Peter Lunenfeld on Fri, 31 Jul 1998 00:17:31 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Demo or Die

"Demo or Die"
Peter Lunenfeld

At the MIT Media Laboratory, ... the academic slogan 'publish or perish'
has been recodified as 'demo or die'... When we started the Media Lab, I
kept telling people we must demo, demo, demo... Forget technical papers and
to a lesser extent theories. Let's prove by doing.
                    Nicholas Negroponte

   Right now, somewhere in the wired world, there is a graphic
designer booting up her electronic portfolio trying to convince a client
that she can develop a complex corporate identity system for the company.
Right now, somewhere in the wired world, there is an artist having
difficulty navigating through his conceptually complex interface for the
benefit of a curator he hopes will give him a show. Right now, somewhere in
the wired world, there is a team of digital post-production media
specialists cursing silently as their presentation to the director crashes
for the third time. Right now, somewhere in the wired world, there is a
poet demo-ing her first hypertext, and marveling that it's actually
working. [1]
   The demo has become the defining moment of the artist's practice at
the turn of the millennium. For the artists and designers who work with
technology, no amount of talent, no ground-breaking aesthetic, no
astonishing insight makes up for an inability to demonstrate their work on
a computer in real time in front of an audience. The demonstration, as
immortalized in the MIT Media Lab's credo "Demo or Die," is now at the
heart of the professional image-maker's life. Artists and their machines
are on display, the organic and the electronic morphing back and forth
continuously. This does not simply presage the artist as cyborg; it also
augurs the transformation of presentation into performance.
   The floppy disc, the portable hard drive, the CD-Rom, and the World
Wide Web, all serve up the artists' multimedia image/text/sound matrices.
But this service is never trouble free. The computer, no matter what the
platform, software, or format, is a remarkably unstable mechanism to show
work, not least because the goal of so much new work is precisely to extend
what can be accomplished. To examine the demo or die aesthetic is to
address a series of related questions: What is it to put work out to the
world using inherently unstable platforms? How do people enter into synergy
with their machines? Are they fast on their way to becoming cyborgs, if
only for the fleeting moments of the demo? How does the demo increase
techno-anxiety, even among those who would seem to be Masters of the
Electronic Universe? How is it that a technology that promised to replace
face to face communication in fact demands it?
   Artists and designers giving demos are quintessential post-'89
cultural producers. For a generation now, we've been talking about art and
theory in relation to the pivotal year of 1968, the assumption being that
somehow the failed revolutions of that heady summer so demoralized the
avant-garde that all cultural production since then has been irrevocably
altered. This kind of periodization is what cultural historians do, of
course, and it has the same relationship to the actual developments as the
map does to the road - it's a useful guide, but only an approximation of
the real. Yet, new markers have sprung up since then, and in terms of
techno-cultural production, it strikes me that 1989 - with its Velvet
Revolutions, falling walls, and fissioning unions =1F- has become the new
dividing line. With the disintegration of state sponsored socialism and
communism throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and the
market-oriented reforms in the People's Republic of China, capitalism is in
yet another of its periods of ascendancy.
   With the only other options on the political scene appearing to be
tribalism and fundamentalism, post-industrial capitalism seems as
inevitable and all powerful to the artists of the West as the Christian
Church must have been to artisans of 11th century France. In other words,
for those coming of age in a post-'89 world, an alternative to capitalism
seems not simply unlikely, but completely unthinkable. In this context, it
is no wonder that the demo or die aesthetic is caught up in a presumption
of artistic labor with definitive use value. To avoid death, the demo must
perform: it must work within the constraints of the ideology generated in
the wake digital technologies. In other words, this aesthetic is one
perfectly suited to contemporary capitalism. [2]
   Much of the impetus for this article came out of my own experiences
giving and organizing demos. For a number of years I was well within the
belly of the post-industrial capitalist beast: working in the computer
graphics industry. [3] My responsibilities included working trade shows
like NAB (the National Association of Broadcasters) and SIGGRAPH (the ACM's
Special Interest Group Graphics for imaging and interactive systems and
softwares). To "work the floor" at a trade show means setting up a vast
array of computer equipment, manning a booth in the huge, cavernous space
of a convention center, and then trying to entice anyone passing by to
listen to you talk about the firm's line, and to offer on-the-spot
demonstrations of the products.
   I have never felt as in control of a digital system as I did while
in the midst of what we referred to as "demo-mode." There were a set series
of routines we would run through and - ideally - a certain sync between
human and machine would settle in for the three or four days the show floor
