interesting reply from jon thomson below (forwarded to raw on his
> From: Jon Thomson <firstname.lastname@example.org
> Some of the things mentioned here by Michael were in our minds when
> conceiving this work, particularly our desire to contextualise the
> search criteria poetically and also to examine the poetic nature of
> the terms themselves -as a kind of real-time lament or echo actually.
> And as alex says it's part of a whole host of stuff artists have been
> doing with search engine data -us also in previous work of our own.
> As artists we're not particularly interested in technical novelty, nor
> do we see it as off-limits to further explore the nature of this kind
> of data just because others have already made things that use search
> engine data flow.
> In more than a few cases, Contemporary Art can suffer from
> novelty-lust. Maybe it's some hangover from the Avant Garde? Anyway,
> we would like to think that we are simply contributing to a
> conversation that's ongoing in this nook of the Contemporary Art
> canon. Just as Philosophy seems to extend and extend one long
> conversation, we see contemporary art functioning in the same kind of
> way. We don't see art works taken individually as necessarily
> insular, and in the case of our own art much of it is in dialogue with
> Art History at some level, while configuration is of paramount
> importance to us.
> In our minds, 'Beacon' is both landscape and portrait, and it's the
> kind of convergent simultaneous nature of the gesture that interests
> best wishes,
> Jon & Alison
> Thomson & Craighead
> --> w/e/b
> BEACON is now live: http://www.automatedbeacon.net
> TWO NEW TITLES @: http://www.templatecinema.com:
> 'A short film about Nothing' & 'FIve Ghosts floating unawares'
> --> e/x/h/i/b/i/t/i/o/n/s
> Currently & until Nov 2005: Algorithmic Revolution, ZKM, Karlsruhe,
> Currently: Database Imaginary, Walter Philips Gallery, Banff, Canada
> Currently: Pass the Time of Day, Gasworks, London
> Currently: The 3rd Centre of Attention Art Prize, London.
> Currently: dreaming of a white... Arts and Business, London
>> Curious to find myself defending, if this is the right
>> term, a piece like this, which ordinarily would not be
>> at all to my taste .
>> It's the massively concentrated *calling attention to*
>> the linguistic content of the search strings which are
>> here denuded of their original context - assisted by
>> the rather splendidly austere design of the page-
>> which does it for me.
>> The outcome is genuinely poetic and moving , it seems
>> to me, and thank god, irreducible to an artist
>> statement or simple explanation - its something to do
>> with zeitgeist, yes; also something to do with an
>> enormous sense of multitude but also something to do
>> with a linguistic pleasure akin to me to that I derive
>> from the work of Alan Sondheim, for example.
>> And that pleasure isn't simply ,abstractly, linguistic
>> but also refers very directly to the world out there
>> in a sort of updated automatic writing -but rather
>> than the outpourings of a single unconscious, we have
>> access to almost literally a *collective* unconcious.
>> On the whole I'm bored rigid by *good-ideaism*, by the
>> artistic one liner, which has struck me as a
>> particularly lazy form of aspiring to art ( I hated,
>> for example, Data Diaries) - but there's no point
>> arguing when something hits you in the viscera.
>> I'm also generally rather more predisposed in favour
>> of stuff involving perhaps a little more craft (
>> although there's clearly real care and thought here
>> -reminds me of MTAA in that respect) -but sometimes,
>> as we all know, it just happens. It does here.
>> --- Alexander Galloway <email@example.com
>>> There have been many projects that use real-time
>>> displays of random
>>> search strings, here are some:
>>> How does Beacon differ from these other sites? more
>>> specifically, what
>>> makes it an artwork?
>>> On Jan 5, 2005, at 4:39 AM, Jon Thomson wrote:
>>>> BEACON. A new on-line artwork by Thomson &
>>> Craighead, 2005.
>>>> At 00.00hrs on January 1st 2005 an automated
>>> beacon began broadcasting
>>>> on the web at:
>>>> The beacon continuously relays selected live web
>>> searches as they are
>>>> being made around the world, presenting them back
>>> in series and at
>>>> regular intervals.
>>>> The beacon has been instigated to act as a silent
>>> witness: a feedback
>>>> loop providing a global snapshot of ourselves to
>>> ourselves in
>>>> real-time. As resources become available,