Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 Subject: Re: Videography Article - Creativity Café CU-SeeMe Video History

Video History of
Visionary Artists' Resources Including Other Unique Services
(V.A.R.I.O.U.S.)/Creativity Cafe

In 1983 at the FutureWorld Expo in Los Angeles, Visionary Artists' Resources Including Other Unique Services (V.A.R.I.O.U.S.), a 501c-3 organization founded by Maui artist Peter H. Rosen, demonstrated a concept for a "new school" and Location Based Entertainmet venue called Creativity Cafe (then referred to as an Artists Resource Center). They taught computer graphics to the public and videotaped community luminaries; interviewing them for a planned program to be called Choices: Solutions for a Better World. These images were also captured on the world's first video disk recorder; a Panasonic OMDR. They would love to find the person who has that disk...Their images start at frame 10,000.

After four days of interviews, the last person videotaped was Buckminster Fuller, a month before he died. A total of twelve hours of tape including that interview (the only one post produced into a 13 minute program and available from V.A.R.I.O.U.S. for $29.95) was shot. The raw footage from Buckminster Fuller: Grandfather of the Future, exists unedited in storage...along with the rest of their FutureWorld video documentation. This tape is in danger of decomposition as it hasn't be keep well or viewed in all those years. V.A.R.I.O.U.S. is seeking sponsorship to salvage these precious historic moments of Los Angeles community leaders and the history of Creativity Cafe.

The mission of V.A.R.I.O.U.S. is to bring positive, transformational experiences to the public through local and mass media. In August 1994, a group of San Francisco visionaries joined forces to physically demonstrate Creativity Cafe for the second time. This included building one of the first sites on the World Wide Web to promote the first Creativity Cafe CU-SeeMe netcast, debuting on Oct 13, 1994. An audience at their San Francisco Multimedia Expo installation chatted with an affiliate on a submarine off Oahu, Hawaii.

On February 25, 1995, as part of the Multimedia Playground event at San Francisco's Exploratorium, V.A.R.I.O.U.S. produced a video link up using CU-SeeMe at T1 to T1 speed for the first time. This was in a performance of their successful and long standing V.A.R.I.O.U.S. Media Ink Visionary Artists Showcase and Network series of events. Performers in Oahu, Hawaii interacted with a live San Francisco and cyberspace audience for CU-SeeMe fun! Some sixty of these VMI community networking events (where art is a catalyst for group interaction) have been produced since the inception of Creativity Cafe in 1980.

Creativity Cafe got physical again on June 24, 1995, volunteers set up an installation at the Children's Discovery Museum in San Francisco for the Children's World Peace Festival. It was at this Creativity Cafe demonstration that Rosen created the "Creativity Cafe KidCast for Peace; Solutions for a Better World" concept. He invited kids at cybercafes, Universities, and other education and art centers to join in a CU-SeeMe multicast. The kids were encouraged to share what *they* think we should do to make this a happier, healthier and safer world?. To get ready for the KidCast, participants were pre-instructed by cooperating adults and teachers (referring to instructions posted in KidCast Central (, to produce works of art that represented their thoughts and feelings. They were invited to hold their creations up to the internet camera, and post them on a "KidCast For Peace" web site they were to create for linking to the Creativity Cafe website (

The KidCast hit a sympathetic nerve. The response to the initial call for interest, from a wide range of participants, "was nearly overwhelming," according to Rosen. V.A.R.I.O.U.S. also picked up major corporate support, and lots of links on many cooperating web sites.

In September through December 1995, four more Creativity Cafe/V.A.R.I.O.U.S. Media Ink Visionary Artists Showcase and Network events were produced at the San Francisco Digital Media Center. Each event was broadcast on the internet via CU-SeeMe enabling cyberspace and live audience members to interact with each other and the artists being showcased.

The second KidCast For Peace internet video multicast occured on Earthday Weekend nearly a year later on April 19-21, 1996. V.A.R.I.O.U.S. received funding from White Pine Software and attracted new corporate support enabling VRML world building to be part of the CU-SeeMe interaction. Envirolink provided a 100 reflector network so kids around the world could speak with each other and audiences both live and in cyberspace. A VRML "EarthStation" was "Launched," Thanks to the first VRML artist, C. Scott Young.

Unfortunately Pacific Bell had given them the wrong ISDN installation SPID numbers and those gathered at the head end, live San Francisco event were unable to access the network. In essence, they were not present at their own party. A quick recovery was made 2 days later thanks to sponsorship by The Well, a local ISP.

This eneable the Earthday weekend KidCasting to continue on April 21, 1996. Creativity Cafe was cybercasting from The Well booth at the gala opening of the new, multimedia, San Francisco library. Passer's by were asked what solutions they had for a better world? They interacted with people from around the world tuned into the Envirolink and White Pine CU-SeeMe reflector network set up for the KidCast.

The third KidCast was at the Marin County Fair from July 4-7, 1996. There, Creativity Cafe, sponsored by Microweb Internet Services, set up drawing materials. Fair goers of all ages were encouraged to make drawings according to the KidCast theme. Fair folks mak********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************#2, San Francisco, CA 94115, 415.776-0821, or via email at

Creativity Cafe CU-SeeMe Picture Resources

(c)1996 by Peter H. Rosen ******************************************** Facilitating the expression of artists using technology for Humanity ********************************************