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Jun 30, 2006

2006 - 2007 Rhizome net art commissions announced

posted at 20:52 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

The new Rhizome net art commissions for 2006 - 2007 were announced today.
Rhizome is pleased to announce that eleven international artists/groups have been awarded commissions to assist them in creating original works of Internet-based art. Each commission will range from $2500 — $1000. The selected artists are Annie Abrahams and Igor Stromajer, Nadia Anderson and Fritz Donnelly, Adam Brown and Andrew Fagg, Corey Jackson and Aaron Meyers, Zach Lieberman, Michael Mandiberg, the Institute for Applied Autonomy and Trevor Paglen, Evan Roth and Ben Engebre, SLOWLab (Carolyn Strauss and Julian Bleecker), Marek Walczak and Martin Wattenberg and YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES.

Go to Rhizome to check out the project descriptions and artist bios.

Congrats to everybody!

As an aside, MTAA’s To Be Listened To… was a 2005 - 2006 Rhizome net art commission. permanent link to this post

Jun 29, 2006

Jill Greenberg’s End Times series

posted at 01:12 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

image © Jill Greenberg
See more at Paul Kopeikin Gallery web site

There is a bit of controversy on-line regarding the End Times series of photographs by Jill Greenberg. The photographs depict a series of children in differing stages of frustration and rage. It’s basically a bunch of toddlers screaming and crying. Thomas Hawk has gone so far as to call for her arrest on child abuse charges.

The use of a child in any media endeavor (film, tv, theater, art installations, child beauty pageants, etc) is exploitative. Obviously, a young child can’t make an informed decision as to their participation in a particular enterprise so they are all being ‘used’ to some degree.

The question of whether or not the children in Jill Greenberg’s photos are being exploited is simple. Yes they are. But why does Thomas Hawk see this as any worse than the thousands children being exploited everyday in our media? Why does he perceive child abuse in these photographs?

My answer is that the power of the photos overwhelms him; he’s a naive viewer. He sees compelling photos of distressed children and can’t separate the fiction of the photo from the reality of its making.

Hawk is simply a fool. He has no idea what went on in Greenberg’s studio, but that doesn’t stop him from screeching “child abuse” as loud as he’s able. He has no facts, he only has the photos — a fiction — but he recklessly calls for the artist’s arrest. It’s inexcusable. In fact, according to Greenberg’s husband (Hawk posted a comment from him at the bottom of this post), the children were made to cry by having lollipops taken away from them. If that’s child abuse we’ll need to lock up 99% of the parents in this country. Greenberg’s husband goes on to say that this is the industry standard method of getting kids to cry on camera. I have no idea, having no experience and the source of this info is obviously tainted.

This is the part of the post where I’m a dick. I’m trying to figure out why Hawk went ballistic regarding Greenberg, when this sort of thing goes on daily in the media industry. My guess is that he’s jealous. He’s an amateur and not very talented photographer whereas Greenberg is a very successful and enormously talented commercial and fine art photographer. Her End Times photos are incredibly well crafted, beautiful and powerful, whereas his answering photo is trite and cliche.

Note: In the time it took me to start and finish this post (a span of a few days), Jill Greenberg and her husband have done a few not-so-nice things to try to shut Thomas Hawk up. They should have kept the moral high-ground, but they decided to try some bully tactics. Their actions are inexcusable. But Hawk’s a self-rightous fool so I guess it evens out. permanent link to this post

Jun 28, 2006

AIOTD - We Never Get the Chance to

posted at 22:46 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

This AIOTD is a performance/ collaboration between MTAA and another artist in a public space or gallery. At 5pm on Saturdays, members of MTAA bring a coffee or a beer (depending on the collaborating artist choice) to the performance location. MTAA and the collaborating artist have a beer or coffee and talk about what happened last week. When one and only one coffee or beer is done, everyone shakes hands, says goodbye, and walks away. The performance occurs for one month.

update - oh, btw, if you are an artist or a gallery in nyc that would like to do this AIOTD with us this fall, just give me an email. ( thanks. permanent link to this post

Will MTAA ever post again?

posted at 13:57 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

That is the burning question… will MTAA ever post to this blog ever again?

