Chat Transcript: August 19, 2001
Electronic writing around the world

Guest bios and statements. Guests included mez, Gonzalo Frasca, Lisbeth Klastrup and Lucio Agra. Sue Thomas moderated this chat. Susana Tosca, Carlos Henrique, and Inna Kooper couldn't make it, but added comments.
This worldwide conference/ chat discussed the state of electronic literature throughout the world:

Mez [Mary-Anne Breeze] has been progressively described as one of "the original net.artists" who is "...without doubt one of the most consistent, prolific, innovative artists working in new media today. Mez's work with language has had a considerable effect on the language of many.". The impact of her unique net.wurks [constructed via her pioneering net.language "mezangelle"] has been parallelled with the work of Shakespeare, James Joyce, Emily Dickinson, and e.e. cummings. Since 1995, she has exhibited extensively via the internet and in "realtime" [e.g CTHEORY's Digital Dirt, Prague's Goethe Institute, Digitarts '96, Experimenta Media Arts, ISEA_97 Chicago, ARS Electronica_97, trAce, The Metropolitan Museum Tokyo, SIGGRAPH_99&00, d>Art 00&01 and_hybridforms_01]. Mez is also a virtual conference jillaroo, co-moderator of the Webartery Mailing list and freelance journalist. She is the 2001 Resident Artist at the WCG, has been awarded the 2001 VIF Prize by the Humboldt-Universitat in Berlin, was shortlisted for the prestigious 2001 Electronic Literature Organisation's Fiction Award, and has just been awarded the JavaMuseums' Artist Of The Year 2001 Award.

Gonzalo Frasca is a videogame researcher and designer at the Cartoon Network. His main research interests are videogame theory, game studies and simulations. Before joining the Cartoon Network, he worked at CNN where he was Editor of Science and Technology at CNNenEspañ He has recently completed his MA Thesis "Videogames of the Oppressed: Videogames as a means of critical thinking and debate" at the Georgia Institute of Technology, under the supervision of Dr. Janet Murray. The full text is available at

Carlos Henrique is a university teacher in Catholic University, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. He says, "I made my master degree abou hypertext and information on organizations. My most recently research is about hyperfiction as a literary genre. I wanna investigate which characteristics define hyperfiction as a literary genre. This research is the first step of my candidature to doctor's degree on UFMG, Brazil.I suggest you take a look on This university has many on line courses about hyperfiction, web journalism, cyberculture and others. This institution is pioneer on discussions about web, culture on Internet, communications and new media and hyperliterature on Brazil.Another good site is This site is a virtual centre for discussions about semiotics, cyberspace and communications. Teachers, scientists and pos-graduate students disponibilize your projects and products on this areas shows above. These two sites shows how is the research and production on web and literature and web and communications on our country. I'm sure there are many other sites like these, and hope discover them.

Lisbeth Klastrup is a ph.d.scholar at the IT-University in Copenhagen. She holds a MA in Comparative Literatur and a MA in Image Studies. In her ph.d.project, she examines virtual worlds on the internet as textual instances and discusses how to write stories for these environments. She has written articles and papers on interactive reading, multiuser performances, computer games and virtual worlds. Initiator and organiser of the conference "Computer Games and Digital Textualities" in Copenhagen, March 2001.

Suggested links include: (online supplement to a very good physical bookshop for Danish lyrics. Various articles and projects online) (menneske=man as in mankind) (a network "city" hosting both on & off-line poetry, collaboration btw 8 artists) (site for off-line poetry mags, but also online stuff, incl. Digt in Flux (Digt i Flux)) De ubrugelige (=The Useless) A crimestory in several parts, online with a point system to enable you to get access to the various parts. Nielsen Litteratur Information Klaus Høeck - Cassiopeia 10 - hulledigte (hole poems) Arne Herløv Petersen's homepage (Danish fiction writer who has also tried writing online, including the open hypertext "Myrenes liv" (The Life of Ants)).

Susana Pajares Tosca is finishing a PhD thesis on Hypertext and Literature in the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. Susana has been a visiting researcher at Brown University, Oxford University and Texas A&M University. She has talked and published extensively on hypertext, computer games and cyberculture both in Spain and abroad. She has served in various international conference program committees, including the ACM Hypertext conferences and the AACE Webnet conferences. As the editor of "Hipertulia", she has worked on the first Spanish digital literary magazine, Especulo, since it appeared five years ago. She has recently been appointed Hypertext Theme Editor in the Journal of Digital Information of the University of Southampton. This year she has received the ACM Ted Nelson Newcomer Award for her paper "A Pragmatics of Links."

Inna Kouper is a research assistant at the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Science. She was invited to the Institute of Sociology as an expert of Internet and hypertext (from the humanities, not technical point of view) and worked as a content provider of Internet sociological portal. She stuided hypertext and hypertext forms of knowledge (as a base of Internet and most electronic texts) and wrote he1r graduate thesis at the Institute for Information on Social Sciences and Humanities, Russian Academy of Sciences (INION RAN). Her thesis title is "Hypertext as a form of social knowledge organization."

E-media in Russia
* How are people engaging with new media? What are the particular concerns?
The situation in Russia has dramatically changed for last two decades. Computers, networks, Internet became part of our life. Russia is very big so I can't speak about the whole country. I'm going to speak about big cities because most of electronic infrastructure is there. In big cities, all of new technologies are used and they are well represented in Internet. Universities, libraries, museums, different institutions provide people with electronic services. The number of people engaged with Internet is growing. According to researches of "" group the audience of Internet may reach 18 million at the end of 2001.

* What electronic art and media events are taking place in your country?
The latest event I've heard about was Moscow International On-line Festival, July 2001, It was an exhibition of electronic art and design, which is distributed on- and off-line. Some events might be called permanent as well as they are represented in the Web. Galleries, exhibitions, forums dedicated to e-media … Though electronic art is a kind of synthetic art I would divide highly visual from mostly (hyper)textual.
Russian mentality is more textual so mostly e-media are used to create different kind of texts. There are competitions in electronic poetry and prose; some web-sites just give space for electronic writing. Different groups of enthusiasts conduct projects of digitizing paper materials, mostly textual materials. Electronic art is not so widely spread, though there are some interesting places like at
<> or <>
Another interesting event is "search championship". People from any part of Russia can take part in searching the Web with certain tools. They must find particular materials in particular period with minimum of iterations.

