Anne Helmond | 1 Nov 17:38 2007

Guy Debord's 'The Game of War' in Words

I recently attended Alexander Galloway's talk on 'The Game of War' in
Amsterdam. It is nice to see original game/concept in action in London
in the Flickr set. Blog posts about Guy Debord's 'The Game of War' by
Alexander Galloway can be found on:

- Anne

pavlos hatzopoulos | 1 Nov 11:04 2007

Toward a critique of the social web

 *A debate between Trebor Scholz and Paul Hartzog*
* *
*+* a call for papers for further

** *Thanasis/Pavlos:* How central is the question of "who owns the
means of production" in relation to the net economy?

*Paul Hartzog:* I think that what is happening now underscores the
fact that ownership was never the issue. Ownership grants you the
capacity to make and implement decisions about production, and to
enjoy the fruits of those decisions. Ownership gives you access to
production. Access has now been disaggregated and mediated.

Consequently, I would say that not "means of production" but "means of
access" is the crucial factor now. Let's look at a concrete example:
Wikipedia <>. For wikipedia to
work you need to have 1) access to the production, i.e. the pages have
to be editable; 2) access to consumption, i.e. the pages have to be
reachable for reading, and 3) access to the Internet. Governments make
access possible for ISPs <> who make
access possible for end-users, and the owners of wikipedia make access
possible by keeping the servers running and having an open-editing
system. There are numerous points in that chain for obstruction,
surveillance, exploitation, etc.

Just recently we saw, through the user revolt on
Revolt>and the similar crisis on LiveJournal
<>, evidence of a cultural shift
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Morlock Elloi | 2 Nov 02:20 2007

Re: Toward a critique of the social web

I don't see the difference between ownership and access etc. There is
a private wire, someone owns that wire, and may or may not let your
packets use it. There is a private disk owned by someone, and your
bits can be deposited or read only if the owner agrees. It's a pure
property issue.

To refresh memory, ownership of "your" web pages is subject to and conditioned

1 - good will and disinterest in fucking you up by ARIN
2 - good will and disinterest in fucking you up by your registrar
3 - good will and disinterest in fucking you up by ICANN
4 - good will and disinterest in fucking you up by your ISP

Respective governments can do anything they like with 2 and 4. Additionally,
USA can do the same to 1 and 3. I'm amazed how people take the Internet for
something 'solid'.

> ** *Thanasis/Pavlos:* How central is the question of "who owns the
> means of production" in relation to the net economy?
> > *Paul Hartzog:* I think that what is happening now underscores the
> fact that ownership was never the issue. Ownership grants you the

(of original message)

Y-a*h*o-o (yes, they scan for this) spam follows:

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richard | 2 Nov 11:28 2007

Re: Guy Debord's 'The Game of War' in Pictures


In response to popular demand, here are all the links to the photos  
from our recent performance of Guy Debord's The Game of War: <at> N05/sets/72157602668963859/show/

The English translation of Guy Debord and Alice Becker-Ho's Le Jeu de  
la Guerre is due out in two weeks time:

The ideal Xmas present for all pro-situ intellectuals!!

EU cracks down on fake blogger astroturfing

Socks it to the sock-puppets
By Phillip Carnell
Published Saturday 3rd November 2007 08:02 GMT

Nothing beats word of mouth for getting people to put their hand in their 
pockets. So it didn't take long for cheeky marketing departments to cotton 
on to the power of blogs and pose as consumers praising their own 
particular widget to the skies to help lift their top line.

Sneaky, perhaps, but usually legal. Not for much longer, however, as covert 
commercial blogging - or flogging - will soon be banned by Brussels.

Under laws due to come into force at the beginning of next year, but likely 
to be delayed until April for the UK, companies posing as consumers on 
fake blogs, providing fake testimonies on consumer rating websites such as 
TripAdvisor, or writing fake book reviews on Amazon risk criminal or civil 

The new rules are the result of the EU's Unfair Commercial Practices 
Directive, which is designed to do exactly what it says on the tin. Not 
only will it impose a general ban on unfair practices, but it will also 
include two main categories of unfair commercial practice: misleading 
practices and aggressive practices. Whether a commercial practice is 
unfair will be assessed in light of the effect it has, or is likely to 
have, on the average consumer's decision to buy.

The directive catches all commercial organisations - big or small - and the 
upshot is that companies (including sole traders) will no longer be able 
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stevphen shukaitis | 3 Nov 13:50 2007

Re: Guy Debord's 'The Game of War' in Pictures

I went to bookartbookshop
(, the store that Tonya
and Alastair from Atlas run, and got a copy of this a week and a half
ago. So I think they already have them, it's just a bit to the 'formal
release date' or something like that.

So, this popular demand, does that mean there's a goodly number of
people interested in learning how to play this Debord-game? If so that
would be great, as I'd be totally up for meeting up with folks who
want to (I've only gotten as as starting to read the instructions).


- PS - Anarchy: a journal of desire armed also recently started a
'anarchist war games' blog ( 
kriegspiel.php) and has been selling their own versions
of Debord's game, although I haven't seen them

Brian Holmes | 3 Nov 23:36 2007

Re: Whatever Happened to Cybernetics?

