information is used and disseminated
online, and shifting virtual processes into physical forms through networked
devices and experiences. His work has been shown events such as DEAF (03),
Transmediale (02,04), SIGGRAPH (00), ISEA (02,04), Whitney Museum of
American Art's ArtPort (03), Ars Electronica (02,04) and others.

--> Josh On was born in New Zealand, and now resides in San Francisco. In
the between years he studied sociology at the University of Canterbury, New
Zealand, taught English in Japan, and studied Computer Related Design at the
Royal College of Art in London. He went to college through the dot com boom,
and went to the Futurefarmers studio in San Francisco to witness the bust.
He made the hand biting website and still thinks the
internet has potential and that socialism is possible.

--> Kathy Rae Huffman is Director of Visual Art, at Cornerhouse. Cornerhouse
is Manchester's international centre for contemporary art, media and cinema.
Huffman specialises in creating exhibitions and opportunities for artists to
integrate digital film, internet, sound and video with contemporary art
practice, to analyse and explore their social, personal and theoretical
concerns. She is co-moderator and founder of FACES, an international net
community and mailing list for women, at, since 1997. She
has co-chaired the Art Show for Eurographics 04, 'Science by Artists', held
this year in Grenoble, 30 Aug-3 Sept.

--> Marcos Weskamp was born in Argentina 1977. Graduated graphic designer in
Tokyo in 2001. Self proclaimed Artist, illustrator, Information Designer,
Web Technologist. Mostly interested in the fields of Semiotics, Information
Visualization, Computer Supported Collaborative Work, Network Theory and
Online Social Environments Design. Speaks, reads and writes spanish, english
and Japanese. Will be pursuing a Masters degree at Interaction Design
Institute IVREA in Italy.

--> Melinda Rackham is based in east coast Australia, and has just completed
her PhD on avatar identity and construction in MU Virtual Space. She has
been online for around a decade, dipping into debates and textual spaces,
while producing some great early works of mostly viewable at . Rackham founded the -empyre- mailing list in 2002 and was
recently the curator of Networked Media at the Australian Centre for the
Moving Image.


[queer non object oriented radio signal]


[queer non object oriented radio signal]
Jaye Hayes + Jason Sweeney
June 7-13, 2004

sub > bootlab [berlin] + dub > acmi [melbourne]

part of '2004: australian culture now' ACMI + NGV

noo media (non object oriented media) is a creative strategy initiated
by Jaye Hayes & Jason Sweeney during a residency at Radio 90 (Banff
Centre for the Arts, Canada).

qnoors is an ongoing perversion of the send/receive binary, an
experimental radio research practice that fails to deliver static

over 7 days, subliminal + dubhustler will assemble 2 low-fi
transmission/reception sites,
shape-shifting temporary operation centres for collecting, trashing,
feeding, falling thru portals
& crying over data sent over various oceans and ethers.

onsite in melbourne: jason (dub) will inhabit a cardboard box
(un)structure in the acmi ground
level foyer (near the Memory Grid), creating an active (& sometimes
non-active) installation.
visitations, remote communications and sustenance welcome.

onsite in berlin: jaye (sub) will inhabit various insecure inboxes
at/in/around bootlab, while she attunes her radiobody to the berlin
airwaves & recycles EU scrap data for remote relay.

> a workspace not a showcase.

> a telemetric process evolving from an organic exchange of
disturbances within an unstable
net-work of failures and disconnections, transgressions and
random access online >>> blog-life, sound-store + image decay, endless
lists, webchat, unstable
connections, visitor input and regrets

about the qnoors operators >>>
subliminal + dubhustler
net-radio outcasters, queer operators with outlaw attitude, secret
audio agents with hidden agendas, unidentified signal testers, bedroom
bleepers, remote communicators displaced between unnamed frequencies,
broken bandwidths and lost highways... our mission: to generate queer
post-consumer noise, submerged autonomous troublemaking,
mis-communicated dissent; to resist the produce/consume binary. we
harbour a delinquent disregard for the linear notion of productivity
and the corproate gloss of high tech production. we like using
technology that fails more often than we do. failure is the noo success.