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THE DIGITAL BE-IN BEAMS IN

 90s-STYLE GATHERING OF THE TRIBES
IN SAN FRANCISCO  AND ON THE INTERNET

 

9TH ANNUAL BE-IN HIGHLIGHTS CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN CYBERSPACE, CELEBRATES 30-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE HUMAN BE-IN, MOUNTS GROUNDBREAKING VIDEO NETCAST

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, January 9  --  Verbum's ever-evolving Be-In multimedia concert, exhibition and a post-modern gathering of the tribes during MacWorld Expocelebrates the technology of the 1990s with the evolutionary spirit of the 1960s.  This year the 9th Annual Digital Be-In highlights cultural diversity in cyberspace, and features the 30-year anniversary celebration of the Human Be-In.  The event will be held from 7 p.m. until late on January 9, 1997, at the SOMAR Gallery in San Francisco's South of Market district, at 934 Brannan Street. A record-breaking global netcast will entertain thousands of virtual visitors, with several video streams, virtual photography and on-the-fly photojournalism. The cyberspace experience of Be-In 9 will also include 3D, avatar-inhabited virtual worlds, all accessed at www.be-in.com.

Produced by San Francisco-based multimedia publisher Verbum, Inc., with Michael Gosney serving as Executive Producer, the Digital Be-In was inspired by the counter-cultural origins of the personal computer and digital media, and the seminal January 1967 Human Be-In in San Francisco.  The '90s Be-In has been an influential catalyst for "cyberculture" and a showcase for humanistic and artistic applications of digital technology. Open to the public, tickets are $15.  They will be available at the door; at all Bay Area BASS ticket outlets, 510-762-BASS; on the web at www.ticketweb.com; at the Micro Publishing News Booth at MacWorld - No 2348, South Hall; at Housewares, 1322 Haight St., 415-252-1440; and at Distractions,

1552 Haight St., 415-252-8751.

Information is available via the Be-In Hotline: 415-777-9199

via e-mail: number9@be-in.com

or at the website: www.be-in.com


EVENT DETAILS

MUSIC, PERFORMERS, VISIONARIES AND THE MAYOR

Musical performances include post-modern world music ensemble Beyond Race, African cultural rap act HOOP-la, Brazilian drummers and dancers Loco Bloco, and electronic dance bands, Riots/Scramble and an all star line-up of San Francisco's spirited underground DJs, for the after-midnight "Seminar." Dancers include the traditional Aztec dance troupe Danza Teokalli, Panjaya Collective's "Angels in Cyberspace" performance piece, the Burning Man fire dancers and A Waking Dream theater collective.  An unprecedented "Voce" chant ceremony will bring participants from around the world together in a stunning cyberspace ritual led by Phil Harrington. Performances will be enhanced with the Be-In's popular "blendo" visuals by Dimension7 and other digital artists. The Visionary Soapbox area will feature statements and "rants" by Sixties patriarch Chet Helms, ex-Governor and presidential candidate Jerry Brown, United Farm Worker co-founder Dolores Huerta, Burning Man organizer Larry Harvey, VRML co-inventor Mark Pesce, cosmic theologian Matthew Fox and others. San Francisco's charismatic Mayor Willie Brown will join internet pioneer Malcolm CasSelle, co-founder of the Afro-centric culture website, NetNoir, in a salute to cultural diversity in both cityspace and cyberspace.


LIVE NETCAST

The Be-In internet site (www.be-in.com) will be the source of a live netcast featuring a multiple-channel video program, and constantly updated pages with photos and written coverage of the event.  The netcast will be using new technology that allows web visitors to receive video without downloading special software. Another component of the netcast will be periodic QuickTime VR panoramic photos shot in a specially configured "Virtual Altar Room."


THE DIGITAL FRONTIER: AVATARS AND VIRTUAL WORLDS

In addition to the performances, the Be-In will again feature the popular Digital Frontier exhibition, where pioneering digital media applications are showcased, with an emphasis on aesthetics and thoughtful content. This year, the Frontier features products and technologies on the cutting edge of the new cyberspace realm, with a focus on virtual 3D online worlds. The Be-In's "Avatar Teleport," both an interactive exhibit at the live event and an area of the website, is the waystation where visitors can don an avatar and enter one of several virtual worlds.


IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENT

"Blendo," a term used by Be-In producers for the spontaneous blending of video effects, computer generated imagery and recorded images in projections accompanying the event's performances, will this year include artists working on all computer platforms under the direction of Verbum and Dimension7, a San Francisco company specializing in live multmedia entertainment.  The Virtual Altar Room features altars that celebrate the spiritual dimension of the cultural diversity theme, organized by Claire Corich. Smart drinks, blacklight art, outdoor installations and more will add to the rich sensory experience.