* Are there any great websites, journals, weblogs etc. in your language and country?
First, I'd like to mention the site dedicated to Russian culture in different aspects. Site is in English and in Russian.
Also, there are many literary sites like,,
Some journals are multisubject like,
I wouldn't call any website or journal great because electronic sphere is too young and we don't have enough examples to compare and to create a hierarchy of values. For the moment we usually compare electronic materials with established paper analogs.
Anyway now e-media cover all spheres of our life and anything you could ever imagine is represented in Internet and in Russian Internet.

* Are electronic media appearing in schools and in colleges?
There is a federal program of computerizing schools and colleges but unfortunately, it is still a program. It goes very slowly. The situation is much better in universities. As I said most of them have web-sites, big universities connected into united network.

* How are people finding out about electronic media in your country?
We can divide people into several groups: advanced users, simply users, those-who-know-something, those-who-heard-something, never-heard, hostiles.
All these groups have there own concerns and arguments for their position. I think that bigger groups are simply users and those-who-heard-something. Simply users spend part of their life in Internet and don't stop to think whether it good or bad. They just use it like a telephone or a car. They got used to it and are not excited anymore. Those-who-heard-something try to define their position. They've heard that there are new media, that it might be useful but they are afraid a little bit. May be they've seen computer once or even surfed through Internet with help of advanced or simply user. Those-who-heard-something still don't know whether to be excited or not. Simultaneously they believe e-media can make them happy and don't know how.
I can speak a lot about people engaging with new media. It is very interesting psychological and sociological problem.

Lucio Agra is a poet and performer, with a PhD in Communication and Semiotics by Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo. He is the author of Selva Bamba (poems, 1994). Works in performance and poetry include Ursonate - Sonata Primordial based on Kurt Schwitters' poem. Nowadays, he is working simultaneously in two projects using low-tech software ( Ultramar and Explosao sem som (Explosion without sound)) to be released in CD-Rom until the end of 2001.

To speak about computers and digital world in Brazil is to speak, at least, about the net, itself. I collected some statistics in order to give an idea of what´s going on here. First it is necessary to say that, as usual in latin american countries, the contradictions are frequent. We are 167, 7 million people living in the same wide territory. But only 6, 55% have access to computers and Internet. It corresponds to 11 million, from whom 4.180 are from the high classes, 5.810 from the middle and 1.210 from the lower social classes (what we use to call classes C and D).

Nevertheless, it is precisely in these classes the use of the net is growing, according to Antonio Rosa Neto, president of the AMI (Associacao de Midia Interativa Interactive Media Association). This is probably because it has been five years since these social classes started to consume, i. e, to have at least a little amount of money to buy things out of survival items, for they were barely considered as citizens before. Maybe it also has to do with some dates: coincidently, 1995 is not only the year Brazil starts to connect the net (it is the year Brazil installed its first international backbone), but it is also the year that the program of new currency money took place (with the change to the currency named “real”).

I am absolutely not pro-government, but I shall say that a lot of progress was made since then, with the end of protectionism against foreign computer industries and the beginning of a mentality pro-computer in education. But it is also necessary to say that it has happened more because of international pressures, than because of a sincere authorities effort. Now that computers are doing 20 years old, it is almost impossible to ignore the reality.

In the greatest centers and main cities of the country, to know how to use these machines is a fundamental issue for those who intend to enter in the job market. And this happens because the digital world tends to take great spaces in the media debate. Today no one big newspaper in Brazil fail to have its own web-site and part of them tried to develop it as portals of information (such is the case of from Folha de Sao Paulo, and from the Globo organizations, comprehending Rede Globo, the most famous TV network and the newspaper O Globo). Much of the sites are in portuguese but most of them also have specific areas in English.

On the other hand, the region of the country that concentrates the main cities (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte ), the southwest region, is also the one that concentrates the biggest part of schools connected to Internet. The numbers for the other regions are almost insignificant, when compared. It seems that the Ministry of Education is informed about the situation.

The information data gathered here is based in a report published by Folha de Sao Paulo, one of the biggest brazilian newspapers. It informs that the Minister of Education, Paulo Renato, uses to tell a story about the brazilian situation in e-learning: He visited a primary school where the computers where locked by the director because he had fear to be robbed. The proportion of teachers that know how to work with computers do not surpass the number of 15%.

But, on the other hand, the students, themselves, use to be more akin to computers than their own teachers. The report I mentioned above, gives highlights to the story of one school that opened its computer room for the first time ever and the students gave classes on Internet to their teachers. I can prove it with myself: I give classes in a private institution, a college, where the undergraduate students are increasingly more experts in computers than ever. But the professors do not correspond to this profile so the institution started a tutorial program in post-graduation level to make the training of its docents. I would say that I am part of the very minority that has some information about digital world. I am one of the few that has a page hosted in the college’s web site ( Unfortunately neither the college’s web site, nor my page has a version in English.

Some addresses of the main brazilian enterprises in the internet, most of all connected to great newspapers and part of them sharing capital with other multinational latin-american Internet corporations: - Universo on-line : - Terra: - O site: - Globo: - Zip Net:

Another interesting phenomena is that the major part of the institutions that deal with culture, seem to perceive the importance of Internet. Some of the most interesting web-sites that have to do with museums and art institutes are: - Itaú Cultural - Bienal de São Paulo - (this is from the 24th Biennal, one of the most interesting ones) - Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo - Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (Rio and São Paulo)

Some events were promoted by these institutions mentioned above. One of them, perhaps the most important in e-art, in Brazil, is File (International Festival of Electronic Arts currently appearing at Museu da Imagem e do Som de Sao Paulo (Museum for Image and Sound in Sao Paulo). But there is also some university institutes that are very connected to this universe such as Unicamp (University of Campinas), which was qualified by Wired, some years ago, as the “Brazilian Stanford) They hold a multimedia post-graduation program that is very advanced.

