ryan griffis
Since 2002
Works in United States of America

Ryan Griffis currently teaches new media art at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He often works under the name Temporary Travel Office and collaborates with many other writers, artists, activists and interesting people in the Midwest Radical Culture Corridor.
The Temporary Travel Office produces a variety of services relating to tourism and technology aimed at exploring the non-rational connections existing between public and private spaces. The Travel Office has operated in a variety of locations, including Missouri, Chicago, Southern California and Norway.

Is MySpace a Place?

Networked Performance pointed me toward an interview (download in PDF)with Networked Publics speaker Henry Jenkins and Networked Publics friend danah boyd about Myspace. The site, popular with teenagers, has become increasingly controversial as parents and the press raise concerns about the openness of information on the site and the vulnerability this supposedly poses to predators (Henry points out that only .1% of abductions are by strangers) and the behavior of teens towards each other (certainly nothing new, only now in persistent form). In another essay on Identity Production in Networked Culture, danah suggests that Myspace is popular not only because the technology makes new forms of interaction possible, but because older hang-outs such as the mall and the convenience store are prohibiting teens from congregating and roller rinks and burger joints are disappearing.

This begs the question, is Myspace media or is it space? Architecture theorists have long had this thorn in their side. "This will kill that," wrote Victor Hugo with respect to the book and the building. In the early 1990s, concern about a dwindling public culture and the character of late twentieth century urban space led us to investigate Jürgen Habermas's idea of the public sphere. But the public sphere, for Habermas is a forum, something that, for the most part, emerges in media and in the institutions of the state:

The bourgeois public sphere may be conceived above all as the sphere of private people come together as a public; they soon claimed the public sphere regulated from above against the public authorities themselves, to engage them in a debate over the general rules governing relations in the basically privatized but publicly relevant sphere of commodity exchange and social labor. The medium of this political confrontation was peculiar and without historical precedent: people's ...


SWITCH: Issue 22

Carlos Castellanos:

HI everyone. Just wanted to announce the new issue of SWITCH:

SWITCH : The online New Media Art Journal of the CADRE Laboratory for
New Media at San Jose State University

http://switch.sjsu.edu switch@cadre.sjsu.edu

SWITCH Journal is proud to announce the launch of Issue 22: A Special
Preview Edition to ISEA 2006/ ZeroOne San Jose.

As San Jose State University and the CADRE Laboratory are serving as
the academic host for the ZeroOne San Jose /ISEA 2006 Symposium,
SWITCH has dedicated itself to serving as an official media
correspondent of the Festival and Symposium. SWITCH has focused the
past three issues of publication prior to ZeroOne San Jose/ISEA2006
on publishing content reflecting on the themes of the symposium. Our
editorial staff has interviewed and reported on artists, theorists,
and practitioners interested in the intersections of Art & Technology
as related to the themes of ZeroOne San Jose/ ISEA 2006. While some
of those featured in SWITCH are part of the festival and symposium,
others provide a complimentary perspective.

Issue 22 focuses on the intersections of CADRE and ZeroOne San Jose/
ISEA 2006. Over the past year, students at the CADRE Laboratory for
New Media have been working intensely with artists on two different
residency projects for the festival – “Social Networking” with Antoni
Muntadas and the City as Interface Residency, “Karaoke Ice” with
Nancy Nowacek, Marina Zurkow & Katie Salen. Carlos Castellanos,
James Morgan, Aaron Siegel, all give us a sneak preview of their
projects which will be featured at the ISEA 2006 exhibition. Alumni
Sheila Malone introduces ex_XX:: post position, an exhibition
celebrating the 20th anniversary of the CADRE Institute that will run
as a parallel exhibition to ZeroOne San Jose/ ISEA 2006. LeE
Montgomery provides a preview of NPR (Neighborhood Public Radio)
presence at ...


Art & Mapping

The North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS) has released a special issue of their journal, Cartographic Perspectives:
Art and Mapping Issue 53, Winter 2006 Edited by Denis Wood and and John Krygier Price: $25
The issue includes articles by kanarinka, Denis Wood, Dalia Varanka and John Krygier, and an extensive catalogue of map artists compiled by Denis Wood.


