Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 03:48:00 +0100


Poetry should be made by all!

Part 2: From hypertext utopias to cooperative net-projects.netculture -cultural networks

Heiko Idensen


hypertexts appear as films that had been cut in real time by the users: like in an alternating film montage the images / writing spaces constantly change, by switching to and fro simultaneity is suggested <typical example: a hot pursuit with a constant switching between pursuer and pursuee>. But the montage of the hypertext is more than just arranging the single knots in a time chain - in a network-like weaving <network-culture> of different information knots a topographic/spacial montage develops as well: several axis and different reference systems will be crossed - hypercode, hyperunit of significance, hyperpoetry. Therefore the sight of the navigator through hypertexts will be broken several times, in comparison to the viewer of a film or a collage: not only a multiplication of sight lines will be in demand but the construction of new sight ways as well. <switching>


Entering small fragments of information follows the principle of an instantaneous thought, of a sketch, the idea on an object .... The stream of consciousness unfolds simultaneously on the surface of electronic writing: words dancing all over on the screen, sentences and sequences growing at certain points, evoking others, ramifying - markings, takeoff points, cross references, text networks. <going> The connection structure of hypermedia is favourable to associative thinking operations: from ain information knot a connection can be made to a multitude of associated information. <switching>

<chunks of information>

Media Networks contrary to the linear-sequential writing of printed texts, electronic documents are divided in small, discrete units: the screen, the card of a hypertext system <hypertext-commonplace>, one data record of a data base, the text, image or action window of an object oriented working surface, a message on the board of a mailbox, a frame in a netscape.window ... have manifolds relations with each other. The network of such objects of ideas and mental images requires from the beginning a multiperspective way of organisation - a networked thinking which allows different approaches and connections. <>

<conceptual writing-space>

Being new writing and navigation media, hypermedia computer environments can open up a conceptual writing, recording and producing space for symbol manipulations, a surface <textual surfaces> for design and communication actions within the developing network culture. The concepts for this networked hypermedia thinking are not new ones, but the medial circuit possibilities are new, challenging indeed a connection of the most diverse levels of media and of discourse. <>


The post-modern technologies and sciences leave human beings behind as nomads hooked up to the network of telematic multimedia systems: culturally imprinted by the alphabetic book-culture, informed, seduced, and emotionally fed by audio-visual <collaborative film> mass media, mentally stimulated, fascinated and inspired to speculations and visions by the new information technologies. The myths of the text society - finite text, authorship, legitimization in the context of "great narrations" (ideologies) - collapse in the interfaces of the information media, in the circulation of endlessly interchangeable information particles: texts <>, pictures, sounds are floating through information channels ... networking as an art of cross connections, of being on the way, of being everywhere. ... nomadic interwoven cultural techniques arise ... <hotspots> <>

<collaborative film>

Various autonomous groups established within David Blairs 'WAX WEB'- Project ( This is the hypermedia version of David Blair's feature-length independent film, "WAX or the discovery of television among the bees" (85:00, 1991). It combines one of the largest hypermedia narrative databases <Muser's Service> on the Internet with an authoring interface which allows users to collaboratively add to the story:.the 'intercommunicative film' is cutted up in 3000 pages, 25.000 hyperlinks, 85 minutes digital video, 5000 stills <Web Cams> - (it would cost a user 3 weeks 8 hours daily to follow all possible links!) ... on every page you'll find possibilities of remarking a scene or sentence .... <>

<collaborative sentence>

Welcome to the words first collaborative <xchange> sentence!


<Collaborative Systems>

A continually updated and, (because these pages are featured under a News-like interface to the WWW "Hypernews" <gutenberg-galaxis>), extensive index of collaborative technologies and projects, which visitors can expand and comment upon, can be found under the following categories: Conference Systems, Free for all and Guestbooks, Voting Systems, Collaborative Development... <>

<co-operative effects>

Very specific new artistic forms for the direct presentation of multimedia documents within the Web are developing, which in the main retain a co-operative flair, and which provoke both reaction and comment, as well as reciprocal action amongst the viewers, whilst generating a flow of material.

The revolutionary potential of the Gutenberg Galaxy <The Turing Galaxy> crosses and merges within the global web, but not without the "pseudo democratic" effects that the mass media creates in something new and of quality. Everyone can become sender/recipient, writer/reader, producer/consumer on the same terms.

