The Electronic Labyrinth


In 1983 the Toronto Community Videotex was formed to provide public access to videotex artworks through Matrix, an electronic distribution network. In 1987, TCV changed their name to "Inter/Access" in order to reflect the group's widening interest. Presently, they operate as an artist-run centre providing access to information on communications technology and electronic networking. Users can access electronic versions of Parallelogramme, Fineart Forum, and ARTCOM Magazine.

Inter/Access and the Matrix have also actively promoted text-based works. As Jeff Mann describes:

In 1989, Matrix participated in a show of artist's computer bookworks called ARTWARE, at A Space Gallery. Among text works by b.p. nichol, David Rokeby and others, a computer terminal was set up at the gallery for the duration of the show. Gallery patrons could connect to Matrix to access several works that had been installed specifically for the show. (Mann 230)

Matrix has also supported electronic text experiments. Bill Leeming manipulated excerpts from wire news services with a program running on Matrix. Another work, aleMBIc, by dAUDA X. aXis made an assemblage from the messages available on Matrix.

In addition to providing a forum for electronic text works and performances, Matrix contains news events, gallery listings, calls for submissions, and job opportunities.

Jeff Mann is the Canadian correspondent for Leonardo Magazine and a programmer and board member for Matrix.

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© 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.
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