[-empyre-] Liquid Narrative for June 2006

Christina McPhee:

hi all, I am not sure we got this message out to Rhizome!

Please join our guests this month, Dene Grigar (US), Jim Barrett
(AU/SE), Lucio Santaella (BR), and Sergio Basbaum (BR) , with
moderator Marcus Bastos (BR), for a spirited discussion of "Liquid
Narratives" ----- digital media story telling with a dash, perhaps,
of 'aura' .

Here's the intro from Marcus:

The topic of June at the - empyre - mailing list will be Liquid Narratives. The concept of 'liquid narrative' is interesting in that it allows to think about the unfoldings of contemporary languages beyond tech achievements, by relating user controlled applications with formats such as the essay (as described by Adorno in "Der Essay als Form", The essay as a form) and procedures related to the figure of the narrator (as described by Benjamin in his writings about Nikolai Leskov). Both authors are accute critics of modern culture, but a lot of his ideas can be expanded towards contemporary culture. As a matter of fact, one of the main concerns in Benjamin's essay is a description of how the rise of modernism happens on account of an increasing nprivilege of information over knowledge, which is even more intense nowadays. To understand this proposal, it is important to remember how Benjamin distinguishes between an oral oriented knowledge, that results from 'an experience that goes from person to person' and is sometimes anonymous, from the information and authoritative oriented print culture. One of the aspects of this discussion is how contemporary networked culture rescues this 'person to person' dimension, given the distributed and non-authoritative procedures that technologies such as the GPS, mobile phones and others stimulate.


state of the planet infographics

a small collection of beautiful information graphics documenting the current state of the planet.
see also gapminder & 3d data globe.


Discussions (909) Opportunities (8) Events (16) Jobs (0)

anti-war censorhsip

apparently the networks had no problem with the
unsubstantiated claims made by Bush...

Anti-War Ads Rejected During Bush Speech
Tue Jan 28,11:43 PM ET
By JOHN CURRAN, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The Comcast cable television
company rejected ads that an anti-war group wanted to
air during President Bush (news - web sites)'s State
of the Union speech, saying they included
unsubstantiated claims.

Peace Action Education Fund had spent $5,000 to have
six 30-second ads aired on CNN by Philadelphia-based
Comcast beginning Tuesday night. During his speech,
Bush was expected to reiterate his case for war.

The ads were to be broadcast in the Washington, D.C.,
area. But Comcast's legal department notified the
group Tuesday morning that the ads would not air.

"Comcast runs advertisements from many sources
representing a wide range of viewpoints, pro and con,"
Comcast spokesman Mitchell Schmale said in a statement
issued Tuesday evening. "However, we must decline to
run any spot that fails to substantiate certain claims
or charges. In our view, this spot raises such

The statement did not specify what Comcast, the
nation's largest cable company, objected to.

The ads show citizens expressing opposition to war
with Iraq and were to run twice on Tuesday, Wednesday
and Thursday nights.

The idea was to reach Congress members, Cabinet
members and other Washington decision makers, said the
Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the
2,000-member peace group, which is based in Princeton.

"This is an outrageous infringement on our First
Amendment rights, in the center of our democracy,
Washington, D.C.," he said.


On the Net:


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more wacky scam-spam

original spam message:

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USD18.7M being proceeds of a contract he executed here

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commercial bank account if you wish.
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FWD: Coco Fusco on Thacker on Rifkin on Bio-Art

Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 14:36:43 EST
From: TONGOLELE@aol.com
Subject: Re: <nettime> Fwd: Aesthetic Biology,
Biological Art (Rifkin,
bioart, science)

