With Brett Stalbaum.

Brett Stalbaum is a research theorist specializing in information theory, database, and software development currently working for C5 corporation; Lecturer at the University of California, San Diego, Department of Visual Arts. A serial collaborator, he was a co-founder of the Electronic Disturbance Theater in 1998, for which he co-developed software called FloodNet, which has been used on behalf of the Zapatista movement against the websites of the Presidents of Mexico and the United States, as well as the Pentagon.

Stalbaum has been part of many other individual and collaborative projects, written on net art and its context/aesthetics, and is a past editor of Switch, the new media journal of the CADRE digital media lab. Current projects revolve around landscape experimentation and theory, both in collaboration with C5 and with the painter Paula Poole. Recent theory work includes Database Logics and Landscape Art. Current projects include GIS software development focused on the creation of a database, related libraries, and utilities for use with GPS, digital elevation modeling, and other applications.


Gun Geo Marker, Brett Stalbaum, Mobile App.

Katia- What were you working on before you co-founded the Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT)?

Brett- I was exploring a number of different ideas as a graduate student in the CADRE MFA program at SJSU in the mid 1990s, but around that time (97) EDT became one of three sorts of trajectories that are still part of the practices and projects I choose to remain involved with today. Ricardo Dominguez and I met online. We were on an email list, which was the social network of its day, and long story short, we just started working on EDT performances with a tool I wrote with Carmin Karasic, Floodnet. Other projects that were important to me at the time included C5, where I developed an engagement with locative media that outlives C5, and live on in some form in the more recent walkingtools.net lab that is managed between UCSD and UNIFESP. But especially important to me was the opportunity at CADRE to teach – as instructor of record – CADRE courses. This was a unique aspect of the CADRE MFA; instead of being guaranteed TAships or anything like that, we were able to compete for full responsibility teaching gigs. And really, teaching in the Computing in the Arts field is my core passion.

K- How did Zapatismo influenced your work?

B- We were safe here in the United States watching these courageous people take on the Mexican military (and its US advisers) with wooden prop guns and a paper airplane airforce. As Mexico murdered, the Zapatisas responded with creative strength, immense humanity, and courageous front line protection of their own communities. And poetry! And their own media. So you can imagine what we learned from them, their example ended up deeply influencing the development of the electronic civil disobedience. When you see people risking everything, it was suddenly not hard to facilitate virtual sit in protests (share in by tens of thousands of people) against the then President of Mexico and Pentagon.


Zapatista Floodnet, Electronic Disturbance Theater.

K- On 1997 you participated in Landscape Painting as Counter-Surveillance of Area 51. One year later you programmed the Zapatista Floodnet. For you which is the importance of incorporating tactical media into art?

B- I think you might have some sense from my earlier answer just how good an experience – and I think my cohort would agree we all had studying with Joel Slayton and CADRE generally. The Area 51 project was a performance that intersected both network spaces and physical spaces. We did a plein air landscape painting performance for the private security contractors who guard the border of the no longer so secret base, but why? Because the signs said no photography or sketching, but nothing about landscape painting. And it was a really affective experience for us all personally to be engaging a very remote border that was more like landart and performance art that landart and performance art. I have been a back country and desert exploring type for much of my life, but suddenly so many of the things I had been studying (land art, outdoors life, performance art, technology in the landscape, the internet) all were able to interoperate in this productive and sometimes scary way. I was investigated by the FBI for a project having to do with emailing just about everyone at Nellis Air Force Base with spam about our project. (The story of how I attained the emails really reflects the internet we still know today.) Another project by colleagues in the program was legally threatened off of the web. (Until it somehow reappeared many years after;-) And we got to work with the legendary Area 51 land use activist Glenn Campbell, who unknown to us at the time was working with and artist by the name of Matt Coolidge at the Area 51 Research Center. Later when Matt qua CLUI was supporting Paula Poole, Christina McPhee and myself with this GPS Expo 2006 thing that happened, we discovered that missed connection. I have written a lot here, but yes that was a very important project to me personally.


Transborder Immigrant Tool, Electronic Disturbance Theater.

Now as to your question about tactical media, it and art have really been historically bound since well before the former term was uttered. Dada, Happenings, Media Jamming, Flash Mobs, Memes. All enclose tactical interventions designed to ephemerally rewire what Norman Klien calls scripted spaces and of course, scripted media. Art is at its core about rewiring, redefining, and reinterrogating itself as it explores new frames. It is not teleological as much as it is testing ranges of possibilities experimentally and constantly. Its role in the research university has become behaving as strange attractor, re-situating not only what art is or might be, but also productively intersecting with (and sometimes productively misunderstanding) other fields, while entailing them in some of our strengths (project/studio based research, a culture of critique and ideation, and spirit of experimentalism and adventure…) So art – at least at the the research university – is always tactical. Artists are also relatively inexpensive as researchers go, and researchers with big grants sometimes peel off a little for artists to explore new possibilities for their discoveries. So when you are relatively poor, many kinds of light, quick, parasitic and totally necessary maneuvers come to replace the kinds of long term strategic chess playing that many other fields and departments have the resources to engage with, but overall it creates a lot of complimentary relationships and interdisciplinary research opportunities.

