June 23, 1997
Report From The GRAMMATRON World Tour
by Abe Golam
As mentioned in the last posting announcing the beta-version release of the GRAMMATRON multi-media web project, novelist, web publisher and virtual artist Mark Amerika recently took his new web address (as well as a back-up zip-disk) on the road for a series of performances, lectures, installations and panel discussions calling into question the status of the contemporary novel and its religious attachment to the Gutenberg print-publishing and distribution model.
Amerika delivered his online work in a wide variety of venues including the Writer's Panel (with Pat Cadigan and Catherine Asaro) at the "Technology and American Culture" conference in Freiburg, an inaugural event at The New Media Library in the just-opened Media Park in Cologne, the Podewil Alternative Arts Center's 5-Year Anniversary Party in Berlin, The Cafe Le Bit in Leipzig, The JFK Institute at the Free University, The Universities of Dortmund and Kassel, and the Medianforum, Europe's largest trade show on all things media-related (the Medianforum event was sponsored by DenkWerk, a Cologne-based thinktank specializing in the creative interface of new media art and future business applications for the Net).
Lastly, for those of us hoping to generate more discussion on the artistic and political implications of the emerging network technology as it forces us to reconceive the practice and publication of innovative literature, Amerika participated in the three-week long American Authors Festival in Cologne, publicized as the largest program ever devoted to American writing in Europe. Among the participants were William Gaddis, Raymond Federman, Richard Ford, Gloria Naylor, Charles Simic and many others. Amerika was on a panel at the "Amerika Haus" with authors William Gass and Mark Childress discussing the changing role of the writerly figure as he/she/it teleports their creative storyworlds into cyberspace.
Other new developments for the GRAMMATRON project include an invitation to participate as virtual artist-in-residence at this year's Ars Electronica event, an invitation to present the project at the 1997 International Symposium on Electronic Art to be held at the Art Institute of Chicago, and a featured exhibition of GRAMMATRON and guest-lecture at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje, Macedonia, and sponsored by the Soros Foundation. Further updates regarding the Fall/Winter tour dates in North America, Europe and Australia, are forthcoming in this Golam Newsletter.
As for updates on the GRAMMATRON narrative, Amerika has already made some major changes at the site, including a "lower"-bandwidth version that skips over the long multi-media "Interfacing" performance at the beginning of the "higher"-bandwidth version. In the "lower"-bandwidth version one is immediately linked into the hypertextual screen shot called "Abe Golam" -- these changes, along with other bug-fixes reported over the last 6 weeks, have enabled Amerika to fast-track the official release of the GRAMMATRON 1.0 version now scheduled for Thursday, June 26th.
Stay tuned for future announcements including upcoming feature articles in the New York Times, Der Spiegal, and the publication of a long interview with Amerika on Alt-X conducted by new media critic Teeny Marie.
For more information or to contact the artist, send inquiries to:
The GRAMMATRON Project
Boulder, CO 80306-0241