Pauline Oliveros

"I started working with remote locations in 1990 when I participated as an interviewee from the Verbum Gallery in San Diego with my interviewers Morton Subotnick and David Rosenboom in Santa Monica at the Electronic Café, run by Kit Galloway and Sheri Rabinowitz. The medium was video telephone. The video updated every five seconds as a new still image. This was a fun medium to play with. There is a lot one can do in five seconds to change the way things look.


In 1991, before I met Reynols, I celebrated 40 years of composing with a six-city video telephone broadcast [6]. I invited friends where I had lived and worked to perform something to help me celebrate. I performed with friends in my living room at home in Kingston, New York. There were 20 minute performances from the Experimental Media Foundation in New York, my mother reading from our letters from a studio in Houston, Texas, friends and former colleagues at the University of California San Diego, friends at the home of Joe Catalano and Wendy Burch in Oakland, California, and others at the Electronic Café in Santa Monica with Kit and Sheri.

We could all see and hear one another. Each broadcast was unique. At the end we performed a six-city audio and video improvisation. The loudest signal would grab the line so everyone took heed to give and make space for others to sound and be seen and not just dominate this interactive improvisation. Each image was a surprise. All the video documentation from the six cities still awaits editing.

Later I worked with Picture-Tel, a video monitor with a camera mounted on top and connected for transmission to ISDN high-speed telephone circuits, for several distance productions with the Deep Listening Band. From The Kitchen we once played a concert with a group in Toronto and we also played with a group in Paris. The audiences in both places got to talk to one another after the concert. This way we created some more 'holes in space'. At another time, the band was distributed with one member each in Seattle, Chicago and New York. Each of us performed with the other two members of the band on screen and with our own audiences present.

Around 1996 I began to improvise with others over the Internet. I appreciated the latency of the medium (about eight seconds between Boston and California, for example) since I work with delays as the basis of my Expanded Instrument System (EIS).

I decided to invite Reynolds to improvise with me between Buenos Aires and New York. Reynolds was very excited and thought they could arrange to do it. They made many arrangements for a space and PR and were including Miguel Tomasin. I kept cautioning them about the necessary protocols with the ISP for the ports to be open. They kept assuring me that all would be well. On our end we were set to go on the day of our netcast at The Thing, a digital arts center in New York. Our streaming on to the Internet was working but there was no connection with Buenos Aires. We recorded our work and so did Reynols. However the actual netcast did not happen because of the technical problems in Buenos Aires.

Our second project ”“ NetCast [7] ”” is a mix of the two recordings we made simultaneously during our phantom netcast. Now I am pirating and mixing tracks from NetCast into a film score that I am making with Vicky Funari on the Maquiladores, the factories of Tijuana Mexico. Those tracks will be remixed by the Nortek Collective of Tijuana!

6. Joe Catalano, “Electronic midwifery: a videophone celebration of Pauline Oliveros' four decades of composing and community”, in Leonardo Music Journal, Vol. 3 (1993).

7. See link)

"Pauline Oliveros in the Arms of Reynols: A Collaboration", in: Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Vol 15, No 1, February 2007. Available online: link)

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