Welcome to the Future!

19 March - 26 April 2015
Welcome to the Future!
Visions, Utopias & Politics

The first theme of Welcome to the Future! is: Visions, Utopias & Politics in the emerging Digital World.

Early 90s, the web, with its slow bandwidth, was just emerging, and the multimedia PC was becoming the new cool tool, entering into every home, office and workplace. Floppy disks and CD-ROMs were the new data carriers. Artists, developers, researchers and writers used them to distribute their works in new digital interactive formats. Many started to express their ideas and visions about this emerging digital world and its impact on art, culture and society.

The selected works range from cyberpunk dystopia to the techno-positivism of new media entrepreneurs, who were preparing today's connected world. Also part of the selection are some typical pop culture and art & design CD-ROM magazines from the 90s.

Read Marie Lechner's text on Visions, Utopias & Politics

The collection
preparing the digital world
Beyond CyberPunk!

Gareth Branwyn & Peter Sugarman

The computer Lab, 1990 (US)

Floppy, Mac

Beyond Cyberpunk! is a massive HyperCard stack holding 5.5 MB of sound "bytes," graphic tidbits, and intellectual terrorism. Gleaned from fanzines, anarchist rants, conspiracy theorists, and cyber-tribalists, the work claims to be a "do it yourself guide to the future." It is a playful and irreverent piece of electronic bricolage. Presented as a "Cyberdeck" with multiple windows, push buttons, and sonic accompaniment, the work is easily navigated through four main zones: Manifestos, Media, Street Tech, and Cyber Culture.
Under these four titles are essays by artists such as Hakim Bey, Rudy Rucker, Bruce Sterling, and Robert Anton Wilson. There are also reviews on everything from JG Ballard's Atrocity Exhibition to Batman and the Graphic Novel.
Source: www2.iath.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0205.html 
More on www.streettech.com/bcp

Billy Idol,Shock to the system

Jaime Levy (& contributors)

Chrysalis Records, 1993 (US)

Floppy MAC + Cd-DA,

This was a music industry first to propose an album with a multimedia interactive content. The special digipak edition of "Cyberpunk" included besides the CD audio a Mac diskette entitled "Billy Idol's Cyberpunk".
Designed and developed by Jaime Levy (CyberRag & E-Hollywood), the interactive software included album clip art, sample sound bytes, a biography by Mark Frauenfelder, lyrics, a cyberculture bibliography by Gareth Branwyn as well as an excerpt of his text Is There A Cyberpunk Movement? (1992), all rendered in a typical cyber graphical style with frenzy interactions and hectic animation effects.

CyberRag (I,II,III)

Jaime Levy

1990-1991, (US)

Floppy, Mac

Jaime Levy is an interface designer and user experience strategist who first became known in the 1990s for her groundbreaking pioneering electronic magazines Cyber Rag and Electronic Hollywood.
She programmed them in HyperCard and later in Macromedia Director. They were distributed on 800k floppy disks and featured typical aesthetics and discourses from the cyberpunk movement.

"CyberRag offers a full 730Kb of animations, editorials, games and tradeshow reviews. They demonstrated the potentials of multimedia presentation on the personal computer".

Electronic Hollywood (I,II,riot issue)

Jaime Levy

1991-1992, (US)

Floppy, Mac

"Jaime Levy's a punk! She's been putting out creative, in-yer-face digital zines for years. She started with Cyber Rag, using HyperCard in all it's black & white chunky pixel glory. Then, she moved to California, and the name of her output changed to Electronic Hollywood. She switched to MacroMind's Director and her interactive animations got a lot more colorful. Even though she has guest writers, uses sampled sounds, and displays found graphics, Jaime's style is all her own. [..]
I like Levy's work quite a bit. Her use of sampled sound loops, a signature of her creations, is first rate. It makes interacting with her work very immediate, instilling a performance momentum. Her use of color is very deft, getting a lot of mileage out of very simple animation and color cycling. A "digital primitive," if you will. I get the feeling that her work has enough energy to leave the screen, if I don't keep my eye on it.
Finally her attitude, cynical and adventuresome, sharpens her observational skills as she covers the cyberarts scene. I heartily encourage you to pick up the current Electronic Hollywood. Hell, buy the collected works and support digital publishing!"
Source: P.Sugarman in streettech.com/

E-Hollywood offers a full 720Kb of animations, editorials and cyber art reviews. They demonstrated the potentials of multimedia presentation on the personal computer.
Here is the TEXT POPUP for Electronic Hollywood:
Here are the contents of Electronic Hollywood Issue #2 - The Riot Issue.
There are two article sections: Music and Story.
Music contains:

"Reviews and Samples from two great California Bands, S.F., L.A." Those bands were "The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy" and "Ethyl Meatplow".
Story contains 4 items:

1- An editorial about what it's like to live in a Riot Zone.

2- A review of the L.A. Riot by Adam Parfrey.

3- A review of the Verbum Party celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Human Be-in in San Francisco.

4- A review of the Home Media Expo.

