Brian Judy, the creator of "The Grid," has worked in computer gaming industry, and his latest piece displays a hint of a gaming sensibility. Those who log on take an active role by intuitively scrolling their cursors across the matrix-like structure of the home page, void of navigational directions. Various abstract digital forms appear. It takes time, patience, and a sense of adventure to figure out how to maneuver through the site to get to different levels of this multilayered work of net art -- sort of like pondering a modernist painting, only this one moves...and keeps moving, the more you scroll and click.
Is it possible to create site-specific work for the Internet? Especially since a Web site is essentially an ephemeral, abstract construct? Simon Biggs' "Babel" is an impressionistic data browser that confronts these issues head on. Using the Dewey Decimal system as a means to navigate the Internet and (essentially numerical code), "Babel" creates a shared 3-D data space (among all who log onto the site simultaneously) that disintegrates into an indecipherable landscape. Ultimately, the jumble of colorful numbers serves as a poetic metaphor for the endless amounts of information available online.
Palm Pilots and cell phones are quickly becoming venues for portable art. And cultural theorists are beginning to analyze how and why we use such nomadic devices. A just-opened online exhibition entitled "(re)distributions" (on view through October 31) is one of the first international shows to examine the new genres of handheld and wireless art. "(re)distributions" includes work by both established new media and Net artists and up and coming talent, as well as thought-provoking essays by leading scholars on PDAs and mobile phones and how they affect our lives and our culture.
Want a live crash course in Net art, taught by leaders in the field? If you're going to be in LA on Saturday, August 18, you're in luck -- the American Film Institute's 2001 edition of the California Digital Arts Workshop will include a public "summit": discussions featuring some of the world's most respected and experienced Net art curators, artists, and critics, who will converge in the city of angels to discuss tools and tricks of the trade. On the roster for the public presentations are Christiane Paul, who curated the recent "Data Dynamics" Net art show at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she is adjunct curator of new media art, and Benjamin Weil, staff media arts curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among other luminaries. Hang around and you may also meet some of the artists participating in the workshops, including Jody Zellen, whose Web site "Ghost City" has appeared in festivals and exhibitions around the world -- who knows, maybe you'll learn a thing or two.
Perhaps you've experienced the burgeoning arts scene in Brooklyn firsthand -- the galleries, the artists, the musicians, the deejays. Or maybe you've never set foot in the hip New York City borough. Whatever your coordinates, you can now log onto a new online journal that attempts to prove Brooklyn is a state of mind. Entitled bkyn, the Web site features content ranging from digital music (think DJ Spooky's urban sound collages) to links to Net art projects (think Mark Napier's browser art) -- work that's not defined by location, but reflects the spunk and creativity that's associated with Brooklyn.
Every month, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents a new splash art page on their online Net art "gallery"/portal, Artport. This month, Artport showcases a page by Cary Peppermint, one of the first artists to conduct a real time performance online. A conceptual artist, Peppermint attempts to infiltrate networks in his multifaced, multimedia work, often referencing commercial entitites ranging from eBay to Evite.
Currently on view in the physical world through September 18 at the Austin Museum of Art -- and accompanied by an online exhibition -- is "Telematic Connections," a travelling exhibition curated by Steve Dietz of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The show features a time-line tracing the evolution of creative uses of the global communications network by artists dating back to the 1920s and up to the 21st century. Major contemporary names on the roster include innovative Net artists Ken Goldberg, Victoria Vesna, and Lynn Hershman.
Okay, how and why did that little hand pointing with its index finger and floating freely about on your computer screen come to be...a cursor? Is Microsoft responsible for its ubiquity? If not, who is? The playful, just-launched Net art exhibition "Hello Cursor" doesn't really provide any answers, but it does offer engaging, creative musings on that unavoidable interactive symbol, the disembodied white hand. Curated by Kyeong Il Park, "Hello Cursor" features contributions by a international list of Net art stars, ranging from Jodi (the Netherlands) to Entropy8Zuper (Belgium/USA), as well as work by up-and-comers such as Korea's 000per and Brazil's tipo.
What has experimental Net artist G.H. Hovagimyan been up to lately? Check out "Palm Rants," a series of Web and PDA-based performances. The pieces will be delivered in either a short animation, an audio file, or a text. New performances will be available weekly for four months. Each performance (with titles such as "Love Songs From My Computer") is a meditation on the ways we disperse information in a networked environment.