nettime's_u1tra_B1FF on Wed, 25 Aug 2004 15:26:39 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> |\|05+/-\|_G!/-\.m2cht.fre!!! |>!G35+ [weiss, taiuti, cramer]

Matthias Weiss <>
     Re: <nettime> nn-ogram x11... and to all the other m*th*rkcerZ...
"Lorenzo Taiuti" <>
     about NN and other Monsters
Florian Cramer <>
     Re: nn-ogram x11... and to all the other m*th*rkcerZ... 
          or whatever you call U-rselve these days

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 07:48:47 +0200
From: Matthias Weiss <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> nn-ogram x11... and to all the other m*th*rkcerZ...
 or whatever you call U-rselve these days

<title>\\ m9ndfukc.m2cht.fre!</title>
<body bgcolor =" #000000">

<applet archive ="nato.0+55.jar" code="zttz.class" width=600 height=400>
o o p z . r e l o k a t e |2| z e r o


Tilman Baumgärtel wrote:

> Yours,
> Tilman

matthias   weiss    huygensstrasse  21    d-04159   leipzig

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From: "Lorenzo Taiuti" <>
Subject: about NN and other Monsters
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 09:48:36 +0200

24 - 2004 20.23

Tilman Baumg=E4rtel said:

"Actually, this is rather disappointing. I remember that NN used to spam
lists like nettime, 7-11, spectre,rhizome etc. (if I remember correctly)
with more message per day than now since april. I mean 11 postings in three
months? Come on, is this supposed to terrorize the online-world? Because
this is, what NN was at one point: "the most feared woman on the internet",
as a piece I found on her on google called her. Now, how would anybody who
writes a handful of postings on a mailing list (that were filtered out)
would be the "most feared woman on the internet"?"

Yes Tilman
you remember correctly, all the interesting mailing lists were at the
time spammed by tremendous NN.
i personally find terrorizing the spam that stops fluid ideas and
information, circulation and exchange on the above still precious
mailing lists.
The nostalgy for this kind of figures brings about and important point.
I find wrong fiddling around and even making heroes in (2004!) of
extremely outdated forms of Net activism (or net art or net strategies
or whatever ...)  like "simil hacktivism", "simil plagiarism" and other
today plastic clones of the mid nineties neo-dada strategies of the Net
it is for me a sign of other lacking things:
1-recognizing that the initial magma of different net behaviours it is
now redefining itself in recognizible activities: journalism, political
action, esthetic reasearch, comunication research, amateur jokes, social
conversation,  academic contacts.
2- What seems to be missing today is the strength of mailing lists for
building more specified targets & projects in different ways from the
I have no clear ideas how that could be done.
But i feel clear about throwing away nostalgia of tools that are now
Lorenzo Taiuti

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 12:06:12 +0200
From: Florian Cramer <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> nn-ogram x11... and to all the other m*th*rkcerZ... or whatever you call U-rselve these days

Am Mittwoch, 25. August 2004 um 02:23:08 Uhr (+0800) schrieb Tilman Baumgärtel:

> And NN even got a price for NATO at Transmediale!

Hey Tilman, that's a completely false rumor, and it has frustrated me
again and again to hear it at various places and from the mouths of
different people since 2001. I was in the jury together with John Simon
and Ulrike Gabriel, and we did *not* award NATO, although it had been
one of the [if I remember correctly] three Macintosh programs NN had
turned in. 

What we awarded was Nebula M.81, a standalone program that is completely
separate from NATO. NATO is a realtime video manipulation plugin for
MAX, Nebula M.81 is an experimental web browser that turned browsing
into something resembling measurement data evaluation by modulating HTML
into a combination streamed code, oscillator curves and sound
representation, operated through a highly cryptic user interface.

That NATO and Nebula are two different things can, btw., still be
gathered from the transmediale website which duely calls the work a "very
idiosyncratic internet browser"

> The Jury statement is quite unclear about the qualities of NATO/Nebula, 

The jury statement does not say _anything_ about NATO.

