GGGGGGG GGGGGGGGGGG GGGGGG GGGGGG GGGGG GGGGGG GGGG GGGG Volume 2, #1 GGGG May, 1995 GGGG GGGGG GRIST GGGGGGG GRIST GGGGGGGG GRIST GGGGGGGGGGGGGGRIST GGGGGGGGGGGGGGRISTGRISTGRIST GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGRISTGRISTGRISTGRISTGRIST ONLINEONLINEONLINEONLINEONLINEONLINEONLINEONLINEONLINE
S k y B l u e I r i s E y e B l o s s o m
From the first issue, September, 1992:
"GRIST is eclectic. GRIST is open to all language and visual art forms that develop on the Net. We are rapidly becoming multimedia artists--the old borderlines between forms are gone. The Net is an extension of the alternative forms of communication and InterAction that were initiated by the break from traditional academic and culturally controlled forums of the period prior to the mid 60s."
"GRIST On-Line is a place where all the forms of expression that are coming together on the Net will be presented, developed, discussed and exhibited. GRIST is a place where the impact of the Net on the form and content of what we call poetry and graphic and visual art will be visible and viable."
These seemed like heady claims at the time and like gross exaggerations at some points during the past year. Plain text ASCII format issues were not exactly the embodiment of those claims. However, for the period of time during which the first five issues of GRIST On-Line appeared, August, 1993 - February, 1994, an ASCII/e-mail format was representative of what was happening on the Net.
Then rumors of new capabilities began to appear--Mosaic, Eudora, and other mysterious terms were circulating. Advanced graphics manipulators began doing wild things, including online exchanges of live video images exchanged and manipulated in real time. IRC seemed to offer promise of online, realtime collaborative work by textualists. During this time we worked hard at putting together a Bulletin Board System devoted to poetry books and files, including a poetry catalog of over 4,000 titles and the unique capability to catalog and sell digital files of all sorts.. Simultaneously, we experimented with publishing on diskette and produced two titles in hypertext with mulitmedia capabilities. But what appeared to be viable media at the time have not proved to have a life of their own.
While we were engaged in these projects, both of which demanded new investments in equipment, software and long hours of learning, the Net continued to evolve, the World Wide Web blossomed and then was suddenly here. The Web obviously presents opportunities that will not be exhausted in the near future, many of which were but futuristic visions for us in 1993. Because it uses the Internet, it offers the independent publisher and author, willing to invest the time and money required to learn and gain access to it, the means of maintaining a viable presence in spite of the growth of the commercial networks. At the same time it seems to present the possibility of an audience that, if the present growth rate continues, will be well worth the effort.
With this issue we reaffirm the goals as stated in the first issue and take the next step toward their realization by appearing in html format. We continue the never-ending process of keeping up with the technology and software, which has at times during the past fifteen years exhausted our mind and body, but whose fascination keeps us involved at an obsessive level. We now have a dial-up SLIP connection, a homepage on thing.net, our original access provider here in NYC, and the BBS system is alive and well. GRIST is very much still on-line.
Although this issue, which has been delayed well over six months, does not take full advantage of all the means of expression now available in the World Wide Web, it does have a coherence of its own. The majority of pieces presented here are the direct result of the poet's encounter with the computer. Others represent processes, vocabularies and forms that show the influence or incorporation of the networked intelligence.
The Web is a form; a "homepage" with all its elements is a publication; a site is a "publishing house". In future issues of this "publication" from the "publishing house" of GRIST On-Line, we will take advantage of the linking, graphic, typographic, audio, video and other capabilities that we can learn and afford. We will attempt to hold the lag-time of our implementations to a minium as the Web and other media concepts continue to evolve. We look forward to being a "publishing house" where the "impact of the Net on the form and content of what we call poetry and graphic and visual art will be visible and viable."
This issue is dedicated to Sara Fowler without whose support and patience we would never have reached this point.
GRIST On-Line is supported solely by voluntary contributions. Make all checks payable to John E. Fowler. GRIST On-Line Magazine is not for profit. GRIST On-Line is available for anonymous ftp and by gopher from etext.archive.umich.edu/pub/Poetry/Grist and beginning with this issue at http://www.phantom.com/~grist.