this is a study of two social groups that we see as structurally similar. one is the ejercito zapatista liberacion nacional, the indigenous guerilla army of chiapas, mexico, who incorporate international efforts into their work to build recognition within their own country. the other is etoy, the internet-based art collaborative that is also seeking to build name recognition in its efforts to infuse the "boring media art world" with unconventional actions. the zapatistas, years in the making, gained national attention by forcefully occupying the city of san cristobal de las casas on january 1, 1994. etoy also gained notoriety in 1994 through their digital highjack of millions of interfaces throughout the globe. both groups are angered by the status quo and see a numbing affect on a far-reaching and diverse audience. this audience, whether communicating through a political vote or through electronic media, has experienced a loss of voice as well as continued segregation into smaller and smaller entities. etoy and zapatismo seek to re-unify an increasingly isolated culture through radical movements that transcend the existing bureaucratic structures. in this way, they are innovative rebellions that seek not to overthrow a single person in power, but rather to accomplish a more difficult task of changing society from the bottom up. the zapatistas do so on a political level; etoy on an artistic level.

the zapatista islands are their five occupied territories within the state of chiapas. etoy's island is sealand, a small, artificial structure in the english channel where their server is located. our project focuses on the parallel means that they use to transcend the island boundaries and communicate on a global scale. these include the internet, the media, art, and cultural symbolism.

these means are the main weapons for the groups. both have earned their guerilla identity through actions in resistance, against the economic conglomerations of the international monetary fund, the world bank, neoliberalism (zapatistas), or against, on of the largest e-commerce corporations and an "old-fashioned corporate bulldozing power" (etoy). they are guerillas because they are clandestine and separated from the population, even as they win over converts and support outside the rank-and-file, and because they use tactics from the outside. their strategies - international encuentros, art projects, and web networks -- do not yet exist in their enemies' arsenal. the word domain refers to both their use of websites and the territories which they have constructed in order to occupy them. these are island spaces with their boundaries drawn on land, in cyberspace, by social exclusion, and by the english channel.

coexistent scales.txt
while the zapatistas started in a geographic island location (the 5 aguascalientes) and in a social island (the guerilla structure of hiding in the jungle, unable to sustain interaction with the population at large) and moved onto the internet, etoy began to incorporate itself on the internet. it is only within the last year that etoy has sought a permanent physical situation on the principality of sealand. the world's smallest sovereign territory and a man-made island, sealand is now being leased by havenco to various internet corporations as a safe shelter for their servers. etoy is one of these corporations.

at this time a short history of sealand is necessary. during WWII, great britain established an artificial island on the high seas. it served as a military base to assault german aircraft. in the winter of 1966, a british family took possession of the abandoned island. they hoisted a flag and declared the existence of a new state - the principality of sealand.
thirty years later, after defending the integrity of their island through both gunfire and passport control, the family decided to leave their home. this made sealand available for other projects, and in early 2000 the royal family leased sealand exclusively to havenco for its datacenter operations.

the zapatista territories are land islands. there are several conditions which must be met to achieve international recognition as a guerrilla movement, and one of them is occupation of land. the zapatistas maintain five occupied areas, although the indians that support and participate in their actions live in a broader space. these "bases" are located throughout the state of chiapas: roberto barrios, la realidad, oventic, morelia, and guadalupe tepayac. each one contains bunkhouses, a stage, a meeting house, and other buildings which are services for the zapatista population (not only for the army, which is always shifting in size), but are usually not permanently occupied. one exception is the schoolhouse in oventic, which houses 20 teachers and some two hundred students. it is important to note that, although these are called the army bases, weapons of any kind are forbidden. instead, they serve as communication centers. if the indians hold a meeting, a vote, a convention, or a party, they will use this center. collectively, these islands are called "aguascalientes." this name refers to the city north of chiapas where the mexican constitution was ratified by the national heroes emiliano zapata and pancho villa, the leaders of the mexican revolution in the early 1900s.
the guerilla structure of the movement also makes an island from social isolation. it is possible to visit the surrounding area and not hear any mention of the conflict. there are definate signs: graffitti on the city walls, handcrafted zapatista dolls for sale in the market, and military police throughout the area, but a tourist could easily come into the area and not put these clues together. guidebooks in the past couple of years do not even mention the uprising. many of the residents also continue to live their lives without involving themselves in the conflict.

