[-empyre-] august is networkOmania....

This year both ISEA and Ars Electronica have dedicated a stream of their
conference and exhibition programs to the theme of building, analysing and
visualising Networks. This month  -empyre-  draws guests from both events,
allowing those not able to attend in person to engage in an online dialogue
will inform the physically located conference discussions... Hold ya list
subscriptions as we are in for an overdose of overlapping self-reflexive
(self-indulgent?) network mania:

Networks build strategic and powerful, social, critical and co-operative
alliances. In art, speaking in term of networks, social network analysis and
visualization of networks is almost becoming a genre. We are joined by Jonah
Brucker-Cohen, creator of the frustrating and fun list for the super
diligent subscriber -Bump List, Josh On who examines invisible power
relations at the kick arse theyrule.net, Marcos Weskamp with his elegant
visualisations of the social networks of mailing list culture in Social
Circles, and Anne Nigten Manager of V2_lab who further investigates through
visualisation these networks of communication and power.

One of the staples in the social fabric of networked life is the 40-year-old
email list - the surviving conduit of new media discussion where lists as
digital organisms are subject to growth, adaptation, corruption and decay.
Facilitators and writers for lists with diverse intents and formats like
Kathy Rae Huffman from faces, Charlotte Frost, a rhizome writer and
Furthertxt editor, Dr Axel Bruns from fibreculture and M/C - Media and
Culture, and Melinda Rackham from -empyre-, examine ethical issues and
strategies in networking and list management to encourage an workable ratio
of signal to noise - harnessing this ubiquitous communication medium.

ISEA     http://www.isea2004.net
Ars Electronica    http://www.aec.at/prix

--> Anne Nigten works as manager / artist / project coordinator / lecturer /
author / researcher. Nigten is the manager of V2_Lab http://lab.v2.nl  the
aRt&D department of V2_Organization, Rotterdam. She's working on her PhD
dissertation on research and development in the interdisciplinary field from
an art perspective in the Smartlab program, at the London University for the
Arts (UK). Nigten is advisor for several art and science initiatives in
Europe and international.

--> Dr Axel Bruns is a fibreculture facilitator, who teaches and conducts
research in online publishing, electronic creative writing, online
communities and popular music in the Creative Industries Faculty of QUT,
Brisbane, Australia.  He is the General Editor of the premier online
academic publication M/C - Media and Culture

--> Charlotte Frost is the editor of Furthertxt.org, the site for text-based
net art analysis and contextualisation. She regularly writes for Rhizome and
has written for Mute magazine and Net Art Review. She is currently studying
for her PhD on the historicisation of Net Art and has just produced a guest
selection for Low-Fi on list related artworks and will showcase further
projects in this area on Furthertxt later this year.

--> Jonah Brucker-Cohen works as a Research Fellow in the Human
Connectedness Group at Media Lab Europe in Dublin, Ireland, and is a Ph.D.
candidate in the Networks and Telecommunications Research Group (NTRG) at
Trinity College Dublin. His work focuses on subverting existing
relationships to human / networked interfaces by building new real-world
inputs to networks, redefining how information is used and disseminated
online, and shifting virtual processes into physical forms through networked
devices and experiences. His work has been shown events such as DEAF (03),
Transmediale (02,04), SIGGRAPH (00), ISEA (02,04), Whitney  Museum of
American Art's ArtPort (03), Ars Electronica (02,04) and  others.

--> Josh On was born in New Zealand, and now resides in San Francisco.  In
the between years he studied sociology at the University of Canterbury, New
Zealand, taught English in Japan, and studied Computer Related Design at the
Royal College of Art in London. He went to college through the dot com boom,
and went to the Futurefarmers studio in San Francisco to witness the bust.
He made the hand biting website http://www.theyrule.net and still thinks the
internet has potential and that socialism is possible.

--> Kathy Rae Huffman is Director of Visual Art, at Cornerhouse. Cornerhouse
is Manchester's international centre for contemporary art, media and cinema.
Huffman specialises in creating exhibitions and opportunities for artists to
integrate digital film, internet, sound and video with contemporary art
practice, to analyse and explore their social, personal and theoretical
concerns. She is co-moderator and founder of FACES, an international net
community and mailing list for women, at www.faces-l.org, since 1997. She
has co-chaired the Art Show for Eurographics 04, 'Science by Artists', held
this year in Grenoble, 30 Aug-3 Sept.

--> Marcos Weskamp was born in Argentina 1977. Graduated graphic designer in
Tokyo in 2001. Self proclaimed Artist, illustrator, Information Designer,
Web Technologist. Mostly interested in the fields of Semiotics, Information
Visualization, Computer Supported Collaborative Work, Network Theory and
Online Social Environments Design. Speaks, reads and writes spanish, english
and Japanese. Will be pursuing a Masters degree at Interaction Design
Institute IVREA in Italy. http://marumushi.com/apps/socialcircles/

--> Melinda Rackham is based in east coast Australia, and has just completed
her PhD on avatar identity and construction in MU Virtual Space.  She has
been online for around a decade, dipping into debates and textual spaces,
while producing some great early works of net.art mostly viewable at
www.subtle.net . Rackham founded the -empyre- mailing list in 2002 and was
recently the curator of Networked Media at the Australian Centre for the
Moving Image.

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