[ B l o g / / Archive]

monochrom on tour // Germany: We're going to Germany on a small tour. May 27 we'll have a performance in Mainz at Hafeneck. On Monday we'll stay in Bamberg, and after that we'll drive to Berlin to set up out installation at NGBK in Berlin about morale philosophy and soccer referees (opening: June 2).

Sasha Shulgin: This man has invented more than 80% of the world's known hallucinogenic drugs (via the nonist).

Freaks: "The Strangest... The Most Startling Human Story Ever Screened... Are You Afraid To Believe What Your Eyes See?"

The 1932 Tod Browning film, now available on Google Video. Via WMMNA.

Sexed Robots: The sexed robots are autonomous wheeled platforms fitted with nylon genital organs, respectively male and female. They are programmed to explore their environment, occasionally entering a "in heat" mode, where they will try and locate a partner in the same state. If a partner is located, the robots will attempt to mate.


Para Plush: The mental asylum for abused plush animals.


The Brutality Connection: Abu Ghraib and America's Prisons: Quote: "There are about 9 million people residing in prisons around the world. With only one quarter of the world's population the U.S., Russia, and China have half the world's inmates. Adjusted for population, the U.S. has highest incarceration rate in the world.
Since 1997 the number of inmates in America's local jails has risen 4.3 percent, a rate of 1,000 each week. In 2002 there were 668 prisoners for every 100,000 Americans, while there were only 59 per 100,000 locked up in Norway, Finland, and Denmark.
America's prisons also have a shameful reputation for harsh and violent conditions. In 1999 charges of mock execution of prisoners in a Sacramento jail resulted in a successful class action suit against the sheriff. In Arizona's Maricopa County jails the use of stun guns and restraint chairs, as well as forcing inmates to wear pink underwear, is standard procedure.
A training video for Texas' Barzoria County Detention Center encourages the use of dogs to intimidate prisoners. Recently U.S. Army Sgt. Michael J. Smith was found guilty for using unmuzzled dogs to threaten detainees at Abu Ghraib. It is certainly not a coincidence that the CIA has learned that Muslim prisoners are particularly terrified of dogs and very protective of their masculine identities."

The kink at the edge of the solar system: The outer boundary of the solar system is distorted as though it has been punched from below, according to NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft.

Che by Simona Grosa.


monochrom feedback // art.blogging.la reports about the CSI Oven Cloth.

The Last Drop: Water privatisation has long been promoted as the only way to develop clean water supplies in the global South. But with several high profile failures and revolts, multinationals are pulling out. Oscar Reyes reports on the shift back towards public control.

How a resonance has influence on rice:


Humans May Have Limiting Effect on the Origin of (New) Species: A pair of studies points to a new danger to the world's biodiversity: humans may be blocking new species from evolving.

HR Giger in Vienna: The KunstHausWien presents the first solo show of HR Giger in Vienna with more than 100 works of the famous Swiss surrealist.


New monochrom content // CSI Oven Cloth: The CSI Oven Cloth is a hand-made masterpiece of art. Each oven cloth is being crocheted by skillful monochrom member Evelyn Fürlinger while she watches a single episode of CSI Las Vegas, Miami or NYC, sometimes a re-run or re-re-run.
Thus, the CSI Oven Cloth is a product of woolen superiority and empathically charged with craftful love, human trauma and forensic positivism.

(Law &) Order Now! Your kitchen will never be the same again!

Slovak Doctor Says Solar Flares Could Raise Strokes: Human beings may be at higher risk of strokes in years when the explosions on the sun peak, according to neurologist Dr. Michal Kovac, who studied the records of 6,100 patients in Slovakia.

Iraq Is Disintegrating As Ethnic Cleansing Takes Hold: Across central Iraq, there is an exodus of people fleeing for their lives as sectarian assassins and death squads hunt them down.

Silent thought: By Ignacio Ramonet. Quote: >>Once again, during the recent revolt against the First Employment Contract, the enthusiasm and dynamism evident on French streets were in marked contrast with the disconcerting silence of French thinkers and writers. The same was true during the November riots in the banlieues. There was a lot of chattering, but few, other than such rare figures as Jean Baudrillard and John Berger, were able to read the events, uncover their deeper significance and suggest what they might portend. With no relevant or encouraging diagnosis forthcoming, society was left in the dark about its symptoms and in danger of succumbing to further crises.
In France an intellectuel is defined as someone who uses a reputation in science, the arts or culture to mobilise public opinion in support of causes that he or she regards as just. In modern states, it has been the role of the intellectual for two centuries to make sense of social trends, illuminating the path towards greater liberty and less alienation.
What the recent crises have demonstrated is how much we miss the analytical intelligence of Pierre Bourdieu, Cornelius Castoriadis and Jacques Derrida, to name three great thinkers no longer with us. A sense of loss has inspired us to examine the current war of ideas. Are there any real thinkers left, or has the media explosion shattered their authority? Why (as if the hatred of fascists and the aversion of the American right were not enough) do such writers as Bernard-Henri Lévy indulge in exhibitionist self-destructiveness? There is a central issue here - the way in which, in publishing and the universities, private interests are enlisting prestigious thinkers as allies in an ideological struggle.<<

First Pictures From The Map Of The Universe Mission:

An ambitious mission by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to make a new, high resolution map of the universe has just successfully returned its first pictures, and UK team members are delighted with the success.

The Best Work Of Fiction In The Past 25 Years? Quote: "Early this year, the New York Times Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify "the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years." The results - in some respects quite surprising, in others not at all - provide a rich, if partial and unscientific, picture of the state of American literature, a kind of composite self-portrait as interesting perhaps for its blind spots and distortions as for its details."

monochrom update // The Flower Currency: Financial Cryptography Blog reports: Ian Grigg blogs about the recent flower picking in Amstetten, Lower Austria. Please don't miss to read the comments.

