This issue of Switch focuses on an area that includes a broad spectrum of artists and theoreticians who possess innovative and varied ideas. They use creative thought and experimentation with new technologies to speak the ancient language of "Sound" in new ways.

The "validity" of electronic art is still under scrutiny -- is it art or is it technology? Agostino Di Scipio addresses this topic directly in his article, when he questions Heidegger:
According to Heidegger's arguments, technology should be considered a human activity extraneous to the artist's work...things like electronic art or computer music - and even worse, computational approaches to artistic creation (e.g. algorithmic composition) - would account for among the least desirable manifistations of technological understanding, for they testify a change in - and even a betrayal of - the function of art...How do artists (musicians among them) transform concepts and visions into tangible, audible, perceivable objects called (musical) works? How do artists implement ideas? - Di Scipio
Larry Wendt's article explores in length the relationship he sees in the concepts inherent to sound-text composition and sound poetry, with the random and flexible structure of hypertext:
A fragmentary and ``noisy'' structure is generated, composed of repetitive and episodic anecdotes: where a particular sign might be reversed, exchanged, or confused with another. It is a characteristic we often observe in the recounting of a myth. There is no linear beginning, middle, and end. Rather it exists at the interface between the receding, imagined past and an ever-changing, incomprehensible present. It is a form of narrative which hypertext is now attempting to inherit: a rhisomic structure in which the linear hierarchy of beginning, middle, and end implodes upon itself to become a point from which all logical movement is directed by frenzied acts of assembling partial random inventories. It is narrative as genealogy. -Wendt
Several of the events held by SoundCulture in the Bay Area this spring are reviewed, and an in-depth interview with the director of SouncCulture and sound artist, Ed Osborn, describes the history of SoundCulture as well as some of the current uses of Sound by contemporary artists.

We hope you find this issue of Switch both enjoyable and thought-provoking, and we welcome your feedback, should you feel so inclined.

Loretta L. Lange