Dear Eugene
I wish I could respond to all your points in detail,
but time limits
workloads prevent it. However, I read your defense of
biotech art not
just as
response to Rivkin's text but as one skirmish in a
larger, longer
that is being played out in various cultural sectors,
including the
and the terrain of "avant-garde" aesthetic and
theoretical practice and
recognize in your defense some very familiar tropes.
The "defense of
science" position coming from sectors of the new media
community I
argue, needs to be interrogated. The frequent
accusations that those
critique are essentialists about nature, about
identity, neo-Luddites
phobic about science really need to be put aside for a
moment if any
kind of
serious discussion is going to happen. In short, I'd
say you and others
stereotyping and fetishizing those who criticize your
position and this
creates a smokescreen that deters self-reflection on
the aesthetics and
politics of biotech art. Not all criticism of what
biotech art is comes
people who are intellectually naive or uninformed
about science and
art. Like
any other self proclaimed avant garde of western art
history, biotech
have claimed that they are redefining art practice and
therefore the
rules don't apply to them. But that heroic stance and
imperviousness to
criticism sounds a bit hollow and self-serving after a
especially when
the demand for inclusion in mainstream art
institutions, art
departments in
universities, art curricula, artworld money and art
press is so strong.
biotech artists want to be institutionalized as they
clearly do, they
inevitably going to be subjected to processes of
evaluation by the
agents of
those institutions.

I don't think it makes sense for you to feel that your
field is being
out. Every art fad goes through boom and bust cycles
and biotech art is
susceptible to such vicissitudes. That said, biotech
art is directly
implicated in the entrenchment of new scientific
discourses as the
explanation of everything" in the present moment. I
agree with Virilio,
argues in Crepuscular Dawn, that science is not just
research or
discovery --
it is our politics and it is imperial in its exercise
of power. It is a
technology of social and political control, managed
and financed by the
military and designed for global domination -- and art
that engages
it is impossible to divorce from that nexus. Biotech
art then, is not
disinterested, not is it ever just about art or beauty
or about a
practice that is pure or objective. Because of this, I
find the
attempts by
many biotech art endorsers to celebrate their endeavor
as if it were
just about
a scientific or aesthetic pursuit to be disingenuous.
Its very rhetoric
transcendence of the human is itself an violent act of
erasure, a
discourse that entails the creation of "slaves" as
others that must be
dominated. Even those who claim to be deconstructing
biotech in their
practice depend on a rhetoric of transcendence that
any other form of artistic or political engagement.

A few years ago, when hype about the Human Genome
Project was plastered
across every newspapers on a regular basis , and art
institutions began
searching for new sources of funding through alliances
with science,
art was all the rage. I realize that many people who
took it up were
by Baudrillard's claim that cloning was paradigmatic
of the age of
and thus to make art about this phenomenon was to be
in tune with the
zeitgeist. It is also evident that the last wave of
art about science
been dominated by a drive to draw parallels between
digitalization and
molecularization, to find in the mathematical
structures of the
machinic and
the organic a the "beauty" of some kind of
transcendent truth. But that
utopian vision of this venture ennobles and masks the
economic and
underpinnings of the artworld's investment in a social
issue that
appeared at
least at one time to be very fundable and politically
("post-identitarian") because it came wrapped in the
language of
science, and
"accessible" to new audiences that art institutions
are always looking
develop. Furthermore, none of the promoters of the
recent love affair
art and science seem very open to an interrogation of
how university
programs are finding ways to link up with science as a
Many universities have lost large portions of their
endowments in the
downturn of the stock market and as a result are
compelled to seek more
income from scientific research grants. In short,
there is nothing
disinterested or pure about what is happening with art
and science, and
the end, money and power are determinant. So biotech
art may be
presented as
innovative because it is fundable, not because the art
is that radical
beautiful or interesting.

The Genome project is not as newsworthy anymore, and
in a post 9/11
the fad in new media has shifted to questions of
globalization, which
to my
mind are often posed in very problematic terms. In any
case, now that
spotlight has dimmed, it is par for the course that
some arbiters would
well is the biotech art out there any good? Is it
interesting? Is it
Does it communicate anything that straightforward
information does
not? Is the art being used to endorse an ideology? It
seems to me that
are logical questions to ask when faced with a lot of
art that present
science as a spectacle that we are to be in awe. It
also seems like
questions to ask the artists themselves, many of whom
are very
about their motives, about their "love" of science (as
if this would
them immune to political and economic investment in
championing it),
about questions of quality, which, as old fashioned as
they may seem,
asked about any kind of cultural expression, and not
always for
conservative reasons. Audiences and critics usually do
get their say in
matters, whether artists and their promoters want to
hear it or not.

