Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997 15:06:19 +0200
From: Heiko Idensen

Don’t let you push!
Don’t pull!

Network thinking & acting collaboration, feedback, hypermedia, hypertext, network-culture, network-culture, network-discourse, push, pull

Channel 1 (Hypertext Hotel): The house as a living social structure, where the most diverse ‘stories’ intersect in a much-used spatial model for a data-architecture in literature, electronic texts and network projects. The structure of a house permits an extensive networking of the most varied materials, media and dramatic processes, encapsulation and layering and besides this also corresponds to the theoretical model of hypertextual writing as a writing in places. (url bolter/landow!!!) I early days the web seemed to be just the paradise for all this hypertext-utopias ... but ...

Interference 1 (Push-pull-interact): be careful! after video on demand we now shall get news on demand with the interface of the well-known screen saver! Software sales companies (like or are openly helping themselves to a choice of user metaphors taken straight from the world of radio and TV: the server mutates into a transmitter, the client simply turns into a Tuner, and what were earlier Web pages are now going to be Channels! The promise: targeted information in so-called real-time! The (sad) reality for the user: exploding costs and control in real-time!

The utopia of participation and grass-roots democratic network concepts is over: the user won’t be able to choose what, how and when he wants to read hear or see something - he doesn’t go and get (pull!) the information that he wants anymore, its more a case of the other way round, with the information finding its way to the user - like trans-missile rockets seeking out their pre-programmed targets. (was that the ideas to invent the net?) The common page interface shown as a mixture of text and image data with click-on-able links on the two-dimensional surface of the monitor, which animates the user to those well known navigation and click-orgies will increasingly be suffused with hybrid media mixes, which won’t even wait for the user’s deciding click but - and pre-processed by programmed and personalised filters - will materialise directly and, as it were, independently in a variety of different forms: sounds rings out through the loud-speakers, news reports scroll across the face of the screen, flows of movement, animations, and three dimensional simulations appear in various frames of the screen - communications links are created, transactions with money and goods is beginning to take form. At last, tele-vision is back: millions of Internet terminals beaming out exactly the same picture at exactly the same time! Nowadays everything in the media mix appears to be combinable with everything else, combinable-transformable. Unfortunately, this new potential for interaction, this mix of push and pull actions and interfaces from the online industry are presently and prematurely being labelled with that well know user metaphor Web-TV, again, and the large variety of communication forms in the Net are again being grafted on to the classic transmitter-tuner model - instead of experimenting with contemporary mixed forms of what is available, in the form of programmed entertainment, targeted navigation, and above all the virtual society’s social exchange experience, (chatting, conferences, role playing, mailing-lists etc.) The time is ripe to dig out those subjective and subversive methods for active use of hypermedia in the Net once more, and to breath a bit of life back into it, developing new interfaces, new user models and new narrative styles - against the tide of consumer oriented Internet hype. Kiss the pushers goodbye! So, stop speculating about push media and visit your library first. Geert Lovink in permament Reverse Channel nettime)

Channel 2 (The Imaginary Library): Inspired by the library fantasies of Borges, Eco and Foucault, the ‘Imaginary Library’ has become the hunting-ground for electronic texts, liberated from their authors, as material for language games. The reader- exhausted and confused in this labyrinth of literary references - should start to combine, extend and blend between the lines. ... but: suddenly the screen flickers

Interference 2: refresh: A Multi-Nodal Web-Surf Create Session

*If you don’t get depressed by homeless homepages, and wandering websites don’t make you nervous, if you have shed all hope that names and places in webspace will always have a fixed locality, and if you don’t mind to get zapped after 10 seconds, why not join ‘Refresh’, the friendly web-design frenzy that we are planning.* (call for: a shared Net-Surf production for an unspecified number of players) alexei shulgin <> vuk cosic <> andreas broeckmann <>

Right from the start, the project Refresh goes for a poetics of networking, migration and transport, wanting to clarify the composition of links and the speed of contextual changes in the Net via zapping through a collaborative coupling of the widest variety of pages. This project is an exercise in network thought - it is an attempt to produce interaction between a large variety of different materials in the Net - and to visualise this network-tangle in thoroughly filmically visible, intersecting passageways and bridges between different servers:
*... poetic - exploring instability, unpredictability, flow of electrons, feeling the universe, ecstasy of true joint creativity, hopping through space, countries, cultures, languages, genders, colours, shapes, sizes... ... [want to add smth?] Surf the fresh pages. Just stay where you are!* or: or:

Reverse Channel 1 (Memesis - Open Forum): kiss your *memes* to remember the potenciality of a discussion area (also distributed via a mailing list): extremely lively and controversial. art of dialogue under web-conditions ... no webcams and multimedia-support!