Jaime Levy is an interface designer and user experience strategist who first became known in the 1990s for her groundbreaking pioneering electronic magazines Cyber Rag and Electronic Hollywood.
She programmed them in HyperCard and later in Macromedia Director. They were distributed on 800k floppy disks and featured typical aesthetics and discourses from the cyberpunk movement

BLAM! 1

Eric Swenson & Keith Seward

Necro Enema Amalgamated, 1994 (US), Voyager (ed.)

CD-ROM Mac

The NEA is a Devil's Advocacy group and entrepreneurial innovator of manipulative software, subliminal semiotics, and coercive advertising. BLAM!, is a hypermedia explosion that concentrates bad energy, good looks, big muscles, and a small mind into one Mac-readable CD-ROM. (supervert.com/nea/nea_agenda)
"With deafening volume, hyperkinetic graphics, and copious attitude, BLAM! wants you to rethink your relationship to your computer. [...] BLAM!'s image bank is overflowing with scanned images of gruesome medical photographs, close-ups of genitalia, and crypto-allegorical etchings. All of this aggression makes for a thrilling first ride. [...]" (www.frieze.com/issue/article/blam/)
Blam! 1 is in B&W (1bit color) with a typical content of uderground cyberpunk zine made of articles, interviews and animated comic strips with audio (see the marvellous Fever by Rita, a NY artist born in Hungary). However, it is definitively the Blam! punk style clearly visible through the editorial choices and the multimedia form, especially in the introduction sequence and the use of high volume sounds, announcing the total uncontrollable audiovisual chaos of the next issues.

Table of content of Blam! 1: an incredible interview of Lydia Lunch; texts composed in visual sequences by George Bataille, Howard Rheingold, Jim Goad. And "Ode To Interactivity" by the 2 authors.

Doors Of Perception 1

John Thackara (ed.), Willem Velthoven

Netherlands Design Institute, Mediamatic, 1994, (NL)

CD-ROM Mac

This CD-ROM contains the interactive proceedings of the first Doors of Perception conference held in Amsterdam in 1994. It featured a very innovative interface and it has received wide recognition, winning many international awards. DoP 1 was orrganised by the Netherlands Design Institute and Mediamatic. It was a groundbreaking conference at which leading thinkers from the fields of graphic and industrial design, architecture, information technology, philosophy, computer science, art, business and media assembled to consider the new challenges on society as computing and communications increasingly permeate the environment,...
www.doorsofperception.com/
www.mediamatic.net/5950/en/doors-of-perception-1

Digitivity - learning the Language

Mark Edwards

Ellipsis, 1995 (UK)

CD-ROM, Mac

The CD-ROM is a kind of manifesto of the UK Ellipsis publisher which produced many art CD-ROMs in its 'electric art' series. "Ellipsis is created out of a dissatisfaction with what we see as the misuse of multimedia by unimaginative producers. This misapropriation is carried out at the expense of its potential as a new language". In its 'Expo' section, the CD-ROM present interactive artworks by various artists. Note also a chapter on Roy Ascott (his "Gaia" installation and the text "Back to Nature II, Art and Technology in the 21st. century").

Meet Mediaband

Mark Canter

Canter Technology, 1994 (US)

cd-rom Mac

Canter co-founded MacroMind in 1984 which became Macromedia in 1991.. He co-developed Director, the first authoring software allowing (nearly) everyone to develop interactive multimedia content. Canter also founded Media Band, an experimental audiovisual multimedia group. The Meet MediaBand CD-ROM "could best be described as an experimental interactive video-clip, or an "Aether Rave". The CD- ROM contains two works, UnDo Me and House Jam, and is rich in innovative features. Particularly the interfaces are surprising and function very smoothly. The CD-ROM really seems to be bursting at its seams, giving the user a breath-taking impression of the cyber-era horror vacui. But as he claims, Canter's audiovisual fireworks are really meant to be accessible one day via the Net in a kind of interactive turbo-version of MTV.
With excerpts from Erkki Huhtamo text Art On The CD-ROMFrontier

MediaMix Interactiv Issue 1,Vol 1

Designed & programmed by Robert Rosenbaum

Media Magic Produktion., 1992 (DE)

cd-rom Mac

Produced by the multimedia design company, Media Magic Produktion (Hamburg), the CD-ROM was an hybrid magazine mixing commercial promotions of multimedia products, multimedia demos and artistic projects. The contents range from an interactive poetry by Karen Colette & Bernd Ewert, a presentation of Piazza Virtuale (Van Gogh TV - an art project shown at Documenta IX), a Frank Zappa's interview, to multimedia presentations of MIDI technology and desktop publishing. The CD-ROM offered rich functionalities such as powerful search & index, printing,... It is a well made example of the techno-positivism from the 90s.
(see www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey7heIkmrRU )

Clicking In/On, Hot Links to a Digital Culture

Lynn Hershman Leeson (ed.), Bay Press

1996, (US)

CD-ROM Mac/PC+Book

All things digital dominate the discourse of the nineties and inspire opinion that ranges from the outrage of the neo-Luddite to the heady optimism of the digiphile. In this collection, the most provocative voices of the Digital Age grapple with the direction of digital technology and its concomitant issues, including virtual identities and their relationship to the physical self, the collision of commercial and community interests on the Net, the Net threat to intellectual property, and the merger of art, popular culture, and commerce in interactive media.
In Clicking On, the beautifully wrought companion CD-ROM artwork, Lynn Hershman Leeson appropriates the tools of digital culture to examine issues of privacy, invisibility, and authenticity. The disk includes video clips of interviews with the contributors.