both etoy and the zapatistas fight for a virtual place on the internet. the zapatistas have to contend with fake websites, some of them by government agents seeking to dispel the guerilla army's rising popularity, and some by accident. - the latter is a laundromat in conneticut!
the zapatista presence on the web has been as essential to their identity formation as the physical territories that they occupy. on both geographic and virtual scales, place serves to construct identity. etoy has also had to fight for their virtual identity. they formed their corporation in 1994 and have held the domain name since then. an american company formed in 1996 chose the name, and later sued because the similarity of the names was preventing customers from reaching the site. the litigation was succesful, however, etoy responded by inititiating what is now know as TOYWAR. etoy agents sent emails to supportive friends, who in turn circulated the message to other companies, resulting in a press frenzy. the next day the story of the poor, artisitc movement bulldozed by the big nasty american company was broadcasted across the international press. etoy supporters attaced the website with connections that overloaded its servers, causing it to malfunction for short periods of time during the christmas rush. stock dropped from $67 to $15, and they dropped their lawsuit.

***this made toywar the most expensive performance in art history: $4.5 billion in damage! a glorious victory for the etoy.corporation which rewarded the activists that helped it with etoy.shares. in march of 2000 the newly-named etoy.soldiers became with voting rights.***

the war was held purely through the internet; a virtual war for a virtual place. however, it affected real lives and a real company. etoy has also created etoy.tanks: large orange boxes, similar in shape to the standardized containers used for freight shipment. the etoy.tank functions as a movable art office and can be shipped by helicopter or boat throughout the world. the tank, possibly carrying an agent or some other ammunition for the etoy.corporation, mimics the contained information package of electronic data.

both etoy and zapatista are reactions to globalized phenomena, but they are not solely retaliations against globalization. they accept globalization and incorporate its structures into their own. however, they seek to use and promulgate the anarchistic and non-hierarchical aspects of globalization, in order to decrease the ability of major powers to control information.

through experience with the zapatistas, an international population becomes aware not only of the maya history and culture, but also their ancient structure of consensual democracy. many of the international volunteers who visit the area seek to understand a variation on modern hierarchical and often exclusionary democracies that considers and equalizes all individuals. (this is highly relevant in the wake of efforts in planning to use bottom-up social structures, empower populations, and involve a large citizen body in the planning process. most efforts from the developed world to do so have been unsuccessful.) presence on the internet strengthens the maya culture and attracts participants seeking to learn from the population.

among the obvious differences between the two (the one is political, the other artistic), one of the most severe lies in their treatment of and attitude towards the financial market. the zapatistas fully oppose the financial structure of global capital. they sought to attack the market from the top down: aiming their rhetoric at the international monetary fund, the world bank, NAFTA and the mexican and american governments, and the forces of neoliberalism. in some ways they were actually able to make a tangible impact. former mexican president carlos salinas de gortari had his campaign to become the next head of the world bank damaged by the uprising, which occured in his term of office. secondly, companies became reluctant to invest in southern mexico because they feared political instability. influence on the global demonstrations against neoliberalism that followed is a third possibility, but it cannot be measured.

etoy's affect on the stock market is more direct and more visible. their attack on originally began as a defense of the name, but etoy quickly assimilated the result into their identity. their official initial public offering started nearly two years earilier in austria, in january of 1998. etoy had already existed on the stock market before the toywar, and used shares in the company as rewards for aid in the toywar. the shares represent the only art product made by etoy. "etoy is the value. the share is the art product." they claim that this product does not follow the rules of ordinary finacial markets. there is no product or service for sale. the shares are a product inasmuch as they can be bought, but they are also called art. therefore etoy made global finance part of its adventure, while the zapatistas shunned it.

