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August 2003, 90 posts, 1295 lines


We've extracted the T opica archives for 2000 and 2001, finf them at [] in HTML format. Exhibition notices have been deleted, as well as blanks and errors, and quoted text has been removed. We'll be glad to remove (or correct) any posts from the archives, if requested by the author.

Perhaps Marc, er, Temporary Services.. or the Mess Hall, can go through the archives and make it into a booklet(s) on various aracane topics.

Also FYI notices dating back to the dark ages are archived in text format. See the bottom of the FYI page.

And now for the question... er, never mind - later /jno


Melissa (or anyone);

are there on-line pix of the Thrill III show, or for that matter, of the Thrill II show? /jno



melissa has mine. If you have some, send them to her. joymore at


photo's from thrill 2 have been on my web site for the past year., under projects. I will have the new ones up this week. Yes, please send me any good pix's. thanks, melissa-
-- bulka wrote:


Heard a NPR (BEZ) review (sort of) of Angelo's "Prisoners' Inventions" by Temp services / WhiteWalls, about 6:30 pm yesterday - Fri - driving home. Thought some of you would like to hear about that. /jno


Thanks Jno, It was a series of readings of Angelo's writings about some of the inventions on This American Life. It'll be on again today (Sat.) at 1:00 PM for people in Chicago or you can hear it on their website shortly. Since I only know Angelo through correspondence it was strange to hear his voice conveyed by an actor. The actor just didn't sound anything like how I imagine my friend sounds. But if it was way off, that's good. It'll keep the Correctional Officers guessing. The damn CO's still won't let him receive a copy of his own book.

A personal aside - I included you (Jno) in an emailing about this but your damn spam filter makes it impossible to send you anything unless the message is like 1K and you are the only recipient (or however you have it set up). There wasn't even anything attached. Just text and a couple links. Not one single bit of information on Penis enlargement. What gives man?! :)


jno wrote: "Heard a NPR (BEZ) review (sort of) of Angelo's "Prisoners' Inventions" by Temp services / WhiteWalls, about 6:30 pm yesterday - Fri - driving home. Thought some of you would like to hear about that. /jno"


On Sat, 16 Aug 2003, Marc Fischer wrote:

Let me find yr email in the maillog. Grepping for "marcf" finds an entry on August 12:

The whole email was only 1271 Bytes. But it was not a refusal because of size. The return email read,

If were truly too big (16,000 Bytes), it would have read "email deleted, oversized".

I get about 2100 emails a month at Blight, of which 1/3rd make it to me at the home machines. Virtually everyone I communicate with uses ASCII, and terse they aint. Nor am I. To continue:

Another 700 per month never reach me; these are all in HTML format, or unaddressed, and all of it is spam, with one exception this month... what you sent by broadcast email, either as BCC or CC. Unfortunately.

I dont know how much spam you have to trip through, but with my filter in place only about 2 or 3 per week fall through to my local inbox. I filter email by format, rather than content (you can say "penis" on the Subject line, and the filter won't care). And it is never wrong. Meaning, maybe it misses once in a 4000 cases. I have three years experience with this: It has saved me from having to check out an additional 25,000 emails during that period.

But filtering spam is a side-effect. See [] for the real purpose: the filtering is an attempt to deal with stupid people (including more than a few artists) -- not with spammers. Although, while I'm at it, let me quote Era Eriksson at [] - "Some people hate spam beyond belief." Count me in. Side effect.

Note that "unaddressed" excludes CC and BCC. BCC I can care less about. And CC is an advisory copy; what exactly and I being advised of? That an email has been sent to other people I do not know?

A note on HTML (since most filtering is done by refusing "Content-Type: text/html" and "Content-Type: multipart"): Microsoft's out-of-the-box default for Outlook and Outlook Express is to send email formated as web pages, that is, with embedded HTML tags. Because many people refuse to even look at HTML email, Microsoft now sends the HTML-ized email as an attachment (multipart), and sends an identical plain-text copy as the regular email.

Bigger yet. Most beginners have no clue about any of this. They simply continue to send all their email in HTML format, even though it is 5 to 50 times larger than plain text email. After all, HTML-ized email is so cute: the fonts change, colors are added, and you can have background images of flowers and twittering birds.

Count spammers among the stupid people for invariably using text/html and multipart; or perhaps it is done to appeal to clueless users.

I use Pine, and a 24x80 screen; If I had to use Outlook, I'd be blind by now. Pine is 20 times faster to use than any graphical email program, and much more configurable. And bulletproof. Speed is the first consideration.