Robbin Murphy wrote:

> Your time frame, 1978 to 1994, fits roughly between the death of
> Robert Smithson - who I would call a cybernetic artist, maybe the last
> - in 1973 and the reprise of cybernetic thinking, if not the term
> itself, caused by the popularity of the net after '94 

Even as a very latecomer to all this (late 90s) I would agree that
something very "cybernetic" was in the air of that time. The idea
that a boundary decision is both an aesthetic and a political one,
delineating a system, bringing it to consciousness, asking questions
about its development and destiny, and finally, taking material and
symbolic action to support its particular ecology - all that was
very much the spirit that I discovered, basically through nettime,
then by meeting and working with all kinds of hackers and artists
and net activists. However, I would say that in the 90s, most people
were quite mesmerized by complexity theories, with their notions of
phase-changes occurring through some kind of collective alchemy that
could catalyze the chaotic relational processes of networks. In other
words, we were caught up in the multiple ramifications of second-
and third-order cybernetics. Most people did not realize that more
centralized forms of decision-making could still be imposed, precisely
through a systems logic that had grown out of control engineering
models in the post-WWII and Cold War period.

> It's amazing now, looking back, how fast things happened and how
> overpowering the California Ideology was. Within months an industry
> was born and without alternative funding artists had to find a way
> to work with it. Few artists, it turns out, profited much from the
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Joseph Nechvatal | 4 Nov 15:07 2007

Re: Whatever Happened to Cybernetics?

Jack Burnham's book Beyond Modern Sculpture arrived at the conclusion 
that cybernetic sculpture, or rather the cybernetically informed      
sculptor, is not simply adopting new materials and new standards of   
fabrication, but evolving a new aesthetic, now synchronised with      
technical ideals. Cybernetics had demonstrated that the configuration 
of a system is an index of the performance which may be expected from 
it, hence cybernetics' extremely circular-state yields an extended    
aesthetic consciousness on the basis of connected self-attentiveness  
and it is within this elastic self-attentive aesthetic framework      
where we will expect to find new immersive attitudes emerging in art. 

I write this while listening to Steve Reich?s circular compositions   
from the early 1970s ? which to me are as much dada as they are       

The recontextualisation of the object d'art into a circular           
envelopment of the environment (where the viewer is pulled away from  
the constraining aperture of the picture frame and more and more      
from the gallery frame) is indicative of the immersive qualities      
of the era. This radically disframing opened up the viewing cone      
of the 1950s' post-cubist/post-war painting space towards a more      
thorough literalization of the imagined (or implied) non-partial      
field of universal surroundings of Fontana's Spatialist-type          
conceptualisations of abstract space. Here framed areas of space      
may not be singled out and be made to represent the totality of the   
viewer's holonetric range.                                            

See Eddie Shanken?s piece (pdf) The House that Jack Built: Jack 
Burnham's Concept of Software as a Metaphor for Art  here: 
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lotu5 | 4 Nov 20:01 2007


 From , photos and links there.

I just came back from the Free Lithium Picnic benefit at the Rubber
Rose. It was great to meet both Lithium Picnic and Apnea, the model
he has worked with most closely, and be able to hear their stories

Lithium Picnic is being sued by (SG). There is a lot
to it, but one of their main arguments is that they taught him the
“style” of photography he does, so somehow he’s not allowed to do it
with anyone else. I don’t understand how someone owns a “style”, so
SG is using a ridiculously broad intellectual property argument that
threatens a lot of people’s freedom of sexual expression. Apnea told
me that SG claims that Lithium cannot photograph any other women with
tattoos, piercings and colored hair, they claim that they own that
concept. Wow.

Even worse is the treatment of models. Part of why the Sharing is collective began was in response to SG claiming to be
alternative or radical when they’re clearly not. Their behavior
towards Lithium and Apnea clearly reveals that they’re just another
corporation bent on profit at all costs with no interest in the
liberation of people’s sexual expression.

Read the rest here:


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Alan Sondheim | 5 Nov 17:09 2007



PLEASE NOTE is no longer in use - as a result of
identity theft and changed credit cards, it went up for auction and I
wasn't informed. I will have a new domain name soon; I've emptied the old
one, and whatever content is there is not mine and not there with my
permission. I will send out the new domain name as soon as it's properly 

Thank you.

- Alan Sondheim

"Whatever happens I decide that it is fine. Having broken out of the trap
of wishful thinking, I don't listen to what anyone says. I act with great
roomy spontaneity, and since appearance dawns as text, I understand every-
thing that occurs to be a key instruction." (from Jigme Lingpa, trans
Janet Gyatso.) No one says anything and nothing happens. Deciding whatever
happens is fine is just fine, just being fine. Spontaneity is roomy and
everywhere, nothing's in the way, it's fine. Appearance dawns, it's not
always there, sometimes just a whisper or murmur, text is always a
glimpse, text isn't, the glimpse, I mean the problem with theory, glimpse
as concrete or harsh rendering. Dawn of text, there wasn't any, nothing in
roominess, then this! But it's since appearance dawns as text - there's
causality already at work, why? In any case of the world, everything that
occurs, which means not everything occurs, dawns as a key instruction,
there are signs to be read, appearance is instruction, appearance articu-
lates (otherwise it's not appearance).

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