New monochrom content // The Flower Currency: Video and pictures: A project to explore a value exchange system. We just returned from the flower picking and flower pressing in Amstetten, Lower Austria. And here's a short video interview with Ian Grigg.

Link / Project Page
Link / YouTube

Artificial Personalities To Populate Virtual World: The NEW TIES project will be a virtual world populated by randomly generated software beings, capable of developing their own language and society. Gusz Eiben: "Each entity has its own 'controller,' analogous to a brain. And because we want to create an interesting controller, we have to produce a challenging world - otherwise there would be no impetus for development. So, in one scenario, we have created a world with seasons - so that the agents have to learn to find, transport and store food. And there are two rival groups, so they will have to learn to tell friend from foe."

Geometric whirlpools revealed: Recipe for making symmetrical holes in water is easy. Bizarre geometric shapes that appear at the centre of swirling vortices in planetary atmospheres might be explained by a simple experiment with a bucket of water.

Russia's Schoolhouse Terror Attack May Become A Movie: Universal Pictures and producer Brian Grazer have purchased the film rights to a magazine article documenting the tragic terrorist attack on a schoolhouse in the tiny town of Beslan, Russia in September 2004. "The article, entitled The School, was written by Chris Chivers of the New York Times. Chivers covered the September 2004 siege during which 331 people, most of them schoolchildren, died when the three-day standoff in southern Russia ended in a bloody and chaotic gunfight."

Google -- it's the gift that keeps on giving: Which U.S. city seeks the most sex? Who wants to impeach Bush the most? Ask Google.

New monochrom content // The Flower Currency: A Hippyesque Post-Hippie Approach To Changing the World: A project to explore a value exchange system, created and owned by children, to enable artists to collaborate on the creation of interdisciplinary art works. We invite you to a flower picking Saturday afternoon in Amstetten, Austria. And if you can't come along, maybe you want to listen to the project song by monochrom/Kertal.

monochrom, Ian Grieg, Simon Häfele and other friends invite you to join!

Europe's new nuclear reactors will not be 9/11-proof: The type of reactor planned to be built across the continent is not designed to withstand the impact of a jumbo jet, reveals a leaked report.

Free Radical: Baruch Spinoza inspired Rebecca Goldstein. So why is she out to betray him? Interview by Stephen Vider. Intro: >>Betraying Spinoza, the fourth book in Nextbook's Jewish Encounters series, presents the 17th-century rationalist as both the first modern thinker and the original yeshiva dropout. Baruch Spinoza's rejection of traditional tenets--and his questioning of what it means to be a Jew--scandalized his Amsterdam community but has inspired disciples from Moses Mendelssohn to Albert Einstein to Rebecca Goldstein. A novelist and professor of philosophy at Trinity College, Goldstein dares to inhabit the mind of a man who preached objectivity, offering a lucid and often surprising exploration of how Spinoza's Sephardic roots informed his greatest work, The Ethics.<<

The Sin of Omission: Musician and rock critic Stephin Merritt has lately become a target of several of his fellow critics, who have branded him a racist. Merritt's crime? Making a list of his favorite songs that included no black artists, disliking modern hip-hop, and saying that he liked the song, "Zip A Dee Doo Dah." The flame war has ignited a debate over the line between musical taste and the wider culture. Or as one writer put it, "If the number of black artists in your iPod falls too far below 12.5 percent of the total, then you are violating someone's civil rights."

New monochrom content // In the Head of the Gardener: A botanical and telematical extravaganza for the political sphere. A joint venture by monochrom and branigen. May 2006, Berndorf, Lower Austria.


Researchers Assess Risks Associated With Living In Low-lying Coastal Areas: For many, sea-level rise is a remote and distant threat faced by people like the residents of the Tuvalu Islands in the South Pacific, where the highest point of land is only 5 meters (15 feet) above sea level and tidal floods occasionally cover their crops in seawater. [...] Ten percent of the world's population lives in coastal areas that are less than 10 meters (33 feet) above sea level, reports Balk and her colleagues. Although they only comprise about 2.2 percent of the world's land area, these low-elevation coastal zones (LECZs) are home to 600 million people. In addition, about 360 million people in LECZs live in urban areas which means that more people will be exposed to hazards such as sea-level rise and storm surges--phenomena that are expected to worsen as a result of global warming.

The condemned apple:

Intro: >>The Condemned Apple is quite simply the most disturbing collection of poetry I've ever read. Visar Zhiti was born on 2 December 1952 in the port of Durres on the Adriatic coast. Between 1970 and 1973 his first published poems appeared in literary periodicals. By 1973 Visar was preparing his first collection of poems, Rhapsody of the life of roses. Pretty standard stuff so far. If he'd lived in Ireland or Britain, Visar might have gone on to be nominated for a Forward Prize or some such, or been invited to showcase his first collection at The Ledbury Festival or Cúirt. Or he might have been ignored, and if this happened he would, no doubt, have complained about it to his friends. Such is the poet's life. At least as we have come to know it. But Visar Zhiti didn't live in Brighton or Galway; he lived in a country under the absolute rule of the fanatical Stalinist, Enver Hoxha, who made Nicolae Ceausescu look like a benign liberal. Hoxha was a crank of gargantuan proportions. After first falling out with the Soviet Union, when Khrushchev admitted that Stalin had actually made a mistake or two, Hoxha then proceeded to fall out with the Chinese when, after Mao's death, they called a halt to the so called 'Cultural Revolution' and put the Gang of Four - including Mao's wife Jiang Qing - on trial. He condemned the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China (and all their satellites from Cuba to North Korea) as "bourgeois revisionists". By the mid-1970s Albania had broken off diplomatic and economic contact with the rest of the communist world, it was now officially "the only socialist country in the world". It was also probably the second worst place in the world to live. In terms of grim Stalinist brutality, only Pol Pot outstrips the Albanian regime.<<

Fish Synchron Swimming:


monochrom community update // X-treme Thumbwrestling Squadron // Unthumb Tournament 2006: Tom Aerts just informed us that the first and only Belgian Massive Multiplayer Thumbwrestling clan has been formed. Respect! They're using our basic set of rules.


