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                 Linda Wallace <> : PROBE   | 1 1 |
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           Eugene Thacker <> : M/C/T Issue #2   | 1 2 |
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 : A Viewer's Guide to the Genius 2000 Video   | 1 3 |
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      SMART Project Space <> : ALMANAC | Steve Reinke   | 1 4 |
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_PROBE_ explorations into Australian computational space

an exhibition of Australian new media arts, curated by Linda Wallace of the
machine hunger company,  to be held at the Australian Embassy in Beijing
from October 15 till 24, 1999.

_PROBE_  will see three (Justine Cooper, Leon Cmielewski and Patricia
Piccinini) of the six artists on-site in Beijing, available for discussions
with Chinese artists and technologists, the public and media.

On the Sunday following the opening we will hold a forum at the show
featuring the _PROBE_  artists, curator Linda Wallace and also
Beijing-based curator Huang Du and artist Feng Mengbo.  There will also be
a number of floor talks over the ten days of the show..

_PROBE_   features the work of:

Leon Cmielewski  'Dream Kitchen'  (interactive animation)
Brenda L. Croft 'west/ward/bound' (series of 5 digitally manipulated iris
Justine Cooper 'RAPT' (installation and video)
Patricia Piccinini 'Protein Lattice' (Digiprints, C type photographs
and computer generated video)
Jen Seevinck 'blue in the bluebird' (computer animation)
Zen Yipu 'Ghosts in the Shell' (laminated electrostatic prints)

There will be a few CDROM works shown on the weekends of the exhibition,
including Linda Dement' s In my Gash and Lloyd Sharpe and Wayne Stamp's
Basilisk.  The _PROBE_  website will be in the show, homed to the links
page featuring a range of Australian sites.

Parts of the website will be translated into Chinese and housed at ChinaByte
the News Ltd ISP in Beijing.

_PROBE_    is assisted by the Australia China Council, Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade.

For further information contact Linda Wallace

linda wallace
po box 1357  potts point
sydney australia 2011
tel/fax:  61 2 6295 6309
studio:   61 2 6279 9687

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The Frankfurt School Fear of the

                               Culture Industry in a Contemporary

>Jesper Falkheimer

Mijn Treinreis naar Holland

                          A fictional documentary using

                                                     stickers created
with the Nintendo

               GameBoy Camera and Printer.
>Robert Hamilton

Organogenesis: Tissue Engineering
>Eugene Thacker

Virilio's Plea for Time: From Global

                              Village to World City
>Robert Hanke


A little reflection might be in order as we stumble
towards the new Millenium. In a series of opinion polls
around the world citizens have been asked to come up
with a single word that best expresses the feel of our now
soon to be ending century. And the winner is; SPEED.
Not much of a surprise really if one considers that most
of us were not around for the first half of the century.

Two writers who were around and who spent much time
considering speed are Marshall McLuhan and Paul Virilio.
McLuhan once mused that, "in the electronic age we are
all living by music." Virilio wants us to believe that the
speed of the transmission of information has collapsed
the extension of the dimension of space and the duration
of the dimension of time. Curious? Well, welcome to a
new number of M/C/T.




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A Viewer's Guide to the Genius 2000 Video


The Interviews

Were conducted by Max Herman and others using a Sony Hi-8 videocamera. There
was no advance planning and the equipment used was the bare minimum.  In some
cases the lighting is bad, and the dialogue is sometimes difficult to hear,
but every interview is a substantial part of the concept. The locations were
in Minneapolis MN and the SF Bay Area.

The Scripts

In some interviews, the subject reads or responds to one of two small texts,
printed on slips of paper called "talents."

Contribution One
What does it take to be a genius?  Do you have it?  Does anyone you know
personally have it?
What does the year 2000 mean?  Does it mean this to you, or other people?
How are the concepts of genius and the year 2000 connected?
These questions written by the Genius 2000 Project.