The second consideration is readability: I designed my own font years ago for that purpose, under DOS, cause I couldn't stand IBM's default EGA typewriter typeface (there are now versions of "jno.fnt" for DOS and Windows terminal, and extensions by others for Linux/Unix, and X-Window)

I should want to look at somebody's Font=red or Font=bigger? Or maybe the embedded suggestion for a browser to try some font called Gargamole? I dont need the eye strain. Marc's email was in plain text, I know.

So much for this rant. Next: Anyone wanna discuss the charm and utility of cast iron pans and pots?

HTH /jno


I want to discuss how you pronounce the name Jno.

Is it pronounced "Juno", or like I slurred "I dunno" with a j sound or something else entirely?

But I will put a flag in the ground and say that I think it's Okay to use soap on cast iron cookware. Even, gasp, antibacterial soap. I would be happy to show up at an Other Group event with my frying pan and show everyone how black and shiny and beautiful it is.



On Tue, 19 Aug 2003, Kathryn Born wrote:

Students have gone the "Juno" route. At some locations in the past it became "Ino". And many people make it into "Jay-know". Mail lables get corrcted to "Jon". Best was a graduate thesis (on Robert Frank) at the University of Colorado, where I was referred to as "Miss Jno Cook". The graduate thesis advisor knew me, didn't correct it. I don't care.

- How to pronounce "Wm" or "Thos"?
- on to pots and pans.
- hey, books? Does anyone read?


jno/Juno/Ino/Jay-know/Jon/Miss Jno Cook/J-Lo writes:

the first one like "whim." The second one I'm not so sure.

Well, I'm more of a cokk than a baker, but all my baking friends swear that cast iron skillets are the best cookware to bake pies in. Something about the heaviness and browning the crust. But that's just what I hear.

All I know is that cast iron is still best for pancakes and bacon.

yeah, why do you ask? do you want to know what?

1. through the good graces of Steve Lacy lending me the book I am reading Guitar Army by John Sinclair. Strongly recommended, particularly if you are from the metropolitan detroit area. And like the MC5.

2. The Madame Realism Complex by Lynne Tillman is pushing all my art criticism buttons, though I suppose it is the kind of post-modern, formalism bashing writing that gets all those apolitical "sincerity" folks' undies twisted.

3. The Man of Feeling by Javier Marias. Everyone and their brother is touting him as the greatest living Spanish novelist, so I thought I should give it a try.

4. Reverend Jen's Really Cool Neighborhood. The first artist book in a long time published by Printed Matter, a very nasty send up of all those who go to the lower east and west sides of ny for entertainment.

5. Lots of Gertrude Stein.

6. The just published collection of Guy Debord's screenplays. can't help myself.

7. getting prep'd to read Thomas Bernard's recently released collection of short novels.

8. trying to catch up on my Nation subscription.

all for now a


sorry this is off topic, but thought it was important enough:

if you receive a "movie" attachment on an email: delete it, DO NOT OPEN IT. it is a worm that will send out emails to everyone on your email list. I received over 200 junk emails last night because of it, having never received junkmail before.

hope everyone is having fun in chicago getting ready for the season openers! cindy


On Wed, 20 Aug 2003 Aeelms at wrote:

Would love to hear more on that one.

And I am ashamed at my pile of recently read books: Stephen Gould and others on evolution theory, paleantolgy, archeology, planetary science (of 20 years ago) - many sourced from that book sale at the Newberry which Michael pointed to. I seem to read very little fiction. (The last well enjoyed book was '100 Years of Solitude' -- "The world is round, like an orange" image is still with me.) I've still gotta get into particle physics. Speaking of which: Hawkin's illustrated book 'The Universe in a Nnutshell' (a gift) is absolutely hokey. It is a Universe splayed onto the imagination of a mathematician. Read Halton Arp's 'Seeing Red' instead (in case anyone needed to know). /jno


On Wed, 20 Aug 2003 Aeelms at wrote:

Hope yr more of a cook than a cokk. Years ago a friend turned me on to Wagner CI skillets, and gave directions on how to cure them. Wagner is long gone, and for a few years grocery stores carried crude foreign castings to fill the slot, but these never worked well. Something about the grain size and the surface finish. The cooking equipment industry went to teflon coating as a simulation, but I'm sure you have all seen the scarred teflon bottoms of these. And then the copper bottomed stainless steel pots.

But there aint nothing like CI! They heat up in seconds, distribute heat evenly, are easy as pie to clean (hot water and a greeny), and look cool.

