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This is all flashback for me in the sense that I was in an artist collective in New York back in he 60s called OSCO and we made a big deal about paying close attention engineers and scientist in making a part of the work that we were doing and all that cool stuff, as if we were inventing that. And the reality is that art and technology being in each others armpits for a long time from Leonardo on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the media lab was basically where I work for a while is based on the idea of jamming art and technology together. Burning Man is based on the idea of turning art and technology out in the desert, raining on them, see what happens. And so that, these guys have gone to screaming edges of what is going on with our analyst going on with specifically web technology is in keeping with a very long tradition and I guess thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s part of what makes this a Long Now event artist have embodied the, as they say long term unconscious of humanity and they probe as McClone pointed out into the future harder and faster and smarter than anybody. So please welcome Jon Ippolitio and Joline Blais. Thank you Stewart and weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re very excited to be here, Joline and I. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going to go in a direction, hopefully the future, as all long now project seem to eventually ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ emphasis on eventually that might be a little different from what youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re used to in the sense that weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going to talk about art on the edge but with a particular slant about our opinions of art on the edge and why is it on the edge, why we need it on the edge, and what it does for us. Joline if you want to get started. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s really a pleasure to be here speaking with you in this particular context along now and we tend to be thinking about the future and along now and IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m going to spend a moment talking little bit about the past because the long then is also important too. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m going to revert back to ceremony, which is where I come from right now, and IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m going to say who I am, where I come from and to greet the people of this place and the spirit of this place which is a ceremony for the people that IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m from. My people are French and theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re also Algonquins, the French people whoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d been on this continent in the Northeast for over 400 years, or ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and the Algonquins, of course, have been there for over 10,000 years. And so this is where I come from. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m on the edge of two different cultures and you will hear that a little bit in my presentation today. So I want you to know something about where I come from. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m also a mother with young children and very interested in surviving the futures in front of us and having them survive in those futures. So thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s where I come from and I also want to greet the spirits who have been here for over 10,000 years and to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ to recognize that we stand in a place that has had life for that long. Today as we gather here to speak in the homelands of the Ohlone Costanoan people, whose forbears have lived here for at least 10,000 years. Our foreign technological cultures had brought us in a very short time period to empire collapse and global ecological catastrophe. Like many previous moments in geological upheavals and transformation, we are perched on a knife-edge between annihilation and survival. Like the creatures of the paleoprotozoic period, when eukaryotes churn deadly oxygen gas into the atmosphere of oxyphobic life, we must change or die. Our question today is whether artist can tip the balance towards survival. We believe, Jon and I, that with proper support, art is uniquely positioned to push us out of the Cenozoic era that we currently inhabit into the Ecozoic era in which bottom up network systems can help regenerate the life that our inappropriate technology so easily trample and supersede. Acting along the patterns of nature found in our own bodies, specifically the antibodies of our immune system, art appears to be one of our best technologies for surviving peak oil, market crash and accelerating species extinction. But how does art do this? In thriving indigenous cultures, all beings including humans exercise this power. In Euro American culture, especially in so called democracies, we nervously narrow this privilege to artists. Still we can recall many historical examples of artist wielding this power. Shelley call poets the unacknowledged moral legislators of their age. Pound calls them ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Antenna of the Race.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ But while the Pintupi of Australia grant each family the power and responsibility to co-create the universe and each generation as they re-sing their song lines, Euro ethnic cultures have rarely accorded artist direct influence outside the galleries and museums. GÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â©ricault and Picasso had to be content with painting representations of The Medusa or Guernica rather than taking part in historical incidence or generative creation of the world. In our age the death of the artist and the slashing of public funding for the arts has narrow that vocation even more. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s no wonder then that many creators have abandoned the term artist for more influential vocations. Vito Acconci, of the Benetton Advertising Campaign, change his job description to designer and Brenda Laurel, the game designer some of you may know, change hers to culture worker. While Alexei Shulgin told artist to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œforget the very word ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ very word and notion art.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ And then there were the countless artists who during the .com-boom gave up their unlikely quest for fulfillment in the art world to join what turned out to be just as unlikely quest for fulfillment as Creatives and E-commerce and game companies. As you can see, the west has been very good at convincing itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s humans to give up their own powers in favor of the machines, both industrial and corporate, that can do the work for them ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ or tell them how to do it. Of course, the problem with handing-over-your- powers so readily can be measured in a culture addicted to entertainment, caffeine, alcohol, and antidepressants. A culture that resigned itself to the corporate personÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ideology that humans are unredeemable and destined to exterminate themselves, which for the outset looks very good, to the machines, that do not calculate their dependence on us. Oops [laughs]. In the mean time of course, and outside the fairytale of mass media, indigenous peoples, local communities, and internet artists are reclaiming their sovereignty and their attended/attendant creative powers. Ingenuity erupting far from our studios and galleries has started to take on a function thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s looking more like art. Among the digital artist, we survey in our book, at The Edge of Art, creative people are typing lines of self ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ self replicating software. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re splicing genes at lab benches and theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re rigging make-shift WiFi networks. And theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ in doing so, reshaping our cultureÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s vision of itself, although they apply new techniques like polymerase chain reactions and php, they choose not to subordinate their work to the political and economic imperatives governing their colleagues and scientific or media industries. Instead, they wield these powerful tools and might ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ might, best be described as an artistic bent. One whose influence extends far beyond the conventional confines of art leveraging the internet to infiltrate stock markets to sway court cases and to network bedrooms, note that with this reclaiming of creative power comes an insistent on the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ insistence on the full range of creative power. Not satisfied with mere representation, this generation of creative seeks real power in the world; the power to play, the power to create, the power to challenge and subvert real world structures. This is not representation this is engagement or in our terms, executability. This is the real creative economy and it belongs to the people, not the corporations that have always sought to colonize its potential to enrich their current versions of the East India Company. Well the pirates are back. And like the originals, who are often escape natives and slaves, they have come to reclaim their full sovereignty. So we talked a little bit about, what we see, artÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s purpose and now weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going to talk a little bit about how art goes about doing that because how do you reclaim sovereignty in the history that Joline described a bit basically being taken away from us and specifically most creative people are probably the people we should be looking to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ to see how to do it. We, in the book discuss lots of examples from game art, autobotography, from community building to political design. But today we are going to focus on two particularly potent symptoms of the powers wielded by artists of the internet age and youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll see from their names, of these symptoms, why Plato was so keen on banishing poets from his republic. The two powers are perversion and execution. So perversion, artists have always been perverse in their way, right? So Caravaggio paints the virgin as a prostitute on her deathbed, hires a prostitute as a model, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a pretty perverse thing. Today we have Chris Ofili making virgin MaryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s out of elephant dung. But that sort of a perversity thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s, you know, purely kind of prurient or ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ sexual maybe and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not quite what we mean by perversion in our book. Digital and genetic techniques give artist the ability to automate perversion so if youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re scared by regular perversion like Caravaggio then you should be really be scared about automated perversion, artists who wield these tools can summon forth entire universes of unlikely forms with a few strands of DNA or a few strokes on the keyboard of generative code. Joline you want to mention about them? One example is John SimonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Every Icon. Now, this is an artwork that began in 19 2001 or 2002. It ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ here it is. 1997. Well 1997, okay. We can see the top of this, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s still going on and if computers last for the next hundred trillion years, it will still be going on. This is a very long now artwork. It just last a long time and the artwork is very simple. You can see itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s been ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the little boxes shuffling. This is an algorithm that will actually generate every possible icon that can be generated in a 32x32 square so at one particular point your face will flash by this or something that looks like your face, you might not be there to see it, but it will be there ff they can be represented in a 32x32 icon. So this is one example of that very strange and powerful kind of artwork. An artwork that can spend huge amounts of time assuming the technology can keep pace with it. So I also wanted to mention a product by Jodi. Some of you who have familiar with artist on the internet, theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re sort of the, I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know, the dynamic duo or poster children of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of internet age and theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re best known for projects that really kind of screw around with you. For example of you go to oss.jodi.org you will see something this. A black screen ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ This project usually crashes your computer so itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s kind of scary to do this in a presentation [laughs]. Yikes! SomethingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s wrong with the projector. What happened? So this is actually rather old projects from ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ oh, 1999, something along that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ some ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ something at the late 90s and weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re fair ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ fairly familiar with pop-up ads by now. But the artist got their first. They actually created a website that creates these insanely manipulating and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and proliferating pop-up windows, and if you ever try to close them, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s just impossible [crowd laughs] so reminds me of that woman in Vermont who, is facing 40 years in prison for ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ for accidentally launching a porn site where 12-year-olds are watching and being unable to click all the pop-up windows [crowd laughs] from stopping. I should also say that Dirk Paesmans, who ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ who is one of the Jodi folks, told Joline and I that his favorite occupation when he goes to a new city is to look for those Apple stores, it was great big white beautiful buildings where you basically in a white cube with a row of, you know, 24 IMacs. And he goes up to each one and of course theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve got, you know, internet access there [crowd laughs]. All of them [laughs]. Okay and he just ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ He sets this up on all of them. you know, goes to one side after another and they suspect and watches while this white cube becomes of these crazy black ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ black rectangles and very soon afterward filled with Apple tech people trying to figure out what the hell happened to their Safari. The only way, actually, to get out of it is to force quit so I will do that now. Kill process. Oh-oh, no more computer. Thank you. Okay back to regularly schedule program. WhatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s important about this project is that we get to sense, like as when we play video games that we somehow are in control when we, you know, launch our computers and our browsers and we make the machines do what we want them to do. And I think Jodi was really interested in showing us that we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t always have the kind of control that we think we do and when we lose control we get very nervous. That whole moment of who or whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s-in-control and the sort of waking up out of that trance that weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re in charge of whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening with our technology I think is really important so ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Okay ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ so one other example, little more in control perhaps, but just as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ as sort of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“of perverse in a sense of being autom be able automate many multiple strange kinds of forms, you got a polymorphs perversity that Freud talked about is Ken Musgrave planted Mojo. This is a, those of you who know that sometimes fractal algorithms from mathematics are use to create, for example scenes and, you know, waves in the Titanic or ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ or mountain tops in an alien space suit movie, Ken actually did this with a lot of the software Bryce that produces that but he also, for fun, made a, essentially, a planet generator that anyone could use and create these planets on their own and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s really nifty sort of interface allows you