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reclaim the arts too!» Nettime nevertheless remains a fortress of Net criticism, and it remains a very interesting mailing list and a rich source of information. The power of nettime lies most of all in its very strong physical network and string of meetings of critics, theorists and activists, which has been emphasized by its initiators many times, but something which also made it a valuable basis for other projects. [26] Over the years mailing lists, especially those with online archives and members that meet regularly, turn out to be the most consistent carriers of media cultures and sources of knowledge —not just through their online archives but also through their veteran members. Even so, nettime has not escaped a certain development towards a magazine or a publishing group, rather than a collaborative project of all its members.


Rhizome is a project that was perhaps slightly inspired by nettime. Its initiator Mark Tribe started the project when he was still living in Berlin in 1996, and probably met Pit Schulz and maybe even Geert Lovink there. Rhizome was even seen as a competitor of


nettime for a short while, when it was still in its early, more art oriented days. Most of the projects that I describe in this section are not known for being art projects or for being initiated as art projects. Rhizome, however, is. Rhizome has often been presented as an art project by Tribe, even if he does not call himself the author of Rhizome. «I do think of Rhizome as social sculpture. As such, it could be seen as an art work,» is what Mark Tribe writes in an e-mail. «This does not mean that I see it as one of my art projects. On the contrary, I see it as a collaborative project that involved many thousands of participants over the years…. I did play a leading role in developing Rhizome, and I do talk about Rhizome when I present my work, but I don’t have a possessive or proprietary relationship to it.»

The term «social sculpture» stems from Joseph Beuys and seems quite appropriate for online projects, yet it is also slightly problematic when used for big projects that create a lot of spin-offs. «Artists lacked forums for the exhibition and critical discussion of their work, critics lacked a venue for their writing, and curators lacked a place to discover artists who worked

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