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Organized by a r t n e t w e b
MIT List Visual Arts Center
January 25 through March 29, 1997

PROJECT: CyberDance Myths: New Charts for New Realities
BY: Carmin Karasic and Leslie Everett
TIME: Saturday 12 - 2 pm Eastern Standard Time (Starts March 1)
SOFTWARE: Fractal Design Painter, Look@Me, IRC Chat, CU-SeeMe, Web Browser, RealAudio
ACCESS: CU-SeeMe Reflector:

IRC: EFnet #modmyth

Web site:

Screenshots from the List Center gallery:

CONTACT: Carmin Karasic
18 Narragansett Rd.
Quincy, MA 02169
phone: 617/471-8049
email: carmin@pixelyze.com

Leslie Everett
11 Boardman #1
Cambridge, MA 02139
phone: (H) 617/441-9689, (W) 617/232-1555 x397
beeper: 617/597-3995
email: leverett@tiac.net

Ancient mythology shaped, informed and explained everyday life for our ancestors. Our lives continue to be transformed by the influences of icons, the media, and symbols of our own modern myths. We use these navigation tools daily, consciously and instinctively. Icons, symbols, metaphors, images, and paradigms help chart and define physical and virtual realities. Cyberspace is a metaphor for the Classical Gods' and Goddesses' Mount Olympus.

The intent of this performance is to provide a familiar reference point in cyberspace for gallery visitors. The sounds of chanting, primitive drumming, computer beeps and keyboard clicks, and amplified heartbeats will lure the visitor. Mythological symbols, icons, and images will be displayed and collaged via the Internet. As with surfing the Net, the collage will evolve in a non-linear fashion, drawing from all corners of the earth, and our collective histories. Guests may participate in an on-line modern mythology chat.

The full effect of the performance will best be realized in the center of the gallery. The ritual space will be surrounded by four projection screens. Upon entering the space visitors first see a "You Are Here" context on one screen. The two remote artists will create a collaborative collage on two other screens, using images and text sampled from the world wide web. Visitors will view each artist's computer screen as the collage is created. The fourth screen will be a real-time chat with gallery guests and mythology enthusiasts who have been invited to participate over the Internet.

Configuration for the List Center Gallery
Screens 1 and 3

  • Fractal Design Painter 4's, Net Painter feature will be used at separate locations, to create the collage.
  • Look@me on port_1 and port_3 will be used to display the collage as it is created.
  • The web server on port_1 will be used to grab these screens every 60 seconds and save them as jpg files. The saved files will be used to update an web page continuously.

Screen 2

  • An IRC chat about modern mythology will be open to visitors and to the public on port_2. (Specific chat channel: TBA.)

Screen 4

  • Cu-Seeme video camera is trained on the space that will be a person standing on the "X" behind port_4. (e.g., in the central space between the projection screens.)
  • Reference point or 'Context' desktop wallpaper bitmap will be provided which resembles a constellation overlaid with a computer network diagram. The video window is to be placed on a 'marked spot' on the desktop.
  • Netscape will not be maximized on the screen, and will be placed so as not to cover the Cu-Seeme video. Netscape will be opened to a specific URL that will display several sequenced web pages and portions of web pages related to the mythology theme. The page containing the collage created during this performance will be included the sequence.

    I'm not sure of the best audio to use for the pre-recorded sounds described above. I plan to have a musician perform and stream in Real Audio too.

Special Requirements:

  • Remove chairs and use "performance in progress" signs at the PCs, except for port_2. Mark the floor behind port_4 (or in the center on the projection screens?) with an "X" made of wide, highly visible tape.
  • Load 'context' wallpaper bitmap on port_4.
  • Size the Netscape window to show the network diagram and the CU-seeme video screen on port_4.


Carmin Karasic is a software engineer and digital artist. She currently works part time as a software quality engineer. When she's not testing software, she's usually working on some aspect of digital art. She may be creating new art, interning for a computer art project, or creating a web page probono. She is also the Chairman of the MJT Dance Company Board of Directors.

She received an Bachelor of Science Degree in Math from Suffolk University in Boston. She would have met Suffolk's present requirements for a Computer Science degree, had they offered one at the time. Upon graduation, the Math Department honored Carmin for her important contributions to their community.

Carmin has 17 years experience in information systems application development and in software development. In that time she has worked in the Boston metro area, progressing steadily from programmer to technical manager. She has worked at Teradyne Inc., Polaroid Corp., Lotus Development Corp. and Fidelity Investments. She managed Lotus' Human Resources Systems and Financial Systems. Carmin managed a hypertext development project at Fidelity, until she realized she was a digital artist trapped in a Project Manager's body. This simple realization changed her life. She decided to trade the glory of management for the personal satisfaction of creating digital art.

In 1995 Carmin began studying digital art at Mass College of Art. She returned to Lotus as a member of the Lotus Notes Quality Engineering team. She left Lotus to become the Resident Artist for the DoWhile Studio, in Boston. The residency allowed her to explore many technical areas, including animation, audio and video editing, 3D modeling, technical considerations for printing digital images, and web design. During her residency, she learned to appreciate

the artist's responsibility to the community at large. She also decided to commit herself to introducing computers to urban youth through art.
I first became interested in digital art in 1986 when I got my first personal computer. At that time I was visiting the Media Lab at MIT and was introduced to LOGO and LISP programming languages, and Artificial Intelligence. I started playing with LOGO on my 1 MB Atari800, which was connected to a Sony Trinitron TV receiver. Mainly I was interested in creating non-objective, abstract, geometric patterns using LOGO to paint the designs. Later around 1991 I bought an Amiga 500 while volunteering at the Mass College of Art, Computer Arts Learning Center. I started using 'Deluxe Paint III', 'Photon Paint', and 'Sculpt 3D', all good programs for their time. I also started learning a few IBM based paint programs as well, AT&T 'Topas' and 'Retina'. All of these programs gave me more control over graphics, and I began exploring SF/fantasy imagery and more representational approaches.

In 1991 I began working in the MassArt library where I got my first VAX based e-mail account, and became immersed in multiple Internet connections. Eventually, I purchased a Macintosh Quadra 660AV and started learning Adobe Photoshop, Fractal Design Painter, and Abode Illustrator. Since then I've been digitizing images of my own earlier mixed media work, digital photography, and rendering it in Photoshop and Painter. Since I've been employed in the MassArt computer lab, I've had the opportunity to investigate and experiment with many Macintosh applications as part of my job, including: Virtus VR, Fractal Design Poser, and Ray Dream Designer. Recently I purchased a Wacom tablet, now I very rarely touch my mouse, and have realized the Zen of digital computer art.

I find this opportunity to explore world culture and myth facinating, and very exciting. My own ancestry is rooted primarily in unknown African peoples, possibly from Nigeria. Others are from a three-tribe confederacy of indigenous peoples of the North American Great Plains, the Siksika Nation, taking its name from the principle tribe, the Siksika (Blackfeet) possibly named for soot on moccasins; the others were the Bloods and the Piegans. My great, great grandmother was full-blood. To acknowledge and venerate the spirits of those of my own ancient ancestors, I've gathered audio and visual material to incorporate into the Internet performance. I'm a single parent, live in Cambridge, Massachusetts with my 13-year-old son, who inherited my Amiga 500, and also owns a Macintosh classic B&W.


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