Descriptive prose can often resemble an intricate fractal in terms of its structure...right? Cory Clarke's experimental application, "l[inguistic] system" attempts to utilize the ever-growing amount of online texts. The site asks users to type in URLs or to cut-and-paste the text of a story; the program then visualizes the branching structure of the prose by interpreting patterns in punctuation and syntax. The result is a pretty image that proves that a picture just may be worth a thousand words.
How often do you visit Turbulence.org? If not too often, now would be a good time. Recently, the New York new media organization launched "The Secret Life of Numbers" by Golan Levin with assistance from Martin Wattenberg, Jonathan Feinberg, David Becker, David Elashoff and Shelley Wynecoop. Fun for math geeks everywhere, "The Secret Life of Numbers" is about the popularity of numerals. Using custom software, popular search engines and statistical tools, the artists surveyed the public to understand what integers were the most favored, as if members of a boy band. Rather than just present cold statistics, though, the artists give site visitors an interactive visualization. Who said numbers weren't cool?
Everyone knows that "Google" is now a verb, thanks to the wide use of the popular search engine with the same name. Net artist Valery Grancher, of "No Memory" (pictured) fame, is currently asking net surfers from around the world to help him create a work of "search art" via Google (and other search engine) tags and codes. If you want to be a net art collaborator, send your URL to Grancher via email at firstname.lastname@example.org The submitted projects will be published on a site called "Les pieces // The pieces." Grancher's work is in the collections of public institutions such as Fond National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France: Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, USA; La Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris, France; and others.
Eerie at first but haunting, "Utopia Parkway" by Brad Todd is an intriguing work of net art. The work revolves around the home of renowned Modern artist Joseph Cornell's in Flushing, Queens, N.Y.; Cornell is famous for his boxes, three-dimensional collages. Unlike so many works of net art, which tend to focus on current affairs, contemporary business and economics, or computers and the internet itself, "Utopian Parkway" links net art to art history. Todd has shown his net.art works internationally at such venues as the New Museum (NY, 2001), FILE 2001 (Brazil), MediaTerra01, ISEA 2000 (Paris), INFOS 2000 (Slovenia), and the FCMM 2000 in Montreal. He is a co-founder of the on-line journal MobileGaze.
...at the web site of Leonardo / the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, are some interesting gems. Leonardo has been putting out its print journal since 1968, and features writings by artists who work with science- and technology-based art media. The site has updated info on the print magazine, but also web-only festures, such as "Burning Man," an ongoing special project that documents the notorious American festival that takes place every September.
Now that the conference for international business bigwigs known as the World Economic Forum (WEF) is over in New York (it ended earlier this week), one can only wonder if the online performance of sorts, "NETSTRIKE against the World Economic Fools" succeeded. Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT), along with other online activist groups, encouraged the masses to download software tools to reload the WEF site, theoretically to disable it. The WEF home page did go down. EDT founder Ricardo Dominguez denied responsibility in an interview on Wired News, but has lately posted a message including the statement "the WEF site is DOWN!WEEEEEEEEE" on listservs. A brilliant grassroots campaign? Or simply a glitch on the WEF's part? You decide.
Is the Internet a spiritually devoid place? Look at this month's latest offering on the Whitney Museum of American Art's Artport home page, "Prototype #38," by c404. This piece attempts to uncover the rise and fall of an invisible spirituality that just might be resonating throughout the online world. How would one measure spirituality anyway? "Prototype 38" actually scans search engine queries for spiritual terms. These found terms are programmed to launch sounds and animations. The result is an impromptu portrait of online spirituality.
The web site "Soundboxes" by Dutch net artist Michiel Knaven, is similar to a series of visual and aural haiku. Site visitors encounter snapshots, some interactive and some not, of images and snippets of noise. "Soundboxes" started as an experiment to find out what would happen if a net artist started with sound instead of image (which is the usual process of creating most net art).