SPONSORS

Event Sponsors for Be-In 9 are Apple Computer, Black Sun Interactive, Net Objects, OliVR, Silicon Graphics and Sun Microsystems. Associate Sponsors are Bulldog, Fujitsu, Electric Minds, Imaja, NetNoir and Waterside Productions. In-Kind sponsors include Adolph Gasser, Anon Salon, Bay Guardian, BG&Associates, DigitalSpace Productions, Graham Technologies, Grayfox Productions, Insync.media, Internet Alfredo, Kodak, LazerTouch, Magnetic Image, Micro Publishing News, MicroTimes, Mondo 2000, NetPower, Obsidian Imaging, Onlive Technologies, Outpost, Percepticon, Rental Express Video, Sony Recording Media, Techno-Verité Productions and 3COM.


CONTRIBUTORS

Under Verbum's creative and editorial direction, several groups have worked to make this trailblazing cooperative project a success. These include Graham Technology Solutions, netcast video; Techno-Verité Productions, netcast production;  Dimension7, visuals; Gateway Systems, sound; Magnetic Image, video facilities; Outpost, video services; Digital Space Productions, Avatar Teleport production; Onlive Technologies,Voce production; BG&Associates, Digital Frontier and Voce production; Wayne Correia/Electronic Frontier Foundation, T1 netcast connection; Grayfox Productions, video direction; and Percepticon, Netcast web design.
 

HISTORY

Last year, the Be-In focused on citizen rights on the digital frontier and staged one of the first global netcasts. The Electronic Frontier Foundation used the event to launch its extremely successful "Blue Ribbon Campaign" for freedom of speech in cyberspace.  In addition, interviews with visionaries Jerry Brown, R.U. Sirius, John Perry Barlow and Denise Caruso were beamed to a global audience, as were performances by Haunted by Waters and the Venusians.  Be-In attendees were interviewed, and cyber-reporters posted pictures and text to the Realtime Be-In as the night unfolded. A record of the netcast remains on the Be-In website (www.be-in.com).

The Digital Be-Ins have been held in San Francisco during MacWorld Expo each January since 1988. Considered one of the earliest and most influential "cyberculture" gatherings, the events began as a showcase for digital art and multimedia during the formative years of the early Macintosh and the fast-evolving desktop publishing, computer graphics, multimedia, virtual reality and internet fields. The event has showcased the work of artists, programmers and technology visionaries who have been instrumental in the global digital media revolution.
 

The Human Be-In  Spark of the Counterculture's "Summer of Love"

Announced on the cover of the San Francisco Oracle, "A Gathering of the Tribes for a Human Be-In" would feature Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Richard (Ram Dass) Alpert, Dick Gregory, Lenore Kandel, Jerry Ruben and All SF Rock Bands.  It was held from 1 to 5 p.m. on January 14, 1967, 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 and 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 mediathe "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 computerthe ultimate gesture of personal power. A "counter" to the then-prevailing main frame computer paradigm that implied centralized authority, the PC and its subsequent evolution provided the ideal platform for the modern Digital Be-In.
 

ABOUT THE PRODUCERS

Verbum, Inc., has produced the Digital Be-In in San Francisco since 1988, and in Tokyo in 1995. Key Be-In 9 organizers include Michael Gosney, Executive Producer and Creative Director; Robert Gelman, Associate Producer; Queenie Taylor, Associate Producer; Billy McCarthy, Show Producer; Stefan G., Techno-catalyst; Nancy Levidow, Assistant Show Producer; Michael O'Rourke, Blendo Director; Wayne Correia; Anne Murray, Netcast Producer; J. Patrick Forden, Netcast Creative Director; Frank Schwartz, Netcast Technical Director; Kitty Wells, Netcast Content Director; Mitchell Stein, Netcast Video Producer; Carla King, Netcast Editorial Manager; Gene Thomas, Netcast Video Director; Marc Hershon, Netcast Host, David Dennison, Audio Engineer;   Julia Gilden, Be-In website Editor; Matt Lanier, Verbum Web Manager; Landon Elmore, Be-In Website Art Director. 

The San Francisco-based multimedia publisher/producer has developed magazines, books, CD-ROMs and internet publications for creative professionals working with digital media since its founding by Michael Gosney in 1986.  Verbum's current products include 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)all leading resources for the new wave of digital design and multimedia production. In addition, the firm has several new products in development, for publication in print, on disc and on the internet.

For further information: please contact Nancy Levidow of Verbum at 415-777-9901, or at nancy@verbum.com.

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