Interview with Caroline Woolard of OurGoods


I first learned of OurGoods from an advertisement in “Art Work: A National Conversation about Art, Labor, and Politics.” Intrigued by their claim to provide an online infrastructure for artists to obtain goods and services without cash, I wrote to Caroline Woolard, a co-founder of the OurGoods project, to find out more. For those in the New York area, OurGoods will host "Trade School" in a storefront at 139 Norfolk Street in the Lower East Side from January 25th through March 1st.

What is OurGoods?

Caroline: OurGoods is an online barter network for artists, designers, and cultural producers to barter skills, spaces, and objects. Members of OurGoods organize creative projects with "haves" and "needs" and OurGoods matches barter partners, tracks accountability, and helps the business of independent, creative work. The site can be used to find collaborators, see emerging interests, or execute projects without cash. For example, I can help you write a grant if you make my costumes. OurGoods is a new model for valuing creative work. It fosters interdependence and strong working relationships. You will get your independent work done with mutual respect instead of cash.


Top 5 - 10


The World Series Of 'Tubing - Jeff Crouse & Aaron Meyers

Greg J. Smith is a Toronto-based designer with an active interest in the intersection of space and media. He is co-editor of the digital arts publication Vague Terrain and blogs at Serial Consign.

Five 2009 projects that deal with the translation of online experience into environments, events, artifacts and performance.

► World Series of 'Tubing - Jeff Crouse & Aaron Meyers
The everyday action of "favoriting" online media is expanded into a participatory game show (video above). A pair of contestants square off by selecting viral videos from YouTube and this media is "played" in an augmented reality card game where a live audience determines the victor. (see Paddy Johnson's adventures as a contestant)

► What my friends are doing on Facebook - Lee Walton
The ubiquitous status update is used to inspire an ongoing series of charming short videos. Banal announcements, everyday routine and the inhabitation of domestic space make for surprisingly entertaining vignettes. (see Walton's vimeo channel to access the entire series and Marisa Olson's writeup from February)

► WOW PoD - Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada and Marisa Jahn
An architectural testament to the "shut in" tendencies within MMORPG culture, this project creates a playspace that addresses the needs of the player and their avatar. A built in toilet, cookware and food dispensers are hardwired into the World of Warcraft interface underscoring the dedication/obsession demanded by these types of online communities. (See the video documentation of the piece)

► Bicycle Built For 2,000 - Aaron Koblin and Daniel Massey
Updating the 1962 experiment in speech synthesis by John Kelly, Max Mathews and Carol Lockbaum, this project employs the Amazon Mechanical Turk webservice to outsource the production of molecular elements of the song Daisy Bell. The resulting 2,088 voice recordings are reassembled into a strange, bumbling chorus - is this what the future of labor sounds like? (see Peter Kirn's analysis)

► Are you human? - Aram Bartholl
Riffing on the scrambled aesthetics of the CAPTCHA challenge-response test, this project creates real world artifacts out of online protocol. These text objects are deployed in the gallery, as identity document business cards and (most interestingly) on the street amongst the "urban markup" of tagged surfaces.(see photographs of the sculptural objects in the gallery and out in the wild)


Normalized Silence (2009) - Nicholas O'Brien


With the help of Amazon's Mechanical Turk, I asked workers to record 30+ seconds of "silence" from an on-board, or on-hand microphone. After collecting results, I normalized the submitted silence to a zero decibel level which high-lights the minor - normally inaudible - discrepancies between each recording/location/worker.

In doing so, Normalized Silence approaches the discourse of anonymity that surrounds network and out-source cultures. Accentuating the normally "silent" voices of anonymous workers within this framework provides a aural gesture of individuality within a realm of digital shadows.



IRL Money (2009) - Jeff Baij




All My Life for Sale (2001) - John Freyer



Using the public/commercial space of the online trading community Ebay in conjunction with his online catalogue, John Freyer catalogued and sold nearly everything that he owned, from his kitchen cutlery to his personal hygiene products, his Star Wars sheets and finally even the domain name itself.



Blackness for Sale (2001) - Keith Obadike




The Body of Michael Daines (2000) - Michael Daines



In 2000, Michael Daines, then a 16-year-old high-school student in Calgary, attempted to sell his body under eBay's sculpture category. By treating his body as a sculptural object, this project recalls the work of Eleanor Antin, Chris Burden, Gilbert and George, and other Performance artists who used their bodies as a medium in their work.


Note: The Body of Michael Daines is no longer available online, but you can read a 2002 interview with the artist by Eryk Salvaggio here. For a shorter, informal interview with Daines about the project, also conducted by Salvaggio, go here. The work was briefly mentioned in Artforum in 2001, here.


Use Me As Medium (2000) - Cary Peppermint



General Web Content


For this installment of General Web Content, our monthly series featuring cultural developments on the web, we turn to Consumer Reviews. Almost all products sold online provide a customer feedback section, and a few of these have been humorously commandeered. These reviews are ridiculous, hilarious, crass and weird. Enjoy. (Please add your favorites in the comments section!)

Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz




Zubaz Pants


O500 Otomix Baggy Workout Gym Pants - American Flag


Salted Water for Boiling



Interview with Samara Golden


Image: Samara Golden, Yes no party, 2009 (Installation at Sculpture Center, Spring 2009)

Samara Golden’s colorful, multifaceted video and sculptural installations have been popping up quite a bit in New York City recently. Earlier this year, the artist’s "Yes no party" was set up within an alcove in the basement of the Sculpture Center in Queens as part of the group exhibition “In Practice Winter '09.” Golden then presented her sculpture "There's more but it's invisible" at Columbia University’s 2009 M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, and this piece is now on view at the Project Room at Marvelli Gallery in Chelsea until June 27. I spoke with the artist at the Sculpture Center and then at her studio, where we discussed her interest in combining video and sculpture, her incorporation of images culled from image searches on the web into her installations, and more. - Chloe Gray

You surf the web for images to incorporate into your installations. Can you talk about your surfing methodology?

Sometimes I start by typing in a broad term like “messy room,” and when I find a good picture I take elements out and print them, such as a lamp or a vase that I like. In other cases I use the "messy room” picture to help me figure out what I’m looking for; I like the mirror in the picture, so I search for “unique wall mirror” and see what I can find. It's very fun, like making an immediate wish list for a 2D thrift store.

On another level, I’m interested in what photographers call “gaining access”: the ability to have access to other peoples lives. Using the internet allows me access without interfering. Photographers often have to consider these issues because there is an implied ...