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9th International Symposium on Electronic Art [ISEA98]

Liverpool & Manchester, United Kingdom
September 2-7, 1998

Presented by the Liverpool John Moores University (School of Art), Manchester Metropolitan University and the Foundation for Art & Creative Technology (FACT). ISEA98 was supported by the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts.


There were actually 2 academic conferences: ISEA98 “Revolution” at the Liverpool John Moores University (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) and ISEA98 “Terror” at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Art Exhibitions, Concerts and Performances were held at a large number of venues in Liverpool and Manchester, a.o.: the Tea Factory, Bluecoat Gallery, Bluecoat Concert Hall, Cream, Tate Gallery,  (all Liverpool), Cornerhouse, Dadi Building, Museum of Science & Industry (all Manchester). Even trains, between Liverpool to Manchester, were used as venue. A number of exhibitions and events went on till October 11.

Introductory Notes


“Revolution” and “Terror”

Sub Themes

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?


Organizing Committee

  • Collin Fallows, ISEA98 Symposium Director
  • Eddie Berg, Liverpool co-ordinator
  • John Hyatt, Manchester co-ordinator — Bio
  • John Brady, Symposium Research co-ordinator

Art Jury

  • Eddie Berg
  • Charles Esche
  • Cindt Hubert
  • Iliyana Nedkova
  • Mickela Sonola

International Programme Committee

  • Jagjit Chuhan (UK), Liverpool Art School
  • Sean Cubitt (UK), Liverpool John Moores University
  • Tessa Elliott (UK), University of the West of England
  • Rachel Greene (USA), Rhizome
  • Peter Hagerty (UK), Photograher & Theorist
  • Julia Hallam (UK), University of Liverpool
  • Alain Mongeau (Canada), Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts
  • Elisa Oliver (UK), Tate Gallery
  • Niranjan Rajah (Malaysia), University Malaysia Sarawak
  • Merilyn Smith (UK), Liverpool Art School
  • Ziauddin Sardar (Pakistan/UK), Futures magazine (London)
  • Julie Sheldon (UK), Liverpool Art School
  • Gilane Dawadros (UK), Institute of Visual Arts
  • Richard Williams (UK), Liverpool Art School
  • Kathy ClelandBio
  • Lily Diaz — Bio



  1. Book of Abstracts Liverpool (PDF)
  2. Book of Abstracts Manchester (PDF)
  3. Photos
  4. Artefacts