Nicola Unger (DE)
Danja Vasiliev (RU)
Michelle Teran [CAN] & Isabelle Jenniches [NL]
Nathan Menglef (USA)
Nancy Mauro-Flude (AUS)
Walter Langelaar (NL)
Jesse Darlin’ (UK)
Scot Cotterell (AUS)
Martin John Callanan (UK)

Essays by:
“Casting Away” by Francesca da Rimini,
“GOD LISTENS TO SLAYER” by Andrew Harper

The concept for this show was initiated and developed by Nancy Mauro-Flude, in collaboration with Scot Cotterell.

Plimsoll Gallery, Centre for the Arts, University of Tasmania, Hunter St, Hobart.
Exhibition: 10 October – 31 October, 12:00- 17:00 daily EST.

encoding_experience/10_October_2008_18:00_EST.* is the first of a series of exhibitions inspired by the ways in which artists are embracing critical, hands on interventive strategies towards the understanding of, and experimentation with technology.


About: encoding_experience/10_October_2008_18:00_EST.*

encoding_experience/10_October_2008_18:00_EST.* is the first of a series of exhibitions inspired by the ways in which artists are embracing critical, hands on interventive strategies towards the understanding of, and experimentation with media. The artists in the show open up issues of privacy, piracy and control, paradigms that are deeply embedded into technology and the way technology is designed. Most of the artists favour a collaborative, socio-centric approach to their work. They have an agenda about thinking through questions such as: Where does the technology come from?, What is the real use of a computer?, What are the social issues around regular access to domestic machines i.e.: game consoles, home stereos and digital cameras. How do we use and question systems that tirelessly reproduce and augment environments, image and sound?
Actively engaging with conceptual concerns, DaDa-esque and activist notions of performance, hacking and intellectual property; encoding_experience presents an insight into how electronic media and craft knowledge operates in current art practice, not only in terms of its functionality, but also in regards to artists who have a critical approach towards the politics, aesthetics and ecconomies coded into these systems.
The concept for this show was initiated and developed by Nancy Mauro-Flude, in collaboration with Scot Cotterell.

Works by:

Nicola Unger [DE]
Danya Vasiliev [RU]
Michelle Teran [CAN] & Isabelle Jenniches [NL]
Nathan Menglef [USA]
Nancy Mauro-Flude [AUS]
Walter Langelaar [NL]
Jesse Darlin' [UK]
Scot Cotterell [AUS]
Martin John Callanan [UK]

Danja Vasiliev [RU]

Title: Survainness
medium: networked web cam, modified i Book, embedded in frame,
description: a networked magic mirror combines mythological fears with e-communication ubiquity

A baroque frame plus the insides of an old iBook. I called it "Sur-veinness", something which doesn't really make sense. This thing watches you with it's 'eye' and displays the results on the screen, so basically you watch yourself. All seeing eye of Big Brother tomorrow in 1984... Just how it happens in cities, offices, on highways and shared apartments...

I'm not paranoid, not at all, just don't like when security guys in shops ask me to open my backpack.
Open-source built, open-soul made, open-world minded. These days Linux runs great on PPC and Gentoo is a great distribution.

k0a1a.net + danja vasiliev

Jesse Darlin' [UK]

medium: installation: collage, screenprint on t-shirts// installation: digital projection on cardboard
"Inspired by the philosophies behind the open-source movement and DIY culture, The Instant Interactive Jesus Project is part of an ongoing research series exploring universal archetypes that live within us and around us. I wanted to open up, reclaim or hack the symbol of the cross, to allow intimacy and individual interpretation, to foster playful interactive discourse as a response to the frequent monopolization and colonialization of symbols within culture. I wanted to facilitate an exploration of the Jesus in all of us, to allow people of all faiths and genders to be Jesus, or to 'do Jesus', whatever that might mean -- opening up possibilities in spontaneous performance that is universally permissible -- not just reserved for for the artist/author or for the guardians of these symbols (i.e., the Church), but for everybody."
Jesse Darlin' used tools developed in collaboration with G.R.L. Graffiti Research Lab Vienna. This collaboration came out of the Drip Sessions, the analog equivalent of laser tag.

Walter Langelaar [NL]

Title: q3aSocialLadder, 2006
medium: Custom built game level. single- or multi player installation or standalone/machinimaGame.
Description: In q3aSocialLadder the player has to take on the 'simple' Artificial Intelligence of game bots, in a level which represents a never ending staircase. Certain 'triggers' or 'targets' connected to the AI system leave the bots wanting to get to the top, which causes them to fight and kill whoever gets in their way --- a kill drops you down to ground floor again...


