[-empyre-] In memory of Marilouise Kroker 1943-2018

Timothy Conway Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Sun May 27 04:04:15 AEST 2018


What a shock it was to learn of Marilouise Kroker’s death on Tuesday after an extremely short illness.  Renate and I have so valued our years of friendship and collaboration with Marilouise.  As Renate mentioned, it was very much the influence of Arthur and Marilouise that urged us to join in collaboration for –empyre- and other writing and curatorial projects after firmly keeping our work separate for the first period of our professional lives together, when Renate would work separately in her studio and I would write my stuff across the house in my study, only to meet in the middle of house at the end of the day to share our creations.  Marilouise and Arthur helped us to understand that it could be exciting and creative to share our voices in public.  Strangely the other couple similarly influencing us were Helen and Newton Harrison, with Helen also leaving us in April (at 90, with a good fifteen years of more production than Marilouise would be granted).

Marilouise joined with Arthur to usher in the first wave of “critical digital studies” with their tireless work on CTHEORY – the first online journal – and their many publishing projects.  So many –empyre- subscribers will remember the verve and edge of their infamous public critical performances when, clad in cool black and amplified by body mics, they would alternate reading their experimental prose with their characteristic flat and edgy voices as if cyborgs clad in human bodies.  Marilouise was one of the early critical figures to insist on the fractious rub of the feminist voice on the culture of the big daddy mainframe.  Her 1993 collection with Arthur, The Last Sex: Feminism and Outlaw Bodies, provided a  cyberfeminist stage for the likes of Kathy Acker and provided an added echo chamber for the growing and loud resonance of global cyberfeminist voices of those pioneering figures and collectives such as Donna Haraway, Sadie Plant, VNS Matrix, Old Boys Network, and subRosa.

Renate and I enjoyed a magical semester with Marilouise in Ithaca when she and Arthur were in residence at Cornell’s Society for the Humanities for the 1998-99 theme year, “The Virtual.”  Even when Marilouise was struggling with severe back pain at the time, she was always laughing and mischievous in planning the next critical disruption of the utopic digital scene or when sending me and Arthur off to the ice rink for what she would call our “philosophical skates.”  And I so well recall her infectious glee when Reggie Woolery and Srinivas Aravamudan cooked up the idea to launch a pirate internet radio program of music and critical interviews in which she and Arthur starred (perhaps one of the very first such online radio shows, which Cornell soon shut down over copyright paranoia).  Just before they came to Ithaca, Marilouise and Arthur seized upon the emergent multimedia capacities of the internet to launch their first multimedia version of CTHEORY: “Digital Dirt”  (http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu).  Aiming to infect “the antiseptic cleanliness” of “the ruling illusion of digital reality,” “Digital Dirt” provided a mixed media platform for interventions in noise, e-art, and text.  As we spent that Virtual period together at Cornell, we hatched the idea of creating a separate space for critical net.art, “CTHEORY Multimedia,” which we opened at the Cornell Library with the help of Associate Librarian, Tom Hickerson.  Profiting from library programmers and designers dedicated to CTHEORY Multimedia, we produced three additional issues of net.art whose criticality and artistic breadth were unparalleled on the international scene: “Tech Flesh: The Promise and Perils of the Human Genome Project,” “Wired Ruins: Digital Terror and Ethnic Paranoia,” and “NetNoise” for which we jointly wrote curatorial statements.  These issues are remarkably still accessible.  Co-writing with Marilouise and Arthur was such an intellectual and stylistic thrill for me.  My critical style has never been the same!  One of my favorite memories was joining them on a phone call, when I dialed them in Montreal as I sat in the parking lot of Arthur and my favorite Ithaca ice rink, when Marilouise characteristically and so gently yet firmly always came up with the perfect solution to the prosaic differences we were struggling over.   For NetNoise, we also recorded our readings of our curatorial statements.  We combined our voices for the introductory curatorial statement and then each of our voices were featured on the statements framing the individual net.art pods. On Tuesday night, after learning the sad news from Arthur, I clicked on the link to the curatorial note for “Sound Culture” and marveled, as I’m doing again right now, at the remarkable grain of Marilouise’s voice.  As I conclude this brief homage to Marilouise, I invite you all to join me in listening to the critical verve and haunting voice of Marilouise’s contributions to critical digital culture: http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu/four.php ).

