ArtCom has been mentioned - but Carl Loeffler hasn't (or Fred Truck). Nor has Judith Hoffberg, who founded Umbrella in San Francisco (associated with La Mamelle), a publication and platform for artist's books and mail art - eg: Eugenio Dittborn, etc - which Carl was also involved with and which probably offered a partial conceptual lead into ArtCom. ICT, as we now know it, has it's roots in two distinct domains - computing and communications. In our histories of internet (and other technological forms of) art we tend to overlook the important work done in the latter domain. Artists like Dittborn were very important in developing the conceptual and artistic strategies, through their work with low-band media like postcards, xerox and airmail envelopes, required for working with early digital telecommunications. Dittborn's low-band strategy was a necessity as he was based in Chile during the Pinochet regime's worst activities, when many artists were suppressed (or worse). Like a lot of mail-art, Dittborn's was an aesthetic of resistance in the context of politically enforced attenuation (I saw a show of his at the Experimental Art Foundation, in Adelaide, in around 1980 which was just terrific, an eye opener). Whilst the situation on the US West Coast in the 1970's and 80's was very different to that in Chile there were similarities, with sub-cultural trends seeking alternate modes for representation and communication. This is valuable history - it's good to understand the context in which artists work.
ArtCom officially went live in 1986 - so perhaps not as early as we might think. It only pre-dates FAF by a year or so. I remember (poorly) getting drunk with Carl (and Roy Ascott) in the back of the Van Gogh TV bus at the European Media Art Festival in 1988. At that time I'd thought ArtCom had been around for years...
There was a discussion of Carl's work on Nettime in March 2001, shortly after his death (Judith died in 2009). You can search for Carl's name in the threads here:
It was noted at that time (by Robin Murphy, aka 'murph the surf') that people like Loeffler were being written out of the mainstream histories of media arts practice... "Me thinks a great many names are in the process of being "expunged" right now by American art museums, galleries and magazines as they write the history of "art in a technological age..." "
There's a piece on Carl by Judy Malloy here:
The only obit. I can find is here:
Fred Truck is still active.
On 5 Oct 2013, at 10:15, Paul Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> This is becoming a fascinating conversation and I'm just butting in to mention the e-zine fineArt forum which is an online historical resource that I know many of you will know about but some may not.
> Founded by Ray Lauzzana in 1987 as a bulletin board and email newsletter it became a Gopher in 1992 (sadly all lost I think) and moved to the web in 1994. The most complete archive is held by the National Library of Australia here:
> … and the Computer Arts Society (CAS) are hoping to include a more substantial archive in their historical section that is currently being developed.
> Also - I've not followed all the posts as I'm currently on the road) but has anyone talked about Carl Leoffler's ArtCom which was on the Well from the 1980's (it certainly pre-dates fineArt forum).
> And also - on the fax front there the work of Art Reseaux (Karen O'Rourke) which is later but, for me at least, very interesting.
> OK! Butting out
> Paul Brown - based in the UK April to October 2013
> http://www.paul-brown.com == http://www.brown-and-son.com
> UK Mobile +44 (0)794 104 8228
> Skype paul-g-brown
> Honorary Visiting Professor - Sussex University
[log in to unmask]
http://www.littlepig.org.uk @SimonBiggsUK http://amazon.com/author/simonbiggs
[log in to unmask] Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh
http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/ http://www.elmcip.net/ http://www.movingtargets.org.uk/ http://designinaction.com/
MSc by Research in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees?id=656&cw_xml=details.php