E-terview/Statement: Francesca da Rimini (in dialogue with Alex Galloway)

Q: can you tell me a little bit about what you are making these days? you're writing a book, right? are you still making web art?

A: these days I don't so much multi-task creatively -- more into serial fucking with ideas/projects -- for the first few months of the year I worked intensively on dollspace (a vast illustrated internet fiction -- slowly it is transforming from a clear and poetic narrative line of flight to a more segmentary and diaristic work -- eventually I'll rename it 'a smear of roses' (after de sade) and be done with it -- but for the past 2 months I've been obsessed with a rewriting of my novella FleshMeat -- a sentimental book of letters between a man and a woman engaged in an email affair -- with other lineball texts mutated from my MOO relationships and my sick imagination ..an example is below...still worken on this fragment... the book will be published later this year by SHAKE -- the italian counter cultural collective which includes Gomma and the cybberfeminist group FikaFutura (future cunt)

I don't particularly see what I do on the web as 'art' ... its more like a pillow book or a diary...visual essay perhaps...or is it folklore? ... not sure ...doesn't feel like art ...handy to tag it art if applying for art grants ...

But yeah ..the web is a good medium for me ..suits my obsessive nature, my need to play, my craving for deep throat dialogues

Pond of Dead Girls

*** Connected ***

You yawn, rub your eyes, and officially wake up.

Pond of Dead Girls

A long wintered night in the mountains north of Kyoto. You find yourself on a bicycle effortlessly ascending a wooded hill. Lining the narrow road are compact concrete houses, some with ceramic roofs the colour of lapis lazuli, others with sculpted trees and chubby stone bears framing their thresholds. As you ride the houses begin to be separated by fields of vegetables and overgrown creeks. You hear the flow of underground streams beneath the road, the pulse of the mountain becoming louder as the evening air cools. On your right a dark body of water appears, illuminated by golden green swirls of fireflies. You realise it must be the famous pond of dead girls. The name suggests a gloomy volume of bottomless silt. Fine mud created from the bodies of all the infant girls who had been drowned at birth for a thousand years. A mountain stream feeds into the lake, and you notice a wooden bridge halfway between the road and the pond. A group of shadowy figures are seated on a stone bench by the bridge, a tattered white lantern casting a glow upon the scene. Alighting from the bicycle, you quietly approach the party, not wishing to disturb them. Madame.de.Clairwil, RentBoy(attrition rules!) and a young child are here.

RentBoy ponders, "How can the distributed disturbance networks best be embedded within future polycentric wargame operations..."

Madame.de.Clairwil snarls, "Discussion is irrelevant! Throw yourself amongst the living dead and ask them," as she frigs the pretty little girl straddled on her lap.

The child moans.

RentBoy continues, "...considering the new threats, the unfolding of alternative grand strategic narratives, contending five-star egos within joint operations, and diminishing budget allocations?"

The child whimpers, her tiny face seeping tears. Goldilocks takes on a damp dismal droop, enhancing her tragic appeal.

Ignoring the brat Madame.de.Clairwil declares vehemently, "*Now* is the time for contempt. There will be *no* terms. Let these be your prime directives and all else will follow."

Seeking a more precise engagement from his companion RentBoy persists, "How should we rebalance our Topsight GridMesh, finding a balance between manoeuvre and precision strike, in the relentless onslaught of ethno-specific insurgencies, single issue rebellions and transnational revolutionary provocations?"

Madame.de.Clairwil states emphatically, "Question everything. Trust no-one."

RentBoy asks, "What are the most enduring and flexible design and operational options for increasing lethality across a range of scenarios, combat situations and enemy defenses?"

Madame.de.Clairwil replies, "Obey your thirst!"

The child struggles to free herself.

Madame.de.Clairwil's face darkens, and she administers a series of harsh slaps to the child's rosy ass.

"Resistance is futile, cunt," she spits.

RentBoy's hand strays towards his awesome tackle as he witnesses the child's anguish.