The answer: probably.

In the meantime, read this: Raising the Reblog Bar (AFC).

I’m writing a slightly longer post regarding this controversy, but haven’t finished it yet. permanent link to this post

Jun 18, 2006

I want video angels

posted at 13:55 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

I want video angels permanent link to this post

Back to Ubuntu

posted at 13:49 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid/geek

Long, long ago (unsure when; the dates got messed up on this blog) I tried to get into Linux with the Ubuntu flavor. It seemed to work OK for a while, but it eventually failed to boot and I got sick of re-installing it, so I finally gave up on it.

Yesterday, I installed Parallels on my Macbook Pro. Parallels allows you to run different OSs simultaneously. I didn’t have a copy of Windows, so I downloaded Ubuntu and installed it as a ‘guest os.’

Ubuntu has come a long way (I installed 6.06). The installer is easy and user-friendly. It’s basically a liveCD that, once booted, has a one-click installer on the desktop.

According to Parallels, Ubuntu isn’t officially supported, but it works wonderfully. There are some complaints on the forum that folks can’t get it to use the airport card, but it automatically bridged my airport connection and I was on-line with no configuration. There’s also issues with running it at a higher resolution than 1024x768. That’s the default resolution I’m getting, but I haven’t looked into that issue yet.

What am I going to do with it? I’m not sure. I’m also not sure I want to shell out the 50USD for Parallels. Installing Windows on Parallels would be more practical for me (obviously) and may make it worth the 50 bones. Plus, how cool would it be to be a triple-threat: OS X, Linux and Windows all on the same hardware, at the same time! I think I’ll attempt a Vista install, stay tuned. permanent link to this post

Jun 16, 2006

The Fair Use Network

posted at 19:06 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

A new on-line resource from the Free Expression Policy Project at the Brennen Center of Justice at NYU School of Law, The Fair Use Network introduces itself thusly:
How much can you borrow, quote or copy from someone else’s work? What happens if you get a “cease and desist” letter from a copyright owner? These and many other questions make “intellectual property,” or “IP,” law, a mass of confusion for artists, scholars, journalists, bloggers, and everyone else who contributes to culture and political debate.

The Fair Use Network was created because of the many questions that artists, writers, and others have about “IP” issues. Whether you are trying to understand your own copyright or trademark rights, or are a “user” of materials created by others, the information here will help you understand the system — and especially its free-expression safeguards.

If you have received a “cease and desist” letter from a copyright or trademark owner, or a notice from your Internet service provider about a “takedown” letter, you’ll also find useful information on this site.

The site contains what it terms “basic legal guides” on copyright, fair use of copyrighted works, trademark and more. I’m assuming this all pertains to US law, but I haven’t looked the site over extensively.

The Fair Use Network, check it out… permanent link to this post

Jun 14, 2006

Let’s get to Home Depot — quick!

posted at 21:15 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Last week, a contractor bought a bathroom vanity at a Massachusetts Home Depot and discovered two 50-pound “bricks” of grass inside. Elsewhere in the state, a plumber purchased a similar product at an unnamed “hardware store” and opened it to find 40 pounds of weed plus 3 kilograms of cocaine. Police and DEA officials have swept a dozen Home Depots in the state and found other loaded vanities.

via Boing Boing permanent link to this post

Jun 13, 2006

more on culture war 2.0

posted at 15:20 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

President Bush’s brand new chief domestic policy adviser, Karl Zinsmeister, has a few thoughts on contemporary art.

When Art Becomes Inhuman

twhid adds:
This author is one sick fuck. A sample:
Novel writers and film and theater producers have started selling voyeurism, drugs, homosexuality, and pedophilia to middle-Americans at the mall, instead of leaving these things to patrons of peep shows and trendy art galleries. One of the most heavily Oscar-awarded movies of recent years — American Beauty — combined all four of those degradations in one package.

