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Expanded Paperback Edition
Edited by Randall Packer and Ken Jordan
Foreword by William Gibson
Coda by Laurie Anderson

W.W. Norton, New York (2002)
ISBN: 0-393-32375-7

About the Book

This Website is the interactive companion to the book of the same title, Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality. A unique collection of seminal essays, the print edition traces a fertile series of collaborations between the arts and the sciences, going back to the years just after World War II – and even further, to composer Richard Wagner, whose ideas about the immersive nature of music theater foreshadowed the experience of virtual reality.

Among the essential articles gathered here are the Futurists' 1916 manifesto on cinema, which declared that the new medium would unite all media and replace the book; Vannevar Bush's 1945 Atlantic Monthly essay that leads directly to the hyperlinks in today's multimedia; J.C.R. Licklider's groundbreaking idea in 1960 that people and computers could collaborate in creative work; Nam June Paik's 1984 essay proposing that satellite technology would encourage a global information art; Tim Berners-Lee's 1989 proposal for a document-sharing network, which became the basis of the World Wide Web; and William Gibson's discussion of how he came up with the word "cyberspace." With an insightful introduction to the volume and critical commentaries on each article, editors Randall Packer and Ken Jordan lead us through the groundbreaking developments of the multimedia story.

Excerpt from the foreword by William Gibson:

"Multimedia, in my view, is not an invention but an ongoing discovery of how the mind and the universes it imagines (or vice versa, depending) fit together and interact. Multimedia is where we have always been going. Geeks and artboys, emerging together from the caves of Altamira, have long been about this great work. This book is one start toward a different sort of history, a history cognizant of an impulse that seems to me always to have been with us."

"I recommend this book to you with an earnestness that I have seldom felt for any collection of historic texts. This is, in large part, where the bodies (or, rather, the bones of the ancestors) are buried. Assembled this way, in such provocative proximity, these visions give off strange sparks. Think of it, if you like, as a cut-up in Burroughs’s best sense, an interleaving of histories intended to open intertextual doors, some of which, given the right reader, have never before been opened. Perhaps you are that reader."

"If not, keep it handy: you may be that reader one day, be you geek or artboy (of either gender, please) or (more likely) some evolved hybrid of the two."

"Someone, it seems, always has to be."

Table of Contents

Foreword by William Gibson

Coda by Laurie Anderson

Overture by Randall Packer and Ken Jordan

I. Integration

1. Richard Wagner, "Outlines of the Artwork of the Future"

2. F. T. Marinetti, Bruno Corra, Emilio Settimelli, Arnaldo Ginna, Giacomo Balla, Remo Chiti, “The Futurist Cinema”

3. László Moholy-Nagy, “Theater, Circus, Variety”

4. Richard Higgins, “Intermedia”

5. Billy Klüver, “The Great Northeastern Power Failure”

6. Nam June Paik, “Cybernated Art” and “Art and Satellite”

II. Interactivity

7. Norbert Wiener, “Cybernetics in History”

8. J.C.R. Licklider, “Man-Computer Symbiosis”

9. Douglas Engelbart, “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework”

10. John Cage, “Diary: Audience 1966”

11. Roy Ascott, “Behaviourist Art and the Cybernetic Vision”

12. Myron Krueger, “Responsive Environments”

13. Alan Kay, “User Interface: A Personal View”

14. Jeffrey Shaw, "Modalities of Interactivity and Virtuality"

III. Hypermedia

15. Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think”

16. Ted Nelson, excerpt from Computer Lib/Dream Machines

17. Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg, “Personal Dynamic Media”

18. Richard A. Bolt, "Spatial Data-Management"

19. Marc Canter, “The New Workstation: CD ROM Authoring Systems”

20. Tim Berners-Lee, “Information Management: A Proposal”

21. George Landow and Paul Delany, “Hypertext, Hypermedia and Literary Studies: The State of the Art”

IV. Immersion

22. Morton Heilig, “The Cinema of the Future”

23. Ivan Sutherland, “The Ultimate Display”

24. Scott Fisher, “Virtual Interface Environments”

25. William Gibson, “Academy Leader”

26. Marcos Novak, “Liquid Architectures in Cyberspace”

27. Daniel Sandin, Thomas DeFanti, and Carolina Cruz-Neira, “A Room with a View”

28. Char Davies, "Changing Space: Virtual Reality as an Arena of Embodied Being"

V. Narrativity

29. William Burroughs, “The Future of the Novel”

30. Allan Kaprow, “Untitled Guidelines for Happenings”

31. Bill Viola, “Will There Be Condominiums in Data Space?”

32. Lynn Hershman, “The Fantasy Beyond Control”

33. Roy Ascott, “Is There Love in the Telematic Embrace?"

34. Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, "Welcome to 'Electronic Café International': A Nice Place for Hot Coffee, Iced Tea, & Virtual Space"

35. Pavel Curtis, “Mudding: Social Phenomena in Text-Based Virtual Realities”

36. Pierre Lévy, “The Art and Architecture of Cyberspace”

37. Janet Murray, "Agency"


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