<cooperative exchange>

The determinable revolutionising of networked, hypermedia, recording systems lies in enabling documentation in open the system. The change over from production circulation to the participation in "hot" informative processes, the association to transposable texts, transposable contexts or even transposable references - during which the reader/user is in motion himself...and the participation in many virtual worlds, which, (in contrast to perspectives of print culture authors), are generated by many. <Text, collective> The distribution of (used and consumed) Gutenberg-Galaxy texts in the Web, (like the universal utopia in the "Gutenberg Project"), is dead - Long live exchange and co-operation! <>

<Diary, European>

A Network-Project addresses precisely this space in between power/powerlessness, centre/periphery, private/public - the personal form of the diary is written directly into the network: starting from the

"Zagreb Diary", in which the Dutchman Wam Kat makes public via computer networks his personal impressions of the events of the war in the former Yugoslavia, personal entries, subjective stories and experiences are collected and compiled in networks throughout Europe - and thereby opposed to the always repetitive news agency reports of the official media and information structures. <Web Cams> POETRONIC ( has taken on the translations and co-ordination of this project which can be found on news-Servers in the directory T-Netz / Tagebuch Those who wish to participate can send contributions to the Board /T-NETZ/TAGEBUCH. <>

<digitALL - Cyberwar in Vienna>

"Information Warfare is the offensive and defensive use of informationsystems. Yes, and then netware became one of the paradigms for the Vienniese Phantom Avantgarde. Cyberwar in Vienna started by a small website using a mailinglist as main tool to cause radical critique on the real life circumstances of artsworld. The stile itself became a katalysator for developing tools which can enforce these real-life riots which happened caused of the digitAll net exzess, activities and flames and counter-netiquettes based on provocative talks, which where in the beginning mainly textbased!" <network-culture> <>

<Electronic Writing (C.R.E.W.)>

"We believe in Hypermedia and the World Wide Web! Hyperdocuments are not simply Collections of Nodes and Links, but Articulations of Nodes and Links in Space ... the Space of Hypermedia is not the Space of the Book ... We feel "the need to use computer networks as a means for creating new forms of collective intelligence, of getting humans to interact with one another in novel ways"(De Landa) ... <Collaborative Systems> It's better to do it than to write about it ... " <>

Compact for Responsive Electronic Writing (C.R.E.W.) is a co-operative effort of World Wide Web authors who want to open up their documents for links to other readers and writers in the community. With such reciprocative direct communication, the initiators are hoping that WWW transforms itself from being a passive form of Hypertext, in which the reader is merely able to follow links, into an active one, in which the reader can also create new links. You can sign on: <>

<Electronic Poetry Center>

Questions if the Internet is useful for -purposes or for literature, if the documents circulatory in the network direct to machines or people, if the literature-criticism also is a machine in the end, if the single creative activity with the computer is programming, if be mediate certain the hyper-texts in the WWW only the myth of the participation and the cooperation could not be answered in a single way <poetic of links?> - but a list of collectively generated poems is located on the sides of the Electronic Poetry Center: <>

<events, festivals, congresses>

Festivals and congresses are an important cover-point for artistic experiments and the development of new forms of distribution - exactly also for mixtures between the most different types of media-art. Such Events are accompanied in increasing dimensions by online-events in the WWW, that also offer writing/reading in different conference-systems, that enable into an entry of the visitor/user into thematically structured discussion-aereas.

On Ars Electronica in Linz <> one can, for example find an overview of the complete works of art and projects from the years 1987-1995, as well as announcements and plans for the ongoing year. References to other festivals, and to homepages for projects represented at these festivals, support co-operative forms of work and create the corresponding context for artistic projects. <imaginary library> New forms of online discourse are developing for media criticism: Live-Chats, online interviews with visiting speakers and artists, or conference systems, which enable the user to contribute statements and instigate discussion rounds. In a "Transconference" at the Berlin Video Festival, it is possible insert a text pretty much everywhere within the contributions being discussed there: <>


Find the mistakes, the quotations, the misappropriatings ... Find the places in the network that you can do something with. Copy the material, scan it, import it, work with it... <Manifesto for all cases> <>


The information process is not concerned with the simple sending/receipt of finished documents any more, but is growing into a lively process of exchange, taking the form of a permanent "work in progress", which is seen to be taking hold at all levels within the Web: in the case of software programming, (e.g. Linux or a myriad of other types of shareware), as well as a multitude of other discussion fora, the game world or education world, (Moos, Muds), or co-operative projects in the fields of literature, art science or entertainment, (exactly like other fora concerning specific themes), they mostly consist of a base idea or basic structure, which can then be modified, varied, complemented, commented upon or expanded upon, by the user. <feedback> Over and above this, access to AV recording equipment situated in different places around the world has given birth to another form of recording/transmission and reception space, which affords the Internet user access to a variety of perspectives and aspects, in a world where the separation of the citizen from the private/public is evaporating, in much the same way as the difference between art/life and information/fiction. <>

<feedback options>

New artistic forms for the presentation of multimedia documents are developing within the network - mostly with some kind of cooperative feedback options (ereactions, commentaries, comments, ratings). ( The revolutionary potentials of the Gutenberg-Galaxy <The Turing Galaxy> cruise and also mix itself in the global computer-network with the however ' pseudo - democratic ' effects of mass media to a new quality: everyone can be likewise producer/consumer, sender/receiver, writer/reader .... <xchange>