The last wave of biotech art does not represent the
first time in the
of art that visual artists have engaged with hard
science, nor is the
time that artists have engaged with social issues and
political issues.
no discourse on biotech art and no biotech artwork
I've seen
that this history exists nor is any dialogue with that
attempted in a
rigorous manner. The assumption is invariably that
biotech art is
new, a claim that quickly turns into a defense against
any critical
evaluation. Furthermore, in every discussion I have
had with the
bureaucrats and artists who are touting the current
intertwining of art
science as new and radical, no one has wanted to
review the history of
and why hard science has been allowed to influence art
production and
criticism in the past, how myths about the neutrality
of science and
superiority of western science have remained intact
and have been
enforced by
the imposition of scientistic vocabulary in art
criticism, as was the
case in
the 1950s, for example. Yet, to my mind, there is a
between the retrograde universalism evoked by the
"return to beauty" as
organizing principle of visual art in the late 1990s,
as represented by
powerful critics such as Dave Hickey, and the
celebration of the
discovery of
"master codes" that function as universal truths in
the discourse of
art. Even the heroic radicalism in much of CAE's
writing and their
that the molecular is everything and no other battles
are meaningful
alarmingly dismissive and positions science as the
only discourse of
For all their claims to want to share knowledge about
I find it quite telling that there is no sustained
effort in the work
build alliances with grassroots indigenous groups who
elaborate their
tactics against being run over by corporate science,
or with activists
poor communities who are developing methods for
tackling environmental
racism, developing better quality food supplies, or
fighting against
turned in lab rats for pharmaceutical research. In
other words, there
very important embodied politics of contestation of
corporate science
while buttressed by various modes of identity politics
and sometimes
in language that deifies nature, deserve
acknowledgement, respect, and
attention, as they are more compelling to the large
sectors of the
disenfranchised than the posthuman lingo of biotech

My own skepticism about biotech has to do with
political and ethical
questions more than aesthetic ones. I am profoundly
disturbed by the
systematic suppression of the roots of genetics in
eugenics and about
ways that fascination with biotech forecloses analysis
of its
connection with
deeply racist ideas that glorify the engineering of a
supra-human order
is leading to the justification of the absolute
dehumanization of the
majority of the world population. I cannot just sit
back as you do and
one sentence to the effect that well yeah biotech and
science is doing
pretty creepy things but hey it's exciting and it's
the future. It
enough for me that for example Fakeshop would just
invoke the poor
masses of
people in the third world who sell their organs and
then go on to
ghoulish sci fi spectacles about the "post-human" that
make the process
appear so dramatic and exciting -- too many details
about the global
forces of
racialized and class oppression get downplayed in that

I would also point out that I do think critics who
have noted that the
quality of much biotech art is either predicated on
process as spectacle (ie, look at the glow in the dark
rat or watch
designer baby grown before your eyes); or on the
suppression of the
through the construction of work with texts, graphs
and data (biotech
conceptualism); or on the staged parody of scientific
method as
critique. None of the methods are new, radical in
themselves or
recipes for success. The " biotech as entertainment"
approach collapses
distance between art and propaganda and often results
in work that
looks very
much like "feel-good" documentaries about science on
public television,
albeit with a weird, hipster twist. Crucial questions
about the ethics
politics of biotechnology are completely occluded by
the fetishizing of
technologies' visualization of heretofore invisible
processes. The act
illustrating and foregrounding scientific method
becomes a substitute
critical reflection on the politics of science. This
kind of approach
functions as an implicit endorsement of biotech,
regardless of what
may claim their own personal positions to be. The more
while politically well intentioned as a mapping of the
of the
organic via science, is very difficult to pull off as
compelling visual
In terms of expediency, I am left wondering in the
face of this work
why the
information is being presented in an art context,
since it seems as
though I
would grasp it better as a book. Unlike early
conceptual art, which was
minimal its use of text and quite humble in its
materials, biotech
conceptualism is often overloaded and overcoded. It's
so busy, so hard
decipher, so hard to read through and so hard to
process that the
tends to muddle rather than elucidate. There is a long
history of
analysis in sculpture and installation, which began in
the 60s with the
mapping of natural ecosystems and organic cycles and
moved through the
plotting of social systems onto institutional critique
of social and
institutions, but none of that rich history appears to
be drawn on by
artists. Finally, the parody of scientific method are
usually limited
their physical situation to art contexts, which
deflates the political
of the parody. Sure, many of those artists attend
meetings with "real"
scientists, but in that contexts they become advisors
on how to
science, which is hardly what I would call a critical
intervention in
scientific institutions. Unlike parodies of corporate
entities, which
shoulders" with real corporations and generate
productive tension in
so, or parodies of ethnographic discourses that are
located in natural
history museums and dislodge the status of
anthropology as science, or
parodies of museological language that were
strategically located in
museums, and thus forced a certain critical reflection
on the politics
each place, the many biotech parodies located in the
artworld encourage
somewhat problematically self-serving views of artists
as "better
or of scientific process as a better way of making art
than any other.

