Rewiring Community

New electronic communication systems are rewiring the connections between people and the places where we live and work. In this series, guest speakers led an examination of how new communities are being forged, familiar communities are being reshaped, and how democratic access is being addressed. From early pioneers of Internet connectivity to artists exploring the potential of digital media to sociologists deciphering the casual conversations of electronic mail senders, these sessions have created lively discussions about the simulated, wired, and unwired realms of our daily existence.

February 4
Marshall McLuhan Revisited

A screening of This Is Marshall McLuhan: The Medium Is the Message (1968) followed by a discussion of McLuhan's anticipation of many of the conditions of the wired world of today.

(90k) February 18
Remote Intimacy & Cocktail Hour At Lambda MOO

An examination of how mediums of electronic communitication affect our relationships with one another. Writer Laura Miller, writer/programmer Ellen Ullman, and cultural theorist Mark Poster discussed disembodied social interactions via electronic mail. Following the discussion, Pavel Curtis of Xerox PARC, led a tour of Lambda Moo, a text based multiuser dungeon.

March 4
Digital Art And Communication

During the course of Multimedia Playground '95 Exploratorium artists-in-residence Larry Andrews and Lubor Benda were developing projects. Their projects involved investigations of digital technology and video art, defense systems, information visualization, and communication technologies.

(50k) (41k)
Lubor Benda demonstrates one of his interactive projects

March 11
The Information Supermarket

Macworld senior editor Charles Piller conducted a national study showing that consumer preferences regarding such things as video on demand and home shopping are not necessarily what people are most interested in from the Internet. Rather, Pillar has found that people are more interested in highly interactive communication such as voting from home, electronic town hall meetings, remote education, etc. This will necessitate a much less expensive wiring scheme than current Infobahn proposals, designed largely to deliver a one-way stream of electronic products and entertainment, will require.


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The Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco CA 94123