Lesson Two
Christianity is a battle in the discussion of media control
Crucifixion is an act of protest demanding access
The Second Coming is god's final messenger
God is the ineffable union of history and individual cognition:
Genius 2000

The Structure

Of the video is divided into four sections, each named for a stage  in the
Greek tragic cycle of  Albos, Koros, Hybris, and Ate.  These names do not
control the meaning of the footage within each section; they're a frame of
reference in which to make sense of the video as a "movie" and a chaotic
jumble of unrelated concepts. The ancient form is meant to raise questions
like:  What does narrative mean?  What does tragedy mean?  How do we process


Are used to break up the interviews and create connections. There's passages
from Walter Benjamin, Thich Naht Hahn, Paul Tillich, the Gospel of Thomas,
Sherwood Anderson, the American Heritage Dictionary, the St. Paul Pioneer
Press, and William Blake.

Themes and Terminology

The video contains an internal vocabulary that reaches beyond the work
itself.  Some of the most direct refrains are the concepts of media,
marketing, talent, history, cognition, genius, messiah, deity, technology,
currency, progress, prophecy, religion, neurophysiology, narrative, art
history, economics, communications, and syncretism.

The Website

The Genius 2000 Project Website is a user-friendly interface that supplies
the background of the video and other Genius 2000 activities.  Listserv
archives, how to purchase the video, texts and images that explore issues
raised in the video, ongoing developments, links, and contact addresses are
among the many features of the website.


Was completed at Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco CA.  All funds
were supplied by the artist.

Bio for Max Herman

Max Herman was born in 1969 in Minneapolis Minnesota, where he attended
public schools.  He studied at Oberlin College, and received a BA in English
from the University of Wisconsin in 1991.  Syracuse University awarded him a
fellowship in 1995 to study literature and new media, and awarded him the
Master's degree in 1998.  He has written extensively on a variety of
disciplines.  Genius 2000 is his first feature-length video.


This video is not entertaining or artistic by ordinary terms.  It makes the
most sense with a mixture of attentiveness and free association.  It doesn't
contain a coherent image of one idea or point of view.  No work of art can be
seamless and all-encompassing, but human acts do take place within expansive
field of meanings.  The people in this video are only presenting their
thoughts on the subject at hand.

Max Herman
September 13, 1999

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ALMANAC, Special Edition | ALMANAC, Art on Television and ALMANAC, Special
Edition are cable cast television-programs of Art cinema and video-art |
Produced by SMART Project Space in association with Bellissima Foundation

A1, Channel 26 of the Amsterdam cable network | every saturday from
23:00-01:00 hours

October 1999: Steve Reinke Program (program follows below)

'The work is riddled with nonsense, but it is good, productive nonsense.
...the work declares early on that the boundaries of proper discourse have
been neatly removed. Yet there is clearly much more at stake, for the work
is highly structured: it is like a map, which is handsome in itself, but
which lacks any suggestions about what exactly one is to do with it, or
where to go with it. Yet it should not be thought that the artist is then
that person best able to articulate the meaning of the work, or predict
what will be the arrival point or destination of the thought process which
has been set in motion. That's not the artist's job. Perhaps such works
should be seen in the context of play, where the suggestions 'what
if.....' or 'let's pretend that....' are the first to be presented, with
the tacit agreement on the part of the viewer that the rules of the game
are also in question.' (Gary Kibbins)

'Steve Reinke's perhaps ironic aim is to produce, before the year 2001,
The Hundred Videos, which would constitute his oeuvre as a young artist by
the age of thirty-six. These videotapes are short, witty subversions of
lore passed on to us - the "knowledge" available as social history in the
memory bank of our culture, preserved in the found footage of old films
and television. As such, these resources are available genres that still
hold popular appeal despite our awareness of their outdatedness. They also
serve as documentary proof of the fictional discourses Reinke juxtaposes
in his own ad-libbed voice-overs, micro-narratives pertaining to the truth
value of (auto)biography or science. The ensuing deadpan reversal of forms
inverts the naturalness of any of these discourses, whether they touch on
scientific laws, social interaction, gender function, or sexual identity.
His discreet send-ups have the effect of creating new subjects of
knowledge, given our conditioning by these genres to accept their
narratives as true.' (Philip Monk)

