[-empyre-] -empyre- in 2002- a trip down memory lane

patrick lichty p at voyd.com
Tue Feb 6 16:38:08 AEDT 2018

Just very quickly, as I'm prepping for class here in the UAE, and also sorry 
fvor being so offline.
In this conversation, I miss Rhizome's online community, as it made so many 
careers, including mine.
But I want to give a minor tally of communities Ihave been part of as a 
point of conversation.

The Well
Senselab Basecamp
Rhizome Raw
The Thing
And a few more.
These are esseantial to our community, culture, and history.

-----Original Message-----
From: empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au 
[mailto:empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Renate 
Terese Ferro
Sent: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 8:15 AM
To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] -empyre- in 2002- a trip down memory lane

----------empyre- soft-skinned space---------------------- Hey Ricardo.
So glad you mentioned nettime.org and thank you for posting this post from 
February 26th 1998 nearly twenty years ago.  Talking about history I have 
enlisted twelve of my Introduction to Digital Media students to join us this 
month on –empyre-.  A few every week will post tidbits of history and facts 
about online communities and forums.  I thought it would be great to get 
young artists and thinkers involved this month so that they can get a sense 
of the long history but also to share with us their own insights about how 
online and internet based platforms are incredibly networked.  I will be 
introducing them tomorrow.  I am hoping that some of their posts will prompt 
our subscribers to post additional thoughts and recollections.
Best and thanks.  Renate

Hola Tod at xs,

I do not remember when I was joined -empyre- but it is a part, at least for 
me, of a history and presence of list-servs that have been extremely 
important for the gestures and conceptual disturbances that I have 
participated in. List-servs are an e-form that I continue to see as a core 
condition for the performative matrix for all the collaborations I have been 
involved in the past, now and ones to come.

As I remember the first list-servs I was a part of were based at thing.net 
in the 90's. Probably the most well known list that echoes the deep model 
of -empryre- was nettime.org.

Here is my first call to join a list-serv back in 1998 (riding the memory 

  *   To: nettime-l {AT} Desk.nl
  *   Subject: <nettime> infowar thread on www.thing.net
  *   From: ricardo dominguez <rdom {AT} thing.net>
  *   Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 13:48:47 -0800
  *   Sender: owner-nettime-l {AT} basis.Desk.nl



"War in our current era is one of reduced tangibility and soft power."
--Joseph Nye.

"Centralize strategically, but decentralize tactically."

This is an invitation to join and participate on the InfoWar thread 
moderated by Ricardo Dominguez on the new Thing bbs system at:


starting on March 5, 1998.

The InfoWar thread will consider how soft power has redefined command, 
control, intelligence and resistance.

InfoWar tactics are now moving beyond the theoretical questions about the 
rise of "network power" and the end of hierarchies.
Instead, Military and Intelligence groups are now experimenting with 
pragmatic hybrid structures that can retain control over networks, while 
allowing network autonomy to expand within a specific types of command 
In order to contain the rising soft power of small groups that can organize 
themselves "into sprawling networks" that can threaten hard power 

Military and Intelligence communities since the late 80's have mapped 5 
distinct possible structures for understanding

1)A Game, chess or Go.
  Go has displaced chess as the dominant tactical game

2)The Wild West.
  Each town makes its own laws and out on the
  range its everyone for themselves and God against all.

3)The Castle/Bunker.
  Enclaves built for security with moats, massive walls,
  drawbridges and loyal Knights who roam the outskirts
  of the fiefdom.

4)A Plant.
  A rhizome made of endless root-structures,with
  poly-spacial connectivity, and a multi-layered linkages
  with non-plant agents.

5)The Hive.
  A bio-diverse system,with the ability to
  rapidly mutate, and capable of swarm like activity.

Each map calls for different types of responses to the questions of 
security, aggression, and resistance.
What can we gain from each map as the importance of InfoWar continues to 
grow with greater global access.

The thread will also consider the specific case of the Zapatistas in 
Chiapas, Mexico. They have been able to constrain the Mexican government 
from quickly eliminating the movement since 1994--by building a 
transnational network of resistance. How were a group of Mayan people deep 
in the Lacandona jungle able to become the first, "post modern warriors?"

And finally, what happens when War Theory goes beyond InfoWar to overcome 
the problems that arise from the "age of networks?"

Suggested reading list -- (not necessary to have read them to participate):

Copernicus....Forward C4I for the 21st Century 

Cyberwar is Coming. Arquilla and Ronfeldt 

Electronic Warfare

Guide to Information Warfare

In Athena's Camp (John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, editors) 

Information War and Cyberspace Security by RAND 

Information War Cyberwar Netwar by George J. Stein 

Information Warfare

What is Information Warfare?


The Zapatistas and the Electronic Fabric of Struggle 


Zaptistas in Cyberspace.

Latin America's first post-Communism rebellion 

Electronic Civil Disobedience

Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

On 2/5/18, 4:02 PM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of 
Ricardo Rene Dominguez" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on 
behalf of rrd54 at cornell.edu> wrote:

    ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------

empyre forum
empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au

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