Ssays on Art and Technologies of the Word, Image, and Sound
- Computer Art and the Theory of Computation (2012, Essays)
Toward a philosophy of computer art.
- Why I Am a Net Artist (2011, Essay)
An attempt to explain my artistic folly.
- Wikileaks, Napster, and the Ayatollah Flanagan (2010, blog entry)
An article describing 1) a parallel between Wikileaks and Napster 2) the
value of Wikileaks 3) the revolting Canadian Ayatollah Flanagan and his
fatwa against the founder of Wikileaks.
- Auntie Georgie (2010, Memorium)
A personal recollection of the life and achievement of my Auntie Georgie, ballsy banker with soul. Plus 170 images of Georgie.
- Lucy Milne (2010, Introduction)
About my aunt Lucy Milne in introduction of two videos I made with her.
- Dick Andrews (2010, essay)
About my father, and 136 photos of him.
- Net Art and the Fireflies of Eternity (2010, essay)
On the value of net art.
- For Millie Niss (2010, essay and photos)
An appreciation of the late Millie Niss and 111 photos of her with notes by Martha Deed, Millie's mother.
- Spiritual Materialism I (2009, essay)
"...the whole emphasis on materiality is involved in a larger movement to explore how things like ideation, imagination, the spiritual, beauty, truth, goodness, justice–all our ideals and things normally associated with the immaterial–operate in the material world."
- Spiritual Materialism II (2009, essay)
"‘spiritual materialism’ could mean any number of um things. that’s part of its poetical if not philosophical appeal, as poetry is the art of being profoundly vague. so one doesn’t like to ‘disambiguate’ too strongly. however, here’s a bit more about what i had in mind. others will have their own, different notions of what it might mean."
- Art, Game and Play (2009, essay)
An essay commissioned by the Centre for International Contemporary Art in Montreal.
- GUESS THE HALLUCINATION (2009, essay)
Toward a bit of quantitative analysis of the semantics of cutup/collage/dbCinema.
- About dbCinema Flash Brushes (2009, essay)
This has quite a bit about dbCinema in general and Flash brushes in particular. dbCinema is a graphic synthesizer and langu(im)age processor I'm writing in Adobe Director.
- Reviewed: A Philosophy of Computer Art by Dominic Lopes (2009,
Dominic McIver Lopes is a Philosophy professor in Vancouver. He's written a fascinating book on 'computer art'. There's a link in the piece, also, to a video interview I did with the author.
Screening by bpNichol (2007,
The Canadian experimental poet bpNichol
wrote First Screening, a suite of programmed, kinetic poems,
in 1983-84. This links to a project that presents First Screening
by Marko J. Niemi and myself; the project also includes essays
by me, Dan Waber, Geof Huth, and Lionel Kearns about First Screening
as Literary Devices (2007,
Looks at degrees of subordination of
videogame to art in art/games by Regina Célia Pinto, Natalie
Bookchin, Neil Hennessey, and Jim Andrews.
Published by the University of Chicago Press in a book edited
by Grethe Mitchell and Andy Clarke.
Audio for the Web (2006, essay)
Looks at interactive audio for the Web
as an art form. Along with the essay, there's a good list of
links to works on the Web.
3: Immersion Beyond the Cinematic (2005,
A review of the computer game.
Explosion: Poetry and Entertainment in Arteroids (2005,
Essay in book)
This essay is in a book on art and
video games edited by Shanna Compton and published by Soft
Skull press in Brooklyn.
Lionel Kearns (2004,
Shockwave binary meditation)
On Lionel Kearns is a look back at a forward-looking
poet. It explores the sixties-through-eighties pioneering work
poet Lionel Kearns. On Lionel
an introduction to the work of a poet who presents a larger vision
of what it means to write and be a poet than was widely accepted
or understood when
the work was originally published. Kearns practiced and wrote about
the sort of poly-artistic, variously-mediated poetics we see developing
digital domain, and he wrote about computers and poetry in parables
of insight. He looks forward from the sixties into the present
and, past the present,
into the future.
