beijing hotspring business club

it's almost 7AM in a free to use internet room in a very special corner of beijing (more info below). IMAGINE: next to me a guy - in exactly the same pyjama as i wear- playing an ego shooter game. he looks like he killed newbies like me and other moving pixels all night long. another maniac (yes. the same pyjama as well) collapsed and sleeps on his keyboard. ohhhh teufel. i love such situations... i feel like a wiliam gibson character! i have to blog this !

but the chinese keyboard gives me a hard time... no copy paste. so i write an email report to myself ....that will reach the blog with a 24 delay (HERE IT IS! who cares... time seams very very relative over here this reality).

background: i just woke up (06:23, a discret led display informed me about the coordinates in space and time) in a luxury bed (with built in lcd screen, motors to move my position, many pillows... two chinese friends on both sides). i remember: about 3 hours ago i had a wonderful foot massage. 4,5 hours ago i was having dinner with very drunk chinese art giants... (no names please!)

spent a night in the hotspring buisness club in the capitol of china. its my last night after five weeks of beijing action and our cool synthetic time producer Li Zhenghua and his friend took me to this crazy place.

we arrived around midnight after an arario gallery opening of a show by artist WANG DU and a dinner with at least 100 artists, curators, gallerists, writers etc.

Mr Li promised me living fish that eat the dirty and dead skin from my body! sounds like a MUST DO and good happy end for one of the most exciting and interesting "cultural value business trips" in my life.

the result is simply amazing!

i'm not able to describe this fake paradise spa, rain forest, luxury club providing everything you can imagine... from endless spa solutions and perfect service to delicious food, sofa style luxury beds (built in tv screens etc etc), gambling tables, cigar smoking in the water, private/small group/public relaxing areas, bars, reading rooms etc... and yes: swarms of tiny fish that suck your skin.

and even internet rooms like the ones that i use right now.

i cant believe it: you can stay here 18h for the standard price to relax from the china hype and even bring your books or labtop.

women and men are seperated for the spa and some areas...but most areas are shared.

it does not seam so expensive to me... but lets wait with this final comment... i did not check out yet!

ok.. now i have to run and find a phone to say good bye to wonderful miss monorom who was a great business partner and friend here in beijing (like everzwhere else!).

tonight we will be both gone. but etoy.MURIEL and etoy.FRED will "hold" beijing for the corporation.

thanks to everybody! especially li for this HAPPY ENDING.

over and out. log out.


Party, Saturday 12th July @ etoy.TANKS


next Friday will be Anna's birthday, I just turned 30, and etoy returns from its successful exploit in Beijing [1].

Three good reasons to have a party at the etoy.IMPLANTAT [2], a beautiful piece of post-industrial wilderness near the center of Zurich.

A lamb (100% organic [3]), fire, beer and soft-drinks (as well as a bunch of other basics) will be provided starting at around 5 p.m. If you want to be one of the kool kids, though, please consider bringing along at least one of the following:
-- friends
-- your favorite mobile food or exotic drinks
-- fireworks, music, hand guns

Hope to see you there,

Comments (7)  Permalink

etoy leaving China

- - - etoy.UNIVERSE / Breaking news - - -

1> Another brand new etoy.TANK gets loaded for
one of the most interesting contemporary art
shows: Manifesta7!

2> Last day of the show "Synthetic Times"
at the National Art Museum of China / Beijing

Meet etoy.MONOROM and etoy.ZAI TODAY (July 3)
between 3PM and 5PM for a last guided personal
tour and to learn how they experienced China.

3> etoy.CHINA-BRANCH installed and activated:
etoy.CORPORATION - well known for its global
approach to culture and commerce - tastes
yellow river capitalism and tries to find out how
to get its hands dirty in the CHINA-GAME.
(or to survive and produce under THE CHINESE
CONDITIONS that started to rule the planet).


- - - IN DETAIL - - -

soon start to hyperventilate as he prepares the
massive transfer of gear and etoy.CREW-MEMBERS
from all over the world (Zurich, Berlin, Basel and
Beijing) to Bolzano/Italy where etoy.CORPORATION
will install its summer camp.

etoy was selected by the Manifesta curators of
RAQS from New Delhi
to question and shake the concept of emotional
data collection and long term storage of information
in distributed social networks.

