Critical Art Ensemble Timeline
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:


As students, Steve Kurtz and Steve Barnes begin a collaboration to make low-tech videos. They use the signature Critical Art Ensemble to credit all the people who contribute to the productions.

Summer 1987

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Critical Art Ensemble transforms into a broad-based artist and activist collective, expanding to include six core members.


CAE begins its collective practice. The first multimedia exhibitions are held at Club NU (a trendy Miami club) and Pappy's Lounge (a small blues bar in downtown Jackson, MS).

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The first events are produced: Political Art In Florida? is done in collaboration with Group Material, and Frontier Production is done with Thomas Lawson.


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CAE begins releasing object-oriented artist's books of plagiarist text poetry (six in all).


Cultural Vaccines, a collaboration with Gran Fury, results in a multimedia event in Tallahassee, FL, critiquing U.S. policy on the HIV crisis. The first chapter of ACT UP in Florida is created out of this project.

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Peep Show, a collaboration with Prostitutes of New York (PONY), premieres at Window on Gaines, Tallahassee, FL.


Fiesta Critica, a body of work (performance, sound installation, slide show, and a video installation) developed in Indiantown, FL, by CAE and local migrant workers, addresses Floridian agricultural labor relations. With the aid of a local organization and citizens, CAE produces an Easter fiesta as a platform to show the works.

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Exit Culture is produced by CAE as a series of works developed for highway culture.

CAE proposes The Electronic Disturbance to Autonomedia, a collective of Semiotext(e).


CAE is invited to perform at the Audio/Visual Experimental festival in the Netherlands, the collective's first appearance in Europe.

CAE completes the associational documentary series Apocalypse and Utopia (see The Electronic Disturbance, chapter 3, for more information).


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The Electronic Disturbance is published by Autonomedia.

Construction begins on CAE's web site.

The Useless Technology project is performed as a street action and launched online. CAE projects begin to appear in both real and virtual forms.

CAE introduces the concept of electronic civil disobedience at the Terminal Futures conference at the ICA in London.

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CAE lectures at Ars Electronica and introduces the concept of the data body.

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CAE tours Europe performing Body Count.


Electronic Civil Disobedience (the companion text to The Electronic Disturbance) is published by Autonomedia.

Research begins on the book Flesh Machine.

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CAE tours Flesh Frontiers and Shareholder's Briefing.

The Italian translation of The Electronic Disturbance is published by Castelvecchi.

CAE goes to Documenta X in Kassel, Germany, to begin the process of conceptualizing and editing the book README: Ascii Culture and the Revenge of Knowledge at Hybrid Workspace.

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CAE begins to tour the performance Flesh Machine. It premiers in Vienna at Public Netbase and closes in Helsinki, at Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, in Summer 1998.

The French anthology of CAE's writings, La Résistance Electronique, is published by L'Éclat. [End Page 134]


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Flesh Machine is published by Autonomedia.

CAE's street action occurs in Sheffield, UK, with the performance, The International Campaign for Free Alcohol and Tobacco for the Unemployed.

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The German translation of Flesh Machine is published by Passagen.

The Italian translation of Electronic Civil Disobedience is published by Castelvecchi.


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The Society for Reproductive Anachronisms premiers in the student cafeteria at Rutgers University.

Work begins on Cult of the New Eve.

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CAE begins its new book project, entitled Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media.

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CAE begins performing Cult of the New Eve. It premiers at St. Clara Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media is published in 2000 by Autonomedia.

The German anthology of CAE's writings on electronic media is published by Passagen.

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