patrick lichty
Since the beginning
Works in Chicago, Illinois United States of America

Patrick Lichty is a digital intermedia artist, writer, and independent curator of over 15 years whose work comments upon the impact of technology on society and how it shapes the perception of the world around us. He works in diverse technological media, including activism, printmaking, kinetics, video, generative music, and neon. He is Editor-in Chief of Intelligent Agent, an electronic arts/culture journal, part of the activist group The Yes Men, and operates IALA Gallery in Baton Rogue, Louisiana.
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The Gospel According to Hermey.

In regards to the past entry I made that echoes my occasional plea for inte=
llectual rigor, I was out for the evening and thought a little bit about wh=
at I had said regarding cranks. What I had said had a lot of levels to it,=
had some anger from getting some pretty undeserved derision earlier (if no=
one else is expected to be perfect, why should I?), had to do with what ar=
e probably romantic reminiscences, as well as some frustration.

What I've come to is to understand that Rhizome changes over time with its =
constituents. There used to be many more individuals who were interested i=
n critical discussion in the past, and in a way, I feel like that veil blin=
ding me to the obvious change in this community over years has dissipated. =
Rhizome is far less homogenous than it used to be, which sometimes overjoy=
s and pains me. It fulfills the diversity of thought ideal, and for that i=
t should be applauded.

Another thought is that in light of this, one's personal standards absolute=
ly are that - local in scope and not applicable to anyone else in such an e=
nvironment. What's good for me isn't necessarily good for you, or what I l=
ike isn't necessarily good and pleasing to you. And, considering the chang=
es in this community to one full of people who are not necessarily, by and =
large, interested in maintaining a dense, theoretical discussion going at a=
ll times (and who would want to? yeesh.) that there would be a lot of peopl=
e who don't like to take a certain approach to discussion, and I can't faul=
t them for that; it's just the way they deal with the subject. In thsi cas=
e, the dinosaur is forced to evolve.

From a personal standpoint, there are certain things I really enjoy in disc=
ussion that I can't expect others to, that's not bad, good or such, it's ju=
st different. There's a certain school of thought that I came up under, an=
d it created some of my lens through which I liek to phrase things. The pe=
ople whom I learned the most from (informally, as I am largely autodidactic=
) were incredibly brilliant people that to speak with was like watching a w=
onderfully intricate clock spinning away the miracles of reality. I loved =
that, and wanted to have that kind of mental acuity.

So, I went off in that direction, and when my brain isn't mush from persona=
l crises like illness or the latest news about cancer-laden parents, I like=
to pick things apart in a very academic way. However, I am not an academi=
c, I only chose to think that way.

Doesn't mean it's right for you. I realize now that I inferred that it had=
to be, and for that, I'm sorry.

My only argument is that I do not understand when the word 'intellectual' c=
omes up, people raise their hands and make farting noises like that's a dir=
ty word. Almost like in American pop culture that being smart isn't cool. =
Like in American mainstream culture, the US is pro-education, but anti-int=
ellectual. You need aneducation for your job, but don't get too smart; we =
can't control you then. My wife gets pissed off because even though she's =
a PhD, I can spell rings and do applied math like no one's biz (when you se=
e the typos, that's mainly due to medical reasons - partial blindness, poss=
ible neurological disorders that are showing themselves).

The point is that I like to think that it's good to have the maximum set of=
information and tools at one's disposal, as knowledge is power, and the wi=
sdom gained from reflecting on that information breeds temperance (hopefull=
y). I can't claim to have wither, but I aspire to these things, as if I eve=
r get them, I can have the incredible privilege of choosing whether I want =
to use them or not.

Once again, doesn't mean it's right for you.

The other thing that's interesting is that knowing one online has nothing t=
o do with them in person. TIm Whid isn't as hard edged, J. Nechtaval is re=
ally laid back and easygoing in person, and so on, Max is great to yak with=
over the phone (whenever it's at a decent hour - I won't let you live down=
the garage band incident), and Joseph's a pretty normal guy in conversatio=
n, although he had no idea he was talking to me. I'm very laid back and de=
finitely not as authoritarian as I am online. I communicate online a lot h=
ow I write, and how I do a lot of my art.

