Quim Gil on Fri, 6 Jul 2001 20:09:59 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Mutella #5

Mutella - http://metamute.com/eletter/ 
A monthly e-letter coming from Metamute.

Read it, forward it, subscribe to it or simply delete it. Thanks.


| M | U | T | E | L | L | A | __ sprrrrrread it!



........1. Editorial [Mutella #5]
........2. LA, UK [funding the digital arts in London]
........3. The Male History of Net.art [NOT, NOT, NOT]
........4. Coke goes mobile [a new era for blue-chip branding?]
........5. Coca Karma [Coke rots more than your teeth...]
........6. Echelon Gets as Good as it Gives [new EU report out]
........7. Locker Baby Takes First Steps [on-offline art]
........8. Randomiser [oh don't ask why]
........9. Goatee Corner [what's hot in the music shop]
.......10. The Museum of Jurassic Technology on English Soil
.......11. Food for Mediaworms
.......12. Metamute Philes, Mute Data



Sorry for the delay in getting your end of June Mutella this was due to
a few technical hitches at Mute server central, our punishment for not
sticking to the first rule in the hacker bible 'if it works don't fix

Hot, hot, hot. Sounds surprisingly unlike London, but hey, who are we to

June's Mutella is out *just* before Mute20, which is out mid July...
Themed partly around the notion of the digital commons, it features
several members of Sarai, Delhi's New Media Initiative; Ted Byfield
talking to James Boyle; JJ King on the ignominious ICANN and four
frankly psychedelic UK farming futures by James Flint and Hari Kunzru.

To each and every dozen-or-so of you who chanced dipping into the
Metamute forum, we want to apologise for its recent New Millennium-style
disaster... Seems we overloaded the poor thing, but it's up again and
with better stabilisers. All we can say is Please Come Back. And hope
that All is Forgiven.

No news yet on the next Mute's Public Life, but keep an eye on


You can find the Metamute forum @W--: http://metamute.com/forum/

Pauline van Mourik Broekman, Simon Worthington, Josephine Berry, Hari
Kunzru, James Flint, Jamie King, Chris Darke, Kate Rich, Quim Gil, Lina
D. Russell, Joan Johnston.


LA, England [funding the digital arts in London]

London Arts aka 'LA' have started their programme of infrastructural
funding for the digital arts in London by giving a number of groups two
years' worth of funds to develop and provide a variety of resources
(covering cultural programming, education, critical debate, technical
resources, training, infrastructural experimentation, and more). Lest it
be raised (understandably) that there are already organisations out
there doing this, the onus is on building stronger networks *outside* of
established institutional structures and supporting those that are
'emergent'. In this case, being:

W--: Media Arts Project (MAP) http://mediaartprojects.org.uk
W--: Digital Guild http://www.digitalguild.org.uk
W--: DECKSPACE http://dek.spc.org
W--: Audiorom http://www.audiorom.com
W--: Port55 (which we can't find a website for at the mo')
W--: and us lot, Metamute http://metamute.com

W--: London Arts


The Male History of Net.art: Temporary Autonomous Pavilion at the Venice

I'm not sure what was more disturbing during this year's Venice Biennale
opening week: the endless 'Luc Tuymans appreciation society'
conversations at the Haig Bar or the notion that across town, net.art
history was, yet again, being written by men - and hardly anything was
being done about it.*

Safely packaged into an artworld-friendly exhibition format, the
Temporary Autonomous Pavilion curated by Vuk Cosic, stood as a testament
to the 'heroic period of net.art'. In Cosic's own words, the pavilion
included work of 'several artists that have shared the net.art adventure
since the early days'. Housed in a disused church, the pavilion included
a number of key projects by Heath Bunting, Vinyl Video, Tom Jennings,
Jodi, Rtmark and Cosic himself, providing the Biennale the much needed
soupcon of that 'net art thing'. Setting aside the problems of showing
this type of work in static (gallery) spaces, the Temporary Autonomous
Pavilion included some of the most interesting work in this years'

What is perplexing, however, is what seems to be by now, an accepted
omission of many equally important projects dating back to the 'heroic
period'. Presented in the context of a major exhibition such as the
Venice Biennale, a show like the Temporary Autonomous Pavilion is likely
to become what the art establishment equates with net.art. A question
that is difficult to avoid is: Didn't artists such as Olia Lialina,
Rachel Baker and Natalie Bookchin (to name but a few) share the net.art
adventure, and why will the Venice Biennale visitors never know this?