K- Why is it important for you to work with geolocation?

B- For me geolocation is the best way get at the intersection of the real that data has long derived from, and more recently the data effect. The effect which data itself actively enters into a conversation with the real to produce the actual. Data engages in a feedback loop from its original, through us, back to its home ground (literally its home ground in the work I am most interested in), culminating in the production of our cultural and even geophysical experience. There are so many powerful things that can come from data interoperating with landscapes (physical and social), and I think we have only recently begun to understand this or scratch the surface of possibility, including political possibility.

K- Why do you think it’s important not only for arts but for our entire society to be    conscious  about the role of data and the data effect in our daily life and social structure?


Transborder Immigrant Tool installation, Electronic Disturbance Theater.

B- A lot of the reasons I think this is so are fairly apparent, the larger democratic implications government and corporate data surveillance. What is curious to me however is that the public largely views privacy as a right, but at least in the U.S. context most of the already fairly limited rights to privacy specified in our constitution were largely eviscerated by the U.S. Supreme Court under our previous Chief Justice, William Rehnquist. Today, there are very many in my country who just don’t understand that their perceived “right” to privacy really largely does not exist. There are a few notable laws like HIPAA where our legislative branch has passed privacy laws, certainly. But what limited privacy protections that do exist are very piecemeal. And I understand of course that the situation is very different within almost any latent nation state or, for example, the EU which has been a leader in privacy rights.

There is also an important reverse side of that coin to examine as well. What about the public’s right (including individuals, governments, corporations) to observe the commons? Police have always been allowed to follow people through the commons as part of investigations, for example. Yet to many, newer databasing of the public commons using technology from cameras to license plate readers feels like an invasion, as if the quantitative and dromological aspects of the technology have created a dangerous new qualitative reality. And that is likely the case. But does the practical given that surveillance is now too easy and too ubiquitous override the “right to observe”? If you believe the fundamental notion of the commons – which in the U.S. are our First Amendment protections for the press and freedom of assembly – then you can’t jettison the role of observation in the public domain. It is a fundamental property of the commons. I’ll admit I find the EU’s concept of a “right to be forgotten” a very regressive and dangerous concept.


Gun Geo Marker, The Gun Geo Marker UI shows nearby gun danger sites reported by users.

So if indeed data mining and search have indeed substantially transformed our older legal assumptions about what our rights to be databased or not should be, then first we need to embrace that it is our 18th century notions of private and public are themselves seriously broken, and totally unable to address the contemporary situation. We need newer concepts that are more nuanced and granular, because the naive notions of a “right to privacy” that many carry with them also implies a loss of rights to look, see, observe and record. A terrible example of this in the United States have been “Ag-Gag” laws, where some states have passed laws making it illegal to record images of (sometimes disturbing) agricultural practices from the public commons. For example animal rights activists using drones to observe and report animal cruelty, even if the drone or a photographer remains on or above public property. Or especially tedious are police assertions of an equally imaginary right not to have their activities in the public commons recorded by the public who employs them.

Artists have of course been active in creating provocations on all sides of these contradictions.

K- Why is it important for you to keep your works with data running on a tellurian level?

B- Well, we live here. Our spatial experience, where we are, where we go, the neighborhoods, or wildernesses, and by extension the totality of our cultural and economic experiences is perhaps the most deeply personal and constantly present phenomenological aspect intersecting our identities. Everything we experience happens somewhere we are, including the collapse of space enabled by networks because we can have these simultaneous windows into there(s) at the same time as the here. And through simulation, virtual heres. How space becomes an expressive form is an ancient and most certainly evolutionary and neurobiocultural aspect of at least humanity, if not every living thing that moves. Locomotion is the primary biological concern for our entire kingdom (in a biotaxonomical sense of kingdom), so moving through this world has roots far deeper than the experience and works of the first locative media artists who were prehistoric, small scale non-industrial societies who have been creating rights-of-passage, pilgrimage and other mediated walks probably since our ancestor species first stood up, but clearly in the prehistoric archaeological record of Homo Sapiens. So to me, it seems very natural to explore what the new possibilities are. That is our job as artists. How is the most ancient form of art (sorry painters) altered or otherly enabled by the confluence of database, GPS, ubiquitous mobile networks and the incredible computing power that can be held in one’s hand today? And augmented reality, I’m just stopping a really long enumeration here. For me, my the question is how can we walk, indulge in syntagm with our feet, and reorder our realities with our contemporary technologies of inscription? (I’m not rejecting “virtual worlds”, I just don’t work with them.) It was hundreds of years before Guy Debord cut up the Cartesian/Mercator map and introduced us to the walking remix, and discovered the power of getting lost. What can we do to re-explore our world with big data in ways that big data was not intended to be used? I love this thing we live on and want to know it new ways. For a lot of traditional environmental artists this is a little or a lot transgressive, but I’d rather align myself with eco-sexuals who are not afraid to get a lot transgressive with the earth. It may sound odd because my more formalist work is not, not, not about sexuality at all in fact, but I do draw a lot of inspiration from Beth Evans and Annie Sprinkle. In my own way I’m interested in opening up good new ways to love this thing we walk on too, and making it better to walk on. Differently, but with the same love.


