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 (7) Events (16) Jobs (0)

Re: wargame

i believe you might be looking for this, but i'm not sure.


Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age

exhibition of interest
November 13 - December 6 | New York
January 25 - February 21 | Chicago


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discussion of new media and political economy

This is a solicitation for an open discussion of the political economy of "new media" and patronage. As part of a project called "Contextin' Art" artofficial construction media would like to document, consolidate, and archive such a discussion through the Rhizome platform.
While we don't want to limit or control the discussion (as if...), we have our own starting points/questions. These are of course, up for argument.
Refering back to methods of institutional critique, there are different tactics. One positions (or can be read that way) deliberate relationships between invested interests and the support of culture, and is a critique of conscious power, such as the popular reading of Haacke's work. Another looks for power in "unconcious," yet systematic, actions that don't necessarily add up to cultural conspiracies, yet still create environments of control, surveillance, and censorship, as in Andrea Fraser's work.
The DMCA issue, as exemplified by the Thing/Verio/Dow incident, brings up other questions regarding support.
What are the implications of the support structure for institutional level new media culture, whether overt or not, like Honeywell's major support for the Walker's program.
With the current US marching and defense build up, the support and connection between new media culture and the defense/IT industry presents something to consider.
And also with all the posturing of open source and gift economics in art, what can these practices/concepts mean in this context? What about the reciprocal relationships between initiatives like Rhizome and larger institutions?
Also, why does there seem to be such a lack of networked art that continues the strategy of institutional critique when there's so much overtly political work being done?
It's all "talk," but what do people think?
artofficial construction media
"a collaborative effort to screw in a light bulb"


FCC regulations

not web related specifically, but certainly pertinent
in how US interests will play out. (toomey rocks as
This article can be found on the web at
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i 030113&s=toomey
Empire of the Air


[from the January 13, 2003 issue]

For too long, musicians have had too little voice in
the manufacture, distribution and promotion of their
music and too little means to extract fair support and
compensation for their work. The Future of Music
Coalition was formed in June 2000 as a not-for-profit
think tank to tackle this problem, advocating new
business models, technologies and policies that would
advance the cause of both musicians and citizens. Much
of the work the FMC has done in the past two years has
focused on documenting the structures of imbalance and
inequity that impede the development of an American
musicians' middle class, and translating
legislative-speak into language that musicians and
citizens can understand. Our most challenging work,
however, and the project of which we are most proud,
is our analysis of the effects of radio deregulation
on musicians and citizens since the passage of the
1996 Telecommunications Act.

Radio is a public resource managed on citizens' behalf
by the federal government. This was established in
1934 through the passage of the Communications Act,
which created a regulatory body, the Federal
Communications Commission, and laid the ground rules
for the regulation of radio. The act also determined
that the spectrum would be managed according to a
"trusteeship" model. Broadcasters received fixed-term,
renewable licenses that gave them exclusive use of a
slice of the spectrum for free. In exchange, they were
required to serve the "public interest, convenience
and necessity." Though they laid their trust in the
mechanics of the marketplace, legislators did not turn
the entire spectrum over to commercial broadcasters.
The 1934 act included some key provisions that were
designed to foster localism and encourage diversity in

Although changes were made to limits on ownership and
FCC regulatory control in years hence, the
Communications Act of 1934 remained essentially intact
until it was thoroughly overhauled in 1996 with the
passage of the Telecommunications Act. But even before
President Clinton signed the act into law in February
1996, numerous predictions were made regarding its
effect on the radio industry:


Wark's response to Lovink/Schneider

Re: From Tactical Media to Digital Multitudes
Response by McKenzie Wark From: McKenzie Wark
To: nettime-l@bbs.thing.net
Subject: Re: <nettime> From Tactical Media to Digital
Date: Sat, 02 Nov 2002 01:26:33 -0500
Lovink and Schneider ask the right question in 'A
Virtual World is Possible'. What is to be done?
Unfortunately, they have not done it. Yes, there is a
need for a political position outside of the dialectic
of the street and cyberspace. Yes, there is a need for
a new position for new media outside of the dialectic
of the media market and the art market. And yes, the
place to look is in deconstructing the
techno-libertarian ideologies of the 90s. But what is
required at this juncture is a tool with which to
prise it open to discover how it worked.

He was wrong about a lot of things, but Marx did
enjoin us to ask what he called "the property
question", and insisted that it was where the critical
spirit begins and ends. And what if we ask the
"property question" of the jumble of symptoms with
which Lovink & Schneider confront us? The network of
power starts to reveal itself more clearly.

Did the new movements arise out of thin air? Or did
they arise out of a new stage in the development of
the commodity economy? At both the level of the tools
it had at its disposal, and the range of issues it
confronted, the new movement confronts a new class
power. Only rarely is this class power named and
identified at an abstract level. The symptoms of its
(mis)rule have been charted by brave advocates and
actvists. But we are all merely blind folks touching
different parts of an elephant and trying to describe
the totality from the detail we sense before us, in
our fragment of everyday life.

So let's ask the property question of all the
fragments of resistance that appear to us in everyday
life. Start in the underdeveloped world. How is it
possible that the productive engines of commodity
society find themselves shipped, by and large, out of
the overdeveloped world and into the under- dveloped
world? What new power makes it possible to consign the
manufacturing level of production to places deprived
of technical and knowledge infrastructure? A new
division of labour makes it possible to cut the mere
making of things off from all of their other
properties. The research, design and marketing will
remain, on the whole, in the over- developed world,
and will be protected by a new and increasingly global
regime of property, intellectual property. As for the
rest, whole continents can compete for dubious honour
of mere manufacturing.

