[ B l o g / / Archive]

Boing Boing TV features "The Void's Foaming Ebb" 
monochrom content info
Boing Boing TV features our small allegory about living and dead media.


Copyriot reviews "Es war einmal die Medien" 
monochrom content info
Very nice. The first review of our Geman-language theatre play "Es war einmal die Medien" is written in Swedish.

Prison Industry 

For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report. Also, one in fifteen black adults.


"Es war einmal die Medien" 
monochrom content info
Sorry, German language only... but still I'm pretty happy being able to announce the opening of our new theatre play: "Es war einmal die Medien".

February 27, Volkstheater, Rote Bar, 10:30 PM.

You can find other dates and more info here.

His Excellency Ambassador of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf honors the "Emergence of Tomorrow" @ O'Reilly Etech 2008 
monochrom content info
Ladies and Gentlemen!

His Excellency Ambassador of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf will visit the United States of America and honor the "Emergence of Tomorrow" in a gala speech at O'Reilly Etech conference.

If you are familiar with the history of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf you will agree that this is a most extraordinary announcement. It is true: "Only Chrusov can go to San Diego"!


"Living With Danger, and Wondering How to Live Without It" -- nerve gas stockpile in Indiana 

"The nerve agent VX is so much with the community that it has nearly lost its ghastliness. A local calendar features both the artwork of schoolchildren and tips for emergency preparedness; next month, then, the drawings of Kyle and Amber and Brittney will appear below the explanation that VX 'affects the nervous system by interfering with the signals sent from the brain to the vital organs and other body parts.' "

New York Times permalink

Just one more week: monochrom @ The Influencers 2008, Barcelona 
monochrom content info
Just one more week...

monochrom will be part of this year's "The Influencers" festival in Barcelona, Spain. Other guests will be Alan Abel, Alterazioni Video, Brody Condon, Laibach, Santi Cirugeda and Trevor Paglen.
The Influencers explores controversial forms of art and communication guerilla, presenting independent projects that play with global popular culture, infiltrate the mass media, and transform fashions, consumption and technological fetishism. The key to The Influencers is found in its guests and stories: impostors, pseudo-totalitarian musicians, conceptual hackers, deviant geographers, anarchitects and actors from invisible theatre. In these three days they are going to present their work, show known and less known material and speak with the public about challenges, goals and strategies. In the manipulation of everyday symbols, as well as within what is excessive and politically incorrect, we will possibly find inspiration for changing the present and imagining the future.
February 28 thru March 1, 2008.

Museum will celebrate England's gift to the world: English 
The English Project — which is due to open in 2012, as part of the Olympics cultural programme, with support from the British Library and the BBC among others — will aim to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the richness of the English language.
The museum will trace its development from the mixed tongue of three tribes — the Jutes, Saxons and Angles who crossed the North Sea to make their homes in Britannia in the 5th century — to the global lingua franca of today.

Cosmic irony: Ulysses solar spacecraft freezing to death 
In a twist of cosmic irony, the Ulysses spacecraft, which orbits around the Sun, is on the verge of freezing to death. The 17-year-old spacecraft's demise has been hastened by a glitch preventing power from keeping its fuel from freezing.

Ulysses launched in October 1990, then swung by Jupiter in 1992, using the planet's powerful gravity to change its orbit into one that passes over the north and south poles of the Sun - the first spacecraft ever to do so. The joint NASA and European Space Agency mission has studied a stream of charged particles from the Sun called the solar wind, discovered interstellar dust blowing through the solar system and flown through three comet tails.

The spacecraft is now critically ill, however, because a glitch is preventing power from being rerouted to keep its hydrazine fuel from dropping below its 2° Celsius freezing point. Once the fuel freezes, there will be no way to control the spacecraft.


