Date: 9.7.2000
From: Josephine Bosma (jesis@xs4all.nl)
Subject: Interview with mi_ga

         [mi_ga stands for Mindaugas Gapsevicius. He is a Lithuanian net
         artist, and one of the founders of the o-o domain. o-o was
         initiated in 1998 and is one of net arts' independent outposts.
         The group around it is quite young compared to a lot of other
         artists and artgroups, and their attitude is interesting. One
         project related to it is the asco project, which is a spam art
         project coming from the '7-11 family line' of net art. mi-ga has
         set up the asco project with the French net artist d2b. Unlike
         the spam engine created by Frederic Madre early this year, which
         was just one part of the Palais Tokyo mailinglist, the asco spam
         engines are the center of focus and activity of asco.]

JB: What is asco?

mi_ga: It is ascii art, and the idea was to make it very infantile. Not
a serious ascii art mailinglist. We store everything on the net.

JB: What is this interest in spamming in a certain net art community?
Why is it so popular?

mi_ga: It is just fun. You can change stuff and spam. You can see how
things are changed..

JB: You don't take an existing text and change it yourself?

mi_ga: You can change something inside the engine through a web
interface. You can play with it and make a spam.

JB: What is fun about it?

mi_ga: The fun is to get infantile ascii art.

JB: Instead of what...?

mi_ga: Not instead of anything.

JB: You just like spam art?

mi_ga: yeah. It's cool. It does not look good. It is cool.

JB: I see. Would you say that spam art is a kind of grafiti?

mi_ga: Well... we were not thinking about grafiti at all. If you want
you can say it is grafiti. Let me show you three versions of spam. (He
shows me the d2b site) Maybe it is web graffiti, I don't know. Here is
the last version: cross words. It spammed quite a few lists: 7-11,
Palais Tokyo, nettime... You can change the cross words.

JB: They always look the same. If there are changes, they are very
subtle. Each one looks very much like the others. Should one look

mi_ga: You can change the content yourself. The form of the spam can be
different. You have to go deeper, deeper, deeper to know what is going
on. If you just push the button it stays the same. Here are archived
messages of the list. Each number you see on this site contains an
archive. Each archive contains fifteen messages, in a random way.

JB: We see particular urls used as text or content for this spam you
show me now. 7-11, kalx, potatoland, m9ndfukc, d2b, mouchette, salty,
xtreme, your o-o, the 0100etc people. Is there a special bond between
those urls?

mi_ga: This spam was made by d2b and me together. We chose to put those
urls in because they are cool.

JB: These are just your favorite urls?

mi_ga: Maybe that is why...

JB: Do you also have one with urls you hate? With bad net art maybe?

mi_ga: I don't look at bad net art. I forget it immediately.

JB: So there are no net art projects that come to mind that you
particularly do not like?

mi_ga: I do not like pictures much. If there are a lot of pictures I
don't like it.

JB: Because they are hard to download for you?

mi_ga: I have to pay for every minute, so I have not much time to
navigate or to surf on the net. The story comes down to that I like
ascii. Maybe if I would have a very good net connection the history
would go into another direction. From the beginning I liked ascii more
though. We made our site quite long ago, and it is ascii based, no
images. We have something of a campaign where you can find images, but
in general there are none.

JB: What do you think of the Ascii Art Ensemble?

mi_ga: I think they are great. What else to say?

JB: Do you prefer Eastern European net art over American net art?

mi_ga: I think there are no borders.