Digital Zapatistas By Jill Lane Lines of flight


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Digital Zapatistas

By Jill Lane
Lines of flight

Critic Paul Virilio suggests that our new times are marked by the “industrialization of simulation”: dominated by commercial and government interests, televisual and cybermedia perpetuate a “dissuasion of perceptible reality,” and­­—for better or worse—instantiate new formations of reality, new relations between self, space, and a sense of the real, whose moving contours require new conceptual maps (Virilio: 141). As with all space exploration, real or imagined, the cartography of such simulated spaces—or of what Virilio calls “cybernetic space-time”—is shaped both by the past travel and desired destination of the traveler. Ricardo Dominguez, founder of the Electronic Disturbance Theatre, notes the range of metaphors that have until now informed our imagination of cybernetic space: “frontier, castle, real estate, rhizome, hive, matrix, virus, network […].” Because cyberspace is by definition a discursive space, the imposition of any one metaphor has a performative effect on the cyber-reality it describes, turning cyberspace into the domain of private ownership, or frontier outposts, or rhizomatic community. “Each map,” says Dominguez, “creates a different line of flight, a different form of security, and a different pocket of resistance” (Dominguez 1998a). Each map enables and effaces certain kinds of travel and their attendant social infrastructure: ports of entry and exit, laws of access, and rights of passage.

The maps that now govern our “globalized” world suggest a world in which public spaces are increasingly privatized, in which the poverty exacerbated by neocolonial and neoliberalist economic practice pushes more and more people to migrate, only to find themselves criminalized as “illegal” aliens by those who guard “legitimate” access to nation-states. Shall such maps be reproduced in cyberspace? What recourse—what lines of flight, what type of travel, what practices of resistance—can be made in cyberspace for protest, justice, or alternative realities?

Performing flight: two tales

On January 3rd, the Zapatista Air Force broke the sound barrier. Rumors spread that the Zapatista Air Force had bombarded the federal barracks of the Mexican Army: the Mexican soldiers stationed in Amador Hernandez, Chiapas, were confronted by hundreds of circling and swooping planes manned by the Ejercito Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) or the Zapatista Army for National Liberation.

Did you say the Zapatista Air Force? The Zapatistas have airplanes?
Well, yes: paper airplanes. The Zapatista Air Force attacked the Federal soldiers with paper airplanes, which flew through and over the barbed wire of the military encampment, each carrying a discursive missile—messages and poems for the soldiers themselves. The daily “protest of the indigenous of this region against the military occupation of their lands on the outskirts of Montes Azules,” said a report from Chiapas, “has sought in many ways to make itself heard by the troops, who appear to live on the other side of the sound barrier” (“Zapatistas…” 2000). On January 3rd, the Zapatista Air Force broke that sound barrier, making hundreds of flights. One letter-bomber flew through a dormitory window with the message: “Soldiers, we know that poverty has made you sell your lives and souls. I also am poor, as are millions. But you are worse off, for defending our exploiter” (“Zapatistas…” 2000).

One year later, the Electronic Disturbance Theatre had designed the flight plans for a companion digital Zapatista Airforce: the code for its “Zapatista Tribal Port Scan” (ZTPS) was released for public use on January 3, 2001. With this software, artists and activists could mount their own aerial attack on any symbolic website—the US government, or the Mexican military—sending thousands of messages through the “barbed wire” of ports open to the cyber network.1 The messages sent by the digital activists were drawn from a fragmented, bilingual poem about the Zapatista struggle for peace with dignity in Chiapas:

nightmare ends jungle waits silence breaks nuestra arma nuestra palabra Yepa! Yepa! Andale! Andale! Arriba! Arriba! Subcomandante Insurgente […] power for Chiapas virtual autonomy real politics not over top down cracks open reality arcs No Illegals Mexico USA Operation Gatekeeper Border war Every hour Someone dies amor rabia (Zapatista Tribal Port Scan 2001)

Fragments of the poem are sent with each port scan, so that the targeted system itself will log the text. Because a cyber-protest usually involves thousands—even hundreds of thousands—of participants, the system will begin to repeat and rewrite the poem at incredible speed, composing and recomposing the fragmented world of the Zapatistas in its very own system logs. Comparable to other forms of public protest and civil disobedience in public spaces offline, this organized event takes place in the publicly accessible spaces of the internet in order to register a huge collective, politicized presence in digital space.

