[-empyre-] Welcome to criticalartware

Dear Empyreans,

I met Jon, Blithe, Jon, and Ben at the San Francisco Performance Cinema
Symposium organized last September (2003) by a fellow list member, Henry

Talking with them all, I could not help but smile, delighted by their high
spirits and dry wit.  They were a group who seemed to be onto something that
was way too much fun to be purely academic.

I was on a panel with the group to discuss the tradition of a performative
cinema in terms of its future, as practice, as theatre, as viable production
mode. Criticalartware made the novel (at least to this listener) argument
that 'software' could be thought of as 'conceptual art practice' -- not that
the two were equivalent, rather more generally, that there was some sort of
feedback loop going on.

I decided to investigate, and the impulse led to an exchange of notes with
criticalartware, and ultimately, an invitation to -empyre- as guests.

Many of you know jon already as a frequent contributer to this list, who was
drawn to it by the February 2003 topic on Open Source, Open Art ---in which
we featured Felix Sattler and the back_up festival lounge|lab open source
collaborative installation project (annually in late fall at the Bauhaus
University - Weimar, Germany).

 Enthusiastic as they are, as Jon Cates wrote to me recently,  "about the
early Video Art moment specifically, as it formulated, influences and
crosses so many of the genres and distinctions currently @ play,
criticalartware have been deeply [influenced/inspired] by those moments +
draw a particular connection to Radical Software + the Memex as

Art practice, as a software that has a memory, a tradition that reaches from
the seventies until now, and loops in a feedback exchange like a cybernetic
system, is the notion that inspired me to contact criticalartware about a
discussion on empyre.

Jon has suggested that "with empyre, criticalartware will facilitate
discussion + compile an open discourse of
[parallel/subjective/fictive/decentralized] histories of
[software-as-art/art-as-software] in various current + early moments of
code-based arts + theorypraxis."

-empyre- continues to value discussion about art practice in the larger
field of digital and global culture, especially when it involves practices
that have an innovative process as well as theoretical basis.

 Please welcome these innovative "core developers" of criticalartware
(Chicago and Pittsburg, USA)--as they describe themselves, not without a bit
of characteristic irony, in these brief bios:

blithe riley is an artist working primarily in video and performance.
her work explores the use of media systems (print, television,
cinema, etc.) to both disseminate and interpret cultural narrative.
using the language and gesture of media spectacle,  her work makes
visible the use of technology as a tool to blur distinctions between
real/imagined, past/present, and live/recorded. as a curator, she has
co-organized video screenings for such festivals such as
Transmissions festival, and Ladyfest Midwest Chicago. currently she
co-runs Press Play Video series in Pittsburgh, PA. blithe riley is
also a founding member of the Pink Bloque, a radical feminist dance
troop based in Chicago, IL.

bensyverson is an artistBox with several key features. bensyverson
outputs mediaTypes such as [movies/videos], web applications,
software and more. example bensyverson output files include the
satromizer plugin (2001), the criticalartware statementmaker (2002),
liken (2004) + the criticalartware operating system (in progress).
bensyverson can also export AI bots, such as the rogue
theoryPraxisBot "jonCates".

jonsatrom enjoys fresh fruit, smelling old circuits, strong coffee,
phat bits, short blips, sexy buttons and long walks on the beach.
jonsatrom's methods include compressing, hacking, satromizing,
breaking, bending, cutting, rewiring, + remixing. jonsatrom's output
consists of live video glitching, custom built hardware, colorful
glitchware + artware. jonsatrom works as a web-designer + systems
analyst + in his free time he enjoys riding dolphins + raising

jonCates is an artist w/a systems approach to new media. jonCates
currently teaches in the Film, Video and New Media dept @ School of
the Art Institute of Chicago. as a curator + organizer, jonCates is a
co-organizer of the Version>04: invisibleNetworks convergence, as
well as past Version festivals + curates Game-Video, a screening of
videos influenced [+/or] informed by video games. jonCates entertains
the idea that he may have an ontological status other than being an
AI bot designed by leet hackers high on energy drinks + cheese curls.

// http://www.criticalartware.net

Thanks for joining us this May on -empyre- soft skinned space.



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