A very slightly different version of this piece is also published
in New York at turbulence.org.
It was reviewed by
visual poet Geof Huth.
Writing Circa 2004 (2004,
Thoughts on digital writing within
the 2004 political and social mess. Written as a talk for my
visit to England in the summer of 2004. I ended up presenting
some new hypermedia work (War Pigs) instead, but made photocopies
of the essay that people picked up to read at their leisure.
Sprite Creation/Destruction in Windows for Shockwave (2004,
A technical article for Director developers
interested in being able to create/destroy sprites on the fly.
Poetry, and the Flaw (2003, HTML, Intro and reflections)
Between a rock and a hard place. Published
Audio for the Web (2003, HTML, Essay/review)
This essay looks at a few works that have
been created over the last several years, discusses elements such
as interface, composition, instrumentality and music, and then provides
lots of great links to work that highlights interactive audio; there's
also links to offline interactive audio projects, and links to news
sources about the art. Published on trAce from Britain, edited by
and Programming (2003, Essay/Email dialog)
I was the featured guest on Empyre May 1-14,
2003. I wrote thoughts on 'Poetry and Programming' and discussed these
and other ideas with Simon Biggs, Christina McPhee, Melinda Rackham,
geniwate, Helen Thorington, Mez, jhave, and others.
of Windows for Shockwave 3.0 (2003, HTML, Technical)
This is a technical article, an overview
of a tool I've written for Shockwave developers. It's published on
the Director Online Users' Group (DOUG) site, which is the main non-Macromedia
site for articles on development with Director.
Connection (2003, HTML, Essays/inteviews)
by me, Roberto Simanowski, Helen Thorington, Regina Célia Pinto, and
Carrie Noland. It's a critical media project that consists of several
months of work by 15 people in 7 countries about 6 Parisian web.artists,
a project presented in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and co-published
in Canada, the USA, Brazil, and Germany by 4 web sites—turbulence.org,
arteonline.arq.br, dichtung-digital.de, and coriolisweb.org—that
are concerned with various types of international net.art, particularly
the experiential, multimedia net.art that the Parisians are producing
with such élan.
- Games, Po, Play, Art, and Arteroids (2002, HTML, Essay/game)
A rather large 'essay' weighing in at about
700kb--because it has a copy of Arteroids embedded in it. But if you
have the bandwidth and IE, which it requires, then you experience
an essay possibly unlike others you have run across on web.art or
digital writing. The essay is also published on turbulence.org and
on arteonline.arq.br (Brazil) in English and Portuguese.
- Material Combinatorium Supremum (2002, HTML, Essay)
An essay about a poem with more permutations
than the number of atoms in the universe. And how to make it. About
the stir fry texts.
- Three European Web/Net Artists (2002, HTML, Profiles/Interviews)
Turbulence.org published these profile/interviews
I did with Michiel Knaven (Holland), Reiner Strasser (Germany), and
Stanza (England). All three are using English as the language of their
sites, have produced impressive bodies of multimedia, interactive
work available on the Web, and synthesize arts and media with an engaging
command of tools ranging from DHTML to Flash and Shockwave.
- Becoming a Full-Time Web.artist (2002, HTML, Interview)
Roberto Simanowski published an interview
with me and an article on my work in his dichtung-digital.de out of
- Nio and the Art of Interactive Audio for the Web (2001,
Nio is a work of Shockwave interactive sound/visual/music
poetry for the Web. Note that at the bottom of the essay there are
links to the rest of the Nio project and Nio itself, which requires
Shockwave 8 and speakers. Nio is a commission of New Radio and Performing
Arts, Inc. for its Turbulence web site with funds from the National
Endowment for the Arts. This essay has also been published on soundtoys.net.
- Technotes on Nio and Audio Programming with Director 8 (2001,
I haven't seen any other articles on Director
8's vastly expanded audio capabilities. As with the above essay, this
one's located at turbulence.org and has links at the bottom of the
essay to the rest of the Nio project. This essay has also been published,
in a slightly edited form, on the macromedia.com
and the Literary (1999, HTML, Essay)
The architectural dimension of Web art.