The distance between the Zapatistas on the Amador Hernandez hillside and the digital Zapatistas writing political code may be bridged, I suggest, by understanding both as performances that combine political protest with conceptual art in an act of social revelation: both involve a simulation of flight and attack that reveals and reverses the logic of military and social domination. First, the simulation suggests a conflict between possible equals, an impossible fantasy in which the Zapatistas might have an equipped airforce with which to defend their land, or a group of net.artists can face down the vast networks of the military. However, the act of simulation ultimately reveals the incommensurate force and aggression that underwrites the policies of the government and military; thousands of armed troops and real airplanes are dispatched to “fight” communities armed with little more than paper. While less dangerous in their confrontation, the digital Zapatista’s virtual protests most often reveal the ways in which cyberspace itself is occupied and organized as a commercial and private—rather than public—space to be protected with the full force of the law, or of the military—as was the case in September 1998, when the Department of Defense attacked an Electronic Disturbance Theatre server directly with what they called a “hostile-applet” that crashed the activists’ system during a virtual “sit-in” at that year’s Ars Electronica Festival.
Can we imagine such practices of simulation and critique as spatial practices? In the years just before the internet was an everyday fixture in lives of millions, Edward Soja urged social theorists to understand the production of space in terms as material and dialectical as have long been applied by Marxist theory to notions of time. Spatiality, he argued, “is socially produced, and, like society itself, exists in both substantial forms (concrete spatialities) and as a set of relations between individuals and groups, an ‘embodiment’ and medium of social life itself” (Soja 1989: 120). It is from this materialist perspective that we might understand the Anne Balsamo’s definition of cyberspace as “the space of the disembodied social in a hypertechnological informational society.” Cyberspace can be understood, in other words, as a form of spatialiaty produced by material practices associated with information technologies (computers, fiberoptic networks, and so forth) and at the same time, produced by the social relations that shape and are shaped by such technologies to begin with. In Soja’s terms, “social and spatial structures are dialectically intertwined in social life, not just mapped onto the other as categorical projections” (Soja 1989: 127). Balsamo does not presume an ontological division between physical bodies or spaces and virtual experience, but rather, suggests that these very ontologies are socially—and, I would add, dialectically—produced through specific material relations and practices. Balsamo notes that enhanced visualization technologies—from ultrasound to medical imaging technologies—routinely challenge the assumed boundaries of the material body, blurring boundaries between bodily interior and exterior, depth and surface, and organic aura from mediated projection. In an insight particularly relevant to studies of performance and resonant with Soja, Balsamo argues that embodiment is itself an effect produced by the processes through which bodies are imagined and constituted. If embodiment is an effect, we can, she writes, “begin to ask questions about how the body is staged differently in different environments” (Balsamo 2000: 97-98).

The pages that follow will suggest that the Electronic Disturbance Theatre (EDT) illuminates a new set of possibilities for understanding the relation between performance, embodiment, and spatial practice in cyberspace. Unlike a number of other performance artists who have explored the relation of the body to technology through the literal encounter of individual physical bodies to machines—Orlan’s livecast surgeries; Stelarc’s cybernetic experiments2—EDT, in turn, has placed the very notion of “embodiment” under rigorous question, and sought to understand the specific possibilities for constituting presence in digital space that is both collective and politicized. Can a collective social body materialize—make itself felt, register its effects—in electronic space? What practices would enable such a form of embodiment? Further, could such practices work toward refiguring the putative ontology of cyberspace itself, producing not only collective presence, but new forms of spatiality? Electronic Disturbance Theatre has engaged such questions with a series of experimental actions, hybrid forms they name network_art_activism, whose signatures are collective participation, open source, and a creative embrace of the basic technologies of cyberspace—email, elemental javascript, port scans. Those actions suggest that performance in cyberspace can re-produce—rehearse or practice—cyberspace in ways that produce of an alternate form of spatiality: for EDT, as for the Zapatistas, cyberspace can be practiced as new public sphere, a runway from which more productive “lines of flight” for those struggling for social change can be staged.

