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Trick or Treat to Hallo-Win

By Rhizome

According to artists Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied, 'once a year, at the stroke of midnight, the ancestors of Rich User Experiences raise from the grave.' Apparently, this occurs sometime around Halloween, considering the holiday weekend over which IGAC (Girona Art Contemporani) decided to launch the duo's newest web-based work, 'Midnight.' Despite the artists' heavy reference to now-retro web graphics, users traverse their their piece's video game-like space using the newly ubiquitous Google Maps navigation cross. Along the way, viewers will stumble upon very tiny animated gifs, many of which are simple dots or geometric shapes. These barely representational objects float within the sky of an eternal midnight, evoking the sense of 'lost' space junk resigned to a lonely orbit. Lialina and Espenschied describe the life of the aforementioned navigation cross in the same way, citing its presence 'in a huge number of mash-ups to provide a localization interface for all kinds of data,' ranging from the origin of photos to crime statistics to real estate listings and 'where to find the next Burger King.' Midnight recites gifs like it recites brands, leaving a bread crumb trail of the artists' consumption, across the web, while recycling the resultant byproducts as a real treat for net art fans. - Marisa Olson

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