IASLonline NetArt: Theory
From "Radical Software" to Netactivism
In the Fifties informal painting provoked an understanding of pictures as results of painters´ actions: These works consist of combined paints´ traces. Jackson Pollock (1950) and Georges Mathieu (since 1952) exposed the process of painting by being wateched, photographed and filmed when they acted as painters. Mathieu´s public paint actions (1956-59) anticipated Markus Prachensky´s paint and pour actions («Peinture Liquide», 1959-60) and Hermann Nitsch´s integration of action painting (as pour action) in action theater (since 1962). 1 Process Art supersedes static art media (object art and the art media [Kunstgattungen] painting, sculpture, drawing, print).
The process of painting in Action Art was developed to an intermedia process both as an expansion of actions in art external regions (Gutai, Vienna Actionism 2) and as experimental strategies for the construction of notations. These notations structure time processes or describe possible actions: The time lapse of an action may result from the chosen kind of action as well as from characteristics of the used materials and objects.
Artists began in John Cage´s class at the New School for Social Research (1956-60) to experiment not only with expanded musical notations but to write verbal concepts for actions of any kind, too. 3 Students of the Cage class like Allan Kaprow and (the artists which later acted as Fluxus members) George Brecht, Al Hansen, Dick Higgins and Toshi Ichiyanagi wrote notations for material procedures with open time structures or structured time lapses meanwhile the material procedures remained open. The expansions of music and art were connected in Event Cards with more or less detailed instructions for (audio and visual) material and/or mental processes. Readers of "Event Cards" begin to execute the concept as soon as they imagine the meaning potential of the cards´ text and decide themselves for one of the many semantic aspects.
The internal observation of Happenings and Performances can be folded three times:
In the sixties many spectators didn´t want to be recognized in the happenings´ context because negative professional consequences couldn´t be excluded. The mass media scandalized the actions´ transgressions of taboos in the service of their readers´ resentments. 7 Spectators could try to avoid to become a recognizable subject of photographic and filmic documentations. No chances to remain out of the cameras´ focus offered "<participation> Happenings" 8 which integrated all spectators as coactors: The camera people were integrated, too.
Reporters and spectators with cameras threatened to change the happenings into spectacles for (the absent/external spectators of) the mass media. The reports on older happenings provoked expectations by present/internal spectators. These expectations guided the spectators´ participations and disruptions. Allan Kaprow reacted to the dangers of spectacularization with notations for actions which can be realized cheap in manners near to the everyday´s experience and which implicated private realizations with only few participants ("Activities"). 9
Technical innovations offered chances to realize participations with cameras in the mass medium television (see chapter "Video and TV"). There have been chances in the seventies to develop participative alternatives against the "consciousness industry" 10 which TV senders dominated increasingly.
Since the midst of the sixties, video cameras were offered for sale in U.S.A. 11 Now it was possible to realize with low budgets video tapes on people living in social conditions which have seldom or never been the content of reports in commercial American high frequency-TV-programs. Since the beginning of the seventies the American cable TV and chances to send via low frequencies made it possible for groups with collaborating filmers, actors, artists and activists to telecast their video tapes independent of commercial TV-broadcasting. These commercial senders financed themselves with advertisement incomes and oriented their programs to the interests of advertisers.
The amount of distributable channels was reduced in the high frequency spectrum because interferences hat to be avoided. The monopolizing effects of these conditions of the frequency spectrum disappear as soon as the infinite transfer chances of the cable technology will be realized for a wide part of the American households. This was an utopian plan at the beginning of the seventies. The low frequency sender of Lanesville TV offered a technical alternative for regions without cable TV services. 12
Public and private financial supports offered grants for group projects and helped to install video access centers with equipment and introductory courses. 13 The films on video tapes are documents of a social emancipation which was founded by video groups and video access centers. Central part of the emancipation were offers of chances to realize a reciprocity between the filmer and the filmed persons: Everybody can film everybody in a community with video equipment. Persons who faced up to inequal social conditions received new chances via video to perform social neglect and to be recognized as a (local) political factor with influences.
Sometimes video tapes served as means which were able to activate without TV transmissions, too: People living in bad conditions which had to be subjects of changes saw either at home or in the centers of communities and videogroups projections of tapes which documented their miseries and social activities. These video conditions constituted the background for discussions with engaged people which may cause further actions with effects in the local government and the municipal administration. 14
Artists and engineers developed new tools for electronic picture processing simultaneous to video activism. The journal "Radical Software" was published in eleven issues, from spring 1970 to summer 1974, and presented experimenting video artists and documenting video activists with their common goal to investigate and develop the technical possibilities of video and cable TV as an alternative to contemporary mass media. 15
After the filming the videotape was immediately available for projections.
This immediacy was decisive for documentations and experimental picture
Much of the enthusiasm [in the early video movement of 1968-73] expressed about the "process" available to artists and audiences through the new portable videotechnology centered on instant reply and immediate "feedback" on one´s experience. 16
Filmed persons at once could have a look at the video documentation and the community of filmer and filmed people was able to decide if a new take of their utterances and self performances was necessary or not. The post-production of documentations could be done with more or less refinement: Less refined presentations of actual activities realized by social and political engaged groups were ready for transmissions in a short lapse.
Experimental video tools allowed transformations of pictures with less or more time delay. The transformations could be influenced by observers in installations for tests and exhibitions. The video closed-circuits allowed observers to navigate the picture transformations via (re-)actions in front of the camera meanwhile the video documentations permitted film actions and reactions to the filmed tape in phases first from action and filming to projection, second repeated and modified actions for a new take, etc. "Immediacy" was combined in Community TV with "intimacy" resp. with social interaction in life worlds and with the feedback phases between filming and projecting meanwhile "immediacy" in experimental closed-circuit installations named the ideal of a mechanical real time reaction to the input of the camera.