Poetry Should Be Made by All! <>


cramming, `information overload,' cognitive entropy - postmodern information flood and frenzy: everything will be stored, preserved, filed, observed, filmed, shots are made of every moment, every events will be broadcast, every impulse, every emotion commented on ... <projecting> Now we are feeding computers and data bases with the knowledge of the world, arket analyses, environmental data, literature quotations, fragments of memory ... these facts and fictions circulate in electronic networks. At the crossing points of those information networks, communities, interest groups, research teams, new publics, undergrounds, heterogeneous collectives arise ... like in old times at traffic and trade routes. Hypermedia documents cannot be received and consumend in a conventional way, they will have to be feeded and charged with meaning in interaction processes. <interfacing>

<forming rhizomes>

writing and reading in the network represents a nomadic action of roaming around in media networks: hypertextual arrangements of various information units that circulate between various information systems because of a permanent up- and downloading. Switching between different media streams in social networks ... Single particles of text, image, and sound can be interrupted, broken, altered - while at the same time they are being held together, able to continuously referring to each other. <interfacing> The relations between text/author/reader no longer function from point to point, from word to word, from image to image ... in a linear reference (significant/ significant unit), instead they function in a rhizomatic way via crossings, overlappings, chains of different media streams along which knots of meaning form - different screen layers are overlapping. The users may create unprecedented interconnections ... <associating>


roaming around on the screen surfaces activates and memorizes associatively connected contents of memory, represented by icons. As a continuation of rhetoric and mnemotechnical operations from a tradition of the memory skills, the functional desktop surface represents a media architecture of knowledge where cognitive processes can be visualized, positioned and stored. The navigations through hypermedia landscapes of knowledge can be operationalized and recorded only in an insufficient way: history functions (which record the way of a user and the time of stay at certain fragments of knowledge) <knowlegde structures> will always be provisional cathographies for screen thinking. Perhaps it is just at the <didactical> attempts to circumvent `lost in hyperspace' by path markings, guided tours, adaptive recording mechanisms, where the characteristic feature of screen thinking gets lost: the act of passing. <forming rhizomes>


The topic 'end of the gutenberg-galaxis' and the explicit design of a docuverse (that is based on a global network and a permanent exchange of hyper-text-documents) <hypertext hotel> exactly arises to the time as the western book-culture is going to be overturned by the new audio-visual media - but both as completely separate, almost opposite discourses. <>


Below the empty surfaces of the up-to-date information-design - of the softmodern, of the Infotainment - the antiquated typed characters flashes up again ...

Now as hyper-words, which have lost their innocence - they do no longer absorb the reader into the text, but repels him rather into the wide fields of digital communication. <MOOs>

Readers and writers are now connected with the same machines and tools likewise - they write and read simultaneously at one distributed and dismembered texture, that is spread over the whole word. <>


Although the apparative preconditions for the networking of various media are becoming ever more complex, artistic (non-affirmative) methods of using such networked systems are only slowly beginning to evolve. The artistic paradises of hyper-media, in contrast to the analogue media (writing, film, radio, TV), are no longer metaphorical representational machines: they refer to nothing, but are simply waiting for our input, actions and reactions. <www revolution?> Although the radical media transition from gramophone, film, typewriter (thus Friedrich Kittler's suggestive title) to CD, video and computers has radically changed the personal, cultural and political parameters of information processes - the foundations of literary culture (authorship, copyright, work- and product character of the media documents exchanged ...) are only now beginning to tremble with the rapid spread of digital media: The techniques and practises of non-linear forms of living, thinking, and production are now becoming standard operations with, through, over, under and around the new media ... <>


"You are invited to derequest the question, regarding the concept of what a nation in Cyberspace is. This is a free exchange of ideas. Dreams, puzzles, jokes, and imaginary maps are welcome (in text, image, sound or video form). All languages are spoken. Contributions to this discussion may possibly be edited and included in a Web page. Live Tele-performance events will take place. <Text, collective> As a collective text, the HYPERNATION-Project will take approximately three months to complete. Accompanied all the way by Hank Bull in Vancouver." <>


Maybe hypertext is starting point and object of so numerous speculations over the future of the literature and the social communication therefore, because hypertext carry out operations that exactly, anyway what we in the literature, the science, the poetics. . . as discourse-technologies for the circulation of ideas: to produce connections , to follow referrals, to construct knowledge-paths, to collect explore, organize and distribute fragment-showers of information .... to send and receive ... to network! <>

<hypertext hotel>

Within the "Hypertext-Hotel" different Hypertext-Experiments from the courses of Brown University are gatherd in Writing-Spaces. <>

<imaginary library>

From the very beginning the activities from PooL-Processing have radically questioned classical copyright - in particular the middle-class myth of ownership, possession and right to the use of texts, artefacts and ideas etc, and attempted to try out practises in co-operative production. <xchange>

Following an earlier collation of texts, fragments of theory and documents on media art, (as "Agents for aestetic Informations," European Media Art Festival <> `88 and `89, `Ars Electronica 89, where we attempted to initiate an offensive intercourse with information channels and databases etc.), we have engineered the principle of intertextuality in the imaginary library.