But then I ask you to take a look at my latest video piece, 8 Bits or Less,= and then consider whether I'm the stuck-up serious prig =
I'm sometimes made out to be. If that doesn't work I'll post pictures of m=
e in full Klingon drag or jumping around in a Wookiee costume, or let you i=
n on how I was mercilessly teasing people at the College Art Assciation abo=
ut wanting to take pictures of a Judy Pfaff piece from convention center ca=
twalks clad in rubber pants and carrying a bowling ball (it was a tubular m=
esh, and reminded me of one of those cat toys with a little golf ball in th=
e middle).

There are a couple more points I'd like to make, not saying that they;re ri=
ght for you, but just for your consideration. One's about civil society, a=
nd one's about my level of self-importance.

I'd like to think that in a civil society. The ideal of civilization also =
links etymologically with that of civility. And that social quid pro quo =
is in most of the major spiritual traditions from Christianity on down. I =
know I slipped here, and I apologize for that; I got angry. But when there=
's nothing at stake except for a decent discussion, what is the use of name=
-calling and demeaning others except for some pretty basic motives? Trying=
to treat others well because you'd like it yourself has a lot of benefits.=
I just think it's a good idea.

Doesn't mean it's right for you. (yes, there's a little anger in that turn =
of phrase...)

Lastly there's the matter of Lichty the Great! Puh-leeze. There are the po=
les of noting one's accomplishments in public, which is occasionally necess=
ary from a very pragmatic matter of making things happen, to listing how on=
e helps promote the genre in an attempt to sound like Mother Teresa.

Both are caricatures of the truth. The reality is that I'm just a person w=
ho likes to try to do certain types of work, the ones I show under the 'Pat=
rick Lichty' persona are pretty academic, and to help other artists through=
advocacy, and a lot of advocacy. If I were Lichty the Great, I'd have a d=
ecent income, be jetting internationally, and endlessly going on about how =
great I was instead of talking about anyone else and worrying about whether=
my wife and I might lose our home in the next year (entirely possible). My=
dad's got a lot of gray hair because of me and my various projects, but he=
deals with it. If mom was still cogent, she'd be proud, but then she's bi=

But in short, (too late), I apologize if anyone percieved that I was trying=
to lay down some High Church of Culture doctrine that everyone had to go w=
orship. I probably did, but I understand when I'm dealing globally with is=
sues that should be more individually localized. But then, I also don't ha=
ve to like schoolyard pissing matches because of a thing called freedom of =
speech, (unless it's just theatrics, and that's another matter).

So, if you've gotten this far - thanks. You give enough of a damn about me=
to come this far. Sorry if I got a little high handed, my personal standar=
ds shouldn't be yours. If there's a way I can help with your work now or i=
n the future, let me know.

I hope I've articulated myslef better this time.

Pat Lichty

Civil society


Cupcakes, signal, noise

What's going on is the crank du jour vis-a-vis rhizome raw. For years, we
have our various 'fringes' that intentionally inject noise into the system
for purposes of intellectual colonization (NN, Max, Josh, Joseph) and
control of the conversation. Pretty simple tactic, and very effective.

Of course, there are different interpretations of 1st Amendment rights on
private listservs, from the more intellectually - centered form of dicussion
to the more vitriolic Springer-esque mode of discussion offered (in degrees,
Max's sin with me is sheer volume and occasional steel chair yelling
matches) by our more cranky colleagues.

I've given up on letting it get under my skin, or fighting it. That's why
Rare is around, or will be again. Eventually in a few months, Joseph will
tire or get a clue of the relative unimportance of this list in the larger
scheme of things as he has stated, and realize (unless he's a total
net.geek.crank) that to put such energy into a listserv for the purpose to
see his name on a mailing is pretty onanistic.

I've been here for 5-6 years, more or less. It's a good source for
information, but the level of discussion has definitely gone down on the
whole over the years, and those who are new to this either do not see this
as important, do not understand this idea as they have not been here, or
have other agendas that they wish to inscribe upon the Rhizome community.

Therefore, your only real defense is to exercise some intellectual judo and
just not give them a foothold unless you want to do so. Subscribe to Rare
when it comes if you don't like the intellectual equivalent of Springer.

For the moment, McElroy is our resident Transsexual Nazi Eskimo who's
cheating on her husband with a 57 Plymouth, although he has some interesting
ideas on occasion.

Sorry if I sound condescending, which isn't the case. That involves
personal feelings about the subject, which have been driven out of me long
ago. More like jaded and wistful for good conversation. "Whose
standards?", yes, I've heard that, too. And of course, I'm going to get
pilloried as a know-it-all elitist pig, which happens each time I bring this
up, which is no big deal.