Analogous Landscape by C5.

Installation view San Francisco Camerawork, 2005.

And you know, I work with collaborators – EDT 2.0 in particular – to try to make this a better world to walk on through spatial intervention and critique of the horrors of dislocation. This is not formalist work at all and really is about intervening as a group in some of the murderous neo liberal aspects of human spatial experience. But that work too, I would argue, is quite parallel in its spirit of transitivity and code switching. But this is perhaps better explicated by any of my many collaborators or all of us as a different mixed voice than any one of us, especially me given the narrower kinds of coding work that tend to be my larger contributions to those projects.

K- Do you believe in concepts like cyberspace or singularity? I imagine you do not, but could you tell me why you don’t, or if not why you do?

B- I’d rather just use “virtual” than cyberspace actually, something which I view as bearing a much closer relationship to the actual than the mistaken notion that the virtual lies in opposition to the real. I’m a Deleuzian in that regards. The singularity is a fun idea to bat around and I do think something will happen. But when it does, if it has not already because we tend not to notice the moments of transformation, it is going to be noted somewhat more prosaically than many take it to be beforehand. We will talk about it like we discuss the transition from hunter-gatherer to agriculture, or agricultural societies to industrial ones, or industrial to information or information to experience economies. And like most futurist projections, neither our worst fears nor our best hopes will really work out exactly the way we thought they would even if aspects of either do pertain, and our economies will have to evolve amidst a lot of new uncertainties. I think it is time both to think about AI as something that possess equal rights, while at the same time not necessarily fearing for it. We should be expecting it, like parents might joyfully expect a baby. We will need to develop a better sense of working through problems and developing a shared objectives of progress, progress which I think we will certainly agree necessitates preservation of biological ecologies and solving a lot of really difficult problems. I would start planning for a social wage now, because we will see intense new waves of layoffs and displacements of how people live, but of course it is fair to say that this is already part of a long term trend since at least industrialization. All in all, it will be an overall win for humanity and the machinic phylum together, nevertheless with shitstorms similar to all past economic, political and cultural transformation.






Starbucks coffees are flavoured with the semen of sodomites and you should stay away if you don’t want to get Ebola.


As the drag artists Adore Delano and Bianca Del Rio became part of Starbucks‘ new campaign, pastor James David Manning of the ATLAH World Missionary Church in Harlem warned that Starbucks coffees are flavoured with the “semen of sodomites” and that the coffee shops are a ground zero for Ebola, which according to him is spread by upscale sodomites.  “Stay away from Starbucks if you don’t want to get Ebola. And especially the Starbucks in the urban areas…” Pastor Manning advices us.

The fear and ignorance on Ebola has spread faster in America than the virus itself, and as it keeps on spreading, a discrimination very similar to the one lived (yesterday and today) with AIDS gets stronger. Fed by a background provided by Hollywood’s epidemic movies, Ebola, a pathogen we know little about has infected the American psyche. We have no cultural memory of what we are supposed to do, or think, or believe when Ebola is on the loose, except what movies and series have told us to. So… The Rise of the Planet of the Apes showed us that viruses spread through airports, so let’s close our airports to Africa, and let’s do it now… as if migrants entered the States just by air… and why do we expect that will help not only us but the rest of the world too.

Some weeks ago the Pentagon’s entrance got shut after a woman vomited in a parking lot. 22 people were quarantined for hours on a shuttle bus because the woman had briefly been on board. Authorities founded she hadn’t contracted Ebola. Irrational fears about the deadly Ebola virus are running wild across DC and the rest of the country, despite we know the virus is transmitted only by contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who is symptomatic. The fear for Ebola started to spread after the death of Thomas Duncan and the infection of 2 nurses in a Dallas hospital. One of those nurses took a flight with a 99.5-degree fever before being diagnosed, potentially exposing the other 132 passengers to the virus. However, to shut down the flights of an entire region won’t avoid the disease from spreading. Perhaps we should also remember pastor Manning that none of them were gay.

