NEWS: transfer of etoy.ZAI from ECAL to ZHdK / etoy announces shared leadership model

etoy.ZAI transforms: he steps down as etoy.CEO and leaves his position as a professor for Media & Interaction Design at ECAL - University of Art and Design in Lausanne - to enter new academic challenge in the city of Zurich and to explore a new organizational model with etoy.CORPORATION.

Quote ZAI: "At the etoy.CORPORATION general meeting of last Saturday (6.6.2009) I announced that I will not be available for another term as etoy.CEO. My responsibility as chief executive officer will officially end on 16.8.2009 at the GM of etoy.VENTURE association, the annual meeting of etoy.AGENTS in Heiligkreuz/Entlebuch. The GM will be part of the art exhibition: "IM ANFANG WAR DAS WORT" and takes place on the top of a Swiss mountain: I want to push change to the outer limits: last week I served my last day at ECAL after 7 years in Lausanne and today accepted an exciting offer from Stephan Trüby, the new head of the Postgraduate Studies MAS Scenography at Zuercher Hochschule der Kuenste. The Institute for Design and Technology at ZHdK with its excellent team of international scenographers, curators, architects, neurologists and historians opens up perfect perspectives for me and my work. etoy remains my main interest and occupation.


CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: German and/or English speaking students with artistic or theoretical background can apply for the master’s program that merges and expands the fields of exhibition design, stage design, digital architecture, urban intervention and media culture. DEADLINE: 27.6.2009! Local and international students are wanted. INFO and TARGET GROUP:


DETAILS: After ZAI's announcement the board of etoy.CORPORATION S.A. asked the management team consisting of core agents MONOROM, HAEFLIGER and ZAI to assume shared leadership of the art group for the next period of 12 months. The roles of CEO, CFO and CTO will be consolidated to cut overhead and increase artistic / academic output.

ZAI: "...after 13 years on the admin bridge of the etoy I am hungry to question corporate art and to test-drive the next form of shared authorship far away from the naive illusion of the genius artist. Collaboration remains in the center of my interest. The organizational sculpture must evolve."

It's in the code and logic of etoy to reconfigure values and leadership behavior: the group started in 1994 as a controversial street gang on the information superhighway, failed as boy group in 1995, then morphed into a monster that reached its peek (and imploded) 1998 in San Francisco - but survived the blast to surprise the world with its denial to sell the domain for the highest price ever offered for an internet art work (TOYWAR). Once identified as successful hacktivists and the good guys online, etoy totally redefined itself one more time to open up its identity, assets and potential to much more artists and fans: within the years that followed more than 20 active etoy.AGENTS and 200 investors joined the art group (a registered shareholder company) and turned etoy into a distributed community of engineers, craftsmen, intellectuals, supporters and co-owners who code, weld, bend, study, increase and own the corporate sculpture etoy.CORPORATION.

Unique and often intangible works such as the long term project MISSION ETERNITY ( are the consequence of this strategy.

Sharing remains the most relevant attribute of the current version of etoy. That's the reason why the core product - from an economic perspective - remains the etoy.SHARE: people who want to join, change, observe, archive or posses etoy must share risk and resources. There is no excuse or detour: participants must co-own etoy and not stay detached spectators or innocent collectors. That's how etoy pushes its work further and it's the way etoy finances costly digital art outside of conventional markets.

Despite world wide crisis, distrust in stocks and the fashionable damnation of shareholder value among trendy culture consumers etoy underlines the mechanism of sharing as a fundamental principle that must be discussed beyond black and white thinking or simple radical chic.

etoy.AGENTS started as immature pirates and remain punks. They work, look and talk like shy office clerks, mysterious nerds, highly charged construction workers, calm researchers, architects on the edge of physical reality or spurious salesmen. etoy.AGENTS are artists that constantly cross the line. They all have dirty hands and long term plans: subversion of established code and the search for adequate art.


-> July 5, 2009 opening of the show "im anfang war das wort" Heiligkreuz / Entlebuch / Switzerland
-> August 15, 2009 GM etoy.VENTURE association (etoy.AGENTS)
-> August 16, 2009 public workshop MISSION ETERNITY STOWAWAYS
Info and registration:



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