Recently Leonard Pants (in a private communication bearing on an earlier post at OG) asked me if I had heard the rumor that the teflon coating is a cause of Alzheimer's. Anyone have a lead on that? Seems to me that teflon is inert to a few hundred degrees.

In the last few decades all my skillets and dutch ovens have come from garage sales. Sometimes in such bad condition that they were used as tool caddies for rusty nails by the garage-sale people. Curing (or more properly, 'repair') would involve "slowly melt lard in the pan, wipe off the excess while hot". But I dont have lard, so my proceedure is (1) scrub the hell out of the pan (2) never use soap (3) prime with a swipe from a stick of butter while heating up (4) avoid gummy oils - like olive oil.



On Wed, 20 Aug 2003, cindy wrote:

Actually a version of the Microsoft "Sobig" worm. CAN has been hit with about a dozen yesterday, they are being sent from and to "delete" and just produce strange error messages. I got 6 at Blight, havent looked at Spaces. But they all went to /dev/nul. Thank my 'filter' procmail.

SoBig will also look through any of yr documents (like saved emails) for addresses. The 'To' and 'From' addresses are lifted from these. Yr gonna get some angry emails from people. Switch to Linux, it is totally impervious to Microsoft "We offer a patch every other day" worms. Or at least to start using DOS-Pine or Eudora as yr MUA.

- Linkname: World squirms as Sobig returns | CNET
- URL: []

Details, from message labs (dated August 19):

HTH /jno


Oh yeah:

Rupert Sheldrake, 'The Presence of the Past' 88/95

(another gift, signed no less) Dont read this. You will never believe a word of it. I dont. Sheldrake is a britisher, and I saw him in action at a conference in Nevada (no nothing to do with flying saucers). I think this book and his theories are a total, although delightful, put-on. His 'Morphic Fields' explain as much as Darwinian theories: nothing. Rupert was in Chicago some time in the last few months. Anyone hear him?

I get very suspect whenever anyone starts talking of 'energy fields' or even 'energy', especially since few people have any idea what a 'field' is, or what constitutes energy. Yet he has credentials, working as a consultant in agriculture (for example) in India. My own wild-assed personal time-based theory is that knowledge of events come to us out of the future. Explains as much, but at least you can say, ahuh. /jno


There's a missing step in the curing process. Once the butter or lard is applied to the hot pan, you need to heat it up until the oil starts to smoke. Watch carefully and then immediately turn off. This is something you should do once a year.

In addition to never using soap, I try to never use water in cast iron. Instead I scrap them with a hard plastic scraper. In a pinch I have found that a credit card will do but it doesn't work as well.

While I am wearing my Martha Stewart underwear - er I mean hat - here's another trick you can do with a credit card. Use them to scrap candle wax off wood surfaces - or any surface for that matter. Sdcrap as hard as you want and the wood will not get damaged as it will with almost any other scraping utensil. Eventually the wax will come off completely.

Curt Alan Conklin H: 773.782.0659 C: 773.343.2348 F: 425.790.9739 calanc at curt at 1942 N. Wolcott Ave. Chicago IL 60622

If you take everything lightly you can carry more stuff.


I once wrote an article called "Cast Iron Cooking for the Rest of Us" ( [] in which I defend the use of soap in cleaning cast iron. Now before everybody whips rocks at my head, I'd be interested in knowing if anyone has ever personally tried using a little soap and to please describe "ruin". I eat small portions, so I use for myself and my toddler a 5" diameter pan; and I use it all the time, probably an average of twice a day. It is a thing of beauty. It is what cast iron aspires to be - the nice coating happened gradually over a few months. Sometimes I do just rinse it with water and use it again a couple hours later, and sometimes I do a ritualistic butter coating that soaks in for a few hours on low heat, but generally I put it in the nice soapy water and my hand to God, man, the pan is alright. I don't scrub it like I have OCD, and I don't always season it. I use the pan to cook things that are sauteed in a little butter, and that is the main type of seasoning I do. After I wash it, I dry it with a paper towel, store in on the stovetop, and the sun rises in the morning the next day.

As for the Teflon issue, yeah, Teflon is pretty bad. The safety was judged on the basis of the pan being in good shape, but when it's scratched there are some awful chemicals underneath that your food is exposed to, thus the appeal of cast iron which actually adds trace amounts of iron to your food, I've heard. There is no one chemical that has been attributed to Alzheimer's disease. I've heard the same thing about tin foil and deodorant.

Hey, we always talk about books, what about movies? If you want a good discussion about environmental hazards, you should rent "Safe" from Facets, with Juliana Moore. It's a Christine Vachon production and kicks ass.