to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ to manipulate, you know, essential terraform your own world very quickly. And ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and with enormous potential for variety, with basically operating on the generative code of algorithms like fractals. And then he created a sort of transporters so within the Mojo world universe you can basically transport to each others planets and everyone can connect, create their own. So that gives you some sense of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of the kinds of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of tools that are available to artist, the ways that they can generate forms quickly sometimes, as in the case of Ken Musgrave, theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re operating just from sort of, you know, some basic formulas. In the case of artist Mark Napier he just works from any given webpage and his project is called The Shredder, which I will launch. I think, oh here, I have it, okay. So ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ One of the distinctions between these two projects is that when you see Ken MusgraveÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s work you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s under the hood. You see the pretty worlds being formed and you see the mountains changing and you see the skies and you see the rivers forming but you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really know whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s causing that change you move a few buttons, and he knows because he is a programmer and he knows whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going on behind the hood. Mark NapierÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s project Shredder shows us whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ on under the hood with internet web pages so he basically takes a page and shreds it and turns the webpage inside out so that you can actually see the html tags, the java script, the other things that are behind the scene. Some of you who go to view source will see that anyway, but those of you who donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t can ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ can see some of it in Mark NapierÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s pages. My students inspire by this work actually create narratives in which youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going through a webpage and reading a narrative and at one point one of the clues or one of the pieces of the stories is actually in the source code so you have to actually go into the source code to get part of the story, part of the narratives. So my students are actually learning to get under the hood and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and find out where the coding is happening which is I think where the real generative power for this kind of art is happening. So this is the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ just long now site of course and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ LetÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s shred it. LetÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s shred it. So IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m just typing ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ typing any bookmark you want and wait whoa! WhatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going on? Okay so what you see now is the long now website turned inside out. So what was big is small, what was small was big, what was hidden was shown, and what was shown is hidden. And this is a fairly not-that-difficult-to-do. Internet artist is not always about like achieving something as technically very difficult but it has lots of fun because you can mess around with peopleÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s pages and see all kinds of things they didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t intend. Every time you shred the site it looks differently. So again itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not so much making a single image as much as itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s making a way of making multiple images. Now, actually Marry Flanagan has an interesting version of this which can play on your computer in your own hard drive and actually turns that inside out as well and she thinks of it as the unconscious of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ not so much the unconscious of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of the machine but some kind of unconscious that the user has put there because what happens is that it starts to mix your photographs with the songs that you listen to, with your email to your cousin, or your mother, or your old lover and that comes up next to a song about, you know, and so all these things start to mix up in this director kind of file and so sheÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s sort of revealing all those that, you know, for the computer what Freud revealed in his sort of psychoanalysis sessions so whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s underneath it thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s get hidden and repressed and put away and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and what does it feel like when it comes back up to the surface, and how do our machines begin to represent who we are, and what does it mean to look under there and see. So if youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re interested in that, Mary FlanaganÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s is something to look at as well. Maryflanagan.com is where you can find her work. F-L-A-N-A-G-A-N, Flanagan. So the other symptom weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going to talk about for art apart from perversion is execution. And execution, in this sense, is a potent technique for distributing work if perversion is the 21st century artist most potent technique for creating new forms. To execute, of course, is what we see in computers when youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re running a program, you know. You launch a word processor or spreadsheet but the meaning can ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the term can be extended to mean triggering an existing system to discharge a task that changes the state of the system. Okay thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a really like general boring definition, but what executable art does is hijack todayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s computational systems, legal systems, economic systems and in those networks it propagates outside the studio or the gallery to affect distant people and events. So in one example that you see in the image of upper right, Joe Davis a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ a biotech artist, hijacks the reproductive system of E. coli, the bacteria. He draws a picture in its DNA, and then he unleashes this info-gene basically an ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ an image embedded in DNA, encoded in DNA I should say, into the natural ecosystem. The Yes Men, do something different, Joline? How many people here have heard of the Yes Men? All right. Have you seen the Yes Men video or just heard about them? Yeah, they ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ they do some high class jinx. They started off on the Art Mark site and somebody asked them to do a website. They had got the domain name George W. Bush, GW. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Gw.bush.com and apparently the Bush campaign had got that yet, this was before the elections. So they got the site and they reproduce it with a few slight changes and the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the, of course, Bush people got very upset. They sent cease and decease and they told them to take it down and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and tell you that ya- di-ya-da. And they refuse to so of course reporters came on the scene and they asked Bush what he thought about this and for some of you whoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve seen their movie, Bush actually responds to this and says, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWell these are garbage men. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re just doing garbage.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ And when heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s pushed about whether or not they have the right to do this online, he says, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWell, there ought to be limits to freedom.