The concept stating that poesy is created above all other things, and not just by single authors, has been convened into the principle of misappropriation, plagiarism and abusive misappropriation: the reader is transformed into a hero, who journeys through hypertextual interfaces combining blocks of text, compiling, following strand markers and suddenly "landing" in "other" areas of text... <Machines of Text> Besides an online version of the imaginary library, one can find all the text material, (essays, lectures, catalogue entries, manifestos, concepts...), from Pool Processing, - also this text next to every linking

address!), under this imaginary address. In the form of "electronic essays," we attempt corresponding hypertextual transformations of the most diverse text concepts. <>

<Interface III>

Within the bounds of the Interface 3 network, which used to be the online parallel world to the symposium, and enabled preparations for discussions between speakers and interested Web participants in advance, Regan King, (who I would like to thank at this point for the wonderful co-operation and fruitful exchange of experience), from the telematic work group, had arranged a commonly accessible discussion page, in which short synopses on the theme of the "collaborative project" could be inserted, and where a reply coupon was planned. <>


... no longer the interspace that opens up when facing a concrete vis-a-vis but a technical metaphor for connecting various peripheral devices to a central unit: adapters for audio-visual devices, networks, input and output devices for the data exchange between machines and between man and machine. This cultural-technical bindings to technologies will influence both our perception of reality, the societal ways of producing, and the practice and the theory of the arts: We have ceased to be mere spectators, recipients, analysts of the dramas <performing on the screen> of thinking, now we are visionary operators, imaginators, cybernauts ... <on-screen writing> Interface in the sense of forming a social environment where telematic hypermedia become complex cultural text, image, memory surfaces. Hypermedia cultural technologies connect private and public metamedia, thus representing a universal interface for the exchange of various data streams. <associating>

<Internet Battlefield>

That the potential new poetics and rhetoric of the network culture possesses an eminent political character, has been shown by the fundamentalist anti-media campaigns, which since the middle of 1995, (under the classic pretexts of pornography and terrorism), hw poetics and rhetoric of the network culture possesses an eminent political character, has been shown by the fundamentalist anti-media campaigns, which since the middle of 1995, (under the classic pretexts of pornography and terrorism), have been directed at the autonomy being enjoyed in Cyberspace. Next to the total media war that has broken out concerning the share of the multimedia on-line marketing strategies, with regard to network entry and telephone connections, a real circus has started up in which the- and they have always been feared by media philosophers, theorists and critics- technocratic fascist impulse of the post modern information management system clashes with subversive utopian potential. On the basis of the decentralised structure of media viewing figures alone, even the networking potential of the on-line media sooner supports an uncontrollable rhizomatic exchange, while efforts to censor are also to be avoided accessing the indecent contents on another channel. s campaign- Blue-Ribbon-Symbol, from which, and via every (participating) page in the WWW, one can branch off to collected information on anti censoring activities: <>

<Internet: Who doesn't Fight Lives in Fright>

As a "Celebration of Free Speech on the Internet" a collection of essays on the subject of "freedom" is being collated under the Project "24 Hours of Democracy" rnet" a collection of essays on the subject of "freedom" is being collated under the Project "24 Hours of Democracy" <>ely mobilised themselves, via search engines, indexes, picture galleries and chance selection procedures, in order to be able to offer corresponding access to this mass of texts. But also on the local level of the everyday-politics at our university <>, the work in and with the Web positively effects internal and external communication structures, when the concern is for forms of inter-action for active striking against extremely dubious savings policies within the cultural and political landscape. After being banned in Germany, the "Radikal" achieved a form of "virtual exile" in Holland: <>

<internet - embedded interfaces?>

While 'embedded internet-machines' supplies Everyday-mini-computers, that as well like all other computers are working with the universal software-interface HTML (incl. extensions like Java, Plug-Ins for all text, - Data base - and multimedia-programs and -formats) ... each action of each User in the net leaves a data-trace: investigations, navigations, orders, Votings, protest-listing - even the use of certain words in private mail can be followed and controlled ... <>

<inter-textual links>

The operating of all reading- and writing-processes on a single surface (the screen) in the network now is the really new feature - . the Intertextuality of the book-culture is a virtual one , in literary texts explicitly produced, produced. the Intertextuality within networks is concrete, flat, pragmatically, real(ly)


