Believe in Ghosts


December saw the eighteenth and final issue of HorizonZero, the Banff New Media Institute's three year-old monthly web journal of new media, art, culture and technology. The last issue, Ghost, commemorates HorizonZero with essays on obsolescence and digital amnesia; net projects that play with media past; and an interactive 'Museum of Abandoned Things' (featuring the DVD player, a relic to be replaced by bandwidth in the year 2007). The essays on the historicization of digital culture are more than a little self-conscious: 2005 will see the release of a HorizonZero DVD, and just in time for the tenth anniversary of the institute. Reading and viewing archived essays and projects that are explicitly about the very challenges of archiving can set your brain whirling. Best to remember that the beauty of interactive technologies is not their timelessness, but their ability to effect and reorganize time. The forthcoming HorizonZero DVD won't last forever, but it’s not meant to be eternal: it’s meant to be explored. - Christine Smallwood