The Resonance Cybercaff

It was a long surf in to the night - with ambient sounds and lights from EarthStation, pulsating computer artworks, video projections and Internet workstations from Resonance all combining to produce a unique "interactive" environment. Fuelled by the music and "smart drinks" we explored the World Wide Web, entered text-based "virtual worlds" (or MOOs) and linked up with "video reflectors" - viewing moving images from around the world (albeit at 1 frame per second!).

For many of the people present it was their first direct experience of the Net and the sense of "synergy" that occurred as photographers, artists, musicians and DJs and computer experts all got together was truly uplifting. Perhaps if this tells us anything its that these type of people should get together more often - they've got a lot of ideas in common...

Other attractions throughout the evening - which ran from 8:00 to midnight on the Friday - included a Virtual Reality workstation that allowed people to explore virtual artworks and enter a VR "chat space" in which other participants were represented as anything from penguins to characters from Alice in Wonderland! Continuous video loops also added to the multilayered visual nature of the Cybercaff space - with spinning Resonance logos, NASA space footage and computer generated sequences running on a large-screen monitor.

Quotes from participants in the event included, "an excellent blend of cyberculture and techno!", "really good! sub club-culture but more than bedroom culture. A lot more of this is going to happen. Definitely", "all this technology is giving me a hangover!", "those smart drinks could have kept me going all night.", "it provided an excellent arena for photographers to find out how computer and electronic technology can help them meet other photographers and influence their own creative practice."

And a final comment? "Art meets technology. This is the future. Let's resonate!"

Geoff Broadway, Sean Clark and Noel Douglas.

Thanks the School of Art and Design at the University of Derby for supplying much of the computer kit, and all the others who helped decorate, staff and run the event. Thanks also to the Internet in Nottingham for providing Internet access during the event, and to Gusto and Whole Earth Foods for the drinks and chocolate.

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