was open. I have written about the extremely complex sociological dynamics
of the trade show elsewhere, the development of a "commodity camaraderie"
among the presenters and audience of the demos, but what bears mention here
is how focused the experience of the demo is for the presenter, indeed, how
much of a performance it is. [4]
   Since returning to academia to teach in Art Center's Graduate
Program in Communication & New Media Design, I have continued to note the
importance of performance to the culture and pedagogy of digital art and
design. Every term, I run a seminar entitled "Digital Dialogues" which
features a different guest each week. I also coordinate mediawork: The
Southern California New Media Working Group, which meets regularly to look
at demos and develop cross-disciplinary discourses about electronic
culture. Thus, at least once a week I have the opportunity to watch the way
that artists, designers, scientists and architects struggle to describe the
essence and importance of their work. This goes beyond the technical
questions of making the machines work, it gets to very way that we will be
able to develop a syntax to "speak" with these media. Yet, being witness to
it is not enough to understand the impact of  the demo or die aesthetic.
One must consider the history of the way that artists and designers have
presented their work through the course of the 20th century, the very
century in which both professions exploded out of the atelier and into the
mainstream of cultural production and commerce. It also demands an
understanding of how the computer industry developed, how it sells itself
to the public (and even more importantly, to itself), and how its
particular mix of marketing and evangelism has migrated into the realm of
art and design.
   Artists and designers, historically, have almost almost never sent
out original work to curators or carted it to meetings with commercial
clients. Instead, they make reproductions, either in portfolios or as
slides. The advantages of the portfolio are its success at reproducing
print work, its impressive physicality, and its obvious stability. Its
disadvantages include size, shipping expenses, and the materials costs of
making  duplicate portfolios. Slides solve the size and reproducibility
issues, and with their standardized format, they have achieved universal
penetration into every gallery, advertising agency, museum, editorial
office, artists' collective, and classroom. [5]
   The move towards the digital in contemporary art and design would
seem to make the physical presence of the maker even less necessary than in
the above scenario. Disc-based archives make it as cheap to send out color
images as black and white ones, and the cost of distributing a thousand
shots on one disc is no greater than that of sending out a single image.
The internet can serve as a distribution medium for image files with even
fewer costs and farther and faster reach. And finally, with the World Wide
Web (WWW), the images can be accessed from anywhere in the wired world at
any time, obviating the need for portfolios or slides entirely. This, at
least, is the theory. While this all sounds wonderful, and may yet someday
be wonderful, as of the present moment there are innumerable problems to be
overcome before the dream becomes commonplace, rather than merely
plausible. For disc-based archives, these include incompatibilities between
operating systems and imaging softwares, and non-standardized storage media
to transport and play back the media. For internet and WWW applications
there is the ever-present problem of insufficient bandwidth to transfer
large files, and even less control over graphic design and typographic
issues than disc-based presentations. Finally, there is the universal
problem for all monitor-based presentations: the size, color, luminosity,
and registration of the image is different for each and every display (even
when the monitors are from the same company).
   On top of these inherent problems, there is the issue of
interactivity to consider. Interactivity is one of the grails of the
computer industry, and right now - for good or for ill - being able to
demonstrate the capacity to create interactive media is the sine qua non of
the demo. Yet, all of the interface instabilities noted earlier are only
exacerbated by the inherent complexities of interactivity. As hard as it is
to move still images from one place to another and have them look something
like they are supposed to, it is exponentially more difficult to ensure
that interactive projects look, much less operate, as they are designed.
Thus it is that cutting edge interactive project are so often demonstrated
by the artists/designers themselves. What was perhaps intended to replace
or augment person to person communication becomes the occasion for just
such interactions. And it is here that the demo demands that presentation
become performance.
   It may sound strange to discuss performance in relation to the
computer, as that particular technology comes replete with stereotypes of
the nerdy recluse, uncomfortable doing anything other than hacking code in
his lab. But, in fact, the demo has been a space of performance within the
technological arena for decades. In 1968, Stanford Research Institution
computer scientist Douglas Englebart presented perhaps the most important
demo ever. Working at a custom workstation, Englebart gave the first public
showing of a mouse (a device he had invented) and used the mouse to control
a graphical user interface complete with windows of hypertextual materials
and video teleconferencing. It has taken more than two decades to get this
