Electronic Café International

Coordinates: 34°01′26″N 118°28′40″W / 34.023893°N 118.477713°W / 34.023893; -118.477713
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Electronic Café International (ECI), established in 1988 by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, is a performance space and real café housed in the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, California.[1]


The couple had realized after their experience with Electronic Café '84[2] that the next logical step was to establish a continuous venue for telepresence media events.[3] For the next 10 years, the ECI lab was the site of electronic networking instigations that contributed significantly to the canon of collaborative telecommunications arts. Phrases and terms such as 'interactive dramaturgy,' 'metadesign environments,'[4] 'telephone opera,'[5] 'teleconcert,'[6] 'tele-immersive,' 'telepresent' and 'telepresence'[7] emerged during 1989 to 2000, as the participating artists, their critics, reviewers and theorists about their work attempted to describe and define the phenomena being created in the globally networked environment of Electronic Café International.[8][9][10] ECI's broad-ranging programs included works such as localized celebrations of New Year's Eve or Earth Day expanded to global scale and extended 24 hours, when Electronic Café International and its affiliates in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia shared their celebrations with affiliated ECI patrons across the ECI network. New music was composed for networked performance by composers such as Mark Coniglio, Max Mathews, Pauline Oliveros, David Rosenboom, and Morton Subotnick.[11][6][12] At ECI, poets, dancers, and dramatic performance artists explored the attributes of telepresence.[13][14][15]

Since ECI opened in 1989, imitations of Galloway and Rabinowitz's concept of Electronic Café International have proliferated all over the planet.[16][17]


  1. ^ Besser, Howard. "InterPARES 2 and the Electronic Café International: Aging Records from Technology-based Artistic Activities." (2004).
  2. ^ Glahn, Philip; Levine, Cary (Summer 2016). "Interrogating Invention: Electronic Café and the Politics of Technology". Panorama. 2 (1).
  3. ^ Couey, Anna. "Restructuring Power: Telecommunication Works Produced by Women." Women, Art, and Technology (2003): 61.
  4. ^ Giaccardi, Elisa. "Metadesign as an emergent design culture." Leonardo 38, no. 4 (2005): 342-349.
  5. ^ Lunenfeld, Peter. "In Search of the Telephone Opera: From Communication to Art." AFTERIMAGE-ROCHESTER NEW YORK- 25 (1997): 8-10.
  6. ^ a b Woodard, Jeff. "Collaboration Gets a Whole New Meaning : Music : 'Teleconcert' will electronically link performers in Santa Monica, New York and New Mexico Sunday." Los Angeles Times. Nov. 11, 1994.
  7. ^ Youngblood, Gene. "Electronic Cafe International: The Challenge to Create on the Same Scale As We Can Destroy." In Ars Telemática: Telecomunicación, Internet Y Ciberespacio, edited by Claudia Giannetti and Roy Ascott, 234-50. Barcelona: Associació De Cultura Contemporània L'Angelot, 1998.
  8. ^ Poissant, Louise. "Netsurfers and Cybernauts in Search of Identity." Leonardo32, no. 3 (1999): 217-218.
  9. ^ Huffman, Kathy Rae. "Video and Architecture: Beyond the Screen." Ars Electronica: Facing the Future, a Survey of Two Decades (1999): 135-39.
  10. ^ Galloway, Kit, and Sherrie Rabinowitz. "Electronic Cafe International." In Delicate Balance: Technics, Culture and Consequences, 1989, pp. 257-259. IEEE, 1989.
  11. ^ Henken, John. "Music and Dance : Cal Arts Contemporary Music Festival Opens." Los Angeles Times. March 4, 1991.
  12. ^ Catalano, Joe. "Electronic Midwifery: A Videophone Celebration of Pauline Oliveros's" Four Decades of Composing and Community"." Leonardo Music Journal (1993): 29-34.
  13. ^ Sheppard, Renata M., Mahsa Kamali, Raoul Rivas, Morihiko Tamai, Zhenyu Yang, Wanmin Wu, and Klara Nahrstedt. "Advancing interactive collaborative mediums through tele-immersive dance (TED): a symbiotic creativity and design environment for art and computer science." In Proceedings of the 16th ACM international conference on Multimedia, pp. 579-588. ACM, 2008.
  14. ^ Austin, Linda, and Leslie Ross. "Pigs, Barrels, and Obstinate Thrummers."Women, Art, and Technology (2003): 426.
  15. ^ Heim, Michael. The metaphysics of virtual reality. Oxford University Press, USA, 1994.
  16. ^ Daigneault, Ginette. "Les arts réseaux: Une épreuve des sens." Espace Sculpture 36 (1996).
  17. ^ Arns, Inke. "Interaction, participation, networking: Art and telecommunication."Media art net. Medienkunstnetz. http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/themes/overview_of_media_art/communication/6/ (2005).

34°01′26″N 118°28′40″W / 34.023893°N 118.477713°W / 34.023893; -118.477713