RTMARK admin on Thu, 6 Aug 1998 22:39:57 -0700 (PDT)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Syndicate: Interview with Wired: POPOTLA, INFOWEAPON (fwd)

Here is an interview with Wired Magazine.  Please feel free to add
information by writing directly to David.

Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1998 22:31:05 -0700 (PDT)
To: David Kushner <dkushner@mindspring.com>
From: RTMARK admin <admin@rtmark.com>
Cc: info@aec.at

You wrote:
I am writing an article for Wired News (Wired magazine's online news
service) in the USA and would like to ask you a few questions about the
InfoWeapon prize. My deadline is tomorrow, so please respond immediately.

Hi David,
We can answer some of your questions on behalf of the InfoWeapon jury.
(We're the ones who sent out the press release about Popotla.)

>>1. Why did you award the people of Popotla with the InfoWeapon award? 
They displayed, with their work, the best use of technology possible.  The
Popotla wall directly and beautifully serves the people who made it, and
delights and satisfies many others as well. So much technology does the
opposite--oppressing instead of delighting, horrifying instead 
of uplifting, discouraging instead of aiding.  The story of the Titanic,
as related in the movie, is a story of class struggle, overcoming economic
and technological barriers placed in the way of the poor--and we find the
counterpart of this in the Popotla wall, paradoxically.

>>2. Who else did you consider for the award?
The Zapatista Floodnet
the lucent personalised web assistant (http://lpwa.com:8000/) which serves
as an anonymous proxy service,
muffin (a java-based proxy server, at http://muffin.doit.org/),
and about a dozen others were finalists; we had about five hundred

>>3. How much is the cash prize?  
The prize includes $1,000 and travel to and accommodation in Linz for
the winner (in this case, two representatives of Popotla) for the awards
ceremony and the Infowar festival.

>>4. Do you feel that it is ironic to also present an award to the Titanic
Yes, it really highlights some important issues.  Fox made Titanic
at a cost of $200 million (the price of 200,000 typical Popotla fishing
and utilized the techniques of Nike and other companies to keep costs
low--establishing a maquiladora, most notably.  The movie is about
overcoming class barriers--and a real-world example, much more real and
immediate than any such examples in the movie itself, is the Popotla wall.
The movie Titanic presents to the viewers--including the legions in the
Third World who will see it--a picture of hope, resistance, and
possibility. The people of Popotla, by decorating the Popotla wall,
express their hope and resistance, and explore possibilities.

>>5. Do you have any contact information for a representative from Popotla
or Titanic?  
Contact info for  Popotla at top of this note; please contact info@aec.at
for Titanic contact info.

>>6. What is infowar? 
Please see http://www.aec.at/, or write to info@aec.at.


Thanks. I can be reached at 718-935-1466

David Kushner

Subject: Mexican village resists high technology 

>Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1998 09:44:53 -0700 (PDT) 
>To: Popotla <tips@wired.com> 
>From: "rtmark.ANNSERV" <announce@rtmark.com> 
>Subject: Mexican village resists high technology 
>To unsubscribe, write
>August 4, 1998 
>Contact: popotla@rtmark.com 
>Ars Electronica, the foremost new media technology festival in the world, 
>has awarded its prestigious InfoWeapon cash prize to the people of 
>Popotla, a tiny Mexican fishing village, for resisting unwanted 
>technologies by means of trash and recycled materials. 
>To film the movie Titanic, Twentieth Century Fox built a sort of "movie 
>maquiladora" in Popotla, and surrounded it with a giant cement wall to 
>keep the villagers out. ("Maquiladora" is the term for US factories 
>operating in Mexico because of the low wages.) The people of Popotla 
>reacted to the unsightly wall first in humiliation and anger, and then by 
>covering it with a mural constructed from garbage they amassed and 
>collected. The Ars Electronica InfoWeapon jury is rewarding Popotla for 
>this remarkable low-tech gesture against an unpleasant high-tech situation. 
>Ars Electronica is also awarding the movie Titanic itself, which cost 
>US$200 million to make, its Golden Nica cash prize for computer animation. 
>Ars Electronica is thus in the cutting-edge position of rewarding both 
>parties in a cultural and economic dispute that some consider unresolvable. 
>RTMARK will present the InfoWeapon cash prize to a representative of 
>Popotla at the Ars Electronica award ceremony in Linz, Austria, this 
>For a fuller story of the Popotla wall, see
>For a description of the InfoWeapon prize, see 
>To learn about Ars Electronica, see <http://www.aec.at/>http://www.aec.at/. 
>RTMARK was established in 1991 to further anti-corporate activism, in some 
>cases by channelling funds from donors to workers for sabotage of 
>corporate products. Recent and upcoming acts of RTMARK-aided subversion 
>are documented on RTMARK's web site, <http://rtmark.com/>http://rtmark.com/. 
> # 30 # 
>You are receiving this notice either because you requested to be on our 
>mailing list, because you are associated with a news service, or because 
>we have good reason to believe you will be interested in our services, 
>which cost nothing. If you are not interested, we apologize for the error. 
>To unsubscribe, write
>If you have received multiple copies of this notice and wish to receive 
>only one, please remove as above all address versions but one.