Online-texts are not famous for excellent stylistic and rhetorical figures or metaphoric formulations. They more rely to context-referential activities, switching between different levels, connections, speed of the exchange - the space between different text-fragments is important - the processing of intertextual structures. Each text enlists into an intertextual ensemble of artistic / cultural/ formal / canonical / biographical constellations. Each word produces meanings in the context of the surrounding linguistic units - every process of writing is some kind of ' quotation ': misappropriating, tapping and catching and the informations circulating in the network. <>

<knowlegde structures>

As structural models - interfaces - for such constellations works preferentially spatial formations, the asynchronous network of different materials, media and action-processes admits: maps, how approximately that (imaginary) plan of a city or a house in the classic mnemonics (as cultural storage areas) that also recovers itself in diverse manner in the literature:


a very important cultural technic for the development of network-culture is to act against totalitarism, mono-culture (controlled by monopolistic multi-national softeware-giants with inclination to controll even the content of the net by universal content-providers in cooperation with censorship and protectionistic controlling by governments) and to envent new collborative discourse-technics: open special interest-groups in the tradition of news-groups, mailing-lists, accumulations and kollaborative processing of data-bases, social text-filtering, collective authoring ...

<machines of desire>

The wishing machines aren't stuck in our heads, are not figments of the imagination, but exist in the technical and social machines themselves. <Deleuze/Guattari>

<Machines of Text>

Text machines and machine texts, from the antique to John Cage's Mesostics, and right up to software by means of which Markov chains can be developed, (and as a part of this, the "Political Babble Generator," which produced Clinton and "Gingrich-Speaks," as well as diverse tools for do-it-yourself prose - a writer of pornographic stories, the Eliza-like Racter, as well as a variety of tools on Queneau, <imaginary library> Burroughs <Memesis - Language is a virus> etc.) collected by Florian Cramer: <>

<Manifesto for all cases>

As the original continuation of art manifesto's of all forms in the Web, the "Manifesto of the Movement," awaits input from the user,. who can fill out a form with gaps in it, in order to personalise and modify the manifesto. <>

<Memesis - Language is a virus>

A model for the exchange-processes between man-machine inside hypertextual environments could be described as a further development of early media-language-theories (for example in "Electronic Revolution by William S. Burroughs <>): the exchange of 'ideas as a virus' is going to be processed inside of topographical models of 'landscapes of ideas' (memescapes) ... the cultural technics of media-culture could be generated from the exchange of material and spaces: "The English biologist and philosopher Richard Dawkins, for instance, proposed the concept of the memes as self-replicable information sets which settle in our cultural awareness, like a set of 'idea viruses' using DNA-generated life as an ideal carrier substance in the manner of parasites. In the present case, these are data and infor-mation carriers, i.e., mobile units performing functions as man's representative agents. No matter whether we call them knowbots, meme or digital organisms - they all act as incorporations inside the network a n d, within the meaning of the 'idea virus' concept, definitely operate outside the electronic spaces. They determine events, acting as the cause of the generative and processual elements which characterize this data space approach. We are faced with the following questions:

- What kind of infrastructure may support such artificial, digital territories? <digitALL - Cyberwar in Vienna>

- Which objects and signifiers do these infrastructures use and how can we experience and peceive this hybrid mesh of interrelated effects, which is to a certain extent self-organizing?

- Which are the functions of the developer/user/observer of such digital space/time configigurations?

... the process is still not sufficiently self-referential, but it is full of poetic opportunities to establish an event space for these undiscovered data habitats, one that may function as the "language of the

absent". <>

<MEMESIS - open forum>

For the Ars Electronica in Linz, one can find an open forum supporting preparations for, and the online support of, a symposium, together with an overview of the complete works of art and projects from the years 1987-1995, including announcements and plans for the ongoing year. Besides abstracts or more or less complete papers from invited guest speakers, an area for discourse has been created for all those interested: distributed via a mailing-list <nettime mailinglist>, very lively and controversial "discussions" take place in "MEMESIS- the future of evolution." The texts and arguments from anonymous participants carry as much weight here as the renowned "master thinkers" who are not placed at centre stage within the discourse, (something like the classical podium discussion). Even the obligatory reference list, with links to the thematic surroundings in no way alleges to be an unquestionable source of wisdom: commentary is permitted here as well. <>


Skipping the institution of publishing house by empoying personal - mutually connectable - metamedia takes away any logocentrical orientation from electronic texts, and it short-circuits the open ends of the text society. All the cultural, technological, commercial, philosophical statements become common property. <forming of rhizomes> (Re)combing an element - that had been separated from the context - within new contexts becomes a main operation of hypermedia culture techniques: all the misappropriated elements can give rise to new combinations. Thinking in front of the screens takes place as a permanent interference in data streams, as navigation through data piles - as a permanent change of perspective. Tapping and catching of the information circulating in the network. <assembling>


