Jaime Levy is an interface designer at IBM—but that doesn’t stop half her colleagues at the company’s headquarters in White Plains from thinking this 28-year-old woman in the jeans and plaid shirt must be the janitor. "People keep asking me to empty their trash," she says.

Since Levy grew up in Los Angeles, she thought she’d have a career in movies (the closest she’s come so far is when Woody Allen took over her Avenue A loft a few months back for ten days’ shooting for his forthcoming film. She’s got photos). She didn’t get good enough grades for UCLA or USC, though, so she went instead to San Francisco State. It was 1985, and the cyberculture was just beginning to take off. She fell in with a bunch of artists who were into multimedia performance. "We did this play about the not-too-distant future, with all these televisions set up. It was really cool." She came to NYU and the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where she now teaches; she’s also an independent multimedia producer, putting out a magazine, Electronic Hollywood, on floppy disk.

Through ITP Levy has met many of the black-leather computerheads she invites to her loft every couple of months for her occasional "CyberSlacker" meetings—a salon where programmers or animators can plausibly imagine that this is what it must have been like to be at the Factory in 1967, and indulge in fantasies of Warholesque success. "To me, subculture is, like, people reading poetry at the Wah-Wah Hut," says Levy disparagingly. "I don’t want to be poor for the rest of my life. I want to make good art, and I want to make a lot of money."