vision of personalized, interactive multimedia computing out to the general
public, but Englebart's ability to demo a working prototype was an
inspiration to the assorted hackers, engineers and entrepreneurs in his
audience that day. This was more than a thought piece in a journal or chit
chat around the watercooler at Bell Labs. Englebart was performing real
time proof of concept, in front of all of them.
   In the decades that followed certain figures emerged as masters of
the demonstration - demo gods, they were called - individuals capable of
taking technical explanation and product marketing to feverish levels. To
watch Apple co-founder Steve Jobs work arena-sized crowds was to witness a
great evangelist at work. Andrew Hertzfeld, an Apple veteran who went on to
co-found the General Magic software company, is famed for his real-time
feats of programming during a demo. "'He seems to enjoy having his system
crash' in mid-demo,"  another programmer noted in The New York Times,
"He'll say something like, 'Oh, I know what that is,' and then quickly type
a hex command in his debugger. You're never really sure if he has rehearsed
it or he's just really good.'" [6] Two other figures to reckon with are
Michael Backes and Scott Billups, who can claim a measure of credit for
nurturing "Sillywood": the much hyped merging of Silicon Valley and
Hollywood. Backes, a screenwriter and co-founder of the computer games
company Rocket Science, and Billups, a desktop digital media production
guru, are legendary for their demos, showcased for the past decade at the
American Film Institute's Advanced Technologies Program. [7] For almost a
decade, Backes and Billups coordinated the AFI's seminal Tuesday Night
Salons honing their own skills and serving as hosts for the myriads of demo
gods who passed through the AFI's campus in Los Angeles.
   So pervasive is the computer industry's demand for the demo that
often people who have neither the technical facility to bear up under the
pressure, nor an appropriately performative personality are drafted into
demo-ing products. [8] Yet, what concerns me here are not the marketing
errors companies make, but rather the way in which the demo has become an
intrinsic part of artistic practice. What we have seen is a movement of the
demo or die aesthetic outward from the Media Lab's computer science milieu
into the general culture realm. From Stewart Brand's groundbreaking book,
Inventing the Future: The MIT Media Lab in the late 1980s to the impact of
first Mondo 2000 and then Wired on the publishing community in the early
1990s, to the ubiquitous coverage of all things digital in the general
media as we hit the millennium, the demo has moved to central stage. [9]
There is now an expectation that artists and designers will be able to both
craft sophisticated media and also be able to demonstrate that media live
in front of clients and audiences with Jobs' missionary zeal, Hertzfeld's
steely nerves, and Backes and Billup's glitzy showmanship.
    The demo or die aesthetic would seem to challenge the facile
stereotype of the artist who lets the work speak for itself. Yet the truth
of the matter is that for almost twenty years the training of artists and
designers has actually involved an increasingly discursive bent. In an
unexpected way, the demo or die aesthetic is related to the rarefied
rhetoric of the art school critique. The crit, as it is better known, is
one of the central pedagogical tools of arts education. The crit comes in
many flavors, but its core consists of students presenting their work
(often in their own studios) in front of each other and their instructors,
with detailed (and often sharply pointed) discussion by those in attendance
and spirited defenses by the students. Since the rise of conceptual art
practice in the 1960s and the infiltration of critical theory since the
late 1970s, the crit has tended, especially in the elite art and design
schools, to take an increasingly linguistic turn, one in which discourse
about art discourse is at least as important as discourse about art.
   This elevation of the crit to its present, preeminent position has
been controversial, but there is no denying that it has created a
generation of artists and designers extremely conversant about their own
practice, and not at all shy about engaging in discourse. For many young
artists and designers, demo-ing their digital work is simply an extension
of their mastery of the studio crit, and the demo's demands for
performative prowess is a natural corollary to their investment in the
narcissism inherent in the artist's role.  Yet, the present moment does
give off a slightly odd vibe: artists as trade show flacks, in strange
symbiosis with their machines. Yet, as noted earlier, this symbiosis is
never stable, the partners - human and machine - forever jockeying for
   In recent years, few artists have explored the performative aspects
of the demo as fully as the Australian artist Stelarc, who challenges our
inherited understandings of the body's place in a technological culture.
Stelarc gained a reputation over the years as an artist willing to put his
body on the line for his practice. Beginning in the mid-1970s and
continuing for more than a decade, Stelarc engaged in a series of
suspension projects, involving flesh piercing hooks, ritualized body
modifications, and pain induced trance states. He has since been pushing
the limits the human/machine interface: in Stomach Sculpture (1993), he
inserted into his body a self-illuminating, sound-emitting, extending and
retracting capsule structure actuated by a servomotor and logic circuit,
and recorded the sculpture with endoscopic medical imaging cameras. In
