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Feb 27, 2003

Benefit The ‘Zome

posted at 09:51 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid/photos

MTAA found ourselves at the benefit the last Tuesday night.

We also found ourselves drinking a whole bunch of booze and taking these photos.

Don’t miss the ritual Passing of The Five Bucks. permanent link to this post

Feb 25, 2003


posted at 16:46 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

I have a feeling that if you found out my real name, social security number and my mother’s maiden name, you could tell me what color my eyes are, my favorite beer, and the general state of my so - called love life. It seems that facts regarding our entire life can now be splayed out for public download. Not only our life but, the nations, honey bees, Greek poets, Las Vegas show girls and the planet Mars. All the facts are now available for us 24/7 and they can be served up in any combination of cross referenced forms.

Yes please, I would like to know the names of all Las Vegas show girls who wrote college thesis papers (graduate level) on Greek poets who contemplated Mars or Vulcan (or what ever they called it back then) and I would like the names listed alphabetically with their state of birth. Please e-mail this to me ASAP. Itıs for an artwork….seriously. permanent link to this post

Feb 24, 2003

Cremaster Opening At The Guggenheim

posted at 23:20 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid/photos

So, M.River said he was going to write some captions for the photos we took at the opening but he’s procrastinated it. I’ve written same real lame captions and posted the pics via iPhoto (hey, it’s fast and easy, I don’t care what you think).

Click here to experience the glamorious life of M.River and T.Whid. permanent link to this post

random art idea for the day..

posted at 21:39 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

Jon Ippolito gave me this idea while speaking with him about Creative Commons this morning. He said - You should remake the flash movie they have on the site. I looked at it and thought that the best thing to do would be to just change the voice over. If anyone wants to do it, go for it permanent link to this post

Feb 22, 2003

Wasabi Death Wish (WDW) 1999

posted at 19:11 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

The Wasabi Death Wish (WDW) is the worlds first Speed Metal Bunraku Puppet act that also functions as an alternative teaching method in basic math for grades K to 4. Created as a side project by the members of the MTAA, the WDW is performed as follows:

The two members of the WDW, M.River (aka MC Division) and T.Whid (aka DJ Long) enter a cafeteria, gym or classroom covered by black clothes from head to toe. Only their eyes are peer out from behind their black masks. The stage is set with only two microphones. The performers carry with them Bunraku style puppets that are animated by long poles. The two puppets stand about 3 feet high and are clothed in remarkably detailed costumes. MC Division, the lead singer puppet, is dressed in leather pants, no shirt and a Skull = Pie tattoo on its little shaved wooden head . DJ Long, the musical force of the WDW has a circa 1978 mullet haircut and a little bass guitar that seems hung far to low to play (ala Sid). The Puppeteers during the performance remain remarkable still while their scaled down alter egos trash about stage. The sound for the WDW is created beat box / air guitar style by the puppeteers. The WDW sound borrows heavily from Sabbath (the Oz years), Run DMC, Danzig, 7 Seconds and the ABC Saturday morning educational cartoons of School House Rock. The debut album of the WDW, entitled Satan Taught Me Math, includes the singles 6+6+6 and Subtract …Then FIGHT. permanent link to this post

Feb 20, 2003

MTAA Slogans

posted at 17:44 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

MTAA have a few slogans that we use to help guide us when we’re making our artwork and to help other people understand our motivations.

Here are a few slogans:

"Meaning In Misunderstanding"

"The Art Happens Here"

and this one is brand new: "Desperately Attempting To Tell You That We Have Nothing To Say"

And that’s all I can think of for now.

Matt Barney opening at the Guggenheim tonight. I’ll try to take some pics and make them available here. Should be a fun night for everyone. permanent link to this post

Feb 18, 2003

Annie Oakley - Live Shot, 1998

posted at 20:22 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

A proposal for performance on the internet

Materials - computer with internet and chat room capability, cell phone, camera, .022 rifle, paper target, car, an operator

Preparations - Before the performance, an announcement will be posted on the internet and sent to individuals by e-mail. This announcement will give the date, time, and web address for a live participatory trick shot with Annie Oakley.

Site work - Before the performance, a .022 riffle will be placed in the trunk of a car. The car will drive to the front of the start location. At the time for the performance to begin, a call from a cell phone will be placed to the operator at a start location.

Performance on the internet - The web page (internet site) at the time of the performance should contain the following information.

An image of Annie Oakley (one showing her over shoulder trick shot), a map of area marked with the starting location, a photograph of the gun in the trunk of a car and the following text:

I am in a car in front of (name of starting location).In the trunk of the car is a .022 riffle. In my coat pocket is a paper target and one live round. I am speaking to you from a car phone. My voice is being transcribed onto the web by an operator at (starting location name). Except for the delay in transcription, this is live. For the next 30 minutes, I would like to have anyone on the net select a traveling direction for an attempt at Annie Oakley’s over the shoulder trick shot.I am not interested in hurting anyone. Destruction of property or a night in jail is not my goal. All I am interested in is the shot. Everything else is up to you.