Visiting the Torture Museum: Barbarism Then and Now 
By Karen J. Greenberg.
Sometimes a little stroll through history can have its uses. Take, as an example, the continuing debate over torture in post-9/11 America. Last week, Stephen Bradbury, the head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, testified before the House Judiciary Committee about waterboarding. In defending its use, Bradbury took a deep dive into the past. He claimed that the CIA's waterboarding of at least three of its prisoners bore "no resemblance" to what torturers in the Spanish Inquisition had done when they used what was then called "the Water Torture."

As part of his defense of the techniques used by the Bush administration to gain information, Bradbury went out of his way to play the historian, claiming that the water torture of yore differed from today's American-style version in crucial ways. The waterboarding employed by interrogators during the infamous Spanish Inquisition, he insisted, "involved the forced consumption of a mass amount of water." This led, he claimed, to the "lungs filling with water" to the point of "agony and death." The CIA, on the other hand, employed "strict time limits," "safeguards," and "restrictions," making it a far more controlled technique. As he put it: "[S]omething can be quite distressing or uncomfortable, even frightening, [but] if it doesn't involve severe physical pain, and it doesn't last very long, it may not constitute severe physical suffering" -- and so would not qualify as torture. Bradbury summed up his historical case this way, "There's been a lot of discussion in the public about historical uses of waterboarding," but the "only thing in common is the use of water." [...]

Cyrano de Bergerac as a gay anti-Catholic sci-fi writer with the pox... 
...is perhaps not quite what Rostand and his audience at the Théâtre de la Porte St-Martin had in mind as a representative of la gloire de la belle France.


Serbian girls go (proletarian) shopping 
Two girls go (proletarian) shopping in Belgrade/Serbia.

Link (via Lutschinger)

Arse Elektronika 2007: MP3s online! 
monochrom content info
We finally managed to get all audio recordings of all Arse Elektronika 2007 talks and panels online.


"Threatening the Foundations of a World Order": The Independence of Kosovo 
Recall how World War I broke out after a Serbian nationalist assassinated the Austro-Hungarian archduke in 1914 in Sarajevo, Bosnia. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia, Russia came to the defense of its ally. The alliance system kicked in; Germany and the Ottoman Empire joined the Austro-Hungarian, while France and Britain joined Russia. That system is long gone, but the relationship between Russia and Serbia, deeply rooted in ethnic and religious ties, should not be taken lightly.

Recall how Bill Clinton's big war was "Operation Allied Force," conducted by a somewhat reluctant NATO at U.S. insistence in 1999. Building upon NATO's "Operation Deliberate Force" targeting Serbian fighters in Bosnia four years earlier, it resulted in the aerial bombing of a European capital (Belgrade) for the first time since 1945. Human Rights Watch concluded in 2000 that between 488 and 527 Yugoslav civilians were killed as a result of the bombing, which forced Belgrade to obey Washington and withdraw its troops from the heart of the Serbian homeland.

That heart, of course, is Kosovo. Since the seventh century, when the Serbs pressing eastward from Dalmatia established themselves in the old Roman province of Upper Moesia, Kosovo has been the spiritual core of the Serbian nation. The Serbs have shared it with others, notably Albanians, and the Serbian gene-pool is itself complex and changing over time. But Serbian identity was shaped by the Battle of Kosovo Polje (The Field of Blackbirds) against the Ottoman Turks in 1389, in which both Serbian King Lazar and the Ottoman sultan Murad were killed. Modern historians differ about whether this was a draw or heroic defeat of the Serbs; nationalist mythology depicts it as the latter. [...]

Structure Of Protein That Mutates DNA Of The AIDS Virus HIV-1 Determined 
Understanding the structure of proteins involved in inhibiting HIV-1 infection could help in the battle against AIDS, and University of Minnesota researchers have taken a crucial step in that direction.

Highways for juvenile tuna fish 
Tuna populations worldwide are falling dramatically, researchers warn, although creating 'highways' for juvenile fish could help avert disaster.

Found: Hidden Nazi Gold? 
Treasure hunters in Germany claim they have found hidden gold in an underground cavern that they are almost certain contains the Amber Room treasure, believed by some to have been stashed away by the Nazis in a secret mission in the dying days of World War II.

