[ B l o g / / Archive]

They Might Be Giants - Put It to the Test 

How the Brain Encodes Memories at a Cellular Level 
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have made a major discovery in how the brain encodes memories. The finding, published in the December 24 issue of the journal Neuron, could eventually lead to the development of new drugs to aid memory.

The team of scientists is the first to uncover a central process in encoding memories that occurs at the level of the synapse, where neurons connect with each other.

Wealth Care 
As Congress wrestles over the parameters of a health care bill, amidst maddened catcalls of 'death panels' and 'socialism!', I am reminded of the experience of John Black, an old trade unionist, revolutionary activist and journalist.

Black, a fervent supporter of the Cuban Revolution, joined the Venceremos Brigades, an annual trek of foreigners to the island, who assisted in harvesting the sugar crop and other agricultural work.

Although he was in his mid-to-high seventies at the time, Black did his part, until the searing tropical heat, or perhaps the work (or both) took its toll.

Black was taken to a nearby hospital, and received what he called "excellent treatment." As he was leaving, he reached for his wallet, and began pulling out some bucks. The doctor looked at him quizzically -- and then told him to put his money away.

"We treated you because you were sick, Senor," the doctor explained, "Not for the money."

These words blew Black away, and this experience with socialist medicine moved him deeply.

What is even more remarkable is that Cuba was doing this during its 'Special Period:, a time of economic chaos when its biggest trading partner, the Soviet Union, stopped bartering things for things (as in oil for sugar, for example) and began demanding cold cash for trade.

As of 2006, Cuba had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $45 billion dollars--about the same as the Congo, or the Sultanate of Oman ($44.1bn).

The GDP measures the market value of goods and services purchased within a nation over a given period of time -- usually a year.

Do you want to know what the U.S. GDP was for 2007?

Over 13 trillion dollars. 13 trillion.

Guess which country provides free medical care?

Videogames change the way we work, learn and fight wars 
Videogames are no longer the preserve of adolescent males in dark bedrooms. Their emergence as a social medium is changing the way we work, learn and fight wars.

PS: But never forget: Brave New Pong!

An interactive guide to all the "best movies of the decade" lists 
[...] the question remains: Which movie is the best of the decade? Is there any consensus among the accumulating lists? To find out, we collected all of the rankings we could find and synthesized the results using a simple scoring system: Movies got 50 points for being the No. 1 pick on a list, 49 points for a No. 2 nod, and so on, down to one point for a No. 50 slot. (Brody, who only chose 26 movies, still received 50 points for his top pick.)

To see which movies of the aughts are earning the most end-of-decade love, select the "Points" category from the drop-down menu on the left. You can also sort the films by director or by total number of appearances on best-of lists. (Some directors had more than one movie in the running; mouse over the director's name to see which of his or her movies made the cut.)

Paris Opera Ballet Tries Out Hi-Def Simulcasting 
The company's Diaghilev/Ballets Russes centennial program was transmitted live to 30 cinemas in Britain. Who went? A "dance audience, small but devoted and knowledgeable. And they were clearly delighted with the screening, which turned out to be not a substitute for performance but a different experience altogether - and, in some ways, better."

Killing Capitalism with Christmas! 
monochrom content info
Kiki and Bubu (and monochrom) wish you a merry X-Mas! Kill! Kill! Kill!

Link (YouTube)
Link (iTunes) (or just download it from Pirate Bay)

monochrom and the Future of Porn / Berlin 
monochrom content info
Panel discussion with Johannes Grenzfurthner (monochrom), Rose White, Ella Saitta and Aaron "SFSlim" Muszalski @ C-Base Berlin, December 29, 2009; 9 PM.

If you ask mainstream pornographers what their vision of the future is, it involves cracking down on piracy making more money re-selling the same generic products in new formats. What about independent pornographers with an eye on longtail markets who are focused on creating "weird" products that most people don't want to buy? Or consumers who are seeking porn to cater to their special interests not covered in mainstream heteronormative porn? Or people who prefer porn and Real Dolls to sexual involvement with other humans? And, what of the future of computer-generated porn? While the major adult companies are still trying to figure out why people aren't buying as many $45 DVDs as they used to, more and more niche pornographers, artists, merchants, and performers are popping up to create offbeat erotic entertainment with a small, but enthusiastic fanbase. Join these nerdy perverts for a discussion on the many directions in which the future of porn is really headed.

monochrom @ ROFLCon II / Dates Officially Set 
monochrom content info
Tim reports:
Was planning to get to announce this last week, but got caught up in some last minute finagling with MIT. But we've finally got it hammered out.