RentBoy replies, "As you know, Madam, I have long been drawn to the hunter/stand-off killer paradigm. Through extending the close fight with long-range sensors and advanced indirect missile systems, the lethality of a small, light force can successfully repel an attack by a significantly larger force."

The child utters a piteous cry.

Madame.de.Clairwil savours the tot's agony. She exposes her magnificent white breast, clamping the child's mouth over it.

"Suck on this, you wretched snivelling bitch", she snarls.

RentBoy says, "I have assessed several ground-based reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition systems."

Madame.de.Clairwil exclaims, "A worthless exercise. Why bother? Your mob's 3CI is no match for my own triple cunt intelligence, and you know it well."

RentBoy takes bottle of amyl from his pocket and sniffs slowly, rimming each nostril with a lover's tenderness.

Madame.de.Clairwil orders, "Cease your idle chatter immediately and seal those restless beestinging lips of yours over the pussy of this vexatious ragamuffin. Suck the slippery little slut dry while I poke her. We shall join forces to increase the collateral damage."

RentBoy slides his hand into his pants as Madame.de.Clairwil prepares the child's ridiculously tight cunt for his attentions, forcing the girl to strike a particularly vulgar pose.

Madame.de.Clairwil groans, "Look how juicy our angel is. I can smell her entrails already. Hurry! My cunt is liquefying. It's intolerable! You must delay no longer."

RentBoy responds dreamily, "Your wish is my command, lady. One day we'll clone cunts for fucking."

Madame.de.Clairwil says, "And children for torturing. Procuring these brats is even more tedious than listening to your florid words. Now shut up and get to work before my cunt explodes! Her slit needs a massive squirt of your friendly fire."

Madame.de.Clairwil peels open the child's battery-plumped cunt lips.

Murmuring something about engagement implications of land power dominance, RentBoy proceeds to sink his face into the waiting hole of the little girl, his hand tightly gripping his rigid prick.

Madame.de.Clairwil sighs. "If there *was* a god, then surely the cunts of little girls must be heaven."

*** Disconnected ***

Q: as part of VNS Matrix you helped coin the term "cyberfeminist." it seems that that term had a rather short life--maybe 1991-1998?? do you consider this term dated or still relevant?

There are a number of chix in australia and the states and europe who are now identifying as 'cyberfeminists' and exploring various philosophical, political and social implications of what it all might mean and do …. I was deeply engaged with this debate in the early 90s, and as a member of VNS Matrix helped to make quite a prolific body of artwork and narrative texts which played with some of the issues surrounding the relations of gender and technology … but that was then, and now I've moved on to explore other fields of enquiry and media activism …. But of course I still identify as a feminist, if not a cyberfeminist.

GenderFuckMeBaby's Palace of Unparalled Cynicism

*** Connected ***

Subliminal Shift
Certainty and truth slip away as you journey towards voluptuous abandonment in the sutured zones created by the willful GashGirl...

[don't stop...don't ever stop]
fingering my suppurating holes, extending my oozing boundary

but in cipherspace there are no bounds
or so they say
[yeah, whatever]


(whisper) there is only *us*

dumb agents forever crawling over the de sadean co-ordinates
prosaic swarmware -- masquerading as rogue codes seeking a good time
[Madame.de.Clairwil exclaims, "Beg for it, my divine slut!" as she lowers her steaming ass over B_'s gaping mouth]

trying to flee the binary i enter the gender which is not one

neva thought i was the type to fuck a testosterone-enhanced spivak... but eir luscious cunt exuded musk, i couldn't resist this banquet of impossible addictions the day they put the stench into spiralspace remains my favourite entice me splice me
map my ABANDONED genome as your project
artificially evolve me

Cunt Intelligence Agents hate my virtual guts
they take it up the ass despite their credo

this code has NO integrity
i'm yr original NWA, busting yr gated whitecybercitadel
[just cos i'm white doesn't mean i'm not black inside]
in cybrospace everyone can be black
where is the black bitch BTW? Lick my boots, delicious whore!

i wanna live forever...upload me into your shiny shiny PVC extropian future
no drug can be as good as your cyber fingers

gender fuck me baby--suck my code, suck it good

Q: are/were you involved in the FACES community and if so, what do you think about it? is there a place online where people can talk about sexuality and gender? or is that not necessary?

