Letter from Kevin Begos to Alan Liu (26 October 2002)

Letter from Kevin Begos to Alan Liu Item #D15. Letter from Kevin Begos, Jr., to Alan Liu regarding the genesis of Agrippa.

Original Web posting of letter

This retrospective letter ten years after the publication of Agrippa was sent by email from Begos on 26, October, 2002, and later posted by Liu with permission on the Web on 3 February 2003. The “essay” that Begos refers to is chapter 11 of Liu’s The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (2004), which discusses Agrippa and William Gibson’s poem in the work. (Excerpt from Liu’s chapter on The Agrippa Files site)

‘Templar’s’ Introduction to the First Online Copy of Gibson’s ‘Agrippa’ Poem (December 10, 1992)

Item #D44. Introduction by “Templar” to the First Online Copy of William Gibson’s “Agrippa” poem

This introduction, which claims that the code of the Agrippa diskette was “hacked & cracked,” announced the first version of Gibson’s poem posted online (to the MindVox BBS) on Dec. 10, 1992. The transcript here is from a now defunct Web page version of the MindVox posting available until early 2005 at http://riverbbs.net/pub4/ebook/Agripp.Txt (currently available only in the Google cache here) For the way the poem leaked online and different views about whether it was ever actually hacked, see Matthew G. Kirschenbaum’s discussion and follow-up discussion. See also the bootleg video recorded at the Dec. 9, 1992, “transmission” event at the Americas Society in New York City, as well as the 1993 experimental video Re:Agrippa based on the bootleg footage. (One theory was that transcribing from this footage may be the low-tech way the poem was hacked. Subsequent evidence, including the discovery of the original bootleg video recorded Dec. 9, 1992, at the Americas Society and correspondence with Templar’s partner video maker, “Rosehammer,” confirms this theory.)

New Yorker Notice of “The Transmission” (14 December 1992)

New Yorker notice
Item #D28. New Yorker “Goings on About Town” notice of the December 9, 1992, “transmission” of Agrippa (New Yorker, 14 Dec. 1992).

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Bibliographical Information

Contract for Never-Created CD-ROM of Agrippa (undated)

Contract for CD-ROM
Item #D42. Letter of agreement for never-created CD-ROM version of Agrippa (a book of the dead).

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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

Printer’s Copy of Genetic Code for Agrippa Body Text (1992)

bicoid maternal morphogen
Item #D2. Printer’s copy of the bicoid maternal morphogen genomic sequence used in the Agrippa book

Photos of Original Documents
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About the bicoid morphogen