"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 1 September 1995. Updated every WEEKDAY.

SIGGRAPH Damage Report (pt. 2)

Institutions can be wonderful

things. They represent the

accumulated conventional wisdom

of any given social, political

or commercial enterprise and, as

such, provide a useful launching

point for discussion. And when

the guiding set of assumptions

start to cramp our collective

style, it's great fun lobbing

potshots at their bloated



So, while we whittle our time

away trying to figure out what,

precisely, is so great about the

"promise of digital media" (and

how we might scam a few

megabucks off of it), we amuse

ourselves with half-ass plots to

prank, monkeywrench, and

generally ball-bust the media



Smug self-importance is an

annoyance on a personal level

(we like to think of ourselves

as an object lesson): when this

attitude is encountered en

masse one can hardly resist the

temptation to hack.


SIGGRAPH, which is basically a

digital playpen for incorrigible

spoiled brats, presents the

ultimate nurturing environment

for miscreants of all flavors.

As the opprobrium of the exhibit

floor attacked our senses with

the zeal of a pack of convicts

making new inmate introductions,

we remained vigilant, searching

for the good works of fellow



We would've thought of

something ingenious ourselves,

but we were far too busy at our

day jobs evicting failed

Web-culture mags from their

swank South Park digs. Luckily,

others were less steadfastly



[SIGGRAPH bootleg t-shirt image]

One of the funnier, and more

coveted, items making the rounds

this year was the official

SIGGRAPH bootleg t-shirt.

Instigated by an Alias mole and

implemented by an analog design

guru, the shirt says a lot with a

little: technodweeb-wannabe

Republican Newt, carrying an

Alias potato and sporting a

hamburger hula skirt, holds up a

mirror showing the visage of the

the most effective media manipulator

of the 20th century.


More serious, though, was the

whiff of scandal we caught wind

of regarding the "uninviting" of

Heidi Dangelmaier from the Video

Game Industry Overview Panel. We

checked out the Heidi-less

panel, and found an eccentric SGI guru

handing out this flyer,

which left us hungry for more



What we found out was, sadly, not

very surprising, but still

deserving of more investigation

than the whole ordeal is likely

to receive. Dangelmaier, a

researcher in feminist media

issues, was notified only weeks

before the show by Time-Warner

Interactive Head of Media Jane

Veeder, the panel's moderator,

that her views had been judged

to be incompatible with and

inappropriate for the panel. Her

registration for the conference

was summarily revoked.


Not taking such actions kindly,

Heidi informed Veeder that she

was planning to formally protest

this move and, in turn,

is said to have been notified that

she might wish to reconsider this

decision, "if she valued her

participation and reputation in

the industry." Luckily,

Dangelmaier is not easily cowed,

and the piece she drafted was

passed out by friends, handed to

most of the panel attendees

until security officials

intervened, citing rules against

"the dissemination of

non-conference materials in the

convention center."


It should be noted that in spite

of the largely successful

flyering effort, few of the

attendees appeared to be

affected and there was a

palpable lack of pointed

questions during the mammoth

5-minute Q&A that followed.


Which just goes to prove our

original point: if the horse you

lead to water won't drink -

drown the fucker.

courtesy of the Duke of URL