Another institution that pioneered the research with new tech, media and art is the Catholic University of Sao Paulo (PUC-SP), particularly through the post-graduate program (MD and PhD) in Communication and Semiotics. From the web site ( there are lots of projects like Interlab, based on VRML technology and hypermedia, Budetlie (research over 20s avant-garde art and contemporary media) cimid (trans-disciplinar group of research over new media) and others.

It is also remarkable that the city of Sao Paulo always receive some of the great names of the field of discussion in new media such as Pierre Lévy, Nicholas Negroponte. Marvin Minsky, Edgar Morin and others, aside from events like ISEA. Popularizing the computers in Brazil is nowadays the great challenge.

But it faces some barriers: first, obviously, money. Brazil could invest more than US$ 1 billion in e-learning and education if it have not to achieve the goals of IMF, which have been causing great problems to country’s development. But it is also a big business and some are getting profits with it like the popular TV mc Silvio Santos who runs a big business comprehending a TV network (SBT, the second major), credit services, lotteries, prize programs and others. He started a few years ago a TV program called Show do Milhao (Million Show) that gives prizes in contests. Now he has associated his brand to a so called popular computer that can be paid in 36 times of R$ 90,00 (around 35 US). It seems that 16,7 thousand machines were sold in 45 days. The field of e-learning have been proving to be an ever growing business for there is virtually no institution in the southwest of the country that still do not have a web site and most of them bases its image in a marketing strategy linked to computers and the net.

The newspaper journalist Gilberto Dimenstein has been making a diagnosis to this situation in Brazil and the results can be found in . Some foreground avant-garde poets has been moving to the net. It is the case of Augusto de Campos ( ) , Arnaldo Antunes ( ) and also popular musicians such as Caetano Veloso ( ) and Gilberto Gil ( ). In the last one, Gil uses the portuguese word “sitio” instead of site, in English, to designate his place in the web. “Sitio” is a word that means not only a place, any place, but also a small farm.


Related Links



Lucio_Agra quietly enters.

Deena says, "Hi Lucio,"

Deena says, "I am ill and am going to lie down for about a half hour..."

Sue arrives.

Sue says, "Hi all."

Sue says, "Am ready and waiting for the start."

Sue says, "Just checking in"

Lucio_Agra says, "Hi, Sue. I also came a little bit early."

Sue says, "Nice to meet you"

Sue says, "I am doing other things as well but just wanted to reassure Deena I am here, since she is unwell."

Lucio_Agra says, "Think she's idle for a moment but will come back soon."

Lucio_Agra says, "Hey, I saw your picture before! I gave a refresh in the look button and there you was. Your hair looks great!"

Sue bows gracefully.

Sue says, "Christy Sheffield Sanford did it for me :)"

Sue says, "Are you going to do a description?"

Lucio_Agra says, "You can see some data about me at Sorry, I don't know if it is exactly what you mean. I am not only a non-native speaker but also not familiar to procedures in Lingua MOO."
Editor's Note: This URL was for the chat, and the information is now in this log.

Sue says, "You are doing very well Lucio."

Deena says, "Hi Sue, Lucio--I'm going to rest for a bit more."

Sue says, "Hi Deena - how are you feeling? - ah ok."

Deena says, "Not so good. I don't think I'll make it through the chat..."

Sue says, "Oh dear".

Lucio_Agra says, "BTW Deena, could you after send me an e-mail teaching me how to build a space at "Third Dimension"?"

Lucio_Agra Lucio offers some "Caipirinhas" direct from Brazil.

tomb arrives. tomb says, "Anyone here?"

Sue says, "Yes - hi."

tomb says, "Tomb is Tom Bell"

Sue says, "Oh i thought you were a crypt!"

Sue says, "Nice to see you Tom."

Lucio_Agra says, "Hi, Tomb. I also made the same analogy."

tomb says, "Coming back from the dead."

Sue says, "Welcome home."

tomb says, "Hi, all."

Everdeen arrives.

Sue says, "Hi  Ev."

Lucio_Agra says, "Hi, Everdeen."

Lizbeth emerges pixel by pixel, looking slightly blurry.

Everdeen says, "Hi Sue, Lucio."

Sue says, "Hi Lizbeth."

Lucio_Agra says, "Hi, Lizbeth. Good pixels bring u."

Lizbeth says, "Hi Sue."

Everdeen spritzes screen and wipes.

Everdeen says, "Hello Lizbeth."

Lizbeth says, "Hi Lucio, Everdeen."

Lizbeth wags her tail happily.

Lucio_Agra Lucio offer more caipirinhas to newcomers

Sue says, "what is this Lucio? "

Everdeen whaps her tale haggily.

Sue says, "I am intrigued!"

Lucio_Agra says, "Caipirinha is a beverage composed with lemon, sugar cane, and cachassa"

Everdeen says, "Very refreshing Lucio!"

Sue says, "And what is cachassa? This sounds delicious"

Lucio_Agra says, "It is a fermented beverage made of sugar cane. It is the most known drink in Brazil"

Sue says, "Well Lucio, thank you, I'll enjoy this!"

Lucio_Agra says, "Marginal Commentary: Caipirinha is also the name of a record label created in NY by brazilian/american artist Iara Lee which produces electronic music."

Kaspark and ][mez][ arrive with hellos all around.

Sue says, "He mez haven't I seen you somewhere before>?!"

][mez][ says, "Eheh possibly Sue;)"

][mez][ says, "Hi Lucio, great 2 type with u."

Everdeen says, "Mez...the first thing I thought when I saw you today...was how self-affirming and openly emotional!"

Everdeen grins

][mez][ says, "Really everdeen?"

Everdeen says, "Since I first parsed yr [] according to the first use I ever saw of them in chat." Everdeen says, "As a type of hug....(stiff-armed British, but still)."