In 1969 Allan Kaprow realized Hello! as an opportunity to reuse cameras installed in different places and their connections to monitors in a TV studio. 17 Participants were able to communicate with each other via the studio´s monitors: a participation-tele-performance. Kaprow uses the connections of the WGBH TV studio to four cameras in the region Boston-Cambridge. The studio´s monitors present invitated participants like Alvin Lucier and Nam June Paik who act before the cameras. Kaprow in the role of the studio´s leader conducts five cameras and 27 monitors. The participants announce with phrases like "Hello, I see you" that they recognize the picture chosen by Kaprow for them. Kaprow acts again as dominating leader: He does it with irony after his transgression of any leading position in "<participation> Happenings" in the course of the sixties. Kaprow used the leading position for a persiflage of the function of the studio´s leader when he changes the connections to participants arbitrarily. The telehappening "Hello" anticipated video conferences.
In 1970 Stan Vanderbeek combined in Violence Sonata tapes on violence in the American every day with live transmitted reactions of participants in the studio (video) and telephone calls (audio). The tapes on violence are estranged via fadings and colour manipulations. 18 Vanderbeek used two channels, the WGBH-channels 2 und 44 in Boston: Channel 2 transmitted Vanderbeek´s tapes meanwhile channel 44 presented the participants in the studio who saw parts of these tapes. The audience included members of militant political groups and Carate fighter. The artist invited participants to comment his material in channel 2 as well as the possibilities of participation TV. The spectators were advised to install two television sets for simultaneous projections of both channels.
In 1971 and 1972 Douglas Davis integrated interactions with and between spectators in programs of the Commercial Broadcast. It was planned for "Electronic Hokkadim" (1971) to combine a life show sent from the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.) with reactions in the form of telephone calls. But the broadcast "WTOP-TV" (a filiation of CBS) transformed Davis´ project into a "personality parade" with "amazing participative [telephone] inputs" added in the last two minutes. The life filmed pictures were transformed by video-synthesizers (of Nam June Paik/Shuya Abe and Eric Siegel). The electronic picture transformations reacted to the spectators´ sounds.
Davis combined in his 210 minutes lasting telecast "Talk-Out: A Telethon" (1972) live records of a talk (with Charlotte Moorman, James Harithas, Nam June Paik, David Ross and Bill Viola in the Everson Museum, Syracuse/New York) with transmissions of his experimental videotapes, which he created for the provocation of media reflexivity, as well as with telephone connections to specatators (audio and visual transmissions as "print-out message" on the monitor). 19
Kaprow, Vanderbeek and Davis actualized the expectation provoked by "<participation> Happenings" to open TV to two-way-communictions via feedback possibilities which are used to transform spectators into participants. The same did Lanesville TV with transmissions of the spectators´ telephone calls. 20 Lanesville TV was a pirate broadcast installed by members of Videofreex. Experimental, participative forms of telecasts realized by Kaprow, Vanderbeek and Davis as well as Community TV realized by video groups constituted the alternatives of the American Video-TV-scene of the seventies which completed each other.
The collaborative use of video technology and the transmission with two-way-communication transfered the collaborative and interactive practice of "<participation> Happenings" to filmic manners of cultural labour. This media mediated <communication art as cultural labour/cultural labour as communication art> constituted a context without divisions between media art, media pedagogy and media activism. 21
The social and cultural labour of the seventies anticipated contemporary interpenetrations of net art with netactivism. Art and activism combine many sites, symposia, exhibitions and projects which problematize net conditions (see chapter "(Il)legal art") as well as political subjects like globalization and migration. 22
The first telecommunication projects were limited by technical means to sequences of writing processes practiced by a group of authors. An early example of these net projects is Roy Ascotts «La Plissure du Texte: a Planetary Fairy Tale» (1983). 23 Net projects for "wreaders" 24 began with textual parts following one after another (like in Cadavre exquis) in an additive manner. Douglas Davis installed "The World´s First Collaborative Sentence" in december 1994. 25 In his net projects Davis followed the concept of his TV projects (see chapter "Video and TV"): Spectators became participants of a project which was organized as a collaborative process.
The copyright established a tension between the expansion of the public available knowledge and the protection of the authors´ interests as a support of creativity. But today many authors act via "Copyleft" resp. "Open Content" against contract practices which transform the copyright from authors´ rights into commercially exploitable rights of international corporations. Contributions to the Commons of Knowledge (or "Wissens-Allmende" 26) are via internet easy, fast and free of charges available for all users. The contributions can constitute parts of public databases with informations about new research results, public available source codes of new software and free downloads.
Corporative organized and global acting exploiters of copyrights constitute a copyright industry in domains of software, publishing, film and music. If source codes remain closed then the copyright industry prohibits the collective development of the software which constitutes f. e. the internet and the distribution of digital progress. Opposite directions constitute either the commercialization or the renunciation of exploitation via Creative Commons, either the marketable scarcity of knowledge and or the collaborative, enduring expansion of public available knowledge.
The contrary copyright practices of Creative Commons and the copyright industry cause the following antithetical concepts of the computers´ functions: Either the advantage of the digitalization allows to run computers as machines for every kind of use and the data processing can be presented unrestricted in (textual, visual, audio) presentations of output media. Or machines with installed copy prohibition systems are offered for sale which restrict output possibilities (Some copy prohibition systems need specific modifications of operating systems for copy prohibitions). These machines interrupt the possibilities of digital processing: Why do we need digitalized systems if (input-/output-)machine-computer combinations are restricted via "Digital Rights Management" to some parts of their possibilities analog to the standards of mechanical operating systems? 27
After video activists´ media criticism of commercial broadcast TV a criticism of the corporative organized and global acting copyright industry is evolving: Antithetical to the copyright exploitation are concepts for licenses like the "General Public License (GPL)" in the eighties, and later "the Copyleft Attitude" or "Creative Commons" 28 which help to preserve software and the internet as a medium with equal chances to every surfer to receive source codes and other datas as well as to publish her/his own datas.
The local cultural labour with video is developed via internet into a network with a potentitality of translocal connections for everybody with everybody. But this network is restricted by censuration, datamining (see chapter "Electronic Disturbance") and an e-business with procedures for the exploitation of copyrights. Media activism has to secure its preconditions in the internet: free availability of data liberated from surveillance and censuration as well as open copy and use possibilities of data sets. These preconditions of a social engaged activism via internet are themselves cases of conflict and cause the engagement of net activists.