the etoy hijack interfered with servers all over the world. 200,000 hostages were hijacked in the first few months alone of the project, with over 1,000,000 to follow. the "hostages" were innocent web surfers using search engines. if they entered certain words (fassbinder, censorship, porsche, starttrek, bondage, selbstmord, etc.) they were taken to the "don't fucking move! you've been hijacked! webpage. for those interested, it is possible to still be voluntarily hijacked for recreational purposes.
many international newspapers covered the digital hijack story.
our groups act through the internet and their information is accessible worldwide, but in reality, only a small audience experiences direct contact. as with their clandestine geographic locations, it is possible to come very close to the networks without being conscious of their existence. globalization does not mean that everyone is experiencing the same thing; only that it is possible to reach across spatial or other boundaries and recieve information. there are zapatista groups working in new york and in japan. last month, it was also possible to hear two zapatistas speak in kulturhuset, stockholm center. and, there are links to zapatista sites directly from the etoy pages.

surveillance: the eye that is on the two groups
surveying: the eyes of the groups on the outside world, and the opinions they form that are the base for the actions

both groups began by holding meetings in secrecy. the zapatistas started training in the lacandon rainforest in 1983 and did not emerge on the world scene until they forcefully conquered the city of san cristobal de las casas, on january 1, 1994. this date coincided with the beginning of the NAFTA treaty. etoy began meeting in secret in 1992, first in the swiss alps and later in various decripit hotels in eastern europe. thier first appearance was also in 1994, at the ppp-fetischismo party in basel, an area heavily laden with pharmaceutical industries. 1994 is also the year that the internet went public. although both groups continue to meet in secrecy and protect the identities of their agents, they now live in a zwiespaeltig (the word means split between two sides) situation of also trying to market themselves and subject themselves to the international surveillance of the media.

originally,they were surveying global structures. etoy was looking at media art and the waves of banality surfing the internet. the zapatistas were looking at the false front of democracy in mexico, where a singly party had used corrupt methods to stay in power for 70 years, and at a democratic system that was putting an economic stranglehold on their lifestyle. they took it upon themselves to be the watchdogs of these structures and to broadcast to the world the nature of what they saw, posing themselves as experts. many people were convinced; many were already in agreement before they began. but once etoy and the zapatistas began to have a presence and state opinions, they opened themselves up for surveillance from their audience.
in presenting themselves for the surveillance of those who decide to look at them, they carefully choose certain images to present. nobody sees their identity as people; only the constructed image of the group is available for interpretation. etoy agents show up wearing bright orange jackets in a high-tech, futuristic uniform. they seem to want to look like they come out of a virtual world. zapatistas are filmed dramatically riding on horseback, and always wear masks. etoy wears sunglasses. these trappings imply anonymity, even as the group attempts to reach a wide audience. protection of the individual identities is a premium. zapatistas revealing their true identity risk incarceration or paramilitary attack. if etoy agents revealed their identity, the concept of their art project without individual creators would be destroyed, as would their revolutionary art movement. the usefulness of the mask to hide personal identity grew into a symbol of identity: another example of zwiespaeltig.
etoy agents do not risk their lives, but they do want to avoid personal surveillance or incarceration. both groups have merited CIA investigations. CIA investigations on etoy started with house searches in vienna in june 1996, for net crime and digital terrorism. this was a newly-created branch of the CIA. however, special agent korrinek from the austrian police could not understand why etoy was digital hijacking and offering anonymous email services - no wonder: he didn't even have a computer! etoy ended the investigation by sending 7 kilograms of printed log files (signifying nothing) to the department. the anonymous email service is also relevant as a way of escaping surveillance.

