Interview with Frederic Madre

November, 2000

Meeting Frederic Madre was a pleasant surprise. Madre had made himself notorious in a very short time by inventing something called a 'spam engine', to create spam art. These days spam (unsolicited advertising in emails) is annoying. In the nineties, when spam was much less pervasive, it was considered not only rude, but also damaging to the Internet. It takes up massive amounts of bandwidth, disrupting the flow of Internet traffic and increasing costs for providers and users.The controversy around spam was easily abused however, by people who wanted to eradicate voices and expression they did not approve of on online platforms. On the mailing list nettime for example it was used in a disagreement between artists and activist and academic users, about what could and could not be posted.

In the interview Madre explains how he uses spam art as a means to criticize the urge to oversanitize the Internet. Frederic Madre's spam engine and mailing list Palais Tokyo (for which it was most used) are some of the most interesting projects in French net art. Yet Madre also talks about his first years online, between 1992 and 1995, and his stories give another interesting view of how early net culture developed. Today Frederic Madre runs an indie record company, 'Bruit Direct'.  The photo below shows Madre with his youngest son.


Interview with RTMark

September, 1997

RTMark was the forerunner of the Yesmen. We met at Ars Electronica in 1997. Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno presented themselves as Ernesto Lucha and Francisco Gerrero, otherwise known as 'Frank and Ernest'. Their main focus was fighting the incredible power of corporations, which have the same rights as citizens in the United States. By removing the unfair protection this gives to corporations RTMark hoped to force them to act more responsibly.


Interview with Steve Dietz

July, 2000

At the time of this interview Steve Dietz was director of new media initiatives at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since then Dietz has curated several exhibitions, lectured around the world, and he is currenty artistic director of ZeroOne, an art festival in San Jose California. 'The Walker', as the Walker Art Center is often called in short, was unique for its depth of commitment to multidisciplinary (not interdisciplinary) programming for a large part thanks to Dietz' creative adaptation of his job title of head of new media.

Interview with Station Rose

March, 1999

"...the netscene wants to stay ascii..."

Station Rose are Elisa Rose and Gary Danner. They are what could be called a multimedia group, mainly doing live performance online and offline. They have been doing this since 1989. In 1999 it was time to ask them a little bit about their motives and ideas after 10 years of engagement in network culture. .


Interview with Kathy Rae Huffman

September, 1998

I met Kathy Rae Huffman for the first time at the Digital Chaos conference in Bath in 1996. This interview is from about two years later, and it was published on nettime and in 'Netzkunst' edited by Verena Kuni in 1998. It is a very interesting interview in that it covers a very long period of time, from the early work Kathy Rae Huffman did as a curator with Bill Viola, to her work with Van Gogh TV at documenta 92, to her online art project Siberian Deal (with Eva Wohlgemut), and her work with the mailinglist for women in new media 'Faces'.

foto: Jan Sprij for V2

Nettitudes - Let's Talk Net Art

April, 2011

After having my work published in various catalogues and essay collections, this is the first book under my own name. It was written for the Institute for Network Cultures in Amsterdam, and published by NAi publishers. The latter is the main publisher on new media art in the Netherlands.The Mondriaan Foundation and the BKVB both supported us making this book.


Nettitudes contains five essays about art and new media, and consists of two parts. The first focusses on 'net art' in the broadest sense of the word, and aims to refute persisting false definitions of this emerging art field. In the second part of the book net art is approached from three very different angles: the history of (with dot), a contemplation on the digital archive, and last but not least a text on music and sound art in the context of new media.



Nettitudes can be ordered through NAi Publishers


Interview with Jeffrey Shaw

February, 2000

In this interview Jeffrey Shaw talks, among other things, about the browser he built for the exhibition Net_Condition in 1999.

Musaic, the merging of all sound spaces

June, 2000

Musaic was originally written for the music and new media festival Futuresonic. There it was noticed by Kathleen Forde of the SFMoma who asked whether it could be included in the online sound art exhibition Crossfade, which was a collaboration of three art institutions: ZKM, Walker Art Institute and the SFMoma. Musaic also appeared in Sandbox magazine in New York.