Moos are tools for collaborative work and play, featured in the network. In contrast to the WWW, they enable simultaneous communication in real time between various users, within a form of area characterised as (virtual) space: On entering the specific areas, the objects found there can be simultaneously changed and manipulated by all the visitors "present" by carrying out very specific activities For media researchers, the co-operaarchist-dadaist-schizo-mental-paranoid way. Just type in "activate poetry generator" to switch it on." <Machines of Text>h the bar, library, theatre, changing room and dance area one finds oneself in a "heavenly grotto," which is filled with papers and writing equipment which activate a "poetry generator:" "This machine will generate truly random poetry in an anarchist-dadaist-schizo-mental-paranoid way. Just type in "activate poetry generator" to switch it on." <Machines of Text> Information on Web based MUD's can be found under: <>


As the market of digital multimedia culture carriers is being inundated with a flood of various - mostly competing - standards and concepts for media integration, the gap between private consumption (CDs, cable TV, games ..) and public media culture spaces (mailboxes, mailing lists, newsgroups, open forums (, media centres, media festivals ...) seems to be widening all the time. The utopia of dissolving centralistically oriented mass media in favour of personal meta and hypermedia hardly seems to come about - with the exception of autonomous zones of subcultural telematic circles or institutionalized research teams. Contrary to the awakening mood in the field of media in the 70s (media initiatives, video groups), those similar social fields seem to be missing, where the much-invoked digital revolution can unfold its social effectiveness. <>

<Muser's Service>

Muser's Service is an assistant for daydreaming: Chains of association are built out of user input's - every task is gone into which comprises the basis of Hypertexting, according to the first hypertext concepts, <>. The beginning and end points of the chain are chosen, as well as forms of association and link-up, against differing rhetorical models (similarities, continuation, condition, contrast ...). The associative database can be extended by user inputs. <Machines of Text> In an installation the visitor was received on a water bed with a temperature of 37 C... <>

<nettime mailinglist>

Within the discursive practice of Mailings-Lists new forms of collection, discussion and distribution of texts are going to be processed. They are much more dynamic in the comparison to the conventional publication of printed texts and also enable discourse-forms beyond mainstream-journalism or established theory-contexts moreover. A new form of media-discourse comprehended still in the experimental phase: one tries simultaneously to use the media-effects' directly over which is written. Such a ' materialistic ' hypertext-processing also escapes the seemingly fundamentalist contradiction, between ' death of the book and literature ' and that ' birth of a new medium ' itself. The Nettime mailing list for example, is concerned with the politics of Web culture and attempts to establish forms of network criticism parasitic to the centres of established culture, using collaborative text filter processes. For the relation of theory/practise, the network culture's culture techniques play an important role: in the effort to find tools and methods for an alternative collective subjectivity- beyond info-capitalism and the new power network- texts are being devised and circulated in a way which no longer has anything to do with the remoteness of lobbyist, established media theorists, (who do advertising for Telecom): quicker, more contradictory, more reckless, wilder, more heterogeneous, crazier... Nettime functions here as a "social text filter" for original and found texts, enquiries, announcements etc. On a variety of occasions, (such as at conferences or festivals) a call is made for the contribution of texts relating to particular themes, and which are then brought into wider distribution. This does not have anything to dowith results, but with processes. "100 % anti-copyright - not for commercial use" <>


At first sight, it is the very hypermedia which seem to push the postmodern dispersion of narrations and statements into the tiniest particles. But the empty space between single data-records, between unconnected streams of text and images, between arriving and leaving of a site ... will become the decisive place of cultural transformations as basic operations of a hypermedia culture. <>

Thus the place of knowledge and culture production is shifted into externalized networks of different media configurations. The 'classic' (manipulated or mobilized) pubic has ceased to exist - the questions of media circuits, of networks, of chains and conncections of the 'charges' (mixtures of texts, images, sounds, interactions) that circulate in the network will be a decisive one for a tele-political culture. <>

<online thinking: the art of cut-ups>

One doesn't read texts anymore, one doesn't see pictures anymore, one doesn't listen to soundscapes anymore ... instead, one cuts together various media streams on-line - not only as chance mixtures - as, for example, in early multi-media happenings - but rather as integral constellations and configurations: Networking Hypertexts as "text's" late revenge on television and the audio-visual media-massage. <>


Visualizations and dramatizations of data presentations, simulation techniques, desktop publishing, desktop video ... make the screen as a virtual surface the favourite place of cultural exchange processes: on screen thinking in networks. Digital hypermedia are freely shapeable interfaces: processors, by which objects of thinking may be produced, connected and distributed in different ways of presentation <text, image,

sound, animation>. Everything is deeply intertwingled! (Ted Nelson)