* In an action called 'Mind the Flowers', incensed representatives of
the cyberfeminist group Old Boys Network did present Cosic with an
ironic bouquet and commended him for his 'services' rendered to net.art
and on reaching the pinnacle of his career. Sadly, he didn't seem to get
the joke.

W--: Slovenian Pavilion and Temporary Autonomous Pavilion:
W--: Old Boys Network http://www.obn.org

To discuss this article go to the Metamute forum
W--: http://metamute.com/forum/viewforum.php?forum=5


Coke goes mobile...

In a move of truly worldwide significance, Coca-Cola is changing its
advertising strategy. The original monolithic brand, whose identity has
always been micromanaged from global HQ at Atlanta is, for the first
time, decentralising. The new sales push, reported in Media Guardian as
worth £30m in the UK alone (that's £82,000 a DAY kids) is an increase of
45% on last year's ad spend and for the first time sees ads (for Fanta,
Dr Pepper and Diet Coke too) made by local agencies. No more generic US
teens. No more cryptic 'enjoy!' message. Instead quirky local dv-shot
edgy yadda yadda UK stuff from McCann Ericsson.

Coke has always controlled all aspects of its business centrally, and in
the last few years this has been causing it to lose ground. The new
chief exec. Doug Daft (!) is decentralising all Coke decision making to
regional offices. Coke's new 'act local' policy must surely be seen in
the context of the new unease about global homogeneity which is
filtering even into the heart of corporate America. The localisation of
Coke is a pluralisation, a multiplication which inaugurates a new era of
fluidity and hypermobility. Since Coke's whole branding strategy has
always been based on global universality, this is a watershed,
potentially opening a new era where global brands play down their
omnipresence - where multinationals retreat into invisibility, only
breaking the surface as pseudo-local brands.

In another interesting UK move, Coke has been marketing a drink called
'Burn', conceived as a competitor to Red Bull WITHOUT any coke branding
on the packaging. No Logo Coke? The death of universal branding as a
positive thing? Welcome to a new era of corporate dematerialisation.

(Coca-Cola, the patron saint of fizzy drinks hath spoken. Verily, it
sayeth unto us: "No matter how big or complex our business becomes, we
must always demonstrate complete respect for each other. As the world
becomes more interconnected, yet more firmly rooted in local pride,
recognition of our interdependence with our stakeholders [err, anybody
else?] becomes even more essential.")

W--: WebHQ http://www2.coca-cola.com/about/whatwedo/beliefs.html



There's a long, unwieldy, but stirring article on guerillanews.com which
may be of interest for the following reasons. One, that Coca-Cola might
have somehow  forgotten, in this intellectual-property obsessed
hell-hole in which we live, to re-register a prime bit of its identity*.
One-point-one, that a second-rate ad exec could have inadvertently
registered it himself during the hiatus. Two, that Coca-Cola has
functioned since the 1960s as a front for the CIA, helping operatives
get respected corporate positions in otherwise chary** nation states.
Three, that it can cost about a million bucks to become a judge in the
US system, and that the cash is often stumped up by third parties to
'buy' the judge's seat and turn the judge in question into a corporate
or political 'bitch'. Four, that Coca-Cola has got the infamously bendy
Chicago court system royally sewn up. Five, that the whole nasty mess
continues all the way up to the Appeals Court. Six that the Supreme
Court itself has open contempt for the principles of the sacred US
Constitution when it comes to preserving the even more sacrosanct
liberties of the Corporation. Sound like the world we live in to you?
Then you won't need to read it, will you?

