message from the editor
Robert Atkins Welcome to "Artery - The AIDS Forum." "Artery" intends to be more than a web-zine. Its subtitle, "AIDS - The AIDS Forum" suggests its hybrid status as a virtual meeting place, as well as a journal. Like the "Virtual Collection", the data base of more than 3000 images by visual artists who have died of, or are living with, complications of HIV--"Artery" is also produced by The Estate Project and intends to take full advantage of its digital nature.

Why an online site at the intersection of AIDS and the arts? As one of the participants in the our first symposium observed: "The influence of AIDS-related art is huge--too large to see clearly and yet pervasive." In addition to chronicling AIDS-related arts of all kinds from dance to video, "Artery" will assess the nature and reach of that pervasive cultural influence. Examining the broad cultural and social issues raised by AIDS-art also means looking at the work of artists who address HIV/AIDS in their work, while not themselves (literally) infected with the virus.

Here at "Artery," we hunger for two-way communication. Do you take issue with filmmaker Gregg Bordowitz's motives for revealing personal information about himself in his work? Or perhaps you'd like to know more about his front-line documentation of AIDS demos and actions? Access Gregg--and your fellow site visitors--by creating, or joining, a bulletin-board conversation. (Click on the simple-to-use "Send to the Visitor Forum" buttons located alongside each article or feature.) We hope that four critics critiquing themselves might stir up a tiny fuss in our critics' symposium. Equally important, we'd love it if sometimes you just want to talk among yourselves. Do you need to find a print dealer in the upper Midwest undaunted by AIDS-related imagery? Or just a high-quality laser printer? Solicit a recommendation from our bulletin boards.

In typical, online fashion, "Artery" is being launched in-process. Not all of the interactive features or planned editorial resources have been developed yet. In the near-future expect to see photo-essays, book reviews, a people's history--or timeline--of two decades' of AIDS-arts, as well as more of what's available now: Writers Craig Lucas and Sarah Schulman talking (loudly) with Michael Bronski; Robert Atkins explaining why the iconic images and symbols of the AIDS epidemic are public artworks, not made-for-TV movies or schmaltzy pop songs; Gregg Bordowitz talking about politics, representation and activism; four critics--Chris Dohse (dance), Stephen Holden (movies), Eileen Myles (poetry and fiction) and Nancy Princenthal (visual art)--holding forth in our symposium; and precisely directed links expanding all of the subjects under discussion.

If you've enjoyed what you've seen and would like to be notified by email when more material is posted in the coming months. Click here to join our mailing list. We'd also welcome your suggestions and comments-pro and con. So don't be a stranger. After all, what's a community without you?

Sincerely,

Robert Atkins
Editor/Producer of "Artery"