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展覧会場 2007


    ■ "FERAL TRADE "
    ■ Kate Rich (Australia)


    What does it mean to embed our lifestyle practices into hybridized
    online/offline social networks? Is reality per se always already a "mixed
    reality"? The telematic substance is there, not there. Now you see it, now
    you don't. But you can still feel it. Not as substance per se, but as
    relationship. As Nam June Paik once said, cybernetics is "the science of
    pure relations, or relationship itself" and "has its origin in karma."

    Paik also said: "Cybernated art is very important, but art for cybernated
    life is more important, and the latter need not be cybernated."

    Kate Rich's Feral Trade artwork has good karma. It puts into practice the
    science of D-I-Y trade relations and shows us that cybernated life is more
    important than cybernated art and that the former need not even be

    What's her medium? Is it the Internet? Freelance couriers? Coffee? Cola?
    Relationship itself?

    Her trade "is an initiative to develop new trade relations along social
    networks. The use of the word 'feral' denotes a process which is wilfully
    wild (as in pigeon) as opposed to romantically or nature-wild (wolf). The
    passage of goods can open up wormholes between diverse social settings,
    routes along which other information, techniques or individuals can
    potentially travel."

    In this sense, the artwork doubles as tactical media. It subverts
    mainstream distribution systems, opens up unsuspecting social networks,
    and brings to the surface issues that trouble the socio-economic forces
    driving our turbo-charged technocapitalist culture. For instance, when we
    talk of open source -- how many self-identified hacker-hipsters eat open
    source produce? Is it locally sourced and organic? How did you get it and
    where did you buy it? It's one thing to show off your mischievous
    art-virus at the big art fair or Museum of Modern Hacktivism, but how do
    you code your own D-I-Y network of locally-sourced sustainability?

    Of all of the excellent net art sites we viewed this year, Feral Trade
    best embodies this year's theme. And, if you ever get a chance, buy the
    coffee. It's out of this world.

    Mark Amerika