* The device of putting the Coca-Cola bottle on the can as an image.

** "Chary: discreetly cautious: as a: hesitant and vigilant about
dangers and risks b: slow to grant, accept, or expend a person - very
chary of compliments"

W--: Guerillanews http://www.guerrillanews.com/cocakarma/


New Designers launches the careers of 4,000 selected designers from over
100 colleges. Meet the emerging stars of the design industry and view
their skills today. To take advantage of the Mute Priority Trade Ticket
Price of £11.00 (normally £12.00) - which allows you unlimited access to
the event and Trade Previews on the 4th & 11th July - call the ticket
Hotline 0870 739 0973 (quote MUTE) Part One 5-8th July, Part 11-15th



Echelon Gets as Good as it Gives

"LONDON, UK - Echelon exists. Now it's official: A report published by
the European parliament removes any lingering doubt. Echelon, a shadowy,
US-led worldwide electronic spying network, is a reality. In the cold
war, eavesdropping was aimed at military and diplomatic communications,
but today it has switched to commercial targets and private individuals.
Echelon computers can store millions of records on individuals,
intercepting faxes, phone calls, and emails. The report was prompted by
claims that the US and other nations was using Echelon to spy on
European companies on behalf of American firms. Though Members of the
European Parliament claim there is no conclusive proof of industrial
espionage, there is concern about the threat posed to privacy."

W--: From the Association for Progressive Communications
W--: Full article

Over on mailing list Nettime, Sean Cubitt says: "Echelon no longer
respects private property. The private individual was never an essential
element of capitalism. Now we learn that capital does not need private
intellectual property either. Nettimers should welcome and encourage the
development of such progressive technologies."

While Aldon Hynes tells Sean to cool his boots, quoting the following
from Nazi Party leader Robert Ley: "In Germany there are no private
matters any more. If you sleep, that's your private matter, but the
moment you wake up and come into contact with another person, you must
remember that you are a soldier of Adolf Hitler."


W--: Nettime's fully searchable archive (1995--) http://www.nettime.org/
W--: Anti-Echelon links page http://www.echelon.wiretapped.net/
W--: [[AND TODAY]] Celebrating ten years of Statewatching


Locker Baby Takes First Steps

Net artist and cyberporn film maker Shu Lea Cheang is in the midst of
another epic production. Mixing cyberpunk staples with a self-alienating
and ice-cool take on sex and gender, her "Locker Baby - the Clone
Generation" is a thematic continuation of her not-to-be-missed movie
"I.K.U.". The first part of the trilogy, "Baby Play", is up and running
at the InterCommunication Center (ICC) in Tokyo and on the Net. The
installation comprises an enormous, over life-sized game of 'foosball'
or 'baby foot' in which 140 cm inflatable dolls are substituted for
footballers. As gallery visitors put the surreal game into play, the
ball's movements are tracked by sensors and relayed to the website. The
Locker Baby story itself, set in 2030, begins with the posthuman babies'
birth inside Tokyo coin lockers (we're not exactly sure what happens
next but its bound to involve some very fucked-up Freudian fall-out).
The locker metaphor is carried over onto the website and serves as an
interface for a database of words and sounds left behind by visitors.

Although the feedback between the installation and the website is pretty
standard fare, the image of these huge suspended baby dolls does come
close to the wild imaginative helter-skelter of Cheang's film. The
titles of the next two parts of the trilogy, Baby Work and Baby Love,
sound just about kinky enough to fulfil all our expectations.

W--: Baby Play http://babyplay.ntticc.or.jp


Randomiser: you wot?!

1) Electronetwork

Thank you, oh world, for giving us people dedicated to: "investigating
and interrogating eletromagnetic reality". This site has the rare talent
of being equally dedicated to activism and the appreciation of recherché
cultural and scientific works of electromagnetic merit.

Their first project, launched this summer, is called Seeing Cyberspace -
an initiative for " teaching citizens how to 'see' the Internet in the
every day electrical infrastructure, relating it to the major issues we
face today as human beings, and organising the public to enact changes
necessary to sustaining a democratic society in the 21st century." Phew.