Frys and Cut Ups (1999, HTML, Essay)
Relation of the stir fry texts to cut ups.
Forthcoming in the 2001 print/CD ROM/Web site issue of France's DOC(K)S.
- Infoanimism (1999, HTML, Essay)
The word as object in process. Reviewed by
William Marsh in Xenia
Email Correspondence (1999-2002, Email)
This is the Webartery.com email correspondence.
I did a lot of writing on this list. The archive is private for members.
Langu(im)agelanguage and image as objects in a field (1998,
An exploration of digital language. Published
on Web del Sol's Perihelion site, in the 2000 print/CD ROM/Web issue
of France's DOC(K)S,
and in Cauldron
a Web Artist? (part one, 1997, HTML, Essay)
A non-prescriptive exploration of some of
the elements and challenges involved. Published in Zine n.
a Web Artist? (part two, 1997, HTML, Essay)
A few questions about the medium and a review
of Diane Fenster's and razorfish's sites. Published in Zine n.
and the Electric Word (1996, HTML, Essay)
Sat down and wondered hrrm what am I doing
of the Language Worms (1996, PDF, 1255Kb, Game Spec)
Not an essay but a spec for a logic game/puzzle
done in collaboration with Dr. Michael Fellows.
Meanies of Corner Town (1996, PDF, 971Kb, Game Spec)
Another spec for a logic game/puzzle done
in collaboration with Dr. Michael Fellows.
Reconsidered (Part I, 1995, HTML, Essay)
An examination of some of the ideas of Marshall
McLuhan, the seminal media/technology analyst of the sixties and seventies.
The same text but a different layout is published in Talan Memmott's BeeHive.
This essay is widely read and taught.
Reconsidered (Part II, 1995, HTML, Essay)
The rest. It's broken up into two parts because
my HTML editor way back then couldn't handle files larger than 32k.
and Publishing (1995, HTML, Essay)
I wrote this in 1995 before I started composing
web pages. It's a speculation on the possibilities for the writer
and publisher posed by the web. The infra structure of literary dissemination
is changing (duh). In what ways? Still relevant, strangely enough.
Review of Richard Lanham's The Electronic Word (1994,
A noted professor of the Humanities argues
that "the real change we must confront and understand is not
a new selection of canonical great books but, as our expressive radical
moves from print to screen, a new conception of human reason and how
Western culture creates and transmits it.... If we fail to understand
the expressive environment of our time, we will have failed in our
duty as transmitters of culture, whether we think the culture to be
preserved consists of Dead White Males or Live Female Revolutionaries
Frame, Nominalism, and Platonism in Literary Judgement (1993,
PDF, 424Kb, Letter)
A letter to Steven Heighton, then editor
of Quarry magazine in Kingston Ontario. "After reading your letter
I got to thinking about how I arrive (or not) at decisions about the
merit of a piece of writing and whether or not or to what extent I
am influenced by sheer name and reputation and other factors that
deflect me from really attending to what is being said whether it's
in a poem or a political speech or elsewhere. And of whether or not
such factors should be thought of as irrelevant to the meaning of
Review of Quarry Magazine (1993, PDF, 167Kb, Review)
A review of the Kingston Ontario literary
magazine when it was edited by Steven Heighton. The particular issue
reviewed is Number 2 from Volume 42, 1993. It features fiction by
Shusako Endo, Elisabeth Harvor, and Barbara Mailloux, poetry by Don
Coles, Lynn Crosbie, Carl Grindley, Clive Thompson, and Jan Conn,
letters between Erin Mouré and Bronwen Wallace, a photo essay by Jack
Chiang, a review by Colin Morton, and a critical essay by Michael
margareta waterman (1993, PDF, 123Kb, Letter)
A letter to margareta about Canadian politics
Matt Fair and Joseph Keppler (1993, PDF, 323Kb, Letter)
Still pre Web. A long but well edited and
worked letter to two buddies and thinkers on poetry, language, the
electric word, and the politics of abundance.