(This image was borrowed from the website, purely for illustration purposes. It shows a screenshot of a software tool "The World of Music, by researchers at Standford, MIT and Yahoo!," which "intends to render the music space in an unprecedented way. This visualization shows 9,276 artists and how they are related to each other.")

Interview with Igor Stromajer

August, 2000



Igor Stromajer is a Slovenian artist. I interviewed him in Moscow in 2000. Stromajer talks about how he moved from making art purely for the Web to doing net art performances at the end of the nineties, whereby he would sing or dance the HTML code his website was built from. Nowadays Stromajer mostly does online performances uses robots. Interestingly also his work with robots still shows great sensitivity and the robots are easily given human or emotional traits as they dance, battle or fight for survival.

Interview with Prema Murthy

January, 2001

Prema Murthy is an artist living and working in New York. She is one of the founders of the online performance group Fakeshop. Fakeshop is well known for their performances in which a poetic mix of both on and offline environments created a powerful immersive experience. Other Fakeshop members have been fellow founder Jeff Gompertz, Eugene Thacker and Ricardo Dominguez. The interview concentrates first of all on the effects and experiences of CUseeme performance. After that Prema Murty explains why she left Fakeshop and why she has decided to make a video documentary about women working in computer hardware factories in Asia.

Interview with Atau Tanaka

This short but sweet interview about Tanaka's Global String was never published. In this beautiful installation Atau Tanaka uses the Internet as a musical instrument, in which the connection between two sites serves as a kind of guitar string.

Interview with Eugene Thacker

March, 2001

Eugene Thacker is a writer, theorist and artist. I know his work mostly through his collaboration with the New York based net performance group Fakeshop, but he has also done solo projects and is mostly a writer and theorist. Eugene Thacker's work centers around bio tech, science fiction, experimental literature, art and science. We talked at DEAF'00, The Dutch Electronic Art Festival organized by V2 in 2000.

Interview with Gerburg Treusch-Dieter: immaculate conceptions

December, 1999

This is an interview made with Gerburg Treusch-Dieter made at V2 organisation in Rotterdam December 19th 1999. It is only a brief introduction to her work, but Treusch-Dieter is one of few who deal with the tension between biotechnology and feminism. Gerburg Treusch-Dieter is a sociologist, and she works at both the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Vienna. She also teaches genderstudies, plus she has "a history" in the women's movement (as she calls it: the second or 'new' women's movement.) The interview was roughly translated from German.


How to Experience Net.Art

September, 1999

Experimental text. Rewrite of an essay/lecture by the Dutch poet Komrij, originally: how to read poetry. Everywhere where Komrij wrote ‘poetry’ I replaced it by ‘’, and where he wrote ‘poem’ I changed it to net.artwork. The text was and is meant to make people see net artworks individually rather than from general assumptions about what net art is. Like Komrij's text, this re-write has no paragraphs. The picture with the quote by Vuk Cosic does not belong to this text, but seems to breath the same spirit.

Interview with Jennifer and Kevin McCoy

September, 1999

This interview was made for a publication of the Walker Art Centre in Mineapolis.

Interview with Mark Bain

September, 1999

Mark Bain "I guess my Vibronic system attempts to question this architectural authority in presenting art."


Interview with Bruno Beusch, TNC network

July, 1999

Bruno Beusch and Tina Cassani founded TNC network four years before this interview was made. Their work is interesting in that it serves as one of few examples of complex network art, in which audio plays an important part. Here we don't have audio or netradio so much though, but a form of network art that covers many layers of public life (in which media play a basic part) at the same time. Not only media are used as an instrument, but also human participants are carefully chosen for their speciality.


interview with N. Katherine Hayles

December, 1998

This is a very short and simple interview with N. Katherine Hayles, who spoke at the DEAF symposium November 20th. Her lecture was very hard to understand for most of the audience, and left people afterwards asking eachother what she had been talking about. I decided to ask her some questions out of curiosity, as I was one of those that lost track at some point during here speech. She was most patient.

Interview with Graham Harwood

February, 2002

This interview was made for the newsletter Cream after a symposium on net art criticism in the Balie, Amsterdam. In it Graham Harwood talks about his views on art criticism and specifically about the beauty of systems. 'It is useful for me if people that do net art criticism can write about the context in which the work that I am making appears.'