other words, Stelarc pushes the demo or die aesthetic to the limit
(literally in the case of Stomach Sculpture, which almost killed him).
   Lately, he has been exploring the body and its relationship with
technology through as manifested on the World Wide Web, in the process
creating what can be taken as the ultimate meta-demo: "Ping Body: An
Internet Actuated and Uploaded Performance" (1996). With "Ping Body" he
extends his investigations into what N. Katherine Hayles refers to as the
"Post-Human Body" by linking his neuro-muscular system to the pulse of
information on the net. As roboticist Eric Paulos describes, "Stelarc
attaches a collection of electric muscle simulators to his body, each
capable of delivering jolts of up to 60 volts, and interfaces them directly
to the natural ebb and flow of the internet via the low level internet ping
protocol. The ping protocol sends out electronic pings, much as a submarine
sends out pings in the water, and measures the round trip time until a
response is heard back from a particular machine connected to the internet.
Stelarc then spends up to several hours with almost all control of his body
given up to the net... During each performance, internet traffic manifests
itself before the audience as his entire 'enhanced' body spasms. The
network finally takes its toll and by the end of the performance he is
often unable to even walk." [10] "Ping Body" is obviously a limit text for
the performative aspect of the demo, but the best qualities of Stelarc's
practice is the way it brings forward and makes manifest our subconscious
anxieties about technology.
   How are we to discuss the techno-anxiety that "Demo or Die"
generates? For Freud, anxiety functions as one of, if not the, most common
symptom of neurosis. Anxiety is of particular interest because it manifests
physically as well as psychically. It is both a feeling of dread and a
series of physiological changes - breath shortens, the heart quickens,
muscles tense, and sweat pours. Yet Freud himself seems to have been
anxious about his definition of anxiety, for he offered a major correction
of his early work on the topic when he published The Problem of Anxiety in
1926, towards the close of his career. [11] Whereas Freud first saw anxiety
as a result, he later viewed it as a sign of things to come. That is to say
that the early theories saw anxiety as a manifestation of repression -
generally repression of the libido - whereas the later work concentrated on
the way that anxiety functioned as a warning sign of the movement from the
unconscious to the conscious of repressed impulses or feelings.
   Techno-anxiety as I choose to define it here draws from both of
Freud's definitions, as well as less analytical, more general
understandings of anxiety. For one, the techno-anxiety brought on by the
demo or die era is not a free-floating nervousness about technology. It is
the result neither of the split between the two cultures of the sciences
and the humanities nor a general Luddite skepticism about the engineered
world. This is not about the sense that the Automatic Teller will eat the
bank card, that the microwave will burn the roast, that digital watches are
just too complex to program. Techno-anxiety is instead a sensation specific
to those who know their machines and systems intimately. It is a
nervousness that can in no way be termed neurotic. When people come to
visit their studios, the artists and designers who have given form to our
techno-culture are nervous about system crashes because their systems crash
regularly. When these creative people leave their own specially configured
systems of hardware, software, and displays, they fear a lack of
compatibility because they have encountered software clashes, and missing
functionalities dozens of times in the past. The old adage, "Just because
you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that somebody isn't out to get you," plays
itself out everyday in every presentation (even if it seems to viewers that
the experience was flawless).
   Freud was dealing with anxiety in its relation to the dynamic
unconscious - =1F a struggle between parts of the human mind. Techno-anxiety
extends this metaphor to deal with the dynamic non-conscious.  The dynamic
non-conscious is the machine part of the human computer interface.
Techno-anxiety can be seen as a either the result or the harbinger of the
repressed pressures of the cyborg artist. To invoke the cyborg artist as I
have done throughout this essay is, of course, to engage with the most
quoted, misquoted, and over-quoted essay of the past decade, Donna
Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto."[12]  The cybernetic organism (or cyborg for
short) contains elements both organic and technological, and its defining
limits are under constant contestation. Does the wearing of eye glasses
mark the start of the process? Does the inorganic machine with human brain
patterning transcend the label of "mere" robot" to lay claim to the mantle
of cyborg? What are the effects on subjectivity of the sliding scale of
meat and metal (to appropriate the language of cyberpunk science fiction)?
Is there a human essence that is leached away through the process; or on
the contrary, are the incorporations of technological systems into the body
expressions of the very essence of homo faber?
   Let us not forget that the melding of human and machine has had its
poets, as well. J.G. Ballard's 1973 novel Crash remains unmatched in its
evocation of the unheimlich qualities of our own fin de si=E8cle. His
eroticized evocation of the automobile wreck, the human morphologically
merging with the machine retains its power decades later (no doubt the
