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multiMEDIA
From Wagner to Virtual Reality
Randall Packer, Ken Jordan (ed.)
Foreword by William Gibson, Coda by Laurie Anderson
W.W.Norton & Company, NYC, London, 2001
458 pages

"Form is never more than the extension of content." Robert Creeley

The book has been edited by Randall Packer and Ken Jordan and contains text by a large group of contributors such as Roy Ascott, John Cage, Myron Kruger, Richard Wagner, Alan Kay, Jeffrey Shaw and many, many others.

This profound and wonderful book is full of interesting, unusual connections and thoughts from a distinct perspective that is very difficult to describe. On one hand it is a thorough archaeology of the history of virtual reality, going back all the way to Richard Wagner and the Gesamtkunstwerk, on the other hand it is imbued by the enthusiastic exploration of telematics and earlier ideas such as information theory and systems theory. The collection of essays and texts is very profound and will reveal more and more insights upon further reading. Something that can hardly be said of some other new-media-readers.
It makes me think of Oliver Grau's essential "Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion" where seamingly disjoint media are introduced only to be wrapped up in a grand finale to reveal a clear and cogent development of the virtual in historical development of western art.

Links:

http://www.zakros.com/manifesto/index1.html
Net art as a theory of the senses:
http://www.archimuse.com/mw98/beyondinterface/packer_senses.html

last update: 4/20/02010 15:48

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