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This is an excellent discussion — that has jogged my memory and overlaps with 
many on this list (who created those memories). All of the Ctheory … didn’t 
know those had anything to do with something called “digital media” — same with 
Rhizome, — Realizing it in hindsight decades later makes me virtually jump out 
of my chair and exclaim, "Wait, there is a boundary between the digital and 
IRL? When did that happen?” 

In 1989, I got on the Well — and was loving it as a follower — and the 
free-floating feeling (like surfing) of not having to be “presenting” — 
lurking, commenting, — I heard that Timothy Leary was on there (so that was 
cool — maybe Ram Das too), but I cannot remember any of the text actually 
appearing there … More importantly, in 1989, I was mostly excited that I could 
for the first time find and check-out library books online from a room in our 
shared house and that someone would deliver the library book to my mailbox!! I 
dreamed that one day they could send me the entire book through the ETHER! 

Then around the same time, I remember nettime and the eToys DoS attacks and 
counter-attacks. Around that time, I read ‘bolo ‘bolo by the pseudonymous P.M. 
— about an autonomous social networked system.  All this to say that we backed 
into this history and the most important aspects are so mundane that we can 
hardly remember them — accessing libraries, for example. Online requests for 
delivery … and the sense of a miniature -empyre in the interstitial spaces of a 
smoldering crumbling ashen empire. . . . all delivered everywhere all at once. 

On February 13, 2018 at 12:20:03 PM, Ana Valdés (agora...@gmail.com) wrote:

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Thank you Tim for your generous post and for sharing with me the love and the 
passion for conversation and sharing.
I remember Ctheory well and Rhizome and Netthing and the Well and many others. 
It was a kind of legendary time, when Hakim Bey wrote about TAZ (Temporary 
Autonome Zones), when Brenda Laurel started with the support of Paul Allen 
Purple Moon, computer games for girls. It was the time of computer wars with 
the doctress Neutopia and hackers as Saint Just and early net artists as Allan 
Sondheim one of the real old timers and Cornelia Frankl and Melinda and 
Christina and yourself and Renate and so many others seeing the digital space 
as a new canvas to experiment with...
As living in Sweden and teaching digital narrative and writing about the web am 
very happy to have seen the beginning of Spotify Skype and Minecraft, three of 
the most successful tools everyone uses today.

tis 13 feb. 2018 kl. 13:19 skrev Timothy Conway Murray <t...@cornell.edu>:
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Hi, Ana,

I’m sorry that your post got cycled into my “clutter” box and I’ve just located 
it.  It’s so interesting and important that you flag the significance of early 
listservs for their activism.  Thanks ever so much for calling attention to the 
history of Stumble Upon.  Your own posts have so motivated and informed me over 
the years.

Another parallel project from the early days of listservs and what I think of 
as “digital discourse” is CTHEORY (ctheory.net) overseen by Arthur and 
Marilouise Kroker.  Although an electronic journal, the Kroker’s project served 
very much as a forum for digital activism at the moment that listservs where 
assembling themselves.  A couple of years before Melinda founded –empyre-, I 
collaborated with Arthur and Marilouise to co-curate CTHEORY MULTIMEDIA 
(ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu) as a means to providing a conceptual home for 
activist pieces of internet art, addressing focused subjects such as “Tech 
Flesh: The Promise and Perils of the Human Genome Project,” “Wired Ruins: 
Digital Terror and Ethnic Paranoia,” and “Netnoise.”

I remember first talking with Melinda about –empyre- when she presented it at 
ISEA Nagoya in 2002 and feeling empowered by how this interactive discursive 
network could activate and extend the kind of uni-directional projects of 
CTHEORY.  Some of the most satisfying months I’ve moderated on –empyre- over 
the years have brought together various international artists and digital 
activists whose posts have enlivened the community.  Your positive and 
affirmative posts always have worked to bring together –empyreans- to think 
collectively about the challenges and opportunities presented to us by digital 

Ricardo and Patrick already have signaled nettime and other early listservs, 
and it would be cool if others on the list could also post about their activist 
work on listservs and social media.



Timothy Murray
Director, Cornell Council for the Arts and Curator, CCA Biennial
Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu <http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu/>
Professor of Comparative Literature and English

B-1 West Sibley Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853

On 2/11/18, 12:10 AM, "empyre-boun...@lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of 
Ana Valdés" <empyre-boun...@lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of 
agora...@gmail.com> wrote:

    ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------

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