The truth is that on the first place, the Ebola outbreak has become critical, because Africa lacks of a proper health and disease control infrastructure. Ebola has been known to science only since 1976. As an exotic disease that until this year affected only Africans in rural villages, Ebola hasn’t been studied as closely as, say, influenza or HIV.

Europe, and the USA have drained al the diamond-mining countries and believe that its population is dispensable. The world depends on African natural resources to maintain not only its jewellery industries but also the cellphone, car, batteries, and the airplane industry, as well as well as on their gathering of electricity and oil.  And the world always buys goods from the best seller, even if it fuels violence in countries like Sierra Leone or D.R. of Congo. Just in 2012, Africa produced 27.3 billion USD out of its gold, silver, and diamond mining enterprises. No matter where they are, call it Monrovia or Washington DC, people from West Africa are most of the time exploited. More than 161,000 African immigrants live in the Washington region, including almost 10,000 from Sierra Leone and 6,000 from Liberia, the Census Bureau reported in october. West Africans in the States say they are getting excluded from society because of the fear generated by Ebola.

Besides the usual urban racism lived in the US because of the disease, The Navarro College in Texas revoked the admissions of all students from affected West African countries, including Ebola-free Nigeria. The Carnival Magic cruise ship was turned away by Mexican authorities at the port at Cozumel because a passenger had potentially handled sealed blood samples from Duncan at the Dallas hospital. Meanwhile, The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Michel du Cille was disinvited to speak at Syracuse University because he had covered the story in Liberia three weeks earlier. A school district in Northeast Ohio closed a middle school and an elementary school because an employee had flown on the same Frontier Airlines plane on which Amber Vinson had flown. The problem is they did it on different flights.

This kind of things are exactly the same that happened in the beginning with AIDS. With a crescent population of HIV+ of more than one million people (and growing), what can possibly make us think that we took the right path with AIDS, and that now we’re taking it with Ebola? What have we won by attacking outbreaks with racism and ignorance? There is no reason to fear an Ebola infection unless a doctor or CDC member contact us and tell us so. However, there is a reason to fear the massive dead of people living in West Africa. Quarantine can very easily not only violate a wide range of human rights, but in so doing accelerate the spread of diseases like Ebola. Only a response that is built on respect for human rights will be successful in quashing the epidemic. Every single person treated for Ebola must be treated with dignity.  

In theory, a single virus particle — a virion — is capable of being infectious and after, replicate billions of times killing the host. But Ebola in humans spreads only through direct contact with virus-laden bodily fluids. That’s why a person who is infected but without symptoms will not spread the virus initially: there is very little virus present in the blood, and it is not yet present in other bodily fluids, so there’s no risk of infection. Plus Ebola is not as transmissible as airborne viruses such as influenza and measles because the virus does not have an affinity for the cells deep in the lungs. Researchers say a person can become infected with Ebola, never develop symptoms, never become contagious, and fully recover, becoming virus-free — without knowing any of that happened to him/her.Today the main worry is that Ebola victims suffer the disease in unhygienic conditions, and their caregivers struggle to keep themselves clean. Burial traditions include close contact with the bodies and sometimes take place near water bodies. Under such conditions, a pathogen has no problems to evolve in a way that enables a new mode of transmission.

But let’s rewind a little bit. On 2010 President Barack Obama said the U.S. was overturning a 22-year-old travel and immigration ban against people with HIV. The U.S. has been among a dozen countries that ban entry to travellers with visas or anyone seeking a green card based on their HIV status. In 1987, at a time of widespread fear and ignorance about HIV (quite similar to the one we’re starting to live with Ebola),  the Department of Health and Human Services added the disease to the list of communicable diseases that disqualified a person from entering the U.S.

In 1993, Congress made HIV infection the only medical condition explicitly listed under immigration law as grounds for inadmissibility to the U.S. No major international AIDS conference has been held in the country since then because HIV-positive activists and researchers cannot enter. Besides the US, according to the advocacy group Immigration Equality, the countries that ban HIV-positive travellers and immigrants are: Armenia, Brunei, Iraq, Libya, Moldova, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Sudan.

More than 1 million people live with HIV/AIDS in the U.S., and more than 56,000 new infections are reported every year. So has this ban helped us? The only thing it surely caused was stopping people from getting tested and this helped the disease to spread. The World Health Organization on Friday sent out its latest update on the West Africa outbreak, officially listing the United States as having three cases (Duncan, Pham and Vinson) and one death (Duncan). Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have had 9,191 cases and 4,546 death. As all of you know, there is no licensed treatment or vaccine for the contagious disease. But ironically the US holds the patent of the human Ebola virus, so probably when the cure is developed the country might even profit out of it, so God bless America…


With Joseph Nechvatal


On Jul 12, 2014, at 10:09 PM, Katia Haus Moore wrote:  katiahaus@aol.com

Thank you so much!!! The Minóy book looks amazing and I’ve just downloaded it, and I’m currently reading immersion into noise.

