[ISEA94] Paper: Volker Grassmuck – Into the Muddy Waters of the Turning Galaxy


Strange enough, with such an apparent distance between the media worlds of the ancient Romans and ours, a central idea for artificial storage corresponds across the ages. Although in the meantime major paradigm shifts have taken place, and two new ‘galaxies’ have emerged – that of Gutenberg and that of Turing – not only some vague anthropological constant, but a worked-out concept of a memorizing technique survives, even though in quite a different format. The Greeks had made an art of it, and it is still known as ‘mnemonics’ today: the idea of using loci and imagines agentes (places and active vivid images) for dynamic, active storage of res and verba (things and words). The idea of rooms is basic to most computer games consisting of connected rooms or screens, and each is associated with things to see and do there. The same kind of spatial interface metaphor appears again in the network in the form of MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons), and here we also find back ‘vivid agents’. That this ‘world simulation’ could be at the base of a social, action-oriented, experiential interface to the Matrix is the main idea of this paper.

  • Volker Grassmuck was born in Hannover, Germany, in 1961. Went to school in Germany and the USA. Studied mostly sociology in Groningen (NL), Berlin and Tokyo. Worked as freelance journalist and editor for print and radio, desktop publisher, and computer
    consultant. Lives in Tokyo since 1989. Currently conducting dissertation research at the “Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology” of Tokyo University. Book publications: “Vom Animismus zur Animation. Anmerkungen zur künstlichen Intelligenz” (Junius Verlag 1988); translation: “Aleister Crowley: Tagebuch eines Drogenabhaüngigen” (averbal Verlag 1990); with Christian Unverzagt: “Das MU-System. Eine Metarealistische Bestandsaufnahme” (Suhrkamp 1991).

Full text p.18-29