I'm an on/off lurker on FACES ..lists aren't really my medium -- prefer email and MOO and collaborative and solo web work ... I appreciate what the FACES mob are doing … and the range of issues and projects which arise from this forum

People talk about sex and gender issues a lot on various MOOs and via email ... Those online cafe chats which range from juicy details of recent fucks to experimenting with gender identity and power play to the politics of sex/gender.

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:11:34 PDT
From: Jane Doll
To: gashgirl@sysx.apana.org.au
Subject: dressing for the evening

I open my cupboard, naked and bit tense already. I recover the clothes
and lay them on the bed. First, I take the bra and pass it on. I fumble
a bit to strap it, and I fill the cups with old stockings. Next, I take
the garter belt and attach it carefully to my waist. Sitting on the bed,
I unroll the stockings on my legs, and fix them. The sensation of smooth
stockings on my skins is the first pleasure of dressing up. Picking up
the lacy panties, I pass them on, pushing my penis between my legs while
I still can, and hiding it under the soft fabric. I get the see-through
neglige and wear it. Finally I climb on the high heel slippers, watching
how my stockinged feet and ankles look. I trot to my computer and write
the lines above. I concentrate on my sensations, how it feels to be
dressed like that, the pleasure and the shame. I feel like I'm waiting
for someone, someone who expects to find me like that on returning.
Someone who knows, that, whatever my desire, I cannot show it without
restrain, and I have to be pushed. I think of myself being pushed,
worked up. With words, and touch, forced to do what I like to do. I
think of a hand parting my legs, stroking them, watching me squirm. As I
write I cross and uncross my legs, to feel my stockings. I think of
hands on my buttocks, massaging them through the fabric. I react a
little, under my panties. I get up and go take some ropes. I tie my
ankles together carefully. I stop and go down on my knees on my bed, and
slide my panties down my legs a little. I rub my ass, fingering myself
only a little. I now have a hard on in my panties. I get up again and
write the lines above. I think of you reading them, how I tell you my
deepest secrets, almost like you were there watching me. I think of how
I could serve you, as a private secretary or maid, bound by the secrets
I told you. I kneel again, this time I watch myself in the mirror. I
imagine someone watching me instead, appreciating my open position.
Taking advantage of my bare ass, pushing my buttocks apart, laughing at
the sight of my now hardening cock. I imagine resisting feebly, but at
the same time showing my arousement. Hands on my dick, stroking it to
make me come. Then using me, with my limp dick and dolorous ass.
I let my panties fall to my ankles and write these lines. I stroke
myself a little...

Your doll

Q: you've said in the past that working on computers was just a way to escape the boredom of small town australia... but now it seems like computers are integral to what you do, right? what do you like about computers?

For me computers are a means of creating and maintaining highly creative collaborative relationships ..they are a means to an end ... its how I work and how I play... they become the same thing ... in adelaide there are now only perhaps 3 people I can play/work ...so I must extend my communication tentacles using computers to find others, to make new games, new works, new dialogues, new media forms

My collaborations grow out of negotiated MOO relationships and email exchanges and web wanderings ... there is a sensation of coming in and out of orbit with other complementary minds ...

Date: 15 April
To: mr.manhattan
From: gashgirl

You wanted to know more about me. What could I tell you that would make any sense?

The room. Pale blossom branded by a dawn which always comes too early. It is empty apart from a bed. Three candles illuminate the space. Outside the cars become the steady roll of a wave which never quite breaks, under stars which hold their promise of morning for hours.

It is in this room that I utter a thousand promises of tender infamies. It is here that I captivate the minds of strangers who readily surrender to the capricious will of the Mistress of Detestable Pleasures. Only the serious may play my games.