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s when he actually made his famous statement ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThere ought to be limits to freedomÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ and responds to reporters asking questions about the Yes Men website so. So theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve done a number of different pranks and this is one of them that IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve just showed my students the other day, they put out a Dow Ethics webs dowethics.com, Dow had their own website but they forgot Dowethics because of course they donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think about ethics so the Yes Men pulled it up and they ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ they did a prank on the anniversary of the Bhopal catastrophe and they ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ because they had a Dowethics website, I think itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s MSNBC got in touch with them and did an interview with them and during the interview they basically apologize for the Bhopal incident and said that they were going to pay all the reparations for all of the injured in this. And this went on MSNBC, it was broadcast worldwide, everybody saw it. And of course, Dow was forced, to then the next day, say well ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ well the first when then happens it was a stock went down at what, 44 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ billions of dollars ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 4.2%, in 23 minutes the stock went down after this came out. So this is like huge amounts of money. And so what Dow was force to do is basically get back on the airwaves and say, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re sorry but we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t apologize,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ [crowd laughs] ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfor all that injury. And weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re sorry but we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t take responsibility for what we did. And weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re sorry that weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re not going to do any the things that our so called ersatz representatives said we would do.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ So this is the some other pranks of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of the Yes Men, messing with ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s also kind of interesting when you, Joline pointed this out to me, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve got to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ websites side by side. And they ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ they added something to the real one. Yes, my students noticed this. When I put this website, this is the Dowethics one, and the Dow website, very soon after the Dowethics thing started to happen they have under quick links youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll see the first one as ethics [crowd laughs]. That didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t use to be there. My ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ my students also said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOh yeah, arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t those ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t those the guy that do the HU, the Human Element campaigns?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve seen them all over TV and they said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOh now we know why theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re doing that Human Element commercial stuff because theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re try to recover from that real embarrassment of not really caring about people.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ So I said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œYeah, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s right.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ [Crowd laughs.] That makes sense so. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a bit of social hijacking and also media hijacking. What happens with the Yes Men is they use broadcast they use network media to get out a kind of trick identity then they jump on the broadcast media and they announce their ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ their various ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ they basically do what they call identity correction. They speak what should be spoken. They say the truth about what these people are supposed to be saying. So for example in one case when they went to Australia, representing World Trade Organization, they actually disbanded the World Trade Organization. The Canadian parliament reported that in the middle of a parliamentary session. And they said that they were going to restart the World Trade Organization along humanitarian lines with all of the regulations of the Human Rights Commission that that the United Nations have put together. Of course WTO had to do the same thing that Dow Chemicals did which said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œNo, no, no. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re not really interested in doing that. No, really donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want human rights, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not really weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re all aboutÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ so very embarrassing. So on the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ on the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“unless, well in a different angle of executability quite literally, the Yes Men of course are ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ are people who intervene in politics even though they come from perhaps an artistic background. HereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s someone who intervenes in art if you will even though he comes from a very different, in this case, a kind of political ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ politicized computer scientist, if there is such a thing. There was a case against the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the Hacker Quarterly 2600, which some of you may know, for linking to code that allowed you to decrypt a DVD so if you wanted to pirate the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Pirates of the CaribbeanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d use this code called DeCSS. Of course if you wanted to backup your disk of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œPirates of the CaribbeanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ so in case your kid scratched it, you wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be out 20 bucks or 30 bucks youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d also have to use this technology. But the technology was illegal, at least circumventing the DeCSS was illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. So linking to that code was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ was a reason for the MPAA to sue the Hacker Quarterly. And in 2000, a district judge name Lewis Kaplan issued an injunction saying, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œYou have to stop that, youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re linking to illegal code.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ Now there was a computer scientist name Dave Touretzky out of CMU Carnegie Melon who said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œYou know, something very odd about this. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m a computer scientist and I ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I write code all the time. And for me code is a form of writing. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a form of expression. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s an odd form expression. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a form of expression that a computer, I need the computer to help me interpret and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and express, but I view it as a form of expression anyway.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ And when he was reading Judge KaplanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s decision, he was struck by the fact that the Judge ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the defense tried to say, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWell, you know, freedom of speech, first amendment.