Screen objects are both media representations of ideas and, at the same time, executable operations that occur on virtual screens: screens will open other screens where there are again screens that open ... <reading: screen>. Object oriented hyper media environments meet this spaceing of `writing' with different means by offering actions - in addition to to linear funcitions of editing - that allow a functional interplay of the most diverse media objects on the screeen: <interfacing>

<poetic of links?>

The poetics of a link lies in the bare insinuation in no way, nor in a metaphoric or implicit reference - but carries out itself in a real jump, an actual linking - a poetics of the transportation. Network-work-writing-projects puts a crucial question of artistic use of media: like can aesthetic operations - removed from the aesthetic strategies of single authors - as concrete program - enter into common work-processes ? How can collective texts be generated and how do they circulate? Could some kind of' telematic poetry ' be made by all? <>

<poetics of transport?>

'Poetics of the transportation ' could do the old concept of the metaphor available now as a network-stream maybe, that through arrival and departure, import and export, input and output is to be organized in dynamic knowledge structures (memes?). New forms of conceptualisation and social communication originate - a kind of active semiosis, within the writing and reading continuously discovers new contexts, follows tracks , draws commentaries ...

<public exchance>

Posting, download, reply, annotate. . . these processes of structuring, recombination and contextualisation of texts no longer happens in the head of a single authors but already in a public writing-area: new discourse-technologies arise from this distributed collaborative exchance of ideas -text-processing in the truest sense of the word. <>


The users will sit upright in front of the screen, like a painter in front of his painting. Whereas traditional images and texts function like mirrors, technical images capture meaningless signs and particles <dots, characters, sounds>, providing them as objects of ideas for hypermedia operations. <feeding> Imagination will not be processed into the structures of texts through the machine, the image-generating processes will be completely directed towards the surface of the screen. Culture and media critics should stop asking about the meaning of hypermedia, they should ask about their direction. <misappropriating>


This text is not for reading. <feedback> (Sorry, parts of the text are translated by the help of the free online translation-service <> - its for feeding (your browser, your editor , your tongue/language). Who is speaking?

<reading: screen>

on-screen reading forms the interface between information technologies and human organs of perception and storage. This will be, in a literal sense, superficial, spreading all over the screen: browsing - rapid and searching scanning in order to select relevant parts of text from big data blocks, navigation through hypertexts, research in data bases, coordination of information units which are shown on the screen at the same time. Searching, separating, selecting, following, zooming. Computing reading, creative and gathering reading, gathering of fragments. reversal of the vectors of meaning ... <projecting>

<recursion ... to much!>

"ZKP2 is a time based project. Reinventing net critique means that nettime represents your writings at 5cyberconf in Madrid and on the web as well at the right moment. It reaches certain channels to infiltrate the wired discourse machine and tries to modulate myth building processes with external noise, euro-negativity and illegal knowledge. It will reflect <readable/writable/feedable> the recent changes in net politics, web-euphoria, sociotronic situation, escape from online-life, virtuality tunnels, to report on local climate and a subjective view on what is called 'The Net' as universal mirror of collective wish production." <>


Switching will only be an interesting play between different interfaces if polyvocal and polymorph interconnections beyond the simple off- an on-switches can be made. Such moving selective actions along a series of connection possibilities run transversally to the classical separations of genres, for instance in the TV programs where there is constant switching. Alike graffiti - which unhamperedly spreads on the body of a city - these subversive manipulations of data streams cannot be mastered by a consumer-apted styling of programs <like simultaneity of advertising blocks>. It is sort of a pre-form of on-line thinking: the user edits <assembling> his sequences himself. <Reading: screen>, coupling program streams with his own instinctual system.<forming rhizomes> <>

<Text, collective>

The utopian vision of a collective TEXTUALITY: as already found in socially turbulent situations (French revolution, operative writer collectives in the Russian revolution ...) and in communal text-net-works. But neither the encyclopaedia, nor literary circles (Nouveau Romanciers, Tel-Quel) really eliminate the bourgeois author-subject, even when this belongs to the central demands of the respective literary program! Perhaps this is really (operatively) a question of the technology of writing (recording and distribution): Copyright, the mythos of the closed work, conventional authorship ... disappears in the moments of generation/structuring and distribution of networked hypertext. <hypertext hotel> That which applies theoretically and conceptually to written literature - in the system of literature as an inter-textual network - applies also to the net-work-text-tours at every moment of generation/structuring and distribution: The difference between writing and reading in the network is approaching nil.


