Before we enter into 93....

Many thanks to American Indian Telecommunications (especially
George Baldwin, Anne Fallis & Randy Ross), Judy Malloy, Joe Matuzak,
John Quarterman, suephil, Eric Theise, as well as John Harkin at
the WELL, Scott Burns at TMN, and Ian Peters and Pegasus staff for
your assistance and participation in Cultures in Cyberspace!!!!

It turned out rather differently than planned, given the USENET
connectivity problems we ran into. Creating a USENET newsgroup
was a first time event for Pegasus, and somewhere along the line
our communications broke down with those who handle USENET
distribution. This has certainly been a valuable lesson for me,
and I hope for the rest of you as well, about the diversity that
exists across networked countries and systems. It also raises
interesting questions as to how groups whose specialty is not
network technology can have access to it and control over it
for their own of the issues I'd hoped we would
discuss in Cultures in Cyberspace.

For those of you who didn't attend TISEA physically...
it was a stimulating and inspiring event, the first time I've
been to an electronic arts conference that addressed issues of
the cultural and social implications of new technologies. These
included questions such as:

* are electronic technologies, evolved out of Anglo-European
cultures, yet one more step in Western cultural imperialism?
What do they mean for cultures, such as those of the Australian
aboriginals, in which meaning and identity is so connected to
the earth?

* an Ethiopian electronic artist who spends part of his time
in the US and part in Ethiopia told of other Ethiopians thinking
he's "sold out" to Western technoculture. He pointed out that these
people tend to drive Western cars, and dress Western, etc.

* racism and cultural equity in general was questioned and criticized,
in particular the lack of communication among different cultures.

* would technologies and interfaces created by women be different
than those created by men? what is the status of women in cyberspace?
what can and should it be?

* what is the justification for using such expensive tools (this in
particular addressed artists work with virtual reality technology)
for creative expression? does the technology allow for cultural
and social justice in a way that traditional artistic media do
not? does "aesthetic" investigation stand strong enough on its
own to justify the expense of the medium?

* what do electronic tools (viewed as prosthetics) imply about
the future of physical human evolution. are we leaving our bodies?
will we pull our electronic prosthetics into our bodies? (a la

The above is just a quick sampling. TISEA was held in 12 sites,
in various locations across Sydney, and I felt as tho I saw very
little inbetween my own presentations. suephil, if you want to add
anything, feel free to! And those of you who want to be emailed
a copy of the program, send me an email request.

There were several attendees representing computer networking
efforts and projects in various countries. suephil were kind enough
to organize a dinner for us to discuss our various situations and
to explore connectivity among ourselves. Participants included:
Yoshiyuke Abe (Japan, where artists have no online access, language
is also a problem since they don't tend to speak English); suephil
(ArtsNet, Australia, where telephone lines stretch equally to rural
and urban environments thanks to state monopoly!, but where full
access to the Internet is much less available to the general
public than in the US...Pegasus just made telnet available when I
was there); Scot Art and Jason Gee (System X, Australia, a free BBS
for electronic artists and musicians, that carries USENET groups
and local discussions, and offers Internet email addresses for a
suggested donation); Ivan Pope (ArtNet UK, a BBS. Ivan has Internet
connections through his work...); and myself, Arts Wire, US. Those
of us who attended expressed interest in developing ongoing
connections among our systems.

I have continued to receive expressions of interest in the Cultures
in Cyberspace discussion continuing across systems. I am considering
creating a new newsgroup for this purpose, if many of us would like
to focus on such a discussion. What do you all think?

Other post-TISEA activity includes work between Dakota BBS and
Arts Wire to develop ongoing connections via FidoNet.

Any of you who are interested in working to develop a network
project for FISEA93 (to be held in Minneapolis Nov 9-13), please
let me know! I'd like to collaborate, and for 93, create a stronger
network presence at the International Symposium on Electronic
Art. The deadline for submissions ranges from April 15 for workshops
& courses, to May 15 for performance/concert, to June 15 for art
show/electronic theatre. For further info about FISEA93, contact
Roman Verostko, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, 2501 Stevens
Ave., South, Minneapolis, MN 55404-4343 USA, tel: 1.612.874.3754,
fax: 1.612.874.3732, email: I met Roman at
TISEA and he is excited about art networking.

Best wishes to all of you for the new year,

Anna Couey

ps. if any of you are interested in posting this on your systems,
feel free to.

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