I have a confession to make. It’ not something I’m proud of; not something I like to talk about. But I think it’s about time that I came clean. I’ve been keeping this part of my life a secret for too long and the only way I can get past it is to come out in the open.
I’ve been working on a dial-up connection.
I understand it may come as a shock to you. After all, AoU is supposed to be the example of the blend between fine art and fine technology. And here I am working in the stone age of the Internet.
For four years now I’ve been lumbering through cyberspace on the turbulent waters of a dialup connection. I’ve tried to keep the fact quiet. My most shameful incident happened about two years ago. The Artists of Utah office space was located in the back of Darryl Erdmann’s Chroma Gallery. To the denizens of Rockwood Art Studios I was the computer guru; the young kid with the technological gadgets. Darryl, no fan of the digital, saw me as the wise sage of cyberspace. Then, one day, a customer came in just as I was connecting online. The sound of the modem connecting to the phone line made an awful screech, causing the hair on this guy’s neck to stand up.
What is that?” he asked. “Are you actually using a dial up?”
I slunk into the corner of the desk, trying to block the sound the phone modem made crawling its way through cyberspace. Darryl never looked at my computer and me the same.
For two years I have lived with that shameful incident. But now everything has changed. I have broadband.
The first time I got connected, it was like some terrific caffeine rush. I felt like someone had shoved an espresso bar IV drip into my virgin Mormon veins and opened the valve full board. No waiting. No screeching phone line. The Internet came crashing over me like a tsunami of ones and zeros.
When I woke from the digitally induced coma, I realized I was finally seeing 15 bytes the way most of you are. Click. Boom. It’s there. In a flash. No image too big. No pixels too many.
And that is why we have switched the format of 15 bytes. In the past two issues you may have noticed that each page may contain over ten images. Right there at your fingertips. Brush your mouse over an image number and zappo, presto it’s there. That is, if you don’t have dial up connection.
To those of you that do, I feel your pain. I’ve been there. You are in my heart. But in my head, I’ve got to keep in mind the blindingly fast web surfers that are the majority of the audience.
Only one of you actually complained about the new format. To you, my apologies. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. My suggestion: while you’re waiting for those pages to load, get a snack or use the restroom. And daydream about the day you too can be truly connected.
This article originally appeared in the May 2005 edition of 15 Bytes
The founder of Artists of Utah and editor of its online magazine, 15 Bytes, Shawn Rossiter has undergraduate degrees in English, French and Italian Literature and studied Comparative Literature in graduate school before pursuing a career in art.
Categories: Visual Arts