Lecture Notes:

The Web as a Fickle, Mutable
and Evolving Ritual of Communication

Ebon Fisher


Myron Krueger's term, "artificial reality" 

William Gibson introduces the term "cyberspace" in 

Jaron Lanier's term, "virtual reality"



The First "Church" of Wintermute


Brenda Laurel: caves and theatre as VR

Brenda Laurel

"All the world is a stage" -Shakespeare

"Don't believe the Hype" -Public Enemy 

Public Enemy

Stereopticon Viewers as 19th Century VR
Film, Radio, TV, and The Computer

Marshall McLuhan


>>> Each medium is a window into a world?

Paul Cézanne in a letter to Emil Bernard, 1904:

"The artist must beware of the literary spirit which so often causes painting [current imaging technology] to deviate from its true path - the concrete study of nature... The real and immense study that must be taken up is the manifold picture of nature."

>>> However

Thomas Kuhn in the Structure of Scientific Revolutions: Science is not an accurate picture of reality so much as an evolving practice or paradigm. Each major break-through in science comes into being when a more elegant vision is arrived at to the satisfaction of any particular discipline. The elegance is not intrinsic to the new scientific equation, but the sum of the social, conceptual and technological parts. A rejuvenation in the system as a whole takes part.

Guy Debord: "The Spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images."

John Perry Barlow, Cyberspace Declaration of Independence: "Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications."

Then there's the Thomas Homep@ge....


...and the media band MULTIPOLYOMNI (with DJ Olive)


CULTURE AS CONTINUOUS VR CONSTRUCTION: Culture as whole, not just our communications technology, may be seen as a continuous endeavour to gather and define a virtual reality, a myth, to live by. Gathering around the tree, the watering hole, a house of parliament, and now chatrooms and list servs.

THE COMPUTER introduces into our existing infrastructure of phone lines a MUTABLE gathering place where chat rooms, music, art, games, video and research co-mingle in a sprawling, international, MULTI-SENSORY dialogue (for those who have access).

>>> And so...

My work in the early 1990's involved an exploration of different kinds of gathering places and media rituals. I was interested in the ways people, information, and media come together to form a vital system - a social cyborg.

Media Rituals

Bionic Codes