What makes this separation possible is at one and the
same time a legal and a technical distinction.
Information emerges as a separate realm, a world apart
as Lovink has perceptively argued for some time. But
he has not stopped to inquire is to how or why, and
without first asking how or why we cannot get far with
the big question,: what is to be done. So let's look
closely at the way the development of a *vectoral*
technology has made possible a relative separation
from its materiality. Which is not to say that
information is immaterial. Rather, it has an
*abstract* relation to the material. It no longer
matters to its integrity as information whether it is
embodied in this cd-rom or that flashcard or that
stack of paper.

A virtual world is indeed possible, precisely because
of this coming into existence of abstract information.
But what is information? The product of a labor of
encoding and decoding. Just as the commodity economy
made manual labor abstract in the machine age, so too
it has made intellectual labor abstract in the
information age.

But the virtual world finds itself constrained by a
form of property alien to it. No longer confine to a
particular materiality, information really does yearn
to be free. But it is not free, it is everywhere in
chains. It is forced into the constraint of a very new
creation -- intellectual property. On the ruins of the
commons that copyright and patent were once supposed
to guarrantee arises an absolute privatisation of
information as property.

And so, with a whole new -- virtual -- continent to
claim as its own, class power finds a new basis, and
remakes that other world, the everyday world, in its
image. The abstraction of information from materiality
as a legal and technical possibility becomes the shape
of the world. A world in which the mere embodiment of
a concept in a commodity can be consigned to bidding
wars between the desperate.

This bifurcation affects both the agricultural and the
manufacturing economies. The patents on seed stocks
are of a piece with the copyrights on designer logos.
Both are a means by which a new class power asserts
its place in the world, based not on the ownership of
land or of physical maunfacturing plant, but in the
concepts and designs on which the world will be set to

In the overdeveloped world, one discovers symptoms of
the same emerging totality. Workers in manufacturing
struggle to hang on to jobs in an economy that they
alone are no longer the only ones equipped to do. So
called 'state monopoly capital' is a mere husk of its
former self. The emerging class interest has a very
different relation to the state.

Meanwhile, there are the various phenomena of the 'new
economy'. While the bubble may have burst, there is a
risk in too low an evaluation of the significance of
the media and communication revolution as an over
reaction to the excessive optimism of the 90s. Just as
railways and the telegraph created a boom and bust,
but also created an enduring geography of economic and
strategic power, so too has the latest, digital, phase
in the development of the vector.

One should not right off the military dimension to the
new class power quite as readily as Lovink and
Schneider do, either. On the one hand it is the old
oil-power politics. But there is a new dimension, a
new confidence in the ability to use the new vectoral
military technologies as a cheap and efficient way of
achieving global redistirbutions of power. The same
abstraction of information from materiality that
happens in technology and is sanctioned by
intellectual property law is happening in military
technology. The military wing of the new class
interest wants a 'new' new world order to ratify its

This is not your grandparents ruling class we are
confronting here. It is a new entity, or a new entity
in formation. Perhaps it is a new fraction of capital.
Perhaps it is a new kind of ruling class altogether.
Remember, there have been two, not one but two, phases
to rule in the commodity econmy era. It has already
passed through an agricultural and a manufacturing
phase. In each case it developed out of the a
distictive step in the abstraction of property law.
First came the privatisation of land, and out of it a
landlord class. Then came the privatisation of
productive resources, a more mobile, labile kind of
property, and a new ruling class -- the capitalist
class proper. And perhaps, with the emergence of the
new global regime of intellectual property, we witness
the emergence of a new ruling class, what I would call
the vectoralist class.

As each ruling class is based on a more abstract form
of property, and a more flexible kind of vector, than
its predecessor, its mode of ruling also becomes more
abstract, more intangible. Its ideologues would love
to persuade us that the ruling class no longer even
exists. And yet its handiwork are everywhere, in the
subordination of the underdeveloped world to new
regimes of slavery, to the slow motion implosion of
maunfacturing economy in the overdeveloped world, to
the deployment of ever faster, ever sleeker vectors
along which ever more abstract flows of information
shuttle, making the world over in the abstract image
of the commodity.

And what is to be done? One does not confront the new
abstract totality with rhetorics of multiplicity
alone. Rather, one looks for the abstraction at work
in the world that is capable of producing such a
multiplicity of everyday experiences of frustration,
boredom and suffering. One asks the property question,
and in asking it is lef toward a practice that
constitutes the answer.

This is where so-called new media art has proven to be
both so useful at times, but so willing to cooperate
in its own cooptation. When artists explore not just
the technology, but its property dimension as well,
then they create work that has the capacity to point
beyond the privatisation of information that forms the
basis of the power of the vectoral class. The new
media art that matters is counter-vectoral. It offers
itself as a tool for prising open the privatisation of

"Information merely circles in a parallel world of its
own", as Lovink and Schneider say, precisely because
of the abstraction it undergoes when it becomes
vectoral. The counter-vectoral reconnects information
to the multiplicity by freeing it from the
straightjacket of private property. Indeed, there can
be no talk of 'multitude' until this aspect of its
existence is properly understood. Multitudes do not
exist independently of their means of communication.
The freeing of that means of communication from the
abstraction of the commodity form is the necessary
step towards realising the counter-abstraction that is
latent in the formal concept of the multitude. A
virtual world -- virtual in the true sense -- is
indeed possible. It is what is to be done.
McKenzie Wark
see also:
A hacker manifesto

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