Engineering Biology: A Talk with Drew Endy 
The only thing that hasn't been engineered are the living things, ourselves. Again, what's the consequence of doing that at scale? Biotechnology is 30 years old; it's a young adult. Most of the work is still to come, but how do we actually do it? Let's not talk about it, let's actually go do it, and then let's deal with the consequences in terms of how this is going to change ourselves, how the biosecurity framework needs to recognize that it's not going to be nation-state driven work necessarily, how an ownership sharing and innovation framework needs to be developed that moves beyond patent-based intellectual property and recognizes that the information defining the genetic material's going to be more important than the stuff itself and so you might transition away from patents to copyright and so on and so forth.

Handful of T.A.Z. enterprises 
monochrom content info
The RE/Seach blog features "The Hospital Ship" and mentions us as one of a "handful"... wow... what an honor!
But back to "The Hospital Ship," a metaphor for the handful of independent enterprises (like Hypnodrome, RE/Search, SRL, The Crucible, monochrom) trying to create T.A.Z.'s (temporary autonomous zones) evocative of "real" lasting creative stimulating humor-filled relationships. Meanwhile, the world is becoming absolutely filled with "victims of mass psychosis" who THINK they’re "normal" but are incapable of a relationship longer than … well, they suffer from "total loss of both social and individual stability."

Microfiber fabric makes its own electricity? 
U.S. scientists have developed a microfiber fabric that generates its own electricity, making enough current to recharge a cell phone or ensure that a small MP3 music player never runs out of power.

Listening to Black Holes 
Hearing a black hole's song may be the key to understanding cosmic events.
Syracuse University physicists hope that a new supercomputer will help them pick out the sound of a black hole from the cosmic symphony. The computer will process data gathered by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, which is designed to listen for the ripples in space-time known as gravity waves.

The Irrationality Of Everyday Behavior 
Our irrational behaviors are neither random nor senseless--they are systematic. We all make the same types of mistakes over and over. So attached are we to certain kinds of errors, that we are incapable even of recognizing them as errors. Offered FREE shipping, we take it, even when it costs us.

NASA urged to focus on sending people to Mars 
NASA should focus its efforts on mounting a human mission to Mars, and downgrade its plans for a human presence on the Moon, says a distinguished group of space experts, including former NASA officials and ex-astronauts.

A group of about 45 people met at Stanford University in California, US, on 12 and 13 February for a meeting to reconsider NASA's human space exploration plans, including the possibility of sending astronauts to a near-Earth asteroid, rather than to the Moon.

The timing of the conference during an election year highlights the possibility that the next US president could shift NASA's spaceflight priorities, which were authorised by Congress in 2005.

EU Seeks "Lifetime Copyright" For Music 
The European Union said Thursday that it would seek to extend copyright protection for singers and musicians to 95 years -- rather than the current 50 -- in a move intended to let performers receive royalty payments later in life.

Vaccines & Autism: Myths and Misconceptions 
Despite the growing scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and that neither vaccines nor mercury cause autism, a stubborn vocal minority claims otherwise, threatening the effectiveness of this public health program.

Social Networking: Risks vs. Rewards 
Are social networks healthy? That is what is now being asked by an increasing number of analysts today in response to the growing number of violent crimes and suicides related to the world of MySpace, Facebook, Bebo and other sites.

Kiki and Bubu: Blog reactions 

International Year Of Polytheism: Deities are angry! 
monochrom content info
Triumph of polytheism! Rio de Janeiro's 130-foot-tall Christ Redeemer statue got hit by lightning!
The Goddesses and Gods are very angry!


Let's Break For Zombie Self-Reflection 

Because every zombie harbors a foaming spasm of words struggling to break free:

Director's uncut of "Kiki and Bubu and The Shift" 
monochrom content info
Ok, our director's uncut of "Kiki and Bubu and The Shift" is online now.

You can find it on Blip.tv and YouTube...

...and a hi-res version on our page.

monochrom's "Kiki and Bubu and The Shift" 
monochrom content info
A shortened version of our short film "Kiki and Bubu and The Shift" can be found on Boing Boing TV.