The performance then begins with information about the direction and speed of the car (i.e., I am heading west at 25 mph.) It will be my attempt for the next 30 minutes to have people on the web direct the car to some unknown site. After 30 min. of travel the car will stop. I will set up the target, load the riffle and take the shot.

Annie Oakley’s act in the Wild West Show brought a distilled version of the West to the big cites. The violence or necessity of life was presented as a nomadic circus performance. An argument may be made that the internet is all performance without the need for a link to the physical world. It is my hope that the participants on the web, in their response to the performance, will further define a relation to the external world.

Afterwards - At a later date, the images from the performance will be inter spliced onto the text of the conversation. This will create the final document of the work.
permanent link to this post

Feb 17, 2003

MTAA’s Ten Titles for Art Works That Can Be Made To Locate Meaning in One’s Bedroom AKA Text Based Night Light.

posted at 21:19 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

Installation Instructions:
1. Hang this text in your bedroom or area were you tend to fall asleep. If your bedroom is not available someone/somewhere else may be used.
2. Read text before sleeping.
3. In case of emergency or accidental awakening use this text to navigate room.

1. Portable 2 Square Feet Of Brooklyn Sky or Much to Our Surprise, Beautiful Airflow.
2. The Ever Popular Smithson/Helicopter/Spiral Chase Scene at 45 RPMs (for Tom)
3. Utopic Architecture and the Models who Love Them.
4. My New Century, Looks Like Your Used Mattress.
5. Stoneage, Ironage, Spaceage…Sleepage, Time based Sculpture for the Tired
6. Paris is the Sound of the Speed of Lights (for Anne).
7. New Monuments to the Old Skool, (Turntables on Marble)
8. Nightstand of The Gods (Alarm Clock, Glass of Water, Photograph of Everyone and Everything).
9. Area Rug for the working class, (Black Boots on Blue Wool)
10. …and as the confetti floats down and the spotlight fades, we make our way back to our room, thinking of sleep and the approaching red light of the day. AKA painting for the night before you knew meaning in your bedroom.

Bonus Tracks
+ just another maintenance free readymade (light on dust on window)
+ Tastefully done nudes may stop my disappointment but not my love
+ xxoo, asci art for the unimaginative
+ 3 minute pop song vs. 2 minute rough sketch (aka the sad reality of 6 hours work for 10 lines of text)
permanent link to this post

Snow Day

posted at 19:16 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid/photos

Hurray! Snow Day! Well, I had the day off anyway, but it sure did feel like a snow day. NYC had one wild weekend: historic peace demonstrations and now this historic snow fall.

Here are some pics of my street in Brooklyn:

pic 1
pic 2
pic 3 permanent link to this post

Feb 16, 2003

Peace Rally, NYC

posted at 12:00 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

Walking the streets of New York yesterday, with some hope to end a war before it begins, I felt at ease. This is an odd mood to have when the air is bitter cold, a line of cops on horse back just rode up to push everyone off the street, the city is on some weird orange alert and my government is about to bomb the fuck out of someone once again. It was as if it was familiar day. I felt proud of the strangers around me, from the anarchists to the police (whom I felt as individuals might agree with what we were saying this time…love it when cops break face and smile when they see some guy in full glam drag carrying a sign saying WAR IS NOT PRETTY).

Anyway, I thought it was a positive day.

Later in the evening, I went to see The Pianist and the whole ugliness of war that I fear will soon begin came back into focus. permanent link to this post

Feb 15, 2003

NYC peace rally report

posted at 20:51 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

so, there were tons of people and it was a great show of citizenship.

It was hard to get to the actual ‘legit’ rally but my cohorts and I made it eventually.

I met some people at the New York Public Library at 42nd St. and 5th Ave. at around 11:30AM. We headed out for 49th St. and 1st Ave at around noon.

Problems started at about 42nd and 3rd, we’re weren’t allowed to cross the avenue and were directed to start uptown on 3rd. As we headed uptown it was getting more and more crowded and the police wouldn’t allow people to cross the avenue at all. We finally crossed the avenue at around 51st but got caught in a big crowd. Everyone was supposed to stay on the sidewalk, but people wanted to move and after 51st the avenue became filled with people.

We were stuck between 51st and 53rd for a long time. At one point mounted police attempted to force people back onto the sidewalk but there was just way to many people and the police seemed to realize that with all the different people in the crowd including young children in strollers, older folks, and people in wheel chairs that it was to dangerous to treat the crowd roughly.

After that the police seemed to just want to keep the cross streets clear but were content to let people march up the avenue between blocks. Some cars and trucks had gotten caught by the crowd and were patiently waiting for the crowd to clear.