China: A Troubled Dragon: The image of China in the Western press is less the dragon of the Celestial Kingdom than J.R. Tolkin's Smaug, a beast of enormous strength and cunning, ravaging oil markets in Africa, copper ore in South America, and uranium deposits in Australia. "The world begins to feel the dragon's breath on its back," intones the Financial Times.

monochrom content update // The Exhilarator: Do you already know our Exhilarator project? No? Intro: "The cartoon with its sheer endless humoristic allegories is among the oldest of trades, and a creative one at that. We want to breathe new life into all those used and out-laughed witnesses of human tragedy - but how? We have asked our friend algorithmic random generator to give us a hand. We split the image from the text and shove the gag into a new interpretation (with an element of sadism, one might add)." Well, we updated the source and added a couple of new cartoons.


Chip scandal hurts Chinese high-tech push: Chen Jin became a Chinese national high-tech hero almost overnight, but his easily-won fame fades quickly as his "breakthrough invention" -- computer chips -- was proven to be a fraud.
[via Neatorama]

Secret Languages of Hate: Quote: "In my family, when we spoke English we were generally being nice. For the nasty backbiting stuff we had a pool of languages that would always leave somebody out of the loop - Hungarian, Yiddish, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. I learned Romanian completely through the bitter invective of my Grandmother, who hadn't taught it to her own kids, who in turn, used Russian as a secret language of hate. As adults it came as a surprise to find everybody in the family was fully conversant in Spanish — no one ever told anybody else, because it was only used to whisper nasty comments about people in private. And my Mom has just started to teach me abusive language in Turkish that she learned in the 1940s working at her family's Sephardic Turkish restaurant in Budapest."
[Via the wonderful blog Language Hat]

Double Amputee Conquered Everest:

Mark Inglis, a double amputee who lost his legs to frostbite 23 years ago, reached the summit of Mt. Everest, making him the first ever double amputee to do so.

Fettkakao: My good friend Andi has a small label called Fettkakao. He puts out his friends' music and lets other friends do the artwork for these records. This week he curates an exhibition at Wattestäbchen (Vienna), with live shows and, of course, artwork by Lisa Max, Christian Tanzer and Matthias Peyker. Go there. Go there. Go. There.
Fettkakao @ Wattestäbchen.
15 May-19 May.
Lehargasse 15, A-1060 Vienna.
Link 1 (Fettkakao)
Link 2 (Flyer)
Link 3 (Wattestäbchen)

Associated Press Omissions: The Associated Press (AP), according to its website, is the world's oldest and largest news organization. It is the behemoth of news reporting, providing what its editors determine is the news to a billion people each day. Through its feeds to thousands of newspapers, radio, and television stations, AP is a major determinant in what Americans read, hear, and see--and what they don't.

Gödel in a Nutshell: The essence of Gödel's incompleteness theorem is that you cannot have both completeness and consistency. A bold anthropomorphic conclusion is that there are three types of people; those that must have answers to everything; those that panic in the face of inconsistencies; and those that plod along taking the gaps of incompleteness as well as the clashes of inconsistencies in stride if they notice them at all, or else they succumb to the tragedy of the human condition.

France's precarious graduates: Quote: >>On her anonymous blog, Séverine, a 28-year-old Parisian graduate, posted this: "I'm from the intellectual underclass. One of those who fry their brains, read megabytes of books, magazines, web pages, political pamphlets and petitions, and never get anything out of it. I'm like an engine guzzling fuel just to stay in overdrive, burning up mental energy for nothing". Séverine's working life has bounced between internships, welfare benefits, temping and unemployment.<<

Secret of Prozac's Success Revealed: New research in specially-bred mice has elucidated how the antidepressant Prozac works. Scientists have long known that in addition to discouraging synapses from reabsorbing the neurotransmitter serotonin Prozac (known generically as fluoxetine) also increases the number of neurons in the adult brain. But exactly how the drug manages this multiplication trick has proved difficult to pin down. Now researchers have traced the development cascade of new neurons and determined where fluoxetine exerts its multiplying--and beneficial--effect.

Brazilian Stonehenge Discovered: Brazilian archaeologists have found an ancient stone structure in a remote corner of the Amazon that may cast new light on the region's past.

Clown Killer: Shoot down the deadly killer clowns wielding guns, blades, and knives before the timer runs out.

Record-breaking laser is hot stuff: The record for the fastest rise in temperature has just been topped.

Xtreme Cuisine: Arizona's cunning culinary wizard Chef Kaz Yamamoto prepares taboo illegal moveable feasts for the elite and über-rich. Quote: >>"The Phoenix zoo have lot of monkey," shrugs Yamamoto. "Sometime they lose one. Maybe they think it escape. Maybe they should pay their employee better. For guard on night shift, $500 is lot of money. Same for sea lion at SeaWorld. If sea lion not perform in show, sea lion go bye-bye."<<

Live Run Inspecting Of An Ant Head: The ant head is about 2 mm in diameter. With the X-ray CMT program a fully three dimensional reconstruction was obtained in less than ten minutes using the acquisition hardware at the beamline and 10 processors of an Origin 2000 using the Globus software (thanx, Magnus).

new monochrom content // Entertainment / Unterhaltung: Our short film about retro-gaming, terminals and language is now online.