'(...) it is the structuring of imagery and narrative in mass culture as
it relates to gay sexuality, identity and popular discourses that Reinke
parodies, analyses, plays out - while never appearing to take any of it
seriously... (Reinke is interested in) the structure of sexuality and
popular culture imagery rather than (in) its content. If there's no real,
there's no genre: Reinke collapses the boundaries between documentary and
fiction, between the most banal forms of film and video imagery and the
most exalted. Moving through them all with equal abandon, Reinke creates a
kind of shrine to a loss of the self in representation.' (Tom Folland)

'His slight, frothy videotapes manage to juxtapose high and low cultural
idioms in an expansive way that destabilizes their respective contents and
facilitates the emergence of new hybridizations. The tapes imitate and
lampoon the hype, the authoritative pedantry, the elitism of expertise,
the discursive style and the arcane vocabularies of institutionalised
culture and they equeally expose the intellectual bankruptcy,
sentimentalism and neo-conservatism associated with popular culture. They
are highly funny and on target.' (Gregory Salzman)

'(in a time) so dense with smart psychoanalytic cinema, Reinke wields the
language of the unconscious as lightly as a portable video camera. He
plays with the thinness of images and the inadequacy of words, the gap
between language and desire. Ever inventive and curious, he uses video
like a sketch pad... The series is woven together by Reinke's pleasant,
diffident voice, which eases the viewer into improbable scenarios or
appalling fantasies. ...Not masochistically but quasi-scientifically,
Reinke mortifies the flesh in order to isolate desire: if you cannot both
be and have, Reinke chooses to have.' (Laura Marks).

'Of course, I've painted myself into a corner. There is no reasonable
response to these elaborative, extravagant claims. (Its not modesty that
prevents me from commenting on the commentary. When it says above that I'm
selfless, its true - I don't have an ego. And my id is rather unstable.)
Let me admit: I made these little videos for two reasons, to amuse myself
and to incite critical commentary. (The commentary is also to amuse me.)
Each individual video in The Hundred Videos calls out for explication.
They are meant to give rise to mounds of paper, explaining everything and
then explaining it again, in a different way. This hasn't quite happened
yet, but I feel that within twenty years there will be a quarterly Journal
of The Hundred Videos, perhaps out of the University of Texas at Austin,
filled with articles, musings, explications. I encourage you to catch the
first wave of the upcoming Reinke industry and begin writing today.'
(Steve Reinke)

ALMANAC, Special Edition, Steve Reinke Program, october 1999

October 2 Major Motion Picture: Selections from the Hundred Videos, first
part 80 min 1990-99 'These videotapes are short, witty subversions of lore
passed onto us, the 'knowledge' available as social history in the memory
bank of our culture, preserved in the found footage of old films and
television. Serving as documentary proof of the fictional discourses
Reinke juxtaposes in his own ad-libbed voice-overs, micro-narratives
pertaining to the truth value of (auto)biography or science.' (Philip

October 9 Major Motion Picture: Selections from the Hundred Videos, second

October 16 Spiritual Animal Kingdom 1998, 27 min, video, col/sd This tape
is Reinke's version of a television variety show. It combines comedy skits
in the form of monologues with musical interludes and short, aphoristic
animations which could be commercials or bumpers.

October 23 Incidents of Travel 1998, 5 min, video, col/sd Chapter synopsis
headings from the 1846 best-seller "Incidents of Travel in Yucatan" form
the textual material; the audio is a distorted (stretched-out) version of
"Popcorn" by Hot Butter. In this journey, things move forward and backward
at the same time. The destination reached may be indistinguishable from
the starting point.

Everyone Loves Nothing 1997, 12 min. By changing the context, a voice-over
commentary gives new meaning to excerpts from home movies and medical
documentaries, questioning the personal implications of scientific

Andy 1997, 9 min. Andy is a combination of a documentary portrait and an
amateur porn movie. As Andy masturbates in his beautiful apartment, he
describes, in voice-over, the process of and rationale for his decorating
choices. An exercise in lifestyle anthropology. (Benjamin Cook)

October 30 Afternoon 1999, 26 min. All in-camera editing, made one
afternoon in the apartment of the filmmaker.