we were unable to find information on etoy's actions within the past year. we do not think that this is because etoy has ceased operations, but rather because of their need to keep their plans free from surveillance until the action is completed. only at this point can it go on the electronic historical record. the zapatistas are under a very bizarre system of surveillance. they are not like the FARC, the revolutionary guerilla movement in colombia, who use tactics that foreign governments can portray as against international interest: frequent armed attacks, kidnappings, and using profits from the drug trade to finace their movement.
the zapatistas are under a very critical public relations eye. they do not have the weapons or numbers to defend themselves against an armed attack, although they have had, sporadically, enough numbers to peacefully take over towns and evict armed policemen. the aguascalientes have a tentative existence subject to the constant reminder of the mexican government's presence: helicopter and airplane fly-bys, military checkpoints on roads leading to the areas, and the occasional raid. however, the zapatistas are dependent on global attention for their survival. without the watchful protection of several dozen human rights groups, the united nations, and individual volunteers, indigenous mexicans who support the zapatistas are much more susceptible to paramilitary attack, raids, and death. the consistent broadcasting of every infraction against their freedom keeps the movement alive and protects it. knowing this, anti-zapatistas have tried to undermine their support by portraying them as irrational, debasing as inauthentic subcomandante marcos, their most skilled spokesperson, and ignoring the causes of their insurgency. the war is very much a public relations war with the mexican government, forcing the guerillas to rely heavily on their international recognition and their voice to defend themselves. one advantage of this is that both sides can win a public relations war through negotiations and aid to the chiapaneco peasants.

adapted technologies.txt
"waiting is dying, survival means changing" is a quote from the etoy webpages. this quote demonstrates both groups' need to keep at the forefront of new technology. their recognition in the international scene depends on it: they are only two of numerous guerilla and underground groups fighting for attention in a unending information flow. it is striking that regardless of how powerful their causes are, the movement boils down to strategic marketing and mördande rekam (killer advertisements) to get the point across.

the internet phenomena creates a global arena for small enclosed entities whose survival depends (to some extent) on their successful and continuous manipulation of the new landscape. in their earlier years, etoy coordinated light and music shows for rave parties: a musical culture adapted to new technologies. while music is still an important part of what they are doing, their emphasis has shifted from parties to corporate structures and network identities. neither their intent to challenge fixed structures nor their infatuation with new chemical compounds has decreased. coming from mexico, the substitution of a media terrain for a physical one lessens the need for weapons and armed conflict. in the virtual battlefield - internet, literature, and press -- the zapatistas wear more bullets than they shoot.
a cultural victory in this media depends on how the groups have been, or have chosen to be, portrayed to the outside world. wearing bullets is important for photo opportunities. the picture of marcos with his pipe is frequently referred to in romantic terms. the etoy figures and the zapatista soldiers tap into our existing mental images of freedom fighters (drawing from both comic and political imagery) and allows them immediate access to global good will. the symbol is as efficient a means of communication as the email.

the accessibility of new technology to masses of people has resulted in its appropriation for guerilla uses. anarchistic demonstrations are formed through frequent calls on cellular phones coordinating large crowds. but communication is not the only purpose. new technologies are also being used to archive, record histories, and construct and preserve symbolic cultural meaning. subcommandante marcos' communiques, near-monthly letters distributed to select groups and on the internet, are consistently grounded in the symbolic language of the maya culture. he calls the increasing voices of the indigenous zapatista the wind emerging from the mountains of the mexican southeast, and adds the voices of dead ancestors to that wind. in this way, he powers his words with thousands of years of history. this is not, however, for legitimizing effect, but because the foremost goal of the ezln is to gain recognition for the integrity of the indigenous people of chiapas.

the need to constantly project a specific character to media is heightened by the defragmentation effect of new technologies. the end result of these images is distorted and out of context on the internet. however, the narrative breakdown encourages audiences to seek out more information, and allows them to construct their own perspective on different issues.