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The new information ecosystem: cultures of anarchy and closure

The rise of electronic peer-to-peer networks has thrown global entertainment industries into panic mode. They have been clamouring for more expansive controls over personal computers and corporate and university networks. They have proposed radical re-engineering of basic and generally open communicative technologies. And they have complained quite loudly – often with specious data and harsh tones that have had counterproductive public relations results – about the extent of their plight. But th...

The Lens of Images. Desire, Commodities, Media and Hacking

Database offers the technological means as well as the methodological basis for searching, indexing, seeing patterns between media elements. Narrative offers the moral container within which those elements can be organised in such a way that they reinforce the broader moral standpoint. Hacker culture is about living ones life as if authority had already been done away with, as if ones own liberty were a birthright and access to all things were not only possible, but to be expected. [...] Databas...

Mapping territory

How hard it is to write about a world becoming strange, or new, or spooky, after the dotcom crash, after the high hopes of increasing productivity through IT, of readers and writers becoming publishers both, of liberty finally around the corner: a product to be played out in all kinds of gender, racial and cultural roles, a process to drive decision-making transparency in both offline and online processes. Only to have woken up to the actual realization of a highly synergized performance of sear...

Nuovo teatro digitale

Nella definizione più essenziale di teatro [...] non c'è nulla che afferisca all'ambito del tecnologico, del [...] digitale. Allo stesso tempo, non potendo trascurare il fatto che l'incontro fra teatro e nuovi media sia in corso e stia producendo dei frutti, non risulta affatto facile tracciarne un profilo preciso, da un lato a causa della velocità di sviluppo delle tecnologie impiegate dai nuovi mezzi di comunicazione, dall'altro perché i risultati stentano ancora a trovare visibilità se non pr...

Roaming Producers

[...] I was imagining "Roaming Producers", trying to figure out what this could mean: people who move while producing and produce while moving. And then, I noticed that, actually, I don't like these people. Or rather, I'm even afraid of "Roaming Producers". Some of them really scare me. And that is because I was not so much thinking of Roaming Situationists, but rather of Roaming Deleuzians. These are people who see themselves as nomadically roaming the rhizomes of Capitalism. People who have a ...

The Digital Artisan is Dead! Long Live the New Product!

The Digital Artisan was conjured up to describe a new mode of collaborative working. Its shortcomings are twofold: its failure to provide an accompanying redefinition of the outcome (i.e. product) of its collaborations and a thorough understanding of the qualitative changes in collaboration itself. It could be argued that by proclaiming the necessity of generalised standards and interfaces between products, we seem to be re-entering the first phase of the industrial revolution all over again: re...

Open Source DNA?

[...] biotech fields like bioinformatics are practically demonstrating the ways in which boundary between the body and technology are being transformed, and, in some cases, effaced altogether. No longer is the body the privileged domain of "nature," just as our technologies are more than inert objects we simply control and use. It appears that biotech research is delving deeper into the carbon-silicon barrier, and finding not a barrier at all, but rather a permeable membrane that is constantly c...

Useless Utilities

The behaviour of software companies, jealously guarding copyright of their expensive products is not usually associated with artistic approaches to making software, but in these cases it does work both conceptually (forcing the user to pay clearly defines this as "not just art"), and economically, allowing them to maintain financial independence from corporate, art-world or state funding. Using these tools, and certainly programming them does address problems of authorship and intellectual prope...

Lev Manovich: how to speak new media

We can talk about a painting using such terms as 'composition', 'flatness', 'colour scheme' and we can talk about a film using such terms as 'plot', 'cinematography', and 'editing.' With new media, the existing discourse focuses on 2 extremes: either purely industrial terms such as 'Flash animation' or 'JPEG image' (which all describe software used and don't tell you much about the work's poetics and the user's experience of it), or rather abstract theoretical terms created during the previous h...

N is for Nature

It is only when second nature develops that nature appears as a concept. Once the techniques are in place for making nature into a resource, for trapping or taming it, an appreciation arises for nature in its raw state, a state that only appears at the point where it is no longer a general condition. What cultures represent to themselves as nature is always a world we have lost. Nature, which appears as an origin, appears only retroactively, as it disappears. The lost world of nature exercises a...