][mez][ says, "Ahh i c."

Everdeen says, "So there you are...hugging yourself and opening for a chain."

Everdeen grins

][mez][ says, "That's x.cell.ent, a great n.terpretation.."

Everdeen says, "And from the collaborative heart!"

][mez][ slivers in2 act][2,scene1].ion

Everdeen silvers quietly rocking in her chair

][mez][ says, "That's my aim, yes...2 tri N n.tice others in2 the ][collaborative][ open...."

Everdeen says, "Mez, and for...both successful collaborations....and hugs....there needs to be trust and acceptance"

tomb says, "Deena, can I add Investigative Poetics to the topic list here?  I just got a copy.  It's something Ed Sanders did.  Or do you already have a full sched."

Editor's note: there is an interview at

Sue says, "Tom, Deena isnt too well - we might have to soldier on without her"

Sue says, "But we certainly have a full schedule!"

tomb says, "Sorry to hear this about Deena"

Everdeen picks up a khaki cap in preparation. Everdeen looks to mez for her soldering iron.

][mez][ says, "N.deed everdeen"

Sue says, "Thank you Lucio"

Everdeen thinks a get-well wish into the log for Deena.

Deena shakes into her seat...

Deena says, "Thanks Ev :0"

Everdeen smiles across room.

][mez][ hi.jacks][N jills][ EV's well-wishing code n tacks a self-replicating healing line in2 the core

Everdeen watches the code of wishing well start to shimmer and shine and then explode into a shower of pennies...all copper bright.

Deena takes the well-wishing code and gets stronger.

][mez][ says, "Yay!!:)"

Lucio_Agra says, "Seems some of the invited are still missing: Carlo Henrique, Susana, Gonzalo, Inna."

Deena says, "Susana Tosca is stuck in the airport, so she won't be able to join us..."

Deena says, "Well, we will go on with who we have--thanks for coming, all :)"

][mez][ shunts a copper bright in2 an EV lite n switches the face 2 a grand n.terface, all whurring n chrome.hic....

][mez][ says, "No prob Deena, nice 2 b here."

Frasca arrives with hellos all around.

][mez][ says, "Helloha Frasca"

Sue says, "Since Deena isn't too well today, I am going to MC"

Everdeen says, "Hello Frasca."

Deena passes aroundGuiness beer to all the geniuses

Everdeen hic^up^s and sips some more \caipirinha/

Sue says, "So Deena can sit back and relax!"

Scott R arrives.

Lucio_Agra says, "Good idea Sue."

Everdeen plumps a pillow and passes it to Deena.

Everdeen sets a pitcher of margaritas on the table.

Deena takes the pillow and the margaritas...

][mez][ says, "Now there's a drink, a margarita!!"

Sue says, "Shall we begin by introducing ourselves?"

][mez][ offers Frasca a sip from the Lectronic Writing Round The World Jug.

Sue says, "No need to wait for others - just type in your intro and it will appear."

Everdeen says, "Everdeen Tree, Houston, Texas."

Lucio_Agra says, "Lucio Agra, Sao Paulo, Brazil."

Scott_R says, "Scott Rettberg, Chicago, Illinois."

Sue says, "I am Sue Thomas, artistic director of trAce, Nottingham, England."

][mez][ says, "][mez][:://global in d.sign an australian in geophysical location."

Lizbeth says, "Lisbeth Klastrup, Copenhagen, Denmark."

Frasca says, ""Gonzalo Frasca, Uruguay but right now in Oregon" "

tomb says, "I'm a psychologist who has messed around with poetry a bit and now I've become an activist.  I also have a new granddaughter named Alexis with me today so I might be preoccupied at times."

Sue says, "Thank you everyone!"

Sue says, "Does anyone else have a grandchild to declare?!"

][mez][ says, "Heh, no."

Everdeen looks down at twelve-year old cat lying on slippers.

Lucio_Agra says, "Not even cats"

Sue says, "Shall we begin with Deena's first question - how are you engaging with new media? Lucio - would you like to start us off?"

Margaret arrives.

][mez][ says, "Helloah marg"

Margaret says, "Ask"

Sue says, "Lucio-- can you start us off by telling us how you areengaging with new media in your work?"

Lucio_Agra says, "Ok, I am trying to do something in this field since 1995 when I got my first PC, a 486 SX 50 and perhaps I still have someof the vices from that time."

Sue says, "Go on."

Lucio_Agra says, "I mean, since then most of the works I made tried to use low tech engines, shareware programs and things like that"

Sue says, "So what os do you use now? win98?"

Lucio_Agra says, "Win 95 and Win Me. But I prefer the first."

tomb says, "Lucio, I think it's important to continue some of the low

tech things that were done in the last few years and not get carried away with new high tech stuff."

Sue says, "Frasca - how about you? how are you engaging with new media?"

Sue says, "Oh I think we may have lost Frasca - mez?"

Lucio_Agra says, "Sure, that is what I mean, at least, tomb."

Frasca says, ""Well, mainly through videogame playing (lots of it, lately. But I am also a videogame designer at Cartoon Network, and I do videogame research (just got out from Georgia Tech, where I did my research with Janet Murray), and I write about videogame theory at"

Lucio_Agra says, "Games are cases that can be thought in the program I meant."

tomb says, "Frasca - what is"

Frasca says, "" started as my personal research blog, but I am working on turning it into a resource for videogame research.Think of it as videogamekitchen ;)"

][mez][ says, "I suppose I'm trying less to n.gage with new media and more 2 constantly re-d.fine it...x.amine the conventions that technology has started to crystalize around and slowly b.gin 2 errode and reconceptualize it according 2 a more active dynamic....doing this via email performance pieces which utilize the very grit of network communication and then wot i can do with these in a more multimediaic format.."

Sue says, "Mez, are you saying your work is more ABOUT the medium than using it? Although of course you use it as well."

][mez][ says, "Sometimes i gear my projects that way...and sometimes i do it unconsciously as well..."

