Carl Loffler

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Loeffler founded the nonprofit La Mamelle in San Francisco in 1975 and began publishing of LA MAMELLE MAGAZINE. In 1976, La Mamelle Arts Center, an experimental gallery for conceptual, performance, and video art, opened at 70 12th St in San Francisco with an exhibition of Xerox art. In the ensuing years, other events at the center included a woman's performance series organized by Judith Barry; the exhibition WEST COAST CONCEPTUAL PHOTOGRAPHERS; and the performance art series PERFORMING/PERFORMANCE. In 1977, with AVALANCHE MAGAZINE in New York, La Mamelle co-coordinated the SEND/RECEIVE PROJECT -- probably the first two way satellite transmission between New York and San Francisco, with simultaneous broadcast on New York and San Francisco cable TV channels. La Mamelle, later Art Com, was a distributor of video art and actively organized international exhibitions of video artists, including the cable TV series PRODUCED FOR TELEVISION, PERFORMANCE ART IN A LIVE BROADCAST SITUATION. In 1986, the Art Com Electronic Network began operations as the ACEN conference on the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link. (WELL) "Well over a decade ago, Canadian seminal telecomputing artist Bill Bartlett came into Art Com, wild-eyed and carrying a terminal, printer and acoustic modem combo," Carl Loeffler wrote in 1991 to introduce "Connectivity: Art and Interactive Telecommunications", a LEONARDO special issue. "He lifted up my telephone headset, dialed out and pushed the headset into the coupler. The printer started streaming out text onto paper. He said something like 'This is a network for art' and went on to talk about connectivity and telecomputing. I became a convert at that moment." ACEN hosted interactive art works, international art networking events, a BBS system and ART COM MAGAZINE, which moved online with a series of issues on the interface of art and electronic technologies. "We got instant feedback Carl wrote in REFLEX Magazine. "And discovered that our 'community' in the online environment was actually diverse, a pleasant surprise for an art organization interested in expanding the audience for contemporary art." In recent years Loeffler had been SIMLAB Research Director at Carnegie Mellon University. Work included investigating existence within networked simulation environments, in the area of tele-existence, where multiple users share or co-inhabit a common distributed space; and the networked virtual reality environment VIRTUAL POMPEII. -Artswire Volume 10, No. 7