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<eyebeam><blast> Declaration of INFOWAR.

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Over the past few weeks rumors have been circulating, both
on the Internet and international print, television and
radio media, concerning the libelous distribution of a fake
program announcement for the forthcoming Ars Electronica
festival, "INFOWAR."

This hoax appeared to have been distributed by Ars
Electronica's own mailing list, and was sent to numerous
members of our art and business community in an unwarranted
attempt to undermine relations with our most valued
sponsors. This access to our private lists initially led us
to suspect an 'inside job', and therefore we held off
distributing a public denial while conducting a thorough
investigative check on our staff and volunteers. After a
complete investigation, we are certain that our security has
been breached by an outside source.

We are preparing to fight the spread of disinformation that
has unsuccessfully attempted to undermine the curatorial
integrity of Ars Electronica. We will utilize techniques of
blocking, jamming and deletion to flush out suspected

[Please find the original German posting translated below.]


Ars Electronica has reason to believe the info-warriors were
vain enough to include themselves in the hoax list of
participating artists. From now until the capture and
disclosure of the cyber-terrorists, all parties mentioned in
this hoax will be removed from all Ars Electronica events.
Please note that we plan to prosecute to the full extent of
the law. We ask that any individual with any information
that might lead to the exposure of the criminals step
forward in order to expedite the removal of these imposed
sanctions. Ars Electronica is offering financial
compensation or public commemoration to any individual or
organization offering information leading to the
perpetrators. Information by parties wishing to remain
anonymous will also be accepted.

Documentation of this conflict will be exhibited at the Ars
Electronica Infowar festival at an event and symposium
entitled "The Advantage of Recuperation".


We wish to dispel a number of false rumors that have been
circulating around this incident, mistakenly perpetuated by
the international media and Internet art community.

1. Our corporate sponsorship remains intact and unaffected
by this incident.

It has been suggested that our trusted relationships with
existing sponsors have been damaged, and that we have been
seeking new funding sources; this is not the case. It is
also not true that Ars Electronica Festival is in financial
crisis after the reported withdrawal of Arbeiter Kammer, Sun
Microsystems and Siemens Nixdorf. Organizations the size of
Ars Electronica regularly reassess their partnerships,
making additions and withdrawals daily occurrences: this
process has remained unscathed by this minor hoax.

2. We suspect a group of charlatans NOT rival companies and

We must dispel rumors that this crime was initiated by a
rival company or a former corporate sponsor. Again there is
no evidence to substantiate this claim and is most likely an
attempt by the responsible artists or hackers to cover their
own tracks.

3. This is NOT an art project submition to the Infowar
festival, but a poor attempt to undermine a valuable themed

This crime must NOT be misinterpretted as art. In its lack of
institutional context, and in its disruption of order, is
merely misplaced propaganda and an aimless and meaningless
criminal act. Art MUST reflect the order of things and NOT
oppose them. It MUST draw attention to itself and NOT to
external issues.

Naive supporters of this hoax have repeatedly suggested that
the best art can be made without the aid of high-tech
corporations or institutional sponsorship, which is clearly
not supported or substantiated by the facts of history.


To prevent further security breaches all future
communications, (this one included), will be authenticated
with a digital signature. If you receive further unsigned
email that appears to  originate from Ars Electronica,
please delete immediately.

>Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 14:58:40 +0100
>To: Ars Electronica <info@aec.at>
>From: Ars Electronica <info@aec.at>
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Subject: INFOWAR - Weapons of Contemporary Communications Technology.
>Precedence: bulk
>a3boom! (magazin fuer marketing) <a3boom@a3boom.co.at>,
>apa austria presse agentur marketing <marketing@apa.co.at>,
>appletime (zeitschrift) <appletime@magnet.at>,
>brian springer <brianspr@buffnet.net>,
>calin dan <calin@euronet.nl>
>com (computerzeitschrift erb-verlag)
>computerwelt <computerwelt@cw.co.at>,
>critical art ensemble <72722.3157@compuserve.com>,
>david blair <artist1@interport.net>,
>debra solomon <dsolomon@xs4all.nl>,
>der neue grazer <grazer@sime.com>,
>der standard (tageszeitung) <documentation@standard.co.at>,
>diana mccarty <diana@mrf.hu>,
>ericsson.austria@sea.ericsson.se ,
>etoy <press.speaker@etoy.com>
>eugene kashpureff <ekashp@alternic.net>,
>eva grubinger <grubi@is.in-berlin.de>,
>fiala franz (chefredakeur pc-news) <pcnews@atnet.at>,
>frannie armstrong <fran@oneworld.org>,
>gary singh <gsingh@email.sjsu.edu>,
>geert lovink <geert@xs4all.nl>,
>graham harwood <harwood@artec.org.uk>,
>hightech presse <pfm@hightech.presse.co.at>,
>igler andre (wirtschaftsblatt) <wb-beilagen@apanet.at>,
>ingo gÁnther <i-gun@maestro.com>,
>jesis <jesis@xs4all.nl>,
>john perry barlow <barlow@eff.org>,
>jordan crandall <xaf@interport.net>,
>journal networks <networks@cw.telecom.at>,
>kapper harald (computerwelt) <h.kapper@casht.at>,
>knowbotic research <kr+cf@khm.uni-koeln.de>,
>kunstradio <kunstradio@thing.or.at>,
>Ars Electronica 98
>INFOWAR - Weapons of Contemporary Communications Technology.
>7.-12. Sept. 98
>Linz, Austria
>For further information please contact:
>Maria Falkinger / Gabi Hofer
>Presse und Information
>Tel: +43.732.7272-72
>Fax: +43.732.7272-77
>e-mail: info@aec.at
>On line - Information: http://www.aec.at
>Curated by: gerfried stocker <info@aec.at>
>The Ars Electronica Festival of Art, Technology and Society,
>presents work on the social and political definition of the
>information society. The emphasis here will lie not on
>technological flights of fancy, but on the fronts drawn up
>in a society that is in a process of fundamental and violent
>upheaval. The critical aspects of information warfare are
>information denial, protection and distortion.
>The latest upheaval caused by the series of critical texts
>and press releases periodically distributed by Ars
>Electronica anonymously since December 1997 has laid bare
>the vulnerability of a global market as well as the
>impossibility of regulating ownership and authority in the
>electronic circus, such as only the digital revolution could
>have mothered. Hegemonic critical discourses are losing
>their power in regulating the international value of their
>currencies; they can no longer control, but only react. This
>was acutely illustrated in the indignant and outraged
>reactions to the critical forgeries of the last months, in
>response to the release of information warfare targeting the
>art world with forged texts masquerading as art world
>players such as Timothy Druckery, Peter Weibel, Mark Amerika
>and Joshua Decter, faked exhibition press releases for
>nonexistent shows at Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
>Lisson Gallery in London, among other incidents. The
>outcries against these works focused mainly on the legality
>and the political viability of the strategy of info-warfare
>and came both from individuals and institutional forces with
>unacknowledged investment in a mainstream international art
>world. Such reactions revealed a deeply entrenched
>commitment to an authoritative system of control and power
>that is rapidly fading. Those witnessing their positions of
>power undermined, and hard pressed to loosen their hold of
>the control of signification, have desperately sought out
>retaliation by threatening litigation and through base name
>calling, accusing their so called victimizers of naivete,
>ignorance, self promotion and racism.
>One cannot help but question the nature of the political
>investment of each of these so called counterculture
>critics, each of whom understand the forgeries as personal
>attacks, revealing the way in which their private investment
>in their own power and authority overshadowed postures of
>radical, avant-garde or leftist agendas.
>This infowar ammunition, initially released as a means to
>provoke debate and discussion about power, investment and
>the status of information as commodity in the art world, has
>served its aims well. Casualties in the form of polarization
>of individuals and bad faith accusations directed at
>underground net artists are an inevitable aftermath of any
>war, whether a war of bodies or a war of information.
>It is without a doubt that those who master the techniques
>of information warfare will find themselves at an advantage
>over those who have not; indeed, information warfare where
>machines fight machines will, in and of itself, relegate
>other organ and blood based warfare to the sidelines. We
>will finally be able to experience the aesthetics of pure

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