W--: Electronetwork http://www.electronetwork.org/

2) Orgasmatrix

We suspect that these freaky geeks still live at home with their
mommies. (Parental Advisory: Explicit 'content')

W--: Orgasmatrix http://www.orgasmatrix.com


Mutella Music aka Goatee Corner
Victor Malloy: The Musings of Victor Malloy (Inertia, June 2001) Young
Mr. Malloy is clearly living in his own nouvelle vague movie. You can
tell this from the moody pic of him smoking a fag on the album cover and
from his music, which is like a jungle remix of Miles Davis's soundtrack
to "L'Ascenseur a l'Echafaud". Super cool.
Various Artists: Border Crossing (Immigrant, June 2001) Sampler from
LA-based electronic label, including offerings from John Tejada, Paul
Mac, and Alexi Delano. Deep n pumpin'; will probably be played a lot at
Great Eastern parties throughout the summer.
Gorodisch: Thurn & Taxis (The Leaf Label, June 2001) Delicate melodies
etched out on cello, guitar and horns, over a programmed backdrop,
natch, from the same scene as Four Tet, Fridge and Badly Drawn Boy. Sort
of This Mortal Coil meets Neil Young, if that makes any sense at all.
DJ Spinna: Strange Games And Things (BBE, May 2001) A good one this, if
you fancy filling out your collection with a few more rare groove
classics. A three CD set, on CD 1 Spinna does you a mixŠ but on CDs 2 &
3 he thoughtfully gives you the full length cuts of all the toones he's
used. Nice.
Hazard: Wind (Ash International, May 2001) Old mute faves the Ash label
are back, with more eco-minimalism. This time its Stockholm-based
composer Benny Jonas Nilsen reporting in from the bleeding edge of the
wind recording scene. 'I did catch some fine air movement in trees,
branches, grass and hail or thunderstorms,' he says. Go Benny.
Various: Kaleidoscopic Beats Groove Anthology (Farside, June 2001) A
cosmopolitan collection of cuts from the likes of DJ Food, Hidden Agenda
and the Nextmen. One to play while sitting in the traffic queue for that
summer festival.
Various: Nightstarter (Moodmusic, June 2001) Okay, I know, it's not
strictly fair to award a compilation Mutella record of the month, but
this is the CD I just couldn't keep out of the tray. It's track one
that's the clincher, Freestyle Man & Gs' "I Need your Love", a simple
tune of pure groin-tugging grooviness. Get down!


The Museum of Jurassic Technology on English Soil

'Our Inheritance in The Great Pyramid God's Cubit' An exhibition curated
by James Putnam at the Petrie Museum, UCL London UK

An installation of the so-called 'Phantogram', a special viewing
apparatus entailing a stereographic system optical station with
additional audio accompaniment. Once you've jacked into this high-tech
system a very 'special' story about Sir William Flinders Petrie, the
father of modern Egyptology and the Golden Cubit, unfolds. Also check
out the collection of the Petrie Museum itself - very impressive.

May 26 - Aug 18 2001-05-30
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 1-5pm/ Saturday 10am - 1pm
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
University College London
Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT

T--: +44(0)20 7504 2884
W--: http://www.petrie.ucl.ac.uk


Food for Mediaworms [MuteEyes & Ears R bigger than MuteStomachs]

The cream of the propaganda crop - for your delectationŠ

INTERACTION: Artistic Practice in the Network
Edited by Amy Scholder and Jordan Crandall
Forward by John S. Johnson
Publisher: Eyebeam Atelier & D.A.P
Price: £16.00
ISBN: 1891024248

"A passionate debate on the vast transformations wrought by the internet
and their implications for artistic practice."