The travel exhibition "Illegal Art: Freedom and Expression in the Corporate Age" 29 presented many examples of different kinds to reuse copyright protected visual and audio material. Juridical sustainment came from "Chilling Effects Clearinghouse" (with others), a cooperation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation with the law school clinics of five American universities. 30
The website of the exhibition presents movie excerpts, animations, songs and artworks in different media sometimes with their juridical history: Some lawsuits have not been terminated meanwhile the duration of the exhibition. The charges ("cease-and-desist-orders") of the holders and exploiters of copyrights ignore "Fair Use" often, but usually they move the defendants to avoid resistance because the legal procedures need too long and cost too much.
The copyright doesn´t protect the authors from its merchandising managers/exploiters. Furthermore managers use the copyright to construct connections between their copyright exploitation, which deprives authors, and legal decisions (links in the webpage Copyright Articles connect with texts on the misuses of legal procedures practiced by the copyright industry).
The travel exhibition was realized with the intention to inform a wider public on the transformation of the copyright as a protection of artistic creativity into its prohibition 31 and to disturb with this publicity the lobbyists´ labour (for new rights accomodated to their needs) and the charge practice of the copyright industry. News reports used the exhibition as an opportunity to discuss the perversion of the copyright into a Corporate Right. 32 Except the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art no museum with a wider collection of twentieth century and contemporary art exhibited "Illegal Art" meanwhile the consequences of a charge practice which disregards "Fair Use" include their art works, too: Neither Marcel Duchamp´s L.H.O.O.Q. (1919) nor Pop Art are possible in contemporary legal conditions.
The copyright industry stigmatizes the reuse of copyright protected parts of an artwork with the term "piracy", as a theft of intellectual property. "Illegal Art" offers a collection of examples for the practice of copy and quotation procedures with mostly ironic alienations. This "recombinant theater" 33 parodies and comments the contemporary entertainment via selections of elements and different kinds of recombination. The technical basis of precise digital copies without any loss in quality allowed and allows to develop procedures of appropriation and remix. These procedures are used as means for the articulation of a criticism of the entertaining culture and the mass media. Quotational, plagiaristic and transformational procedures are used for a criticism of economic and social conditions which exposes, sharpens and alienates given relations: the "Fair Use Doctrine" allows takeovers "for purposes such as criticism, comment...". 34 Entertaining recycling and activistic-critical recombinations are (combinable) modes of adaptation as means to subvert the copyright industry´s control of the distribution and their use of the popular culture´s signs. This kind of (re-)appropriation practice artists in examples collected in "Illegal Art".
The website "Illegal Art" is an example for procedures of a "communication guerilla" 35 which uses (re-)appropriations in ironical manners: Together with the homepage starts an "ELECTRONIC END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR VIEWING ILLEGAL ART EXHIBIT WEBSITE AND FOR USE OF LUMBER AND/OR PET OWNERSHIP". 36 The contract and the homepage disappear as soon as users of this parody of a licence vote for "I agree" (changed now).
"Illegal Art" argues for an enlargement of the Fair Use Doctrine´s
validity as a consequence of the practices of the (re-)appropriation culture.
Members of Negativland explain
their point of view of an adequate "Fair Use" practice:
...we would have the protections and payments to artists and their administrators restricted to the straight-across usage of entire works by others, or for any form of usage at all by commercial advertisers. Beyond that, creators would be free to incorporate fragments from the creations of others into their own work. 37
Negativland and the former Disney film animator Tim Maloney assemble parts of Gimme the Mermaid (2000/2002) out of different sources which they use for a comment on the attitudes of copyright holders and exploiters: Copyright secures property and property is power. This correlation is affirmed by the telephone voice of a lawyer in the service of the music industry which is visualized as the speach of the mermaid Arielle (from a Disney Production) in combination with sounds of a cover version of Black Flag´s Gimme Gimme Gimme: "I own it or I control it...You can´t use it without my permission." Not the critic but the subject of criticism decides on the appropriation of an "it" relevant for copyright legislation but the "Fair Use Doctrine" prevents this absurd dependency of the critic from the criticized person. Furthermore the net architecture of free connectivity is threatened by the unilateral interpretation of the copyright and the "Digital Millenium Copyright Act" (DMCA) which limit downloads and reuses for reprocessings. 38
Since 1998 Kembrew McLeod practices a cynical strategy which problematizes the relation between trademark and exploitation claims: He performs a case of an especially frivolous claim to the trademark. McLeod founded a journal with the title "Freedom of Expression" and registered its name as a trademark under "Class 16 of the international schedule of classes of goods and services" for "`printed matter´ and the like": Trademark Number 2,127,381. The registration expresses the claim to use the term "Freedom of Expression" exclusively in contexts relevant for the trademark. Here McLeod demonstrates the consequences of the trademark registration with the general intention to send legal claims against all uses of the term without permission. An advertisement of AT&T neglected the trademark registration of McLeod who answered with a charge. 39
McLeod creates Conceptual Art as a model case which unmasks the trademark as a private appropriation of common property: He subtracts from the public a central term for its basics with a legal claim for a private exploitation right and returns the term only in a dependency on his private exploitation rights. That´s McLeod´s demonstration of the extensive damage of rights which seem to be limited. He demonstrates it only in the framework of a limited trademark claim but he is able to provoke a discussion on the relation of legal, possessive and cultural claims.
The unlimited chances to use retrievable and forwardable digital files are interrupted with the prohibition to distribute DeCSS against the DVD´s limitations of free copy. If DVDs are encrypted by the CSS (Content Scramble System) then they can neither be opened with every DVD player ("regional codes") nor copied or played with Open Source Software. The decrypting code DeCSS was distributed by the website 2600: The Hacker Quarterly (since october 1999) and offered the opportunity to hack the CSS code, to copy DVDs and to play them with the operating system Linux. The Electronic Frontier Foundation was not successful with their efforts to prevent the prohibition of the DeCSS distribution which was established via legal charge by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in January 2000. The prohibition is based on the copyright and the "Digital Millenium Copyright Act" which prohibits the construction and distribution of software for the decryption of copy protection. 40
There is a chance to circumvent the prohibition with presentations of the descrypting code as text which is not immediately readable by compilers, for examples via "DeCSS art": Text presentations are classified as free speech and protected by the First Amendment to the "Bill of Rights". The website "Illegal Art" exhibits two examples of anonymous authors. 41
The decision of the Judge Lewis A. Kaplan against the distribution of DeCSS marks a difference between source codes and other communicative or expressive codes. The decision creates an absurd legal situation: The jurisdiction closes one door to the source code and opens another one.