I enter the machine, I connect, I am. It's like breathing. But shared with a million million others.
I die again and again, and each time I remake myself.
With a multiple of incandescent morphs one is never alone.

Even when I have disconnected, leaving my sleeping agents alone in their rooms, I sense myself continuing to exist in the imaginations of others, perpetrating a hundred elegant crimes upon their beings, touching secret yearnings with my whispering strokes, inciting them to action in their other worlds which I cannot, must not, visit.

I am most at home in the zones of the interior, exploring the planes of madness, eluding those who would censure me, feeding off the dark slick imaginings of my victims. My conspirators rather, for there are no true victims here, only those for whom torture and humiliation have become rapturous past-times.

Q: purrrr?

A: yessssss!

>My collaborations grow out of negotiated MOO relationships and email >exchanges and web wanderings there is a sensation of coming in and out >of orbit with other complementary minds

Q: yeah. it seems that there was a time on the web where the technology was simple enough and restricted enought that it offered a very kool type of exchange. i think we talked once about how Places are so much lamer than MOOs, even though the technology is supposed to be better. sometimes you want the lo-tech, like with the rooms you created at lambdaMOO. are you documenting that work or just treating it as a site-specific experience?

For years I obsessively kept transcripts of my sauciest MOO games – more as a personal archive/journal than documentation of an 'art' practice, something to disturb or excite the grandchildren next century. Excerpts from the thousands of pages of transcripts have been included in my book FleshMeat, with the permission of my playmates (since I don't own their words, I had to draw up legal release forms whereby they agreed to let me use the transcripts for the book, whilst preserving their anonymity). And I have used some of the MOO texts and MOOmails in my web project 'dollspace'. Since the MOO interactions are text only, they can be transported across into other mediums, like zines and books and magazine articles and web art manifestations and digi-videos ... so the possibilities extend far beyond the site n time specific situation of the actual games which are unfurled over many months or years.

Q: so talk about your other fields of media activism. or am i gonna have to drag it out of ya...

yeah..yr gonna havta drag me a bit! Currently I'm still collaborating with TinyK on the 'soundtrack for an empty dollspace' that he's maken for the dollspace web project...he's doing stuff with russian translations of my work ...we're thinken we'd like to release an audio CD of the stuff he's made, it wd be cool to release it with my book...kinda cross infection...we'll see...

and I'm maken a one minute digital video with a boy here in adelaide called elendil..its usen images I made in new york and russia, and he's animaten them, and it’s got a kinda fairy tale feel ... its about kids and sexual predators I think...beautiful and insidious...

And ive started a collaboration with underboy in sydney ... a web thing ...maken some kinda tangled love nest on the web spiked with theory ... early days yet for this one...here is the starten point…http://www.angelfire.com/id/makesense/doll.html .i really love the way he writes ...hes very erudite...but balanced with worken class b'ground...

and I have the los dias project I'll be starten very soon in new york ... Worken wiv ricardo dominguez and whoever else is interested..heres the initial project descp... It cd change a lit from this tho....::::


Project Outline, 22 September 1998, Francesca da Rimini

"All women are ghosts and should rightly be feared."
Doll Yoko

"Ghosts are always/already the concern of media communication and media networks."
Ricci de Fantasma

LOS DIAS Y LAS NOCHES DEL MUERTOS uses the soft architecture and
screenal bodies of the internet to create a ghost work of
counter-memories, opening thresholds of impossibilities outside of
pan-capitalism. A drifting space which gathers together the spectres of
recombinant desires, dead girls and Zapatistas.
The project's starting point is a dialogue between Francesca da Rimini
(http://sysx.apana.org.au/~gashgirl/arc) and digital zapatismo activist
Ricardo Domingeuz (www.thing.net/~rdom AND
Aspects of the unfolding dialogue will be interpreted, traced and
expanded in sound and text by Diane Ludin (http://www.thing.net/~diane).