Equating pedophilia and homosexuality — nice guy. permanent link to this post

Jun 12, 2006

Vote for Bill

posted at 19:39 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

MTAA’s friend Bill Hallinan directed a music video for the musician Maggie Kim. It’s in competition to launch on MTV’s new Korean-American channel: MTV-K. Follow the instructions below to help his video be released on MTV. Watch the video too; it’s really good.
Please go to and vote for Maggie Kim’s video for “Obvious (Want You)”.

Don’t vote for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, because they get ALL the candy. They don’t need any more candy. Let someone else have some candy for a change. Let that someone be Maggie Kim.

So, please vote, and help re-distribute the candy.
permanent link to this post

AFC: Geeks in the Gallery

posted at 16:08 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

“Geeks in the Gallery” is a three part discussion with artists Michael Bell-Smith and Tom Moody, which will run on Art Fag City from Monday June 12 – Wednesday, June 14, 2006. A recurring theme of the talk is how technology informs artistic production, as both artists have individually exhibited work usually described as New Media, yet also seem somewhat skeptical of “tech art.”

Check it out

Discussion at Moody’s blog permanent link to this post

Want shoot pix on tintype

posted at 14:15 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Some of you may know that MTAA is collaborating with RSG on a networked video installation with the working title “Want.”

This weekend we did the video shoot at a studio in Williamsburg and M.River has posted some pix on his Tintype photo blog.

Check it out…

Big thanks to Bill Hallinan, Margaret Jameson and Sarah Hendrick, our professional and talented crew :-) permanent link to this post

Jun 08, 2006

I want…

posted at 16:06 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

i want forever
i want the full version
i want company
i want michelle marsh
i want amateurs
i want jennifer lopez
i want bibcams
i want taylor hicks
i want robbie williams
i want old school
i want people
i want a special edition
i want perfection
i want 640x480
i want love
i want the original
i want the french
i want donkey kong country
i want robert kiyosaki
i want greatest hits
i want christmas

(a random sample from the shared script) permanent link to this post

Jun 07, 2006


posted at 13:01 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

And speaking of the devil, let’s take a look in Ye Ol’ MTAA mail box…

Here is note from the youth marketing group “Look-Look.”


from t.whid: Golly, that sounds fun!
Coca-Cola has asked us, Look-Look, to find the most creative thinkers and doers from all over the world to contribute original work to a new website. This collection of videos, animations, songs, photos, paintings, drawings, (and anything else you can dream up) will set the tone — and the benchmark — for a new generation of global creators. That’s why you’ve been handpicked for this invitation.

And it goes on to tell us we have a chance to win an iPod or something if we submit some music or art.

MTAA has always been interested in “setting the benchmark for a new generation of global creators.” I remember that just the other day, T.Whid and I sat around in some dim bar in Brooklyn yakin’ about how could we, as net-based performance and conceptual artists, voice the tone of our generation — even though, now in our mid 30s, we have probably passed the golden moment when each generation gets to self-define as a point of rebellion. At this point, a big dog (one of those pitbull mixes that I like and Tim thinks are ugly) walked into the bar and we lost our train of thought.


Although we are a bit busy right now and will not be able to make some new work for Coca-Cola (as loyal sons of Warhol, lord knows we would if given truck loads of cash), we can give you not a drawing or some music but an idea. It is an idea T.Whid and I have been kicking around. It might be the idea that “sets the tone for a new generation of global creators.” Here it is…

Info-materialism permanent link to this post

Jun 06, 2006


posted at 15:57 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid


Satan’s tuesday MUTHAF*CKERS!

(Sorry to knock M’s post down, but I had to do it.) permanent link to this post

The club is open.

posted at 11:57 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

By the power of the web 2.0, MTAA’s AIOTD - Walton becomes true.

