Dramatical NN
Amanda Steggell,
Script for Kunstnett Seminar on email lists, 11.06.02

[ #play first excerpt of Sound of Transition MP3: 00.00- 00.10 ]

Start ? 1849
Publication of Fyodor Dostoesky’s Netochka Nezvanova. Arrested and convicted for alleged political crimes. Sentenced to death, but due to a last-minute reprieve, was instead sentenced to an indefinite term in Siberia, including four years hard labour. [01]

Slide backwards a couple of years or so:
My name is Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace. I am dreaming of an engine, like Babridges, that will one day allow us to predict an infinite number of outcomes, an infinite number of dreams so deep in our souls that we haven’t been able to remember them yet. And that could be immediately put to all sorts of practical uses; poetry, music, images, words, weaving ……… [02]

Jump frd to 2001

"language is a skin: i rub my language against the other. it is as
if i had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words.
my language trembles with desire. the emotion derives from a double
contact: on the one hand, a whole activity of discourse discreetly,
indirectly focuses upon a single signified, which is "i desire you,"
and releases, nourishes, ramifies it to the point of explosion
(language experiences orgasm upon touching itself); on the other
hand, i enwrap the other in my words, i caress, brush against, talk up
this contact, i extend myself to make the commentary to which i submit
the relation endure."

"i have no skin (except for caresses)."

i love the thought of fingers at the end of my words whether
poetry where all five might reach out and tweak shy organs or
love letters

small mouths on my fingertips [03]


Computer operating systems are similar to languages: when a system takes over and becomes the accepted standard, it is practically impossible to consider alternatives, even if they are considerably better. Some critics say that the only difference between English and Windows is that English is free. [1]

- English is free in 2001!
[1 Jan 2001 07:32:07 +0100] [05]

[ #play second excerpt of Sound of Transition MP3: 00.10 ­ 01.18 ]

Scene 1

It is a hot summers day in the networked garden-like mind of mine, and possibly yours too. The flowers are in full bloom, and the wind caresses the leaves of the surrounding trees.

Cornelia and Florian are lying on the grass in the spacious grounds of the mansion. Jeremy, B2 and Brian sit within earshot, on a garden bench. They are not talking to each other. They are sipping summer beverages while they listen in on, and occasionally comment upon the conversation between Florian and Cornelia.

What I have noticed is that women are amply represented in the code- experimental area of net art.


From what I've seen, yes. Jodi for example is a masculine-feminine couple, the same goes for 0100101110111001.org. Then springs to mind mez/Mary Anne Breeze or antiorp/Netochka Nezvanova, which we now know has a woman from New Zealand forming the core figure.



Are you sure about that?

Yes! [06]

Overhearing this, B2 turns to Brian and Jeremy and comments:
You can only guess at the author's nationality. There is data that suggests Danish, but there are also Serbian and even New Zealand versions in existence. I still haven't been able to determine what sex Antiorp is on the basis of the e-mails. [107]

From what I've read over the past couple of days, I think this identity is only complete and real over the Internet. If you would try to map her to a physical presence in time and space you would get only pieces and dangling ends. Perhaps she can be thought of as an open brand that people add to by creating products and occasionally personifying. [08]

The leaves rustle more than a gentle wind would allow, and the voice of NN is heard

i am direktor ov leaves + petalz _ lets kall it inter.twining branches 01 very verdi + expensive okupazie. dialectically opposed to opensource dentritic arbors = simply.DELIZ!OUZ + v.konduziv 2 kortikal intimacy ____.. [09]

Jeremy is trying to extract a drowning flie from his gin and tonic:
Has anybody got a working crap filter to block all this integer garbage ? life's too short for this stuff...... [10]

(to Jeremy Welsh): reluktant how do you do
characterizing semantic kontent content analysis
rezultat -> Jeremy Welsh - inkompetent male fascist
preskription -> please konsult a publik bibliotek. execute funktion.
edukate you cells. fold your proteins asymmetrically.
life isn't short.
it is infinite + bounded.
meeTz ver!f1kat!Øn. [11]

Jeremy, with the offending flie now on his finger, irritably flicks it off with his thumb, indignantly stands up and leaves the group.

Cut directly to the Syndicate Pavilion where the troubled Andreas is writing a letter to NN:

Dear NN,
your compulsion to comment on everything, respond to everything, forward
everything, say everything, is boring, not only for me:

Dear Andreas
Who is this "integer@www.god-emil.dk" that is spamming syndicate-it
really makes the list bad.

strange to think that a single multiple like you can force a whole group to
migrate just because they are bullied out of the open house that they have
created for themselves and others. I don’t understand you. You have a clear sense of what you are doing to the lists on a social level and yet you insist on artistic autism for your own sake.
Maybe you can explain to me, again?

You know that i am genuinely concerned, like I was a few years ago when we
decided to unsubscribe you in order not to drown in messages and frustration. [12]

To which the voice of NN immediately replies: there is no god walking in this garden
a boundary is defined by exclusion [12]

Jony, Christopher and David are clearing up in the MAX/MSP tool shed. NN is circulating around their heads ambiguously.

