Introduction: Cultronix

Cultronix Editors


This first issue of Cultronix is published at a time when the American academy is integrating global communications networks more completely than ever in its past. The convergence of academia with broadband network technologies promises to continue the acceleration of scholarly publishing, and may (paradoxically) increase the specialization of academic publishing at the same time it offers writers access to broader public audiences than academic writing has seen in recent decades. While the Internet has matured in the United States among a largely university population, its users have grown a thousandfold in the past six years. [1] Today the internet is accessible to millions of people outside universities: to perhaps thirty million people worldwide.

But the institutions--the 'machinic assemblages' mediating readers and writers--will certainly reproduce and expand forms of interpersonal relations which exist today in academia. Cultronix is devoted to negotiating and experimenting with alternative forms of expression of academic knowledges.

This issue has been planned around the motif "Your machinery is too much for me."

Cultronix is a mixed format journal encouraging publications from undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and nonacademic professionals.

In his essay "Canning the Crisis," Jody Baker uses a Deleuzean method to theorize the political economy of waste and the institutions that regulate, channel and commoditize refuse, including toxic waste.

Phoebe Sengers in "Suspicion and the Deep Structure of Subjectivity" discusses problems which arise when artificial intelligence projects both mime and manifest behaviors which resemble those of psychotic human beings. She questions how the institutions our culture has authorized to 'treat' paranoia and to create "artificial intelligences" should understand themselves, given the example of PARRY, an A.I. application which manifests paranoiac speech.

Chris Chesher in "Colonizing Virtual Reality" has written a thorough historicization of the virtual reality industry, contextualizing its rhetoric in a history which identifies the convergence of military, scientific and entertainment industries in the United States and the ways in which they have positioned themselves to produce new desires and needs for American audiences.

Camilla Griggers' essay "Surge Suppressor" on the psychotherapeutic pharmaceutical industry theorizes the historical anti-production of feminine subjectivities via the mass distribution of psychotropic products such as Prozac and Xanex.

Ed um-Bucholtz's sound program, "The Machinic Phylum," was produced in 1992 as part of the radio show 'Inside the Beast: Postmodern Culture' from recordings of a collaborative presentation on Manuel De Landa's book War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (NY: Zone Books, 1991). 'Inside the Beast' is a co-production of Radio for the People and Theory in Transmission, and was originally broadcast from WRCT Pittsburgh. Using a recording of Bucholtz's radio-text, Geoff Sauer has prepared a hypermedia presentation of the program.

Audrey Extavasia's interactive presentation Room 1229 integrates hypermedia into academic publication. Her hypertextual "interrogation" of escort prostitution, influenced by Avital Ronnell's The Telephone Book and Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus is one of the most promising developments we've seen in the nascent field of hypermediated cultural theory. To view the piece in its entirety requires that you have both a multimedia-capable client such as Mosaic and QuickTime installed on your workstation.

Editorial Board

Marni Borek is a master's student in the Literary and Cultural Theory program in the English Department at Carnegie Mellon University. Geoff Sauer and John Eperjesi are doctoral students in the same program. Terri Palmer is a Ph.D. student in the CMU Rhetoric Program. And Camilla Griggers is an assistant professor in the Literary and Cultural Theory Program.

Editorial Policy

We welcome both articles and letters, either on original topics or as responses to what you have read here. We are looking for scholarly articles, graphic art, letters, and interactive hypermedia accessible to a broad audience. Submissions may be sent either by U.S. mail to:

English Department, CMU
259 Baker Hall, Frew Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

or via e-mail to: <>.

Copyright for letters, manuscripts, drawings, and artwork sent to Cultronix is held by the author(s) of a given piece. If an article is re-published elsewhere it must include a statement that it was originally published by Cultronix. The editors reserve the right to maintain permanent archival copies of all published submissions and to provide printed copies to appropriate indexing services for cataloging.

Call for Submissions

Cultronix invites submissions in all formats for its third issue on the medical industry. We are also accepting submissions on all topics for future open issues. If interested, please send e-mail to <>.