Deena pipes up and asks for URLs of the projects you guys are doing

Sue says, "So what are your particular concerns in the projects you're all doing?"

Lucio_Agra says, "Trying to do some results in e-poetry that can seem consistent without using the tools that are more recommended."

Sue says, "Lucio- so you are rebelling against the more popular tools - can you say more about that?"

Lucio_Agra says, "The more popular tools - I mean - Flash, Director, etc. Instead I prefer to use Gif animators, Power Point etc. Just to push these softwares to the limits they were not designed for..."

tomb says, "Popular tools become a problem for me when they drive the work rather than the other way around."

Scott_R says, "Seems like the about/using the network thread is one that a lot of artists are picking up on. Talan Memmott's work, even Rob Wittig's, also have elements of that intertwinement."

Sue says, "Yes Scott"

Lucio_Agra says, "In fact I met a lot of people - including Deena -that were interested in these matters at E-poetry 2001"

Sue says, "Do you think the moment arises when the programming becomes more important than the poetry?"

Sue says, "In other words, which challenge do you most prefer to wrestle with? (this to everyone)"

Lucio_Agra says, "I would like to make a footnote: please apologize my awful english. I also take some time to write down and make a lot of mistakes so, please, be patient."

Sue says, "Lucio you're doing really well!"

][mez][ says, "I think as the e-lit ][or net.wurk projects][ b.come more prevalent across the web, that this n.herent ability ][4 creators][2 wurk in a commentary that seeks 2 comment on the nature of medium itself becomes more regular..."

Lucio_Agra says, "No, Sue, I think poetry is more important. but that is because I try to use the tools in its limits to subvert, in a certain way, what it denies to poetry itself."

tomb says, "The programming is the poetry often, Sue, much like with print poetry these days in the USA, I think."

Sue says, "I hoped you would say that - I agree, Tom - and after all, a lot of poetic form is a kind of programming."

Lucio_Agra says, "Right, tomb. Take Neil Hennessey's work for example, at ubuweb."

][mez][ says, "Sue, I don't think there is a moment when the programming b.comes more imp than the poetry UNLESS u consciously wurkthat in or n.terprete it in terms of intracting ][a viewer POV][... of cc:ourse playing with this dynami.c][onfusion][ is always fun..."

The housekeeper arrives to remove Kaspark and Deena.

Editor's personal note: I really wish I could have been at this chat. Ev's and all's good wishes helped a great deal and I recovered after about a week.

Sue says, "I am thinking of problem-solving  I guess."

Sue says, "And of course it occurs in both writing and programming."

][mez][ says, "Sure."

Lucio_Agra says, "Yes, Sue, it is a problem solving situation in a very specific area, poetry."

Sue says, "Deena's next question is about what is happening in your countries right now.."

tomb says, "Baby cries. I respond. later?"

Frasca says, "My first priority is to work on making the medium less invisible, to highlight its ideology. I am interested in exploring thelimits of simulation and in order to do this, the medium has to be ripped apart."

Sue says, "For example, Mez, you have a new organisation for new media writing in Oz..?"
Editor's note: Australia

Scott_R says, "Yes, how is that going?"

][mez][ says, "Sure sue, it's called divergence, and we're curently trying to settle on terminology n.volving electronic label that we've semi-decided on is "wordwerk"...."

Lucio_Agra says, "Great term, mez. "

Everdeen says, "I like "workwerk" mez."

][mez][ says, "Its a slow process, Jenny Weight has been appointed a position of one of our leading new media organisations ][ANAT][ and is fighting valiantly 2 get recognition and funding..."

Editor's Note: I believe that this refers to Geniwaite and Australian Network for Art and Technology

Helen arrives, like a train from Platform 9 and three-quarters with hellos all around

][mez][ says, "we had a fantastic debate centering around various terms that seek 2 n.capsulate the current state of elit in Oz ][and elsewhere, but pri.marily here][. wordwerk was the result."

Everdeen says, "Mez, what is the extent of interest/work/approaches/geospace intended to be included in divergence?"

Scott_R says, "Geni seemed very dedicated building recogition of elit as an art form and to building a more coherent community in Australia."

][mez][ says, "She is scott, she's great:)"

][mez][ says, "EVD>> its started as a mailing list and is begining to co.ah.lesce around this, but we're considering an ezine & dead tree publication, as well as setting up collaborative wordwerks in an online space/gallery..."

Sue says, "Lucio how about in Brazil - there is a lot going on there I imagine"

Lucio_Agra says, "Sue, Part of what I would say is in But there is, yes."

Sue says, "Can everyone see that?"

Everdeen says, "Yes Sue"

Lucio_Agra says, "On the other hand I would say that e-lit is just at its very beginning here. There's more about e-art in general"

][mez][ says, "Lucio do u use the term at all?"

Lucio_Agra says, "Yes, mez, sure"

Scott_R says, "I think it's very interesting that you're planning on tying in a print publication to divergence. "

The housekeeper arrives to remove ][mez][.

Helen says, "whoops..."

tomb says, "Mez, say some more about dead tree publication and the list"

Lucio_Agra says, "It seems Mez is out for a while, tomb"]

[.mez][ quietly enters.

][.mez][ says, "Oops sorry"

Everdeen looks sadly at the empty space occcupied by mez....then brightens!

Lucio_Agra says, "Oops, sorry. Here she is again"

][.mez][ says, "I'm back now, can u re-ask tomb?"

tomb says, "Dead tree and elist info?"

][.mez][ shines a pulse of codelite 2wards EVD.

][.mez][ says, "Ahh okie, URL is:"

Everdeen smiles back...and totally forgives all the deadtree mentions

][.mez][ says, "Ooh"

][.mez][ says, "Sorry EVD, didn't think of that:)"

Everdeen laughs and winks

][.mez][ gri][t][ns

Scott_R says, "Can you say something about the idea behind the multiple media-idea?"

Sue says, "Can I raise the question of language? "

Sue says, "Lucio, Frasca, mez and lizbeth - can you speak about language please? Do you use multiple languages in your work? Do you think American English will remain the no 1 language of the web?"