I also saw "Cube" on the independent film channel, some good elements.

Books: Life of Pi

Sorry for the long post, Kathryn


On Wed, 20 Aug 2003, jno wrote:

I think the bigger concern is aluminum. Specifically, from pots and pans. Things that get scraped, and then eaten from. (As compared to aluminum cans.) Anti-persipirants using aluminum are also a suspected contributor to Alzheimers and related memory-loss. Most restaurants do in fact cook with aluminum gear.

Re teflon: I don't know if "inert" is the word technically, but "functional" certainly applies. Teflon was invented orginally not for use as a cooking surface, but as a stable lubricant used in mechanical joints and ball/socket-type mechanisms. Especially for use in situations that would subject liquid lubricants to extreme temps, as in space travel.



Jno wrote: "Hope yr more of a cook than a cokk."

Well, I like to think of myself as more of a cook, than a cokk. But to get the real answer to this you are going to have to start talking to people who know me when I'm not listening. That's when the real dirt comes out.

I do know that when I die, they will be prying my enameled cast iron dutch ovens from my cold dead hands.

jno: "Would love to hear more on that one."

Well first, unless you are reading private emails from our "esteemed" leaders jno, I don't think you should be ashamed of your recent readings. That said, back to The Madame Realism Complex by Lynne Tillman. It came out, oh, I think 6 years ago. Those who don't know, Tillman is a good novelist who has dabbled in art criticism and essays. Often writes "unrelated" short stories for exhibition catalogs. This book compiles many things written for Art in America that, if we saw on AiA's pages today, would: 1. Make our heads spin. 2. Make us consider picking up that mag.

How's that? She often wrote in third person, with the character madame realism being the one who visited the shows. She would review things like ellis island, freud trinket shows, road trips, renoir shows, etc., dabbling a little in explanations of the items on display, but just as often recounting what other people in the gallery were saying, what it felt like to be standing in "blockbuster" shows with crowds of strangers, how the items were displayed, and following her wandering mind when the exhibit didn't hold her attention. A review of a British art of the 17th century show, titled "Dynasty Reruns", features just as much writing on the tv show Dynasty as on the art on the walls.

And in honor of jno's remembered world as an orange line, I offer this quote from "Madame Realism Asks What's Natural About Painting":

...And speaking of reading, while watching the christian network the other night in a hotel while driving across the country, there was a special on Mars. After half an hour of a very sane scientist talking about the Mars atmosphere, he mentions: "Our recent studies of evidence indicate that thousands of years ago Mars was colonized by a civilization of Fallen Angels who had been kicked out of heaven."

Needless to say, if anyone can point me in the direction of where I can read this evidence, or a book that summarizes it, I will be most grateful.

Also dan, thanks for testifying to Guitar Army! By the way, the second half of the book drags a touch, but still a gold mine.

And back to metal alloys, Aluminum in deodorant has also been known to cause severe sudden flare-ups of allergies after as little of two weeks usage, and up to after 3-4 years. Can cause breathing problems, sudden rashes, pain throughout the arms, blisters, you name it. Cool eh? My doctor says he sees this all the time. Don't ask me why he tells me such things.

And if aluminum is so dangerous, then what's with the popularity of Calphalon? a


On Wed, 20 Aug 2003, Kathryn Born wrote:

If I fry hamburger (for dog food), followed by hot water cleaning and wiping up, the next batch of shirt steak or pork chops will have a slight taste of hamburger.

If I fix fish in that pan, followed by hot water cleaning and wiping up, the next batch of {whatever} will have a slight taste of fish.

Which makes me think that some of these long chained polymer fat molecules from the previous use end up in the CI pores, and exude with the next use.

So, would not soap do the same?

Nothing wrong with soap, except I do not trust commercial soaps. The ingredients do not have to be listed; I am sure it is a combination of things which makes people happy: "Look, it suds, smells good, cleans, leaves no scud behind, and the label says it alleviates hairballs in cats".

My Grandmother read labels. If it says it cleans, then more will clean more. She gave her cat a flea-bath in Lysol and water. That was in the 20's of the last century -- which doesn't make the learned lesson any less applicable today. Lysol contains phenol (is that carbolic acid?), which (as advertised) kills bacteria, but it is also a systemic nerve poison. The phenol content has been reduced drastically (or goes under a different name) today, but anyway ...