Magazines digital pop culture
La Vague Interactive, # 1 - 4

LVI Press

1993-1998, (FR)

CD-ROM, Mac/PC

LVI, qui se définit comme étant "Le premier magazine français sur CD-ROM", est une revue généraliste traitant de l'actualité des CD-ROM interactifs et des jeux vidéos de l'époque. LVI présente aussi des interviews de créateurs, des analyses des tendances informatiques ainsi que des reportages géographiques mis en son et en images. Le disque est présenté dans un emballage cartonné qui sert de couverture reprenant les codes des magazines papiers. Le premier numéro consacre tout une partie au CD-ROM de Peter Gabriel, Xplora 1 présenté dans l'exposition, ainsi qu'un retour sur Another World et son créateur, Eric Chahi.

Blender # 1 .1 & 2.1

Jason Pearson, David Cherry, Regina Joseph

Dennis Publishing, 1994-2009, (US)

CD-ROM, Mac/PC

Blender began in 1994 as the first digital CD-ROM magazine. It showcased the earliest digital editorial formats, as well as the first forms of digital advertising. it published 15 digital CD issues, and launched on the web in 1997. It became a print magazine in 1999 which stopped in 2009. The CD-ROM delivers "4 hours or entertainment and information", with video interviews, interactive cartoons, video horoscope, digital gallery, music reviews,...

Issue 1.1 (January 1995): Alice Copper's interview, records reviews (e.g. Jesus Lizard, The Fall, Blur, Johnny Cash).
Issue 2.1  (1995): interviews of Björk and Terry Gillam,...

Gasbook  # 4,  5,  6,  7

Gas as Interface co., LTD, 1997-1999, (JA)

CD-ROM, Mac/PC

In 1996, GASBOOK, a guide to cutting-edge creativity all over the world was born. As the era of desktop computing took hold, GASBOOK was created, as a medium for bringing new art and design ideas together, from all corners of the world. Rejecting traditional magazines and book formats, T-shirts,DVDs and CD-ROMs were used to collect the best new creations in Japan and abroad, compiled in an original package for each release. GAS creative products were sold in Japan and overseas, in art and design stores and selected shops such as NY's MoMA, the Tate Modern and Paris' exclusive art and design shop - Collette. The CD-ROMs were compilations of various artists interactive works. hellogas.com/en/history/

GB 4 "A Place To Meet That Special Someone"
Skot, Day-dream, Groovisions, Ichiro Tanida, Stereotype Produkts, yo-yo raranda, TGB DESIGN, E13, Dextro
GB 5 "Paradise"
BD vs CG, Dotmov, Future Farmers, Groovisions, Ichiro Tanida, Tota Hasegawa & Chris Francis, Antirom, Gorgerous, Hideyuki Tanaka, Imaitoons, Jodi, Katsuki Tanaka, Sistema Solar Technologies Inc.
GB 6 "Visual Exhibition"
AGES 5&UPSkot, Anti-rom, Buro Destruct Designer, Takafumi Miyadima, Daniel Jenett, The Designer Republic, Jodi, Tubatomic Studio
GB 7 "Enlightenment"
AGES 5&UP, Dextro&Lia, Digitone, dotzero/state, Optimo Type Foundry, Tomato Interactive‚ Tota Hasegawa, Tree-Axis, inflate, Nendo

Artifice, # 2-5

Duncan McCorquadale

Artifice Magazine, 1994-1996 (UK)

CD-ROM Mac/PC+BOOK

Produced in association with Barlett School, University College (London), Artifice is magazine published 3 times a year about architecture, film, theory, photography, design, history, art and things. It combined a book with a CD-ROM packaged in a specially designed transparent plastic case. Example of content (issue 5): fonts by ACME; a multimedia piece by artists Jon Thompson and Alie Craighead; "Korridor", an interactive documentation of a recent installation at Jonkopings Lans Museum, Sweden by artists Mike Bode and Raima Drasutyte; and "Derives" and interactive situationist mapping of contemporary Paris by Fiona Meadows and Fred Nantois.

digital ambiance for your desktop
CyberSounds for the Macintosh, # 1 & 2

Steve Jones

The Gargoyle Mechanique Laboratory, 1992 (US)

Floppy, Mac

3.5" disks fully loaded with 80 original sound files created by artist Steve Jones.

"Enter the CyberSpace-Age with CyberSounds for the Macintosh.
Original very small scale sound sculptures for your desktop.
Alternative sounds for your multimedia presentations, CyberSounds will add color and texture that will brighten your synapses.
Use Bruce Tomlin's SoundMaster with CyberSounds to transform your computer session experience into a modern adventure."