Avian Flu and the Surveillance Function of the News Media: Intro: >>Avian flu remains a topic heavy with scientific uncertainty, yet high in potential risk. The virus occurs mainly in birds, but since late 2003, there have been 204 reported human cases, and 113 deaths. Most of these human infections have resulted from close contact with infected birds. Almost all of the cases have been reported in South Asia and China, though more recent infections have been reported in Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, and Azerbaijan. To date, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is no evidence that the virus can spread from human to human. Yet because viruses evolve, scientists are concerned that Avian flu may eventually be able to move from one person to another. Officials fear that because there is little pre-existing immunity among humans to Avian flu, such a change could lead to a global flu pandemic, with potentially high rates of death, and major economic disruptions. According to the CDC, it is likely to be "many months" before an effective human vaccine can be developed, mass produced, and made widely available.
As scientists work to gain a better understanding of the threat, and U.S. health officials prepare for a possible domestic outbreak, public concern and perceptions will be shaped chiefly by news coverage. Yet how much coverage of Avian flu has there been in the media, especially in comparison to the SARS outbreak of 2002 and 2003, or in relation to other contemporary issues competing for the public's focus? Just how engaged and concerned is the public about Avian flu? And how is the public likely to make up its mind about the severity of the problem? Answers to these questions are important, since most health officials would prefer that the public be informed and concerned about the issue, but not alarmed.<<

Mars Meteorite Similar To Bacteria-etched Earth Rocks: A new study of a meteorite that originated from Mars has revealed a series of microscopic tunnels that are similar in size, shape and distribution to tracks left on Earth rocks by feeding bacteria.

The Escape Artist: Handsome Houdini: the dignified nose, the shapely lips. His forehead is bold, his hair thinning, white at the temples, wizard-winged over the ears. Sternly he frowns at you, arms crossed, sleeves pushed back. Houdini rolled up his sleeves when he got down to work, to show he was hiding nothing there; but he’s not working now. He stands before bookshelves in frock coat and clerical collar, a watch on his vest, a pin in his lapel--emblem of one of his many fraternal organizations. He was a great civic booster, in the American way.

monochrom jubilee // 10 years 1996! 10 years ago today we at monochrom staged our first public performance at TU-Club, Paniglgasse, Vienna. It was called "Mit Schwung in die Jetztzeit". We released monochrom print issue #4-5, presented the radical music movement "Mackerel Fiddlers" and showed an overhead projector extravaganza that included a giant kiwi vomiting on Jean-Luc Picard:

Well. Thanks folks!

A Short History Of Booing: Quote: "The first written record comes from ancient Greece. At the annual Festival of Dionysia in Athens, playwrights competed to determine whose tragedy was the best. When the democratic reformer Cleisthenes came to power in the sixth century B.C., audience participation came to be regarded as a civic duty. The audience applauded to show its approval and shouted and whistled to show displeasure."

A future with no bananas? The world's most popular fruit and the fourth most important food crop of any sort is in deep trouble, as wild and traditional varieties collapse in India.

The Hunt for Edward D. Wood, Jr.: Exhaustive guide to Ed's films and their commercial releases.

Llamas help to spot fake decaf: Health-conscious coffee drinkers offered reassuring test.

Why ice-cream vans face total meltdown: It's cold, sweet, and seductive. But it is also a Food of Death. And new moves will at last rid Britain of the menace of the ice cream man...

Will Google Eat Itself? On the activist project "Google Will Eat Itself", which looks at the monopoly held by the highly remunerative search engine.
Intro: >>The friendly-looking search engine and advertising company is again under attack by activist artists. The »Google Will Eat Itself« project, which critically explores the relations between the new click-based economy, technology and society, has recently succeeded in gaining the attention of a larger audience and was also nominated for the Transmediale festival award at the start of the year. Hans Bernhard, Lizvlx (both UBERMORGEN.COM), Alessandro Ludovico (Neural.it) and Paolo Cirio (epidemic) do not like the label »hacktivists« – they tend rather to call themselves »digital actionists«. The idea of the GWEI project is sophisticated, but at the same time simple: for every click on ads on registered partner pages of Google, both the company and its partner get a micro-payment from the advertisers. By hosting Google ads on many of their own hidden websites, the creators of GWEI are earning money with which they automatically buy Google shares. It will take a long time but, in the end, artists will own Google – a growing information and advertising monopoly that, due to its power and attitude, is becoming a dangerous element in our information society.
When the Google company found out about this endeavour, it cancelled some of the partner accounts and erased the GWEI website from its database. However, the other accounts remained untouched and the project continues: from now on, it will take 3,443,287,037 million years until GWEI fully owns Google.
From its early days, net.art has functioned as a kind of parallel counter-movement to the traditional art scene. Now, the situation is different: besides the online version of GWEI, the team has also put on several exhibitions in galleries (Johannesburg, Berlin, São Paolo, Sydney). It seems as if we are entering a period of »complex art«, where the manifestation of an idea can take on many forms, using various media.<<

monochrom content update // Gastro-Art: In gastronomical enterprises the management frequently elects to present art as a form of extraordinary room decoration. Some time ago we at monochrom have decided to dedicate a page to the breathtaking world of 'gastro-art'. And there are some excellent new gastro-art picture submissions.


The Household Debt Bubble: By John Bellamy Foster. Intro: "It is an inescapable truth of the capitalist economy that the uneven, class-based distribution of income is a determining factor of consumption and investment. How much is spent on consumption goods depends on the income of the working class. Workers necessarily spend all or almost all of their income on consumption. Thus for households in the bottom 60 percent of the income distribution in the United States, average personal consumption expenditures equaled or exceeded average pre-tax income in 2003; while the fifth of the population just above them used up five-sixths of their pre-tax income (most of the rest no doubt taken up by taxes) on consumption. In contrast, those high up on the income pyramid-the capitalist class and their relatively well-to-do hangers-on-spend a much smaller percentage of their income on personal consumption. The overwhelming proportion of the income of capitalists (which at this level has to be extended to include unrealized capital gains) is devoted to investment."

One Day: An early short film from Michael Gondry about a man's relationship with his turd.

The Politics Of Ranking Your Friends: Quote: "If the Internet was once ungoverned by etiquette, those days are gone; MySpace and its siblings, by many accounts the future of the Net, are rife with discussions of good manners versus unforgivable faux pas. There isn't an aristocratic class, just yet, but you can see the lines forming in the sand, renegades and bad boys posting bulletins pell-mell, uploading risque pictures, collecting "friends" as if it's all some big popularity contest — while mannered netizens look on disapprovingly. Screw up and you just might get dumped, online and off."