Note this:

- 1. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Toxicological Profile for Phenol. U.S. Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, GA. 1989.
- 2. E.J. Calabrese and E.M. Kenyon. Air Toxics and Risk Assessment. Lewis Publishers, Chelsea, MI. 1991.
- 3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB, online database). National Toxicology Information Program, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD. 1993.
- 4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS, online database). National Toxicology Information Program, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD. 1993.
- 5. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) on Phenol. Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, Cincinnati, OH. 1993.
- 6. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Technical Background Document to Support Rulemaking Pursuant to the Clean Air ActCSection 112(g). Ranking of Pollutants with Respect to Hazard to Human Health. EPAB450/3-92-010. Emissions Standards Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, NC. 1994.

Oh well. My mother, as a girl, watched the cat walk up the stairs to the second floor after the bath. The cat turned around, halfway up, and looked back sadly -- she recalls. The next morning the cat was dead.

Read between the lines of the MSDS's and you find: not clearly a carcinogen or teratogen, so we won't say so. Besides, it is in wide commercial usage.

If anyone asks, I'll next report on frying oil for McDonald's fries.



Point well taken. If cast iron is more porous than other cookware, it would have implications. Hopefully the soap would be well rinsed and not "cooked in", but it's hard to say.

I had a creative writing professor who became allergic to the ink powder used in Laser printers and Xerox machines....



On Thu, 21 Aug 2003, Kathryn Born wrote:

Well-rinsed is 15 minutes in running water. That is just a hell of a long time. I can cook dinner in 5 minutes more. Those are the mfr's directions for skin contact with Lith Film developer, for example. (which, although a "suspected carcinogen" has never been taken off the market). (and I wonder why.) /jno


Scrape, scrap, sdcrap

This is why I've pretty much dropped out of the art scene. Soap, iron and typos are more interesting. Maybe next month.

If anyone is keeping score - no soap. Maybe on a suspect yard-sale pan. then re-season. I've used dry salt as an abrasive. Maybe now I'll get a sdcrapper.

Books - just survived an Amtrak trip to see the folks. Read what I could get - from a recommendation and a trip to the Hoover-Eleven Boarders Outlet in Warren, MI: The Black Book, an unreadable, presumably first, novel by Laurence Durrell - diaristic babbling about sex and such from a 24yo author about his friends in London in the 30's. Gonna foist it on the 24yo writer friend who suggested TCBoyle. I've had my fill of the popular hipster T. C. (he seems to have dropped the "Coraghessan") Boyle. If I were an English/Psych major I'd write a paper on all the kicking. Books, tape-recorders, dogs, old ladies, hippies - lots of thing get kicked, in more detail than sex or anything else. Otherwise there are some interesting images in the stories in After the Plague, but the new novel Drop City seems so formulaic that my visualization of the plot graph is more fun than what I am reading. Like watching the commercial for a popular movie and thinking about focus groups. This one is about a hippie commune moving to Alaska. Good cover picture, though, of naked people making an asterisk in a wildflower field. Still, I was glad I had it when it took Amtrak two hours to figure out how to cross a bridge in Michigan City.

Oh, I did also get a copy of Calvino's "If on a winter's night a traveler", one of my favorites, which I'd read twenty years ago in the perfect way for this book - without buying it, over several weeks, while something less interesting was going on in a bookstore/gallery/cafe/performance space while visiting Baltimore.



as usual, this virus only infects PCs. if you have a PC, and you've received some of these emails, you may want to run an antivirus to make sure you're not infected (excluding jno of course, our pc guru who would never! ever! get a virus).



On Fri, 22 Aug 2003, cindy wrote:

Some of us elite are so lucky with our Mac boxes. BTW, I cant source a virus or worm called "movie" /jno


well that's because it's not called "movie," I just said that because that's an attachment people are getting. anyway, as usual, you were correct in your prior email description.

I gave my cast iron skillet to a friend, it was too intimidating for me.

-cindy elite


Some of us elite are so lucky with our Mac boxes. BTW, I cant source a virus or worm called "movie" /jno


On Fri, 22 Aug 2003, cindy wrote:

Hey Cindy, I just got a "movie" email (it is probably from you) - but there was nothing attached. A site spam filter reports:

- (0.9 points) From: does not include a real name
- (0.4 points) Invalid Date: header (not RFC 2822)
- (0.3 points) Date: is 3 to 6 hours before Received: date
- (2.6 points) 'From' does not match 'Received' headers
- (0.6 points) 'Message-Id' was added by a relay
- (3.9 points) Forged mail pretending to be from MS Outlook
- (0.5 points) Message has X-MSMail-Priority, but no X-MimeOLE
- (0.4 points) Spam tool pattern in MIME boundary