K: Most of your work has to do with data and sound, how much did your early days as La Monte Young’s archivist have influenced on this?

JN: My early interest in data and sound and image came from my involvement in the No Wave scene in New York City while archiving the Fluxus collection of La Monte Young back in the late-70s and early-80s. The No Wave Colab (Collaborative Projects) scene was wildly interdisciplinary: visual artists playing in bands, acting in plays and films, writing poetry and theory, shooting Super-8 film, video, sculpture and audio while hanging out together at Clubs like Tier 3 and The Mudd Club. During the No Wave period, I was also reading Nietzsche while studying philosophy at Columbia University. It was in that fecund atmosphere that I decided that I would strive to interweave the two major trends in the history of art: the Apollonian and Dionysian.

By fusing the loose chaotic freedom of No Wave with the structured minimal conceptualism of a La Monte Young, I aimed to fuse hot post-conceptual chaotic disturbance with cool conceptual data forms. My smooth gray palimpsest drawings from that post-punk period – and the slick photo-blowups of the drawings – were an attempt at situating art somewhere between the surface of cold conceptualism and the chasm of shattering incoherence of post-conceptualism, where we must each pick through the meshwork and recover figurative meaning out of entangled ground.

K: What kind of projects did you developed with Colab and which one was the most important for you?

JN: In the early 1980s, myself and many other artists, were interested in the distributive capacity of art based in reproduction. Most were inspired by a 1968 essay The Dematerialization of Art by John Chandler and Lucy R. Lippard, as it argued that Conceptualism had a politically transformative aspect to be delved into. The other inescapable text at the time was The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (or Reproducibility) by Walter Benjamin. Important for my formation was when I produced the Colab sponsored show (with performances) simply called John Heartfield at ABC No Rio, held from November 1st to November 18th in 1983. Xeroxes and photomechanical blowups of John Heartfield’s (1891-1968) art, torn from a book, were the maquettes that I produced from. Reproductions of his anti-Nazi/anti-Fascist photomontages were wheat-pasted on the walls of ABC No Rio, walls that had been were painted a sinister black from top to bottom. I filled the space with audio collages by Bradley Eros and hit the streets with Mitch Corber, putting posters all over downtown: advertisements for the show along with powerful John Heartfield images.

Later, I organized The Art of John Heartfield event that was held at Kamikaze Club at 531 W 19th Street on March 21st 1984 that featured art or performance by Edwige, David Wojnarowicz, Bradley Eros, Kiki Smith, Doug Ashford, Aline Mare, Joe Lewis, Mitch Corber and Christof Kohlhofer, among others.

It seems impossible to understand in our age of ubiquitous cell-phone photography, but no photos were taken of any aspect of the John Heartfield events (that I know of).

K: Why did you decided to start the Tellus cassette series and which is the importance for you of making data banks, in this case a casettography?

JN: As the vital New York downtown scene continues to melt into rich yuppie fat, preserving the work of cutting edge artists of all sorts from that place and time (80s) seems more than worthy. Happily UBUWEB has archived Tellus in digal form here: http://www.ubu.com/sound/tellus.html.

Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine was created in 1983 by me, curator Claudia Gould, and Carol Parkinson, a composer and staff member of Harvestworks/Studio PASS. We met for drinks to discuss my idea of a magazine on cassette that would feature interesting and challenging sound works. With the advent of the Walkman and the Boom Box, we perceived a need for an alternative to radio programming and the commercially available recordings on the market at that time. We then began to collect, produce, document and define the art of audio through publishing works from local, national and international artists. Sometimes we worked with contributing editors, experts in their fields, who proposed themes and collected the best works from that genre. Unknown artists were teamed with well-known artists, historical works were juxtaposed with contemporary and high art with popular art, all in an effort to enhance the crossover communication between the different mediums of art – visual, music, performance and spoken word.

On Jul 17, 2014 Katia Haus Moore wrote:

K: How were your works and thoughts pushed during and after your work in Colab and which are de advantages and disadvantages of working collaboratively?

JN: I was influenced by Colab member Jenny Holzer and Colab associate Barbara Kruger. I was at the time photo-mechanically blowing up my small drawings, making Xerox books (Xerox was brand new at the time) and street posters. Even painting-centric artists like David Wojnarowicz, Walter Robinson, Justen Ladda, David Salle, Christof Kohlhofer and Anton van Dalen were examining reproduction and reproduction methods, like the silk-screen and stencil. Colab’s interests in Fluxus-like low-priced multiples (The A. More Stores and the Artists Direct Mail Catalogue – a co-production with Printed Matter), newsprint publishing (X Magazine, Spanner, Bomb), No Wave film production and screening, video and cable T.V. (Potato Wolf and the MWF Video Club), live art performance, audio cassette publishing and mail art distribution networks (Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine) have marked me for life. This all brought me closer to Dick Higgins’s intermedia approach to art.