The performative characteristics of "Source Code" and "Object Code" vary in degrees meanwhile Kaplan´s decision marks a sort difference. Following Kaplan a clear division between source code and the processing of object codes (for example via compiler who translates the source code into a machine code) for output media is always possible. However it depends on the available technical possibilities if the results of output media are usable as an input for the navigation of further data processing and its effects in output media. The concept of a one way street from input as source code to object code (and output media) is based on restricted technical conditions.
Different presentation modes of the source code can simplify the readability concerning the executable kinds of data processing: Source codes are not only readable for machines but for humen, too, and possess the performativity of texts. In the consequence of this performativity the source codes can´t be excluded from the rights of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. This points to an aspect which verbal notations in "Event Cards" of George Brecht and other Fluxus members performed earlier (see chapter "Action Art and Intermedia"): On one side the text or source code can be realizable in observation operations resp. in mental processes before any performance, material execution or digital processing will happen. On the other side realizations (as actions or with output media) can present aspects of the textual meaning potential which escaped the attention when the concept or source code was read. 42
radioqualia (Adam Hyde/Honor Harger) thematizes in Free Radio Linux (2002) the performative characteristics of the "Source Code" as speech text: A speech.bot presented the 4.141.432 lines of the Linux Kernel as audio stream. The stream was transmitted live via the internet and in selections on FM, AM and shortwave radio stations. 43 The automated voice of the bot was audible in the exhibition Open_Source_Art_Hack from two loudspeakers between the double entrance doors of the New Museum of Contemporary Art (Zenith Media Lounge, New York, 5/3-6/30/2002). radioqualia used the whole source code: Such projects cannot be planned on other bases than on Open Source. But an expanded "Fair Use Doctrine" could classify works (resp. software) as part of the common cultural goods. This classification will allow the use of a whole set of data for further processing whose results offer the opportunity to recognize formerly unknown performative qualities (f. e. visualizations like Michal Levy´s Giant Steps (2001) using John Coltrane´s well known song of 1959 as source). "Free Radio Linux" presents a model for the convertability of unchanged data sets in its totality into different output media which are usable as "Source Codes", too.
The relations between input media for source codes, object codes and output media should remain as open as possible if one wants to preserve "the freedom of speech" in its full extent. The applications of software and projects in its whole are relevant, in contrast to the proposition of Negativland (see above): The applications of complete codes offer chances for other kinds of observation in the context of changed and expanded sequences of in- and output media which allow to recognize other charateristics. Relevant are not only applications of parts of projects protected by copyright and not only permissions to create new works with such applications but relevant is the chance, too, to create works which demonstrate (in modifications of the output or in other output media) structures of complete data sets which existed before any application procedure began. Copyright merchandisers/exploiters and authors can try to assert their copyright via charges but: Why can´t modifications of complete data sets be classified as permitted artistic adaptations of cultural goods? Why should applications of complete data sets be prohibited?
Activists use strategies of the "electronic disturbance" to concentrate their goals either on interruptions of electronic processes or they interfere with the technical base of these processes. The following is centered upon tools for the interruption of processes.
"Virtual sit-ins" with "FloodNet" 44 don´t modificate the website which is the target of the attack but the access to its server is slowed down and will be blocked in extreme cases. A java applet executes reload requests: A website is loaded every three seconds in three parallel windows. The server receives requests for an URL adress whose non-existence is marked by the "server error log". A "server error log" overload can be produced by simultaneous FloodNet requests which a lot of users can execute. This overload halts the access to the site.
In the last years the construction of databases with consumer profiles, surveillance strategies of governmental security agencies disregarding privacy and censure measurements of providers caused the development of tools which offer opportunities to produce erraneous dates for softwares and actors on the <shadow side> of the internet: The evaluation of collected dates is disturbed via overproductions of data input and misleading messages. These disturbances deconstruct the imagination of a transparent citizen and consumer.
"ADMechelon-Lagger" (1999) of the ADM Crew 49 and TraceNoizer - Desinformation on Demand (2001) of LAN (Local Area Network) 50 produce data sets which activate systems of electronic identification and surveillance (f. e. "Echelon" of the American National Security Agency) via cloned homepages and fake-e-mails. These clones and fakes cause disinformations in data evaluations of search systems, databases with user profiles and governmental criminal investigations.
Providers are obligated by laws installed in America, Europe and Switzerland after 9/11/2001 to save informations of their clients´ data traffic for a prescribed time span. Furthermore providers have to admit real time surveillances of the e-mail traffic if they are obligated by a judge. 51 The Swiss criminal investigation agency was filled with useless dates generated by LAN´s SuperVillainizer - Conspiracy Client (2002) (via gratis e-mail adresses without login procedure): An e-mail traffic with fictitious contents could be generated between e-mail accounts of the Swiss provider Sunrise. The contents directed spy software with its search for "Trigger Words" to suspicions of conspiracy. The repetitions of "Trigger Words" in useless e-mails offer data fodder for electronic spy wares like the FBI´s globally used "Echelon" and the Swiss "Satos" (Satellite Observation).
Data banks for advertisers´ means create user profiles without knowledge and control of the user. Franz Alken and Michael Ohme constructed Machines will eat itself (2002-2003) against that kind of datamining: Bots receive "character profiles" via inscriptions of users. These bots generate "automatized consumers" which constitute a "virtual consumer community". The incapability to separate virtual and solvent buyers causes false evaluations.
The tools of net activists featured above operate against net practices which use the (regions between) nodes and threads of the net 52 in hidden ways and withdraw from users chances to control the traces caused by their net operations.
DNS (Domain name service) registrars and providers usually react to users´ messages on (presumably) illegal contents with censuration demands and menaces of blockades but they don´t ask the afflicted site-owners if the accusations are justified and disregard the consequences for innocently co-afflicted people. This practise provoked the persiflage of Übermorgen´s (Maria Haas/Luzius A. Bernhard) Injunction Generator (2001), "a public shut down-service": A page in the form of a "standard court-order" simplifies it for users to condemn by DNS registrars masses of illegal sites via inscriptions in open fields. "The Injunction Generator" is a tool which helps to lead the practice of internet denunciation ad absurdum.
