Disney’s copyright balls

The other day my friend @joshbillions gave me a small gift, a Mickey Mouse moleskin-style notebook. On the front cover there’s an image of the classic Mickey waving his hand up, gesturing towards the background… a collection of US Patents (presumably patents owned by the Disney Corporation). I had to stop for a minute, before I realized how ridiculously layered and ironic this was. If you know anything about copyright you probably know that Disney is (in large part) responsible for the absurdist draconian copyright mess we’re in now. This is the company that threatened to sue a small daycare center in FL out of existence if they didn’t remove the Mickey Mouse painting on the wall (you know, cause families driving down from Georgia might get confused and end up at the daycare center instead of the Magic Kingdom).
It’s funny, Mickey Almost looks like he’s bragging about all his intellectual property. If this isn’t intentional, then they are (as Jonathan Lethem suggests in the Ecstasy of Influence) in ‘disnial.’

VVVECTOR.VVVIE.WS: convos facilitated by @nbriz && @jonCates

at tonight’s tritriangle opening myself + jonCates are going to be tackling ‘the New Aesthetic’ w/invited guests Mez Breeze, Curt Cloninger, Patrick Lichty, Brian Holmes and  Aaron Straup Cope.

Chicago Dirty New Media [Round Robin] @the MCA

This Tuesday [6pm] I’m organizing a ’round-robin’ of Chicago Dirty New Media artists in the garage of the MCA — from their website:

  • Join us for this real-time audio and video performance event which celebrates the Dirty New Media movement in Chicago. Dirty New Media artists utilize hacked electronics and improvisation to create works of art that are so wrong they’re right. Performances take place in the bottom level of the museum’s garage and start at 6pm, with setup starting at 4 pm. Feel free to stop in and chat with folks as they prep their circuits and setup. This event is organized in collaboration with Nick Briz, an artist currently based in Chicago.

where’s the garage you ask?

what’s Chicago Dirty New Media?

performers partaking in the ’round-robin’:

what’s a ’round-robin’?

a format borrowed from the Baltimore music scene, where performers set-up at the same time around the perimeter of the venue (in this case the museum’s garage) and perform short sets one after another (around the circle) passing the baton (or cables in this case) from one to the next.

++ check out these sw33t gifs by Alfredo Salazar-Caro

SampleChest v1.1 [download] #PiraticalPractices

It’s a little overdue, but I just got around to updating SampleChest—a critical artware && creative piracy tool for creating video sample libraries by ripping videos from today’s richest AV cultural repository, YouTube.  It was recently brought to my attention that SampleChest had stopped working… seems YouTube changed some details on their end, so I figured I’d take the opportunity to update the Terms of Use as well… cause that’s how this works right? New version means new agreement?


  1. i hereby agree that [conventional] notions of originality are myths + that the cultural products i produce [both in content && concept] are [re]combinations of [pre]existing ideas + that any feelings i may have to the contrary are simply cases of cryptomnesia + that i recognize any future work i produce to be undiscovered public knowledge.
  2. i understand [historically] that the laws of what we now call intellectual property have been developed by institutions of power who have sought to maintain control over information && culture to further their own agendas + that the invention && development of these laws have had little to do with what we [traditionally] call authorship
  3. economically, i understand my ideas [+any digital manifestation they may take] to be a non-rivalrous good—that is to say, that additional units can be infinitely copied/shared at no cost && that any [re]use can not prevent any prior/existing use—and as such should be shared freely for the moral and mutual instruction of wo/man + that any restrictions on [re]use would impose inefficient && unnatural scarcity.
  4. piracy is a refusal to comply with the established forced scarcity agenda. piracy is a compositional prerogative. piracy is-not plagiarism nor is it imposterism + attribution is key to this distinction—not in the interest of maintaining [conventional] notions of authorship—in the interest of deep linkage && participatory culture[s].
  5. i hereby forfeit any intellectual property—imposed on me by any copyright regimes—on any cultural products I may render from the use of this artware + if i choose to share my cultural products i will do so without any restrictions on its [re]use.

