This year's Webby awards were presented on Wednesday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 3000 at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House. The winner for the Arts category went to Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries. The competition was stiff: well-known Net artworks "1:1", "Apartment", "Glasbead",and "Potatoland" were the other nominees. Each Webby winner was limited to a five-word acceptance speech. So Young-Hae Chang simply said "the struggle continues," a reference to the Net artist's Web site that bears this phrase as its title.
July 20 -- yes, that's tomorrow -- is the deadline for submissions for inclusion in Medi@terra 2001, an international art and technology festival that takes place from September 14 - October 15. Besides Net art, CDROMs, video, computer animation, digital sound and music, e-books, and digital photography will be considered. This year's theme is "De-Globalizing/Re-Globalizing" -- appropriate as the festival will roam, touring from Athens to Belgrade to Frankfurt (stopping at a few other European locales along the way).
Net artists, take note: there's an available opening at this month's Rhizome OpenMouse event on Thursday, July 26 -- co-sponsored by Sound Lab/Cultural Alchemy. It's essentially an "open mic" for those creating art using new media. The festivities take place from 8pm-midnight at FUN, 130 Madison Street between Pike & Market, under the Manhattan Bridge overpass. This month's presenting artists include Azhaday Asiadai, the creator of "Four and Six," a Net art piece that mimics "Lite Brite" imagery and allows you to cram your favorite links onto one page without scrolling forever.
Recently, at a public presentation on Net art the Power Plant, a Toronto-based gallery of contemporary art, a middle-aged man came forward as "Mouchette,"the possibly ficitional nymphet who has revealed her inner thoughts and emotions on an eponymous home page. Initially, to keep the allegedly invented Web identity alive, the artist asked a 12 year old girl to pose as Mouchette; the girl, sick with food poisoning, couldn't attend. So the artist, although he remains anonymous, thus revealed his true self -- to a confused audience unwilling to believe that Mouchette isn't real. Or is she? Judge for yourself.
How will urban, ultra-wired Net artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy (creators of the online work "Airworld") create a site-specific, two-day project relating to a sleepy one-street village in New York State? Mark your calendars for July 28-29. That's when the duo will join a group of 30 emerging contemporary artists invited to interface with the tiny community of Brewster, New York and devise original works of art inspired by the folksy locale. The public's invited to see what they come up with.
Funny and profound all at once, "The Struggle Continues" is a simple Flash animation featuring touchy-feely text calling for lots of lovin' -- the cure for any existential angst. Set to a jazzy soundtrack, this work of Net art possesses a clearly ironic attitude, as its creators, based in Seoul, Korea, declare themselves "a multinational conglomerate."
Further proof that Net art is an enduring international phenomenon: organizers of the Fifth Biennial of Video and New Media of Santiago, Chile, are currently looking for Web-based works to showcase alongside videos, CD-ROMs, and multimedia performances and installations. The festival takes place from November 5-11. Visit the event's Web site for more details on how to submit work. (In Spanish.)
For some synesthesia in action, look no further than Martin Wattenberg's latest project, "The Shape of Song" -- which just made its debut online at turbulence.org. Wattenberg attempts to visualize various kinds of music via customized software that translates any composition available on the Web into elegant arch-like images and curvy forms.