Channel 3: Tree Fiction The format of Tree Fiction is a very simple, but easily operable interface allowing several authors to work on a chosen inter-laceable text structure simultaneously (deferred) in the WWW: analogue to reply structures in newsgroups, an addition/annotation to every hypertext node can be written online via an entry field. This doesn’t correspond exactly to an ideal hypertext environment, where a link can be introduced at any one chosen position, but does have the advantage that a principle like this is representable in the form of a tree structure. The reader can begin a lead in at every level of the ever increasingly tangential story. *Tree fiction on the World Wide Web* from Gareth Rees: describes the story of this genre (from the Oulipo Group experiments through Julio Cortazar and up to science fiction and fantasy series ...

Reverse Channel 2 (Hyperknast): The radicalisation of former online hypertext metaphors (hotel/ lilbrary) is the Hyperprison: All written material found at the various hypertext nodes (=cells) can be seen from the control tower. So the reader/writer can controll the text like the modern electronic society controlls everything: via architekture, networks, global positioning systems ... A particular tension is created between this panoptical security structure and the written material locked in the cells, which is broken down through the reading or writing processes. The question of links between texts to and from written material is almost essential in a prison structure. As with every other form of artificial structure, the Hyperknast is not protected from being left behind or outshone in real life: Thus in time, both prison related links as well as mouse clicks in prison are going to be found there (criminality of links to +banned pages,+ like the radical -, for example.)

Interference 3: Dirk Paesmans and Joan Heemskerk work together in the Net under the common name of Jodi. They come from the world of photography, video and performance and transform the processes which normally occur in the background onto the surface of their Web pages: crashes, log-in files, software liability conditions, refusal of guarantee services ...: in the main, all in the now nearly nostalgic colour of the green monitor: We use certain elements like a virus, when a virus is present, or when things go wrong with somebody’s ‘cache,’ or with their PC. A lot of these elements are collages of things that are found on the Net. The natural environment for us, for Jodi, is the Net itself, and you can find a certain condensed form of the Net in Jodi. ... We have a big problem with hypertext. To us hypertext is of no use at all. There are hardly any words in our website, except for the hotlist. It’s a battle really. As hypertext is useless to us, we have to find other ways to make people navigate, or have the navigation happen as if by itself. (Dirk Paesmans Interview in nettime)

Some of these interferences are like graphic card tests or even experimental videos. One that is sure to have an effect on the vegetative nervous system is: see also: or:

Channel 4 (with Seeing Machines and Eye Agents: Tele-Vision in the Net. The Ping Project:

Reverse Channel 3 (Spoon Collective: Mailing lists on the most important post-modern and structuralist theorists are gathered here)

Channel 5 (e~lands in the web: a philosophical hypermedia adventure): the visualisation of spatial metaphors, the positioning of cognitive landscapes and the geology of ideas: various essays and articles with diverse theoretical associations are transformed in an ideographic navigation system. featuring: Beyland, Grid City, Guerrilla Camp, Neo Town, Synreal City, Trade Zone and Trashland.

Channel 6 (Ponton TV, Piazza Virtuale, Service area a.i., Worlds within): the interactive television that Ponton envisages will turn the screen into an active surface where all available possible forms of media can be called upon, combined, and manipulated and fashioned by the viewer.

Reverse Channel 4: Dialogue/Polylogue/Monologue Right from the start this WWW Board Interf(r)iction retains an entertaining and discursive character:

Channel 7 (HyperCafe: Narrative Styles and Aesthetic Expressions using Hypervideo):

You enter the Cafe, and the voices surround you. Pick a table, make a choice, follow the voices. You’re over their shoulders looking in, listening to what they say-you have to choose, or the story will go on without you. Hypervideo retains its roots in both hypertext and film: digitised short film sequences, which are controlled via scripts (Prototype in Macromedia’s Director - a rerouting into Java for a direct link into the WWW is planned). non-linear narrative styles, jumps which can be triggered by user input, branches from one sequence to another... moments of interaction between film-fragments ...

