Author: ricardo dominguez --- Date: 4/30/97 --- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC


by Julian W.

a review by

ricardo dominguez

The dead can be funny, the dead can provide content, the dead name the foundation of digital culture. In the early part of the decade the "click" was part of the new wave of possibilities to manufacture counter representations of the world beyond the control of institutions--the "click" is now dead. Now the force of PUSH media can re-install the power of the Television model. Julian W. has taken this moment between PUSH and PULL media to create an extremely funny encounter on his The Web Show. All one has to do is "click" once, recline, and chuckle--the site is constructed to just play itself out as a TV talk show, complete with commercials, without having to "click" again--although at the bottom of the page he does offer the possibility. Julian's first guest is Dr. Richard Feynman, an early thinker on the issue of nanotechnology, he also helped build The Bomb, and is also very dead--Feynman is interpellated into Julian's first WEB show/talk show during the middle of a lecture he gave at CalTech. The dead float in and out of this WEB show: Selena, Elvis, Feynman's dead wife, a dead Lower Eastside girl, a Nazis, a Communist, and of course the Hiroshima corpses--all come together for some prime time recombinant entertainment.

As any good talk show Julian W. has top grade sponsors--better than ROSIE--a laugh track and audience participation. The Web Show re-covers the Situationist credo of engagement with the Spectacle within new media terms with some laughs. The Web Show points to the specter's that lurk within technology without becoming didactic or abstract--its only fault is that it cannot be accessed easily by most on-line ghosts--it takes a long time to downdoad and for the full effect, several plug-ins are needed. But, this has always been the case--the dead have always been hard to reach, they never seem to be in, and they never return your calls.

ricardo dominguez

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This is such a great site! Thanks for writing about it.