'Resist, She Said' by Nancy Mauro-Flude

medium: Installation:
game-mod, digital c-print series, 1x digital print on canvas,
single channel video - audio/colour/15min.

A requiem to the *The Punk Rock Inn* an autonomous cultural centre in Amsterdam, evicted 2005.

_Resist, she said_ is an account of someone performing with ready made pieces of consumer wreckage and playing with them on the streets in a creative mêlée.

The video is a recording of a live performance of DaDaist tactics, repetition, level design and use of location as narrative, there is no dialogue and no significant character development - except determination to resist.

The protest banner is a play on Pac-man in a top hat, munching up houses and shitting out money, a symbol for the slow decline of the squatting movement in Amsterdam. A backdrop for this object theatre show, strategically drawing upon video-Game culture's use of props:
Throwing Dead Red Roses to riot police- a dramatic sign for an end,
Bat and twirl of the crow bar- a 3D video game classic melee weapon,
Police capturing the anarchist flag - a common gameplay mode found in many first-person shooters such as Quake, Urban Terror, Unreal Tournament, Tribes, the Halo series.

_Resist, she said_ is a study of the craft, dramatic form and conventions applied in activist performance.


Nathan Menglef [USA]
Title: ----======%%%{ The Menglef . Org }%%%======---- [ongoing]
Medium: the meglef files – online sketch book.
Drawing can be switched in and out as modular parts, like drivers
being loaded and unloaded into a computer operating system. Modprobe painting, linen stretching, lovingly hand crafting HTML which carries the images into the internet, screen printing pamphlets and zines for the distribution of my propaganda in yet another hardcopy context. All of this and some more can be swapped in and out of the daily practice, but everyday days the drawings have to be made, this is not optional for me. They are the spinal column of my practice and they help me process the world. Lack of drawing is sin to this practice.

This practice has produced works which have been collected by the few but money enabled, and given away to friends or just left behind in the location in which they were produced. It has produced a minutia of internet followers, it has produced a lot of images containing disembowelment for higher states, escaping from cyclical violence and handbooks for fighting pandas.

Scot Cotterell [AUS]
Title: 1024K RAM (2008)
medium: Installation, vintage' computer, display case, speakers, editioned 7” record.

Description:The work title a direct reference to the amount of memory that the atari st computer has. The atari st was the first home computer that came midi equipped, midi being a computer musical notation language that enables sequencers, keyboards, samplers etc. to speak to each other and synchronise. In addition to this the atari st has stereo audio output and could hook directly to a home television set, making it low-end user friendly. The 'look' of the GUI (graphical user interface, i.e. windows, macOsx, ) is the perfect retro as seen on posters and graphic design of late as we re-dig up and capitalise on the past. The atari is connected to an alesis drum machine,via a modern midi-usb connector and interfaced to a modern laptop running a cracked version of ableton live, a super-complicated, easy to use churner-outer of electronic sound. The drum machine becomes an interpreter of sorts of 'old' data and 'new'.. rife with references, the atari software i run is called 'creator' bringing to mind metal band of same name but with a 'k' instead of a 'c'. All these elements are arranged, and cabled together on a black, smoked glass shiny platform on the floor, the equipment varies in it's design look from the angular keys of the atari st suggesting a forward motion 'into the future;, the highly right angled grid-like layout of the alesis drum machine, and the softened curves and edges of the new look toshibaaptop...this design look is also present in the firmware and software...creator software is in high-contrast black and white, alesis is a softer blocky grey on orange screen and ableton live/toshiba laptop has a highly visually refined interface, coupled with the pod-like, cronenbergy midi-usb (reference images attached). The table, brand new and produced in china for the home-wares market, glistens and is a tongue in cheek suggestion of the high-production values of artists like banks violette, and to a lesser extent the peter beste thing.

Existing also in the space, partially to heighten the visual intensity of the room this work will be installed in and to combine references such as the capital-focused highjacking of electronic audio culture by labels, and super-clubs, and the stroboscopic effect of light from the dream machine, to the strobe video effect on michael jackson's feet in billie jean, to the hyper frenetic editing cuts of glitch music videos, is a smoke machine and strobe light.

