EIGHTH ANNUAL DIGITAL "BE-IN" MOVES INTO CYBERSPACE
WITH LIVE NETCAST
Multimedia Concert and Exhibition Melds the Technology of the 1990s with
the Evolutionary Spirit of the 1960s.
CONTACT: Veronika Hausle 415-777-9901, fax 9929, direct 777-0665, firstname.lastname@example.org Queenie Taylor 415-380-8068, fax 8781
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Verbum's ever-evolving Digital Be-In, now in its eighth year, migrates into cyberspace with a pioneering live netcast of the January 11 event. Inspired by the seminal January 1967 Human Be-In and the counter-cultural origins of the personal computer and digital media revolutions, the '90s Be-In showcases humanistic applications of digital technology and the aesthetics of the future. Scheduled during MacWorld Expo from 7 p.m.-2 a.m. on January 11, 1996 at the Transmission Theater, 314 11th Street in San Francisco, the Digital Be-In is open to the public, with tickets $15 in advance and $20 at the door, available at all Bay Area BASS ticket outlets, 510-762-BASS, at the Verbum Booth #4474 at MacWorld Expo, or by calling 415-777-9901. The Be-In is produced by San Francisco-based multimedia publisher Verbum, Inc. Sponsors include Progressive Networks (makers of Real Audio), MacWorld Expo, Fujitsu TeleParc internet magazine, Equilibrium (makers of DeBabelizer software), Chi Pants, Pop Rocket, Imaja, Micro Publishing News, MicroTimes, BAM, and ISP Networks.
LAUNCH OF THE BE-IN WEBSITE The Be-In internet site (www.be-in.com) will be the source of a live "netcast" of the January 11 event, which will utilize continuously updated pages and live audio feeds. Video clips will be available to download, and CU-SeeMe live video will be used to bring participants such as Timothy Leary to the event from remote locations. The website includes a "Mind Meld" area where visitors can participate in the development of the Be-In and the ideas surrounding it, and the Real-Time Be-In, which simulates the actual live venue, allowing visitors to experience different areas of the Be-In as if they were actually present. Executive Producer Michael Gosney expects that this year's Be-In "will continue the tradition of thought-provoking content and great entertainment-with the added dimension of the innovative netcast made possible by several talented individuals and groups working together to create something truly original on the net. The Be-In website will continue evolving, both as a community of ideas, and, eventually, into a fully immersive navigable 3D environment."
MUSIC, MINDS AND BLENDO Show highlights include musical performances by The Venusians, Haunted by Waters, tantric dancer Daniella Haskara, and the usual expected surprise appearances; readings by leading San Francisco poets Allen Cohen (with musical accompaniment by George Michalski), Neeli Cherkovski, Jack Foley, Genny Lin, Julia Vinograd and Bart Alberti; appearances by Timothy Leary, John Barlow, Paolo Soleri, R.U. Sirius, EFF Counsel Mike Godwin and many others. The musical performances will be enhanced with the Be-In's popular "blendo" visual accompaniment by several leading digital artists, including Denise Gallant and Peter Towbin.
THE DIGITAL FRONTIER: OPEN SCREENS, VR, FINE ART, GLOBAL NETS In addition to the performances, the Be-In will again feature the popular Digital Frontier, where pioneering digital media applications are showcased, with an emphasis on aesthetics and thoughtful content. This year, the Frontier incorporates a special edition of Gulture Enterprises' monthly "Open Screens" forum of film, video, computer and animation works. Other highlights include "VR the World," a collection of cutting edge virtual reality exhibits organized by CyberEdge Journal; "The Art-ROM Room" selection of limited edition fine art multimedia works on CD-ROM collected by Beverly Reiser and Lucia Grossberger; an interactive exhibit by IGC Networks, who manage Womens Net, PeaceNet, EcoNet, ConflictNet and LaborNet; and a Digital Art Exhibit of 2D works by Bert Monroy, a "futurespective" of editorial art from MONDO 2000 magazine, and the winners of the Micro Publishing News digital illustration competition sponsored by Digital Pond of San Francisco.
THIS YEAR BENEFITING THE EFF The event will benefit the Electronic Frontier Foundation, recently relocated to San Francisco from Washington, D.C. The EFF was founded by John Perry Barlow, Mitch Kapor and John Gilmore, is the leading public advocacy group for citizen rights in the emerging media.