Contributors to the book include: Robert Adrian, Simon Biggs, Josephine
Bosma, Andreas Broeckmann, Craig Brozefsky, Critical Art Ensemble,
Ricardo Dominguez, Alex Galloway, Marina Grzinic, N. Katherine Hayles,
Brian Holmes, Jodi, Lev Manovich, Margaret Morse, Hans Ulrich Obrist,
Luiz Camillo Osorio, Saskia Sassen, Matthew Slotover, Alan Sondheim,
Brett Stalbaum. And so on. And on and on.

W--: Eyebeam Atelier: http://www.eyebeam.org/interaction/home.html

Secret City
By Department of Ongoing Digital Situations (DOODS)
Label: Secession, 2001
Price: $14.00 inc. p&p

What's on it: Alberto Tsara's Legends to Maps of Freedom (a provocative
collage comprised of sound fragments with media art luminaries such as
Greil Marcus, Bruce Sterling, Natalie Jereminjenko and Craig Baldwin)
and Ion Van Gemsy's Unheard History of Cyberspace (dedicated to the
social activists who shaped and extended the net across Asia from the
late 80s to the early 90s).

W--: Secession: http://www.toysatellite.org/secession/releases/sr004.php

[Reminiscent of all those 80s manuals, but with a decidedly different
flavour from the "Sloane Ranger's Handbook"]
The Dream Dictionary: for the Modern Dreamer
By Tim Etchells
Publisher: Duck Editions, 2001
Price: £9.99
ISBN 071563108X

[for anyone not forever put off de Sade by Philip Kaufmann's silly
costume-flick 'Quill', this is supposed to be "a fine addition to Sadean
studies" and a controversial whip, ehem, around 120 Days of Sodom,
Philosophy in the Boudoir, Justine and Juliette]
Sade: The Libertine Novels
By John Phillips
Publisher: Pluto Press, July 2001
ISBN 0745315984

W--: Pluto Press http://www.plutobooks.com

Routledge's Thinking in Action series is the theory junkie's answer to
the eminently pocketable Penguin 60s series. Now you can read a whole
book by Derrida in one train ride, a Railtrack-based ride that is…

Thinking in Action, edited by Simon Critchley and Richard Kearney,
includes the following titles:

On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness
By Jacques Derrida

On Science
B.K. Ridley
[admitteldy this would have to be a train ride between Thursoe and

On Religion
John D. Caputo
[hopefully the heating will have broken down and the chairs will be
in woven horse hair]

On Belief
Slavoj Zizek

On Immigration and Refugees
Michael Dummett

On the Internet
Hubert L. Dreyfus
[Although the Routledge blurb quite inaccurately states that "On the
Internet is one of the first books to bring philosophical insight to the
debate on how far the Internet can and cannot take us", it isn't
Dreyfus's surplus of philosophical knowledge but his total deficit of
concrete Internet experience that distinguishes this book. The result is
a flattening of the Net's many different capabilities and uses into the
corny and frankly passe cliché of the extropian who longs to jettison
'the meat'. Starting from this false premise of what actually goes on on
the Net, Dreyfus then proceeds to boringly pontificate on how there are
certain physiological forms of communication and experience which cannot
find their equivalent in the Net. We say: Big fat hairy deal.]

Paperback price: £7.99
W--: Routledge http://www.routledge.com


Mute Philes

Martin Conrads' and Ulrich Gutmair's interview with science fiction
writer Bruce Sterling, featured in Mute19, is now finally available on
Metamute's current issue pages…The hour-long interview, in which
Sterling explores the impact of President Bush's anti-ecological stance
and discusses his own interventions in the global warming issue, is at…
W--: Current Mute http://metamute.com/mutemagazine/current/bruces.htm
W--: Viridian Design http://www.viridiandesign.org
W--: Thanks to Micz Flor for streaming support http://crash.mi.cz

Mute Data

To subscribe to Mute (UK £18, student rate £12)
W--: http://metamute.com/acatalog/metamute_subcription_17.html
Also on offer, bac packs (issues pilot thru 7) and back issues @£14
W--: http://metamute.com/acatalog/metamute_products_14.html
Single issues of the present Mute issue 19 can be purchased online
W--: http://metamute.com/acatalog/metamute_current_issue_20.html


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