Feature —

Jury Lost in Cyberspace


Op 21 maart werd in Frankrijk een grote Internet manifestatie gehouden. In het kader daarvan organiseerde Transarchitectures een Grandes Fêtes Architecture. Onderdeel van de festiviteiten was een online jurering van de beste architectuursite op het Internet. John Young, naast onder meer Marcos Novak en Kas Oosterhuis, een van de juryleden en actief mailer van onder meer de Design_L mailinglist plaatste de email-conversatie tussen de juryleden in zijn geheel op het net. ArchiNed wil u deze even hilarische als leerzame conversatie voor deze ene keer niet onthouden, omdat het een amusant beeld geeft van de (on)mogelijkheden van wereldwijde communicatie en omdat er tussen de regels door interessante dingen worden gezegd en relevante links worden gegeven. Alleen voor liefhebbers!

De onderstaande tekst is integraal overgenomen uit John Young's bijdrage van 22 maart aan de Design_L mailing list.

dimanche 22 mars 1998


Yesterday was the day for judging the world's best architectural Web sites as part of France's 'Fete de Internet.' It was a tipsy-rhizomic event. Here's the documentation:


Dear John Young

Maybe you've heard of transarchitectures. if not look at www//archi.org I am, with Michel Vienne co-curator of Transrchitectures; I also just was in charge of Imagina architectural program , and did a video on the Columbia Paperless Studio. So I'm an architectural journalist and video director working in France and trying to help this old country to behave as a young one. And … many times I noticed and enjoyed your papers on Wam. Thanks for the link to fat.

So. We have a national Internet fest in two weeks which should be to internet what the fest of music is to music, that means great. We just decide not to stand alone on line with our computer and eventually a glass of champaign, but to organize a real fest with real people. When I say we, we are Kubos and Aleph diffusion list and myself. A good shool of design and multi-media 'Les ateliers' will welcome us . As I am through my son connected to internauts there should be around 70 computers on line there,…and music.

A big cybercafe indeed.

To get architects involved in the fest, we plan to show archi web sites. We also plan to give a prize of the best archi west sites with an international virtual jury on line. Until now we invited Marcos Novak(Us), Kas Oosterhuis (NL), Maria Grazia Matei (IT), Maurice Benayoun and Philippe Ulrich (2ƒ [email protected] monde Fr).

I was wondering if you would agree to belong to this virtual jury. Of course it's all volunteering for all of us and there's nothing to win. The winners will get T shirts, Cd Roms, subscription to french architectural magazine. Paul Virilio agrees to come and give the prizes to the virtual architects. Bernard Tschumi also should be in Paris this day. As it's a fest,we don't want to be institutional, but encourage architects to be more curious about what's going on there. I would be happy if you agree with our project. Then you would be connected with the jury for a week and exchange your best adresses to be at the end, on line on saturday 21 and give your choices. Tell me if you like the process. I hope you join us for this adventure. I hope to hear from you soon. Bests.

Odile Fillion.


I accepted and later came these messages:


Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 00:28:56 +0100 From: Odile Fillion To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Subject: prix site archi Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Chers amis, dear friends,

Bonjour ý tous et merci d'avoir acceptÈ de participer au jury desmeilleurs sites web archi. Hello and thanks for joining us to this special web archi prize. Thanks to forgive my approximative english language but it' will certainly be the best way to communicate between you. So I resume.

There's a 'national' internet fest next saturday in France which is supposed to start a big love affair between french people and technology. We decided to join this fest and specially to be in contact with architects…That's again all volunteering. No money, but the support of the School of design Les Ateliers in Paris, the help of 'Cybergaia' ,a team of cyber students including my son Bertrand who will bring 60 computers in the place, and the help of magazines (D'A, Urbanisme) , institutions (Ifa , Afaa,) who help us in communication , invitations, giving books, subscriptions,…etc…this fest has been started with the IRC group Kubos. As former curator with Michel Vienne of Transarchitectures, I initiate this prize without any institutional representation.