THE BE-IN WEBSITE AND LIVE NETCAST For the precedent-setting netcast, Verbum's team of producers and "cyber-reporters" will be working with MediaCast, a San Francisco firm specialized in live internet events, ISP Networks, a Bay Area internet service provider, and Progressive Networks, creators of RealAudio technology. Verbum's site, optimized for the Netscape Navigator 2.0 browser, has been designed to allow for continuous uploading of images and text presented live and then archived as a "time capsule" of the entire event. Real Audio, a compression system which allows high-quality audio streaming (uploaded to the user on demand, as opposed to being downloaded and then played) will be used to continuously broadcast entertainment and interviews during the event, including the commentary of Be-In hosts and MCs. The netcast will also utilize CU-See-Me, a video conferencing software that includes black and white or color video with monaural audio, and M-Bone, a broad bandwidth broadcast featuring full-motion color video and high fidelity audio. QuickTime videos and audio clips will be available for downloading, and the site will include of hotlinks to related websites. Tokyo's Teleparc online magazine will carry the Be-In for viewers in the Far East.
The Digital Art Be-In is produced by multimedia publisher Verbum, which has developed magazines, books, and multimedia CD-ROMs for creative professionals working with digital media since its founding by Michael Gosney in 1986. Verbum's current Multimedia Power Tools - Second Edition book/CD-ROM (Random House), Desktop Color Book - Second Edition (MIT Press), and The Official Photo CD Handbook book with 2 CDs (Peachpit Press), are leading resources for the new wave of digital design and multimedia production. Verbum's Digital Be-In has been produced every year since 1988, sponsored by prominent hardware and software vendors. According to Gosney, "We're not about left or right politics, we're about taking the ideals and visions that emerged in the contradictory ferment of the '60s, and translating them into evolutionary tools for the human race. The '60s spawned a community of hackers and artists that eventually gave birth to the personal computer, and is now creating the advanced software and integrated media technologies that give substance to the 'information superhighway' rhetoric. The Be-In celebrates the collective genius of those who are creating the new media, and encourages conscience and vision in its global, democratic implementation."
The Human Be-In: Spark of the Counterculture "A Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In," announced on the cover of the new issue of the San Francisco Oracle, would feature Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Richard (Ram Dass) Alpert, Dick Gregory, Lenore Kandel, Jerry Ruben, and All SF Rock Bands January 14, 1967, 1 to 5 pm in Golden Gate Park. 30,000 people showed up. The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and others called the tune. Leary, in his first San Francisco appearance, uttered the sound bite of the decade: "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out." Oracle publisher and Be-In co-organizer Allen Cohen characterized the event as a necessary meeting-of-the-minds, bringing together the philosophically opposed factions of the late 1966 San Francisco-based counter culture: on one side, the Berkeley radicals, who were tending toward increased militancy in response to the U.S. government's Vietnam war policies, and, on the other side, the Haight-Ashbury hippies, who, with the help of psychotropic compounds and various spiritual guides, saw the cosmic karma in it all, and urged peaceful protest and ongoing joyful celebration. The Be-In focused the key ideas of the 1960s counter-culture: personal power, decentralization, ecological awareness, consciousness expansion. More encompassing than a war protest movement, the counter culture "questioned authority" in regard to civil rights, women's rights, and consumer rights, shaped its own alternative media - the "underground" newspapers and radio stations, and spawned new directions in music, art, and technology. In the 1970s, the dynamic San Francisco area milieu, blending Silicon Valley with Haight Ashbury and Berkeley, gave birth to the personal computer - the ultimate gesture of personal power, "counter" to the then-prevailing main frame computer paradigm that implied centralized authority.
Verbum's Digital Be-Ins The Digital Be-Ins, held each January in San Francisco during MacWorld Expo, bring together and celebrate the Bay Area and international community of artists, programmers, technology visionaries and entrepreneurs whose work with digital media is transforming the worlds of publishing, video and music production, education, training-and ultimately mass communication and entertainment. This community of talented, driven, dedicated people is contributing in an essential way to the development of a worldwide, multilingual digital network-its interfaces and architectures-and the new multimedia content forms that will move through it. - end - For further information: please contact Veronika Hausle of Verbum at 415-777-9901 or 777-0665, email@example.com; Queenie Taylor at 415-380-8068; or Bob Gelman at 415-728-7778, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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