[ISEA98] Introduction: FACT – revolution98: exhibitions and events in Liverpool and Manchester

Introductory Statement

Catalogue Article (with additional information from the ISEA98 Exhibitions and Events Programme)

revolution98 is the largest and most ambitious programme of electronic arts projects ever staged in Britain. Taking in more than 100 diverse projects by artists from over 25 different countries, it takes place simultaneously in Liverpool and Manchester and can be found in galleries, theatres, bars, clubs, trains and on the internet.

revolution98 is organised by the Foundation for Art & Creative Technology as part of isea98. ISEA, the annual lnternational Symposium on Electronic Art is the foremost event of its kind in the world. ISEA98, the ninth symposium, has been organised as a partnership between the Foundation for Art & Creative Technology (FACT), Liverpool John Moores University and Manchester Metropolitan University.

FACT takes great pleasure in welcoming all ISEA98 delegates to Liverpool. We hope you’ll join the thousands of visitors to revolution98 in enjoying the six weeks of exhibitions and events staged across the cities of Liverpool and Manchester.

The Foundation for Art & Creative Technology, The UK’s leading development agency for video and electronic media art.

revolution98 Curatorial Team

  • Direcor: Eddie Berg
  • Lead Curator: Charles Esche
  • Revolting Project Manager: Micz Flor
  • Project Manager and Curator: Cindy Hubert
  • Associate Curator: Virtual Revolutions: Iliyana Nedkova
  • Project Assistant: Fee Plumley
  • Associate Curator: Sound & Music: Helen Sloan
  • Associate Curator: Mercurial States: Mickela Sonola
  • Revolution98 project advisors: Steven Bode, Colin Fallows, Bush Hartshorn, Helen Sloan, Mike Stubbs, Christine Van Assche


The Critical Guide: These are key ideas that inform the work. Select and play…

Alter Egos
Can the new digital and electronic possibilities produce new identities and means of relating to one another? How are differences in race, class and physical ability represented in robotics and virtual space? Might it simply be adding a new aesthetic?

Mind Travel
What does it mean to travel in digital space or control an avatar from a computer? Where are the physical limits of the human body when we can see, hear and act remotely? Does the world come closer or move further away in the process?

Media Blasi
How do we process the huge increase in available information? Should we leave it to the media in all its multiplying forms to tell us the story? Where do content producers end and viewers/consumers start?

Bad History
How does history affect our expectations of technology? Can we ignore our existing prejudices and fears? Is digital space a new territory in which the West can replay its imperialist instincts and dominate all other ideas and expressions?

Artificial Intelligence
Is there a new form of digital intelligence and how can the human brain understand it? Is interactivity a real change in the relationship between artist and viewer or designer and player? How do we value the difference between human labour and computer power?

How do we capture the moment of change rather than its results? Can we create a social space out of the internet? Is acting more appropriate than action?


With thanks to all the revolution98 website artists: Apsolutno, Yugoslavia; Artworld Anonymous, Hungary; Anne Baker. England; Andy Best & Merja Puustinen, Finland; David Bickerstaff, England; Brook Andrew, Australia; Shu Lea Cheang, USA; Susan Collins, England; Elizabeth Gertsakis, Australia; Madge Gleeson, USA; Ken Goldberg, USA: Graham Gussin, England; Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope, England; Alexei lsaev, Russia; Jodi, Spain; Tiia Johannson, Estonia: Zoe Leoudaki, Greece; Jose Macas de Carvalho, Portugal; Tapio Makela & Susanna Paasonen, Finland; Juliet Martin. USA; Nelli Rohtvee, Estonia; Nikola Velkov, Macedonia.

In association with: ARC, Arts About Manchester, Bluecoat Arts Centre, C3 (Centre for Culture and Communication, Hungary), Cafe Internet, Castlefield Gallery, Chinese Arts Centre, Cornerhouse, Crash Media, Cream, CUBE, Cyberia Internet Cafe, Digital Summer98, Egg Cafe and Gallery, Film & Video Umbrella, Fournos Cultural Centre (Athens), Green Room, 68 Hope Street Gallery, Innovation in Digital and Electronic Arts (IDEA),The Inter-Society for Electronic Arts, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool John Moores University, LIPA, Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, Matts Gallery, The Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester, MUU ry (Helsinki), Open Eye, Revolution Liverpool & Manchester, Salford University, Fundacao de Serralves, Tate Gallery Liverpool, The TEAM, The Tea Factory and Unity Theatre. Many thanks to all our sponsors, funders and supporters

Special Thanks to Project Supporters and Funders: Austrian Cultural Institute, British Council (Sofia), Bulgarian Embassy, Care-Frica, Tom Dixon, European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam), Eurolounge, Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust, P.H. Holt Charitable Trust, lakov Chernikhov International Foundation, K3 Kinder Kunst Korporation, Liverpool Black Sisters, Liverpool City Partnership, Liverpool Somali Centre, Manchester Airport, Microtouch, Henry Moore Foundation, Mark Newson Ltd, Network, North Western Trains, Open Society Institute (New York), Telewest, The Po Shing Woo Charitable Foundation, Urban Splash.

The European Commission Supports Audiovisual Events Film Festivals have profound cultural, social and educational importance and play a role in the creation of a large number of direct and indirect jobs in Europe. They constitute a promotion and distribution network, which is a necessity for European audiovisual production. They favour the emergence of new and talented creators and familiarise a young audience with European cinematography. They also organise numerous and varied activities for the benefit of European cinema.
The European Commission is closely involved in the development of European cinema and supports film festivals, which contribute actively to the promotion and distribution of European audiovisual works throughout the Member States. This action aims to reinforce the links between the European public at large and films produced in Europe. About fifty festivals across Europe benefit from this financial contribution. Every year thanks to the activities of these festivals and to the support of the European Commission, about 10,000 audiovisual works, which reveal the diversity of European cinematography, are exposed to a public of almost two million spectators.
Furthermore, the Commission supports the activities of the European Coordination of Film Festivals, which favour cooperation between festivals as well as the development of joint projects, which reinforce the positive impact of these events on European cinema.
Through the financial support of the European Commission, FACT has been privileged to work in partnership with C3 (Centre for Culture and Communication) in Budapest, Muu Media in Helsinki, Fournos Cultural Centre in Athens and FundacAo de Serralves in Oporto. Special thanks to our European partners for their contribution to the website selection.

  • FACT, Bluecoat Chambers, School Lane, Liverpool, UK. The Foundation for Art & Creative Technology, The UK’s leading development agency for video and electronic media art.