The Aspiring Lee Walton Meme (thanks AFC)

Update: as soon as we get 100 members, we’re going to have a party for Lee. permanent link to this post

Jun 04, 2006

Interview with Paul Johnson

posted at 12:44 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

Paul Johnson interviewed by Jonah Brucker-Cohen. One of my favorite artists interviewed by one of my other favorite artists.
In the generic “plastic brick” design world of game console hardware, the passive player is usually subjected to standardized devices that they may choose to augment with their own “case mods”. Although extremely creative, most of these modifications are embellishments that have no connection to the games themselves. Exploring this contextual rift between mass-produced consoles and their software counterparts is Brooklyn, NY based artist, Paul Johnson. Johnson creates work that challenges traditional console forms by integrating the goals and virtual landscapes of games into the physical realization of the hardware. His projects examine the inherent conflicts between constructed systems and their emotional proclivity. Gizmodo spoke to Johnson about the future of gaming, interactivity, and why the physical design of consoles should be closer tied to the games that they support.

Check it out… permanent link to this post

Jun 03, 2006

Brokeback Mountain & the same-sex marriage ban

posted at 14:53 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

My wife and I watched Brokeback Mountain last night and it was a really great flick. We were both kicking ourselves that we didn’t see it in the theater. The beautiful shots of the western landscape would have been so much more impressive on the big screen, but then we realized that we probably wouldn’t want to by sobbing in public at the end of the movie.

Brokeback doesn’t go for cheap sobs however (you can imagine what lesser filmmakers could have done with it). It goes for the real heartbreak; the “I’ve wasted my life because of fear and bigotry and now there’s nothing I can do about it” kind of despair and tragedy.

Which brings me to the recent news that Bush “is beginning a major push for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage” (NYT). Some discount it as just a cynical political ploy that won’t be passed and it is. But just the talk of it leads to the stigmatization of homosexuals.

Most of the christian right in the USA wraps their homophobia in “hate the sin, not the sinner” claptrap. I’m sure the backers of the same-sex marriage ban will bend over backwards to pretend that they don’t wish to persecute gays, just defend marriage. Even many on the center left (like Kerry) don’t want to use the marriage word, but will endorse civil unions which carry all the rights and responsibilities of marriage except for the crucial semantics. This is all complete and utter bullshit.

Unless you endorse complete freedom for gays and lesbians to marry you add to the persecution of a minority. Even when you endorse civil unions, what you’re saying is “You’re different. You need to be treated differently. You’re not a complete and equal member of this society.” And that, to put it simply, is bigotry, institutionalized bigotry, the sort of bigotry that can lead to an empty and broken life as depicted in Brokeback Mountain.

Signing off (as M.River likes to say) as just another straight white man for gay marriage. permanent link to this post

Jun 01, 2006

AIOTD - Walton

posted at 17:02 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

We like Lee Walton’s art. We also like Lee Walton, as a human being and artist, in general. We’ve talked with Lee about doing an online performance in which our two homepages kinda blur for a day. As in, you’re looking at Lee’s homepage and MTAA walk onto it, look around and then walk off. We also thought about a space on the net between out home pages. It would be kinda like a lounge, a resting place away from the net.

We’ve never got around to doing a project with Lee. I hope we will. In the meanwhile, here is an AIOTD. MTAA’s Unofficial Lee Walton Artist Fan Club (ULWAFC). Send me ( an email to join. permanent link to this post

Lee Walton in Belgium

posted at 13:34 GMT by T.Whid in /news/twhid

check it out

From what I can gather, there will be postcards and some low-key, almost invisible, art situations in the true better-look-now-or-you’ll-miss-the-art-or-perhaps-you-
just-need-to-look-very-closely Lee Walton style.

There’s a PDF (6.8MB) that sort of explains things. permanent link to this post

Link-a. Policies of affectivity, aesthetics of biopower

posted at 12:04 GMT by M.River in /news/mriver

MTAA’s Five Small Videos About Interruption and Disappearing in a net group show: permanent link to this post

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