I don't think that most critics of biotech hoopla are
I think they are more worried about a political
culture in which
forces are destroying nature, natural resources, and
human beings and
people who see that is just fine and dandy. Yes I know
I'm already
transgenic foods and that my life may be saved by
biotechnology -- but
it may
also be terminated by it. Having respect for organic
life is not
wacko or naive. Many of us see the price of living in
a world of
simulation and posthuman engineering as too dear --
too many are shut
out, too
much is imperiled, and the loss of concern for ethics
is more
terrifying than
liberating for most people in the world . The ability
to maintain world
as a goal is lost when technological innovation is
predicated on making
war --
that was what Walter Benjamin once said would happen
if technology
capitalism. Losing respect for human life is certainly
the underbelly
of any
militaristic adventure, and lies at the root of the
racist and classist
that have justified the violent use of science for
centuries. I don't
there is any reason to believe that suddenly, that
kind of science will
disappear because some artists find beauty in biotech.

Coco Fusco

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Hmm... what will the WTO say?

Dutch Homosexual Fights to Ban Gay-Shooting Game
By Jana Sanchez

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch gay activist is fighting
to outlaw the import of a U.S. computer game in which
the player can shoot homosexuals, junkies, dogs and

Henk Krol, editor of the leading Dutch gay newspaper,
has asked prosecutors to start court proceedings and
is lobbying parliamentarians to outlaw the game,
called "Postal 2."

"It is disgusting. In the Netherlands we have
anti-discrimination laws to protect people from
discrimination based on sexual preference and that
makes it easier to do something," Krol told Reuters on

Postal 2, produced by Arizona-based Running with
Scissors, is due to become available in the
Netherlands in late March.

Vince Desi, who runs Running with Scissors, said the
game did not discriminate against homosexuals.

"It's definitely not anti-gay. You know what? It's a
game -- get over it," Desi told Reuters by telephone
from Tucson.

Desi said the player can shoot gay people but does not
have to do so, and does not win any points for
shooting anyone.

"In the game, the player plays the role of a character
called The Postal Dude. He lives in a town where there
are all kinds of people, white, black, skinny, fat,
straight and gay. You can play the game in a passive
role without killing anyone," Desi said.

"We are not political," he added.


Postal 2 is a new version of the firm's earlier game
"Postal." That game has been banned in Australia, but
Krol said it was widely sold in Dutch toy stores.

The target of that game was to eliminate hostile
elements and unarmed civilians in city streets, parks
and suburbs using a variety of weapons. The player
could exit the game by "committing suicide."

Krol says he is not certain the authorities will be
able to prevent Dutch residents from buying the game
from the company's Web site, but hopes his campaign to
prevent it being sold in toy stores will make buyers
aware of the game's content.

"A lot of these games are being bought by parents and
grandparents and one of our goals is to get people to
understand what they are buying," Krol said.

Desi said he did not believe a ban on selling the game
in the Netherlands would apply to Internet sales.

"I don't think anything would prevent people from
buying it on the Internet," he said.

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Re: Do You Have the V.2.0 Human Upgrade

> New Genre Artist/body-sculptor Natasha Vita-More has created a
> web-site for 'Primo Posthuman,' her plan for making humans live

>why is that more exciting than Stelarc's work? The third arm seems a little disappointing... I think some kind of comparison could be interesting....


certainly, it's not that it's more interesting/exciting than stelarc's work. but why shouldn't all the facets of posthuman idealism in art (and any where else it shows up) be up for criticism? do we let people get away with things because they're not as exciting as something else?