on the outer wall of the room containing the above parts of the work, will rest a shelf, containing some form of edition of the audio output of the system, (at this stage it will be either a 7" vinyl record, or a documentation of correspondence between the record pressing plant, in nashville tennessee, who due to their 'anti-pracy certified stamp' are wary about producing records by unsigned producers of 'electronic sound' as they may contain uncleared samples AND an editioned burnt cd)
The process that occurs in the production of the sound is to take a midi file of a popular song from a 'hardcore' genre, (this links to the title 1024K RAM, which ideally shoud be shouted by a lone, leather clad man standing atop mt.wellington in the midst of winter..and also to that lead encased, soap filled cd package of warhammer 4000 of yours..)..
the midi file has evolved over time from cutting edge, musical notation language that enabled significant changes in the production of music, to obsolete 'dead medium, to re-invigorated system used by modern musical programmers (max/msp, signal processing, electro nerds) to most recently downloadable sound-bite ringtones of eminem for your new mobile phone.
The midi file used is slayers 'angel of death', this most significantly refers to the internet meme image of the modified billboard 'god listens - to slayer', but again to beste, violette etc...
So basically a midi file is downloaded, a portion of it passed through the midi-usb, drum machine into the atari, recorded (mot as sound but as data) the leads are switched (in-out/out-in) the passed back through the system to the cracked ableton using plug-in data effects chosen for their evocative titles ; 'haunting corridors', 'camino del sade'..the resulting sound ,(sound file attached) is two compositions or tracks, chosen for their length to adhere to the initially conceived 7" vinyl format, one of which also plays in the exhibition space.

Michelle Teran [CAN] & Isabelle Jenniches [NL]
Title: AFK
medium: monitor, networked computer showing a series of images from onsite/online performances.
Description: AFK stands for 'Away from Keyboard'. These and many other abbreviations are commonly used in online chatrooms and on mobile phones to send SMS/ text messages. In the series AFK each performance involves sending a message coded in this way in front of public webcams monitoring urban and non-urban landscapes. The short messages capture moments of mobility and presence.


Isabelle Jenniches

Nicola Unger [DE]
Hausbenzin [2004]
Medium: Comicbook/ Animation 5'49'' audio/ b&w.
Hausbenzin is a comic book and an animation. Hausbenzin is a rocket in
the pocket, a mini drama, bordering upon the potential for explosion.
The story focuses on the moments when a child, in this case a teenager,
develops the need for privacy and fights for it. Adults often destroy these attempts
of independence. A banal event - going to a party - triggers a serious power
struggle, accompanied by manipulation, shame and mutual hurt feelings - a
never ending game.

Is this mother driven by parental guidance, or is she being a
control freak?


Martin John Callanan [UK]
Title: http://okay.greyisgood.eu [ongoing]
medium : Continuous live feed on networked monitor.
Description :
okay.greyisgood.eu is a unified aggregation of “status updates” syndicated from social networking profiles of Martin John Callanan


Francesca da Rimini, “Casting Away”
catalogue text, Encoding experience: 10 October 2008, 17:26 EST

Casting Away

Look at your eyes. They are small,
but they see enormous things.

Everyday days the prophesies must be cast, this is not optional.

Yet I have needled this little area into utter ruins,
forgetting that to be guided by fragrance
is one hundred times better than following tracks.

A dragonfly sails out towards the great fire,
his boat filled with flowers and tears.

Whispered voices in a strange tongue, invisible licks from behind, jolts of pleasure.
Over-scaled grey room menaces, as somewhere
a diminished baby, glass jarred, struggles to breathe.

Dimmi che mi ami, dimmi che mi ami, dimmi che mi ami . . .
(Tell me that you love me . . .)

From a never ending staircase a strident voice prevails:
We kill children here.

Vitrines housing dead media,
perfect retro, rife with references.

Cree ate her, a ceremony
bringing renewal after great hardship.

Worlds away, a lone green man exhaled the shout,
shattering the sky in translation.

Hacking protocols, the foam witch walks across channels,
works across platforms,
staging intimate pre-hearsals for states of catastrophe.

Jollies rogered, hammered repeatedly,
whilst a riot of flags are hurled onto pyres.

Ancient bridges of white stone dumb bombed.
Later, on the rebuild, a boy shot in the back of the head,
fifteen years vanish without a flicker.

More slash than dot, peer to peer is dangerous here,
empire's humanitarian new clothes concealing the tawdried sameness.

Resist! she said
Dead roses cascade from her multiplying mouths

Stay together friends
Don't scatter, and sleep

Here our children perish slowly,
flies stuck to the corners of their green weeping eyes.

The living dead—the structurally readjusted hidden from history,
leave their deserts, their mountains, their forest remnants.

Cloaked in possum skins and the feathers of bronzewing pigeons,
they are gunning for battle.

The machine roars, yawns, swallows naked diesel,
assett-stripped and all alone.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall
Who is the most linked of them all?

There is no society, only individuals continuous live feed on networked monitors.

With no mind we open souls, pledging:
Tomorrow, together, we will be okay.

Constant, slow movement teaches us to keep working
like a small creek that stays clear,
that doesn't stagnate, but finds a way
through numerous details, deliberately.

