I'm glad Judy Malloy's come up already a few times in this conversation.
She's been such an active visionary, go-getter, people-connector, etc
through various generations of technology, media aesthetics, push vs pull
readership whims, and so on.
I don't know if I my situation is particularly unusual or not, or for
geographic, generational, or other reasons, but I happened to come upon
many of these groups and lists by luck at first, and then later by research
and initiative. (And how lucky I was!) Living in the SF bay area at the
right time, I was lucky to be exposed to Well activity just before/around
the time that Judy was starting her tremendously important list, ArtsWire,
of which she gives a very brief history here.
But I would admit that most of my interaction was still that of an
introvert's oscillating between online contact and offline interactions.
This continued from the early/mid-90s until the early-00s and I have to say
that I was lucky to have jumped into the fray just when US orgs were
getting funding to have more media arts programming and more f2f events.
(At least in the wave of the dot-com.) --I will let Mark Tribe talk about
this, but I know it even had a brief, if interesting effect on Rhizome's
evolution as Rhizome.org vs Rhizome Communications...
Anyway in the Bay Area in the late-90s, I was writing about new media art
for Wired, Surface, magazines like that and I was hearing a lot about
Rhizome. I joined the listserv and admittedly just lurked until around 99
when Alex Galloway wrote to me (and Reena Jana, I believe) and said that
Rhiz had received their first grant to commission paid articles and that
he'd like us to start writing for them.
Five or six years of Rhizome freelancing later and I was Editor & Curator,
alongside Lauren Cornell (with Mark Tribe still on the board). The
organization has obviously come a long way, and much as I said of Judy
Malloy's initiative at Arts Wire/Current, I think the org has been pretty
ambitious in keeping up with "various generations of technology, media
aesthetics, push vs pull readership whims, and so on."
On Thursday, October 3, 2013, Charlotte Frost wrote:
> In 1985, there was no Internet and the WELL was available via dial-up. It
> was text only. No graphics. No color. There was a conference on the WELL
> called ARTCOM (the name art.com <http://art.com> has subsequently used by
> others, as well as "artcom," but the artcom account on the WELL was the
> first. We did a lot of conceptual art in Artcom. For example, we posted
> short messages each day we called "Status Reports" that was very much like
> Twitter, but of course preceded it by more than 20 years. We developed
> conventions and games. One of the games was Das Casino in which we
> we were in a casino. That led to creating a benefit party (the WELL was
> quite poor and needed help upgrading its server) in which we ran a real
> casino at the Artcom studios. We even had a show with a chorus line. I have
> cced Freddy Hahne who can provide more details.
> A media artist, Judy Malloy, did at least two conceptual art pieces using
> the WELL, "Uncle Roger" and "Badinfo." I have cced Judy Malloy, who can
> you more.
> In 1994, I put scans of my painting on the Internet via the WELL's member
> pages, and in 1995 I moved them to my own website at
> http://www.rheingold.com/art . My art is still on exhibit there:
> Howard Rheingold
> what it is ---> is --->up to us