I especially like the last one: One of the X-headers reads:
- X-MailScanner: Found to be clean

sure. And, uh, Linux is a PC. Did you really get 200 of these? /jno


On Fri, 22 Aug 2003, bulka wrote:

Here is the question (for next month):

Why did no-one post anything for two months after September 11, 2001? Not a word. Where were all the politically active artists? Where was the social commentary? Where were the reactions? The grief at a minimum? The last post was on Sep 11, and then nothing until nearly two months later, on November 9, when someone finally posted something, which BTW I cannot fathom... to wit:

What was that all about? ... followed by some additional November chit-chat, and then two posts in December, a news article posted by Butler "Federal agents visit 'anti-American' art exhibition in Houston" and a spam by Steward "Scene at The Stray Show, a panel discussion - Sunday, December 9". Nothing else until Pedro starts up his complaints about the Cassidy report on Stray in January 2002.

At the time -- fall 2001 -- I never thought about the lack of a response from the art industry. In fact I didn't notice it until recently when I grabbed the old posts from Topica before Keri disabled the site. When collected by months at the website, suddenly it appeared that October 2001 was missing. With the exception of the news article posted by Keri, the events of Sep 11 seemed to have just evaporated from all discussion and memory.

Consider the totality of discussion just prior to September 11:

I know what _I_ was busy with; I never had Topica on my mind. I was glued to a 5" b/w TV, day and night, slowly becoming convinced that those 4000 people need not have died. Not by some means of preventing the plane crashes, but from a Civil Engineering point of view. I checked with plans of the building, scrutinized published photographs of the wreckage, and of course watched replays over and over again. One of my kids sent me a book on the WTC towers, published prior to 2001. That was convincing also.

From emails back and forth with others:

But that is _my_ story. I now wonder about is why the topic never came up at OG. How did the rest of you handle this? Is there an implicit agenda that discussion can only be about the art industry? Any reason (now that we have been additionally traumatized by two wars) not to discuss the wtc?



Hi, I'm trying to get in touch with Simon Anderson at SAIC--Does anyone have a phone # or email address for him? Please send to steve at (Don't reply to list)

Also- CounterProductive Industries just finished their west coast Show 'n Tell tour and they gave a great presentation that attracted large crowds. These guys really have a good collective strategy for creating energy and interest in the projects they do, and it was exciting to see a Chicago story make it out into the rest of the world. []



Movie worm and other Micro$oft delights: looks like we are over the hump.

From the maillogs: here is a record of "SoBig" worms received (all over 100K).

Aug 19 Aug 20 Aug 21 Aug 22 Aug 23
-blight 4 19 39 125 53 nr 21 22 14 10
-Spaces 1 20 0 0 0

And Mars can be seen, quite bright at 1:30 am, due South, 40 degrees up. It is orange, not red. Take a look, because it dims for the next 7 years.



Previously on the othergroup: Michael Bulka Lost Faith

received: Fri Aug 22 15:33:44 CDT 2003 jno writes: RE: - scrape, scrape On Fri, 22 Aug 2003, bulka wrote:

Here is the question (for next month):

Why did no-one post anything for two months after September 11, 2001? Not a word. Where were all the politically active artists? Where was the social commentary? Where were the reactions? The grief at a minimum? The last post was on Sep 11, and then nothing until nearly two months later, on November 9, when someone finally posted something, which BTW I cannot fathom... to wit:

In a nutshell:

I recall the Chili discussion vaguely. It was part of some longer rant though? Maybe about not posting show info or some such on the OG? I'm also thinking Mr. Pants was involved? I remember the art situation at that time was about just getting back to work (not normal, just work). Law Office ran Hot Sauce2 directly after 911 and I had Andy Moore maybe the following weekend, as for OG I don't remember any prolonged silence. I do recall some benefit show being put together by A-zone maybe or ARC at the last minute? I thought their was a call for entries posted on the OG at that time. I would be surprised if a debate didn't start regarding a 911 show and its immediacy to the actual event. A group of us met in October to discuss the possibilities for what would become the Stray Show. A couple of Guys from Chicago were making counterfiet Stamps with Anthrax Logos on them and sending them through the post office to be postmarked. My roommate informs me that a group called ANSWAR met in Wicker Park somewhere right after 911.

I remember a lot happening very quickly and quietly in those months. I wish I had more time in this post to piece it all together. I'm also sorry that I don't have anymore info. But given even this meagre amount of information I find it difficult to believe that nobody would post a thing for two monthes on OG. I am more inclined to believe that given a glut of posts acrossed the board at that time, Topica is probably responsible for the black hole in someway.