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ And they said ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ judge said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œNo, no, no, no, no. Computer code is not speech because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s executable. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the difference.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ And Touretzky said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œGee, I wonder if thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s really true.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ And he did a series of experiments that were basically artistic experiments, in recreating that DeCSS code in a way that was, not exactly executable but sort of executable. So it ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ he put a call out for people who were interested in the issue, activist, computer scientist, artist, whatever to contribute variations on this DeCSS code. And he got all kinds of versions in C, in Perl, and so forth. The tiniest C implementation, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s kind of stuff that, you know, computer scientist get into. But he also got odds stuff like this. This is the DVD logo rendered as DeCSS code [crowd laughs]. And if you look up really close youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll see, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what it is. But you know, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ it is a picture and pictures we know are protected under freedom of expression so does that qualify? Well, there were plenty other examples including images that werenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t in ASCII they werenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t immediately you could scan them in character, recognize them, in which case theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d be executable or ordinarily they wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be. There were t-shirts, there was a Haiku, beautiful Haiku telling you how to do it, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a t-shirt tie, a dramatic reading. Well okay, if itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ if you read [crowd laughs] the code is that executable? A star wars movie where they code move pass the screen at the beginning of star wars and anyway lots of great stuff. As a result, this gallery by also kind of chose these words, terms that suggests an artistic context. A gallery of CSSD script. So Joline mentioned in the introduction with all of these artists are fleeing the word artist in calling themselves designer and creative. What a hideous term. Creative! IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m the creative of the dot.com company. And here we have a computer designer saying ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œnoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢noÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢noÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m a gallery. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m an artist. In so doing, arguing that there is a slippery slope between executable code and you know, quasi-executable, visual, audio, whatever culture. And as a consequence, when the decision came up in an appeal, because the second circuit said no, this guy Touretzky is right. He came and he did his deposition and they said, we rule. The code is a form of expression. It is analogous to speech. So, hereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s an example where a bunch of artworks in a gallery changed the court case. And do you want to talk about- ? Yeah! A few weeks ago, I was actually speaking with Johannes Voggenhuber who is the architect of the European Constitution and in that conversation I said, so, what do you think of Echelon? And he just flew out of his seat and said we have lot of trouble with Echelon. Now, Echelon is basically a kind of spy software. That is used by the UK-USA Agreement basically Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, and the United States, and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s used in a number of contexts. You see we have a big problem with this because we were really worried about spying on citizens. We were really worried about the power of this technology, spying on ordinary citizens and so, it turns out that the report that was launched by the European Parliament suggest that Echelon was capable and I was quoting now ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œof interception and contact inspection of telephone calls, fax and email and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication including satellite transmission, public switch telephone networks and microwave lengths. This is a sort of vast kind of citizen spy, kind of project. So, one of the ways that internet artists responded to this is to try to spam this kind of software. So, what you do is you get a list of all he code words. So, for example: terror, nuclear, bombs, dynamite, Iraq, there are some less obvious. But, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a whole list of code words that actually triggers the Echelon program to start snooping and spying on you. There are also words like dissent, dissident, protests, activismÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦these are also code words. Feminisms, all those ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œisms.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ So, what happen is they thought they would find the whole lists of these code words and they have lots and lots of people start sending random emails stuffed with all these words just to start a whole trail of like red herrings all over the place and if you jam it with enough false signals and they wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be able to spy on people who are using maybe to them legitimately in a regular email about their feminist course thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s talking about terrorism and Africa, whatever. So, ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what happens in fact. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what happened. What happened is that this does not work very well because Echelon is a little bit smarter than that and it wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t just picking up certain words, it was picking up words in context. It turns out it had to be the right context, the right grammar, they had to sound like what the program was designed to sniff as real terror messages, real spy networks whatever, and so, Metamute, which was a magazine at that time, decided to launch a fiction writing contest and they publish a list of code or these sort of trigger words and they said weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going to give a thousand dollar price to the short story that includes the most number of code words used the most number of times and yet, is a very interesting short story. And they actually published these short stories in their Metamute Echelon edition which apparently was effective enough to trigger all kinds of interesting excitement by the Echelon software. So, one of the things that you can take from this is that literature always held the power to sway readerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s hearts and minds but executable literature, literature that takes advantage of the networks that are out there, be that governmental or electronic can act directly on the infrastructure of power woven into the digital fabric of contemporary life. So, if traditional literature produces satisfaction through catharses but leaves the worldÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s injustices unchanged, is the problem Brecht and other people had about contemporary art. Executable literature produces satisfaction through engagement, through acting directly on the world rather than standing back and somehow kind of representing that. So, shall we go to antibody? All right. So a lot of people have seen these powers and said gee, this is a lot like virusÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦a virus. In fact, in the case of Jodi piece that almost took over my screen, they got booted from their ISP not long after their launching it because it said well, clearly, youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re forcing our viewers to download a virus, it shows how much ISPs know about viruses but it also shows a sense of the kind of terror that sometimes accompanies people when they see artist getting these new found powers. Andy Warhol said to it updated his prediction that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes to the claim that in 15 minutes everyone will be famous. Either claim seemed pretty unrealistic in 1968 but in 2003 the advent of a Warhol worm, a virus that infected 90% of vulnerable computers within 10 minutes, put that fantasy within reach. People like Oliviero Toscani who does very interesting ads for companies that are nevertheless added props to political issues described his work as a virus. He said IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m an artist of virus; IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m a virus against racism or whatever he is dealing with in the commercial world. And it is tempting viral metaphor makes sense because viruses are perforous, they mutate and theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re executable, they hijack the host means of replication to further their own proliferation. However, viruses originate outside the host organism and theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re interested in that host surviving only long enough to enable them to infect other hosts. Art on the other hand, originates inside the host. Right? And itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s symbiotic with the larger body. Its long term survival and many people would say its meaning depends on the cultures that it either critiques or celebrates. So, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s different. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not a virus. Of course a lot or artists are not comfortable with being associated with society at least with its status quo version. They wanted to say, no, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m off here; IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve got my beret and my mustache. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s different! In Western culture, the feelings is often mutual but with rare exceptions like Goebbels books burning and Stalin's poet purges, know Euro ethnic society since Plato has really succeeded in booting artists out altogether. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re kind of social irritant, the fly in the grease. But theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re part of the culture along with the village idiots, criminals, used car salesmen and presidents. Art is an unruly, pesky, troubling symbiant and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s because its task like the task of the shaman is to serve as a diversity agent. To alert us to otherness and that otherness can be both a danger and an opportunity. To do this well, like the shaman, the artist must scout what is unfamiliar, court what is foreign and engaged what is not yet recognized. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a daunting task. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s one for which euro-ethnic cultures donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really offer an obvious model. The best metaphor for artÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s contemporary role maybe a microbe, but one internal rather than external, the antibody. Now, why do I think that antibodies are like viruses? I mean are like art? Well, the job of an antibody is to keep up with viruses. So, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not surprising that antibody share many the same powers as viruses including perversion and execution. What are antibodies again? They are proteins dangling on these white blood cells running around your body. There are trillions of them in your bloodstream and your lymphatic systems. Each of them is a complicated organic molecule twisted in a funky shape and each of them serves as unique portrait of some particular foreign agent. Antibodies make reliable detectors of viruses and other foreign lumps of protein because for any given virus, there is going to be only one antibody that exactly dove tails with it. Some small fractions are inherited from the womb. The body makes the rest but how do you make a cellular database of foreign dangers that youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve never encounter? HereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re talking about the future. This is the future! This is your body predicting what itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going to see before itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ever seen it In other words, how does the body know what chickenpox looked like before it ever gets any chickenpox under its skin. The answer is really an interesting mechanism that biologist Gerald Edelman described as a genetic jumbler. Like everything else in the cell, the exact shape of the protein dangling from the lymphocyte is determined genetically but unlike the stable genes that are inside the nucleus or the membrane, the genes for a lymphocyte receptor that antibody is prone to shuffle itself during cell reproduction. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s basically kind of a faulty genetic system. But the good part of this built in randomizer is that each of these billions of lymphocytes initially produced by the body, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a different chemical lure on its surface. So, even if the chickenpox virus has never got in your bloodstream before, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s probably a white blood cell in there already with a protein to match. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s how the immune system knows what the chickenpox virus looks like before it gets to you. Now, when the gene jumbler produces an antibody that looks too similar to the hostÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s own body, the antibody is rejected as useless. Like the antibody art that is too similar to that social body is also useless. At least we think so in the 21st century when we really need to be thinking outside of ourselves to keep paced with all of the stuff thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s coming down the pipe. If you want, art like antibody are diversity agents. Artists online manipulate digital and social codes to make art the way the immune system manipulates the genetic code to make the antibodies. And like the immuneÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s systemÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s polymorphously perverse antibody production, it gives art a kind of quirky and prophetic vision. Unlikely if they emerge from a bunch of think tanks and brand trying to figure out what the future is going to bring. Which is why they sometime bring over Hollywood writers and novelists and science fiction authors that helped them figure out whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s coming out of the pipe. The misuse of genetic code which might prove lethal else where in the body allows the immune system to anticipate shapes it has never encountered, artists similarly are wrong-headed. They misuse computer, genetic social codes to reveal the ways in which society is being shaped by new technological and political forces. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the perversion side. What about the execution side? When it comes to executing code, especially the DNA that controls their reproduction, white blood cells are trigger happy. If any of these proteins ever connects to something that actually fits, that is like youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve got an antibody that matches a chickenpox that actually comes in contact or something that looks like a chickenpox or is chickenpox, the match turns that lymphocyte into a chemical warning beacon. It just alerts everything in its area and given itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s in the bloodstream, pretty soon the whole body knows about it. Even more importantly, that activated white blood cell does this sort of microbial equivalent of going into heat. It just makes an incredible number of copies of itself. And I have a statistics here; a stimulated lymphocyte creates a new antibody at the rate of 10,000 molecules per cell per second. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s 10.000 per cell, per second. And that creates a systemic change in the entire lymphatic and circulatory system. And so at the beginning of an infection, your bloodstream may contain only handful of the antibodies to counter chickenpox. But afterwards, within a few days, billions of chickenpox antibodies are flowing through your bloodstream. So, to execute again in the world of genetic or computer code, means to turn the potential power of instructions into the actual; power of behavior. But there are a lot of codes at play in both immunological and social bodies. The immune system executes its codes when it recognizes invasion of the body by foreign code like a virus; digital art executes its code when it recognizes invasion of the social body by codes that appear foreign or harmful, whether theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re cultural, legal or social. However, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a little more complication to that. So, it would seem from what John just said, that antibodies and viruses operate by comparable mechanisms and they do. Maybe they just happen to be on the opposite sides of the skin or blood barrier. But they have a more important difference than that, than locations. And that is antibodies are part of a larger ecosystem, the ecosystem of your body to which they are accountable. Well, viruses are accountable only to themselves. This makes antibodies much more interesting metaphor for art at the internet age. Antibodies work in a network of life. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re mechanisms for envisioning and populating the body with alien forms. In other words, they occupy a little minimal space between self and other. Not entirely under the control of either. Basically, you could say they surf the immune network. So, in order for antibodies to maintain this function, they need to maintain their independence. So, they are not subservient to any kind of top down commanding control system from the body. That was the old view of how the immune system works but a Nobel Prize winner actually has suggested that the immune system much more like a network, which is very interesting why IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m thinking about it. And it turns out that this network is not a top down system but rather a bottom up bottle that it works by selection rather than by instruction. The bone marrow produces a million varieties of antibodies, 99% of which will never serve the body at all. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s only when an antibody courses the bloodstream when it happens to match up a foreign antibody that it reproduces wildly and encounters pathogens invasion in a short term and it lingers in the bloodstream as somatic memory in the long term. This somatic memory in the bloodstream we think is like cultural memory in the social body. Artists produce the kind of the fact the system change that produces the kind of cultural memory that we remember in the larger social body. So, similarly, we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think that the NEA should have a top down approach to the artist either. That they should tell what artist should paint, or code or write. Like the B-cells that the immune systemÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s front line artist are better precision than any centralized establishment to spot and confront pressing cultural issues whether they are technological like gene harvesting or legal like music piracy or personal like online intimacy. Disperse to cross scientific labs and virtual communities and street corners rather than closeted in studios and concert hall. Artists represent kind of grass root defense against the invasion of cultural means. Of course, even a grass root defense is still defense. A truism that would seem to cast doubt an immune system is a kind of metaphor for this new found pro-active power that art wills on the internet age. After all, isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t much of a motivation for art eruption outside of galleries and museums? Precisely to avoid the emasculation of power that attends its circumscription by the white cubes of art. Art today is creative thinkers targeting the stock exchange, global surveillance networks and restricted copyright laws precisely because they think these are unhealthy institutions that need attacking, rather than healthy institutions that need defending. Well, this is a reasonable objection and to answer this requires a little bit more nuanced look at the immune system. It turns out that natural antibodies like components of many complex adaptive systems, work to keep the system in balance with its entire environment, not just itself. No mammal would ever have evolved without some means of maintaining a balance of power between self and other and over the past five hundred million years, immune systems systems have endowed vertebrate metabolism with just enough stability for their populations to co- evolve into complex and variegated ecologies, internally and externally. For healthy organisms, this has often met disarming malignant invaders, for example in the case of small pox or malaria, but in some occasions, it means welcoming them into a relationship with the host. And as you probably know this, mitochondria is a foreign agent that has a different DNA from the rest of your body and E. coli is also a foreigner that your body tolerates in some kind of a symbiotic relationship. So, the other is also within in many ways and helps us to survive. This encounter with otherness is healthy for the entire ecosystem. It is not a colonial mission to diminish otherness outside the body. The immune system is the aperture, the valve that opens or closes the body to the rest of the microbial world as art opens or closes the valve to the rest of technological, political social world. There are times however, when the animal bi-products of evolution are unsustainable. When an organismÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s metabolism is out of balance with its environment, and perhaps shouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t survive at least in its current form. Indeed, sometimes the body defends itself all too well. At which point the immune systemÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s mission of defending the body is no longer warranted. When the bodyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s intolerance of otherness means that no aliens cross the skin barrier when the flow of information across the immune aperture gets squeezed to a trickle, the immune system can turn on its own host. In biology, this condition is called autoimmunity. The organism quite literally no longer recognizes itself and its antibodies challenge the bodyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s own tissues instead of the foreign agents. In systemic autoimmune disorders like lupus, the antibodies target the entire body and in other autoimmune responses, they target specific other areas for example psoriasis thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the skin, Type I diabetes, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the pancreas, multiple sclerosis thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the nerves and rheumatoid arthritis itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the bone joints. But interestingly, epidemiologists have noted an inverse relationship between infectious disease and autoimmune disorders. In cultures where smallpox and malaria is rampant, autoimmune diseases are rare. While in those with relatively few external scourges, the immune system appears more likely to target its own host. It is a though the immune system expects a steady diet of otherness, of foreignness from that external environment and if it does not find enough otherness outside, it will actually turn inside to look for it. Now, contemporary human bodies are more or less stable products of evolution so far, we think. In cases of autoimmunity among human populations can result to tragic suffering or best annoyance or discomfort. These are not very pleasant situations. But this situation is not as clear for our social body at the beginning of this 21st century which by many accounts is wildly out of balance with its environment. From the over reach of corporate interests to the relentless proliferation of technology to the reckless provocation o global climate change needs to be drastically readjusted. If this is true, then art can act as an antibody and still assault its own culture. Step back to view these diametrically opposed conditions. Artist defender or artist attacker, step back from a more expansive perspective. The Yes MenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s gatt.org project, this is the project that got them an invitation to represent the WTO, this is the perversity of reamweaver, and the executability of the webÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s domain name system by basically buying up gatt.org and posing as WTO representatives. So, by using that domainÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s name system, it undermines the credibility of the world trade organization as IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve mentioned before. The ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œYesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ man might say for example that the WTO was an internal menace contributing to unhealthy, social body. Or they could say that the WTO was an external threat to a healthy social body. That itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a corporate give away that seeks to under mine the just society, the unnatural technologies or unnatural economic controls. From the stand point of co-evolution of an organism with its environment it ultimately doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t matter, whether the threat is internal or external. For systems far from equilibrium, the distinction between self and other breaks down anyways. What is important is how art goes about challenging these threats. So, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d like talk for a moment about this double-edged character of these antibodies and how art of internet age have the similar double-edged character it can defend or assail its host depending on the context. So, I think itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s easy to get scared if you are in the position of power and you realize that all an artist has to do is register a domain name and they can sink your stock market price overnight, but even when art challenges its own society, the accountability differs from the accountability of direct political action, whether thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s from the inside or from the outside. A social body like the human body isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t just a free for all. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a complex set of feedback mechanisms and a political activist, whether her weapon is a pistol or a press conference, with bad politics, is going to reap suffering and havoc in the world. Artists on the other hand, have to be free to explore unconventional, untested, even dangerous values with impunity. So, how do you let them do that? You donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t hand them a pistol. If anything just makes an artist more accountable than antibodies because they had to exercise care for the social body even when they attack it. In return for this artistic license that allows a creator to explore risky themes, that creator has to take care to undermine rather than overpower. To impose questions rather than impose answers. For its part, society has to come back and tolerate a perverse multitude of artistic inventions and directions. Just like the biological body tolerates these perverse alien forms produced by antibodies. Like antibodies, the artists are inefficient drains on the bodyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s resources, like antibodies, the arts are worth it. The job of an artist like that of an antibody is to conjure possible threats both to the body, real or imagined. While this conjuring may not put the body directly at risk, nevertheless reaction or re- impulses are likely to see these conjuring as more dangerous as they really are. Not just because they threatened life and limb they often donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t, but because they threatened something about the status quo. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s unjust or itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s hidden by ideological blinders, but thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s why the Yes Men called their work, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œthe identity correction.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ In their words, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œhonest people impersonate big time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ Targets are leaders in big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not to say that artist can not do damage. So, there is a kind of artistic license and an expectation accountability, but the damage that art does stands from revelation rather than ruin. ThereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s nothing artistic about Union Carbide, which is the company before Dow bought it, but secret decision to test unproven technologies at a gas plant in Bhopal, so, 1984, 15,000 people died, hundred of thousands injuries, artistic about that intervention. When the yes Men hijacked that domain, Dowethics to publicize the ersatz apology; it was not just an innocuous prank either. Two billion dollar in market value lost in a matter of minutes that was an artistic victory. A revelation, not a direct attack so much as a revelation of Dow's tenuous standing given its history of unethical and unsustainable business practices. It was in other position that the social body had as yet been unprepared to accept. Now, the Yes Men also attacks the world trade organization in its policies. Well, does that mean the September 11th, Al qaeda attacks on the world trade center were a work of art because they reveal the vulnerability of US hegemony in increasingly globalize world? Well, couple of artist thought so. Carl Hein Stockhausen who recently died, and Damien Hirst who unfortunately still alive, thought so. Applauding the 9-11 terrorist acts as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œthe greatest work of art ever.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ But the revelation produced by the destruction of the twin towers took the form of certainty. Whenever confusion immediately ensued, there was nothing curious or intriguing about 2700 bodies burned and crushed to death. Artist should not be allowed this kind of power and Stockhausen and Hirst both apologized later for their appalling category error. Likewise, Joe DavisÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ info gene thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“s his E. coli that he bred up there with a picture in it would cease to be art if its genetic intervention turned E. coli into a vector for anthrax. Indeed some critics of experimenters like Davis rightly in my mind question the accountability of the techniques of genetic engineering whether in the hands of biotech or artist. In contrast, the recent jailing or artist Steven Curt as some of you may know, held without charge on terrorist charges basically because he had a couple of Petri dishes in his room, reminds us the importance of protecting artist and their research into avenues that are conceptually dangerous if not physically so. Even the law actually came into conclusion in CurtÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s cases that authorities are dropping every charge against him except mail fraud. So, I think that there is a double-edged sword here but somehow the two edges seem to kind of balance each other. And as long as we accept that balance, then art will continue to serve us by challenging us. So, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve argued so far that the influence of todayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s art makes stand outside the art world and infiltrate court cases, chat rooms, bedrooms. Our current research into connected knowledge suggests that within indigenous cultures, this influence extends even farther into influence over the body, the family, the community and the ecosystem. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a particular kind of technological reach that our technologies donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t necessarily have or not in the same way but they certainly do reach into that place. Yet in both of these cases we are talking about influence rather than power. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re talking about ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ not damage but weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re talking about revelation. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s very important to maintain that distant that distinction. Right now, if the work they were looking at has any indication, the work that you seen and weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve only shown you a couple of examples. There are far work examples in the book and you can take a look at that. You can ask us questions about other examples but, theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re really ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a tremendous amount of artistic practice of the kind that weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re talking about. And if thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s any indication of where we are headed in the future and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s actually very interesting indication. In any case, if thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ any indication, then we are really on the verge of a transformation from a vertical hierarchy of control, of power, of top down, to a kind of horizontal web of life. You know, Art on the edge shows us that whether we make this transition depends on whether or not we can reignite this creative potential of this horizontal movement. We can reignite it in our children, in our students, in our neighbors, in our colleagues, in our community, and in all the beings around us without which our intelligence and our living networks are drastically diminished. We are right now on the edge. And the tipping point is before us. The question is which way would we lean? Thank you.