Woven - A Documentary on Skateboarding and Culture 
Any skateboarders out there? There's a pretty nice trailer for a documentary on skateboarding and its impact on art, on music and on the personal lives of those that skate. It features interviews with Ray Barbee, Ed Templeton, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero and Dune, to name only a few. I even spotted Hosoi in there.

I don't have much more info on it, but it's coming out in 2008. This trailer is beautiful, I can't wait to find out more.
Link (Thanks Crailtap)

Extremely cool: Message Tape 

The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space 

Open access for scholarly journals 
At her blog last week, danah boyd published an essay titled open access is the future: boycott locked-down academic journals. I'm what's euphemistically called an "early-career academic" myself, and what she wrote there gave me a lot to think about.

Respondents to the post added a great deal to the discussion. Peter Suber posted a link to Six things researchers need to know about open access as well as an Open Access Overview that he maintains.

Other posters called attention to the Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine, which "will help you generate a PDF form that you can attach to a journal publisher's copyright agreement to ensure that you retain certain rights." (This is a a project of Science Commons.)

Simon Cooke linked to his own Call for the Online Publication of Scientific Papers, in which he made an appealing singularity-based argument. ("Let's get some science done here, and use the singularity to our advantage.")

I'd been meaning to post all of this since last week, but have finally been kicked in the butt by the New York Times, which reported today that Harvard "faculty members are scheduled to vote on a measure that would permit Harvard to distribute their scholarship online, instead of signing exclusive agreements with scholarly journals that often have tiny readerships and high subscription costs."

I look forward to seeing how this plays out at Harvard, and I'm delighted that the mechanics of the journal system are being opened up for public discussion.

"Sympathy for the Clintons" 
Teresa Nielsen Hayden, who blogs at Making Light, has weighed in with an especially well-wrought set of thoughts about what's happening on the Democrats' side of the contest for the US presidential nomination.

(You could do worse than to follow the election by keeping up with that blog, by the way.)

Link to her post.

Anonymous protests Scientology 

A group of more than 50 masked protesters gathered yesterday outside of the Church of Scientology of Boston headquarters on Beacon Street to demonstrate against the policies of the church. Protesters said the event was part of a worldwide demonstration against the church by Anonymous, an informal Internet-based group.

In a statement, the Church of Scientology of Boston said that Anonymous is "a group of cyberterrorists who hide their identities behind masks and computer anonymity" and target Scientology "for no reason other than religious bigotry."

Link to full Boston Globe article.

monochrom @ The Influencers 2008, Barcelona 
monochrom content info
monochrom will be part of this year's "The Influencers" festival in Barcelona, Spain. Other guests will be Alan Abel, Alterazioni Video, Brody Condon, Laibach, Santi Cirugeda and Trevor Paglen.
The Influencers explores controversial forms of art and communication guerilla, presenting independent projects that play with global popular culture, infiltrate the mass media, and transform fashions, consumption and technological fetishism. The key to The Influencers is found in its guests and stories: impostors, pseudo-totalitarian musicians, conceptual hackers, deviant geographers, anarchitects and actors from invisible theatre. In these three days they are going to present their work, show known and less known material and speak with the public about challenges, goals and strategies. In the manipulation of everyday symbols, as well as within what is excessive and politically incorrect, we will possibly find inspiration for changing the present and imagining the future.

February 28 thru March 1, 2008.

Affairs of the Lips: Why We Kiss 
Researchers are revealing hidden complexities behind the simple act of kissing, which relays powerful messages to your brain, body and partner.

Child-Man in the Promised Land 
[...] there's no denying the lesson of today's media marketplace: give young men a choice between serious drama on the one hand, and Victoria's Secret models, battling cyborgs, exploding toilets, and the NFL on the other, and it's the models, cyborgs, toilets, and football by a mile.