> but 
> eager to stress the avantgarde status of the program:
> "This program has been subject of our heated discussions pro and contra, a 
> fact we eventually found an important reason itself to shortlist it. Nebula 
> (also know as NATO - the author) 


> is a web-based Macintosh user application 
> that, apart from that (eh, apart from what? - the author), 

...apart from being a web-based [or we should have better written:
web-centric] Macintosh user application.

> defies an exact 
> description: It is an aesthetic processor of html code retrieved from 
> arbitrary web sites which it turns into animated text, graphics and sound 
> displays that can partly be influenced by user-triggered parameters. 
> Nebula, along with the extremist chic ASCII art communication of its author 
> also known in the community as antiorp, ranked highest on our 
> scales of code as attitude."
> Turning HTML code into animated text, graphics and sound of course has been 
> done many times before in, and if such a movement like 
> would still exist, it would still be an important topic. 

OK, then let me rephrase, almost four years after we wrote that text.
(The award was given in February 2001, the jury process was in late
2000.) Among the experimental web browsers I know, for example
from those presented in the browserday festivals, I would still consider
I/O/D's Web Stalker and NN's Nebula M.81 the strongest. They are
complimentary and juxtaposed to each other in their respective designs.

The Web Stalker takes a highly analytical approach to web browsing, by
disassembling the different functional parts that make up a web browser
and dissecting them into separate visible components like http protocol
header communication, HTML source code and link structures. The user
interface resembles that of the distributed Plan9 operating system
[developed at Bell Labs as a successor to Unix], although I believe the
similarity is accidental and just a consequence of comparable design

Nebula M.81 on the contrary is not radically analytical (in the literal
sense of analysis as "dissection") like the WebStalker, but the most
convincing design of an irrational web browser I have seen so far. It
does not approach the web as an architecture of code, but as an
interference of signals [and thus the representations resembling that of
oscilloscopes and sound generators]. Similar to the Web Stalker, it is
theoretically possible to use it as one's main web browser, but that
would require substantial mental and sensory reconditioning on the
user's behalf.  

As the jury, we tinkered hours with the program until we had figured it
out and were able to browse the web in NN mode, so-to-speak. We
discussed extensively whether this was great or just annoying, and then
decided, after more discussion, that the fact that a program could
create such annoyance and controversy at all [whether or not it was made
by the infamous NN] was reason enough to award it. And certainly, it was
part of the whole radical chic and what we dry-humoredly called "code as
attitude" of NN, and realized in an aesthetically convincing way. [As
opposed to many other experimental web browsers which also took the
approach of either Web Stalker-like analytic dissection or NN-like
irrational modulation, but lacked their thoroughness.]

> But notice that the jury points out NNs actvities that lead to heated
> discussions as a primary reason to give her an award. 

No, the software lead to heated discussions, but it was clearly part of
the overall NN posture, so not mentioning that in the jury statement
would have been wrong. The situation might be comparable to a jury for a
painting award which has to judge a painting of Otto Muehl and ponders
whether it's brilliant or bullshit, and which of course couldn't ignore
the overall context of Muehl's activities.

> And notice that the jury has a hard time coming up with a reason for
> that, too: The program "defies an exact description". This probably
> means that they also could not make a lot of sense of this entry, 

Exactly, we could not make a lot of sense of this entry, or rather: the
entry defied sense [not in a cheap first-year-artschool-student way, but
taking great pains and complexity to achieve that], and we eventually
found that an asset of the work, as opposed to the easy sense we could
make of other entries. [It's a retrospectively deplorable that the whole
list of entries for that very first software art award wasn't published
in the web, then you would understand.] Nebula M.81 was, btw.,
split-awarded together with Adrian Ward's "Auto Illustrator".  Shortly
after that, Adrian wrote a "Portrait of Netochka Nezvanova" in software,
which is available at <>.

The fact that our awarding of Nebula M.81 is still controversial after
more than three years lets me think that our decision was good, just as
I grown to like the ars electronica award for Linux, which pissed off
many digital arts people back in 1999, more and more in retrospect.


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