Geographies of power

In his trajectory as an artist and activist, Ricardo Dominguez has held an ongoing commitment to developing what he calls “disturbance spaces” through gestures which “can be amplified by ubiquitous technologies”—whether the traditional theatre, visual art, or digital performance (Marketou 2002). As a founding member of the acclaimed art collective Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), Dominguez helped articulate a critique of traditional civil disobedience and called for new forms of “electronic disturbance,” in a book of that title published in 1994. In their analysis of the contemporary representation of power, CAE claims that subversive or oppositional art is now obsolete. Contemporary globalization—as we know—has been marked by ever more complex, asymmetrical transnational flows of capital, goods, labor, information, and peoples; marked by the corrosion and de-centering of previously stable categories of national-ethnic identities in the West. In this context, CAE reverse the familiar Deluzian figuration which sees the nomad as the site of the Other, and instead insist that it is now power which is nomadic, rendering our social condition “liquescent.” The only viable avenue for oppositional practice is to produce calculated “disturbance” in the rhizomatic or “liquid” networks of power itself. This critique resonates with Zygmunt Bauman’s understanding of our present state of “liquid modernity,” in his book of that title (2000) and Arjun Appadurai’s notion that current cultural flows happen in the shifting disjunctures between fluid social landscapes—part material, part imagined—of technology, media, ethnicity, ideology and finance (1996). For CAE, elite power has abandoned territorial bases and their former “architectural monuments of power”—the courthouse, the statehouse, the street, and the theatre. The new geography, they say, “is a virtual geography, and the core of political and cultural resistance must assert itself in this electronic space.” In a later writing, Dominguez qualifies that the “liquid” flows of “Virtual Capital are still unidirectional […]: take from the South and keep it in the North; IMF growing and Argentina dying; Chiapas asking for democracy and NAFTA deleting democracy” (Marketou 2002). In response, CAE has developed what they call “Recombinant Theatre,” a practice that works in dynamic relation between the organic and virtual, moving in the various electronic networks where elite power actually resides (CAE 1994: 12; 23; 57­­ 58).

Ricardo Dominguez offered a different response, leaving Critical Art Ensemble in 1995 to begin a lengthy training in what were then relatively new and rapidly expanding internet technologies, in order to extend this critique into a more concrete electronic practice. Born in Las Vegas to Mexican parents, and originally trained as a theatre actor, Dominguez situated himself in the tradition of materialist critique through theatre which included Bertolt Brecht, the Marxist Brazilian director Augusto Boal, and the Teatro Campesino’s agit prop theatre in support of Cesar Chávez and United Farm Workers Union strike in California in 1962. Dominguez sought to translate these social aesthetics onto a digital stage. While these figures were inspirations, it was the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico, which ultimately provided the impetus for the formation of the Electronic Disturbance Theatre, which Dominguez founded with collaborators Stefan Wray, Carmin Karasic, and Brett Stalbaum in early 1998. The practices of EDT not only support and extend the cause of the Zapatistas, but can be seen as an effort to reconcile CAE’s theory of electronic civil disobedience with the challenges posed to such a theory by the Zapatista uprising itself.