Update: "I can count every star in the heavens above but I have no heart I can't fall in love..." 
monochrom content info
Finally! An iPod-compatible version of our talk performance "I can count every star in the heavens above but I have no heart I can't fall in love" is online [MPEG-4 / AAC-LC / H.264 (Base Profile, iPod-compatible]...

FL Creatives 13: Johannes Grenzfurthner of monochrom 
monochrom content info
During our stay in the Orlando area in January we met Ryan Price (who is part of Florida Creatives) and we recorded a nice dinner conversation. Stuff is online now...
monochrom is an Austrian art-theory group with an international resume that makes me very jealous. I got the chance to sit down with Johannes Grenzfurthner and Evelyn Fürlinger over some Thai food and talk about some of his many achievements, as well as just talk with an intelligent and well-humored guy.

There are lots more show-notes necessary for this episode, but I don't have the time to sit and list all of the references we make. If someone is motivated and wants to help listing relevant websites, etc. I would appreciate it very much.

Polaroid to Quit Making Instant Film 
This news ruined my whole year.

May you rest in peace, Polaroid.


When Incest Is Best: Kissing Cousins Have More Kin 
Study analyzing more than 200 years of data finds that couples consisting of third cousins have the highest reproductive success.

When is a Delegate Not a Delegate? Lessons for Barack Obama 
Barack Obama and his supporters are exuberant after their victories this last weekend in the Washington and Nebraska precinct caucuses, in the Louisiana primary and the Maine municipal caucus. But they would do well to remember that since the mid-1970s the Democratic National Committee has spent countless hours plowing firebreaks between expressions of the popular will in such caucus and primary votes and the ultimate selection of the nominee.

"Things to Come" (1936) / Video online 
"Things to Come" is a British science fiction film from 1936, produced by Alexander Korda and directed by William Cameron Menzies. Christopher Frayling of the British Film Institute calls Things to Come "a landmark in cinematic design."

Link / Video

Wanna buy a Burt Reynolds Crab? 
Looks like this...

And you get it here.

Chemical Signature Of Manic Depression Discovered 
People with manic depression have a distinct chemical signature in their brains, according to a new study. The research may also indicate how the mood stabilisers used to treat the disorder counteract the changes in the brain that it appears to cause.

Street Art Goes Big Cash: Banksy Moss Portrait Sells For $191K 
English graffiti artist Banksy's screen print of supermodel Kate Moss sold for $191,000 at a street-art auction in London. The work, inspired by Andy Warhol's iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe, was one of 75 pieces of 'urban art' on sale.

Goatse, the Cookie 

monochrom's Innermost Unifier @ Machine Project, Los Angeles 
monochrom content info
It's official!

Johannes will present a talk/audio performance @ Machine Project, Los Angeles; March 17, 2008; 8 PM
The Innermost Unifier: Today it's the Corporate Anthem
A talk/audio performance by Johannes Grenzfurthner, monochrom (Vienna, Austria)

Using different historical and current examples (especially from the area of the hardware/software-industry), Johannes Grenzfurthner gives a theoretical and applied - and not unamusing - overview on the musical genre of corporate anthems.

Come and sing along. Powernapping is welcome, too.


Powering Your Cell Phone Could Be a Walk in the Park 
Budding technologies seek to turn kinetic energy created by the human body into electricity for battery-powered devices.
Exercise may soon do more for you than tighten up your sagging muscles. Advances in biomechanical engineering could use energy generated while walking, hiking or running to power any device requiring portable power, including night-vision goggles and other battery-operated devices used by soldiers as well as robotic prosthetic limbs, cell phones and computers in remote locations where no other energy sources are available.


Growing money on trees: Deforestation is responsible for one-fifth of annual carbon emissions 
Deforestation is responsible for one-fifth of annual carbon emissions – more than the entire transport sector. So a new global scheme to "reduce deforestation" could end up rewarding the companies and governments that cause it, writes Oscar Reyes.

The picture show is just the sideshow 
The movie theatre business isn't so much about movies any more. Sure, what's up on the screen is still key to getting your bum in the seat. But how much you spent on that snack in your hand is now crucially important, as are the advertisements you watch before the show, and the loyalty card that you used to pay for tickets. And it may not even be a movie you're watching.