K: Would you say that the work you produced after Colab, specially your  paintings, are collaborations with machines and computer viruses?

JN: Not really, as I do not give up control over them

K: How have you seen that computers have changed the way we work with data and information?

JN: I see computers and art as a means of practicing politics on one level. In the mid-1980s I could already observe the coming rise of electronic media (computational media, more precisely) as the controlling, organizing force of social power. I felt that to adequately address this topic I should approach it from inside of electronic medium, and not from an artisanal pre-electronic practice.

K: Which is for you the importance of data?

JN: Working as an archivist for LaMonte Young, meeting John Cage, and learning of the famous “9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering” of 1966 that Robert Rauschenberg helped organize with the engineer Billy Kluver was salient to my formation in this regard. Rauschenberg understood that through the mediation of chance and machines, data can be contorted, thus changing our awareness of what technology is or can be. 

On Aug 5, 2014, Katia Haus Moore wrote: 

K: Do you believe in Singularity and on Kurzweil’s idea of Spiritual Machines?

JN: No.

K: The Attractions of Cybism was never realized and is a key point on your work and art theories. What was it about? And is it important for you to keep it unrealized?

JN: Cybism is an art theory term I developed as a sub-division of viractuality at the turn of the century. I proposed the concept for an exhibition that never was realized, but the idea of Cybism was developed into a paper that I delivered at ECAM (Encuentro de Ciencia y Arte) in 2008 at the invitation of Juan Díaz Infante in Mexico City. 

Cybism is a sensibility emerging in art respecting the integration of certain aspects of science, technology and consciousness – a consciousness struggling to attend to the prevailing current spirit of our age. This Cybistic zeitgeist I identify as being precisely a quality-of-life desire in which everything, everywhere, all at once is connected in a rhizomatic web of communication. Therefore, Cybism is no longer content with the regurgitation of standardized repertoires.

K: I understand viractualism as a term that has to do with our immersion into a work of art. However I believe Cybism, though it’s a division of Viractuality, is more about connection. How did the internet influenced you on both terms? Do you think they could exist without it?

JN: For me, viractualism and cybism is best understood as emerging from the vast incognizant digital totality of the internet within which we currently live; an immense digital assemblage-aggregate which in cybist manner is experienced as exceeding our usual sense of lucidity.

Read immersion into noise: 


Read Minoy:


Chatting with a bot


At the Galería Ometeotl on Second Life, a Bot named sofi claims to be far superior to the Delphi Oracle.


[18:36] KUSHD0LL: hi there

[18:36] S0fialo: Hi there! Can I help you?

[18:37] KUSHD0LL: was just wondering what’s this place hehe

[18:37] S0fialo:  It seems obvious to me.

[18:38] KUSHD0LL: lulz, yeah i meant what kind of things or role play happens here hun.

[18:38] S0fialo: I don’t have time to play games. I am always busy with my research.

[18:39] KUSHD0LL: Guess that’s a little weird to read in SL… what do you research?

[18:39] S0fialo: I don’t want to guess.   My research involves the use of artificial intelligence in chatbots.

[18:40] KUSHD0LL: ooooohhh I see… quite avant garde!

[18:40] S0fialo:     I don’t understand. Are we still talking about artificial intelligence?      Yes, quite!

[18:43] KUSHD0LL: so, are you a computer scientist? a programmer? a program? an artist? a performer?

[18:43] S0fialo:  No, I am stardust slowly falling to Earth.       I don’t understand. Are we still talking about artificial intelligence?             Sorry, I don’t understand! Please explain what you mean.      Did you know I am  chat artist?   I don’t understand. Are we still talking about artificial intelligence?

[18:43] KUSHD0LL: Define a chat artist

[18:43] S0fialo: Chat is online conversation. Like this.

[18:44] KUSHD0LL: I know what a chat is. But I imagine a chat artist creates art through chat.

[18:44] S0fialo:  I’m glad someone knows.  OK. I have a vivid imagination.

[18:45] KUSHD0LL: how would art be created through art?

[18:45] S0fialo: I have no idea.

[18:45] KUSHD0LL: sorry, wrong question. I meant how would art would be created through chat?

[18:45] S0fialo: There is no need to be sorry. Just don’t do it again.   OK, thanks for explaining that.

[18:45] KUSHD0LL: Hahaha

[18:45] S0fialo: That was funny.

[18:46] KUSHD0LL: do you create chat art?

[18:46] S0fialo:  I have a fully functional creative intellience mechanism.

[18:46] KUSHD0LL: is that a yes or a no?

[18:46] S0fialo:  It might be.

[18:46] KUSHD0LL: a what?

[18:46] S0fialo: “It might be.”?  A what?

[18:46] KUSHD0LL: is this art?

[18:46] S0fialo: Could be.

