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In the period between 1975 and 1979, the Agency convened a rare series of conversations between an eccentric cast of characters representing a wide range of perspectives within the contemporary social, political and cultural milieu. The ARPANET Dialogues is a serial document which archives these conversations. Even more unusual perhaps was the specific circumstances of the conversation: taking advantage of recent developments in telecommunications technology, the conversation was conducted via an instant messaging application networked by computers plugged into ARPANET, the United States Department of Defense’s experimental computer network. All participants in the conversation were given special access to terminals connected to ARPANET, many of them located in US military installations or DOD-sponsored research institutions around the world. Excerpts from each session will be published as they become available.

The ARPANET Dialogues is an ongoing research project by Bassam El Baroni, Jeremy Beaudry and Nav Haq.

Vol. I of the dialogues was presented as part of OVERSCORE, Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum’s (ACAF) curatorial contribution to Manifesta 8, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art which took place in the region of Murcia, Spain in 2010.

Vol. II was presented as ACAF’s contribution to MARKER at Art Dubai 2011. The second edition features guest collaborator Khwezi Gule, a curator, artist, and writer based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Vol. III is presented as a contribution to the project/publication The Archive as a Productive Space of Conflict.