In any case, happy to announce today that we've officially decided that ROFLCon II will be on April 30th and May 1st, 2010.

Got it? Awesome. Planning to open up registration sometime in January, and we'll announce on the blog when it goes up. If you've already hit up tim AT roflcon DOT org, we've already got you covered (even if I haven't responded), and, if you haven't, definitely do drop a line if you want to be notified by e-mail when it opens up.

monochrom @ hackerspace.sg: "Some stories about Context Hacking and Asia" 
monochrom content info
Johannes, an insane Austrian man we met this weekend, will be conducting a rant at Hackerspace.SG this Thursday evening.

For those who are unfamiliar with the rant: it is a tradition of performance art which was developed in Europe in the 19th century and successfully ported to the Internet in the early-to-mid 1990s. It is now being introduced to Asia by aesthetic pioneers like Johannes Grenzfurthner.

In recognition of Singapore's leading position as the financial and cultural capital of Asia, and of Hackerspace.SG as the leading hackerspace in Singapore, he has chosen Hackerspace.SG as the venue for his first Singapore performance of this artwork.

We invite all members of hackerspace.sg and the related community to attend this rant.

There is no fee, though we wish to thank in advance all the wonderful people who consume beer, wine, or soft drinks, for their cash donations into the little glass that says "your donations are welcome."

For the purposes of licensing under Chapter 257 Section 319, this is an exempt entertainment as defined by the Public Entertainments and Meetings (Specified Arts Entertainment) (Exemption) Order 2005.

And here the desc:
monochrom and the East: Some stories about Context Hacking and Asia
A tour-de-farce by Johannes Grenzfurthner of monochrom

monochrom is a worldwide operating collective dealing with technology, art and philosophy and was founded in 1993. So to sum up, monochrom is an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, political activism and technological disaster.

Johannes wants to tell us stories about monochrom's "context hacking" projects that specifically deal with our focus on contemporary Asian topics.

The term context hacking—like its mimetic sibling "communication guerrilla"—refers to unconventional forms of communication and/or intervention in more conventional processes of communication. Context hacking is a specific style of political action that observes and makes visible the paradoxes and absurdities of power. Context hacking uses absurdities as the starting point for interventions by playing with representations and identities, with alienation and over-identification.
hackerspace.sg, 70A Bussorah Street, Singapore. Thursday, December 17, 2009; 8 PM.

Neoteny unconference – How Epic Fail and Agile Development Can Change the World 
monochrom content info
e27 reports:
With all the talk about failing, one interesting speaker that managed to get all our attention was Johannes Grenfurthner who runs Monochrom – an art-technology-philosophy group in Vienna. With his stage presence and use of different yet interesting metaphors conveyed why it's important to fail and had interesting points on why sometimes competition isn't the right way to create something that people need.

Nice Neoteny photo set 
monochrom content info
Nice picture of Johannes at Neoteny, taken from a great photoset.

Language 2.0: Or how we change the world with every keystroke 
monochrom content info
Evelyn will give a talk about language and new forms of communication at Neoteny Labs Singapore Camp (Sunday, December 13, 2009; 2:30 PM):
The numerous parallels between modern linguistics and computer science may come as a surprise to the audience and their notion of language may change significantly. Language is a system of signs and we adjust it every day. Especially new forms of communication (Twitter, instant messaging etc.) change the way we perceive and use language. Many people use the same abbreviations in texting and instant messaging, and social networking websites. Acronyms, keyboard symbols and shortened words are often used as methods of abbreviation in Internet slang. Laccetti, a professor of humanities at Stevens Institute of Technology and Molsk, criticizes that acronyms, predicting reduced chances of employment for students who use such acronyms, stating that, "Unfortunately for these students, their bosses will not be 'lol' when they read a report that lacks proper punctuation and grammar, has numerous misspellings, various made-up words, and silly acronyms." Fondiller and Nerone, in their style manual, assert that "professional or business communication should never be careless or poorly constructed" whether one is writing an electronic mail message or an article for publication, and warn against the use of smileys and these abbreviations, stating that they are "no more than e-mail slang and have no place in business communication".
But this is of course a very conservative way to see the subject matter. This talk is meant to explore the many ways in which speakers 'hack' and re-interpret their language based on the various definitions of the term 'hacking'.

