The Color of Email (2001)

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The color of email is an application

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The Color of Email.

Sounds like the title of a novel. But it is an application; and a short-story. And it is a piece of software. Version 1.0. Of course it is in compliance with the year 2000. Let's call it a kind of short-ware. Not a soft-story.

It is also a piece of interactive art, an installation, based on the existence of the Core of the AART-Net. Times are changing and they are changing us, too. It's easy to lose track of things. So let's call it a kind of novellation. Truth is where the logs are kept on the safe side.

The true story is about being a VIRT, a Very Important Receiving Target. To become a VIRT with Version 1.0 of The Color of Email, you need a pager, or a handy, a faxmachine, or an emailaddress, or a computer, preferably a notebook.

This doesn't mean you need to own all of these, it's enough if you have access to a pager, or a handy, or a faxmachine or an emailaddress. To become a VIRT, you don't have to be rich, you just have to be reachable and on target, no extra time.

And while using Version 1.0 of The Color of Email , you can make anybody a VIRT. Somebody you like, somebody you don't like. Or somebody who doesn't like you yet. The Color of Email extends the scope of one's own actions.

Make yourself a VIRT.

Imagine being at your (boring) neighbours', having a drink and your pager is ringing. Ringing his loud pagerringing sound. Sounds like an important call, suggesting an even more important message. Then you are very sorry, but you have to leave. Your neighbours' are impressed, maybe. Anyway, you have been able to leave. Because you are a VIRT. Because you have made yourself a VIRT.

Make your boss a VIRT. Imagine, you the upstart being at a conference with your boss, talking about the next steps of your career. The secretary enters, bringing in a piece of paper - from the faxmachine - for your boss. A few sentences on the fax only, a few sentences asking your boss, if he might agree to let you go, to let you take your next steps somewhere else, faster. Your boss is impressed. He regrets very much, but you have to stay in his firm, sorry.The secretary might be impressed as well. Anyway, you have been able to make the next step in your career, faster. Because you have made your boss fast like a VIRT.

Better not imagine, being around with someone who likes you. Then, while talking about the way you still like each other, the handy of someone who likes you is ringing, bringing in a message. A digital message. But not for someone who has a handy and who still likes you. This digital message is only for you. Reminding you that you liked somebody else, very much. Somebody else who had just sent this message. Only for you. On target. Somebody who likes you regrets, very much, but you better leave, for somebody else. Everybody is upset, maybe hurt. Because somebody else made somebody who still likes you a VIRT. But you were the target.

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