The Zapatista rebellion—staged in the early hours of January 1, 1994 on the day NAFTA went into effect—both engaged and challenged these critiques of “revolutionary” activism. On the one hand, the movement revitalized abandoned notions of “traditional” civil disobedience and uprising on behalf of indigenous peoples; the long Zapatista March to the seat of government in Mexico City in January of 2001 demonstrates the continued support and impact these “traditional” tactics continue to have. Further, the particularly theatrical character of their actions, particularly those of their leader, Subcomandante Marcos, earned him the name “subcomandante of performance” by artist Guillermo Gómez Peña. “The war was carried on as if it were a performance,” wrote Peña, “Most of the Zapatistas, indigenous men, women and children, wore pasamontañas [black ski masks]. Some utilized wooden rifles as mere props.” Wearing a “collage of 20th century revolutionary symbols, costumes and props borrowed from Zapata, Sandino, Che, and Arafat”—Marcos became “the latest popular hero in a noble tradition of activists […] who have utilized performance and media strategies to enter in the political ‘wrestling arena’ of contemporary Mexico” (Gómez-Peña 1995: 90-91).

While the Zapatistas thus made tactical use of embodied—and theatricalized—presence, the movement also took advantage from the beginning of the internet as a means to build a global grass-roots support network. Dominguez describes this “digital zapatismo” as a “polyspatial movement for a radical democracy based on Mayan legacies of dialogue [that] ripped into the electronic fabric not as InfoWar—but as virtual actions for real peace in the real communities of Chiapas” (Dominguez 1998). Within a week of the first uprising, a massive international network of information and support was created through the most basic digital means: email distribution and webpages; witness the extraordinary internet site, “Zapatistas in Cyberspace,” to grasp the scope of that network.3 The radical disjunctures between the sophisticated presence of the Zapatistas on the internet, at the same time that Chiapas has had none of the requisite infrastructure—in most cases, not even electricity—earned the movement its reputation as the “first postmodern revolution” (Dominguez 1998a). Thus the Zapatista’s own recombinant theatre of operations meshed virtual and embodied practices in a struggle for real material change and social well being in Chiapas.
Polyspatial embodiment

Some might understand this “recombinant” practice as a simple matter of contingency: Marcos is a superb performer who uses all forms of media with calculated savvy; his supporters around the globe use the internet in every way possible to support his cause. Yet the on line and off line struggles elaborate a similar strategy of social critique and intervention based in a sophisticated use of simulation. Marcos and the Zapatistas, including the digital Zapatistas of the Electronic Disturbance Theatre, rely on of simulation to create a disruptive (“disturbing”) presence in the material, social, and discursive contexts in which they operate. Resistance, says Dominguez—following the major theorists of information warfare—can take one of three forms: physical, which would engage and possibly harm the machinic hardware itself; syntactical (a favorite of hackers), which would involve changing the codes by which the machine functions—programming, software, design; and finally, semantic, which involves engaging and undermining the discursive norms and realities of the system as a whole. Simulation operates at the level of semantic disturbance: a simulation of an airplane, made of paper or digital code, will have no effect on the Federal government’s physical fleet of planes or their server, nor will it affect the syntactical structure of command or software which organizes their use; rather, the simulated airplanes disturb a semantic code, making visible the underlying and hidden relations of power on which the smooth operation of government repression depends. For Marcos as for Dominguez, semantic resistance is an effective—and viable—form of contesting power from the margins (Dominguez 2002).

For the Zapatistas, the representative theatrical gesture is the use of the ski mask: the identical black ski masks announce an insistent, collective politicized presence, at the same time they make visible the neglected anonymity to which the indigenous peoples of Mexico’s Chiapas region have been long subject. While the indigenous peoples and their degraded quality of life have long been putatively on view for centuries, it was only on donning a mask that they entered public visibility. It is, in Marcos’s terms, “the mask that reveals.” The mask, then, creates what CAE would have surely called a disturbance in the normative—ethnocentric, elitist—discourses through which the indigenous communities have been made socially invisible, and, at the same time, produces a condition in which their collective presence can be made newly legible.

