<< preface

this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.

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>> The Yes Men


"Here is the true story of how Andy and Mike—a couple of semi-employed, middle-class (at best) activists with only thrift-store clothes and no formal economics training—posed as spokespeople for the World Trade Organization.

In 1999, just before the big protests in Seattle, Mike and Andy set up a parody of the WTO website at the domain GATT.org. Some people mistook it for the real thing and wrote in with questions about all sorts of trade matters. Finally, Mike and Andy found themselves invited to conferences to speak as the organization they opposed. They scrounged up their savings, bought plane tickets, and went.

As the World Trade Organization, Andy and Mike delivered shocking satires of WTO policy to audiences of so-called “experts.” At an international trade law conference in Salzburg, Austria, they (i.e. the WTO) proposed a free-market solution to democracy: auctioning votes to the highest bidder. On the TV program CNBC Marketwrap Europe, the WTO announced that might equalled right, that a privatized education market would help replace Abbie Hoffman with Milton Friedman, and that there ought to be a market in human rights abuses. At a textiles conference in Tampere, Finland the WTO unveiled a 3-foot phallus for administering electric shocks to sweatshop employees. At a university in Plattsburgh, New York the WTO proposed that to solve global hunger, the poor should have to eat hamburgers—and then recycle them up to ten times. And at an accounting conference in Sydney, Australia, the WTO announced that in light of all its mistakes, it would shut itself down, refounding as an organization whose goals were not to help corporations, but rather to help the poor and the environment."

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... is a Media Art historian and independent researcher. She is currently writing on "speculative archiving && experimental preservation of Media Art" and graduated from Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems, Austria with a Master Thesis on Descriptive Metadata for Media Arts. For many years, she has been working in the field of archiving/documenting Media Art, recently at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research and before as the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the archival material. She was teaching the Prehystories of New Media Class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and in the Media Art Histories program at the Danube University Krems.