Get ready, get set, go...to Berlin. Next week, the international media art festival known as transmediale will take place for the 15th time from February 5th to the 10th. The good stuff offered up includes interactive installations, a media lounge with internet and screen-based works, a conference devoted to changes in the public sphere in the digital era, workshops on collaborative and free software projects, screenings with the latest works of video art, and of course more. This year's theme is a bit outdated: it's "go public!" as in an IPO, but you can interpret it as "be open with your great ideas!" Be sure to log onto the festival's web site if you can't hop on a plane or train to Germany...'cause you can vote for the best art on view at transmediale from afar.
Ever wish you could instantly have a new homepage? The Berlin-based artist duo of Blank & Jeron have been experimenting with information recycling for years, and their web site "Dump Your Trash" allows you to submit your URL and have the artists turn it into something different. You give them your email address, and they notify you when your site's been transformed into its next incarnation. Just don't be offended that they refer to your web site's design and content as "garbage." It's just part of the recycling metaphor, after all. Think of the process as a renewal. Yeah. That should make you feel better. The results vary, of course...so consider your re-tooled site a customized work of net art.
What are are people in Australia thinking about new media these days? Or Montreal, Canada? Or Timbuktu, for that matter? Are you missing out on some really cool digital art just because you live in...Manhattan? Los Angeles? Tokyo? Funny, but even the most cosmopolitan net art fans might be ignorant of movements in other corners of the world. Perhaps -empyre-, a new mailing list, can help. Moderated by Melinda Rackham, Empyre is an international arena designed for the discussion of media arts practice and theory. Originally, it was conceived to examine the Australian regional online community. Today, -empyre- will regularly invite guests in the fields of media arts practice, theory, curation or administration to discuss thier particular areas of expertise, publications, zines and creative projects. The first guest: Ollivier Dyens from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, curator of the "Metal and Flesh" website http://www.metalandflesh.com, and author of the book "Metal and Flesh," which discusses how tech is affecting our world and culture.
As light yet fulfilling as a platter of California Rolls, the net art work "floatingSushi" by Andrew Hieronymi is a two-dimensional space populated by words. Site visitors navigate by typing the characters that correspond to the letters highlighted at the center of the grid presented on the screen. If one wants to change rows, one has to align two identical letters -- gathered from photos of signs, billboards and graffiti taken in the streets of San Francisco in the summer of 2001.
In the Web project "Almost Home," originally commissioned by New York's Dia Center for the Arts, Arturo Herrera invites the viewer to play house by creating diptychs using images from a databank of one hundred collages. Sounds simple, but each collage is programmed to appear randomly, so even the truly aware player may never fully view the entire spectrum of this mutant parade of images. Viewers can only accept or reject a pairing; by doing so, she eliminates one or the other half of the diptych until a preferred combination appears.
Mez (a.k.a. Mary-Anne Breeze), who was named Artist of the Year 2001 by the JavaMuseum, is now the subject of a solo show at the online museum. Mez has created a distinctive linguistic style, dubbed "mezangelle," that has been equated with the literary work of James Joyce, Emily Dickinson, e.e. cummings, and others. Although primarily known as a net artist, Mez shows both on the Web and in the physical world, at venues ranging from Prague's Goethe Institute to The Metropolitan Museum Tokyo, and recently in the exhibition "_Under_Score_" at The Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Don't ever say Net Art News doesn't give you advance warning. To enter in your Palm Pilot: a new series of talks, performances, media, and workshops on pressing issues in new media today...(as well as food and drinks) to be kicked off at Name.Space Lab in New York (11 E. 4th Street), hosted by curator Cristine Wang. The first shindig takes place on February 2 from 5pm - 2am. A panel entitled "Art Activism + Technology in the Age of Corporate Globalism" is the inaugural event, featuring some big-time participants, including John Perry Barlow (in the flesh), co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and (via remote) Eduardo Kac, genetic artist (whose work is pictured).