Ricardo Dominguez, as a digital Zapatista, engages a similar interplay between the visible and the invisible, the embodied and the simulated. When he performs in person, Dominguez wears a Zapatista mask; the presence of the mask in lecture halls, gallery spaces, and theatres signals solidarity with those in the Lacandón jungle, but as importantly, challenges any assumptions theatre or gallery viewers may have about “net.artists” and the potential uses of “new media.” In this gesture, Dominguez is not unlike his fellow performance artist, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, who has engaged cyberspace as an ironic “information superhighway bandido.” Like Gómez-Peña, Dominguez’s digital Zapatista art contests the racist assumptions that Mexicans and Latinos are unable to develop a sophisticated relation to high technology. “The myth goes like this,” writes Gómez-Peña:

Mexicans (and other Latinos) can’t handle high technology. Caught between a preindustrial past and an imposed postmodernity, we continue to be manual beings—homo fabers par excellence, imaginative artisans (not technicians)—and our understanding of the world is strictly political, poetical, or metaphysical at best, but certainly not scientific. (Góme-Peña 2001: 284)

Dominguez’s mask is, too, a mask that reveals racializing myths: that “authentic” natives—and perhaps especially romanticized revolutionaries so often imagined on horseback in rough mountain settings—are antithetical to the world of high technology or the world of digital art. The combination of the Zapatista mask and computer enacts the same revelatory disjunctures as did the paper airplanes or the tribal port scan: the mask is what allows his presence to be made manifest even as it reveals the normative terms which govern the context in which he operates.

As a performer off line, Dominguez plays between the supposed binaries between live presence and online simulation, between authoritative “scientific” knowledge and storytelling, between artist and activist. His performances most often take the form of lecture-demonstrations. In the middle of demonstrating a particular software developed for use by activists, he suddenly interrupts himself and runs at the audience: “Todos a la consulta!” he hollers, “Todos a la consulta!,” adopting the voice of a young Tojolabal boy, Pedrito, apparently rallying all the townsfolk to a local consulta, or local assembly meeting. He then begins to tell a story (a practice Dominguez loosely glosses as “Mayan storytelling”), one that was originally told by Subcomandante Marcos himself:

“The village is in assembly when a military airplane from the Army Rainbow Task Force and a helicopter from the Mexican Air Force, begin a series of low flights overhead. The assembly does not stop; instead those speaking merely raise their voices. Pedrito is fed up with the menacing aircraft, and he goes, fiercely, in search of a stick inside his hut. Pedrito returns with a piece of wood, and declares: ‘I'm going to hit the airplane; it's bothering me.’ When the plane passes over Pedrito, he raises the stick and waves it furiously at the warplane. The plane then changes its course and leaves. Pedrito says ‘There now.’

We slowly move towards the stick that Pedrito left behind, and we pick it up carefully. Trying to remember what Pedrito did, I swing at the air with the stick. Suddenly the helicopter turned into a useless tin vulture, the sky became golden, and the clouds floated by like marzipan.

‘But it's a stick’ I say.

‘Yes’ says the Sea. ‘It is Mayan technology.’” (in Fusco 1999)

Dominguez relies on such stories as an important alternative to the usual language we have to talk about race, technology, and social change—a narrative alternative to the discourses of enlightenment progress and rationality that normally inform our understanding of technology. Here Dominguez doubles Marcos’s practice of telling stories—of the famed Don Durito or old Antonio—as purposeful alternatives to stagnant political discourse. (Gómez-Peña also offers a parodic version of Mayan technology: in his collaborative performance Naftazateca, performed with Roberto Sifuentes, the two introduce a fictional new hardware, Technopal 2000, “a technology originally invented by the Mayans with the help of aliens from Harvard.”) In each case, the performance is a discursive (semantic and simulated) intervention that illuminates the limits of normative discourses of knowledge and power even as they create a space for the imagination of alternatives.