"Manifesta is one of the most important European
Biennials of Contemporary Art and it takes place
every two years in different cities. As Documenta
Kassel and the International Art Exhibition of the
Venice Biennale, it is one of the highlights for
international contemporary art".

For people staying in Europe this summer we
recommend a two+ day trip to the region of
Trentino – South Tyrol, Italy or even the guided
trip of Kunsthalle St.Gallen that takes you to all
the important Manifesta venues in September.
(hurry up now! you can still reserve a seat:

The etoy.CREW moves to Bolzano for the full
duration of Manifesta7 for self-encapsulation
experiments (another series of work for MISSION
ETERNITY) and a summer of interventions
in the Italian Alps. After Beijing, Bolzano will
come as a mountain retreat and in August hosts
the annual general meeting of the etoy.VENTURE
ASSOCIATION, the non profit organization within
the etoy.UNIVERSE. Between July 19th
(Manifesta opening) and November 3rd 2008,
a modified etoy.TANK will be permanently
installed for MISSION ETERNITY data collection:
etoy.AGENTS will work, cook, eat, talk, meet, and
sleep in the container to record their personal
ARCANUM CAPSULES. In the tradition of
Joseph Beuys, the agents are part of the
show and do daily container tours to offer insights
into the production of etoy.CODE and eternal data


2> Tomorrow 7-3-2008 is the last day of the show
"Synthetic Times" at the National Art Museum
of China / Beijing.
Not to miss if you're in the city! This has been
one of the best media art shows for years and
documents China's will to connect with the world
not only on the level of trade and sports but also
in the high-risk and unprofitable field of so-called
"media art".

While most major European and American art
institutions still avoid trouble triggered by
electronic components and confusing user
interaction, curator Zhang Ga and his team at
NAMOC invested massive resources and passion
into one of the most professional but also most
interesting shows that etoy ever participated in.
Since the opening many thousands of Chinese
and international visitors have seen the
exhibition that features works from the most
influential contemporary artists who go beyond
showing colorful surfaces and disconnected objects.

etoy picked a few favorites in four relevant but
arguable categories.

Many thanks to Zhang Ga, Fan Di'An, Li Zhenhua,
and our incredible local etoy.AGENT Liu Jia!
Kisses to Pro Helvetia and Swiss Nex and all other
organizations/individuals who made this exciting first
step into the Chinese market possible and take the risk
to invest in complicated geek art and future culture
while the money-driven art market wants easy to
consume products. CREDITS

The SARCOPHAGUS will be exposed to the Beijing
heat for another few days and is then being injected back
into the global cargo package system with thousands
of other shipping containers leaving China every day
in order to satisfy our prurience for cheap products.


3> To study but also to participate in THE NEW
ORDER + CHAOS etoy spent the last five weeks in
China and established a sustainable network of
collaborators, suppliers, spies and friends. etoy
entered the CHINA-GAME that will probably last
for quite a while ...and definitely goes on when all
the athletes, journalists and protesters go back
home to train for the next mega event.

One more time etoy.CORPORATION accepted to
loose its innocence and to damage its image of a
politically correct artist collective because we want
to know what's happening to this planet and its
inhabitants - first hand and from an artistic
perspective! etoy was always - and must remain -
part of the mess and in the eye of the storm in
order to create art that is about and for our time.

In the eyes of many observers, the future of billions
of us is currently shaped in China (especially in Asia,
Africa and South America). We can ignore it, hate it,
complain, express our foggy concerns - or
study China carefully to be prepared for new
impulses and to underline our suggestions or
demands with knowledge and respect.

To get a more precise idea of what we refer to, etoy
recommends the book: "What does China think?" by
Mark Leonard.

The show at the National Art Museum of China
impressively demonstrated China's position as a new
leader who takes risks. For etoy, it is not an accident
that one of the first big art museums that shows
media art on this scale is located in China.
May the rest of the art world learn from this step
and move towards higher impact and face some of
the big questions of our time: what happens to
the human civilization as relationships and
transactions get more and more virtual and
humans are penetrated by machines and information?

