firstname.lastname@example.org (the 3mb annexation) provides a Yahoo! e-mail address and password for anyone to use, appropriating the typically private space of an e-mail account and opening it up to the public. 3mb of Yahoo!'s server capacity are co-opted as the extension of a physical exhibition space, with each user-generated message an iteration of “public corporate art.”
A collaborative platform for viewer participation, MTAA’s email@example.com (the 3mb annexation) (2000) blurs the space between public and private space online. The work is represented as an extension of Star 67 Gallery’s exhibition space “by the amount of 3 megabytes of disk space on the servers of yahoo.com.” Accessed through a website plastered with the Yahoo! Mail logo and flashing Campbell’s Soup cans (a nod to the work’s Warholian ties), an e-mail address and its password are provided for anyone to access. Free to manipulate, the account is a digital catalogue of user-generated content––the choice of what to send both to and from the e-mail is surrendered to the public. The artists encourage the viewer to fill the account with e-mails of texts and graphics, each message to be thought of as an iteration of “public corporate art.” The work thus highlights the uneasy coexistence of users and corporations on the internet; dissonances reverb in the formal exchange of one’s most private correspondences to the most public of companies, especially in the unregulated, nearly utopian expanse of the web. By transforming the typically personal space of an e-mail account into an interpersonal one, MTAA here subverts and bypasses artificial boundaries established online. In tandem with project’s like Raqs Media Collective’s Opus or 0100101110101101.ORG’s Life Sharing, all created within the first years of the new millennium, firstname.lastname@example.org (the 3mb annexation) follows an open-source model of sharing art and information, annexing a defined public space amid the increasingly privatized internet.
- Year Created: 2000
- Submitted to ArtBase: Thursday Jun 20th, 2002
- Original Url: http://www.mteww.com/3mb/index.html
- Permalink: http://archive.rhizome.org/artbase/2043/
- Michael Sarff, Creator
- Tim Whidden, Creator
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"MTAA proposes to extend the exhibition space of star67 gallery, Brooklyn, by the amount of 3 megabytes of disk space on the servers of yahoo.com.
The commercialization of the internet makes possible this annex to star67. Yahoo! (one among many) offers users a free email account with a limit of 3mb of disk space for storage. This space, though a commercialized private space, may also be made a public space if the password is made available to the public.
The 3mb annex is a Yahoo mail account....we are going to be filling up this account with email (text and graphics). Each email may be thought of as public corporate art. The guiding themes of this work will include architecture, art, commercial art, Brooklyn, love, sex, personal revolution, banality, media, construction of celebrity....well just to make it easy...think Warhol in cyberspace."