Thanks for trusting me…This is the first time…and the only idea is to participate, and start an event, which may be more serious next time..Paul Virilio will come for the declaration of the prizes at the fest. So all institutions will be watching at us… So the idea is that you organize the jury all together in the coming days. You make the rules.if you need a president , you decide .I'll watch on you and help you if necessary. If you don't mind I think it's better for me to be outside of the jury, as a coordinator.. I know you are very busy and the idea is that to begin ,I give you a short list of my favourite archi web sites, and then you can start to react and suggest other web sites…which you think more interstesting or fun . There may be many category, ( architects, schools, institutions, magazines,Vrml…) It's up to you to make the decision. I hope you enjoy this adventure together…. I'm looking for a name or names for this prize…you may have inspiration?

In case you don't know each other , I'll remind you briefly what team you (or I) compose (for you): Maria Grazia Mattei is a well known critic in digital art, based in Milano and organizing cultural events

[email protected] Kas Oosterhuis is architect in Rotterdam ( the salt waterpavillion) and also manages the Attila foundation.

[email protected] Philippe Ulrich is art director of Cryo in Paris and develops Cd ROm, the 'DeuxiËme Monde', and now Scol a 3D navaigation process on Internet.

[email protected] Maurice Benayoun is a multi-media explorer artist n Paris who create interactive virtual worlds,tunnel starting in Paris and in Montreal in the same time for exemple.

[email protected], Marcos Novak is an architect in Los Angeles and the pioneer of Transarchitectures. He used to wear virtual casks years ago and is also developping multidimension worlds.

[email protected] John Young is probably based in the States. I never meet him, but noticed the very pertinent critical texts and information he publishes on Wam…I would be happy to know more about John…

So lets go to work. Here are my favourites you can start study, discuss, destroy…



















www.supershibuya.com/v1/intro.html students/






More coming, if you enjoy . Hoping to hear of you very soon. The idea is that you start having discussion together. Be nice not to forget to inform me of your progress navigations and evolutions in cyberspaces.. A bientÙt [email protected]



Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 00:17:40 +0100 From: Odile Fillion To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] CC: [email protected], [email protected] Subject: Dear Jury Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Hello to the jury of the best architectural web sites in the world

I've been happy to receive some news from you and also many questions. Certainly the major question is the adventure and meaning of present architecture . May be as Kas suggests it's a 'prolific data soup'…in that case artists and scientifics are allowed if you feel them pertinent as creator of architectural spaces. Paul Virilio will certainly enjoy the fact that you jump over the corporatist aspects… In any case you may decide to create different categories. In any case there's no obligation for you to look at all the web sites over the world, but rather to indicate your preferences from your experiences. That would be great if you start an exchange of informations in that direction . Kas, Maurice and Maria Grazia enjoy the idea of meeting in Alphaworld as Marcos suggests it. So, if John and Philippe are Ok we'll organize the final jury next saturday Paris 5 to 6 30 pm there. I'm happy you start playing together. A bientÙt.



Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 15:01:52 +0100 From: Odile Fillion To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Subject: prix suite Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Dear friends ,

I hope you received my last message and the program for your special jury taking place in the coming days. I forgot to tell you that if it's possible for any of you we 'd like to have a final discussion 'in temps rÈel' next saturday on an IRC which could be received during the fest. Could all of you be free and have some time for this final IRC appointment between 5 and 6 30 pm Paris time ???

Thanks to confirm me it's possible then. So we could announce it in our program.

Marcos suggested: We could all meet in AlphaWorld, too, if you install the software at your end and have a fast connection. We can chat (instead of a plain IRC channel) within Alphaworld, so that might be fun, too.'

[email protected]

Would you like the idea ??? Could you make it ? I'll send you more addresses in some hours. Have a good time.



Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 23:16:28 +0100 To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] From: oosterhuisassociates Subject: prix site archi Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset='iso-8859-1'

hello john young, marcos novak, maria grazia mattei, maurice benayoun, odile fillion, philippe ulrich

Sunday night here, having looked at some of the sites Odile suggested. I would like to introduce myself by taking a position in judging sites: First of all, I will look for sites in which you can drown and get lost. I will be looking for sites that are navigated non-linearly, much like wondering around in a data-soup. Like swimming in a deep ocean of information. I wonder if I will find such a site, but the one which come closest to a prolific data-soup will get my points. Tomorrow late mondaynight I will have a look more in detail of the suggested sites, and maybe come up with some other URL's.

Odile, are artists' sites allowed? And scientific sites? In the meantime, I must download aworld.exe. This is a good idea to meet there, Marcos.

