While I was setting up their network, another gallery was moving in next door. Their director stopped by and asked me to help out with their installation. I told them, “Look, I actually don’t do this—I’m only doing this as a favor.” But they were persistent, and I loved the technology, so I stayed on to complete their network. It just grew quickly from there—I would go from one gallery to the next. When was this? This was in ’96. I worked from my apartment. I feel very, very lucky. It was an incredible amount of hard work, but I was also at the right place at the right time. How did the vision for Cyber City evolve? I had been so frustrated as a business owner by the lack of responsibility my vendors took for their work. Everyone compartmentalizes. When something went wrong, people would just point fingers. At the same time, I was very interested in the technology. I wanted a business that was clear about our responsibilities, and also a very clear advocate for the client because I never had that myself. I knew that if I could manage vendors and mediate the experience, I could bring complex networking reserved for big business into the smaller shops. What do galleries need that’s different from other companies? Galleries at their foundation are about aesthetics—it requires a respect and an awareness of that sensibility. You need to have sleek-looking systems that are not going to distract from the art. Wireless is a great example of a convenience technology that was almost immediately perceived as a necessity. Starting 97
The Art World and the World Wide Web. Essays, Interviews and Case Studies.