[ISEA94] Panel: Mike Steventon, Gomma X, Graham Harwood, Steve Binnion, Sadie Plant & Matthew Fuller – Saddling The Troyan Horse

Panel Statement

We live, swirling in images not of our own making, “echoes that arrest experience and play it back in slow motion. Cameras and recording machines not only trranscribe experience but alter its quality, giving to much of modern life the character of an enormous echo chamber a hall of mirrors. Life presents itself as succession of images or electronic signals, of impressions recorded and reproduced by means of photography, motion pictures, television, and sophisticated recording devices. Modern life is so throughly mediated by electronic images that we cannot help responding to others as if their action and our own-were being recorded and simultaneously transmitted to an unseen audience or stored up for close scrutiny at some time later”. The image has become central to the radical debate within culture and anything that challenges the production of imagery will lead inevitably to fundamental shifts in working practises and the theoretical positioning of disaffected cultural groupings. The current development of photo retouching technologies and the computer’s ability to create a level “aesthetic- playing-field” is framing the debate for the 90s. A new and urgent emphasis is now to be placed on the nature of “image as information” with its transition of the image from stable fixed entity existing in the physical world, to the plastic malleability of an image reduced to raw data waiting to be processed rather than authored.

  • Mike Steventon (Canadian) Member of Despite TV collective, long standing producers and distributors of radical video form around the world. He has for a long time been a participant in, and documenter of, grass-roots BBS culture.
  • Gomma X, (Italian) Editor of Decoeder Magazine, one of the many spines of the Decoder collective. Gomma combines being a consultant to the Italian parliament on electronic media with the outrageous activities of this cyberpunk collective.
  • Graham Harwood (UK) Author of the UK’s first computer generated comic ‘If Comix – Mental’, an editor of Underground, and a member of the Fast Breeder BBS Collective. He is a part-time lecturer at the Guildhall University, London.
  • Steve Binnion (UK) Editor/contributor to ‘Queer with Class. The First Book of Homocult’, political activist. Homocult’s graphics and text combine queer theory with the anger and humour of punk.
  • Sadie Plant,  (UK) Author of ‘The most Radical Gesture’ and Lecturer at the Dept. of Cultural Studies University of Birmingham. Her forthcoming book is ‘Beyond the Matrix: “Women and Technology”. She is the primary theorist of ‘Cyberfeminism’.
  • Matthew Fuller, (UK) editor of ‘Unnatural, technotheory for a contaminated culture’ an important anthology of radical cyberculture. His previous book ‘Flyposter Frenzy’ looked at new political sub-cultures’ appropriative use of quotidian technologies such as the photocopier.