Kas oosterhuisassociates … oosterhuis … lÈn·rd … rubbens


Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 17:35:29 +0000 (WET) From: Jean Brange Subject: Re: Dear Jury To: [email protected] cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] In-Reply-To: <[email protected]> Message-ID: MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII

I received this: which seems interesant, but I could not get too deep without shockwave … if you can have a look: alteraction: www.ensba.fr/alteraction/ jean where will the jury meet ? in alpha really ? if so we do not provide you a private irc channel, do we ?



Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 22:54:53 +0100 To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] From: oosterhuisassociates Subject: having looked at the sites Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset='iso-8859-1'

Members of the jury,

Tonight I did look at the sites Odile suggested. My general feeling was that I was looking at pages of a book with pictures and text. Looking at video's already improves a site (like on Greg Lynn's), but it starts getting more joyful when you can enter 3d VRRML worlds. The only site I found using this technique was the Rhizome site feauturing the 'metamonde' and VRML worlds of Pesce. Until now my favourite. I did not not see techniques like the 'mouse-over' www.attila.nl/ooster/index.html users.bart.nl/~terra/ technique which I used on my own demo-site (not in contest, we are still working on it): check We wanted the make the visitors choose by image rather than then by text. You can mix images by unfolding the louvers. I do not have many better suggestions right now, maybe you could have a look at of Karoly Toth who is a hungarian artists living in Rotterdam. I have worked with him on the virtual environments of the Saltwaterpavilion. Let us have some discussion going then!

Kas oosterhuisassociates … oosterhuis … lÈn·rd … rubbens


Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 23:51:44 +0100 From: Odile Fillion To: John Young Subject: fete Internet. Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Dear John Where are you ?

In which country ?

You sound so happy to play with us…that I'm afraid you disappeared. Have you received our precedent e-mails and the start of discussion between the different members of the jury ? Do you have any idea of architectural fantastic sites ? (even not architectural as Kas would suggest..) Hello, please wake up!! would you like to join the final discussion on Alphaworld next saturday ( 5 to 6 30 pm Paris time) or would you prefer a regular Irc then ??

Hello …Say something ..



Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 18:49:02 -0500 To: [email protected] From: John Young Subject: Re: fete Internet. Cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Odile and members of the jury:

Forgive my dozing in the courtroom. That's finished.It's an honor to be part of this … charged-couple search for cosmic architecture in the limitless dust of the Internet. My C-C will be trying to pick up signals suspending the jewels of designer's dust, the electromagnetism energizing the dazzle and mystery of Web sites. So it is how the designers use steganography, encryption, codes, ciphers and camouflage to conceal what they have put in uncertain orbit for which my piece of the telescope will be focusing. Odile, here's a URL on this humble member: jya.com


Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 23:50:29 +0100 From: Odile Fillion To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] CC: [email protected], [email protected] Subject: Hello dear jury Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Hello How are you tonight.

Thanks John , thanks Kas for sending us your treasures. I should get all your agreements for alphaworld tomorrow and an indication of the place of meeting; If not theres's always the Irc possibility. Also do you have any new curiosity you would like to exchange.The Columbia Hanni Rashid student site I proposed is full with Vrml if you are interested in. Adrien Sina gave me his adresses . >WebSite_1. [ Virtual Urbanity ] :: [ UrbanitÈ Virtuelle ]: www.cicv.fr/virtual~urbanity >WebSite_2. [ Virtual Parliament ] :: [ Parlement Virtuel ]: www.cicv.fr/virtual~parliament >

Homepage: Site_1 + Site_2: www.cicv.fr/ART/sina

That would be great if you first all agree on the definition of an architectural web site ? no ? Hello ? I hope you start enjoy this strange prize before saturday final meeting…

Would you like other adresses ?

Don't forget me…



Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 21:27:23 +0100 To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] From: oosterhuisassociates Subject: alphaworld Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset='iso-8859-1'

There are hundreds of worlds in alpha. Marcos could you suggest us one where to meet? Odile, do we meet tomorrow friday, or the day after tomorrow saturday, or both?

Kas oosterhuisassociates … oosterhuis … lÈn·rd … rubbens


Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 23:39:54 +0100 From: Odile Fillion To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] CC: [email protected], [email protected] Subject: c est la fete Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Hello, I feel as being in a desert as you seem very sceptic or silent in how architectural web sites can provoke human enthusiasm… I hope you prepare yourself for saturday afternoon…?? Would you like other suggestions ?? what did you decide for Alphaworld ?