Another example of China's efforts to take over:
currently hundred thousands of design and engineering
students are educated in this country! To simply
assume that these people have no style (something
we hear frequently in Europe) is naive. Some of these
brains will redesign our code and way of life while
our typical creative heroes in London and New York
probably make a lot of money or increase fame by
designing some fancy art books, luxury furniture
or cool international hotels: nice and expensive
stuff with minimal impact on HARDCORE REALITY.
Just sushi - No substance.

etoy.ZAI's lecture at Tsinghua University was
scheduled on a Sunday morning 10AM (because
he refused to start at 9AM). About 30 interaction
design students showed up (most of them 10
minutes in advance) - not because they had to
- but because they where interested in tasting
something different from their usual brain food.
It did not matter so much to them that they
did not "get it" right from the start...(who gets
it anyway?) The audience accepted the fact that
there are many concepts and approaches to
interaction design and art. Some of them wrote
emails after the presentation and came to meet
etoy at the museum for a deeper discussion.
This is something that simply doesn't happen at
most European universities.

What etoy.AGENTS face here is pure motivation
and a striking number of open-minded individuals
who are willing to SHARE time, passion and their
often quite limited resources. Yes! We miss this
quality in good old Europe and we admit that
it feels very good to work here. People run and
jump. Not just for money. Forget this cliche.

etoy does not want to glorify the China-Hype or
downplay the threats, horrible side effects, brutal
logic of the transformation of this society or even
the violations of human rights in China. But etoy -
as anybody else who is an active player in this life -
is involved and obliged to do more than to complain
and accuse. We want to interact. Even if we risk to
get our hands dirty or to make mistakes. We want
to be part and SHARE the mess instead of playing
the innocent smart ass who does not even know
who assembled his/her computer, ipod, camera,
sneakers or who thermoformed the plastic box in the

etoy.CONCLUSION: today - after 4 weeks in China
-the etoy.MANAGEMENT decided to enter a test
phase in which 80% of all physical products such
as print material, share certificates, steel parts for
etoy.TANKS and hardware components will be
produced in China - not by intransparent
middlemen but directly by etoy.PARTNERS.

The results will be carefully evaluated (from
emotional, economical, cultural, and political
viewpoints). Subsequently, etoy.SHAREHOLDERS
will be called to vote on the future strategy and
on how to do business with the red giant.

As with the digital revolution in the early 90s, etoy
another highly questionable rush that drives our
planet close to the collapse these days:

The rise of the Internet and the acceleration of
global trade is very directly linked and in many
ways of similar nature. We move things fast:
information and goods. We all want lower prices
and permanent availability. This demands faster
cables, lager vessels and huge computer
systems to coordinate and administrate
distribution and delivery. We can produce
everywhere because we can communicate fast
and cheap. We can customize and adapt in real
time. And the problems become obvious: the
world becomes "flat" and standardized, the
environment suffers, the climate collapses, we
heat up everything - even by cooling down
our machines and sweating bodies.

But what does it help to only complain and
express concerns from a pseudo outsider
position? We are linked anyhow and etoy
dogmatically supports links. The more the better!

There will be no simple answers to complex
problems. The Bug sits most likely inside
our own genetic code or global culture.

etoy decided to meet the bug inside itself. Only
fixing the internal bug can fix the external one.
We love it and hate it - we need to know.

To turn theory in practice, the corporation recruited
two new agents living in Beijing: etoy.LIU, a young
economics student and project manager who grew
up in the Chinese capitol and now plays a key role
in establishing etoy's business relations with local
sound producers, money printers, steel workers,
card board-, plastic- and dvd manufacturing plants,
universities or other artists - and agent etoy.MURIEL,
a Thai and Chinese speaking open source developer
with genetic code from Thailand, India, England
and Switzerland! Muriel currently lives in Beijing
and runs one of the first geek-girl-groups in the
city. Welcome on board and fasten your seat belt.
Globalization impacts on all etoy.ACTIVITIES
(except maybe organic gardening and relaxation
at the Zurich IMPLANTAT).