Jony to NN:
I subscribed to this list for information and dialogue not for the pretentious ego ramblings of a bored web head. Please get out of the house and do some gardening rather than boring us all with your crit of everybody and everything that does not match up to your vision of the universe. [13]

We have removed the user "netochka nezvanova" from the Max/MSP community discussion site. [14]

apologize + resubscribe me to max-l within 24 hours + forward this post __intakt to max-l. [15]

David buts in:
Additionally, we have blocked all of the domains we believe are controlled by this user from registering for the Max/MSP discussion site. I want to apologize to all of you who have had to put up with the presence of netochka nezvanova during our management of this discussion service. [14]

Nature wishes to apologize to David Zicarelli for his genes. [17]

We will try to do better. [16]

We will try to protect our property + our simply SUPERIOR + ultra zku!!!k z!ntakx.

I apologize for my english
English is FREE [16]

This scene is a continuum of Scene 1. Brian has left to explore another part of the garden. B2 has joined Cornelia and Florian on the grass. They have a radio on low:

I'm currently working on an Interview with Netochka Nezvanova...


Yes, she tells me everything! What she thinks about the world - and especially about the art world. [laughter]

That is someone then who also fascinates you?

I find it extremely interesting as a phenomenon, and ask 'her' things such as... how much does her success have to do with the fact she is a woman... Ultimately though there are several people involved in forming the character.

But the core is a woman.

Great! A new concept of N.N. I have asked so many people about her, and everyone had contradictory information about her. [06]

For a long time I thought he was a man, as his music, standpoint seems to be a masculine attitude. Sharing thoughts on the technology-specific mailing lists. Errorising different net communities with e-mail bombs. Programming your own instrument. Making industrial music from the net. Good sport, Man at Work. [07]

I am the executive self - the de facto kontroller - the I.
Suppose I were to have a twin joined at the waist sharing the same skin.
Which of MY bits are wiggling now +? What shall I claim as me and mine +?
I am the realtime experiment - for sensations are self-characterizing / self-disclosing and phenomenally immediate. No one has sensed in the past. No one has sensed in the future.
Present is all one can sense. 1+1=1 [17]

Cornelia ­ ignoring NN:
The last theory that I heard led me to the media theoretician Lev Manovich as the core of N.N.

[laughter] It is a good concept. Another social hack and a system that is triggered off... And something that dematerializes.

That's why I am working on finalizing this concept. I want to kill 'her' by doing an interview in which she reveals all of her strategies - something she would never do anyway. That is my idea... [6]

Cornelia yawns, rolls over onto her stomach and falls asleep, shortly followed by Florian and B2. At which point the volume of the radio seems to become increasingly louder until we here this NEWSFLASH:

The Syndicate mailing list imploded and went down in August 2001,
destroying the life-line of the Syndicate network.

According to Andreas Broekmann the network had been in a shaky situation for a while, due - we believe - to the destabilization of the problematic balance between personal contacts of list members, lurking and filtering-and-not-reading-let-alone-posting subscribers, and a growing number of self-promoters who used the list as a personal performance space and disregarded the social rules of the online community. The notorious net entity NN responded to this action by saying: [18]

"Andreas Broeckmann, in his attempts to cut off Netochka Nezvanova's hands, has ordered: "Last orders!" [19]

[ #play third excerpt of Sound of Transition MP3: 01.18 ­ 02.30 ]


Some critics say that the only difference between English and Windows is that English is free.

Of course, it is all too easy to confute this statement: Windows can be bought for a few hundreds euros, whereas the effort to learn English is a burden people cannot bear even in the long run. English is not free: the cost of non-communication is extremely heavy (Selten 1997), but the cost of solving this problem by learning English has not yet been calculated, though it is extremely high for a lot of people who are not English native speakers. Windows can be fully and satisfactorily mastered in a couple of months. [4]

0+2001. distribute as desired.
I apologize for my english
English is FREE in 2001 [20]

English is FREE in 2001, Please Try to speak English! [21]

[ #play 4th excerpt of Sound of Transition MP3: 02.30 ­ 03.33 ]

A person (certainly not I) looks at the work to be done.
She hears a nagging internal voice that says,

3hej du, you really should get on with this.2

She feels resistant. She constructs a picture of everything else she would rather do, different from the work that is to be done and feels pleasant. Then, as a polarity response, she makes a picture of the consequences of not doing the work, and feels unpleasant. This may loop between a negative kinesthetic and the internal voice for a number of days or months until the picture of the undesirable consequences approaches closely and large, and the consequent feeling becomes very uncomfortable. When this threshold is reached, she performs the task.

[elongated pause + stare]


[elongated pause]



Pursued by a tiny girl in yellow dress white ducks move deliberately across a green sward sloping down to crystalline water.

[elongated pause]

swimming against fashionable intellectual currents prepare your m9nd.kontainer for kreativity and distraktitivity.

