Electronic Café International
1989 – 2013
Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz are recognized as early media visionaries whose work ushered in a new era of interactive practice which is still evolving based on their pioneering work. From 1975 through 1977 Galloway and Rabinowitz developed a series of projects under a heading they called Aesthetic Research in Telecommunications, 1975. Among these projects was the Satellite Arts Project that addressed a multitude of telecollaborative arts and virtual space performance issues that had never been genuinely tested or even experienced. Central to the Satellite Arts Project idea was an aesthetic inquiry that would apply the performing arts as a mode of investigating the possibilities and limitations of various technologies to create new contexts for art, including the emergence of telecollaborative arts on a global scale. The Satellite Arts “series” marks the first time that the geographically dispersed electronic image was contextualized as a live immersive place, where artists, and others, could convene and co-create together on a scale that could be as culturally inclusive as desired. In 1980, their project Hole In Space would usher in a new era of interactive communication and use of tools by artists which is resonating today with younger practitioners. Ultimately, the formation of the Electronic Cafe Network was about integration: Integrating community, art, technology, multimedia telecommunications, and cross-cultural communications. Artists who were active in the ECI milieu at that time include Ulysses Jenkins, Ben Caldwell, Pattsi Valdez, Hye Sook Park, Kay Torres, and Gerardo De Jesus Valesquez.