nettime's_digestive_system on Sat, 10 Oct 1998 11:08:22 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> gated communites [grancher, bosma, greene and galloway, byfield]

Date: Fri, 09 Oct 1998 16:04:21 +0200
From: valery grancher <>
Subject: Re: [7-11] gated communities

Josephine Bosma wrote:

> This mail is a protest against the removal of antiorp from the
> three mailinglists this mail is going to.

    Josephine is all right, I agree with her: We don't have to throw away
someone like "antiorp" whithout good reasons. I said to "antiorp" to
moderate his spam, it is really different than throwing someone from this
    I ask to everybody to support "antiorp" and to send their
contribtuions to the concerned mailing list. 
    Otherwise I have to say that we have to be careful with some guys and
some propaganda emails from various fascist communities (disinformation
about kossovo, yugoslavia and various disinformations), i think everybody
know who I'm speaking about.... 

    I'm really shocked to see "antiorp" excluded from these list, and to see
some serbian fascist still staying on the smae list !!!!

    It is a fundamental problem:
These list prefers to make censorship about spam !!! than making empeachment
to facsist participation !!!

Congratulations to the moderators .....


Valery Grancher

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Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 19:58:23 +0200 (CEST)
From: Josephine Bosma <>
Subject: rectification

Due to misinterpretation of poetic code writing I made a mistake
in my text about antiorp. Antiorp was not removed from Rhizome
(something that was already highly surprising), but from
Syndicate, a list I am not on. Rhizome raw is open.

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Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 15:47:13 -0800
From: (alex galloway)
Subject: Re: <nettime> gated communities

after the recent, highly laudable rant by Josephine Bosma against
moderation and censorship it appears that we should clear up a few things
about RHIZOME. 

Josephine posted:

>This mail is a protest against the removal of antiorp from the three
>mailinglists this mail is going to.

followed by:

>Due to misinterpretation of poetic code writing I made a mistake
>in my text about antiorp. Antiorp was not removed from Rhizome
>(something that was already highly surprising), but from
>Syndicate, a list I am not on. Rhizome raw is open.

Rachel Greene writes:

well, it is absolutely true that we *never* disqualified antiorp or anyone
else from participating here.

all i will say for now is alex, mark and i very much want RHIZOME_RAW to
be totally open (with regard to new media art -- talk about breeding
peonies and lilies is unwelcome here). indeed, with RAW, we encourage all
kinds of posts, from meaningless chatter, queries, reviews, to more
refined, polished writing, hoping to distribute a sense of... ownership,
openness and participation. actually, we consider all the promotions and
announcements a really important part of new media art discourse and
communication (though not always interesting to read), and often consider
some of the weirder emails to be... quite arty. 

but that is RHIZOME, and nettime is a very different story. i feel much
more like a student or newsreader when i open my nettime mailbox. the only
time i have minded that nettime is moderated was when discussions/threads
that were important to me were dismissed. anyhow, RHIZOME is meant to be
much more populist and less theoretical. 

+ + +

Alex Galloway writes:

>Spin offs of nettime like
>xchange and rhizome (yes) are gradually copying the way nettime is

not true! the structure of RHIZOME is such that both the filtered and the
unfiltered can coexist (RAW vs. DIGEST/FRESH). this helps solve the
censorship question...witness the recent rtmark/infowar list incident
where rtmark felt like they could only come to RHIZOME to get their
message out. the RHIZOME robot was set in motion 2.5 years ago and has not
taken a single step toward the nettime structure. i dare say the reverse
has happened, what with nettime's adoption of the digestive system and the

A second point: as rachel suggested above, RHIZOME (as well as places like
7-11) is a spot for *production of* as well as discourse about new media
art. jodi, KOGO, meta and others have all experimented within the realm of
email art. Last week's DIGEST is a perfect example. 

that said, i vote to keep nettime as is: moderated and high-brow. i love
nettime ;). it serves a valuable purpose in the net community. not every
list can do everything. and perhaps email art spams belong over here
rather than over there. 


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Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 19:50:39 -0400
From: t byfield <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> gated communities

I can't speak about the other lists or speak for the other moderators, but
I can tell you a bit about why I unsubscribed antiorp. Maintaining the
list takes time: filtering out the spam, dealing with the misdir- ected
subscriptions and unsubscriptions, passing mail to the announcer, cleaning
up mail (quoted-printable cruft, ascii junk, bad formatting), and *then*
stripping down multiple levels of headers that are generated by majordomo.
It's not unusual for this to take a few hours a day. The main result is
that the vast, vast majority of mail sent to nettime is approved, and
often in a much more readable form than it was sent in.  In saying that,
I'm not complaining, not at all; it's very satisfying work in a lot of
ways, but make no mistake--it takes time and energy. 