Comment is free: This is about the best news-website in the world. In fact, it's about commentary and columnists: The Guardian's Comment Is Free website.
If names like George Monbiot, Timothy Garton Ash, Polly Toynbee or Simon Jenkins ring a bell, then go ahead and bookmark this page. If you've never heard of them but are interested in good commentary then bookmark this page twice. Also up there: Steve Bell's "If.."-cartoon, Britain's ruder pendant to Doonesbury, as well as Dan Chung's photoblog that even lets you know the settings of each photo he took.
What more do you want? The perfect site for photo-nerds and people interested in good analysis.

Gary McKinnon, the humble superhacker: Gary McKinnon worries about the Guantánamo jumpsuits clashing with his hair if the US succeeds in extraditing him. David Fickling reports.

Basket Jump: Four guys, one girl and the wonderful world of gravity.


Dolphins play name game: We are not the only animals to give ourselves names, says research on bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins' distinctive whistles may function as individual calling cards, allowing them to recognize each other and even refer to others by name.

Race, Culture, and Leftists: By Justin Podur. Quote: "My ZSVS (Z Sessions on Vision and Strategy) presentation is motivated by what I believe is a weakness across the political spectrum: handling the interaction of different cultures and identities in accordance with principles of equality, solidarity, and liberty. My optimistic belief is that if we - leftists - can get this right, in our own communities and organizations such as they are, then we can solve some of the debilitating problems within our organizations and communities. If we can do that, we will be more attractive, bigger, stronger, and better able to face the battles we will need to fight in future."

The Most Realistic Virtual Reality Room In The World: More than $4 million in equipment upgrades will shine 100 million pixels on Iowa State University’s six-sided virtual reality room. That's twice the number of pixels lighting up any virtual reality room in the world and 16 times the pixels now projected on Iowa State's C6, a 10-foot by 10-foot virtual reality room that surrounds users with computer-generated 3-D images. That means the C6 will produce virtual reality at the world's highest resolution.


monochrom announcement // "Digital Culture in Brazil" on Boing Boing:

Beyond Populism: Decolonizing the Economy: Nationalization of Natural Gas in Bolivia: Quote: >>Evo Morales recently read the "Supreme Decree" in which the nationalization of natural gas was announced. The rumor that this was about to happen had already spread in Bolivia. The decree starts by considering that "in historical struggles, the people have conquered and paid with their blood, the right to return our natural resources and our wealth in natural gas to the hands of the nation and to be utilized to the benefit of the country."
According to current polls Evo Morales has 80% approval, but the U.S. is concerned about a government that is not following the path of democracy. George Bush had a similar approval rate after 9/11 and although there were concerns in other parts of the world, the official discourse in the US linked popular approval of the government with democracy and not with populism. What are the relations between democracy and popular approval of the presidential mandate?<<

How Can We Construct a Science of Consciousness? By David Chalmers. Abstract: "In recent years there has been an explosion of scientific work on consciousness in cognitive neuroscience, psychology, and other fields. It has become possible to think that we are moving toward a genuine scientific understanding of conscious experience. But what is the science of consciousness all about, and what form should such a science take? This chapter gives an overview of the agenda."
Link PDF

Neanderthals and Humans: Perhaps They Never Met: The number of years that modern humans are thought to have overlapped with Neanderthals in Europe is shrinking fast, and some scientists now say that figure could drop to zero.

The Perfect Mark: You'd never have been stupid enough to fall for the Nigerian email scam, would you? Okay, but how about the next scam? How sure are you?

monochrom announcement // "Kultplay" interview republished in "HVG": The most read Hungarian weekly economic paper -- HVG -- has republished the interview with Johannes Grenzfurthner about the netznetz/MANA process and the Vienna digital scene.

monochrom announcement // Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling approved by Bernie DeKoven:

Bernie DeKoven, a lifetime member of The Association for the Study of Play and a professional member of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, discovered and blogged about our Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling project.

monochrom announcement // Digital Culture in Brazil: monochrom and the Austrian Green Party organized a panel discussion about Brazil's open source and digital rights programme.
Guests: Claudio Prado, Coordinator of Digital Policy of the Ministry of Culture of Brazil / Eva Lichtenberger, Member of European Parliament / Marie Ringler, Member of the City Parliament of Vienna, Culture and Technology / Host: Michel Reimon.

Thanks to Radio Netwatcher the talk is now online.

Robotic tentacles get to grips with tricky objects: Replacing conventional mechanical arms with tentacle-like manipulators could enable robots to deal with unpredictable situations in the real world.

Canstruction: Well... yes... can stacking...


Documenting A Revolution Of Thought: It lasted for only a year in the late 1920s, and only 15 issues were ever printed, but Georges Bataille's controversial and provocative magazine, Documents stands as one of the most influential publications of the 20th century. "Conceived as a 'war machine against received ideas', Documents drew in several dissident surrealists such as Leiris, Joan Miró, Robert Desnos and André Masson. As, in his own words, surrealism's 'old enemy from within', Bataille was uncompromising in his disdain for art as a panacea and a substitute for human experience, his problem remaining 'the place that surrealism gave to poetry and painting: it placed the work before being'."

The Bacon Show: One bacon recipe per day, every day, forever.

V for Vendetta? V for Vindictive!

The Wachowski Brothers' fear and loathing of the Bush Administration, or, Neo regresses.

The Da Vinci pitch: How do you create anticipation for a movie when 50 million readers already know the plot? Jill Stark lays bare the dark arts of marketing that have kept The Da Vinci Code brand in the news.

No-mow Grass May Be Coming To Your Yard Soon: For anyone tethered to a lawnmower, the Holy Grail of horticultural accomplishment would be grass that never grows but is always green.