Electronic Disturbance Theatre’s online performances similarly elaborate the notion of “Mayan technology” as an organizing metaphor. Here, however, the Zapatista mask is exchanged for a radical “transparency”: precisely because the online context is dominated by a rhetoric of disembodiment, masking, and anonymity, Dominguez and his collaborators insist on revealing their offline identities, and make no recourse to secrecy in planning actions against targeted sites. The World Economic Forum or the U.S. Department of Defense has ample warning and time to prepare, if needed, for a virtual “sit-in.” Indeed, a recent “risk assessment” published by the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), headquarterd at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, warns those associated with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that hacktivists might target their websites during their meetings of September, 2002. The NIPC gives its IMF and World Bank readers a lesson on hacktivism:

Hacktivism describes the convergence of political activism and computer attacks and hacking, where “hacking” refers to illegal or unauthorized access to, and manipulation of, computer systems and networks. The use of hacktivism has been noted in protest activities since the Electronic Disturbance Theatre endorsed a series of so called network-direct actions against the websites of the Mexican government in 1998.

This little performance history and analysis by the NIPC reproduces the very rhetoric that EDT aims to undermine. The NICP is quick to see on-line protest as a variant of “hacking,” which is instantly criminalized as “unauthorized” access to computer networks. In fact, online protest as pioneered by EDT involves no illegal use of networks: to the contrary, EDT uses the decidedly public spaces of the internet (ports of access, reload functions) to stake the important claim that cyberspace is public space and should be governed by the same social and legal norms that obtain in public spaces offline. Far from acting as secret individual operatives infiltrating the private property of others, EDT proposes a transparent, public act of protest. In this context, masking would create no meaningful disturbance in the discursive protocols of online interaction; transparency, in turn, enables a significant form of presence—one that is collective without anonymity, and virtual without being emptied of material concerns and realities.

This form of collective online presence may best be illustrated by EDT’s first actions in 1998, as suggested by the NIPC, entitled “Zapatista FloodNet.” The artists that now form EDT were radicalized by the Acteal massacre of 45 indigenous civilians, including children, at the hands of paramilitary troops armed with U.S. drug war weapons on December 22, 1997. The first action that emerged to protest the killings and honor the dead was EDT’s creation of Zapatista FloodNet, a programmed applet on the EDT website which directed the internet browsers of participants to targeted servers at the same time, and “flooded” those servers with thousands of automatic “reload” requests—in 1998, the website of then-President Zedillo in Mexico; later the U.S. Defense Department, among others. Unlike hacking, and like traditional civil disobedience, FloodNet uses a public space to create a politicized presence; as more people enter, FloodNet reloads not only more times, but more quickly. FloodNet’s success is measured by symbolic (semantic) efficacy, not technological (syntactical or physical) efficiency: no data is destroyed, no webpage altered, and most high capacity servers won’t even crash—but, just like the daily routines and traffic near a large street demonstration, the usual operation of the system will be less functional, slowed, and possibly overwhelmed by the public action. FloodNet was thus the semantic structure through which thousands of global participants assembled to stage nonviolent protest in cyberspace.

Thus, FloodNet’s goal frames an aesthetic intervention in the fluid operation of the rationalized social organization that the electronic medium presumes. FloodNet moves from sit-in to conceptual art with several of the innovations programmed into it. For the duration of the flood-performance, the automatic reload requests compel the targeted sites to produce—to perform—a kind of electronic social revelation. In just one iteration, the FloodNet repeatedly requested nonexistent pages, with such names as “justice” or “human rights” from the Mexican government site, compelling the server to produce a steady, flashing stream of “404 error-reply” messages stating: “justice not found on this site” and “human_rights not found on this site.” In another iteration, FloodNet filled the site’s access log with the names of people killed by Mexican government troops, in an effort to create an online memorial to the dead. FloodNet enabled 10,000 calls for the dead— “Ana Hernandez is not found on this site”—to be embedded into the digital memory of the information center of their military assassins, compelling the site itself to register symbolically its complicity with their disappearance.