][.mez][ says, "Well, not multiple language as such, i tend to mangle various ones though;)"

tomb says, "Language is intriguing as I can talk in Russian with Inna but we seem to communicate better in English"

Sue says, "Inna?"

Scott_R says, "Also on language -- Seems like the E-Poets 01 fest was one of the few times that not only cross-cultural but cross-lingual communication was going on in the elit world. I have this sense that it's still a pretty powerful barrier."

Frasca says, ""About language, I would say that we should realize that the computer's potential is in simulation, not representation. While simulation has been always present in our culture-through toys or scientific simulation and modeling- we now have tools for modeling more complex systems. We have to unlearn representation in order to explore the potential of simulation. I think this 'language' representational issue is top priority."

][.mez][ says, "Frasca I couldn't agree more re: simulation"

Sue says, "I guess that written texts can merge language in ways that spoken text does less easily."

][.mez][ says, "Seriously i assume that am english will dominate in terms of business orientation and commercially, but in small pockets or artistic communities online i guess there is an x.tended space for the adoption and celebration of other languages... "

tomb says, "English has become the international language of money.  I would think poets could find a better one?"

Scott_R says, ":) gudone tomb"

Scott_R says, "Maybe esperanto"

Lucio_Agra says, "It is a dream, tomb, but the reality is that we would have to take lots of time to learn it"

Lucio_Agra says, "I am not a programmer so languages are difficult for me. Wish I could understand a little bit of Java. About the verbal language.. well, you know, there is not too much people that read Portuguese, so sometimes I try to make some translations."

Sue says, "I wonder if multilingualism goes alongside multitasking?"

Molde Guest arrives.

Everdeen says, "Or perhaps an expansion of English with continual folding in from tother languages"

Lucio_Agra says, "Besides, English is being transformed in a patchwork of all languages, like Everdeen says"

Margaret says, "But that is/has already been happening Everdeen in English"

Sue says, "I understand that  in the US. Spanish is becoming the first language."

Frasca says, ""Spanish is under mutation in the States. If it ever becomes an official language, it will definitively be different from traditional Spanish."

][.mez][ says, "Frasca>>can u describe this mutation?"

Everdeen says, "Frasca, which are you identifying as traditional spanish?"

Everdeen says, "After all English is no more than 60% anything!"

][.mez][ says, "EVD>>that's a liddle like wot i aim 2 do, but with a heavy splice of code lang conventions..."

tomb says, "I know that there are people who won't participate in discussions like this because they are conducted for the most part in English."

Everdeen says, "Margaret, precisely my point....with natural languages so far"

Everdeen says, "And with mez pushing into siliconated ones!"

Lucio_Agra says, "I think it is a great question, mainly because of translation problems in poetry."

][.mez][ says, "4 sure lucio"

Margaret says, "How would you define siliconated language- pure number?"

Lucio_Agra says, "For example, I would think about the problems of translation with mez texts... It would be a great challenge"

Sue says, "I cant imagine how mez."

][.mez][ says, "No marg, more an organic mix of techno-flavoured and visceral based elements..."

Everdeen says, "When I taught Latin at university, one of my officemates told me there were actually some 17 or so recognized spanishes"

Sue says, "Who's work would translate can you mez?"

Margaret says, "Right, Mez, then that is already happening in English."

][.mez][ says, "4 sure lucio, and in that translation would come amazing potentialies 4 x.tended meaning curves...the meaning loading r so loose in terms of english that mezangelle translated would be even more so...."

Lucio_Agra says, "Mez original way of writing is already a testimony to these transformations"

Margaret says, "Upload, dump, byte"

Margaret says, "Etc"

][.mez][ says, "Yup marg"

Frasca says, "Well, in Latin America, Spanish evolved through the contact of native languages and other foreign tongues such as French, English, Italian. In America, the evolution is different, because it is not just borrowing isolated terms, but also structures from American English""

Everdeen says, "A constant evolution is going to be a factor in any living language"

Helen says, "Computer language is the language of men: abort, crash, see Dale spender.."

Frasca says, ""Anyway, I am not a sociolinguist ;)""

Everdeen says, "Yes, Frasca, there are the differences in each situation, even here in US we recognize many different Spanishes."

][.mez][ says, "EVD>>>absolutely"

Everdeen smiles at Frasca

][.mez][ says, "Thx Frasca"

Everdeen says, "Mez, one of the most surprising things to me is that I'm no longer viewing as doomsday the death of the objective case pronoun!"

Sue says, "I am interested in what Tom said about people refusing to take part in conversations which are in English. I don't mean that rudely - i just want to know which are the other common languages"

Sue says, "Which language should we use to share information?"

tomb says, "What about the many other languages, like Japanese?"

Sue says, "Deena's next question is about recommendations - can any of you recommend interesting work happening in your countries? URLls can always go into the weblog."

Helen shares a URL for trAce. (

Scott_R says, "There's also just the pure logistical problem of pocket e-lit communities being unable to share work or even know of each other's work. It's great that the UK, US, Aus communities are working together and sort of expanding the discourse community. But Russia, Italy, Brazil, France, etc. should be more in the mix"

Helen says, "Did anyone want to show a URL? The command is @url"

Lucio_Agra shares a URL. (

Lucio_Agra says, "That is the web site for the post-grad program in communication and semiotics in Sao Paulo. From there you can find some works, including things made about Russian art"

Sue says, "Thank you Lucio"

Everdeen says, "There was a proposal floated here in the US recently that all high school students learn a basic amount of Japanese (equivalent to approx. 100 characters I believee) in the way that Latin used to be taught."

Sue says, "What should we be learning to speak in?"

Everdeen says, "I never heard of any development beyond the proposal though"

][.mez][ says, "Helen>> i'm not sure i totally agree with the language of men call....i agree that it can b, but that a gradual shift is occuring in terms of re:appropriation and re.x.amination in terms of a patriarchall][enge][y domianted language base... "

Sue says, "Tom, do you suggest Japanese?"

