The Irish Museum of Modern Art has announced a new net art initiative that recognizes the paradox of curating institutional shows of online work. The first IMMA exhibition of net art will be an "uncurated show" (isn't that an oxymoron?) -- or, rather, a show that's self-curated by the net art community itself. The organizers state that any artists who disagree with this concept should e-mail their criticisms to the IMMA; all points of view as expressed in correspondence will be represented in the show as well.
The Web is a visual place, no doubt, and "noware," by Pedro Fernandes, is a search engine that allows users to access pictorial compositions as opposed to links. This playful tool assumes that users will relate the words they type and the images they receive. The goal: to make netsurfing a bit more fun and challenging -- and less about marketing, but more about the imagination.
Sick of online browsing that follows the traditional page-by-page format? Victor Liu See-le's "The Slow Arrow of Beauty" lets you access the Internet as if it's an ever-changing river of information. "Slow Arrow" is a Java applet which searches for content that's merely related to the user's request via algorithms (which the user can play with). It serves up the goods in several simultaneous waterfalls of data.
Tonight, if you're in McLean, VA, why not attend a reception and panel discussion for "Casting a Net" at the McLean Project for the Arts? Nine artists are involved in this survey of net art, including Agricola de Cologne, Brian Judy, and Patrick Lichty. The four jurors of the show will debate with them. The shindig's free, and it takes place from 7 - 9 pm (the discussion's at 7:30). And for a bit of 1990's nostalgia, your hosts will serve "web-tinis & cyber treats."
With patriotism high, now might be an interesting time to look at the net art work "American Views: Stories of the Landscape" by Russet Lederman. This non-linear piece (which mimics the writing style of cultural theorist Walter Benjamin) is a digital-age version of a landscape painting. Lederman presents different views of the U.S. as remembered by three people from the heartland, California, and a New York suburb. Images, audio, ephemera, and text make up the collage...which, after all, is a metaphor for the American experience.
Links, artists' projects and proposals, criticism, and software are all included on Kingdom of Piracy [KOP] -- an online communal studio. Having just launched in pilot form (yesterday, in fact) and hosted by the Acer Digital Art Center in Taiwan, the project explores piracy as the ultimate form of net art. The participants are an international cadre of creative, innovative folks, ranging from Shu Lea Cheang to Beige Records.
"God Bless America"...we've been hearing this a lot lately. Bill Berry has responded by creating net art that adopts this ubiquitious phrase as its title. On this ironic website, simple graphics and text move across the screen and form images of the American flag, as a robotic voice speaks jumbled lines from what sound like news shows. Berry states that this piece -- interesting to view as American forces pummel Tora Bora -- is a reaction to American radio addresses broadcast in Afghanistan immediately following the attacks on the U.S.
Currently on view at Haines Gallery in San Francisco: "Multiple Personalities," an exhibition of both net art and traditional forms of editioned works (prints, photographs, and other pieces that don't exist as singular, unique piece of art). The online work, by artists such as Michael Daines (whose work is pictured) and the duo known as MTAA, are simply displayed on a laptop placed at the reception desk. Given the works by big-name artists (Damien Hirst! Andy Warhol!) on the gallery's walls, however, the rather mundane experience of casually browsing the online pieces is transformed. The curator's argument is very clear -- net art is *indeed* the latest form of the artist's multiple.
For those of you who've been following the work of net art duo MTAA, you'll be glad to know there are a couple of new developments. For one, they've just unveiled the second installment in their series of "Updates" (of classic performance art pieces) on the Whitney.org Artport site. And if you read Net Art News yesterday (as we're sure you did), you know their work's included in the "Multiple Personalities" show in San Francisco...but in an interesting move, they've removed the piece "Time!r" from their Web site for the duration of the physical show. Keep checking MTAA's home page for their latest innovative project.
We all know the mind is a labyrinth of sorts, connecting one random idea to another, like...hypertext. Italian programmer Matteo Santoni's "Kid Koma" is billed as "an experimental laboratory of hypertext, culture, art and trash." Yeah, it's simple, and, yeah, it doesn't really serve a practical purpose -- as even its creator will admit. But the piece reminds us that anything that makes us re-examine how and why we think and how and why we create computer programs to reflect how we think certainly qualifies as "art." At the very least, such an "experiment" can make us rethink how we define art in the first place. Hmm...