To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] From: MGM Digital Communication Subject: Jury Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 13:45:02 +0100

Hello to everyone,

I'm visiting all the web sites suggested and this afternoon I would like to sum up my opinions. So, I'll write you later. As regards tomorrow, I would need some more information. Where in Alphaworld we go? I would like to test today if everythiong is working to be sure that tomorrow afternoon we can chat. At very soon.

Maria Grazia


From: Odile Fillion To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] CC: [email protected], [email protected] Subject: la fete c'est demain Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Dear jury,

This was especially published for you this morning in our favourime newspaper Liberation. If you don't believe me look at www.liberation.fr/multi/fete.html Grande fÍte cyber

Le cyberespace investit la rue Saint-Sabin, avec une fÍte spÈciale architecture cyber: prÈsentation de leurs sites par les architectes Ammar Eloueini, Adrien Sina, Fiona Meadows, Jacques Rougerie, etc. Forums en ligne et jury virtuel pour une remise des prix des meilleurs sites d'archi, avec en guest-star Paul Virilio lui-mÍme, cyberkawa et grande fÍte cyber avec CybergaÔa complÈteront la chose. Le 21 mars, de 15 h ý 22 h. Ateliers ENSCI, 48, rue Saint-Sabin. Rens.: www.kubos.org

That means that now you should be all very really active alltogether. .. As i didn't get your answer for a real place to meet tomorrow in Alphaworld except if you manifest yourself during the night, let say that we'll meet tomorrow on an Irc on Kubos ?? Please answer me as quick as you can. I'll send you a message tomorrow morning in France for the afternoon final decision. ( don't forget the 5 o' clock Paris time meeting for the jury …) French news paper are waiting for you !!

A demain .



Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 20:09:17 -0500 To: [email protected] From: John Young Subject: Re: la fete c'est demain Cc: [email protected], marcos@aud.ucla.edu, mbenayoun@csi.com, oosterhuis@attila.nl, jya@pipeline.com, p.ulrich@cryo-interactive.com

Odile et grande juristes:

Alphaworld executable has proven impossible to locate online. As far as I can determine only the purchase of a CD from the corporation is possible, no downloading. Nor can I find a vendor in Manhattan (most claim to have neve heard of the product). So it seems that I cannot run amok in Alpha with the insanity of all France. Can one fete to the max with IRC? Will Virillo Omega spit on me? Odile, whatever made you imagine that I'm a Grand Journaliste, as named in Liberation? Pity me, a mere architect. Still, I can play the role of serious journalist, if required, even pretend to be a brilliant incisive cruel vicious critic, or, if the truly supreme is desired, dare to be an immortal artist, aiming for the Pantheon. For one day, that is, in honor of the fou de France sous Internet. In the spirit of the fete I suggest a Web site for the jury to consider as a candidate for covert digital art and architecture of our transnationally invasive culture: www.ii-mel.com/interception And supplement this with a request that Paul Virillo prepare to comment on: The recent EuroParl document,

'Assessment of the Technologies of Political Control: jya.com/stoa-atpc.htm And a report on the worldwide surveillance system operated by the US National Security Agency described at: jya.com/echelon.htm

A demain, mouseketeers.



Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 17:26:27 -0800 To: John Young From: marcos@aud.ucla.edu (Marcos Novak) Subject: Re: la fete c'est demain

The Alphaworld executable is freely and easily accessible at www.activeworlds.com I'm in there right now, judging a contest!



Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 21:49:16 -0500 To: marcos@aud.ucla.edu (Marcos Novak) From: John Young Subject: Re: AlphaWorld software Cc: mgm@mail.mi.camcom.it, mbenayoun@csi.com, oosterhuis@attila.nl, jya@pipeline.com, p.ulrich@cryo-interactive.com, arnaud@kubos.org, jean@kubos.org, dilou@club-internet.fr

Very well, thanks to Marcos' rocket-assist I've downloaded Activeworld and got it jiggling lightyears/sec. So this fly is now set to be seduced into shimmering worlds of web, or neutron right through them. Where's the galaxy you're being god in Marcos?