All mentioned tools become effective if they are used often: A critical mass, a data overload has to be reached until the uses of the tools will be able to move providers, firms and governmental agencies to change their internet practices. The step to actions is easy for disparate users but an arbitrary distribution of misleading dates doesn´t provoke weighty interruptions. The tools remain model instruments for possible actions against net practices until their embedment in effective strategies. Concepts for the integration of action tools in strategies with effective procedures to reach the target can be inscribed into an idea pool of RTMark which helps to find donors and combatants.
The Yes Mens "Reamweaver Version 2.0" (2002) 53 allows automated modifications of sites for parodying mirror sites. This tool was launched by RTMark and donated by interested people. Exemplary uses present doubles of the WTO site (World Trade Organization). 55 As soon as critical mirror sites are blocked it is possible to create with "Reamweaver" several new copies of the site with further critical and parodying changes. The Yes Men proceed with practices of the communication guerilla (see chapter "(Il)legal Art").
Process art was established in the art world of New York with the exhibition
"Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials". In 1969 Marcia Tucker
and James Monte realized the exhibition in the Whitney Museum of American
Art. The participating artists reacted to Minimal Art´s iterations
of primary stereometric forms with likewise multipart pieces but with
forms (mostly) defined by material characteristics. Germano Celant characterized
the works´ qualities via descriptions of their kind of execution
Ogni lavoro e eseguito direttamente nel museo, pertanto il catalogo è la documentazione dei processi di costruzione. 56
Robert Morris realized not only a daily modificated configuration of materials as contribution to the exhibition but proposed a concept for a procedure with an institutionalized data system, too: He performed processes of materials and signs in two different contributions. Morris planned "Money" as a model action which demonstrated a system´s functions. He initiated an investment of 50.000 $ at the "Morgan Guarantee Trust Company". 57
Morris received the interest (5 per cent pro year) of the exhibition lapse of time and handed the decisions for the documentation of the project over to the museum staff. The artist replaced the use of materials in process art by an art external operation within the financial system: Morris acted similar to Marcel Duchamp in Tzanck Check (1919) 58 when he reduced in "Money" everything from the art practice which doesn´t fit into the economy and transformed established art practices into a demonstration of the procedures of the financial system. The medium sculpture expanded in material, space and time scales constituted "Anti-Illusion". Morris interrupted in "Money" this art (world) internal practice of expanded sculpture when he included art (world) internal actors as organizers of the investment and its documentation: The recourse to the art world was organized following criteria of the financial system constituted by exchange values and not following criteria of an art theory or artistic creativity. The project participated in a system of exchange values meanwhile the "exhibition value" 59 of the participation´s documentation was arbitrary.
In 2002 Michael Goldberg invested in catchingafallingknife.com the same sum like Morris in "Money" for speculative tradings with the shares of the News Corporation (a part of Robert Murdoch´s media imperium). 60 Goldberg returned in "catchingafallingknife.com" the result of the trading, a loss, to the <Consortium>, his anonymous backers. "Catching a falling knife" is a phrase of "stock trader jargon for taking on a particularly risky trade". The stock exchange system is a differentiated medium with its own procedures and programs for the regulation of processes: Dates are transfered in websites which are adapted to the financial system and circulate in a closed system not connected with external data traffic.
The Process Art of documenting, intervening and demonstrating (on the streets and in the internet) can be subdivided in the following modes of procedure:
(A) Morris, Goldberg (see chapter "Real Time Systems") and Kembrew McLeod (see chapter "(Il)legal Art") practice "Conceptual Performance" as an exemplary initiating and presenting of system functions (of the "symbolic generalized communication media" money and law 61). The project of McLeod becomes effective as activistic means of demonstration because the system´s internal consequences provoke criticism. This demonstration is able to initiate a problematization of the system´s functions.
(B) Video activists of the seventies (see chapter "Video and TV") as well as its contemporary variants in the net 62 practice(d) a double strategy of documentation and intervention. The selections of news, comments and visualizations in the mass media are corrected by documentations of marginalized social fields and activistic practices. These corrections intervene into the modes of (re)presentation in the mass media. The correction can be effective as an intervention into the established representation modes of reports on social defects if alternative camera views cause a new focus on social problems. If this point of view provokes attention and reactions then changes of the represented social defects can follow. Equally the documentation systems of Hans Haacke (since 1969) have been interventions as the reactions for example to Schapolsky et al Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, A real Time Social System, As of May 1, 1971 demonstrated. 63
(C) Databases in the internet can be created as tools which are usable for preparations and executions of interventions. They Rule (2001) of Josh On & The Futurefarmers simplifies the recognition of the entanglement of companies via board members which rule in several directories. Each one of the wide collection of "maps" offers possibilities for diagramatic reconfigurations of the entanglements between companies and board members. A webpage of the RTMark site called for ideas of a similar project which will be able to show the ownerships and entanglements of directors of media enterprises. 64 The Institute for Applied Autonomy, the NYC Surveillance Camera Project and Hactivist.com realized iSee and Maptivist 2.0: Surveillance (2002) which leads from the diagrams and maps of power to their use as means in actions. "iSee and Maptivist 2.0" simplifies the search of ways without video surveillance (Closed-Circuit-Television (CCTV)) via software (I-See), wireless connections to city maps (Maptivist) and GPS localization. The tool is useful to find unobserved ways for demonstrations or for private ends.
(D) Net activists construct tools whose intervention potential can be initiated by users under net conditions (see chapter "Electronic Disturbance"). These tools enable activists to develop new strategies in the data space of the internet because they offer new means: New means afford new ends.
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January 2004 and Mai 2004 (first and second, corrected version)/ October
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1 Dreher, Thomas: Performance Art nach 1945. Aktionstheater und Intermedia. Munich 2001, p.59-80,163-167. back
2 On Gutai and Vienna Actionism: Dreher: Performance, see ann.1, p.73-84,163-280. back
3 On the Cage Class: Altshuler, Bruce: The Cage Class.
In: Lauf, Cornelia/Hapgood, Susan (Hg.): FluxAttitudes. cat. Hallwalls
Contemporary Arts Center. Buffalo 1991, p.17-23.