Bad physics in school textbooks: Popular misconceptions about science as spread by grade school textbooks (via the noist).

monochrom announcement // Roböxotica 2006: Call For Stuff: Roböxotica, the annual festival for cocktailrobotics (to be held Dec. 5-9 at Museumsquartier Vienna) features the 8th Annual Cocktail Robot Awards (ACRA). Trophies will be awarded in five categories, among them mixing and serving cocktails as well as lighting cigarettes and cocktail conversation. Entries welcome! Among the winners of 2005 was David Calkins, president of the Robotics Society of America and founder of Robogames. There is also a related post on SHIFZ-Blog.

monochrom announcement // Digital Culture in Brazil: Claudio Prado, the speaker of Brazil's secretary of culture Gilberto Gil, will pe part of a presentation about open source software in Vienna tomorrow.

monochrom and the Green Party invite you to join a discussion about Brazil's open source and digital rights programme.

Mr. Prado was counter culture activist of the 1960s in London and was strongly connected to the alternative press, pirate radios, and the production of the Isle of Wight and Glastonbury Festivals where he produced Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso. He founded the first Brazilian rock production company called, "Dreams, Artistic and On the Road Productions" in São Paulo. He is founder and director of PróRio92, one of the leading NGO's network in the organization of the Global Forum of the UN's World Environmental Summit Rio 92. He is coordinator of the NGO Phoenix, an experimental project working to interconnect formal and informal education in a governmental secondary school in São Paulo.

Here's a short notice by Claudio Prado from July 2005.
Seeing that the burocractic ways of the brazilian government where cloged, we found a way of working together with civil society by leaping into the digital era and collaborating directly with different collectives, from artistis, indymedia activists, hackers to musicians, trough discussion lists and wikis in the internet. We created a concept for a government project that is joining many agents in Brasilian culture, aiming to create cultural hotspots troughout the country where local cultural production exists. The cultural hotspots will use free and open source software to produce digital artifacts and will distribute these using alternative intelectual property licenses and broadband connections to the Internet. This talk will portrait over two years of our history getting this project into the government and our current progress implementig the cultural hotspots.

"Brazil's minister of culture, Gilberto Gil has launched a project called Points of Culture (Pontos de Cultura) that will establish free-software studios, built with free software, in a thousand towns and villages throughout Brazil, enabling people to create culture using tools that support free cultural transmission. If things go as planned, the result will be an archive of Brazilian music, which will be stored in digital form and governed by a license inspired by free software's GPL. The Canto Livre project will "free music" made in Brazil, for Brazilians (and the world) to remix and re-create. And like a free-software project, it achieves that freedom on the back of copyright"?

We have a big interest in expose our projects specially in search of synergy around the world. Our project is both governmental and non governmental at the same time. It is unique in the sense that it empowers activist movements in an anarchical process of building "isles" of free knowledge...I believe that it is exactly to the point of what the hack is going on in brazil...
Where? Museumsquartier Vienna, Ovalhalle.
When? Monday, May 8. 7:30 PM.

After the "end of history": Francis Fukuyama's "end of history" thesis – proposed in a 1989 essay, elaborated in a 1992 book – was the most influential attempt to make sense of the post-cold-war world. In a new afterword to "The End of History and the Last Man", Fukuyama reflects on how his ideas have survived the tides of criticism and political change.

A league under the sea: Survey reveals diversity of marine creatures.

Police Find Truck With Stolen Art: Police in Florida recover a truck full of art that had been missing for tqo weeks. the driver, Patrick McIntosh, 36, had "been missing since April 17, when he and his 24-foot Budget rental truck pulled out of Boca Raton with millions of dollars worth of art, including seven canvasses by the Abstract Expressionist painter Milton Avery. He had been hired by David Jones Fine Art Services to deliver the art from private dealers and collectors — and at least one museum — in Boca Raton to a series of homes and galleries in New York."

monochrom announcement // Johannes Grenzfurthner interviewed by Hungarian magazine "Kultplay": An interview with monochrom-member Johannes Grenzfurthner about the digital scene in Vienna and about the netznetz/MANA process (Hungarian language).

Link 1
Link 2

monochrom announcement // "Roboexotica": David Calkins wrote a great article for a US magazine about Roböxotica 2005.
What are the three greatest things in life? In this month's episode of robot competitions around the world, we'll be dealing with the second and third items on that list – robots and cocktails (we'll cover sex and robots in next month's article.
The Austrian groups "Monochrome" [sic!] and "Shifz" co-sponsor what is probably the greatest robot competition in the world – Roboexotica – which deals solely with robots as bartenders and drinking companions. Robots shouldn't be gladiators, they should be your buddies! And Roboexotica brings that philosophy home (or at least it brings it to Vienna...) Just as cocktails themselves are international in their nature, so were the entrants. Robots came from around the world to show their mixological abilities.
Internal link (.doc)

Liberty, equality, security: By Ignacio Ramonet. Intro: >>A group of rightwing "declin-ologists", prompted by the avian flu scare, have diagnosed France as an organism in collapse and in urgent need of treatment. Recent events have confirmed the pessimism and, by reinforcing the perception of institutions in meltdown, have contributed to the general malaise. In 2004 the trial of an alleged paedophile ring in the northern town of Outreau turned into a judicial and media disaster. In February 2005 the National Assembly passed legislation requiring school courses to recognise the "positive role" played by French colonialism. The decommissioning of the asbestos-laden aircraft carrier Clemenceau was a shambles. Last November there were riots in deprived suburbs around French cities. The controversy over the cartoons of Muhammad and the shocking murder of a young Jew, Ilan Halimi, have reinforced sectarianism. The government has started a backdoor privatisation of the publicly owned gas utility Gaz de France.<<

Bats Use Guided Missile Strategy To Capture Prey: NaNA new University of Maryland study finds that echolocating bats use a strategy to track and catch erratically moving insects that is much like the system used by some guided missiles to intercept evasive targets and different from the way humans and some animals track moving objects.

Skin Clothing: French fashion house making organic garments resembling real skin.