For furhter information, you can contact Thomas Peutz, at:

SMART Project Space
Keizersgracht 720, NL-1017 EW Amsterdam
P.O.Box 15004, NL-1001 MA Amsterdam
Phone: +31 20 427.5951 / 427.5952
Phone/fax.: +31 20 420.6028

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October 1, 1999


Every day, thousands of people looking for the Internet sites of the ultra-
right party in Austria (, a Liberal candidate in Australia
(, the Mayor of New York (, and a
copyright lobbying group ( end up very confused.

Each of the sites listed above is a "rogue"--a nearly identical version of a
"real" site (,,, and, respectively), altered to
make a political point. The trend may have begun with the
site, which resembles so closely that an aide with the
opposing campaign admitted in the New York Times to being misled
(see and

WWW.FPO.AT or (contact unknown /

Earlier this week, Austria's third-largest party, which was formed from the
leftovers of the Nazi party, was shocked and distressed to find itself
extensively and subtly mocked.

The official website of the Freiheitlichen Partei Oesterreichs, which is
considered very likely to become part of Austria's government after this
Sunday's closely-watched elections, is
takes advantage of the fact that in German, the letter "o" with an umlaut can
be written either as "o" or "oe"; the "FPO" site looks identical to the
official FPOe site, but links directly to more overtly Nazi sites, replaces
words like "information" with "propaganda," and makes use of many other
instructive replacements.

Like George W. Bush with (see, the
FPOe is using every legal tactic to shut down the rogue site, including a U.S.
copyright suit (the "FPO"'s service provider is American) and appeals to the
Austrian Minister of the Interior. But like Bush with the original
site, the FPOe has so far been unable to stop this attack on its ideas and

German-language press about the "FPO" site, from earlier this week, is at and

WWW.REALJEFF.COM or (contact /

Australian Liberal candidate Jeff Kennett joins the FPOe and Presidential
hopeful George W. Bush in attempting to shut down Internet opposition--in
Kennett's case,, which mocks Kennett's

But Kennett's tactics are quieter than those of the FPOe and Bush.
(, until three weeks ago the Internet provider of, suddenly suspended its hosting without explanation,
and has ignored repeated inquiries regarding the matter. Also, Kennett's now merely defaults to the Liberal Party website, as
if to avoid comparison.

WWW.GRAYDAY.ORG or (contact /

Today, many Internet visitors will visit hoping to
learn more about "GreyDay," an annual call for stricter copyright laws for
the Web. Last year, the October 1 event was written about in the New York
Times, Wired News and the Village Voice.

But whereas calls for more copyright protection, urges visitors to keep the Internet "free from phony
copyright laws." Its authors, a team of Silicon Valley software programmers
and graphic designers who call themselves Tell-all Computer Programmers &
Internet Professionals (TCP/IP), claim to represent "the millions of people
who have benefited and will continue to benefit from the free exchange of
ideas, the hallmark of the Internet."

There are many other subtle differences between the two sites. Whereas urges Internet users to imagine "what if" copyright infringement
leads to a lack of creativity on the Web, the spoof site implores visitors to
imagine "what if there was no WWW... no Internet."

According to TCP/IP spokesperson Cecil Park, "The call for more copyright laws
on the Web is especially absurd considering the Web itself was made possible
by the copyright-free distribution of the first Web browser [Mosaic] and the
most popular Web server software [Apache]."

(The name TCP/IP is a pointed insiders' joke. It stands not only for "Tell-all
Computer Programmers & Internet Professionals," but for "Transmission Control
Protocol / Internet Protocol," the software at the heart of the Internet that
was given away without copyright in 1981 by programmers at the U.S.
Government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.)

RTMark ( uses its limited liability as a corporation
to sponsor the sabotage of mass-produced products, and to discuss corporate
abuses of the political process. One of RTMark's ultimate aims is to
eliminate the principle of limited liability.

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