Indeed, there was the WELL.... and, of course, Judy Malloy!
By chance I had the god fortune of working with Mark Graham ( of the Well + Peacenet ) and Lee Felsenstein ( a well known figure in the computer engineering circles ) on the San Francisco component of a global art event and exchange in 1990.
Online Against AIDS, 1990
This is an early digital / cultural event ( Before Netscape !) which may well be of interest as it is one that seemingly has been swept behind the screen of most digital media theorists, curators and practitioners. Shortly after graduate school, I unexpectedly found myself as a Co-Director of Icata ’90 ( The International Conference on the Alternative Use of Technology for AIDS ) and On-line Against AIDS, a six city international computer network – a global cultural event if you will–took place between Amsterdam, New York, San Francisco, Rio De Janeiro, Sydney and Tokyo. In Amsterdam, the Seropositive Ball was framed as a comprehensive cultural and political manifestation for people with and without AIDS which, among many other offerings, allowed access to “easy-to-use” Apple Macintosh computers, thus providing information regarding health issues and instantaneous international communication around the Sixth International Conference on AIDS being held in San Francisco in June, 1990. It was then billed as a “ trans-oceanic multi-media communications event . ” Other co-directors included Lee Felsenstein and Mark Graham – both well-known and respected technologists and social activists, as well as Arawn Ebilon and Rama of Act Now. Technically speaking, it was Lee and Mark that brought this global network together using the email, text-based program “Red Ryder. ” Needless to say, it’s fascinating to look back on the exchange.
The support of cultural institutions throughout the Bay Area was remarkable and ranged from “alternative “spaces such as Art Com Network, Capp Street Project, New Langton Arts, the San Francisco Cinematheque, and Southern Exposure to the San Francisco Art Institute to San Francisco General Hospital and the Marriott Hotel. The curatorial programming included a searing performance by Diamanda Galas at Capp St. Project as well as an exhibition which included artists such as Salman Ahmad, Gregg Bordowitz, Gran Fury, Raifka Gonzales, Joe Goode, Lyle Ashton Harris, Jenny Holtzer, Barbara Krueger, Marcus Nizario, Marlon Riggs, Nino Rodriquez, David Wojnarowicz, and Matias Viegner, as well as video programming from Video Data Bank curated by John Greyson, for one.
Also, when I was the Executive Co-Director of New Langton Arts ( a seminal "alternative space" in the USA) in the early to mid-nineties, we had a relatively robust media arts program which focused on video and installations of nascent projects and lectures engaging with digital media ( online and off.) i.e. Sandy Stone and George Legrady's early works.
On Oct 3, 2013, at 5:27 PM, 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 pretended
> 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 tell
> 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
J e t z t z e i t S t u d i o s
... the space between zero and one ...
Los Angeles + San Francisco
" The present age prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, fancy to reality,
the appearance to the essence
for in these days
illusion only is sacred, truth profane."
Ludwig Feuerbach, 1804-1872
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