Lets get revisionist sung to the tune of Lets Get Physical,

Michael S. Thomas, Director Dogmatic


MT writes (typos removed)

We must be careful not to let our perception of the current situation cloud the truth of the past. We may have a lot to say now, but this is a cynical group. Cynicism took a two month hiatus while we all sorted out our own thoughts and pieced together the events. The boards that saw traffic over that period were ones that facilitated the dissemination of facts rather than ideas.



Curt Writes:

Curt stop removing typos. Show a little respect.

I'm not the most cynical person around but my cynicism did not take a hiatus and that's why I wouldn't have posted anything were I on the list at that time. I said a lot of real crass shit during that time. But only in relatively private conversations. My crassness, as usual, was a misguided, knee-jerk effort to counter the crassness of patriotism/nationalism, the crassness of placing more value on the lives of U.S. citizens than others around the world. It also ocurred to me, as I was getting my bag checked on just about every threshold I crossed, that those in power would take full advantage of this situation to make any policy changes they wanted to make in the name of security. And they did.

I sat in front of the TV for only about a day and a half during this time. The absence of advertising was very nice. Early in the first day the broadcast was curious in that the image was much less mediated by a lot of graphics and text, but after a few hours graphics and scrolling text started to appear, as the designers were able to get it together enough to get back to work. This was a similar viewing experience to the Columbus explosion. Which leads me to think that I need to change my Friendster profile, favorite TV Show: any national disaster.

Marc Fischer has a lovely binder of collected images of the WTC, including kids' memorial drawings, tattoos, mugs, and, it's in Temp Serv's binder archives.

later, mike


Wolf writes: "Curt stop removing typos. Show a little respect."

I'm not so much removing them as stealing them. I have a collection here at my house. They are in a special room where they are protected from the damaging affects of sunlight. I have a special machine in there that broadcasts ambient sounds, you know, rain showers, a summer night in the country, that sort of stuff. They are very comfortable and I assure you treated with proper respecty.

Damn, one got out.


As I remember, othergroup was quiet (and, it wouldn't be the first time that og was quiet for more than a month!). I thought that nobody wanted to say anything because nobody really was sure about what was appropriate. For a few weeks afterwards I didn't really feel like talking about art - and, for a long time afterwards I was way more interested in politics than art. yet, I wasn't sure that people would want to hear my views on othergroup - as they were not about art but more about civil liberties and injustice. I was probably being too cautious because, if we can discuss cast iron skillets on othergroup, why not discuss the pre-fascist state of our country?

On a side note - I heard a story about a woman who owns a discussion web site and happened to have made a joke on this web site about the next suicide bomber being a blond female. Apparently the FBI visited her house to investigate/interrogate her...this was maybe a year ago (not sure about the exact time). I wonder if anyone on othergroup has considered editing/censoring their online comments (on othergroup or elsewhere) due to stories like this?


On Thu, 28 Aug 2003, Keri Butler wrote:

Thanks. I would, like Keri, be interested in personal reactions dating from the time of the event, and what your feeling is on 9/11 today. Especially from the art industry. We have some 80 member listening in.. certainly there must be more than a few opinions.

Years ago I did a filming job at a navy arsenal. My producer said, "dont look; dont ask questions." He wouldnt let me keep the dailies, either. Maybe that is the attitude we have now all assumed ... learning from the 'blond female' story.

Ask me and I'll post my reaction (which deals only with incompetant architects) on the web someplace. /jno


On Monday of 9/10 I finally admitted to myself that the father of the child in my belly would not be helping me raise the child in any meaningful way. It had been a long and painful defeat and on that Monday and committed myself to accepting that reality of the situation and moving on. I called in sick on Tuesday 9/11 and the hold music, a radio station, was covering ... Something...

So I watched the TV the whole day.

I can say this now, 2 years later, that a few days after 9/11 I got an email that said:

On 9/10/2001 30,000 children on the globe died from starvation and malnutrition. On 9/11/2001 3,000 people were killed from the terrorist attack. On 9/12/2001 30,000 children on the globe died from starvation and malnutrition.

And at that moment I saw 9/11 as a statistical drop in the bucket of global human suffering. My belief that people in other countries have the same human value as Americans made me feel a huge separation from the mourning public around me, who strongly believed that this was much worse because the victims were largely American citizens.

I like what other people said about not just the censorship, but the social environment of enraged patriotism creating new codes of conduct for some of the people around me that made you feel like you would be attacked to speaking out.

