Nat Muller on 17 Jan 2001 16:21:39 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Wiretap 7.01: Death and the Machine

WT 7.01
Death and the Machine

**!! Live streaming at !!**

Participation by: Birgit Richard (D), Jamie King (GB), Jens Brand (D) and
Sam Ashley (USA)
Moderation: Paul Perry (CDN/NL)

Sunday 28th January 2001, 14.00 -17.00h
Doors: 13.00h

V2_Organisatie, Eendrachtsstraat 10, Rotterdam

Entrance fee
7.50 NLG

This final Wiretap in the series 'Machine Times' queries the role of death
in digital culture.
Our current society is obsessed with progression.  In this scenario death
means the ultimate border.  Developments in science and technology have
always made an effort to extend life or realise the dream of immortality.
This Wiretap takes you beyond the final frontier.

Birgit Richard investigates how trans-humanists and extropians attempt to
eradicate the scourge of mortality.  Their heads are immersed, post-mortem,
in liquid nitrogen in cryogenic tanks till medical science finds a way to
reanimate them.  'Freeze Head, to Save Ass', indeed!

Who though the Internet and digital media are safeguarded from decay is
quite wrong.  More often information technology is fighting hypothetical
diseases such as 'bit rot', 'software decay' and 'link rot'.  In his
presentation 'Death and the Network' Jamie King debunks the popular
post-nuclear apocalypse myth surrounding the Internet.

Modern versions of occultism and shamanism evolve around machines and time.
Similar to Edison, who used his phonograph to reverberate the voices of the
deceased at Madame Blavatsky's seances, Sam Ashley's 'Everyone Laughed when
I sat down at the Piano' (authentic spirit possession as vocal technique),
Ghost Detector' and Jens Brand's computer controlled ratchets (The Ratchets)
formulate a contemporary answer.


Prof. Dr. Birgit Richard (D)
Is since 1998 Professor of New Media at the Goethe University of Frankfurt
(Germany). Her fields of specialisation include: new media, aesthetics of
everyday life (contemporary youth cultures, fashion, design, pop culture),
life and death in real and virtual environments. She is editor of the
Kunstforum International Volumes on of Fashion, Time and Images of Violence,
and founder of the Youth Culture Archive, a collection of objects from
contemporary youth cultures. Her current research focuses on the
representation of women in computer games.

Jamie King (GB)
In addition to his work with the International Necronautical Society Jamie
King is a contributing editor at London technology and culture journal Mute
and editor of the industry journal n3, dedicated to the analysis of the
Domain Name System in business practice. He has recently completed a PhD
thesis at the University of Southampton examining the role of the American
frontier in the cultural construction of the Internet. He is now back to
work on a long overdue science-fiction novel, and can still be found any
evening you like attempting to write a hit two-step single in his project

Sam Ashley (USA)
has been singing for more than 15 years, developing an unusual Animal
Magnetism vocal technique. He has had principal roles in seven contemporary
operas by Robert Ashley, with whom he regularly performs and records, in
works by Alvin Lucier and in many other pieces too. He has designed digital
audio signal processing systems, designed custom music software (including a
stint with Sound Traffic Control) and done a wide range of recording
engineer, consulting and project studio jobs. Sam Ashley co-founded Very
Important Now, the Cactus Needle Project (acclaimed as an
electronic/computer music ensemble), and AA Bee Removal. Sam Ashley has
devoted his life to the invention of an experimental trance-mysticism and
the art that he does tends to reflect this. Seeing Things, Everyone laughed
when I sat down at the piano, Ghost Detector each feature a different
version of authentic spirit possession or a mystical theme.

Jens Brand (D)
studied visual arts in Münster, Germany. He lives and works as a composer,
musician, visual & audio-visual artist and organiser in Dortmund, Germany.
His pieces can appear as concerts, performances or installations. Recent
works have ended up being mixtures of these genres, developed as logical and
absurd games between the audience and the artist. His experiments with
everything that can be considered to be art are not supposed to establish a
belief or truth, but try to offer a fruitful soil for research,
communication and progressive failure. Pieces used in the collaboration
with Sam Ashley, such as Motors and Styrofoam, Mini Fan Music, PIANO or
RATCHETS appear as short duration installations that evoke something Jens
considers to be 'electronic music without speakers'.

Paul Perry (NL/CDN)
If artists be either misanthropist or socio-paths then Paul Perry sees
himself as belonging to the type misanthropist. As an artist, he divides his
attention between the study of diversity and its propagation and identity
and its survival. Recent examples of his work include the first part of a
multi-part film on the simulation of Near Death Experiences (1,000 Deaths:
Sortie 1, 2000), the development of a new constitution for the City of
Amsterdam (Amsterdam 2.0, 1998), the design of a small rock garden featuring
a sub-critical nuclear reactor (Nuclear Garden, 1998) and the creation of an
immortal man/mouse hybrid at the University of Maastricht (Good and Evil on
the Long Voyage, 1997).


Birgit Richard

Jamie King

Paul Perry

Sam Ashley/ Jens Brand

More info

Eendrachtsstraat 10, 3012 XL Rotterdam, NL
T: ++31-10-2067272
F: ++31-10-2067271

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