The Thing Rome on 30 Oct 2000 19:30:27 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Last call for No Protest No Profit

>>>LAST 24 HOURS<<<

NO PROTEST NO PROFIT, the first international competition of
Net.protest is closing the first wave of entries.

Last entries will be accepted until the midnight (Internet Time) of
Tuesday 31st of October.

After midnight, the Jury will reveal the economical value of the
artwork NO PROTEST NO PROFIT and of each e-mail that contributed to

NO PROTEST NO PROFIT received in the last days various offers from
different cultural institutions.
Out of this range, The Thing Rome will choose the offer that matches
or that is closest to the economical value established by the Jury.

Once the artwork will be sold, the participants will decide, each of
them in proportion to the value  of their personal contribute how to
re-invest the profit they produced.

Kind regards,

The Thing Rome



First International Competition of Net.Protest

Following the recent cases of the Roman Civic Network censorship - the
Luther Blissett's book "Let the little children..." and Francesca da
Rimini's interview - The Thing Rome and 0100101110101101.ORG launch
the First International Competition of Net.Protest.

All the e-mails of protest sent to the City Council of Rome at the
following addresses:

Mariella Gramaglia
Mauro Biddau
Claudia De Paolis

will be evaluated by an extraordinary international panel composed by
Natalie Bookchin (faculty member at California Institute of the Arts,
Los Angeles), Steve Dietz (Director, New Media Initiatives Walker Art
Center, Minneapolis), Ricardo Dominguez (artist and Senior Editor of
The Thing, New York), Matthew Fuller (artist and writer, London).

The Thing Rome has fixed the following criteria of evaluation for the
messages of protest:

Text-only messages are evaluated on the following basis:

a) The coherence with the reasons of the anti-censorship protest.
b) The level of emotional charge.
c) The capacity to sublimate the emotional charge into an artistic
form of writing.

Therefore, messages will be economically estimated in this way:

Argumentative: 0.50 dollars
Scandalized: 1 dollar
Aggressive: 2 dollars
Ironic/Sarcastic: 3 dollars
Paranoid: 4 dollars
Seductive: 5 dollars
Erotic: 6 dollars
Poetic: 7 dollars
Surreal: 8 dollars
Mytho-poetic: 9 dollars
Other: to be estimated
Original Ascii drawings get an extra bonus of 7 dollars.

Attached images, animations, movies and sounds will be evaluated on
the following criteria:

a) Level of coherence or "resonance" with the subject and the body of
the text.
b) Capacity to drive the imagination of the censors in an uncensored

The value of each of the attachments is fixed between 1 and 5 dollars.
A maximum of 3 attachments per protest email will be evaluated.

Attached scripts, applets and software will be evaluated on the
following criteria:

a) Conceptual interest of the anti-censorship interface .
b) Formal interest of dynamic anti-censorship pages.

Proprietary software are excluded from the competition. The value of
original scripts, applets and software is estimated between 10 and 100
dollars and will be proportional to the complexity of the code.

WARNING: Any message of protest should not be heavier than 1.5 Mb.
This is NOT an e-mail bombing campaign, but a competition.
Each competitor can apply with only one message. The Thing Rome and
0100101110101101.ORG declines any responsibility for derogatory or
offensive messages, which will be excluded from the competition.

The Deadline for all the Net.Protest is fixed for the 30 of October.

All of the messages (including the ones already sent) should be sent
in BCC to mailto:PROTEST=PROFIT@0100101110101101.ORG

The thing Rome:

Marco Deseriis
Giuseppe Marano

At the end of the competition the Jury will make a total estimation of
the e-mails and will establish a final price, as a result of the
addition of all the messages. This final price will fix the value of
the net.artwork "NO PROTEST NO PROFIT".

On the basis of this estimation, The Thing Rome will make an
economical offer to the City of Rome, in order to buy the Inboxes and
the Outboxes of Mariella Gramaglia, Mauro Biddau and Claudia De
Paolis, in the period included between the 2nd and the 30th of
October. An important cultural institution, still covered, will buy
the right to use the artwork, for a major exhibition. The exhibition
will be considered by no means a collective event, whose success will
be divided amongst all the participants.