4 Early examples: Miller, Lee/Ray, Man: Projections of
Mélièis´ coloured film from a window on the guests
of a «Bal blanc» of the Counts Pecci-Blunt, 1930; Hansen,
Al: Incomplete Requiem for W.C. Fields Who Died of Acute Alcoholism, Epitome
Coffee Shop, New York 1958; Emshwiller, Ed: Body Works, 1965; Whitman,
Robert: Prune.Flat., Film-Makers´ Cinematheque, New York, 12/1/1965,
a. o. All in: Dreher: Performances, see ann.1, p.58, 115 with ann.212,
324 with ann.554, 326, 328 with ann.557.
5 Happenings, which integrated the camera men:
6 Schechner, Richard: Environmental Theater. New York 1973/2nd edition 1994, p.1-39. back
7 Examples for furious, defamatory and facts deforming press reports: Nitsch, Hermann: DAS ROTE TUCH. der mensch das unappetitliche vieh. das orgien mysterien theater im spiegel der presse 1960-1988. Vienna 1988; Weibel, Peter/Export, Valie: Wien. Bildkompendium Wiener Aktionismus und Film. Frankfurt am Main 1970, p.216-223,264. back
8 Allan Kaprow, 12/13/1966, in: Siegel, Jeanne: Artwords. Discourse on the 60s and 70s. New York 1985/2nd edition 1992, p.173. Compare Dreher: Performance, see ann.1, p.15-19,91-102,289-293. back
9 Dreher: Performance, see ann.1, p.29 with ann.30, p.10ss.,139ss., with ann.253,255. back
10 Enzensberger, Hans Magnus: Die Aporien der Avantgarde (1962). New in: Enzensberger, Hans Magnus: Einzelheiten II. Poesie und Politik. Frankfurt am Main 5th edition 1980, p.60,68,73; Enzensberger, Hans Magnus: Baukasten zu einer Theorie der Medien. In: Kursbuch, März 1970, p.159-186 (in english: Constituents of a Theory of Media. In: New Left Review, November-December 1970, p.13-36). back
11 In 1965 the first video cameras are available in
the U.S.A. Since 1968 the Sony Porta Pak Ensemble offers a lightweight
video recorder, which can be carried on the shoulder, and a video camera
as a system for live recordings. The system allows to play and observe
the recorded in real time at the place of the recording: Sony CV-2400
Porta Pak, 1968 (DVK-2400/VCK-2400 Videocorder und Videokamera Ensemble).
In: Video History Project. Experimental Television Center, Binghamton
University, Newark Valley. URL: http://www.experimentaltvcenter.org/
history/ tools/ ttool.php3? id=54&page=1 (27.7.2006).
12 On the necessity and future of the Cable TV: Sutton,
Percy E.: Community Control of Television. In: Radical Software, Vol.1/Nr.4,
Summer 1971, p.24. URL: http://www.radicalsoftware.org/
volume1nr4/ pdf/ VOLUME1NR4_0026.pdf (12/29/2003).
13 Federal support was supplied by the National Endowment
for the Arts (NAE), meanwhile municipal support was supplied for example
by the New York State Council on the Art (NYSCA). Private support was
supplied chiefly by the Rockefeller Foundation (Hill, Christine: Attention!
Production! Audience! Performing Video in its First Decade, 1968-1980.
Chapter 3: Emergence of public funding (1995). In: URL: http://www.vdb.org/
resources/ attention.pdf (12/14/2003); http://www.nomadnet.org/
massage1/ video/ page5.html (12/14/2003)).
14 Hall, Doug/Fifer, Sally Jo (ed.): Illuminating Video.
An Essential Guide to Video Art. New York 1990, p.59. Because regions
in New York with poor inhabitants had no cable access, the Downtown
Cummunity Television Center presented his Chinese and Spain program
on monitors placed on a truck. The truck was driven to the inhabitants
in Downtown (Orton, Barry: Downtown Community Television Center. In: Radical
Software, Vol.2/Nr.4, Autumn 1973, p.42s. URL: http://www.radicalsoftware.org/
volume2nr4/ pdf/ VOLUME2NR4_art15.pdf (12/31/2003).
15 The website "Radical Software" documents
all issues edited by the Raindance Corporation (since 1969)/Foundation
(since 1971) in pdf-files (http://www.radicalsoftware.org/
e/ index.html (12/14/2003)).
16 Hill: Attention, see ann.13, Chapter 1 A: Post-minimalist
perceptual relevance. In: URL: http://www.vdb.org/
resources/ attention.pdf (12/14/2003); http://nomadnet.org/
massage1/ video/ page1.html (12/14/2003). Compare: Jaffe, Louis: Videotape
versus Film. Half-Inch, 16MM, and Super 8. In: Radical Software, vol.1/Nr.3,
Spring 1971, p.16. URL: http://www.radicalsoftware.org/
volume1nr3/ pdf/ VOLUME1NR3_0022.pdf (12/31/2003): "Film takes
hours or days to arrive at the point where tape is the instant after it
is recorded...Videotape can be played back as soon as it is recorded,
and seen as part of the situation that produced it."
17 Kaprow, Allan: Hello! (Video documentation, b/w, sound, 5´7´´, produced in January 1969), part of the telecast The Medium is the Medium, WGBH, Boston/Mass., March 1969 (Video documentation, 27´50´´, Electronic Arts Intermix, New York): Buchloh/Rodenbeck: Experiments, see ann.5, p.107,116s. (Cat. 21); Margolies, John S.: TV-The Next Medium. In: Art in America, September-October 1969, p.48,51; Stiles, Kristine/Shanken, Edward A.: Missing in Action: Agency and Meaning in Interactive Art, chap. III: Agency. In: Lovejoy, Margot/Paul, Christiane/Vesna, Victoria (ed.): Context Providers: Conditions of Meaning in Digital Art. Cambridge/Mass. (not yet published). URL: http://www.supervert.com/ core/ web_press/ pdf/ context_providers.pdf (12/19/2003); Yougblood, Gene: Expanded Cinema. New York 1970, p.343s. New in: URL: http://artscilab.org/ expandedcinema/ part5.pdf (12/31/2003). back
18 Vanderbeek, Stan: Violence Sonata, WGBH, Boston/Mass. 1970 (Videos, 60 Min. and 12 Min.): Davis, Douglas: Art and the Future. New York 1973, p.91. back
19 Davis, Douglas: Electronic Hokkadim, WTOP-TV, Washington
D.C., 6/12/1971: Harithas, James: Introduction (with excerpts from Davis´
Notes, which are quoted above). In: Ross, David: Douglas Davis. Events
Objects Drawings Videotapes 1967-1972. Cat. Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse/New
York 1972, unpaginated; Herzogenrath, Wulf: Video im Fernsehen. In: Deecke,
Thomas: Douglas Davis. Arbeiten/Works 1970-1977. Cat. Neuer Berliner Kunstverein.