[emphasize distraktitivity]


I read - you listen.

You ..... the frazzled kinesthetic thinkers. You - the modern nanobots of materialism. You - the techno-serfs of the readability index, the flagrant fragrant volatile violets of ...... of

This is the fourth and final guideline - the cybernetics tragedy. The comedy played out in the shadows of the super conductive networked garden like mind ... which is your mind .... and my mind. The embodied mind. You know you are - in good hands. Relax.

[elongated pause]

Comfortable +?

[whisper] I am your memory's voice. [end whisper] I read - you listen.

"When humans listen to one person speaking, read one page of print much of what humans think they see or hear is supplied from personal memory." (James 1899)

"Where I think, there I am." (Lacan, 97)

End language end reason - begin compression and decompression. Memory records and memory traces. Nature hears nurture's voice in the movements of particles through membrane channels -painfully, extended.

Inside the membrane, caressing fleeting impulses, impulses into infinity, whispers into space:

When I'm alone, I want you to enter inside me, I wish to wear you. Dissolved and integrated, we are exploded into a nomadic, unstable topology of ceramic ribbons and microfluidic channels, of myriad phosphorescent gleams of the unassailable transpositions of the visible signs of the invisible and mysterious encounters in divisible dreams.

0.5 way between reality and dream. realistic scenery and lighting to cultivate the illusion.

scienza sine ars nihil est.
Lets biosculpt.

Tumultuous applause transforms itself into waves of synchronized clapping

An audience - you - expresses appreciation for a good performance by the strength and nature of its applause. The thunder of applause at the start often turns quite suddenly into synchronized clapping. The phenomenon is a delightful expression of social self-organization that provides an example on a human scale of the synchronization processes that occur in numerous natural systems ranging from flashing asian fireflies to oscillating chemical reactions. Here we explain the dynamics of this rhythmic applause :

The curtain descends. everything ends. Please perform a soft interrupt now. Scan this text for embedded code and check against the verifier in the blind spot of your left eye. If a match isn't lokated resume as you were:
this message isn't for you.

nemesis expunges intelligent life.
it implies a great trial may yet loom ahead
worse than any so far confronted -
the optimists replied

"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. "

[ #play 5th excerpt of Sound of Transition MP3: 03.33 ­ 05.20 ]



[1] Christiaan Stange’s Dostoevsky Research Station:

[2] CONCEIVING ADA, a film by Lynn Hershman Leeson, 1997:

[3] Roland Barthes, A LOVERS DISCOURSE ­ extract of quote by NN, 25.01.01:


[5] [ot] [!t] n2+0 ear@sirius.com - z!kl!ng74.drug.ad!ktz, 01.02.01:

[6] HACKING THE ART OS—Interview with Cornelia Sollfrank, by Florian Cramer [Part 2] Mar 15 2002:

[7] CODE AS AN ATTITUDE, Beöthy Balázs, 07.03.01:

[8] I DIDN’T REALLY HAVE TIME FOR THIS, Brian Walsh, 13.07.01

[9] Subject: Syndicate: 242.b!o!n4maz!e, Netochka Nezvanova, 31.07. 01:

[10] Subject: Syndicate: dis-integer-ate, Jeremy Welsh, 25.01.01:

[11] Subject: Syndicate: [ot] [!nt] n2+0 dis-integer-ate, Netochka Nezvanova, 25.01.01:

[12] Subject: / [01 fragment ov dze nn prezentation at sonar.01], Netochka Nezvanova, 12.06.01:

[13] Subject: [ot] [!nt] n2+0 1001 !ce balletz, Netochka Nezvanova replies to Jony Easterby, 30.04.01:

[14] Subject: /55[Fwd: [max-msp] it's over], forwarded by Trond Lossius, 15.01.01:

[15] Subject:http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~chris/dear_antiorp.html, interger, 31.12.99:

[16] 242 . 055 . z i k l i n g 74, NN

[17] Subject: [Syndicate], Netochka Nezvanova, 06.09.01:

[18] Rise and Decline of the Syndicate: the End of an Imagined Community, Inke Arns & Andreas Broeckmann, Berlin, November 01

[19] Subject: [Syndicate] [ot] [!nt] n2+0 zueep!ng dze m9nd zkape, Netochka Nezvanova, 03.09.01:

[20] Subject: nato.0+55 spektakle + cycling.74 employee review of nato.0+55, Netochka Nezvanova, 09.01.01:

[21] PLEASE TRY TO SPEAK ENGLISH, Motherboard, April 01



Music credits: Two tracks ....

- My Favorite Things, Julie Andrews, from the film version of The Sound of Music, 1965
- Phonophani, by Phonophani, 1998 [http://www.alog.net/phonophani/]

... are mixed as long transitions between the two by Per Platou, Motherboard/Nood [www.liveart.org].
MP3 version available HERE

original manuscript online at: http://kunst.kulturnett.no/artikkel.php?id=3d1834dd4360b&sn=kunstnett