The money that will come from the exhibition will be re-invested in
the next protest. The authors (shareholders) of the artwork, will have
the power to decide in which kind of protest to re-invest their money.
The power of decision of each author will be proportional to the
contribution (the economical value of the protest message) that each
of them produced.

In this way, at any new PROTEST, the PROFIT of the protesters will
increase, demonstrating that the only way to increase your capital is
to fight for it.


The Thing Rome



Censorship's history:

2 October 2000:

Following the umpteenth denunciation by Father Fortunato di Noto, the
priest President of the "Rainbow Association" , whose mission is to
hunt paedophiles and Satanists on the Internet (he is also known for
taking on those pernicious cartoon characters Sailor Moon and the
Simpson), the vice director general of the City of Rome, Mariella
Gramaglia, decides to obscure the pages of AvanaNet, an historical
group of the Roman telematic scene, threatening to denounce it "in
civil and criminal courts to have offended the honour of the City of

The crime that the group committed is to host on its site a book,
distributed in all the Italian bookshops called "Let the little
children...", signed with the pseudonym Luther Blissett.

"Let the little children..." is in fact a counter enquiry on
paedophilia and Satanism that in 1997 sought to make some clarity in
the ubiquitous media hysteria and focused on the risk of a new level
of limitations of civil liberties. In the text there isn't the
slightest exaltation of any form of violence against minors or adults
but, being a serious enquiry, the book contains many citations from
clinical studies that take into considerations sexual experiences
between minors and adults. In particular the citations quoted by
Father Fortunato di Noto has been extracted from a book of psychology
"Child and Sex", published by Little Brown and Company, publishing
house that is part of the multinational group Time Warner.

2 October
Namir, an institutional magazine of culture and philosophy is shut
down because of the publication of a provoking letter entitled "I'm a
paedophile", written by a deep handicapped man.

4 October
The group of The Thing Roma realises that an HTML document on their
site containing an interview by Ricardo Dominguez with Francesca da
Rimini, alias doll yoko, (originally published on The Thing New York
in 1996), had been removed. A letter of explanation from Mauro Biddau,
member of the Vice Direction General of the City of Roma and webmaster
of Rete Civica was received by The Thing on the same day. In this
letter Biddau admitted to having removed two images from the HTML
document (but in fact he had removed the entire document) because
"they were not in line with the rules of agreement between the City of
Rome and non-profit associations for the development of the Roman
Civic Network". But in reality this accord limits associations to not
using the net to transmit material which might be offensive to anyone.

The images in question - that you can see together with the interview
(in Italian) at
(or a slightly different version in English at - have been used in
"dollspace" , a well known work of internet art, financed by the New
Media Fund of the Australia Council, winner of two international
prizes, exhibited in numerous festivals and acquired by the University
of Westminster.

Furthermore, the GIF animations in question had been created from
original etchings by an artist using a Dutch printing press in 1789,
one of the first illustrations of the political/literary works of the
Marquis de Sade. Other images from this often reproduced series, also
capable of provoking "scandal" and "offence", even if they were
created 200 years ago, can be found at

9 October
The Thing Rome re-publish in solidarity with Avana the Luther
Blissett's book. The documents are immediately obscured. The City of
Rome sends a formal letter to The Thing Rome holding that what is
published is "damaging and could be considered offensive for reasons
of shamefulness, the communal morals and good social behaviour." The
Thing Rome moves the entire site on

9 October
The City of Rome publish on Romacivica a fake Deal between the City
and the Associations, which give an unlimited right to the City to
obscure the pages of the association at any moment, without any public
discussion. The "New Deal" have never been seen or signed by any of
the associations which animate the Roman Civic Network.

11 October
Another association, called The Observatory for the Rights of
Communication re-publish on Romacivica in solidarity with Avana the
Luther Blissett's book. The documents are immediately obscured.

... continues

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