"Register of Eliminated Villages": A Tug of War for Iraq's Memory 
Disagreement about the fate of Baath Party records ("Register of Eliminated Villages"; records of Saddam's genocide) has set 2 scholars on a collision course. Who owns the book?

Jessica Hagy's Index of a Career Path 
Jessica Hagy's index cards full of graphs, charts, truths and humor are a daily fix for me. Now she's done a series for ChangeThis in which she tells you everything about your job. Yes. Your job. Genius.

All blue-eyed people share one common ancestor 
"From Paul Newman to Frank Sinatra to Cameron Diaz. From residents of snowy Moscow to Palestinians in Jerusalem. Danish geneticists say everyone with blue eyes is not just related, but descended from one person."

monochrom: Favicon of the Day @ Real Life Pixel 
monochrom content info

We are Favicon of the Day @ Real Life Pixel!


The Legacy of Bush II 
The conventional wisdom espoused by the mass media is that Bush's budget is a lame-duck DOA contrivance, but that assumption is wrong. The 9/11 attacks have been shamefully exploited by the military-industrial complex with bipartisan support to ramp up military expenditures beyond Cold War levels. [...] The U.S. already spends more than the rest of the world combined on its military, without a sophisticated enemy in sight. The Bush budget cuts not a single weapons system, including the most expensive ones, those designed to combat a Soviet military that no longer exists. Those sophisticated weapons have nothing to do with combating terrorism and everything to do with jobs and profits that motivate both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

"myfacespace": Full version online 
monochrom content info
Full version online, finally.


"myfacespace.com" on Boing Boing TV 
monochrom content info
A shortened version of "myfacespace.com" is online on Boing Boing TV! We created this dynamic micro-musical together with wonderful Jonathan Mann aka GameJew and presented it at last year's Austrian Big Brother Awards Gala.

There will be a studio version of the complete song available on our upcoming monochrom CD/LP (to be released in May).
Link (BBtv)

The world's shortest, coldest, driest, highest, windiest Mardi Gras parade 
Happy Mardi Gras, or Karneval, or Carnivale!
I am ashamed to be doing nothing of note this carnival season, because today I read a description of one of the best expatriate Mardi Gras celebrations I've ever heard of, from someone spending a year at the South Pole. They managed to have gumbo, king cake, beads, and masks!

Last year, however, I threw a party on Epiphany, for which I made a lovely king cake. Of course, then I posed obscenely with it.

Find some way to get into trouble, y'all! You have until midnight on Tuesday.

How Obama Could Create a Long-Term Democratic Majority 
The passion of young people for Obama's campaign is fueled by the Iraq war, an uncertain economy, major concerns about the environment and global warming, and the religious right's attacks on sexuality. But more than anything it's also fueled by Obama's eloquent insistence that change is possible and that ordinary citizens can play a key role. It's fueled by the sense that Obama's personal story anticipates the story of an America that moves beyond its divisions and tackles our fundamental problems. This group also seems to resist the idea that a presidency can simply be handed down like a dynastic succession.

Participating in numbers we haven't seen in decades, these new voters fervently want Obama to win. They're reaching out to enlist their peers and volunteering to help reach others. They can be a powerful force to help him prevail.

But if Hillary Clinton is nominated, this momentum will likely crumble. The young women and men who've been flooding the Democratic primaries and caucuses will feel betrayed by a candidate who's just finished doing her best to destroy the person they've invested their hopes in. And as a result, they may simply stay home. It's not just that Hillary is running against Obama. That would be fine. It's that she and Bill and their surrogates have relentlessly assaulted Obama's character, in a scorched-earth style worthy of Karl Rove.

Why the US has really gone broke 
Article by Chalmers Johnson.
Global confidence in the US economy has reached zero, as was proved by last month's stock market meltdown. But there is an enormous anomaly in the US economy above and beyond the subprime mortgage crisis, the housing bubble and the prospect of recession: 60 years of misallocation of resources, and borrowings, to the establishment and maintenance of a military-industrial complex as the basis of the nation's economic life.

