Intro to In the Spirit of Antonin Artaud

Antonin Artaud has always been one of my deepest artistic influences. I pointed out (initially in a radio show I hosted/produced in the early 1990s, later in an article I wrote on computer visionary Ted Nelson in 2000) that Artaud coined the term virtual reality in an essay he wrote in the 1930s called The Alchemical Theater. I dealt with Artaud previously on Illumination Gallery in Virtual Reality Redux. But that piece barely hinted at the impact Artaud had on me. In the Spirit of Antonin Artaud is a much more ambitious work, centering upon images of Artaud offset against images of Anne Cox and Kathleen Supové. I chose to use the images of these two women because for me they embody two split aspects of Artaud: vision & virtuosity. Artaud never quite came close enough artistically to attain either. His struggle with madness proved too fierce. I am aware that incorporating the images of Anne Cox and Kathleen Supové to represent, respectively, vision and virtuosity, may seem superficial. In the end, the distinction must blur. Anne Cox possesses virtuosity, as Kathleen Supové possesses vision. It's just that Anne Cox takes more of a right-brain plunge approach to creativity, while Kathleen Supové takes more of a left-brain path approach. Herein Anne Cox and Kathleen Supové are two of my four virtual collaborators. Obviously, Antonin Artaud is the third and composer Laurie Spiegel, with whom I have shared my life for going on 17 years now and who opened up for me the magical possibilities of computer art and the web, is the fourth. Also, it was Laurie Spiegel who brought Kathleen Supovè to my attention by taking me to a concert she gave at The Flea Theater. I came to know Anne Cox in cyberspace.

In the Spirit of Antonin Artaud Index