[-empyre-] -empyre- in 2002- a trip down memory lane

Christina McPhee naxsmash at gmail.com
Wed Feb 7 14:38:01 AEDT 2018

Thanks, Renate, for the comments around the aesthetics of early days
-empyre- and the quote in which I compare -empyre- to an Ant Farm

When I started moderating in 2002,  I sometimes posted as Christina McPhee
and sometimes as naxsmash-- a made-up portmanteau of 'birthing' and
'smashing' . Neither name indexed a definite identity. That seemed to be
the disorder of the day: you could scatter your texts to many eyes and ears
out of reach of one's own sense of place --- I felt unbound by my gender or
age or other markers. When the Documenta curator Georg Schollhamer
contacted me to invite -empyre- to Documenta 12 Magazine project in 2006,
he asked to meet up with me at the Sydney Biennial. On the phone, I madly
searched and stumbled for an answer, wondering, OMG, how am i going to
afford to go to Sydney to meet Georg and discuss this wonderful invite?
Quickly I recovered and confessed that I was not Australian... this is the
kind of delightful mistake possible in those days. Melinda Rackham had been
so kind to invite me into the 'soft-skinned space' to moderate in 2002 when
her doctoral writing was very pressing. I stayed on and learned from
everyone for the next six years. It was the best education one could
possibly imagine, boot-strapped by the constant demand of coming up with
new topics and generating new convos with such diverse artists, scientists,
poets, writers of all kinds. They inadvertently generated my crash-course
education in Franz Fanon, Julia Kristeva, Anthropophagia and Tropicalia,
Edouard Glissante, Australian/NZ Cyberfeminism. I read like mad. I
encouraged posts in languages other than English whenever the writer found
that her ideas might need to flow from a non-English space-- then
translated as best i could or found translators of the human variety to
help out. We had a freewheeling time of it. "New Media" was in its heyday.
I always hoped that the archive would help historians with bits and sparks
to illuminate a fascinating transitional period... an Arcades project...


On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 9:01 PM, Theresa Ramseyer <tlr280mp at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Evening,
> My computer-internet connection is still dial-up. It is unusable for
> the moment, for various reasons. My phone is now my main connection,
> but I can't get everything. Instagram, for example, is always a blank
> page. Many times I'll click on a link and get nowhere.
> I prefer Empyre as a listserve. I have gone back through previous
> discussions and looked up artists, followed threads and ideas when I
> had time. I've gone deeper; the list moves fast for me.
> It's much easier to find a post on gmail or yahoo than to dig through
> Facebook.
> I know Empyre has a Facebook presence, and Facebook is easy to reach
> on my phone. But besides the searching difficulties, Facebook changes
> their algorithims so often that I keep lists of my "must read" pages
> and communities. It's annoying, to say the least.
> Theresa Ramseyer
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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