The transparency of the action, then, aims to reveal the “mask” that hides the workings of power and virtual capital; at the same time it enables the articulation of a politicized presence that is both collective and polyspatial. Dominguez writes, “rhizomatic power does not lurk in Virtual Captial as a rhizome, but as naked neo-imperialism.” But “rhizomatic power does flow from groups like the Zapatistas who have developed distributive abilities that are not uni-directional.” Thus the goal of Electronic Disturbance Theatre’s performed “disturbances” is to “block Virtual Capitalism’s race toward weightlessness and the social consequences an immaterial ethics creates” (Marketou 2002). The new forms of online collective action enabled by EDT help map an alternate geography of struggle, an alternate form of embodiment against such exploitative “weightlessness.” Departing from those who see the internet as a site of a class-less, race-less, gender-less utopian future, and also from those who see the internet as an apocalyptic site of overwhelming hegemonic control by a techno-elite, Dominguez sees his metaphorical “Mayan technology” as a sign for a third or fifth or seventh, he says—approach (Fusco 1999). The Internet can be used, says Dominguez, as “an ante-chamber of shared questions and spaces where perhaps this time as the Zapatistas say, ‘the apple will fall up.’” After all, this line of flight is powered by Mayan technology.

Works Cited
Appadurai, Arjun. 1996. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of

Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Augsburg, Tanya. 1998. “Orlan's Performative Transformations of Subjectivity,” in The Ends of Performance; 285–314. Ed. Peggy Phelan

and Jill Lane. New York: New York University Press.

Anne Balsamo. 2000. “The Virtual Body in Cyberspace,” in The Cybercultures Reader; 489-503. Ed. David Bell and Barbara M. Kennedy. London: Routledge.
Bauman, Zygmunt. 2000. Liquid modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press; Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Critical Art Ensemble. 1994. The Electronic Disturbance, Autonomedia.
Gómez Peña, Guillermo. 1995. “The Subcomandante of Performance.” In First World, Ha Ha Ha! The Zapatista Challenge; 89­-98. Elaine Katzenberger. San Francisco: City Lights
2001. “The Virtual Barrio @ the Other Frontier (or the Chicano Interneta).” In Reading Digital Culture; 281-286. Ed. David Trend. Oxford: Blackwell.
Dominguez, Ricardo. 2002. Unpublished lecture, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics Annual Seminar, Lima, Peru.
Dominguez, Ricardo. 2001. Interview with the author. 12 December.

Dominguez, Ricardo. 1998a. “The Ante-Chamber of Revolution: A Prelude to a Theory of Resistance and Maps.”

Dominguez, Ricardo. 1998b. “Digital Zapatismo.” 20 March.
Fusco, Coco. 1999. “Performance Art in a Digital Age: A Conversation with Ricardo Dominguez,” unpublished interview. 25 November . Institute of International Visual Arts.
Krempl, Stefan. 2000. “Computerized Resistance After the Big Flood.” Interview with Ricardo Dominguez. Telepolis. 16 February; 11 November 2002.
Marketou, Jennifer. 2002. “Where do we go from here?” Net Art Commons. 23 July; 18 November 2002.
National Infrastracture Protection Center. 2002. “Hacktivism in Connection with Protest Events of September 2002.” 23 September; 20 November 2002.
Schneider, Florian. 2001. “Sit in Stand Up.” Interview with Ricardo Dominguez. Amsterdam nettime; 23 May; 17 November 2002.
Soja, Edward. 1989. Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. London: Verso.
Stalbaum, Brett. “The Zapatista Tactical FloodNet: A collabortive, activist and conceptual art work of the net.”
“Stelarc.” 12 February 2002.
Virilio, Paul. 1995. The Art of the Motor. Trans. Julie Rose. Minneapolis: Minnesota UP.

“Zapatista Air (Mail) Attack.” January 2000; 19 November 2002.

“Zapatista Tribal Port Scan.” 2001.

1 A “port” refers to the over 60,000 connection points on any computer available possible connection with other computers on the internet. While email and the world wide web, for example, are connected through specific ports, the remaining ports are available to be “scanned” by any other system for possible connection points. ZTPS automates the process of a port scan and can be configured to carry in a message which may be logged by the targeted machine.

2 On Orlan, see, among many sources, Augsburg 1998; on Stelarc, see his extensive website, “Stelarc,” at

3 The site can be found at Also see “Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional,”


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