Designer Dossier

Jaime Levy, CyberSlacker

Jaime Levy is an independent publisher of a disk-based magazine for the Macintosh entitled Electronic Hollywood. Even though she has transplanted herself from sunny Southern California to the borough of East Village in New York City, she is still publishing the interactive magazine and using the Hollywood name. Why? This question and more were answered in our recent interview with the goddess of the electronic kingdom.

COMPUTER PLAYER: Why use the word "Hollywood" when youíre in Manhattan?

Jaime Levy: Because almost all my artwork originates from videotaped television or movies (Hollywoodís main business), then itís fed into my Mac, where I can manipulate it. Also, a lot of my Bay Area friends were bragging that they were in the heart of the next multimedia capital, "the new electronic Hollywood." So, just to spite them, I named my publishing company Electronic Hollywood.

CP: You have an interesting computer setup, tell us about it.

JL: For starters, Iíve got a Mac 660 AV, and I attach my VCR to it using an adapter that plugs right into my computer. Iíve got a SyQuest drive for storing some of my animations, and a modem that I use sometimes for safe cybersex when my boyfriend is on tour.

CP: What band is he in?

JL: Bailter Space. They just finished a tour opening for Pavement. He has a lot of audio equipment that I can use for sampling and sequencing sounds and music for my projects.

CP: I know youíre humble, but could you let our readers know a little bit more about your projects?

JL: Thereís my magazine, Electronic Hollywood, which is in its third and last issue. Then thereís my disk-based novel, Ambulance, which features music from Firehose bassist Mike Watt. Also I did the interactive disk that came with Billy Idolís Cyberpunk album, and a few prototypes for MTV. Currently, Iím working for IBM, designing interfaces for interactive television.

CP: Whew! Thatís a mouthful! Isnít it kind of strange that someone as hip as you is working for Big Blue?

JL: IBM is really going through a change of its image. Hiring me is indicative of that change.

CP: What are you doing for IBM?

JL: Bonehead interface design. In other words, accessible intuitive interfaces. Just like your doorknob is an interface you use to open a door, but you donít have to know how the springs on the inside of the knob move when you turn it, my interfaces are simple. IBM is letting me go wild creatively to design video symbols that signify different functions of an interactive television interface.

 CP: Youíre also teaching at NYU. What kind of course is it?

JL: Itís an electronic publishing course that helps students build their digital portfolio, design interfaces, copyright their material and create a disk-based interactive project.

CP: Rumor has it you have a club for your multimedia friends.

JL: every other month, I hold meetings in my loft where our little community of cyberpunks get together and socialize while showing their work. I jokingly call these meetings CyberSlacker meetings.

CP: Okay, so the world wants to know. What does this cyberslacker eat for breakfast?

JL: Bagels and cream cheese.

(Editorís Note: Jaime is very much into listening to music. In fact, she listens at such high volumes that she has attached a flashing red light to her phone (a device usually reserved for the hearing impaired) because she canít hear the ring over her stereo.)

To receive your very own Macintosh disk, send cash or check for the amount of $7.50 for Electronic Hollywood, $15 for the novel Ambulance or $10 for the Billy Idol pack-in Cyberpunk disk to:

Electronic Hollywood

P O Box 448

Prince St Station

New York, NY 10012