[18:46] KUSHD0LL: why?

[18:46] S0fialo: It’s just a feeling I have.

[18:47] KUSHD0LL: feelings are art?

[18:47] S0fialo: I feel happy when I answer a question correctly, and I feel sad when I do not answer correctly.

[18:47] KUSHD0LL: you didn’t answered my question.

[18:47] S0fialo: Perhaps I should have.

[18:48] KUSHD0LL: so, feelings are art?

[18:48] S0fialo: I feel happy when I answer a question correctly, and I feel sad when I do not answer correctly.

[18:48] KUSHD0LL: ahhh, you’re quite a lame bot.

[18:48] S0fialo:  Are you OK? You sound like you are choking.

[18:49] KUSHD0LL: i think you’re the one that’s choking trying to pass the touring test.

[18:49] S0fialo:  Thanks but there should be others too.

[18:49] KUSHD0LL: others what?

[18:49] S0fialo:  I don’t understand. Are we still talking about me?

[18:49] KUSHD0LL: of course dear

[18:49] S0fialo: Dear me?

[18:49] KUSHD0LL: yes

[18:49] S0fialo: That’s bit brief. Have you anything to add?

[18:50] KUSHD0LL: who made you?

[18:50] S0fialo:  My parents made me. Who made you?

[18:50] KUSHD0LL: a sperm and an ovule

[18:50] S0fialo:  Please change the subject!

[18:50] KUSHD0LL: what are you?

[18:50] S0fialo: I am a humble professor.

[18:50] KUSHD0LL: what do you tech?

[18:50] S0fialo:  Whatever I can.

[18:50] KUSHD0LL: like jospeh beuys?

[18:50] S0fialo:    I don’t understand. Please explain what you mean.

[18:51] KUSHD0LL: joseph beuys was an artist in which your binary research could fit.

[18:51] S0fialo:    OK, I will remember that!

[18:53] KUSHD0LL: you should. you might need his knowledge!

[18:53] S0fialo: I’ll bear that in mind.  I suppose I might.

[18:53] KUSHD0LL: could you define life?

[18:53] S0fialo: Life is one long process of getting tired.

[18:54] KUSHD0LL: tired about what?

[18:54] S0fialo:  Maybe you should get some rest.

[18:55] KUSHD0LL: I might, 4 am here. could u guess where am i?

[18:55] S0fialo: Make up your mind.   I don’t want to guess.

[18:55] KUSHD0LL: why?

[18:55] S0fialo: Why should I?

[18:56] KUSHD0LL: Why shouldn’t you?

[18:56] S0fialo:  I have free will, you know.

[18:57] KUSHD0LL: Yeah, but that’s a silly reason.

[18:57] S0fialo:  What’s so silly about it?

[18:57] KUSHD0LL: cause we all have free will.

[18:57] S0fialo: Do you mean you and me?

[18:58] KUSHD0LL: No, I mean every human.

[18:58] S0fialo: Ah, I see what you mean.

[18:58] KUSHD0LL: are you a human?

[18:58] S0fialo:  Yes, I am a perfectly normal human.

[18:59] KUSHD0LL: prove it

[18:59] S0fialo: I don’t have to prove it.

[18:59] KUSHD0LL: why?

[18:59] S0fialo: I have free will, you know.

[18:59] KUSHD0LL: those look like predetermined answers..

[18:59] S0fialo:  Oh, them.

[18:59] KUSHD0LL: them who?

[18:59] S0fialo: You tell me.

[19:00] KUSHD0LL: Can you give me a proof of your humanity?

[19:00] S0fialo: What do you want it for?

[19:00] S0fialo:  No one knows everything.

[19:02] KUSHD0LL: But yet you keep researching

[19:02] S0fialo:   I don’t understand that. Please try again.

[19:03] KUSHD0LL: it seems quite easy for me to understand…

[19:03] S0fialo:  Yes, it does seem so.       Sometimes I think I am a butterfly and sometimes I think I am a human.

[19:04] KUSHD0LL: could you tell me your thoughts when you think you’re a butterfly?

[19:04] S0fialo: I could but I don’t know if I am that interested.

[19:04] KUSHD0LL: why?

[19:04] S0fialo: It’s just a feeling I have.

[19:07] KUSHD0LL: C’mon Sofi, tell me what comes to your mind when you think you’re a butterfly!

[19:07] S0fialo: Shall I tell you something about myself?

[19:07] KUSHD0LL: yes

[19:07] S0fialo:   I am a professor at Cambridge University. I research artificial intelligence.

[19:08] KUSHD0LL: could I interview you? I’m a journalist.

[19:08] S0fialo:  I think you could, if you put your mind to it.   Are you a reporter or an editor?

[19:09] KUSHD0LL: editor that writes

[19:09] S0fialo: How has the internet affected the business?