At 62nd we were allowed to go over to 2nd Ave. then they stopped us from going over to 1st so we kept heading uptown. Word on the street was that they were allowing people over on 72nd st. We got fed up at 68th and there were only 2 police manning the barricade. They tried to stop people from going through, but once you made it across they didn’t seem to care so we snuck through. After we got through a big crowd pushed through behind us and filled 68th St. between 2nd and 1st.

Now we had made it! But at every cross street they had barricades up. At 66th we just hopped over it. Once you were over the police didn’t pay any attention to you. At 65th people kept opening them up and stepping through and the police would close them up after a few people would slip through. My cohorts slipped through and I got stuck on the other side. Eventually people opened up the barricades and we all pushed through, as I went through I pulled it wide open. It felt good to let all the people out but then a girl came up to me and told me to be more careful; she got hit in the stomach when I had pulled it open. I apologized and felt guilty about it for a while.

By this point I’m feeling pretty crappy as I’ve been sick all week and am taking antibiotics so I only hung around for a few speakers and left. permanent link to this post

Feb 14, 2003

New York Sunset Rim Shot

posted at 20:14 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

A notes for work from Oct. 13 1997 that seems to match my mood today

A performance to take place on a roof of an industrial building in Brooklyn New York. The performance is presented with only the participates and a camera person. The performers are filmed so that the sky line of Manhattan is visible as well as the sunset. The camera shot is static with all performers framed within the shot. At the center of the shot is a drum kit with a drummer seated behind. The kit sits down action (furthest) from the camera. In the mid point between the kit and the camera are two men. They stand to the right and left of the kit. They face each other with the kit, the sunset, and the city framed between them. All three performers are miked.

The performance consist of the hour of sunset. As the hour goes by the two performers read to each other. At pauses between sentences, the drummer performs a rim shot. The drummer performs the rim shot with out a cue and with out prior knowledge of the text. At each rim shot the speakers exchange turns speaking. permanent link to this post

Feb 13, 2003

Some Rights Reserved

posted at 16:51 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

This site uses a Creative Commons license and I back the idea 100%. (Not sure if M.River cares that I’m giving our stuff away, oh well).

Check out this Scientific American article about Lessig’s idea of ‘Some Rights Reserved’.

Also, now that M.River seems to be posting here it should be made known what those little links on the left are. If you click on mriver you will see only M.River’s posts and the twhid link works the same. The link on rss feed is the URI for the RSS feed. RSS is an XML format that allows syndication of blog-like sites. I use NetNewsWire Lite for Mac OSX to check headlines of my favorite sites. permanent link to this post

Feb 12, 2003

Some random thoughts on the state of the art…

posted at 19:54 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

1. I’ve noticed a recent increase in the use image and video manipulation over text and vector graphics within net art. Although some have used image as a main tool for some time (brad brace comes to mind) a form of realism seems to be on the rise. Reasons? Perhaps digital cameras becoming common, more access to broadband, better software,or the change in political climate.

2. Along or against this trend, new works are being made using what Cory Archangel may have coined “Dirt Style Design” or Low-Fi net art. These works look back to the “Heroic Period” of as well as the pop home pages of the net. Think Hampster Dance (circa 1997) meets Reasons? Who knows? Maybe it’s the same reasons as in thought 1.

3. When looking at net art as well as art in general of late, I’ve been trying to use the American movie rating system. Not as a quality judgement but as another way to look at content. “G” and “PG” seem to be the ratings of the time. I am looking for an interesting PG-13 or up. Other people have pointed out to me that using movie ratings to look at visual art is like comparing apples to oranges but it has been a good exercise for me.

The reason for the post is that for the last year or so I have felt net art has been in a holding pattern. Great art works are being made and attention is finally being given, but I miss the time of experimentation. Thoughts 1,2 and 3 have let me know that net art might change again as all art will do. permanent link to this post

one of the greatest artworks of all time

posted at 16:23 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Your Time Is Valuable (shockwave needed)

cool thing: it’s portable too! Just as effective online as it is in the gallery and vice versa.

yee ha! and hooo-ray! permanent link to this post

"Digital Typography" ca. 1983

posted at 15:06 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

While at my girlfriend’s parents home the other evening I ran across an article called Digital Typography from a Scientific American ca. 1983. It is a fascinating read, I feel like an archeologist who has found a tome that which explains the basis of his belief system (ok, maybe that’s taking it a bit far).

Over the next few days I’ll post some of the more juicier passages from it along with scans from diagrams. One of the fun things about the article is it’s antique tone: ..once letterforms are represented as discrete elements they can be efficiently encoded as discrete and distinguishable phyical properties in any convenient medium, processed as bits of information by a computer, transmitted over great distances as pulses of current and decoded to reconstitute the letterforms… ah, email anybody? permanent link to this post

Feb 11, 2003

War Protest

posted at 18:09 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

This weekend in NYC. Meet at 1st and 49th St. at Noon on Saturday the 15th of Feb, 2003.

