As part of his Mondo 2000 History Project, Mondo founder RU Sirius is posting classic excerpts from the hugely influential cyberculture magazine of the 1990s. For example, David Byrne in conversation with Timothy Leary:
Timothy Leary: You say you didn’t want to be a scientist because you liked the graffiti in the art department better. If you had been a scientist what would you have been?
David Byrne: At the time I was attracted to pure science — physics — where you could speculate and be creative. It’s equivalent to being an artist. If you get the chance, and the cards fall right, there’s no difference. The intellectual play and spirit are the same.
TL: Nature is that way — it’s basically playful. Murray Gelman, who is one of America’s greatest quantum physicists, used the word “quark” to describe the basic element from a funny line from James Joyce, “three quarks from Muster Mark.”
DB: I had a math teacher in high school who included Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland in his higher math studies. I thought, “This guy knows what he’s doing.”
TL: Dodgson, the fellow who wrote it, knew what he was doing. That metaphor of through the looking glass on the other side of the screen. Talk about your Yoruba gods and goddesses. Talk about Yarzan and Shango. Alice is the Goddess of the Electronic Age.