Meredith Etherington-Smith, better know for making UK-based magazine the Art Review just like Hello! and presenting a programme on dinner party etiquette, has also participated in the Centre of Attention Art Blog, a pursuit with a little more substance. From 13th September-13th October, art writers worldwide created an archive of art idioms that range beyond the banter of netties alone. The intimacy of blogging, unlike the slick art-speak of many magazines, resulted in writing bound by common interest, but more frank than many editors would allow. And by extending the public blog, the rest of us (without dinner party etiquette or our pictures in art magazines) can have our say too.
The exploration of Code as subject matter has been of interest to many artists, from the more subtle codes of social conduct to the scripted codes that power the Web. Artificial Paradises ('AP'), a project of UK-based artists Martin Howse and Jonathan Kemp, works with such codes to develop new applications for performance and visualization. AP seems to be equal parts Dada, DIY techno and systems theory in its approach to melding software, hardware, and performance. From the AP website, one can find documentation and specifications of their custom applications, such as the Film Machine software that creates 'endless cinema,' or others aimed at 'the liberation of data generation from an imposed model and architecture.' While the site may be lacking in visual 'flair,' AP performances are visually and aurally engaging. -Ryan Griffis
The character and scale of Zurich-based artist Johannes Gees's interests are given emblematic expression by The Egoluator
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Net.art 'can't match your curtains,' maintains Mumbai, India-based artist Shilpa Gupta, citing one alluring reason she opts to strategize within its 'default' idioms. It can, however, proffer the vistas of spiritual tranquility
As terms like 'eTourism' and 'digital tourism' become common commercial slang for the uses of new media in exposing more of the *Center* to more of the 'Periphery,' it is also easier to find examples of new media artists working from such outward-looking subjectivities. But how do artists engaging the technology as subjects derived from the 'Periphery' look inward? Digital Africa, an exhibit presented by the African Film Festival and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), deals with relationships between diasporic identities and digital technologies. The show features 5 works in video, installation and interactive mediums, including a new web-based project by Mendi and Keith Obadike, 'The Pink of Stealth,' which includes audio, hypertext, and a game (http://www.blacknetart.com/pink/PINK-1.html). The exhibit is at the venerable EAI and runs through 25 November. -Ryan Griffis
Far from frivolous recreational diversions, computer games are not only prototypes of the post-industrial period, but were already, circa Pong, 'testing out the new possibilities of ''digital capitalism'' long before artists (just like companies, politicians, and the rest of society) discovered these possibilities for their own purposes.' So argues German media art critic Tilman Baumgartel, one-third of the curatorial force behind the Games: Computer Games by Artists exhibition on display through November 30 at Phoenix Wests Reserveteillager warehouse in Dortmund, Germany. Nearly 30 works by international media artists including Vuk Cosic, Tom Betts, and Cory Arcangel 'modify' (i.e. tamper with and transform) commercial juggernauts like Tetris and Counter Strike. Arcangel's witty Super Mario Clouds (2002), for example, boasts a hacked version of the ubiquitous Nintendo cash cow in which our mustachioed hero has completely vanished -- all that remains (after Arcangel literally cracked open the game cartridge and replaced the factory graphics chip with his own) are white clouds on blue sky. -- Andrew Comer
Though the Art For Networks exhibition (through 12 December) has an interesting web site with comments from the likes of Matthew Fuller and project originator Simon Pope, the show's aim is to redirect attention offline. Its objective is to communicate the fact that not all networks are internet-based -- radio, post, text messaging, video, photography, and even ice cream vans are here mobilized as examples. Participating artists include Nina Pope, Karen Guthrie, Radioqualia, Jodi, Rachel Baker, Heath Bunting, James Stevens, Anna Best, and Technologies to the People. Adam Chodzko documents the plight of a gypsy community being chased from their settlement by
The Guerrilla Girls have been honouring female artists in their own special way since 1985, and this year they were honoured themselves when Franklin Furnace founder Martha Wilson gave her BAXten Passing It On Award to GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand. This unique award requires each recipient to choose another individual or organisation to pass on the prize money to. As she handed it over, Ms Wilson was heard to say, 'I want these wylie, wired, next-generation feminists to take over the world.' The Guerrilla Girls gave birth to GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand in 2001, with the specific goal of tackling 'the primordial discrimination of our technologized world'. The interactive site lets you download posters, buy merchandise, learn more about about the Girls' activities and peel your own bananas. Featuring feminist funerals and fembots, it's fantastically full of the F-word! - Helen Varley Jamieson