Roboexotica USA: February 2010! 
monochrom content info
We are glad being able to announce Roboexotica USA 2010!

Roboexotica USA 2010 will be held at the world famous DNA lounge! Wednesday and Thursday February 17-18th, 2010. DNA Lounge is at 375 Eleventh Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.


monochrom in Singapore (Neoteny Camp): "Reach Out And Touch Face: A Rant About Failing" 
monochrom content info
Johannes will give a lecture performance at Neoteny Singapore Camp, Saturday, December 12, 2009; 11:30 AM.
Hackers love knowledge. They try to find out how stuff works. And that's great. Experimentation is a major part of hacking. It is in the most philosophical sense a deconstruction of things.

A specific use is never inherent to an object, even though technical demagogues like to claim that it is. Just compare the term "self-explanatory" and the term "archeological find". It's a pretty hard task to find out what technology is and what it should do if you don't have a clue about the context. Usually the use is connected with the object through definition ("instructions for use"). Turning an object against the use inscribed in it means probing its possibilities.

Science and Technology Studies (especially Langdon Winner and Bruno Latour) have convincingly demonstrated that the widespread inability to understand technological artifacts as fabricated entities, as social and cultural phenomena, derives from the fact that in retrospect only those technologies that prove functional for a culture and can be integrated into everyday life are "left over." However, the perception of what is functional, successful and useful is itself the product of social and cultural, and last but not least political and economic processes. Selection processes and abandoned products (developmental derailments, sobering intermediary results, useless prototypes) are not discussed.

Well. What can we do?
We can fail. Beautifully.

Santa Claus Vs. Christkindl: Bis einer weint / Vienna, beware! 
monochrom content info
Santa: "HO HO HO! Wien is MY turf now, Christkindl. I've been making a list, checking it twice, and I know who's been naughty or nice... and who's going to get their skinny white angel butt kicked if they don't get out of my way. It's time to work for me or leave for China, baby boy."

Christkindl: "Santa, du Oaschsau! Gemma auf die Bluatwiesn!"

Saturday, December 12, 2009; meet for briefing at 2pm, depart promptly at 3pm. At monochrom offices, Quartier 21, Museumsquartier, Vienna.


Roboexotica 2009 - Video of "Adult Mario" 
monochrom content info
Kyle Machulis created a great piece of machinery for Roboexotica 2009.


Plasmastaub at Roboexotica 2009: Video 
monochrom content info
Great video of (ACRA-Award-winning) "Plasmastaub" at Roboexotica 2009.


Roboexotica 2009: Over and (not yet) out 
monochrom content info
Roboexotica 2009 is over... but there are tons of great images, videos and reports out there! We are currently cleaning our event location (Drinkomat-Halle) and Franky was so kind to upload audio files of Saturday's symposion.


monochrom: Taugshow #20, Roboexotica Special 
monochrom content info
monochrom presents:
++TAUGSHOW #20++
Roboexotica Special

Friday, Dec 4, 2009 / 9:00 PM @ Roboexotica, Drinkomat-Halle, Missindorfstrasse 21, Vienna (presented by Johannes Grenzfurthner und Roland Gratzer)

But who are our guests?






/// BAR2D2


Roboexotica 2009: Opening 
monochrom content info
Today is the grand opening of Roboexotica 2009!

Here is an almost complete list of all cocktail robots on display. Stunning machinery!

Opening act? Liquidoscope!

And don't forget: new location for this year's festival! We found a really awesome space! 600 square meters of lofty pleasure: the former factory of "Drinkomat" (@ Missindorfstraße, just beside Okto TV)! Pretty close to "Sargfabrik" (take U3 to Hütteldorfer Straße)!

[The Archives]

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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]
[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