I also like what Keri and others said about the separation of art and politics. My response as an artist is the same as my response as a human being. And I respect people who wrote poems immediately after the attack, but personally I have no desire to, then or now. I like to make intensely personal art. And I use the attention my art gets to share my political views, for example I have an online art magazine, with political essays, but they are separate types of work. If I make art to convince people of my political ideas, for me personally, I am creating propaganda. And I don't have a huge conflict with creating propaganda, it's just not where I'm focusing artistically.



Flags were stupid unless you meant it 100 percent but everyone had them. Most people seeemed to have them as tokens to avoid parking tickets. One couple I remember though, a regular couple at my restaurant. About a week later came in and had dinner. I had been taking care of them for a while at nights. Well shortly after 911 they came in. They are an educated couple, over forty, and part of the university set. While they had thier dinner some police officers came in and sat at an adjacent table. The couple explained to me that they wanted to buy dinner for the officers at the next table. So I suggested that they talk to my manager. After dinner they approached my manager with their check and the offer buy to these "heros" dinner as well. So my manager took the money for both meals. The couple thanked me for their service and explained what they had done on there way out . Later, when it had slowed down I approached my manager for the gratuity for both meals. I was told both meals had been comped an no tip was left for me. I asked how that could have been and she explained that there had been problems with me at the tables. She told me she had given them dinner on the house and if I pressed the issue I would be docked for the meals. I loves me some patriotism. Oh by the way there is still something missing from the OG's archives. Someone should have screamed bloody murder before November of that year. Lets face it who starts off a thread, "First off, people who work at Wendy's don't make the chili". It might not have been mind blowing or beautiful. It probably had nothing to do with some remembered historical zietgist. But it was real and it was ours. Communal forgetting has a name doesn't it? I just don't recall it right now. perhaps someone will refresh my memory.

MMMMt, I do something somewhere


Reference February 2001 in the othergroup archives and read through for a little. You will see where the thread was lifted from. Jno what's up with the months out of order? I believe the messages are also out of order. I remembered people's short response first, before danielle chimed in.

As for Jon Smith (november 2001) does he exist. Does anyone know a Jon Smith? It would appear that this Smith fellow was dropping phrases out of context to mix up the conversations a bit. Funny how the other members pick it up and run with it. Jon are you out there still?




On Fri, 29 Aug 2003, David Roman wrote:

Wow - that is some research! And really funny, like bringing up frying pans. Liam Joshua Cohen (of February) is immeadiately lambasted by Danielle.. and by you on Feb 11.

And then, 7 months later, Smith quotes your email verbatim:

Looks like kids playing with internet stuff. Less likely to happen again, since although we use auto-subscribe, we greet new members, have a blacklist, and require a password (and hope).

We have no control over that. It is the result of a regex script. For an index I was not going to also sort the months; but I'll think about it.

Yeah, that has always been a problem, and larger than you think. Resent emails carry a date header of the original email, and those tend to be really screwy: Clair is on Greenwich Mean Time, Elms is on New York time, I at times show a date of 1994, and whenever some MAC user blows his machine it resets the time to Jan 1, 1904.

Fetching files from Topica was such a drugery, that for most of 2002 I exporting saved email directories (months sorted by date and time). It was easier to write a script to clean these up than to endlessly click Topica clickables. That is one cause for disordered posts.

The 2001 archive, however, is in the order of Topica's assigned dates and times, reflecting receipt at Topica in Pacific Time -- not correct or incorrect sending time, or received time at your box. Which explains little, except to suggest that how you set up your email directory sort order (received, or sent time) will effect the apparent order, and will at any rate be incorrect.

And yr right, I noted a different order also. May also be Topica: they accasionally got six hours behind, and in batch mode MTAs tend to send email in reverse order. But I wasnt going to edit to make sense of it.

Anyone want to discuss bacteria?


On Fri, 29 Aug 2003, Dogmatic gallery wrote:

What has been removed (generally everywhere) is any spam about show openings (Keri had been removing these from Topica), and in the case of Sep 11, a duplicate of the quote from Nostradamus.

Amnesia. But the same thing happened with the Civil War and Viet Nam. Nobody wanted to see Brady's prints until a hundred years had passed.

And Viet Nam: it took ten years or more before we started to get a number of films which were willing to do an analysis of the event. This will happen with the WTC. Wait ten years.

I agree with Kathryn, the numbers do not add up well. But the symbolic value looms large.



.. at 3am. So here you go, David ..
- [January]
- [February]
- [March]
- [April]
- [May]
- [June]
- [July]
- [August]
- [September]
- [October]
- [November]
- [December]

done. /jno