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Radical Software, Volume I, Number 5
Realistic Hope Foundation,
Spring 1972

Click cover for thumbnails

This issue came together at a time when the members of the Raindance Foundation were going separate ways, and no one was sure how Raindance would evolve, or even continue. This uncertainty surfaces in the essay, "The Raindance Story" at the beginning of the magazine. The Videofreex, an allied video collective, had made a successful move to the country, and others were ready to follow suite. New York State Council on the Arts funding policies made a video Diaspora desirable. Michael Shamberg was engaged in a new project, TVTV, which would bring him national attention. He and Megan Williams eventually moved to California. The Evensons moved to Downsville, New York, and developed independent projects of their own. Schneider and Korot were left with the Raindance Foundation, and they moved to Ruby, New York, not far from Woodstock, although they kept a base in New York City.

It was also the first issue to be done fully in magazine format, as insisted upon by Gordon and Breach, the publishers who had finally agreed to print and distribute Radical Software. It was also the only issue where Beryl Korot, one of the founders of Radical Software, was not co-Editor or co-Editor in Chief.

Instead, Michael Shamberg shared the editorship with Dudley Evenson, and it is the hand of Dudley and that of her husband, Dean Evenson, which establishes the flavor of the opening pages of this issue of Radical Software. Under the category of "Networks and other Natural Systems" is a list of articles focussing on such topics as the nervous system (Dean Evenson, it should be remembered, was a micro-biologist), spiritual issues, the science fiction of Olaf Stapledon, Yogananda, alpha rhythms, video soma feedback, and other topics biological, personal and spiritual.

In the second section, "Ecological Literacy", there is an article by Gregory Bateson. Bateson, an anthropologist, was so important to Raindance founder Frank Gillette and his friend Paul Ryan, both of whom knew him personally, and so influential among media thinkers of the day, that he deserves some special mention.

Bateson thought that human survival depended on understanding the dynamics of humans' interaction with themselves, their environment, and their history. He attached great importance to media studies and applied ecological principles to them. He was, in the opinion of many early video people, a brilliant innovative thinker who charted whole new areas of knowledge.