Hello Kitty Rifle 

The Trouble with Men: Deadbeat granddads, life-shortening sons and genetically bullying brothers 
Sons are tough on their mothers. Whether it is heavier birth weights, amplified testosterone levels or simple, hair-raising high jinks, boys seem to take an extra toll on the women who gave birth to them. And by poring over Finnish church records from two centuries ago, Virpi Lummaa of the University of Sheffield in England can prove it: sons reduce a mother’s life span by an average of 34 weeks.
Link (Thanx, Evelyn!)

Languages evolve in sudden leaps, not creeps 
Language evolves in sudden leaps, according to a statistical study of three major language groups. The finding challenges the slow-and-steady model held by many linguists and matches evidence that genetic evolution follows a similar path.

Mark Pagel from the University of Reading in the UK and colleagues applied statistical tools commonly used in biology to the analysis of three of the world's major language groups: Indo-European, Austronesian, and Bantu.


A Re-Evaluation of All Values? Craig Venter, Friedrich Nietzsche and New Life 
William Robins on genetics and Nietzsche's Will to Power.
It was recently reported that Craig Venter had achieved a monumental breakthrough in biology by creating a genetic sequence from lab chemicals alone. Although he claims to have created artificial life, he has not created life artificially; that is to say, he is not yet able to create life from scratch. But by implanting the artificial genetic code into a living bacteria, the artificial genes will take over and the creation of an altogether new kind of lifeform will have been achieved.

In some ways this is nothing new. Genetic modification of any kind – from breeding corgis to mutant corn – produces new varieties of life forms, each in a sense unique or distinct from their predecessors. Yet Venter's breakthrough is unlike previous genetic tinkering. It paves the way for achieving in a single bound what would otherwise take lifetimes to accomplish.

Venter describes his achievement as heralding "a very important philosophical step in the history of our species. We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things we never contemplated before." This is not a case of one small step for a man and a giant leap for mankind. It calls for the replacement of our little steps with an altogether different stride.

In War: Resolution 
"Iraq," swears Al Gore, "was the single worst strategic mistake in American history." Senate Majority leader Harry Reid agrees that the war he voted to authorize is "the worst foreign policy mistake in U.S. history," and indeed is already "lost." Many of our historically minded politicians and commanders have weighed in with similar superlatives. Retired General William Odom calls Iraq "the greatest strategic disaster in United States history." Senator Chuck Hagel (who voted for the war) is somewhat more cautious; he terms Iraq "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam." Jimmy Carter takes, as usual, the loftiest view: the Iraq War, and Great Britain's acquiescence in it, constitute "a major tragedy for the world," and prove that the Bush Administration "has been the worst in history."

Certainly there are legitimate questions about Iraq, as about all wars. Why, for example, did Tommy Franks, the Centcom commander who led American forces in a brilliant three-week victory over Saddam Hussein, abruptly announce his retirement in late May 2003—prompting a disruption in command just as the successful conventional war ended and an unexpected insurgency in Iraq gathered steam? Why were looters allowed to ransack much of Baghdad's infrastructure following the defeat of the Baathist army? Why "disband" the Iraqi military and purge its officer corps of Baathists at precisely the time law and order—not tens of thousands of unemployed youth—were needed? And weren't there too few occupying troops in the war's aftermath, along with too restrictive rules of engagement—but too prominent a profile for the American proconsuls busily dictating to the Iraqis?

Taugshow#14 on Laughing Squid 
monochrom content info
The Soviet lovin' folks at Laughing Squid feature Taugshow #14.