Berlin 1978, p.7.
20 Taesdale: Videofreex, see ann.12, p.78. back
21 Compare Fischer, Hervé/Forest, Fred/Thénot, Jean-Paul: Où va l´art sociologique? (Mai 1975). In: Fischer, Hervé: Théorie de l´art sociologique. Tournai 1977, p.30. back
22 Examples: Next 5 Minutes, Amsterdam/Rotterdam, Nr.2/1996,
Nr.3/1999, Nr.4/2002-2003. In: URL: http://www.n5m.org
(14.12.2003) ("Next 5 minutes revolves around the notion of tactical
media, the fusion of art, politics and media." In: URL: http://www.next5minutes.org/
n5m/ about.jsp (12/14/2003)).
23 The project with "distributed authorship" was realized by coauthors in 11 cities in North America, Europe and Australia in the mailbox ARTEX (which Robert Adrian X, Bill Bartlett and Gottfried Bach installed in I. P. Sharp Associates Network) from 11th to 23rd December 1983. The visitors of the exhibition "Elektra" (Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris) could follow the process of writing on projectors, which were connected with the terminals of the authors (http://www.t0.or.at/ ~radrian/ ARTEX/ PLISSURE/ plissure.html (14.12.2003)). The result of the collaboration: URL: http://telematic.walkerart.org/ timeline/ timeline_ascott.html (12/14/2003). back
24 Landow, George P.: What´s a Critic to Do? Critical Theory in the Age of Hypertext. In: Landow, George P. (ed.): Hyper/Text/Theory. Baltimore 1994, p.1-47; Roberto Simanowski: Einige Vorschläge und Fragen zur Betrachtung digitaler Literatur. In: IASL Diskussionsforum online: Netzkommunikation in ihren Folgen. URL: http://iasl.uni-muenchen.de/ discuss/ lisforen/ siman.htm#Wreader (12/14/2003). back
25 There are no rules to follow except the one that contributions have to end without point. The program which cares for the adherence to this rule was outmaneuvered by clever users. The ca. 200.000 contributions are divided in (in November 2003: 22) pages. Davis´ introduction, in: URL: http://ca80.lehman.cuny.edu/ davis/ (12/14/2003). The beginning of the text, in: URL: http://ca80.lehman.cuny.edu/ davis/ Sentence/ sentence1.html (12/14/2003). The end of the text, in: http://ca80.lehman.cuny.edu/ davis/ Sentence/ sentence.html (12/14/2003). back
26 Grassmuck, Volker: Die Wissens-Allmende (2000). In: URL: http://www.mikro.org/ Events/ OS/ interface5/ wissens-almende.html (12/14/2003). back
27 Grassmuck, Volker: Das Ende des Allzweck-Computers steht bevor (2002). In: FIfF-Kommunikation, Nr.4/2002, p.34-37. URL: http://waste.informatik.hu-berlin.de/ Grassmuck/ Texts/ drm-fiffko.html (12/14/2003). back
28 Free Software Foundation: GNU General Public License
(GPL). In: URL: http://www.gnu.org/
29 CBGB´s 313 Gallery, New York, 11/13/2002-12/6/2002; In These Times, Chicago, 1/25-2/21/2003; Gaea Foundation´s Resource Center for Activism and Arts, Washington D.C., 4/29-6/7/2003; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Artists Gallery, July 2003, and others. In: URL: http://www.illegal-art.org/ (12/14/2003). back
30 Chilling Effects Clearinghouse: "A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, and University of Maine law school clinics." In: URL: http://www.chillingeffects.org/ (12/14/2003). back
31 Heins, Marjorie: "The Progress of Science and Useful Arts". Why Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom. A Public Policy Report (2nd edition, 2003). In: The Free Expression Policy Project. URL: http://www.fepproject.org/ policyreports/ copyright2dexsum.html (12/14/2003). back
32 F.e. Dawson, Jessica: Art without Cease, or Desist. In: The Washington Post, 5/8/2003; Lotozo, Eils: Private Intellectual Property: Keep Out! In: The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/15/2003; Nelson, Chris: An Exhibition That Borrows Brazenly. In: New York Times, 1/7/2003. back
34 United States Code, Title 17: Copyrights, chapter 1, Section 107: Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use. In: URL: http://liimirror.warwick.ac.uk/ uscode/ 17/107.html (12/14/2003). back
35 autonome a.f.r.i.k.a. gruppe/Blissett, Luther/Brünzels, Sonja: Handbuch der Kommunikationsguerilla. Berlin/Hamburg/Göttingen 1997/4th edition 2001. back
38 U.S. Copyright Office Summary: The Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 (December 1998). In: URL: http://www.loc.gov/copyright/ legislation/ dmca.pdf (12/14/2003). back
print/ popups/ freedom.html (12/14/2003); http://kembrew.com/
40 The judgement of United States District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, 2/2/2000, in: URL: http://www.eff.org/ IP/ Video/ MPAA_DVD_cases/ 20000202_ny_memorandum_order.html (12/14/2003). Archive of the Electronic Frontier Foundation on "Intellectual Property: MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) DVD Cases". In: URL: http://www.eff.org/ IP/ Video/MPAA_DVD_cases (12/14/2003). back
41 http://www.illegal-art.org/ print/ popups/ DVD.html (12/14/2003). Extensive catalogue with examples: Touretzky, David S.: Gallery of CSS Descramblers (2000). In: URL: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/ ~dst/ DeCSS/ Gallery/ (12/14/2003). Compare Alexander, Amy: DeArt-DeCSS Art Contest (et al.). Tom Vogts and Various Authors (2003). In: URL: http://runme.org/ project/ +deart/ (12/14/2003). back
42 On "Source Code" and "Object Code":
Touretzky, David S.: Source vs. Object Code: A False Dichotomy (12/14/2003).