reason it was so recently made into a far less successful film by David
Cronenberg): "I lifted my nervous legs into the car and placed my feet on
the rubber cleats of the pedals, which had been forced out of the engine
compartment so that my knees were pressed against my chest. In front of me
the instrument panel had been buckled inward, cracking the clock and
speedometer dials. Sitting here in this deformed cabin, filled with dust
and damp carpeting, I tried to visualize myself at the moment of collision,
the failure of the technical relationship between my own body, the
assumptions of the skin, and the engineering structure which supported it."
   I am less interested here in the debate over the post-human
qualities of the cyborg than I am in how the ideal of the cyborg affects
the demo or die aesthetic. [14] The goal of this aesthetic, as it should
already be clear, is the presentation that contains a seamless interface
between the human and the machine. This attention to presentation as
performance extends the theatrical metaphors for digital cultural
production so well stated by Brenda Laurel in her classic work, Computers
as Theatre. [15] But Laurel was concentrating on interface design in
relation to the stage, whereas the demo or die aesthetic concentrates on
the specific relationship between those human beings doing the
demonstration and those human beings watching it. In a technical paper
entitled, "Demo or Die: User Interface as Marketing Theatre," SunSoft
engineers Annette Wagner and Maria Capucciati acknowledge as much in their
discussion of an interface they had designed for a system that was "not a
product" and that was specifically intended for  "marketing events, most
notably the product announcement... We knew that reality would not be as
important as perception in the presentation." [16]
   One of the most fascinating aspects of the demo as performance is
the way in which it mimics the particular rituals of the up-close magic
show. The up-close magician, who specializes in sleight of hand and card
tricks, must master the technique of misdirecting attention and forcing
choices. Most good demos have a similar quality of prestidigitation. During
the demo, users are subtly directed to pay attention to the interface's
flourishes, maneuvered to those areas of the program which are hot (that is
to say, programmed to offer active response to user input) and away from
unfinished or buggy sections (those which are prone to failure). The magic
show has to create the appearance of seamlessness: it is a mutually agreed
upon fiction that the coin comes straight from the ear, the cane emerges
from the handkerchief, the dove from the hat. If there is a real magic in
magic, it is of a psychological nature: a gifted magician is the master of
others' perceptions.
   I have spoken of the links between the demo and the morph earlier,
but perhaps I should pull back. One of the uncanny qualities of the morph
is that it precisely pulls our attentions to the space of transformation,
substituting brute rendering powers for the psychological redirection of
sleight of hand. The demo, by virtue of the physical presence of the
artist, is more "magical" than the morph. In essence, morphing makes
visible that which should not be seen: the site of transformation. Look at
one of our culture's most clicheed of transformations: that from man to
monster. A previous era elided the shift itself: in The Wolf Man (George
Waggner, 1941), Lon Chaney turns away from the camera, only to turn back as
the monster. Just as the cinema's creative geography allows us to elide
space by jumping from one scene to another, this off-screen act of
transformation is essentially a psychological one - not in the character,
but rather in the spectator. In Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art,
Scott McCloud locates the comic form's power in the creative work done by
the reader in the gutters - in other words, McCloud sees the most
imaginative potential to be found precisely where representation is
entirely absent. [17] And like the gutters between the panels in a comic
book, Chaney's turned back invites the imagination to create a
transformation of such horror that it is impossible to visualize. Yet
technology has had a vast impact on what we consider to be unvisualizable.
Forty years after The Wolf Man, An American Werewolf in London (John
Landis, 1981) makes the transformation visible. Rick Baker's Oscar-winning
effects permitted moviegoers to watch the lycanthropic action: we see the
transformation from skin to fur, from mouth to muzzle, from teeth to fangs.
What Landis and Baker labored over with prostheses and stop motion camera
work, the computer makes available to anyone with two pictures and the
desire to effect a morph.
   A good demo retains something of the pleasures of watching a
mountebank at work: there is the pleasure of being taken for a ride.
Critics and theorists have also found themselves entranced, not simply by
the demos themselves, but also the appeal of giving them. In fact, it is=20
difficult for critics and theorists to discuss this arena of cultural=20
production, and virtually impossible to teach it, without giving demos=20
themselves. So, what then can we say definitively of the demo or die=20
aesthetic? Like so much else of interest, it contains a multitude of=20
contradictions. It portends to be about technology but demands the=20
presence of the body. It speaks the language of progress but brings about=
an odd return of the cult value of the art object. It is both sales pitch=
and magic show. It is, in the words of advertising, the way we live now.