A New Idea In Collaborative Writing (Or Book By Committee): A Scottish technician is auctioning off the writing of pages of a book on eBay. "So far, eight pages of the unique book, Novel Twists, have been written by eight different people from Scotland, Canada, Ireland, the US, and England. Nobody knows who is going to write the ninth page, never mind the following 241. Each author has to contribute between 250 and 450 words, making for a book of 62,000 to 112,000 words. As for the plot, it's anybody's guess."

Did Million-Year-Long Eruptions Cause Mass Extinction? What caused the Permian extinction is one of science's greatest mysteries. In his newly published book Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago, Douglas Erwin explores the many theories put forth to explain the phenomenon, from plate tectonics to meteor strikes.

Lost Out Of Translation: Only three percent of the books published in the US are translations, compared with almost 70 percent in Italy. What does that mean for the American reading public? Quote: "To reduce translation to this miserable 3 percent is to lose your sense of what is out there."

Chernobyl: A photo essay by Etienne Gilfillan on the 20th anniversary of the explosion at the nuclear plant's Reactor Number Four.


Earth's Artificial Ring: Project West Ford:

Intro: >>At the height of the Cold War in the late 1950s, all international communications were either sent through undersea cables or bounced off of the natural ionosphere. The United States military was concerned that the Soviets (or other "Hostile Actors") might cut those cables, forcing the unpredictable ionosphere to be the only means of communication with overseas forces. The Space Age had just begun, and the communications satellites we rely on today existed only in the sketches of futurists.
Nevertheless, the US Military looked to space to help solve their communications weakness. Their solution was to create an artificial ionosphere. In May 1963, the US Air Force launched 480 million tiny copper needles that briefly created a ring encircling the entire globe. They called it Project West Ford. The engineers behind the project hoped that it would serve as a prototype for two more permanent rings that would forever guarantee their ability to communicate across the globe.
The project itself was a virtually unqualified success. Though the first launch ended in failure, the second launch went without a hitch on May 10th, 1963. Inside the West Ford spacecraft, the needles were packed densely together in blocks made of a napthalene gel that would rapidly evaporate in space. This entire package of needles weighed only 20 kg. After being released, the hundreds of millions of copper needles gradually spread throughout their entire orbit over a period of two months. The final donut-shaped cloud was 15 km wide and 30 km thick and encircled the globe at an altitude of 3700 km.<<

netznetz/MANA: Vienna Net Community Presents New Cultural Funding System:

Net Community Hacks Cultural Funding System

"Our much-discussed, game-theory-oriented approach to cultural funding represents a clear rejection of all the Austrian cultural industry's hegemonic tendencies," states MANA coordinator Stefan Lutschinger: "This hack of the outmoded jury and committee system supposes every rationalistic funding cut with pure difference, contingency coping and the fruitful development of paradox."

Software-based Funding Distribution

Last week, a participatory cultural support budget of 125,000 euros was distributed to artists and cultural producers in Vienna using the MANA Community Game – an innovative software-supported selection process. The decision regarding the distribution of funding was not made by curators, juries or committees, but by the submitters themselves. Twelve people will receive project grants between 5,000 and 15,000 euros, whereby 42% of the recipients are women.

"Old" Concepts and "New Thinking"

The Community Game is one of the most innovative distribution systems for cultural funding worldwide. It is based on "old" concepts of the avant-garde – auto-curating and self-organization – and the "new thinking" of second-order cybernetics. MANA's great advantage is its capacity for self-correction and adaptation to intelligent system environments: errors and irregularities can be recognized and corrected immediately by the net community, which emerges strengthened from this process. Here 120 submitters agreed to a complex set of rules.

A Self-managed Cultural Funding Budget

Since the autumn of 2004, the open net community "netznetz.net" has grown out of the numerous digital cultural initiatives that have developed in Vienna in recent years. In order to do justice to these diverse cultural and artistic modes of expression, an application has been made to the City of Vienna’s Department of Cultural Affairs (Net Culture Unit) for a self-managed cultural funding budget to support this very active scene with around 500,000 euros yearly. The heart of this funding model is the software-based selection process MANA. After a two-month evaluation phase in early summer, the net community will decide on its specific adaptation and further development.

Stefan Lutschinger, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Hans Bernhard
Email: s.lutschinger AT digitaldrafts.at

Kill Christ: Quote: "This parody of the Passion of the Christ trailer was created by a NYU student Spencer Somers and was recently removed from NYU’s servers because of the pressure put on NYU from New Market Films and Mel Gibson who was very upset after viewing this piece."


monochrom announcement // Digital Culture in Brazil: monochrom and the Green Party Vienna invite you to a talk about Brazil's digital culture/creative commons ambitions/info politics. Claudio Prado, official representative of Brazil's Secretary of Culture Gilberto Gil, will be part of the event.

May 8, 2006 (7:30 PM).
Museumsquartier/Ovalhalle, Vienna.
Link (German language only)

A Zoology Of Numbers > 0-69: What's special about this number? (Thanx, Ronald Ortner!)

Dancing Field Garlic Hypno Trance: Can't stop watching...

(Thanx, 0101100101 AT gmx.at)

Jesus Tattoos:


Ants Learn To Limbo: Have you ever tried to do the limbo? For ants it's a way of life! Scientists at the University of Zurich have discovered that ants are able to learn how to visually judge the height of horizontal barriers so that they can successfully crawl under it without slowing down. Tobias Seidl presented his latest research findings at the Annual Meeting for the Society for Experimental Biology on April 4.

Drugs are nice: Noah Cicero interviews Drugs Are Nice author Lisa Crystal Carver. Quote: "I suppose the weirdest thing for me was in this sex club I went to, this guy had his ear up to a wall listening to his girlfriend do it with a midget! It's called ectoism or echo-ism or something like that. He was explaining it to us. He likes to hear but not see his gal doin' it. I think that the other guy was a midget was just a coincidence, not part of the plan."