Five signs, five continents:

An elk with broken antlers.
A tree walking through mud each dusk.
Horsemen emerging from a dry stone wall.
A wedding party bombed dumb, a general exxonerated.
Snake swallows self, becoming eagle.

The warming is upon you.

Step away from the keyboard.

To capture more than mere moments of mobility and presence,
prepare to set sail for higher lands in flotillas of rotting tankers.

Beware—sections of trouble change and swim.
Sirens transformed into pink birds
join voices in perilous chorus.

Pass through darkness with eyes closed, in order to see.

Oceans are corridors for hauntings,
opening up the impossible.

And after the data cores have melted
and salt river veins bled dry,

before my face is scorched back to bone
and my ears closed over,

I will feel your thoughts still,
through the rattle of ghost wires
and tugs of string networks.

Sources and inspirations: Martin John Callanan, Scot Cotterell, Jesse Darlin’, Nik Gaffney, Michael Ignatieff, Isabelle Jenniches, Maja Kuzmanovic, Walter Langelaar, Lauré, Nancy Mauro-Flude, Nathan Menglef, Rumi, Melinda Rackham, Michelle Teran, Margaret Thatcher, Baby Tombo, Nicola Unger, Danya Vasiliev, Malcolm Walker.

Andrew Harper

_Soldiers in the Gulf are reported to head into conflict listening to heavy metal.
The recent riots in the Northern Territory were between gangs of aboriginal youth with allegiances to different classic metal bands: Slayer, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest._

Recently a popular internet meme was a vandalised road sign: originally saying GOD LISTENS, the circulated photo showed the sign altered to say GOD LISTENS TO SLAYER. Slayer is an old school thrash metal band. They embody the implied threat of metal culture, that violence, that anger. Religion, in all it’s forms is a consistent lyrical target of the band. The altered billboard is blasphemous, catchy and funny.

It’s a good hack. Slayer’s cultural currency with precision.

The potency was amplified by its proliferation across the Internet. Hinting at the importance of the new means of distribution: a slick bit of vandalism has become far more than its anonymous author may have intended.

Things change.

Altering objects, ideas and concepts, inscribing them with other possible readings is an artistic method. At this juncture in the history of art, despite it being no new thing, it could be the most vital method left. It’s always been a problematic activity but that is the point of the exercise; to turn accepted values and purposes on their heads. It’s uncomfortable, finding the other nature of something. Questioning the value of one methodology by suggesting another. The practice of fine art must be re-interrogated and updated as new practices have emerged. We need to examine the new forms and consider their place in fine art practice.

In _encoding_experience/10_October_2008_18:00_EST._ we are dealing with the hack.

The word hack implies breaking open - irrevocable alteration. It’s synonymous with those who probe, test and alter computer software, electronic security and computers. But anyone who alters something for their own purpose is a hacker, and the new, altered state can be called a hack.

Devices such as a Gameboy is hacked to make music, beyond novelty. Outdated computers are re-oriented for new usage. Things used in ways that their manufacturers never intended. New methods dormant in every machine, potential waiting to be unlocked.

Art practice reflects this human tendency – to make new tools from old ones. Just as vinyl never vanished but is now it is loaded with potency as a highly consumable fetish object, each limited edition signed and numbered. To preserve the value of you should record it digitally and then listen to that recording. Use your new USB turntable.

Or view a comic on the web as animation and let it remind us of the expressionistic sets of early silent film, the oldest of moving pictures. The old and the new blend in. We are reminded. We see hints, hear echoes.

Games are just as hackable as any other software and there are many possible adaptations. Gamers have been tweaking since the advent of the multiplayer system. It’s a part of the culture, and it’s a creative aspect judiciously ignored by people who deride game culture. As it progresses, expression becomes more possible: the game is hacked beyond recognition, the goals metaphorical. Interacting becomes more esoteric, the action of play infused with a richer meaning that inverts the goal of entertainment, although for those of us who knew, even the simplest of games were always rich with metaphor. The Space Invaders kept coming, getting faster. You could do better but in the end they would get you, just like life. The hack is the way out of that loop.

The hack reveals the loop and allows change.

_I remember playing my C64, my Atari, my ZX Spectrum. Those chunky bit graphics have so much beauty, infused with memory. There we all were at the milk bar, playing Galaga, Frogger, Moon Patrol. Taking a classic game and creating a new meaning destabilises that memory. _

If you used primitive home computers, early game consoles and arcane school computers, you were using the odd bit of machine code. Playing around with a great many things that the advent of Windows and other proprietary operating systems removed us from; taking us a step back from that which a computer actually is, and thusly what it can be used for.

Potential is always there, underneath the glossy limitations.