A Journal of Art Criticism

Published by the South Bay Area Women's Caucus for Art
Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2001


Dreamings, Electronic Media, by Heather Novella Hogan, 2000. 

CyberIsms: Voice, Identity & Communication in the Virtual Realm

" Diane Cassidy Interviews Diane Fenster
" Eileen McGarvey on Victoria Vesna
" Gabrielle Walters on Pleasured Spaces
" Heather Novella Hogan
" Willa Briggs
" Nanette Wylde
" Anonymous


From the Editor:

The vast landscape of the internet has permeated many aspects of our contemporary American lifestyle.Unlike the mapped and border defined landscapes of earth, the internet is a territory bounded only by the size of harddrives and the exchange of capital.One can participate with a minimal set of skills if one has access, although access is often not a possibility, not even an awareness to those whose class, ethnicity, location (generally outside of the U.S.) or occupation might keep them from logging on.Yet, at this dawning of the third millennium access is increasingly a global option. Our cultural production has manifested into new forms in cyberspace. In less than seven years of mainstream existence, net art has been sanctioned by the Art powers that be. Nine websites were included in the Whitney Biennial 2000. At one minute after midnight on January 1, 2001 San Francisco MOMA opened an exhibit of commissioned online art works. In the last year, almost every major art publication produced an issue devoted to new forms of art on the web.

The internet is a publishing freespace a global billboard, soapbox, information source, venue. It is a landscape where the rules of representation are fugitive and identities are created on the fly. A landscape where community is developed and mobilized with the power of the word and the click of a send button. The issues and politics of our tangible world develop a diverse discourse in the cyberworld, for here exists a venue where an artist/activist can exhibit quickly, inexpensively, meaningfully, and indefinitely to a potentially global audience, work that subverts mainstream ideologies. The voices of marginalized identity are empowered on the web by artists such as Barbara De Genevieve and Guillermo Gómez-Peña who employ the internet to interogate and expose stereotypes of race, gender and age.

How does our use of the internet affect us in our individual realities and in our connectedness with others? Email and its derivative shorthands are a primary force in our exploration of this hyper-real territory. How is interpersonal communication and self-representation affected by keyboarded marks on a screen, absent of the visual personality of handwritten letters, the nuances of facial expression, intonation, and body language? Does the context of the internet affect the reception of the content? Are the voices diverse? Who is listening/watching/reading/sending? and Why? This issue of (detail) acts as an introduction to these questions. In a territory too transient to be mapped, aspects of our humanity begin to be re-defined.

Nanette Wylde ,Guest Editor


CyberIsms: Voice, Identity & Communication in the Virtual Realm

©Copyright 2001 South Bay Area Women's Caucus for Art. All rights reserved. No part of the contents may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.

(detail) is made possible in part by grants from the Arts Council of Silicon Valley and JSB-surfCONTROL.

EDITOR: Christine Laffer
GUEST EDITOR: Nanette Wylde
PRODUCTION: Joaquina Doggé
PROMOTIONS: Sarah Ratchye
WEB DESIGNER: Saelon Renkes

Please send letters to: Editor, 88 Brooklyn Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128.

The South Bay Area Women's Caucus for Art is an organization of 200 arts professionals. Our purpose is to educate the public about the contribution of women to the arts and to ensure inclusion of women in the history of art, while respecting differences in age, religion and cultural heritage. Women and men interested in membership please call 650-691-9765..