Welcome to"Netshaker," Internet's first mail art cyberspace electronic magazine, or ezine devoted entirely to mail art networking. "Netshaker" is edited by Chuck Welch (aka. Crackerjack Kid) on a semi-regular basis. Created as an off-shoot of Welch's "Netshaker Zine" this free mail art electronic zine came online January 1, 1994 intended then and now to inform and interconnect the worlds of international mail art and Internet's on-line community of artists. Throughout 1995 and beyond, these online issues of "Netshaker" are devoted to the development of a Telenetlink between the mail art and Internet communities. Readers are encouraged to forward free copies of "Netshaker" to BBS "outernets," to Prodigy, Compuserve, America Online and other commercial networks. All queries and contributions may be sent to CrackerJack Kid/Chuck Welch
19 Indian Hills Dr.
Circle Pines, MN 55014,
phone 612-785-9669. A hard copy version of "Netshaker" is available. Hard copy subscriptions are $12.00 including postage for one year, or three issues of "Netshaker" (whichever comes first). All checks are payable in U.S. funds to Chuck Welch.
The July 3, 1995 issue of Netshaker Online thanks Uruguayan mail artist Clemente Padin for writing "Network in Latin America," an unedited outline of telecommunications art and its evolution in South America. Padin points out important concerns about the availability of computer technology to under-developed countries, and this perception has far reaching social, political, and economic considerations, especially to the working poor. But recent statistics mapping computer sales in some latinoamerican countries is encouraging. Sales of PCs in Chile reached $175 million, up from $20 million in 1994. Still, that makes about 3.3 PCs installed for every 100 people. These PC statistics compare with 30 per 100 people in the U.S. who owned computers in 1994. In Venezuela and Brazil only one in a hundred people own a PC. Why the huge technological gap in availability?
As in Europe, regulatory communication agencies hold a monopoly on most communications technology. For several years PCs were banned from Brazil but when the large country lifted import restrictions and lowered tariffs, PC sales soared. As Clemente Padin points out, in some Latinoamerican countries the information ghetto is much worse. The personal computer (PC) in South America was nearly nonexistent in the 1980s with the exception of Chile whose free market reforms erased trade barriers that allowed telecommunications technology to roam freely.
Today, there is a PC revolution in Brazil where just three years ago barely any telecommunications technology existed. Interestingly, William Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corporation appeared recently on Brazilian TV calling Brazil's home-banking system "really cool." According to the June 29, 1995 issue of "Wall Street Journal"
Tens of thousands of computer-equipped Brazilians are banking at home - something most Americans don't yet have access to." -- The PC explosion in Brazil illustrates what is happening or starting to happen around the world. Less-developed countries, locked for years out of the technology market because of the high cost, are gaining entry via today's more affordable, more-powerful personal computers and networks. From Poland and Indonesia to Uganda and Bangladesh, PCs are becoming crucial. And throughout the emerging World, sales are sizzling. In Latin America, the personal computer market grew 24% last year to two million units, better than the growth recorded in the U.S.
In spite of the Journal's rosy economic outlook, there is an everpresent danger that computer technology will worsen the rate of joblessness in third world countries. If, however, small home-based businesses gain access to communications technology, as it has in Chile and Brazil, new opportunities may cut across the gap between very rich and poor.
Clemente Padin's art has narrowed the gap between the accessibility of art between cultural elites and the public masses. He has taken art into the town center where life and art are merged into a celebration. Similarly, Padin has worked actively in the Networker Telenetlink, leading the way among South American mail artists who are exploring the creative possibilities of cyberspace. It is with great pleasure that "Netshaker Online" presents Clemente Padin, Latinoamerica's prominent performance, video, and mail artist. Hailing from Montevideo, Uruguay. Padin has edited pioneering zines "Los Huevos del Plata" (1966), "Ovum" (1969), and "Participacion" (1984). Padin has curated numerous mail art exhibitions and performance events in Montevideo, including Latin American Street Art Festival. Clemente Padin can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Slowly, but surely internet asserts itself all over the world, being every day greater the number of connected people to the web of nets. Latin America is not the exception, from Punta Arenas to Mexicali the entities electronically united in the infoway or superhighway are thousands and thousands, which through the cyberspecial waves reach the most far away corners of the world.
