“I hesitated before untying the bow that bound this book together…”

Label on Agrippa CoverAgrippa (a book of the dead) appeared in 1992 as a collaboration between artist Dennis Ashbaugh, author William Gibson, and publisher Kevin Begos, Jr. The Agrippa Files is a scholarly site that presents selected pages from the original art book; a unique archive of materials dating from the book’s creation and early reception; an emulation of Gibson’s included poem in its original born-and-die-digital form (it ran from a diskette once before encrypting itself into oblivion); a simulation of what the book’s intended “fading images” might have looked like; a video of the 1992 “transmission” of the work; a “virtual lightbox” for comparing and studying pages; full-text scholarly essays and interviews; an annotated bibliography of scholarship, press coverage, interviews, and other material; a detailed bibliographic description of the book; and a discussion forum. (continued…)

New on the Site
Original Text of Gibson’s “Agrippa” Poem Extracted From Disk by Freek Wiedijk
Recovery of the code from an original 1992 diskette containing Gibson’s poem and an emulated “run” of its software. (Go to The Poem Running in Emulation)
Original footage from December 9, 1992, public debut of Agrippa at the Americas Society in New York City during the “Transmission” event. (Go to The “Hack”)
Essay by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, with Doug Reside and Alan Liu, “No Round Trip: Two New Primary Sources for Agrippa
Technical analysis of disk image of Agrippa diskette by François Grieu


Transcriptions Project

 A Transcriptions Project

The Agrippa Files is a scholarly site created by a team of researchers participating in the Transcriptions Project on literature and information culture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, English Department. Photos of the book and scans or transcriptions of unique archival materials are used by permission of the book’s publisher, Kevin Begos. The Agrippa Files was created between July and December 2005, and launched on Dec. 9, 2005, to coincide with the anniversary of the 1992 Agrippa “transmission” event.

Archival Documents Archival Documents Fading Ink Simulation Video Fading ink simulation Video