The grain of your NetNoise lingers on the net, dear Marilouise.

Tim

Timothy Murray
Director, Cornell Council for the Arts and Curator, CCA Biennial
http://cca.cornell.edu
Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art 
http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu <http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu/>
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
 
B-1 West Sibley Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
 
 

On 5/26/18, 11:54 AM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Renate Terese Ferro" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:

    ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
    Sorry all.  Sent out the unedited version inadvertently. Use this version to pass on to others please. 
    
    Tim and I are heartbroken to write to all of you today. 
    
    Marilouise Kroker, died earlier this week at home on May 22, 2018. She was an author and Senior Research Scholar at the Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture, University of Victoria. With her collaborator and husband, Arthur Kroker, she wrote Hacking the Future (1996). She also co-edited and introduced numerous anthologies including Critical Digital Studies A Reader (2008), Digital Delirium (1997), Body Invaders (1987), The Last Sex (1993). Arthur and Marilouise also jointly edited the online academic journal Ctheory, an international journal of theory, technology and culture. Collaborating with Tim Murray they created the curatorial online project, C-theory Multimedia. For more of their work: 
    http://krokers.net/
    http://ctheory.net/ctheory_wp/author/marilouisekroker/
    http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu/
    
    Marilouise and Arthur Kroker have been vital parts of our personal fiber for the past twenty years. It has been their courage and trailblazing efforts at personal collaboration that provided us the beacon of example for us personally.  Tim’s common work and writing for CTHEORY Multimedia has been one of the personal and artistic highlights of his career.  Marilouise was ripped from Arthur so quickly and cruelly.
    
    Over the next week, until we introduce the next topic hosted by ShuLea Cheang please feel free to add thoughts and narratives about Marilouise.  We send our heartfelt condolences to Arthur at this time from the entire –empyre- soft-skinned community. 
    
    Renate Ferro
    and Tim Murray
    
    
    
    
    
    Renate Ferro
    Visiting Associate Professor
    Director of Undergraduate Studies
    Department of Art
    Tjaden Hall 306
    rferro at cornell.edu
     
     
    
    On 5/26/18, 11:47 AM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Renate Terese Ferro" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:
    
        ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
        Tim and I are heartbroken to write to all of you today. 
        
        Marilouise Kroker, died earlier this week at home on May 22,nd  2018. She was an author and Senior Research Scholar at the Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture, University of Victoria. With her collaborator and husband, Arthur Kroker, she wrote Hacking the Future (1996). She also co-edited and introduced numerous anthologies including Critical Digital Studies A Reader (2008), Digital Delrium (1997), Body Invaders (1987), The Last Sex (1993). Arthur and Marilouise and Arthur also jointly edited the online academic journal Ctheory, an international journal of theory, technology and culture. Collaborating with Tim Murray they created the curatorial online project, C-theory Multimedia. For further colaborations see the following links: 
        http://krokers.net/
        http://ctheory.net/ctheory_wp/author/marilouisekroker/
        http://ctheorymultimedia.cornell.edu/
        
        Marilouise and Arthur Kroker have been vital parts of our personal fiber for the past twenty years. It has been their courage and trailblazing efforts at personal collaboration that provided us the beacon of example for us personally.  Tim’s common work and writing for CTHEORY Multimedia with the Krokers has been one of the personal and artistic highlights of his career.  Marilouise was ripped from Arthur so quickly and cruelly.
        
        Over the next week, until we introduce the next topic hosted by ShuLea Cheang please feel free to add thoughts and narratives about Marilouise.  We send our heartfelt condolences to Arthur at this time from the entire –empyre- soft-skinned community. 
        
        Renate Ferro
        and Tim Murray
        
        
        
        Renate Ferro
        Visiting Associate Professor
        Director of Undergraduate Studies
        Department of Art
        Tjaden Hall 306
        rferro at cornell.edu
         
         
        
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