Networks are not only overused by transnational companies that in such a way enlarge their field of action - and consequently their power - but also, by the most unthinkable institutions like the Zapatists Army of Chiapas, who would attempt against that power pursuing a more righteous distribution of properties.
In spite of the little time of development (in Latin America the first electronic communications were carried out in the last few years, in Uruguay it was in August 1994), we shall not remain outside the "global village" and we shall be integrated, though we feel sorry for it, to the world economy and, definitely, to the "international style", that unpainted panel of values and cultures.
When an advance or a discovery occurs in any of the areas of human knowledge or technique, changes and alterations also happen in the other areas, including the artistic one. So, it has obviously influenced mail art that, before any other consideration, gives priority to communication and interchange. In such a way, that the conjunction of the habitual means of communicaiton - nowadays the postal service, the faxsimile and the electronic mail - has given origin to network, denomination that would give account of these advances and, consequently, of the form of artistic expression that makes possible the creative interaction or networking. These tendencies are consolidated when, in Latin America, towards 1991, within the frame of the 21st Biennal of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the "Reflux Network Project" (project of net of communicators to distance via electronics) was carried out through mediation of the curator of the Biennal, Mr. Arthur Matuck, a system of telecommunication connected to 24 nodes or bases located in university art departments, artistic investigation centers and artists connected to internet pertaining to fourteen countries.
Another consecrating event in this brief historical development is constituted by the Networker Telenetlink Project organized by Crackerjack Kid (Chuck Welch) in relation to "Reflux Network Project" and the "Decentralized World Wide Networker Congresses (NC92). In this Congress bases of storage and distribution of information were established and, at the same time, the table of electronic conferences was conformed , where the new role of the artists was actively discussed in the light of the latest technological advances of the moment. Precisely, the latino-american base or "Latin American Netlink" was established in Uruguay, since when the information and the most important papers of the Congress have been translated, as well as, all networkers of the region have been recycled through a monthly bulletin, edited in Spanish, and, finally, we assisted in the organization of the "Networker Telenetlink 1995" in charge of the already quoted Crackerjack Kid, with the express objectives of knowledge and exploration of the telematic media, the development of the local and/or global communities of communication, the interchange of information referred to arts, the meetings of mail art and the telematic arts through the internet in their different forms, the relation among the electronic files, the experimentation with telematic technologies, fax, interactive exhibitions, etc.
For many artists of the Third World, as well as for many of the developing countries, to talk of acceding to the new media is discouraging. In the first palce, because as an expressive means the possibilities are minor (not only different) than that of mail art or faxsimile. When the employment of scanner technology becomes possible or when images (quiet or in movement) and sounds can be transmitted, the situation will change, without any doubt. But, for the moment, only text and some special configurations transmitted, due to the use of different kinds of scattered letters on the space of the page: also, hardly some experiences with mail and faxsimile, playing with their different speeds.
In the second place, due to price, and we are not referring to costs of transmission and reception of messages, via email, that happen to be cheaper than mail or faxsimile, but the cost of instrumentation, ie. the cost of computers, the printer, the telephone, modem, etc., to which we have to add the cost of the monthly affiliation with the institutions that will connect us to the internet.
In the third and last place we must situate the ethic-political implications. Mainly, the technologism that makes us suffer the unequal commercail development (which in the decade of the sixties was called "cultural imperialism"). On the one hand, they impose upon us the merchandise, the computer and the connection to the world net (under penalty of never getting out of pre-modernism) and, on the other hand, they impose on us the rules for their use, ie. only an exclusive means of accumulation and ordering of data and, in a very little measure, only the creation of educational programs. The access to programs or data and advanced information is forbidden to us. On the other hand, the organization that gives connection to the nodes or bases in all the world is located in the United States, we are referring to the National Science Foundation, that though only occupied in intermediating among the useres, it is not exempt from being intervened by power in the future.
But these limitations are not decisive, although they could be considered as another gear in the wheel of the economic and political dependence. On the other side, they favour productive relationships by promoting major and more extended developments in all areas of the human occupation.