Center for Sex and Culture lecture, Innies for Outies 
Or, as the actual title of the lecture had it, Cunts for Fags. From the class description: "Queer presenters, live models, a safe space to ask questions... this workshop is the perfect opportunity for gay men to learn about vulvas, vaginas, clits, cunts, g-spots, inny-holes, bonus holes, cooters, tranny boners, clit boners, or whatever you call yours."
Here's a fantastic review of the class along with a cc-licensed video interview with some of the attendees and CSC director (and my lovely and brilliant fellow Arse Elektronika presenter) Dr. Carol Queen.
Center for Sex and Culture
Carol Queen's bibliography

Interview with John Linnell of They Might Be Giants 
Is it true your bike was once stolen from you on the Williamsburg Bridge? It was. It used to be a much dodgier experience going over that bridge in the eighties. I was going uphill and someone ran up behind me and grabbed the underside of the seat and pulled the bike to a stop. And I looked at him and it was this guy who had what looked like a scimitar; I'm sure it was just like an ordinary knife but in my imagination the knife was like a Japanese sword or something like that. You know, he was perfectly welcome to take the bike at that point. I was happy to not have my throat cut.
Link to interview
TMBG site, includes links for various downloads

Groundhog Day 
Real true facts about Groundhog Day, from groundhog.org. (The word for 2008 is that we'll have six more weeks of winter.)

Can't Pay Your Mortgage? Trash Your House and Leave 
According to a recent article in Fortune, there has been a noticeable increase in not just fraud but arson that has kept pace with the housing depression. Professionals in the insurance and lending industry are bracing themselves for all manner of similar situations, as homeowners either trash, or simply leave their trash lying around their houses, often taking off without even claiming their furniture. This is already a dirty problem in the housing business, with owners, lenders and banks having to figure out a way to stick each other with the check when tenants destroy their property on their way out the door. Woe is the person left behind to clean up the chaos.

The Sex Diaries of John Maynard Keynes 
"Evan Zimroth has been researching the life of J.M. Keynes and deciphering the great man's sex diaries. One is easy (a lot of Duncan Grant). The other uses a code which, if nothing else, helps break the ice at parties..."

The Erotic Challenge: Forum For Imaginative Manipulation 
Because deep down, you know you are looking for erudite pop-culture referential sex inspiration that also functions as an absolute WELLSPRING of multifunctional pranksterism, with just the right amount of exquisite corpse thrown in for good measure. My example is in my full disclosure: I write for this site, therefore every week or so I go somewhere innocuous - like the grocery store. Okay, choose a title and four random items - let's go with "The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock", and, let's see, nondairy whipped topping, shoelaces, a cucumber, and a wire whip. Oooh! One legal substitution - coffee spoons for the cucumber. The rules are simple - keep it relatively realistic and have it be something you yourself (or a particularly descriptive friend) might be willing to try. The possibilities are endless.

ARMSFLOW: Visualization of global arms transactions 
ARMSFLOW is a data visualization which displays arms transactions globally between 1950 and 2006. It was created by Jeffrey Warren of Vestal Design with data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.


The Computational Power of North Korean Mass Games 

Here's an interesting idea: Use participants in North Korean Mass Games as logic gates and let them thus power a human computer:
100,000 performers standing in a 300x300 grid would act as the CPU. Similar grids would fulfill the function of RAM, motherboard ,and graphics card (each grid is dressed in a different colour for the visual effect). For the monitor you could simply utilise the usual brigade of 60,000 schoolchildren sitting on the spectator benches, each of whom can hold up a red, green or blue card (yielding a quite decent resolution of 200x300 pixels).

Ok, this computer won't be able to compete with the latest quad core machine. But it would probably allow Kim Jong-il to play Tetris or Pacman (at least the easy levels). Without having to worry about the all too common power outages that plague the country! Plus, he would be actually be interacting with his beloved people, rather than just passively watching. Think of the publicity.

Oh my... Taugshow #14 .mov file... 
monochrom content info
...was missing on page. It's online now!
Link to hi-res videos

On blip.tv -- monochrom's Taugshow #14: The Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Special 
monochrom content info
monochrom's Taugshow #14 is available as embed video on monochrom.blip.tv.


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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]
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[monochrom GV]
[monochrom Youtube]
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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