Linux wins Prix Ars due to MICROSOFT INTERVENTION


Subject: Linux wins Prix Ars due to MICROSOFT INTERVENTION
From: marleen@dds.nl
Date: Sun Sep 05 1999 - 17:42:13 EDT


('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is) Greetings,

Below you will find a press statement from members of the
.net jury of this years Prix Ars Electronica. You will read
about the real paths that lead us, the jury, to award this
years golden nica to the operating system linux.

Best,

Marleen Stikker

______________________________________

       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
       Linz, Sep 6, 1999

Media Contacts:
Marleen Stikker
Centrum de Waag
Amsterdam/ The Netherlands
Tel: (+31)20-5579898
Fax: (+31)20-5579880
Email: marleen@dds.nl
Website: http://www.waag.org

Dr. Christine Schoepf
ORF Prix Ars Electronica 99
Linz/ Austria
Tel. (+43)732-6900-24218
Tel. (+43)732-6900-24270
Email: christine.schoepf@orf.at
Website: http://prixars.orf.at

ARS ELECTRONICA PLAYGROUND FOR CORPORATE STRATEGIES

We, the "net." jury, have just learned that next years
ars electronica festival will be titled "OPEN SOURCE".
This has been inofficially agreed on by the direction of
the ARS ELECTRONICA and the sponsors Siemens, Microsoft,
Oracle and HP, e.a. From reliable sources we also learned
that the decision was made weeks before the ".net"-jury
decision on "linux".

WHY WE ARE GOING PUBLIC

Because we have also just learned that the above-mentioned
IT-companies are involved in a linux distribution joint
venture and a strategic alliance. Their joint venture startup
will most probably become one of the leading linux
distributors, directly attacking Red Hat and SUSE.

This is the classic oligopolistic strategy.
They cannot buy linux, nevertheless, they will take control
over the distibution of the competitor.

We were suspicious before, but now we are strongly convinced
that there was indirect but heavy influence by corporate and
ars electronica executives to reach the "linux" decision...

THE JURY WEEK-END

For the jury welcome dinner, a few corporate people had been
invited, too. Everybody was discussing about where Ars
Electronica could or should be going. For the corporate people
the main hype was of course the .net category, e-commerce and
the commercial impact of the "mass communications" medium
internet... and they were all constantly talking about the
creative potential of linux and its open source strategy.

Then, at the actual jury meeting, deciding on a winner appeared
to be quite a hard decision (not to say compromise). Whilst the
majority of the jury had a clear favourite in the russian info-
intelligence startup "etxtreme.ru", another juror started
talking about "that we need to decide on something that is really
taking two steps ahead, not some arty-farty stuff". So "linux" just
came up as a smart solution. we took this path, we formulated our
statement and came up with the source code as art work, with our
position against "beautiful" web-sites. it was a strong moment.
And we saw linux as the perfect continuum to the corporate artwork
of etoy.com, the Ars Electronica winners of 1996.

TERRORVISION AND THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION

But the information about the secret linux distribution joint
venture between Microsoft and Siemens in combination with next
years topic made us alert.

Our conclusion: the industry has strongly lobbied and put
pressure on at least one jury member to award "linux". We now
have to interpret this in persepective of next years ars topic.
They pushed the topic. The idea is to use the art and science
community to soft launch their linux activities and control
open source strategies. They do understand that open source
has evolved into a stronger development strategy and they have
to jump that train early enough, in order to avoid another
"internet" desaster.

So as artists writers and scientists we are used as lab-rats
and cheap alternative researchers. This is NOT what artists
need and it is certainly not what Ars Electronica should be
aiming at.

NEXT STEPS

We believe that investigative journalism is needed to further
describe and interpret this incident..
We definitely want to engage in bringing transparency into the
"who`s, when`s, where`s, and for how much money" of this years
decision making process of Prix Ars Electronica.

For the press, we are available for background information and
extended infos on the topic via email or at our on-the-fly press
conference:

     sept 8, 1999, 1630h
     brucknerhaus in linz

Regards,

     Derrick de Kerckhove
     Lisa Goldman
     Joichi Ito
     Marleen Stikker

Contact:
Marleen Stikker
Centrum de Waag
Amsterdam/ The Netherlands
Tel: (+31)20-5579898
Fax: (+31)20-5579880
Email: marleen@dds.nl
Website: http://www.waag.org



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