][.mez][ says, "Sue, we all should be speextyping in mezangelle!!!![joke]"

Sue says, "Oh god i would be illiterate mez!"

Everdeen says, "Mez, thinking back, the first sort of sign in common use to my memory was the s/he"

Helen says, "It certainly started as a male language.... I think we should add more feminine terms -- I am trying to add "Pleat" to the langauge of the net!"

Everdeen says, "Helen? pleat =??"

Everdeen says, "As in braid?"

Helen says, "Pleat = a type of hyperlink"

Margaret says, "This is one of the difficulties I fine - with the aid of a dictionary I cam navigate round most romance language sites but I would be lost in Arabic, Japanese or Chinese."

Scott_R says, "That would be kinda tough. Japanese is hard."

][.mez][ says, "Eheh sue:)"

Everdeen smkilometres at mez

][.mez][ says, "Yup EVD"

Sue says, "So - which language should we use>?"

tomb says, "I'm possibly suggesting that women could develop a new language?"

Sue says, "Seems to me that english remains the obvious choice"

][.mez][ says, "X.cellent helen, i'm also working 2 do this, it all makes a difference"

Margaret says, "I might at a stretch by learning the 'alphabets' manage most Indo European languages. But why should we expect Japanese, Arabs and Chinese to work in an Indo European grammar?"

Lucio_Agra says, "Sure, Mez, I think more, that English in itself is something that is getting beyond any common understanding, something that ts the very centre of any natural lang."

Margaret says, "But logically we should use a Chinese language as there are more Chinese. or are you suggesting commercial clout is more important."

Margaret says, "Chinese is better too because the written language can be read by people who cannot understand each other's oral languages"

Sue says, "Isnt that twice as much to learn margaret?"

tomb says, "Chinese is also visual"

Margaret says, "No, not for the Chinese"

Lucio_Agra says, "Margaret, I think you have a great point, for chinese is an analogical language.. could be very interesting to thinkabout a connetion anna-digi"

Margaret says, "Thanks Lucio-Agra"

Everdeen says, "Characterized by?"

][.mez][ says, "Tomb>>wouldn't women developing their "Own" language only seek to heighten the segreatation of language rather than splice it in2 the dominate strain?"

][.mez][ says, "Sure Lucio, agreed"

Sue says, "I had hoped that on the web we could transcend that men/women thing :("

Sue says, "Lets' not reinforce it with langauge!"

Everdeen says, "Sue you mean the wo/men thing?"

Everdeen winks

][.mez][ says, "Me 2 sue, me 2."

Sue says, "whatever!"

Lucio_Agra says, "For sure, Sue. I, for example, came from Mars!!! ;)"

Everdeen laughs

Everdeen says, "I am perhaps blessed by being viewed as a botanical"

Scott_R says, "I think the croscultural outreach is probably more important than the shared language which is logistically difficult."

Sue says, "And what gender are martians lucio? ;)"

Everdeen says, "Sue, I read that as what gender are martinis!"

Everdeen takes off glasses and wipes them clean.

Lucio_Agra says, "Well, I would not say we are humans...;))"

Sue says, "Yes Scott, and that outreach happens interestingly on the web"

Sue says, "In fact that wiull be one of the topics of our next incubation conference"

tomb says, "I only suggesting that women might want to lead here. There would be no need to exclude men?"

Sue takes a nongendered spivak martini

][.mez][ says, "How so Scott? as in how does a crosscultural phen][w][omenon ][wo][manifest without a huge dependency on the lanuguage it revolves around?"

][.mez][ says, "Ahh ok tomb, sorry i read 2 much in2 yr post."

Margaret says, "Agreed Mez"

Sue says, "Ok, we have 10 minutes left and i would like to ask another of Deena's questions..."

Everdeen listens

Sue says, "How are people in your countries finding out about electronic media?"

Lucio_Agra says, "Another point is: in 2001 we are still writing down in a chat. It poses some questions to the way we connect worldwide"

Helen has disconnected.

Sue says, "'still' lucio? we've only just started a few years ago!"

Scott_R says, "Short answer it doesn't. but there are more possiblities for shared spaces here. simply looking over the fence and waving is better than nothing."

Sue says, "I like that Scott - looking over the fence and waving!"

Everdeen picks up chainsaw and begins on fencepost

][.mez][ says, "Sue>> in oz its a gradual x.posure process....4 x.ample, in oct this year australian new media artists r x.hibiting at brooklyn's academy of part of a huge retrospective-type x.hibition of australian art/culture in well as smaller more national-oriented xhibitions..."

][.mez][ says, "Scott>sure"

Sue says, "Brooklyn, mez?"

Everdeen says, "Mez, how long is Brooklyn exhibit?"

][.mez][ says, "Yup Sue, runs from Oct till June next year."

Scott_R says, "All roads lead to Brooklyn"

][.mez][ says, "Eheh EVD i also have pre-cognitive esp;)"

][.mez][ says, "[joke]"

Everdeen says, "It's that time zone advantage you have!"

Everdeen grins

][.mez][ says, "Must b:)"

Lucio_Agra says, "Say it again, Scott"

Everdeen says, "(but then u gnu I was gonna :)"

][.mez][ says, "N.deed;)"

Sue says, "we have 5 minutes to go --"

Sue says, "Any closing statements?"

late_guest quietly enters.

][.mez][ says, "Http:// That's my closing statement: 2 look @ this site...its amazing"

Sue says, "Can you imagine doing a project all together in all your languages?"

Lucio_Agra says, "THAT WOULD BE GREAT! (sorry) enthusiasm"

][.mez][ says, "EVD>>sure "

Everdeen says, "Sue absolutely1"

Scott_R says, "That would be cool. How did that EU train project work out?"

Sue says, "I don't know actuallyt"

][.mez][ says, "Yup sure, absolutley"

Sue says, "I never saw the ending of it"

Lucio_Agra says, "Mez, do you know how we say @ in Brazil?"