Software art and poetry: Graham Harwood and William Blake's 'London'

Lecture written for the Electrohype conference 2002, in Malmo Sweden.

Between Moderation and Extremes - the tension between net art theory and popular art discourse

May, 2000

This is an early attempt of me to develop my view on net art discourse. The title reveals how I saw (and mostly still see) art discourse as popular in its approach of net art. What happens in most art discourse relating to net art barely scratches the surface of what is going on, and this was definitely the case in 2000, when this was written. However, much of what is said in here I would say different today, at the very least.The lecture is a bit 'incrowd'.

Interview with Antoni Muntadas

December, 1999


It would be foolish to state there are no developments in The developments are simply more difficult to follow, as they are squeezed between a relatively rapid expansion of the field (in what some would call a commercial way) and the growth of 'offical' recognition of by 'high art' institutions. At the same time these two things of course also are developments in, or they for sure produce them. We just need to think of Peter Weibel's project 'the museum'. I spoke to a multimedia art veteran, Antoni Muntadas, about art in new media, in particular, and recognition of artists. Muntadas created an early webproject called the Fileroom in 1994.

Interview with Marko Peljhan

This interview was never published because it took a long time before I got to transscribing it. Marko Peljhan thought it was outdated by the time I got to it. It might be interesting nevertheless. Note that the interview was made before the first appearance of Makrolab (at Documenta X) and before Ljudmila Media Lab in Ljubljana got problems that led to its closure.


Interview with Helen Thorington

April, 1998

Helen Thorington is Co-Director of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (aka Ether-Ore), and the founder and producer of New American Radio and Turbulence.

Thorington is an award winning writer, sound composer, and radio producer whose documentary, dramatic, and sound/music compositions have been aired nationally and internationally for the past twenty years. In September 2003, she performed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at The Kitchen, New York. Thorington has also created compositions for film and installation that have been premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, the Whitney Biennial, and in the Whitney Museum of Americna Arts' annual performance series.

Thorington has produced three narrative works for the web including Solitaire, which combines game and storytelling; and she has played a principal artistic role in the cutting-edge net work Adrift most recently presented as a performance and installation at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. She is also a seasoned speaker on radio and net art.

Interview with Vuk Cosic

September, 1997

This one digs a bit into the history of and it shows did not start as a joke or as a hoax. It's made at the infamous nettime meeting in Ljubljana. After the rumor earlier 1997 that would be declared dead in Linz, gets taken to a higher plan instead.

Q: Did you start off as an artist immediately or was it more media activism?

Interview with Critical Art Ensemble

November, 1997

Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) was interviewed about the text 'As Above, So Below', which they wrote with Faith Wilding. The collective included 5 people at the time: Steve Barnes, Dorian Burr, Steve Kurtz and, (not appearing in Ljubljana) Hope Kurtz and Beverly Schlee.






Interview with Olia Lialina

July, 1997

Olia Lialina is a net.artist. She lives and works in Moscow. She is also a filmcritic and filmcurator. We talked in Ljudmila Media Lab in Ljubljana in May '97, on the first day of the nettime conference, while the conference was in progress with an American history lesson of the Internet in the main room. We were sitting between other escapees that were doing mail or surfing and the friendly kitchen crew. (JB 1997)


What are Words Worth

July, 1997

This early article appeared in Mute magazine, and shows some of the discourse and thoughts on cyberfeminism that were going around at the time.

Interview with Alla Mitrofanova and Olga Suslova

April, 1997

This interview was made at V2 Rotterdam, April 19th 1997 and published on the Nettime list later that year. It was translated into Serbian and published in 'Cyberfeminizam [ver. 1.0]' by Igor Markovich in 1999. Alla Mitrofanova is an art critic, media-philosopher, and media art curator at Gallery 21, St. Petersburg. Olga Suslova is a philosopher and media theoretician; also she is editor of the Virtual Anatomy journal. We discuss this journal and its recent theme, the body. From this we also talk about cyberfeminism.

Interview with Alexei Shulgin

July, 1997

This is a short interview made with Alexei Shulgin made in Januari 1997, at the secret conference on in London. We were both tired and distracted by the surroundings, sitting in a corridor of a pub, people passing, talking loud...

JB: What do you do in general?

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