Channel 8 (if you want me clean your screen, scroll up and down): If you (finally) takes the offer at its word you actually get a very individual live animation on the screen: The hand (from the inside) slowly wipes across the screen - and suddenly you find yourself in the world of Oliana, a world which you don’t get to leave (undamaged?) so easily ...:

My boyfriend came back from the war. After dinner they left us alone. Where are you? I can’t see you? Forget IT What couult you do? Please look at me!* (Here, every new fragment of dialogue appears in a new Netscape frame - you activate it, and the screen splits and a new frame opens - again with pieces of dialogue or black and white pictures.) Other *film dialogues span themselves between different search engines - and in doing so attempt to carry on with a strained dialogue of love (something like in Anna Karenina) - getting the reader/viewer tangled up in real a mess of ‘click activities’ or confronting him with a fragmented browser image in a myriad of tiny sub-widows so he know longer knows where he is (of course in the Net -or not? Or maybe in a roman of Dostojewski? Or in a film or simply in the display window of a search engine?)

Reverse Channel 4 (distant viewing):

*1909: Joyce attempts to project the full 24 hours of a totally normal day onto a town map of Dublin. **1968: (1. May 12 00 Hrs) A group of situationists get on the metro with forged tickets from Berlin.. They travel to a suburb and make merry in order to try out the method of ‘targeted wandering around’ - a revolutionising of every-day life. ***1969: (2. May 24.00 Hrs) Andy Warhol buys 24 60 minute tapes in a 24 hour service station on the Lower Eastside. Jumpy and nervous he throws the first cassette in his recorder. He records the next 24 hours of his life. Typed out it makes up the material for his unreadable novel *a*. ***1996: 1st May 17.48 Hrs proved inviting enough for Pit Schulz to create a large net-time placard for the Tag der Arbeit (e.g. 12.00 = I will eat peanuts and do this and do that) It travels around the edge of the Net, around the badlands where most people spend their time involuntarily offline or have got other things to do. Where’s the time, the enjoyment and the energy then? Every answer will be anonymised, sorted, mixed, shaken and carried over onto placards in order to try out various calculations on it. please reply-to: ****1997: (18.03. 17.17) 24 hours in front of the screen - a virtual project about realities We want to capture life one step in front of the screen with our project, in order to examine the relationship of virtuality and realities.

In the first phase, screen-shots will be collected over the Web and reconstructed: A fictitious, twenty-four hour course of a day will be created from these momentary records of 1440 different screen-shots and reality-shots from all over the world. That’s one for every minute. (see also: At the festival and future live events the material will be complemented with actual material and broadened out to a kind of art Web soap opera - an attempt to create a living documentation/fiction of festival events - a living flow of data.

fade out: Net/Work/Culture Online texts are less conspicuous as literary entities than through their discursive qualities: switching around between different layers, relational contexts, cross-references, the speed of exchange - the staging and processing of inter-textual structures - distributed collaborative conceptualisation and development of ideas. The network culture has long since infected thought: Online research in databases and archives, world-wide discussion forums, mailing-lists on specific topics, open forums, online symposiums, conference systems, live chats-ins, guest books, ... all broaden the WWW in terms of discursive functions which support the common production of knowledge and collaborative work. The Net itself is becoming the favoured place for thought - and its production: texts and theories, hypermedia & network-culture can be created by everyone! Net specific forms of exchange and expression (dialogic quotation, contextualisation, annotation, the mixing of diverse contexts ...) all breath life into new forms of textual theory and art ... ... send/receive ... copy/paste ... push/pull ...

last Interference: (remembrance of things past) Kiss the pushers goodbye and connect immediatly to your machines of desire: The wishing machines aren’t stuck in our heads, are not figments of the imagination, but exist in the technical and social machines themselves. (Rhizome-Channel with wandering URL: Gilles Deleuze/Felix Guattari)

last dialogue: Literature is an ongoing system of interconnecting documents.(Ted Nelson) It’s better to do it than to write about it ... (C.R.E.W.

while you read this, every uURL may be out of date and every document may haved moved elsewhere - or if you get confused with the channels of the text please connect to the update ... hotlist-channel (on the subjects of hypertext/hyperfiction/non-linear narration/network-cultures):