When antiorp subscribed to nettime, it--i don't know or care if it's a he
or a she--started sending about ten messages a day; almost all of them
consisted of a few lines of antiorpism and anywhere from dozens to
hundreds of lines of material quoted from whatever it was responding to,
or, occasionally, scraps from something else, PGP-encrypted stuff,
whatever. Exactly like on every other list it subscribes to. Now, when we
approved some of this, we got piles of complaints; if we had approved
more, the complaints would have escalated even more. So what do we do? If
we're going to approve antiorp's stuff, we had bloody well approve the
complaints too, no? And around and around, until antiorp and orp eats up
much of "the list"--moderators' time, subscribers' patience,'s
bandwidth and CPU cycles. That certainly wasn't what I sub- scribed to
nettime for, and I doubt many other subscribers would have been very happy
about it, either. Antiorp may well have some interesting things to say,
but as long as it comes out in ten messages a day, and involves quoting
300 lines of text because it can't think of anything to sputter, I won't
approve it for a list of 850 subscribers: 

	850 x 300 x 10 = 2,550,000 LINES of text EVERY DAY. 

There's *no way* that would have a positive impact on nettime.

Instead, I--and, I assume, the other moderators--stopped approving its
mail. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't see any howls of protest to
the effect of "Where's antiorp's stuff?" But what I *did* see was that
antiorp kept on posting at the same rate. So I sent it a note from my own
account, a very polite note, explaining some of the problems and asking it
to slow down. No such luck: just a whole lot of antiorpism in my mailbox,
and the same constant stream in the nettime inbox. I thought about what to
do a good bit, and tried an experiment--I wanted to see if antiorp would
practice what it preached: so one day I bounced about six of its mail back
at it, complete with the majordomo headers. And what do you know...antiorp
(using <> as an address) went ballistic, for example... 

> = !nvezt!gat!ng who
> ^M>> = amuz!ng !f u were !nvolvd
> ^Mmattr abov = !n regardz 2 abuse ov netverk

So much for the "fasc!zm. kap!tal!zm," anything-goes free-speech twaddle. 
Since antiorp seemed to be all too willing to play the net.cop game, I
sent it a note from <> saying, very clearly: do not send
any more mail to this address. And, lo and behold, it stopped. For a few
days. Then, not only did it start up again but someone forwarded a message
to me that antiorp (or, I don't remember) had sent to the
infowar list: it quoted the message I had sent from the nettime account,
but it said it was from <>. It was missing the date line
(presumably because there's a noticeable time difference between panix and
desk), but it still had the X-mailer line, which said I had used Mutt 0.76
(the version on desk)--but panix uses Mutt 0.93.2i. Upshot: antiorp spent
a little time fucking the headers around, as far as I can tell, to
hypnotize people with pseudo-technical details while leaving out telltale
signs of its manipulations. To my mind, it had be- come quite clear that
antiorp is much more interested in hassling people --me, nettime
subscribers, people on other lists--than in lofty political or theoretical
ideals, and I unsubscribed it. Again, no howls of protest that nettime
readers weren't getting the latest antiorpism; but when word got out that
it had been unsubscribed, then comes the storm of protest. Not questions
like "How did this come about?" but speeches on how this Event brings up
Big Issues. So this stuff about how antiorp was unsubscribed from nettime
based on a "rumor" that it had been causing trouble on other lists maybe
wasn't the wisest thing to say. 

Whether what I did conforms to your own or others' ethical ideals, I don't
know. If antiorp had been willing to listen or give me the benefit of the
doubt when I asked it to slow down, or had recognized that getting its own
mail bounced back might bear some theoretical relation to its own
activities, then I wouldn't have unsubscribed it. But, instead, it went
crying to the info.cops, playing fast and loose with the facts, and taking
up my own and other moderators' time in order to radicalize the situation
to "prove" that everyone except for poor little antiorp is an
unenlightened fascist censor. Does that conform to your ethical ideals? 
It seems as though you've romanticized antiorp a bit, instead of getting
another side of the story or doing the math. It wasn't an easy decision at
all; I gave it a lot of thought, and I'm not very happy about the whole
thing. But I can tell you one thing: I gave antiorp *exactly* what it
wants, a new toy fascist. It's very easy to question the motives of
listowners and moderators, and to talk about how they make all kinds of
terrible choices. How about spending a little time meditating on the trap
that antiorp's antics lay for itself and everyone around it. Maybe that's
a very clever art trick, but nettime is worth more than that, imo. 

Here's a very practical suggestion: Why doesn't antiorp start up its own
list, so that everyone who's interested in hearing it can do so? My five
bucks says it doesn't because that's not what it wants. 


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