The classic separations between production and reception (e.g. between author, text, and reader or of code, sender, and receiver) will be abolished in favour of a text-network-conception: <Electronic Writing (C.R.E.W.)> In active processes of intertextual generating of texts from texts, images from images, media from and within other media ..., reading and writing will overlap. The making of references substitutes the conventional receiving and sending of media documents. <>

<textual surfaces>

Despite all entreaties and all kind of metaphorical generalisations the WWW is first a surface once, a Point and Click-Interface for the online manipulation of multimedia-objects. A controversial discussed question is, if perforce electronic texts are' flat texts ' in the sense of a deficiency, a lacking complexity, depth, sensuality etc, - or if not exactly new qualities arise from the topographical text-structures. Therefore hypertext could overstep the deficiency of the writing-culture - lacking Feedback and one-dimensional communication-structures with infinite ' depth ' the meaning ... <Interface III> Make cards, no copies! <>


Beyond literature and language oriented paradigmas and operation metaphors <commandline, command words> and in the design of new concepts of interaction, there are gradually developing new metaphors for the interface <interfacing>: The computer is no longer seen as just a tool, a thinking device, but as a medium. Interaction processes as symbolic actions with objects will come to the foreground, representing metaphors for certain tasks and actions: direct manipulations of objects of ideas on the screen surface. Hypermedia imagination processes (writing/programming/visualizing) cease to happen in a linear juxtaposing of signs and codes, they represent a complex development of design, where environments and model scenarios for the `drama of interaction' are being designed. The screen becomes a stage where processes of interaction, thinking and design take place: spectacle, actions, man-machine role plays with all the senses participating. Instead of mere reading and writing, actions will be performed. The drama of thinking on the screen not as just a simulation process but as an action form of thinking itself: computer as a theatre. <forming rhizomes> <tree fiction> A kind of literary genre corresponding to online-correspondences and knowledge structures is the tree fiction: the reader can jump <feedback> up and down the interlocked plateaus of the narration and insert on every level a new 'storyline'. Ludwig Wittgenstein used this structure in 'Tractatus', Raimund Roussel was able to construct 9 levels of narrations - with the same framing-technic. He used simple brackets as special characters ... <>

<The Turing Galaxy>

A wonderful overview of Web activities is provided by Volker Grassmuck, who has immediately- as an alternative to the Gutenberg Galaxy - made a new paradigm for the new age available- "The Turing Galaxy," <gutenberg-galaxis> which is presently working with user metaphors taken from the Gutenberg-Galaxy: "The computer acts as if it is typewriter, printed matter and a library. [...] Librarians were one of the first groups to open up and occupy the galaxy. More than a thousand library catalogues are online today, seven hundred digital newspapers, hundreds of complete books [...] We are today, on the one hand, observing the traditional libraries[...] which are developing towards full digitalisation and networking. On the other, a hypertext interface has developed in what has up until now been an inexpansive bibliophile matrix, which effectively turns the millions of connected computers into a complete (sic) library with long distance borrowing at the touch of a button." <Grassmuck, Volker R. (1995), The Turing Galaxy: The Universal medium on the Way to World Simulation> <>

<Web Cams>

In opposition to the video initiatives of the 80's, and the local "open channels" which have grown out of these, Web-Cams, from the point of view of technical realisation at least, represent the potential for the "great illusion," in which every Internet user with a camera link can become a transmitter, delivering his own "perspectives," his own "impressions" of the world, and his own complete personal and private attitudes out into the world via the Web. The aesthetics and "omnipresence" of the test card after close of transmission will be abandoned once and for all. Insights into private obsessions will be offered as often as the chance to participate in totally profane permanent "exhibitions," (visions of Warhol's Kitchen or Empire State Building: we are viewing a momentary recording of the fish in Jack's Aquarium, or from Jill's Rattan. Like an auctorial orator we follow Rob Hansen <> with a transportable camera. In a form of "big brother is watching you, or like a metaphor for the "electronic collar," thousands of Web cameras are waiting to be spied through and "operated," (zoomed, panned, new picture), by Internet voyeurs, and as a result are contributing to the construction of a virtual, public,

image-space. The index of lists featuring WebCams consistently plays around with metaphors for viewing & voyeurism: The Peeping Tom Page: <> Web Voyeur: <> Eye of the WWW: < eye.html> Amother annotated list: <>

<www revolution?>

The explosive expansion of the WWW changed the use of hypertext-programs and concepts: from artistic and academic experiments in the seventies to a new kind of network-hyper-media. But what happend to the utopias of hypertext by the way? - Did all readers become writers? <feedback options> - Are avantgarde techniques in literature and art now available for all users? - What about poetics/ethics/aestetics within networks? <>


More information on projects and activities of PooL-Processing <imaginary library> (network writing projects, hypertext and hypermedia tools, electronic essays, network-cd-rom of(f) the w.w.web. netculture - cultural networks - for a review see : <> preview, hotlists, feedback to the cd-rom project: <>