((Don't miss our summer party on July 12, 2008))

etoy picked up the challenge back in the 90s when
virtual team work was a novelty. Today, in a time in
which Skype links ordinary Chinese grand parents
as well as old Swiss farmers with their grand
children on the other side of the planet and almost
every student has a facebook or twitter account,
etoy wants to know why the art market is still all
about oil and object ownership.

In THE FACTORY OF THE WORLD etoy seeks new
approaches to this interconnected madness:
the relationship between the intangible realm of
world dominating digital communication and mass
production of goods, gadgets, plastic products,
container vessels.

etoy intends to occupy a unique vantage point in the
art world to penetrate and live the global trade of
ideas, services, and products. Beijing turned out to
be the ideal laboratory for our applied research: the
last weeks of intense exposure to the Chinese model
of yellow river capitalism, strict government control
and integration of free market principles, extreme
transformation processes and highly motivated
human beings shook our souls and nerves.

China seems to be good to etoy but etoy.MONOROM
and etoy.ZAI look forward to slower and more quiet
months in Bolzano where we reflect and hopefully
digest what we sucked in in Beijing - a crazy
Internet-like social, commercial and cultural nervous
system - an adorable and questionable organism that
pulses 24h a day!

Four more days to go. Then we make way for the
players of another kind of sport.

Nie Hau! and see you in Bolzano.
your etoy.AGENTS from Beijing

Synthetic Times - etoy's favorites

etoy picked a few favorites from the current Synthetic Times show at the National Art Museum of China in four relevant but arguable categories:


all agents agree on this one

Sissel Tolaas' wall with the scent of 11 men under fear. By introducing this "new media" the artist opens up a totally new space for both: deep intellectual reflection at the base of human communications as well as a strong and ultra direct sensual experience. For the etoy.AGENTS this is one of the best and most radical artworks ever. Unfortunately in Beijing Tolaas is not presented in its own separate room which would be necessary to unfold the full potential of this excellent example of:

A) ART IN BETWEEN: super abstract on the visual level, totally intangible in its essence and ultra concrete (REAL - NO FAKE!) on the technical / scientific layer.
B) INTERACTION: people have to rub the wall in order to release the scent (intangible art that you have to touch to release. No mouse / No screen. No visible interface ->just perfect).
C) THE PERVERSION OF THE NATURAL: while smelling is part of our fundamental navigation system it almost always remains undercover and subliminal - as long as a sent is not too penetrating... the fear of 11 men is certainly very penetrating!

... as with every good artwork there are hundreds of other levels that can be discussed... find out yourself! but control your instincts when consuming FEAR11.
and stop breathing when walking by more than 10 times a day! (And don't rub the walls before you had breakfast!!!)


agent haefliger suggests blendid - a collective that built a human-sized scanner that would take anyone's picture and display it on the scan surface seconds after the exposure. It works perfectly fine as tested by museum guards a million times ;-) etoy loves this and takes it as a proof of quality if museum staff gets involved... even if some of the artists dont like it.

agent zai loves Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's work very much. Easy to access, clear but still complex and very unique.

exenomo set up an ego shooter that allows you to shoot random household items out into the green field and create fantastic noise to go with it.


agent haefliger voted for mw2mw, by their own account, built a beautiful wall that sucks in flickr images and blends them beautifully. Possibly as much beauty as art can take.

agent zai prefers Anthony McCall's Light Installation You and I, Horizontal III because it looks so simple and is so complex / advanced at the same time. People love to stare into the light of the projector which turns the work into a masterpiece of bidirectional art. The audience becomes part of the intangible sculpture while the picture on the wall is great - but only one part of the essence. wherever you look inside this system: beauty, intellectual challenge and art history blink back. brilliant!!!

Invest in art today: it's probably the only value investment today with a clear buy and a straight face!

ANGEL APPLICATION 0.4.1 "zhong guo"

We're pleased to announce the availability of version 0.4.1 中国 (zhong guo) of the ANGEL APPLICATION.

This is a pure bugfix release over version 0.4 and essentially fixes a network blocking issue in the maintenance loop.

More detailed information can be found in the CHANGES file.

A download is available at

Prev11-15/15 twisting values since 1994