[1] In this essay there are various neologisms, including words like
"demo-ing." These are becoming standard usages, and follow the corporate
linguistic convention that "there is no noun which can't be verbed."

[2]One reason why design as a profession seems to hold such sway in the
entire arena of contemporary visual culture is because of its inextricable
linkage to the market. Design is, after all, still commonly referred to as
commercial art.

[3] For the record, the company was Lyon Lamb Video Animation Systems of
Burbank, CA, now known as VAS Systems.

[4] "Commodity Camaraderie and the TechnoVolksgiest," Frame-Work  v. 6, no.
2 (Summer, 1993), pp. 7-13.

[5] This stability has been ruptured before, of course. As artists and
designers began to work with audio-visual, time-based media, they faced
similar difficulties to those brought on by computer-based presentations.
With film, format was a major issue, as was ease of display. 8 mm, Super 8,
16 mm, Super 16, mono audio tracks, stereo delivery, combinations of the
above, and the inevitable difficulty of getting the loop right in the
projector all contributed to a heightened sense of anxiety. The earlier
eras of video also had their format wars, with the move from open reel one
inch systems, to cassettes - one, three quarter, and half inch. Yet the
passage of time itself has imposed its own default: the half inch VHS tape
is pretty much guaranteed to work. Whatever the source, film or video or
even still image, VHS tape delivery systems are almost completely idiot
proof, and thereby do not generally engender the techno-anxiety that
computer imaging bring in their wake.

[6] John Markoff, "Masters of High-Tech Demo Spin Their Magic," The New
York Times, March 11, 1996.

[7] On Billups see Paula Perisi, "The New Hollywood Silicon Stars," Wired
3.12 (December, 1995) pp. 142-145, 202-210. On Backes, see Burr Snider's
cover story, "Rocket Science," Wired 2.11 (November, 1994), pp. 108-113,

[8]  One could see Bill Gate's incredibly overblown Windows 95 rollout
(complete with a campaign theme by the Rolling Stones and a multimillion
dollar, world wide advertising campaign) as his own, overdertermined
attempt to make up for his performative inadequacies. Gates is a trooper,
and works harder at the demo than anybody else, but (like too many of
Microsoft's products) there's no poetry to the performance.

[9] Stewart Brand, The Media Lab : Inventing the Future at MIT (New York:
Viking, 1987). For critiques of magazine-driven techno-ideologies see
Vivian Sobchack, "New Age Mutant Ninja Hackers: Reading  Mondo 2000," in
Mark Dery, ed., Flame Wars: The Discourses of Cyberculture, a special issue
of the South Atlantic Quarterly v. 92, n. 4 (Fall, 1993); and Richard
Barbrook and Andy Cameron, "The Californian Ideology,"

[10] Eric Paulos, "The Human Body as Multimedia" 1996

[11] Sigmund Freud, Hemmung, Symptom und Angst (Vienna, 1926), translated
and published in 1936 in the United States as The Problem of Anxiety.

[12] Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manefesto: Science, Technology and
Techno-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century," in Simians, Cyborgs, and
Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York: Routledge, 1991), pp. 149-181.
It certainly seems to have surpassed Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure in the
Narrative Cinema" [ orig. 1977, collected in Visual and Other Pleasure
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989)] as the most cited reference
in contemporary literature on visual culture.

[13] J.G. Ballard, Crash (New York: Noonday, 1995 [orig. 1973]), p. 68.

[14] N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Post-Human (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, forthcoming).

[15] Brenda Laurel, Computers as Theatre (Reading, MA : Addison-Wesley, 199=

[16] Annette Wagner and Maria Capucciati, "Demo or Die: User Interface as
Marketing Theatre,"  in CHI 96 - Electronic Proceedings, edited by Ralf
Bilger, Steve Guest, and Michael J. Tauber,

[17] See "Blood in the Gutter," the third chapter of Scott McCloud,
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (Northampton, MA: Kitchen Sink
Press, 1993), pp. 60-93.

[Originally published in Afterimage v. 25, n. 2]
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