From: jean@kubos.org Received: (from jean@localhost) by aachen.kubos.org (SMI-8.6/kubos-Gateway-0.6) id NAA22064; Sat, 21 Mar 1998 13:54:50 GMT Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 13:54:50 GMT Message-Id: <199803211354.NAA22064@aachen.kubos.org> To: arnaud@kubos.org, dilou@club-internet.fr, jean@kubos.org, jya@pipeline.com, marcos@aud.ucla.edu, mbenayoun@csi.com, mgm@mail.mi.camcom.it, oosterhuis@attila.nl, p.ulrich@cryo-interactive.com Subject: Re: AlphaWorld software

hi there,

for thos who will not be abele to join in alpah world in irc channel on irc.kubos.org, named #jury is at your disposition there will be a neutral operator on the channel, so your conversation will be kept secret… for any information, jean@kubos.org is avaible by e-mail…the whole day. See you in a few hours, 5:00MET so on alph at mrciarcos suggested URL or on kubos on irc.



From: jean@kubos.org Received: (from jean@localhost) by aachen.kubos.org (SMI-8.6/kubos-Gateway-0.6) id RAA22203; Sat, 21 Mar 1998 17:02:40 GMT Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 17:02:40 GMT Message-Id: <199803211702.RAA22203@aachen.kubos.org> To: arnaud@kubos.org, dilou@club-internet.fr, jean@kubos.org, jya@pipeline.com, marcos@aud.ucla.edu, mbenayoun@csi.com, mgm@mail.mi.camcom.it, oosterhuis@attila.nl, p.ulrich@cryo-interactive.com Subject: Re: AlphaWorld software

Hi… here we are not on Alpha… we have big problems with the network… meeting for jury on irc with Odile. server irc.kubos.org channel #jury.



To: marcos@aud.ucla.edu, mbenayoun@csi.com, oosterhuis@attila.nl, jya@pipeline.com, p.ulrich@cryo-interactive.com, arnaud@kubos.org, jean@kubos.org, dilou@club-internet.fr From: MGM Digital Communication Subject: judging meeting Date: Sat, 21 Mar 1998 18:14:24 +0100

Dear jury,

at 5 o'clock I was in front of my computer but unfortunately I have not succeeded in got in touch with all of you. I tried to download Active Worlds but it was not possibile. What's a pity! I hope that everything has gone well and you have received my email message of yesterday with my opinion about the sites I visited. Please keep me informed as things went. At the next time! Sincerely yours. Maria Grazia Mattei 8:-) :-) ,-) :-* @:-) >;-> Maria Grazia Mattei MGM Digital Communication * Punto Informativo Italia * via Vivaio 23 – 20122 Milano SIGGRAPH 98 tel.39-2-798760 fax 798701 19/24 luglio – Orlando USA 25th Int.Conference on Computer Graphics


Well, according to Odile — via IRC — there was pandemonium in France, with Net traffic jams and ballsup and screaming tirades throughout the country. Marcos, Kas and I eventually got onto Alphaworld and banged around a bit. Marcos is a wizard with Kas close behind. It was my first use of the program and couldn't do squat with it. No one else showed up, so we went over to IRC where the discussion of sites took place, short of a couple of jury members like Maria who never showed, due to glitches, disgust or disinterest. Odile popped in and out of the conversation because she was juggling tons of other events. Paul Virilio came by, she claimed, and impatiently waited for us to produce an egg so he could grandly announce it. None of us agreed on which sites were best, as expected, eh? We all promoted our favorites, with Marcos and Kas proposed richly graphical sites and me hustling text-only sites of underhanded spying, betrayal and techno-deception. Kas boo-ed: too 'politcal,' Marcos yelled, 'John, you're a rebel.' I IRCalled them, well, better not repeat libel. Finally, though, accusations were laughed away, votes were cast, kisses were blown and adieus sent. Toward the end my IRC connection began to static garble so I never learned who was the winner, second and third. Virilio, well, who knows if it was really him or some VRML virtuoso bouncing from site to site. Magnificent Odile, who never lost her temper, apologized for charming French ineptness, and promised better next year.


John Young


naschrift: Volgens Menno Rubens is er uiteindelijk geen winnaar bekend geworden, de jury verloor elkaar, het feest liep ten einde en de organisatoren hadden het te druk met Virilio (virtueel?)