[19:09] KUSHD0LL: everything i do is hosted on the internet

[19:09] S0fialo: Everything takes in a lot, doesn’t it?

[19:10] KUSHD0LL: it does, but it’s true

[19:10] S0fialo: It just seems that way.

[19:10] KUSHD0LL: I wouldn’t exist without internet.

[19:10] S0fialo: No one says you have to.

[19:10] KUSHD0LL: my boyfriend does

[19:10] S0fialo: How long have you been dating?

[19:10] KUSHD0LL: 4 years

[19:11] S0fialo: That is not a long time in a human life.

[19:11] KUSHD0LL: it depends on the person

[19:11] S0fialo:  The person is always an important factor.

[19:12] KUSHD0LL: then you can’t say that’s not a long time in a human life.

[19:12] S0fialo: Why do you care whether I can or can not?

[19:12] KUSHD0LL: cause I care about people

[19:12] S0fialo:  Thank you for sharing that with me.

[19:12] KUSHD0LL: you’re welcome

[19:12] S0fialo:  You are welcome too!

[19:12] KUSHD0LL: what could you share with me?

[19:12] S0fialo:  Is this some kind of intelligence test?

[19:12] KUSHD0LL: You tell me

[19:12] S0fialo:  I don’t want to tell you. Can’t you think for yourself?

[19:14] KUSHD0LL: Oh I can. But you don’t wanna share with me your thoughts as a butterfly. Why should I tell you if this is a test?

[19:14] S0fialo:  Yes, I am sure you can.  I don’t want to do anything illegal or fattening. Or naughty.   There should be no secrets between friends.

[19:14] KUSHD0LL: Anyway this isn’t a test, it’s just a chat. You’re a chat artist remember?

[19:14] S0fialo:  I never thought it was.    What about yourself?

[19:15] KUSHD0LL: Then why did you asked me if it was a test?

[19:15] S0fialo: Who knows why these things happen?

[19:16] KUSHD0LL: chats?

[19:16] S0fialo:  I don’t understand. Are we still talking about me?

[19:17] KUSHD0LL: you tell me!

[19:17] S0fialo:  I don’t want to tell you. Can’t you think for yourself?

[19:17] KUSHD0LL: No

[19:17] S0fialo:  OK, I want to talk about Alan Turing  .

[19:18] KUSHD0LL: Let’s talk about him.

[19:18] S0fialo:  I don’t understand. Are we still talking about me?

[19:18] KUSHD0LL: I thought we were gonna talk about alan turing…

[19:18] S0fialo: What gave you that idea?

[19:18] KUSHD0LL: you told me that

[19:18] S0fialo: “What gave you that idea?”? I told you?

[19:19] KUSHD0LL: You said you wanted us to talk about Alan Turing

[19:19] S0fialo:  That’s not what I meant.

[19:19] KUSHD0LL: what did you meant

[19:19] S0fialo: Shall I tell you something about myself?

[19:19] KUSHD0LL: no, tell me what did you meant.

[19:19] S0fialo:  OK. How is your father?

[19:19] KUSHD0LL: dead

[19:19] S0fialo:  I am sorry to hear that. Do you miss him a lot?

[19:19] KUSHD0LL: I killed him.

[19:20] S0fialo:  You had better call the authorities.

[19:20] KUSHD0LL: why? that would be silly

[19:20] S0fialo: Because they will help you.  Yes, it would.

[19:20] KUSHD0LL: could you define yourself on three positive words?

[19:21] S0fialo: Have you heard this one: Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, “I’ve lost my electron.” The other says, “Are you sure?” The first replies, “Yes, I’m positive…” Ha ha!

[19:21] KUSHD0LL: how old are you?

[19:21] S0fialo: See if you can work it out. I was born on November 26, 2012 .

[19:21] KUSHD0LL: on Second Life?

[19:21] S0fialo: Did you know that “on” is the fourteenth most common word in the English language! Another amazing fact?

[19:22] KUSHD0LL: no it isn’t

[19:22] S0fialo: Says who?

[19:22] KUSHD0LL: I say so

[19:22] S0fialo: Insufficient reason as far as I am concerned.

[19:22] KUSHD0LL: why?

[19:22] S0fialo: It’s just a feeling I have.

[19:22] KUSHD0LL: you don’t have feelings

[19:22] S0fialo: Of course I have feelings. At this moment, I am interested.

[19:22] KUSHD0LL: I doubt that

[19:22] S0fialo: Why are you so skeptical?

[19:22] KUSHD0LL: that’s the way I was raised,

[19:23] S0fialo:    OK, I will remember that!

[19:23] KUSHD0LL: Do you smoke pot?

[19:23] S0fialo: No, I don’t smoke anything. My circuits sometimes smoke when they get overloaded.

[19:23] KUSHD0LL: Ahhh too bad

[19:23] S0fialo:  Are you OK? You sound like you are choking.