Tribute to William S. Burroughs (1992, HTML, Essay)
A few thoughts on Burroughs's and Cronenberg's
Naked Lunch and the work of William S. Burroughs. And here's a
second version in PDF format (109Kb, part of Several Numbers Through
the Lyric, a book of mine). This essay is linked from burroughs.net.
Matt Fair and Joseph Keppler (1992, PDF, 192Kb, Letter)
An essay/letter to two good friends about
artificial intelligence, ELIZA, Racter, and Turing. I was beginning
to become digital.
the Page (1992, PDF, 125Kb, Essay)
Again, pre Web for me, as with all the other
PDF's. This essay is about poetry and the medium of the page. I was
doing visual poetry at this point and thinking about the page as a
medium much as I think about the Web now (only differently). I've
been interested in thinking about media for a long time.
Toward an Essay on the Unspeakable (1991, PDF, 144Kb,
"That which we cannot or have not or
will not or may not speak; what can be said of it?"
Vices: Two Data Compression Algorithms (1990, PDF,
An essay on information theory, data compression,
memory, language, and minimalism. It looks carefully at a couple of
elegant data compression algorithms (Lempel-Ziv and the Huffman algorithms)
and explores the aesthetic of concentration, compression. The pleasure
of this essay is for those who can enjoy a fine math proof and a discussion
of the poetics of such a type of knowing. Challenging but, I hope,
also rewarding. Pythagorean.
McLuhan (1988, PDF, 183Kb, Essay)
Pre Web (for me anyway). An intense reading
of McLuhan in a time of deep transition for me between radio and print/computer
and writerly awakening, deep discovery time.
and the English Language by George Orwell (1946)
Still an excellent and relevant essay though
published in 1946. George Orwell is also the author of the novel 1984
and the novella Animal Farm.
- The Riddler (1997)
- The Material (1996)
This also is published on Jennifer Ley's site.
- Kasparov (1996)
A poem on the strength and weakness of the chess champion defeated by a machine.
- Second and Third Snow (1995, PDF, 191Kb)
Second and third aren't as dramatic as the first, but...
- First Snow (1995, PDF, 53Kb)
I was there.
- Customs (1994, PDF, 75Kb)
Customs at the border between Canada and the USA. Originally published in Quarry when Steven Heighton edited it.
- My Friend's Friend (1993, PDF, 150Kb)
A, uh, hopefully humorous song and dance on love, jealousy, and the cosmic dynamo from my manuscript Several Numbers Through the Lyric.
- Eyes (1992, PDF, 36Kb)
The beginning of a suite of four short poems. A Web version of the suite is located at Sequence
- Song For Sun and Moon (1992, PDF, 43Kb)
Second in the suite.
- Border Crossing (1992, PDF, 43Kb)
Third in the suite.
- An institutionalized avant garde is: (1992, PDF, 45Kb)
Fourth in the suite.
- LIFE ART (1992, PDF, 29Kb)
The opening poem of the manuscript Several Numbers Through the Lyric. This was the original version of a piece I moved onto the web in animation fairly early on.
- Lifer (1992)
A poem for the late poet Luella Kerr.
- Trust (1991)
In a word.
- The Meeting Place II (1991, PDF, 168Kb)
There are a few poems I've done that involve various notions of the meeting place.
- Alice In Flatland (1991)
A fifteen page poem on the edge of knowledge and
- The Secret Life of Trees (1991, PDF, 188Kb)
A song to good times and hard times and the spirit of the trees outside my place in the city in Victoria in 1991.
- Safe Cracking (1989, PDF, 75 Kb)
A poem about conspiracy, complicity, guilt, and taking chances. Originally published in Quarry magazine from Kingston.
- La La (1989, PDF, 70Kb)
A lyrical/anti-lyrical love poem. This operates through the lyric.