Networking generated in the nets and circuits organized in open horizontal structures assures its multidirectional decentralized nature. It is, therefore, intrinsically democratical and it has arisen in the arts of our epoche, not only because impels the scientific advances in the field of the communicaiton, but because it also expresses the tolerance and cultural multiplicity without forgeting the peculiarities each one, of each networker in the net, ie. the respect to the others wihin a climate of generous interaction that does leave aside the legitimate demands for a plentiful life, full of creative significance
In March 1995, The Electronic Museum of Mail Art became the World Wide Web's first website devoted entirely to the exploration of mail art in cyberspace. More an electronic mailbox than a museum, EMMA plays parody jests at established systems. Objectives are: 1) introduce the electronic and (snail) mail art communities to one another; 2) develop the concept of emailart; 3) Encourage emailart interactivity through visitations into EMMA's rooms, galleries, and library; 4) promote image exchange; 5) Present emailart exhibitions. Some of EMMA's spaces include:
Here's your opportunity to become part of the new media realm of cyberstamps. The Artistamp Gallery website at Dartmouth College is hosting a mail art show. (1998 Moved to The Advanced Communication Technologies Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin - http://www.actlab.utexas.edu/emma. Theme is "cyberstamps" Deadline: November 1, 1995. Work Size: Exactly 1 1/2" wide by 2" length. No Fees. All work in color, preferably bold design. Text must be bold. No rejections (except imposed deadline) No work returned. Will accept all mail art and emailart cyberstamps. NO, YOU DON'T HAVE TO OWN A PC TO PARTICIPATE. If sending via email, encode visual images in GIF Format Only and send to: Jack Kid <email@example.com> If sending via snail mail address to: Cyberstamps, 19 Indian Hills Dr.
Circle Pines, MN 55014 USA. Documentation will appear on the World Wide Web.
statelessness in cyberspace
state of CyberNETics
There are no control processes
Perceive parallel infoflows
imagine flux between mailstream and cyberflow
emailart (e ´mal´ ärt) n. a. electronic
The moment has come to declare
mail art has a little to do with mailed messages
and a lot to do with messengers
Letting go is a radical act
The international post is not the medium
The internet is not the medium
If artists control mediums, ie. sculpture, painting, etc.
How does anybody control mailflow?
Do artists rule postal rates?
And who controls cyberspace?
Mail artists "control" their work before it is mailed
"Most (mail) artists and the public seem to have
lost themselves in the game. They have come to think that making Mail Art means producing postcards" (U. Carrion quoted in 1983)
mail art is emailart, sometimes
emailart is mail art, sometimes
A download purge
(a) paper color
THE MAIL ART CONGRESS BODY LEFT IN 1992/A SPIRIT NETWORKS NOW/THE SPIRIT LIVES IN EVERYONE/WE MET-A-NETWORK INFANT/A MEDIA-CHILD WAS BORN/TELENETLINK IS ITS NAME/IT LIVES IN NETLAND NOW/THE FUTURE OF THE NETWORKER IS TELENETLINKED/MAIL ART IS EMAILART/FAXMAIL ART/EMBRACE THE CHILD/TELENETLINK IN '95!
Objectives for a NETWORKER TELENETLINK YEAR in 1995 are open for continued discussion in 1995 and beyond. Possibilities??? Embrace the telematic medium and explore its parameters, develop a local-global community, exchange cultural communications, interconnect the parallel network worlds of mail art and telematic art through INTERNET, the World Wide Web, Compuserve, America Online, Bitnet, and other connected email gateways, place networker archives on-line, experiment with telematic technology, participate as a FAXcilitator, exhibit, interact in public and private forums, merge media: mail and email, and enact networker ideals envisioned for the millennium.
SEND OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIES, E-VENTS, FAX PROJECTS, E-MAIL NETWORK MAIL ART TO CRACKERJACK KID/Chuck Welch
19 Indian Hills Dr.
Circle Pines, MN 55014,
phone 612-785-9669. Responses will appear in upcoming issues of "Netshaker Online"