Bedtime Stories - Not When You're 12: Quote: "According to a a survey, parents start out reading to small children but abandon it as they grow up, to the point where just 3% of children aged 12 say they are read to every day."

Confucius say, "Take a seven iron.": That's right: the Chinese invented golf, or so they claim, centuries before the Scots...

[The Archives]

03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004   04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004   05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004   06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004   07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004   08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004   09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004   10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004   11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004   12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005   01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005   02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005   03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005   04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005   05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005   06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005   07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005   08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005   09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005   10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005   11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005   12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006   01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006   02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006   03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006   04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006   05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006   06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006   07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006   08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006   09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006   10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006   11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006   12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007   01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007   02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007   03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007   04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007   05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007   06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007   07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007   08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007   09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007   10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007   11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007   12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008   01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008   02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008   03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008   04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008   05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008   06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008   07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008   08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008   09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008   10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008   11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008   12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009   01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009   02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009   03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009   04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009   05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009   06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009   07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009   08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009   09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009   10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009   11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009   12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010   01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010  


monochrom is an art-technology-philosophy group having its seat in Vienna and Zeta Draconis. monochrom is an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism. Our mission is conducted everywhere, but first and foremost in culture-archeological digs into the seats (and pockets) of ideology and entertainment. monochrom has existed in this (and almost every other) form since 1993.

Booking monochrom:

External monochrom links:
[monochrom Wikipedia]
[monochrom Flickr]
[monochrom blip.tv]
[monochrom GV]
[monochrom Youtube]
[monochrom Facebook]
[monochrom iTunes]
[monochrom Twitter]

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector 2 / The Adventure Game

Climate Training Camp

Krach der Roboter: Hello World!

Slacking is killing the DIY industry (T-Shirt)

Carefully Selected Moments / CD, LP

Freedom is a whore of a word (T-Shirt)


International Year of Polytheism 2007

Santa Claus Vs. Christkindl: A Mobster Battle

Could It Be (Video clip)

Pot Tin God

Hacking the Spaces

Kiki and Bubu and The Shift / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Privilege / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Self / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Good Plan / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Feelings / Short film / Short film

Sculpture Mobs

Nazi Petting Zoo / Short film

The Great Firewall of China

KPMG / Short film

The BRAICIN / Short film

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector 1 / The Adventure Game

I was a copyright infringement in a previous life (T-Shirt)

Brave New Pong

Leben ist LARPen e.V.

One Minute / Short film

Firing Squad Euro2008 Intervention


A tribute to Honzo

Lessig ist lässig

I can count every star in the heavens above -- The image of computers in popular music

All Tomorrow's Condensations / Puppet show

Bye Bye / Short film


PC/DC patch

Proto-Melodic Comment Squad


The Redro Loitzl Story / Short film

Hax0rcise SCO

Law and Second Order (T-Shirt)

They really kicked you out of the Situationist International?

Death Special: Falco

Applicant Fisch / Short film

When I was asked to write about new economy

Taugshow #6

Taugshow #7

Taugshow #9

Taugshow #10

Taugshow #11

Taugshow #14

Taugshow #15

Campfire at Will

Arse Elektronika 2007, 2008, 2009 etc.

The Void's Foaming Ebb / Short film

Remoting Future

When you / Short film


Free Bariumnitrate

Toyps / Typing Errors

ARAD-II Miami Beach Crisis

The Charcoal Burner / Short film

Digital Culture In Brazil


Nation of Zombia

Lonely Planet Guide action

CSI Oven Cloth

Dept. of Applied Office Arts

Farewell to Overhead

Google Buttplug

Fieldrecording in Sankt Wechselberg / Short film

Dark Dune Spots

Campaign For The Abolition Of Personal Pronouns


Space Tourism

In the Head of the Gardener

Entertainment (Unterhaltung) / Short film

Cthulhu Goatse

Nicholas Negroponte Memorial Cable

Coke Light Art Edition 06

Experience the Experience! (West Coast USA/Canada Tour 2005)

April 23

Overhead Cumshot

Irark / Short film


Instant Blitz Copy Fight

A Patriotic Fireman

A Micro Graphic Novel Project

Noise and Talk

The Exhilarator


SUZOeG Training / Short film

The Flower Currency


A Holiday in Soviet Unterzoegersdorf

How does the Internet work?

Paraflows 2006 and up

Special Forces

Coca Cola

About Work

Turing Train Terminal

Me / Short Film

Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling Network


Some Code To Die For

The Year Wrap-up

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Metroblogging

Project Mendel

Display, Retry, Fail

Manifesto of Ignorantism


Towers of Hanoi



Every Five Seconds an Inkjet Printer Dies Somewhere




We know apocalypses

452 x 157 cm² global durability

A Good Haul

Blattoptera / Art for Cockroaches

Minus 24x

Gladiator / Short Film


An attempt to emulate an attempt

Paschal Duct-Taping

Laptop Crochetication


Somewhere in the 1930s

Soul Sale

The Department for Criticism against Globalisation

Dot Smoke

Georg Paul Thomann

Nurgel Staring

War On

Let's network it out


Mackerel Fiddlers


Disney vs. Chrusov / Short film

Bulk Mail

Easter Celebrations

Mouse Over Matter

Condolence for a Crab

Force Sting

Turning Threshold Countries Into Plows


A Noise

A. C. A.

Hopping Overland

Achy Breaky Heart Campaign

Hermeneutic Imperative III

Holy Water / Franchise

Roböxotica // Festival for Cocktail-Robotics


Engine Hood Cookies


The Watch

Creative Industry 2003

This World

Cracked Foundation For The Fine Arts

Sometimes I feel

Fit with INRI

Growing Money

Catapulting Wireless Devices

Buried Alive

Illegal Space Race

Magnetism Party

Brick of Coke

1 Baud

Scrota Contra Vota

Direct Intervention Engine

Oh my God, they use a history which repeats itself! (T-Shirt)


Dorkbot Vienna