On the shore of West Lake in Hangzhou, the Media Art duo of Barbara London and F.D.P. Henryz check their equipment - laptop, Hi-8 video camera, digital still camera, and cassette tape recorder. Clearly this netcast is no "Charles Kuralt on the Road," backed up by a TV crew and satellite links.

At home base in New York, adaweb's Cherise Fong, Britta Frahm, Ainatte Inbal, and Vivian Selbo steal time from other duties to post these dispatches.
When the duo set off for Beijing, they had no assurance that they could post anything from China. Would the artists speak to them? Was China encapsulated in a firewall that filtered all postings to the net? Would connections to the net be available, and in which cities?

The first morning in Beijing they met with their main hope for a computer link to the net - a Microsoft executive. The venue he chose, a snooty coffee shop, was a 40-minute taxi ride from their hotel. After an hour of blah blah, he proffered minimal help, and handed London the telephone number of an underling. Day one looked bleak, until to the rescue came - the Holiday Inn! The hotel had a business office equipped with email that accepted attached files. The connection to the net only worked intermittently, and the charming young woman in charge of "signing on" knew little about computers, but bit by bit, some files made it to New York

And the artists London had come to meet - once they understood what she was doing - enthusiastically joined in helping her.

Later in the week, Feng Mengbo and Andrea Cavazzuti showed up with a media setup that could do everything London and Henryz had imagined they would like to try. Had they known that circumstances would prove favorable for London's research, they would have come better equipped. On this trip though, the Media Art duo will have to live off the land, scrounging equipment and internet connections wherever they can.

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