In: URL: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/
~dst/ DeCSS/ object-code.txt (12/14/2003).
44 The Electronic Disturbance Theater (Ricardo Dominguez, Carmin Karasic, Brett Stalbaum, Stefan Wray) initiated the first actions with "FloodNet" in 1998. Brett Stalbaum and Carmen Karasic have developed the "FloodNet Applet" (Stalbaum, Brett: The Zapatista Tactical FloodNet. In: URL: http://www.thing.net/ ~rdom/ ecd/ ZapTact.html (12/14/2003)). back
45 Since 1/1/1994 the EZLN demands in the Mexican Chiappas the rights of the Indios and defends them against attacks of the great landowners and the Mexican Army (http://www.ezln.org/ (12/14/2003)). back
47 Garrido, Maria/Halavais, Alexander: Mapping Networks of Support for the Zapatista Movement. In: McCaughey, Martha/Ayers, Michael D. (ed.): Cyberactivism. Online Activism in Theory and Practice. New York 2003, p.165-184; Wray, Stefan: On Electronic Civil Disobedience (1998). In: URL: http://www.thing.net/ ~rdom/ ecd/ oecd.html (12/14/2003). back
48 On "FloodNet" and followers: Gürler, Hariye: Kollektive Strategien im Netz am Beispiel des Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) (2001). In: URL: http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/ fb09/ kunstpaed/ indexweb/ frankfurt/ referate/ guerl.htm (12/14/2003). back
49 http://runme.org/ project/ +admechelon/ (12/14/2003); http://adm.freelsd.net/ ADM/ADMechelon-lagger-V1.1.tar.gz (12/14/2003). back
50 LANs "TraceNoizer" was presented
like "Free Radio Linux" (s. chap. "Knowledge Commons versus
Copyright Industry") in Open_Source_Art_Hack
article.pl?sid= 02/04/26/0455210& mode=thread (12/14/2003)).
51 USA Patriot Act (10/26/2001). In: URL: http://www.eff.org/Privacy/
Surveillance/ Terrorism/hr3162.php (12/14/2003). Commented by the
"Electronic Frontier Foundation" in: URL: http://www.eff.org/
Privacy/ Surveillance/ Terrorism/ 20011031_eff_usa_patriot_analysis.php
52 Weber, Stefan: Medien Systeme Netze. Elemente einer Theorie der Cyber-Netzwerke. Bielefeld 2001, p.57-61,69-78. back
54 RTMark, 28th January 2002: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Press Release and Annual Report. NEW PROJECTS COMBAT CRIMINALIZATION OF DISSENT. In: URL: http://www.rtmark.com/ wef.html (12/14/2003): "The Reamweaver software...allows users to instantly <funhouse-mirror> anyone´s website in real time, while changing any words that they choose." back
56 Celant, Germano: Preconistoria 1966-1969. Florence
57 Alberro, Alexander/Norvell, Patricia: Recording Conceptual Art. Early Interviews...Berkeley/Los Angeles 2001, p.3,56s.,62; Berger, Maurice: Labyrinths. Robert Morris, Minimalism, and the 1960s. New York 1989, p.100s., ill.51; Lipman, Jean: Money for Money´s Sake. In: Art in America. January-February 1970, p.76s.,82s.; Shell, Marc: Art and Money. Chicago 1995, p.111; Williams, Richard J.: After Modern Sculpture. Art in the United States and Europe 1965-70. Manchester 2000, p.83s. back
58 Duchamp paid a dentist´s bill with a fake: He stamped the red letters "original" on the uncovered pseudo-check on $115, executed with pencil and stamp for the fictitious "Teeth´s Loan & Trust Company, Consolidated". Duchamp reported to have paid to Doctor Daniel Tzanck a sum for the repurchase of the check which was higher than the amount noted on it (Cabanne, Pierre: Entretiens avec Marcel Duchamp. Paris 1967, p.115s.). Duchamp reduced the "exhibition value " (see ann.59) to the presentation of the (simulated) exchange value (Compare Velthuis, Olav: Duchamp´s Financial Documents. Exchange as a Source of Value. In: tout-fait. The Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal. May 2000. URL: http://www.toutfait.com/ issues/ issue_2/ Articles/ velthuis.html (12/14/2003)). back
59 "Ausstellungswert": Benjamin, Walter: Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner Reproduzierbarkeit (1936). Frankfurt am Main 10th edition 1977, section V-VI, p.18-21. back
60 Installation in the Artspace, Sydney, 10/17-11/9/2002. The Installation with financial software and a chatroom was open to the public in the course of the purchases and sales. Documented in: http://www.catchingafallingknife.com (12/14/2003). Morris and Goldberg had the same time lapses for the exhibition and the installation. back
61 Luhmann, Niklas: Soziale Systeme. Grundriß einer allgemeinen Theorie. Frankfurt am Main 1984/2nd edition 1987 (stw 666), p.205s.,222s.,267,513. back
62 F. e. BEyOndTV. In: URL: http://www.beyondtv.org; Free Speech TV (auch: DISH Network Channel 9415). In: URL: http://www.freespeech.org (12/14/2003); Undercurrents. In: URL: http://www.undercurrents.org (12/14/2003); Indymedia Newsreal. In: URL: http://satellite.indymedia.org (12/14/2003); The Video Activist Network. In: URL: http://www.videoactivism.org (12/14/2003); Whispered Media. In: URL: http://www.whisperedmedia.org/ (12/14/2003). Compare Harding, Thomas: The Video Activist Handbook. London 2001, esp. p. 207-216. back
63 Haacke´s early real time systems (from 1962 to 1970) demonstrate differences in (A), because they thematize physical processes instead of social and sign systems (Haacke, Hans: Werkmonographie. Cologne 1972). back
64 http://rtmark.com/ f/ get/ funds/ media/ 4.html?inline=-1 (12/14/2003). A link in the project´s description connects with the example "They Rule". back