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Thursday 04/19/18 7PM-8:30PM
New Museum TheaterVisit Us
Conversations Art and Technology

Broad Band: The Untold History of the Women Who Made the Internet

Cover Image:

Image: Author Claire L. Evans, 2017. Photo: Jaclyn Campanaro. Courtesy Claire L. Evans

Watch a live stream of this event beginning at 7 p.m.

Join author and musician Claire L. Evans for a conversation about her recently published book Broad Band: The Untold History of the Women Who Made the Internet.

Broad Band outlines women’s experiences in computing history from the Victorian Age to the collapse of the dot-com bubble, countering the accepted history of technology as one of men and machines, garages and riches, alpha nerds and brogrammers. For this event, Evans will be joined by two of the women profiled in the book: Stacy Horn, the founder of EchoNYC, one of the oldest continuously operating online communities in the world, and Jaime Levy, a pioneering interactive designer whose “electronic magazines” on floppy disc anticipated the interactive design possibilities of the web. Graduates of the same class at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, both Horn and Levy were major figures of New York’s mid-1990s Silicon Alley scene, and were part of the generation of “Early True Believers” who brought cultural sophistication to early internet and web technologies.

At a time when women made up a tenth of the entire online population, Stacy Horn’s community, Echo, had a 40 percent female user base, making it one of the earliest spaces online to be truly hospitable to women, although Stacy always resisted the idea that she created Echo as a safe space for women online. “Bite me,” she wrote in 1998, “I wanted to get more women on Echo to make it better.” Jaime Levy was an early Echo user—she posted as “Kurt’s Brains”—and a host, in her East Village loft, of the part-rave, part-hackathon “Cyber-Slacker” salon. She went on to become the creative director of Word.com, an influential early web publication that showcased the web’s creative capacities through interactive design: chatbots, games, and graphic hyper-text were fixtures of the site, which would influence a generation of online publishers.

Evans, Horn, and Levy will share some of the stories from this secret history of technology that abounds with female hackers, hypertext designers, programmers, online community builders, and interactive media pioneers.

Sponsors

Major support for First Look is provided by the Neeson/Edlis Artist Commissions Fund. Additional support is provided by the Toby Devan Lewis Emerging Artists Exhibitions Fund and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

New Museum and Rhizome public programs are supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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