- Hands (1984, PDF, 44Kb)
- The Meeting
This poem is published on Jennifer Ley's site The Astrophysicist's Tango Partner Speaks. A PDF version that I designed is also available.
- Walk in Streetlight (1983, PDF, 51Kb)
- Lower Yates at Midnight (1983, PDF, 47Kb)
- Breakpoint Enabled
A true story parabled into a tale of strange
brotherhood, alienation, and the local gods like ghosts in the machine.
Downloadable Lingo Code and Documentation
a video and resizes it to either fill the browser or make
the video as large as can be while retaining the original video proportion
of width to height (6/2007).
- C(n,r), P(n,r), and
This movie script for Director MX+ calculates
the number of combinations or permutations of n things taken r at a
time. It also calculates n!.
- Windows For Shockwave 4.8
Version 4.8 introduces the ability to
easily create dynamic sprites, multi-sprites, and families thereof.
adds many features to the 3.0 sort of functionality.
Documented Code (4/2001)
Nio is a two-part
work of interactive audio that synchronizes layers and sequences of
audio files and synchronizes audio and vis. Director 8.
Screen Template (6/2002)
This is a 3kb download that consists of three template HTML files
to launch Web projects in as large a window as possible, whatever
browser is being used. In IE for the PC, it launches the files full
screen, no browser chrome whatsoever. The Mac does not permit full
screen browsing, but you can make it as large as possible. Index.htm
in the zip is the page you start out on. It lets the user choose
launch either full screen or in a normal browser window (polite).
Index.htm then does some browser sniffing and launches frameset.htm
accordingly. frameset.htm is a little frameset file. This is a little
trick to get rid of the scrollbar you normally see in windows in
for the PC that have been launched full screen. No browser chrome
at all! You edit index.htm and content.htm, but not frameset.htm.
Content.htm is the file that contains your project.
Enigma n2 is an audio/visual work
of sound/code poetry and interactive/generative music . It is meant
to be played loudly. Click around in it or let it be strange on its
own. It synchs audio and visual quite well, also.
Before I moved
to Seattle in 1997 to take a position as a Technical Writer and, later,
a Solutions Architect with Network Commerce, I hosted a literary venue
in Victoria, B.C. each week called Mocambopo.
This web site originated as a schedule of events for the Mocambopo poetry
series in 1995. Rod Zimmerman has taken over the Web work for that project,
and Mocambopo has had severl hosts since I left.
to, and print my writings. But please do not use them for profit without
contacting me and coming to an arrangement. And please don't put them
up on the Web or otherwise publish them without contacting me. I'm distributing
them on the Internet because I'm more interested in distributing them
myself than waiting on someone else's approval. Electronic publishing
is going to radically change the infra-structure of the publishing world.
I want to explore that edge.
Part of the beauty
of the world wide web, for me, is that it has the poetential to solve
the problems of distribution and cost involved in the production of
many artistic endeavors. Also, art warps into a new multiplicity of
media and sign. And the possibilities for communication with people
around the world, coming to know their work, is exciting. Poetry of
motion and the daily data storm.
Jim Andrews, 1996
Hmm. Things have changed and stayed the same. I've quit my job at
Network Commerce to develop multimedia vismu full time. The page is
still a lovely thing to me, but these days I don't think of the page
so much as the "stage" in Director. I've registered vismu.com
(visual music) and hope to develop some astounding interactive musical
works that define a new type of music.
The infra-structure of publishing has changed, at this point, more
inside one's head than the monolith has. I don't buy that many books
anymore, find most of my information on the Web. Still love them, though,
and think of myself as a writer, think of all the work on this site
as a form of writing.
Walt Whitman wrote one book: Leaves of Grass. He changed it throughout
his life. Vispo.com is my 'book'. And it isn't a book at all but, hopefully,
something that you can experience as many times as you like and find
different things each time--very different, and of a new and ongoing
life in writing/art/sound/programming.
victoria canada, 2002