David garcia on Tue, 20 May 2008 16:18:55 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Steve Cisler

On 20 May 2008, at 04:15, t byfield wrote:

> Steve Cisler passed away on Thursday 15 May, from a medical  condition
> he'd known about for several years, which had worsened over the last
> several months. His wife, Nancy, said that he was with his entire family
> --  which had grown in the last few years -- and that he was relaxed and
> accepting as his health faded.

I was shocked and upset to hear this morning of Steve Cisler's passing and
very grateful for Ted's tribute and portrait. This helped to fill out the
picture for those of us for whom Steve meant a great deal but who were not
fortunate enough to have known him as a personal friend. Those involved in
putting together The Next 5 Minutes will know him as someone who
contributed important content, ideas and knowledge very generously and
often invisibly. In this (and many other) contexts his experience, sense
of history and proportion had the effect of litrally grounding us. Steve
was a fatherly man without ever being patronizing.

Ted describes him as 'a material guy' and so emboldened, I hope it won't
sound trivial to say that the first impression he usually made was of was
as an impressive physical presence. A large hansomly craggy man who, (on
his regular visits to the european media culture events) seemed to have
stepped right out of a classic western, legendary cayak on the ready to
navigate the amsterdam canals. But the frontiersman image was soon
contradicted by the fact that nothing he ever said or did suggested any
hint of aggression much less heroic posturing. Nevertheless in a context
often rife with mindless 'America bashing' he brought with him some
valuable and frequently forgotten atmospherics of an older America, a
Whitman like sense of large open spaces and an atmosphere of solitude even
in his sociality. 

I am sure that Ted is right in saying that he was not utopian but his way
of life seemed to suggest the quest for a certain kind of freedom and
candor. He was  devoid of any trace of crass individualism but there was
an attractive quality of self sufficiency, a deep independance of mind an
spirit. I do hope that those nearest and dearest to Steve realise how much
and how widely he will be missed.


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