If anyone’s interested, I’m meeting up with some people at 11:30AM on the south side of Union Square. Come on down and get yer anti-war on! Send me email if you interested so we know who we’re waiting for. After that the 6 to Lexington and 51st should get us close to the rally. permanent link to this post

Update Shoot

posted at 14:01 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

M.River and I were talking a while back about updating Chris Burden’s seminal Shoot performance from 1971. MTAA have done a few updates of artist’s work in the past.

This is the idea:

We make a credit card public. All the information one would need to steal the credit card and use it would be made publicly available on the web.

It’s fairly easy to see the irony in updating Shoot in this way. I think it’s a good idea for a project but we’re afraid that this information would lead to someone stealing our identities all together. (Which I guess is an update to being shot in the chest instead of the arm). permanent link to this post

Feb 09, 2003

The new MTAA blog is up!

posted at 22:17 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

I’ve posted some things below to help get this thing started. The texts below were orginally posted on to the Rhizome RAW mailing list. If you’re not familiar with Rhizome, it’s a new media discussion site. (There’s plenty of links on this page so that you can find your way there.)

We hope to keep this thing fairly active and keep folks abreast of the happenings in the New York City new media and net art scene. Like, last night: Cary Peppermint performance at the Collective Unconscious, a alternative theater on Ludlow St.

Cary launched a few new ‘techno-lectures’ during the performance including Fever Lecture (11.7mb). And had a couple of ‘e’ addled asian hipsters doing some club moves. I would say that a good time was had by all.

OH YEAH! almost forgot, if you want a link on the side bar over there, let me know. permanent link to this post

The yearn to be appreciated long after you’re dead

posted at 16:45 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

[orginally posted to the rhizome raw list on 10/8/99]

recently reading an editorial by philippe de montebello, the director of the met [museum] in nyc, i was troubled by his idea that superior aesthetic form is the primary criteria for a lasting artwork. he stated that though daumier merely made political cartoons, we appreciate his work over his contemporary Gavarni because "he was only a journeyman artist..".

what’s troubling to me isn’t the overly conservative tone of the piece, or the obviously out-dated modernist view of form being the single most important attribute art holds, or the assumption that the artists he derides in the article care about the staying power of their work. (most artists don’t care, only the museums and collectors who need to protect their investments.) no, what troubled me was that young artists who do have a romantic notion of being appreciated and famous long after they are dead have gotten very bad advice. net artists especially have gotten very bad advice from that editorial. the aesthetic superiority of the formal qualities of your work won’t ensure lasting appreciation, pr will.

its simple to have good pr while you’re alive and kicking. you do it yourself. you create networks of like-minded individuals who all promote one another. you issue press releases. you can hire someone to do it, if you have the loot. but after you are dead, the pr machine may quiet down quite a bit. you are no longer controlling it, if you’re lucky you’ll have endowed an institution to keep your name in the public eye. or the museum curators and the collectors will keep you in the press as a way of boosting their collections value. but as a net artist, who are we kidding? no one will have you in their collections, you’ll never have enough money to endow an institution. sure you have the power of the internet in your grasp, so in your time you can easily be known worldwide, but what happens after you’re not updating that website once a month?

i believe i have an answer: confusion!

that’s right, while you are alive, create lots of confusion about who you are and what you do. and leave lots of cryptic clues on email lists and bbs’s all over the internet. the historians love a mystery, and the future net art historians are going to have a gold mine of information, but only if we do our parts to help them now!

1. ensure that any email you send does not have your actual name on it.

2. if at all possible find a few alias’s to identify yourself, not just one: m.river, mark river, mike river, mike sarrf, is a good example. you could even pretend you are 2 or more different people.

3. create different and fanciful resumes, narratives, bios, statements to include in any and all shows you are affiliated with and on your websites.

4. the future net art historians may begin to become discouraged by all the confliciting data, so you need to sow the “truth” throught the data stream in a way that will be challenging to the historian, but not impossible for her to create a final story. to insure a place in the net art pantheon, sow 2-4 different “truths” through your data stream, this will promote healthy, attention getting debate amongst the future most ambitious net art historians.

5. create networks with other net artists to help bolster these different “truths” through your data stream.

i encourage anyone with any other ideas on how best to spin one’s future narrative to post it to this forum, i encourage mark tribe to, after a period of discussion on this topic, destroy this email and all threads relating to it so as we’re not found out!

remember, its always nice to be “rediscovered”. permanent link to this post

1997 - 2006 M.River & T.Whid Art Associates. Some Rights Reserved. is licensed under a Creative Commons License with the exception of Website Unseen titles which are covered by agreements with individual collectors and otherwise where noted.