tales of the unexpected : may 9th 2000 - created : may 9th 2000

life of the Net

# After The Storm : about Spam Art and related practices à la française (05/09)
On may 8th, the nET affEcTs mailing-list was caught by an unexpected Spam Art storm which resulted in a dozen subscribers casualties.

Since autumn '99, singular email machines have been created by french netsters and artists. Starting point was an announcement sent on lists by clément thomas (cofounder of pavu.com) for an exhibition in which a large number of email addresses appeared in error in carbon copy (and not in BCC). Quickly this list of art world people would be used again and again by artists (it reappears from time to time still in CC like an internet moby dick).

In the same time, frédéric madre, editor of pleine-peau - had set the palais-tokyo list which parallelled an international exhibition of net art personalities in a french museum - ZAC99. Shortly after the show closed and the list got less active, frédéric would launch his "spam" machine and begin talking of "Spam Art" (although the term may not be really accurate). Other powerful spam machines would follow such as "probable bad words" by BTM (based on the words forbidden by the australian legislation), asco-o deconstructed ASCII messages and a bit later, fbwn's machines.
The palais-tokyo list on which most of these would post quickly developped into a deliberate unmoderated space for massive email communication and chain reaction.

In the same time but with a very different point of view, pavu.com would launch its media actions and its "tactical communication pads" : the i-Boosters. Created to react on the fly to online events, call for proposals, announcements and to promote them, these low-tech communicating machines would send user's messages and event-related hidden texts (in the source code) to both organisers and the palais-tokyo list which became then assimilated as an exhibition space.

this is netart too yes, this is french touch, annoying for some yet fully original, not the one which displays just on websites but one in which the "user value" is the key factor.
Just participate and experience!

jean-philippe halgand for pavu.com

links in order of appearance

pleine-peau :
palaisSPAMtokyo machine :
BTM's probable bad words :
asco-o :
fbwn :
e-corn pline-booster :
pavu.com's i-Boosters : http://pavu.com