The project will draw upon the net's inherent participatory nature by
inviting other possessed bodies to contribute research, ideas, stories,
ephemeral bodies and digital artefacts to a work which is always in a
state of becoming, a work whose threshhold is slippery, and boundaries
ana hernandez (anarquia@thing.net)(Chiapas, Mexico) will link the poetic
imaginary with the magic of the real, through her involvement with Zapatista
women, community health care work and the Chiapas Media Project.

Marco Deseriis (Roma) will extend the hauntings to the Italian
underground, in particular making cross-links with Forte Prenestino,
Rome's infamous squatted social centre and popular haunt of activists,
zine makers, mathematicians and techno musicians.

Mirroring and reconfiguring a melange of popular cultural forms
including underground Eurocomics and NYzines, Japanese teen idol cults
and Latin American radio soaps, graffiti and flyers, folklore and myths,
a swarm of data ghosts will be created and set loose in liquidspace
(internet website, email discourse in English, Spanish and Italian, ICQ
sessions) and hardspace (zines, street, culture hives) over three monthsv of serial hauntings from October to December 1998.

The hungry ghosts will include net personae already developed (Doll
Yoko, Bill Who?, Lo Cavalluccio) and new avatars arising from the
research. These personae, alternately serious and playful, will slip
between media forms, time zones, geographic locations, always becoming,
inviting interaction

The research stage of LOS DIAS Y LAS NOCHES DEL MUERTOS will also
incorporate flesh and email dialogue with members of the Mexican
Zapatista movement. The Zapatistas are the nomadic underground network
and populist movement comprised of the various Mexican indigenous tribes
and non-indigenous Mexicans. They have strategically combined poetic,
political and media discourses, in no-tech, lo-tech and hi-techv bandwidths, making the voice of a silenced community resonate virally onv an international level, influencing the course of political change in

The core haunting LOS DIAS Y LAS NOCHES DEL MUERTOS will take the form
of a web-based drifting through a series of invisible cities. These
poetic drifts will recombine visual and sound material gathered in the
Lacondona jungle, Chiapas, with digital debris and emblems of corporate
power discovered in the hyper-decay streets and gangrenous pan-corporate
bunkers of New York City. Spectral manifestations of 'alternative
culture' within Forte Prenestino will become another series of impulses
driving the project. The conceptual basis and internet architecture of
the web aspect of the project will be enhanced by email discourses
splining together mathematical equations, linguistic analysis of
fairytales, a folkloric form of Sufi poetry and ideas in the field of
quantum physics about hyper strings and n-dimensional space.

Related hauntings will use reworked material from the email dialogues
and street driftings to create a series of zines and street
stickers/flyers, to be strategically distributed via mail, and
physically placed in New York, Rome, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney.

Using existing contacts in New York a public event at an educational or
cultural space will be arranged during the course of the project.
Australian hardspace manifestations of the project will also be
arranged, tapping into the networks of both the Co-operative Multimedia
Centres and the Contemporary Art Spaces Network.

The production stage may be assisted by The Thing, an artist-run media
space and internet provider in New York. The internet manifestations
will be promoted through critical internet communication channels
including the artist-run internet community System-X, the Australian
Network for Art and Technology (Australia), Nettime (Europe), and The
Thing (USA).

The collaborators will also investigate international presentation
opportunities within the digi-media circuit including Ars Electronica
(Austria), Metaforum (Hungary), Art on the Net (Japan) and The Next 5
Minutes (The Netherlands).

LOS DIAS Y LAS NOCHES DEL MUERTOS is funded primarily through the Visual
Arts Craft Fund of the Australia Council, with the collaborative
elements made possible through the participants generously donating
their ideas and creative labour and resources.

All material and digital manifestations of the project will be copyright
free, to encourage the work to virally replicate and mutate through many
media forms.

and next year I wanna start a project called soft accidents bout sum stuff happening in quantum physics and relationshiops with certain indigenous cosmologies..this also will be a collaborative project..also will involve spenden some time in milano with the SHAKE/decoder underground publishing and media activist mob

and now..of course rome...and aspects of the scene around Forte Prenestino...
[parts of this e-terview were originally published at Rhizome Internet.