Software Art

Since more than a decade, festivals, awards, exhibitions and publications exist for various forms of computer art: computer music, computer graphics, electronic literature, Net Art and computer-controlled interactive installations, to name only a few, each of them with its own institutions and discourse. Classifications like the above show that attention is usually being paid to how, i.e. in which medium, digital artworks present themselves to the audience, externally. They also show that digita...

Telepresence: Invocation and Evocation

What has changed with computer-based media forms, including advanced teleconferencing, robotic telepresence, and virtual reality games, is a tighter integration between invocational and evocational components. The methods that address things and call them in from out of view (the invocations), and those that give them form (the evocations), have converged. [...] But what is most unsettling about experiencing new systems of telepresence, at least until they are rendered natural by familiarity, is...


Il fenomeno net.art, che comprende esperienze artistiche molto diverse tra loro, viene comunemente definito per contrasto. Ci si riferisce alla capacità del medium Internet di comunicazione interattiva per distinguere la net.art da altre forme di "art on the web" in cui l'opera è fruibile anche off-line.

Information cannot be free

Finally, the purpose of this essay is to dispell the popular "information should be free" rubric, to show that our reality is merely the interplay of these two forces: noise, and information (or as termed in previous essays communication and information). We cannot base social policies on this platform, and it is utterly futile to try to realize it (Freenet, ect. ). Often times, social inequality is blamed on the percieved obstruction to the access to information. Social inequality, I hypothesiz...

Ripercorrendo l’epopea Napster. Storia di un mito o ricordo per una meteora?

Tenteremo di comprendere come siano bastati poco più di due anni di iperattività a far tremare il regime oligarchico delle Big Five, le cinque grandi case discografiche mondiali (Vivendi Universal, Bmg, Emi, Aol Time Warner, Sony) e a far impazzire i giudici americani, dimostrando come il recentissimo Digital Millennium Copyright Act sia in realtà una legge tutt'altro che precisa e aggiornata. Un terremoto giudiziario e commerciale che continua a far discutere artisti, discografici, giuristi, ma...

Extensions, Boundaries & Double Crossings

For many years now it has been common to refer to technology as an "extension of man". [...] Although Marshall McLuhan is the most popular name connected with that theoretical concept, the concept is quite a lot older. It is dating from before the 19th century anthropology all the way to the ancient Greeks and Aristoteles. He already outlined technology as a substitute for biological defects and technical development and understood it as a cultural progression. And with or without Hollywood we s...

Formats. What Napster Really Needs

This article has taken me a combined 20 years of broadcast and computer experience to compile and I couldn't be more excited about the possibilities the Internet can bring now that we have witnessed the cultural change from the traditional broadcast models to the Peer to Peer networking model technologies such as Napster and Gnutella have shown us.

On the Links Between Open Source and Culture

Implicit in all this is that there are profound links between developments in culture and the rise of open source, that both are stimulating a new kind of sharing. Some would go further and claim that hackers in the virtuous sense are a new kind of lay monk. The lecture will explore these parallels between the sharing of culture and the sharing of open source and claim that there needs to be an open source approach to culture; that there are philosophical reasons why culture has traditionally be...

Society of the Instance

The entire virtual life of societies in which postcapitalist conditions of seduction prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of software instances. Everything that was previously either venerated or rejected in the fixated mirror stage by the ideologically constituted ego as fetish system of commodities, structurally sustaining panoply of consumer objects, or imposing spectacle of images has dissolved away into an uncharted virtual reality of the real time instantiation of modeled and...

Interview with Marta de Menezes

Interview with Dalila Honorato

Interview with Adam Zaretsky

Interview with Jadwiga Charzyńska

Interview with Delma Rodriguez

Interview with Olga Kisseleva

Interview with Anna Dumitriu

Interview with Luz María Sánchez

Interview with Danielle Siembieda

Interview with Freddy Paul Grunert

Interview with Elif Ayiter

Interview with Roberta Buiani

Interview with Bill Seaman

Interview with Roger Malina

Interview with Christa Sommerer

Interview with Annick Bureaud

Interview with Leonel Moura

Interview with Nina Czegledy

Interview with Stelarc

Interview with Derrick de Kerckhove

Interview with Margarete Jahrmann

Interview with Jaromil