Agrippa (a book of the dead)
THE MAKING OF A DIGITAL MYTH
Agrippa reflects the potential impact of technological change on the art market and the publishing industry. In an age of artificial intelligence, recombinant genetics, and radical, technologically driven cultural change, this “Book” will be as much a challenge as a possession, as much an enigma as a “story.” The publication of the Agrippa Artists/Writers collaborative fine art book creates a number of crucial questions in today’s fine art and publishing worlds.
By nature of its form, Agrippa asks: what is a possession, and what can (or should be) possessed? The Collector/Reader, when encountering this new object, will be forced to make a radical choice; between “possessing” the story and images, by activating the disc and opening the pages of the book, ending up with only a relic or memory of its content, or keeping the story und etchings “intact”, but never actually experiencing what each contains. Agrippa challenges our desire to possess and control a valuable object, and our access of information. It also expands our concept of the eventual destination of digital information, implicating us in a tiny fragment of the history of cyberspace.
The publishing of Agrippa marks the creation of the first Digital Myth. If the Collector/Reader elects to access the disc, it is an action which ejects the Gibson text into cyberspace. And, there it will remain, perhaps looking like a trace of graffiti, mutating or idling in the Information Net, at least until some super-bright Hacker cracks the original virus, penetrates the form and retrieves the text. The Collecter/Reader is a participant in the making of the Agrippa myth.
Agrippa brings together the shared visions of writer William Gibson and artist Dennis Ashbaugh, and presents their intense and original combination of Art, Technology and the Politics of Information Control. Together, they have created a wonderful irreverent relic which may indeed lead us into the rich territory of the near future.
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[Handwritten:] see changes & deletions