Sue says, "Btw for thiose who may not have sreen it"

][.mez][ says, "Nope lucio, tell me:)"

Sue says, "we have done a 3 language site - eng, finnish, swedish"

][.mez][ says, "X.cellent sue"

Sue shares a URL. (

Everdeen EaVesdrops on lucio and mez

Lucio_Agra says, "@ is arroba (pronounce as it is written)!"

Sue says, "Oh mez this inuit site - i;ve seen it - great!"

Everdeen says, "ARROBA ARRIBA!"

late_guest has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove late_guest.

Frasca says, ""Same in Spanish, arroba!""

][.mez][ says, "Arroba, that's][gh][][red][rob][es][a...."

Margaret says, "I saw the Inuit site too until Migrating Memories wiped it out"

Sue says, "Sorry margaret"

Everdeen says, "A rob Ah is a rob AH!"

Margaret says, "Excellent sites both"

Lucio_Agra says, "Great Everdeen!"

Scott_R says, "Thanks Sue. Looks like a great project."

][.mez][ says, "Yeas sue, sums up most of the enegry and wonder of a global inter.action via the net.wurk....very poignant stuff..."

Sue says, "well, let's look at making a multilingual site"

Sue says, "For a start, people copuld contribute to our home project"

Lucio_Agra says, "Sue, I suggest we share e-mails to take it forward..."

Sue shares a URL. (

][.mez][ says, "Sure sue!!! lets make it a trace project..i'm very keen:)"

Margaret says, "Lucio_Agra I hope you consider working on a visual language that can beread by people using differing grammars and vocabularies"

Sue says, "You can write in there in any language - but it would be good to have something a bit slicker perhaps"

][.mez][ says, "4 sure sue...."

Lucio_Agra says, "Sure, Margaret"

Everdeen says, "Something very ton[gue]y"

][.mez][ says, "Heh EVD:)"

Sue says, "Sure - what say you Scott?"

Scott_R says, "I'll write some stuff."

Scott_R says, "But I'm stuck in english"

Sue says, "I can speak not very much of several languagse!"

Everdeen says, "And are muricahns still invited.....:winks::"

Sue says, "I guess we just have to let go our inhibitions :)"

Lucio_Agra says, "Sue, let me see if I understood... we post some answer at the url you opened?"

Sue says, "Yes - in any language"

Everdeen says, "Sue, what about considering expanding title on include casa..."

Sue says, "Its a simple beginning but really we should do something more complex"

Everdeen says, "Etc ktl"

Sue says, "Casa -of course!"

Sue says, "Lets think on it"

Everdeen smiles at Sue

tomb says, "There are tranlation programs and some of them are good. The postal art site is multilingual and there are now some others."

Sue says, "Ah wait!"

Scott_R says, "It would be interesting to have some kind of shared plotline or narrative thread."

Everdeen says, "Mi casa is su casa Sue"

Sue says, "We have someome working for us as a volunteer.."

Sue says, "He is building a translation resource."

Sue says, "Give me a month and it will be ready."

Margaret says, "But what about your moat, Everdeen"

Everdeen says, "I can draw a bridge faster than any dentist!"

][.mez][ says, "Scott that sounds wurkable"

Sue says, "I agree scott"

Sue says, "A journey would be the obvious one"

Everdeen says, "What about fire? Tongues of fire?"

Sue says, "Like the unknown's book tour!"

Everdeen says, "Passing along...linguistically"

Scott_R says, "Still on it."

Everdeen says, "From the hearth..the home...the casa"

Scott_R says, "Neverending."

Sue says, "I can imagine Scott!"

Everdeen says, "From the bakery the foundery the laundry."

tomb says, "Farewell, all."

Lucio_Agra says, "A jour ...ney a one-day journey..."

Everdeen says, "Farewell tomb"

Sue says, "I have to go"

Margaret says, "All still stuck in the Romance languages"

Everdeen smiles...must be resurrection time

Sue says, "Do feel free to contribute to Home"

][.mez][ says, "Speaking in tongues EVD?"

Lucio_Agra says, "Tchau, Sue, that was great!"

Sue says, "But scott we can talk about a special projecyt"

][.mez][ says, "Cya sue and all:) great chat..."

Sue says, "This is Deenas doing -Ii am just standing in."

Sue says, "Thanks to all for coming"

Everdeen says, "Oh mez ich soy uno confused mujere bien sur"

Scott_R says, "Thanks Sue, everyone. I'd love to Sue. hats off to Deena! as always."

Margaret says, "Bye"

Everdeen says, "Bye Sue"

Scott_R has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove Scott_R.

Sue says, "Buenos dias"

Sue says, "Buenos noches"

Sue says, "Dag"

Margaret has disconnected.

Sue has disconnected.

Everdeen says, "Buenas noches"

Lucio_Agra says, "Boa noite, fellows"

Everdeen says, "Night snake of dreams, Lucio  y suenos de oro"

Frasca has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove Frasca.

Lucio_Agra says, "It is still early to sleep here, Everdeen but thanks any way"

Everdeen says, "Ah yes Lucio...and here too...but you always have light with you, eh?"

Everdeen grins and waves

Lucio_Agra Almost crying with so many gentle words

Everdeen says, "Lacrimas de Lucio lambently glistening"

][.mez][ has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove ][.mez][.

Lucio_Agra has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove Lucio_Agra.

Everdeen tiptoes out.

Everdeen goes home.

The housekeeper arrives to cart Margaret off to bed.

The housekeeper arrives to cart Sue off to bed.

tomb has disconnected.

The housekeeper arrives to remove tomb.

NOTE: Sue would like to add:

Translation Information request Sam Dobbin has kindly volunteered to create a Writers' Translation Resource at trAce. He is collecting information about web-based machine translators; dictionaries, and other tools. He would like to receive recommendations of useful sites relevant to this area, and is especially keen to include a wide range of languages and character sets. Please send recommendations for inclusion to him direct at as soon as possible. (Please note that we cannot guarantee we will be able to use all urls sent to us.)


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