You’ll have to “agree” to those before using the app… every time you launch it ^_^ — DOWNLOAD THE APP HERE

+ also, I started a repo for the source-code here, it’s got a more detailed README w/instructions for how to get this working in Max/MSP (i.e. incorporate the functionality into your own Max projects). If folks are interested in that + hav sum troubles, send me an email.

featured artist @pivotartgallery

I’m xcited to be the featured artist this month at pivot art gallery, an independent online project curated by Peter Hayes, which features my new project theNewAesthetic.js as well as some of my glitch videos + some of my artware/artgames/remix projects. From the post:

  • A ‘glitch’ is generally defined as an unexpected and/or temporary malfunction of equipment or code. Glitch Art takes the errors caused by these malfunctions and aestheticizes them. This area of art specialization takes a very wide range of forms and there are many different techniques used to create it. It is often the result of controlled accidents and chance is a large influence.
    Featured artist Nick Briz works in a wide variety of mediums — all of which are informed by glitch. From a video game played in a browser, to videos, to computer programs written to help disperse glitch tools and techniques across the internet, Briz actively engages in the glitch discussion and is a vital contributor to the scene. His work is provocative and engages the eyes, ears and intellect while encouraging active participation.
    The broader conversation around Glitch Art and its role in a possible New Aesthetic is filled with differing opinions as to its validity, its importance, its legality and everything in between. Briz confronts the conversation and contributes to it in a way that enlarges the discussion and gently provokes on all fronts. This is one of the strengths of his work – the ability to simultaneously create and criticize. He brings smartness without an attitude, playfulness, and a great sense of openness to the conversation. By openly sharing all his processes and data (even his entire hard drive in one piece), he reveals a refreshing confidence and enthusiasm.


Here’s a piece I recently finished on the subject of ‘the New Aesthetic’. It’s an executable-essay / open-source javascript artware-library for quick [re]production of ‘New Aesthetic’ compositions and related new-media art tropes.

I initially came at this from a pretty critical (dare I say dismissive) point of view, with what was sopposed to be a kinda snarky New Media One-Liner. While coding the library I read every possible post/tweet I came across on the subject, which began to complicate my perspective and the piece ultimately became a more considered One-Liner. I was of the mind that ‘the New Aesthetic’ conversation took what were very nuanced subjects and reduced them to new-media art tropes + insular curiosities. And while this is often the case, in my www.surfing/research I came across some really great posts that used ‘the New Aesthetic’ lens to reboot/twist some old convos in interesting ways + springboard other important issues/points. So while I still feel it’s all pretty problematic, it’s a conversation I’m glad is happening. Keep on post’n on.

visit the project page here.

check out the video + tutorial + essay + demo below:

+ the repository && source code is on my bitbucket here

thoughts/feedback/questions welcome : )

New-Media: Crash Course

Hey @SAIC folks, I’m real excited to be teaching New-Media: Crash Course next fall semester [for which there is still space available ;) ] NM:CC is the first step into the New-Media track at SAIC (in the Film, Video, New Media and Animation department), meaning it’s the pre-req for really rad classes like Realtime: Systems + Glitch + Art Games Studies + etc.

  • This introductory course focuses on screen-based new media works, their historical contexts, their specific aesthetics and theoretical concerns. Students gain an understanding of the emerging culture and historical antecedents of new media. Interactive, network and web-based technologies are introduced from the perspective of media art making. New media works are screened, discussed and demonstrated. [FVNMA:2100 FRI: 9am - 4pm]

Next semester NM:CC will run along side a new co-requisite: Systems, Codes & Spaces, taught by  Nicholas Sagan (students must enroll in both courses simultaneously)

  • Systems, Codes & Spaces critically introduces the art of nonlinear media art via an understanding of its historical and theoretical trajectories.  Students view and analyze structurally a variety of works in the mediums of video, installation, interactive media, new media and experimental 3D.   Readings drawn from Jack Burnham, Pamela Lee, and Edward Shanken are discussed to assess the contemporary state of the field.  [FVNMA:2101 WENS: 6pm-9pm]

Any questions/thoughts send me an email: nbriz@saic.edu

A New Ecology in UBC art history publication by @carlivierke

Was excited to get this in the mail the other day ^_^ a symposium-publication of selected writings by students in the undergraduate department of art history, visual art and theory at the University of British Colombia.  Carli Vierke (now an alumn of UBC on her way to NYU) wrote a really rad piece entitled “Negotiating Corporeality, Negotiating Identity: The Artist’s Use of the Cyborg as Response to a Technological Age 1969-2009″ which chats a bit about “A New Ecology for the Citizen of a Digital Age”. If/when a pdf goes online I’ll make sure to link bax to it here :)

Talking @PechaKucha Night Chicago

I’ll be giving a short talk about glitch art over on the north-ish side of Chicago at Pecha Kucha. It looks like it’ll be an evening of pretty interesting presentations tonight (3/6/2012) at Martyrs’ (3855 N. Lincold Av) doors open at 6pm ($10 cover) presentations kick off at 8:20 sharp. More info here!

Neural + Hacktivism

Excited to be included among projects like Extrafile and Phone Story in the Hacktivism News section of the latest issue of Neural. You can read the article here.