What the ideologue does with the first amendment is analogous to what
Jurassic Park did with genetics, or what industrialists do with

> > Personally, I can't wait till Rachel gets in gear and Rare returns and
> > can all have some decent moderated discussion.

> You really are a scared little man aren't you? Are any of your posts
about > anything besides censoring what someone else said?


Re: And the Ghettoization of the Internet has started

And the Ghettoization of the Internet has startedWhat is the response, then?
TAZ's, virtual sit-ins, parallel net.universes like
----- Original Message -----
From: Liza Sabater-Napier
To: Rhizome_Raw
Cc: Jon Ippolito
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 10:19 AM
Subject: RHIZOME_RAW: And the Ghettoization of the Internet has started

I see the hysteria over the well-being of "the children" no different tha=
n the
hysteria over the well-being of Internet artists. Digital sanctuaries and
kid-friendly Internet domains are just another way of falling to the
regulatory shenanigans of the Rollings Bill. Those smart chips are
going to be used for more than reading DVD-specific code. They
will be used to segregate and track people all over the Internet.

Instead of talking about a digital sanctuary, whether for kids or artists,
we should be talking about digital ghettos, reservations and encampments.
They will not be there to protect our freedoms. They will be there to del=
the fiefdoms of the corporate lords of the Internet.

If there was ever a doubt that the Internet was a territory that could be
conquered and divvied up, well, I think this proves all the doubters wron=


House Passes Kid-Friendly Internet Bill
Tue May 21, 2:41 PM ET

By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday appro=
ved a proposal to create a kid-friendly Internet zone free of violence, por=
nography and other adult material.

By a vote of 406 to 2, the House approved a bill that would set up an are=
a within the United States' ".us" Internet domain allowing only Web sites d=
eemed appropriate for children 12 years old and younger.

Web sites bearing a "" address would have to certify that they do=
not contain sexually explicit material, hate speech, violence or other mat=
erial not suitable for minors.

"The wild West of the World Wide Web will get tamed somewhat," said bill =
sponsor Rep. John Shimkus, an Illinois Republican, at a press conference.

In the Senate, North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan said he will introduce =
similar legislation later in the day with Nevada Republican John Ensign.

Unlike previous attempts to screen out online smut, the bill would regula=
te content only on a corner of the Internet that falls directly under U.S. =
government control. Better known domains such as ".com" and ".net," as well=
as the rest of the ".us" domain, would not be subject to restrictions.

"If you're in Tennessee, Taiwan or Timbuktu, you can publish or speak any=
content you want on the Internet," said co-sponsor Rep. Ed Markey, a Massa=
chusetts Democrat, in remarks on the House floor.

The bill represents the latest attempt to keep children away from the sex=
ually explicit material easily available to anyone with a computer and an I=
nternet connection.

The Supreme Court had thrown out an early attempt, the 1996 Communication=
s Decency Act, as an infringement on free speech. A second, the 1998 Child =
Online Protection Act, remains sidelined by a court injunction.

More recently, lawmakers had hoped the international body that controls d=
omain-name policy would set up a ".kids" domain.

After the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers passed on t=
he idea in November 2000, Markey and Shimkus introduced a bill that would f=
orce it to set up a ".kids" domain.

But they backed off from that plan last fall after witnesses told them it=
would be difficult to dictate policy to ICANN (news - web sites), which is=
not under direct U.S. government control.

The revised bill would place a ".kids" subdomain under the control of Neu=
Star Inc., the Washington-based telecommunications company that won the con=
tract to manage the ".us" country-code domain last fall.

NeuStar would be expected to police the subdomain to ensure it remains fr=
ee of inappropriate content, and it would answer to the Commerce Department=
(news - web sites)'s National Telecommunications and Information Administr=
ation (news - web sites).

Web sites in the domain would be prohibited from linking to sites outside=
it, and they could not set up chat rooms, instant messaging (news - web si=
tes) or other interactive services unless they could certify that they did =
not expose children to pedophiles or pose other risks.

If privately held NeuStar were to lose money on the venture, it could giv=
e control back to the Commerce Department, which would seek another operato=


Artbot 1998

The Lichty Drawing Bot (Similar to the Sumi-E bot, but 2 ferrules)

ca. 1997-1998

The bot is here, but in disrepair.