Fly the Net Flag High

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Does the Internet deserve its own flag? In the true DIY spirit of the web, artist Mark Napier has launched the Internet's own flag online. Commissioned to create "Net Flag" by the venerable Guggenheim Museum, Napier has fashioned a site where visitors not only view the flag but can change it in a moment to reflect their desires or identities. Thus, the flag is always in flux, and it is simultaneously an icon and a min-domain. Just like the web itself, it is never the same thing twice.

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Tonight: "Tap" Launches at Dia

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Tonight, the Dia Center for the Arts in New York will launch "Tap," a work created by digital artist James Buckhouse in collaboration with former New York Times Style Editor and tap dance instructor Holly Brubach. You can see "Tap" on Dia's web site as well, but the physical celebration of the launch takes place from 6 to 8pm, with a public party in Dia's bookshop at 548 West 22nd Street. The artists have created two animated dancers for whom the user may choreograph routines. The animations, accessible online, can be passed on through wireless handheld networks; they are also available via beaming stations that interface with all Palm Powered personal digital assistants (PDAs) around New York. Buckhouse encourages the project to expand beyond the internet and individual computer desktops. Once codified, the dances that users create themselves may be saved for future performances.

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Another Good Conference on New Media

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You've got about a week to get ready for yet another good conference on new media: from March 8-10, University of California, Santa Barbara, hosts "Interfacing Knowledge: New Paradigms for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences". Featuring heavyweights in the field, including Peter Lunenfeld, Lev Manovich, and Katherine Hayles, the discussion will surely be lively. Because Net Art News has given you ample lead time, you'd better ask some good questions. Why not pick up your copy of Manovich's "The Language of New Media" off the shelf and choose a passage to inquire about? These guys know their stuff, so don't be afraid to speak up and find out where digital art is headed--and where it's been.

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Shiny New Net Art

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Check out some great, brand new net art by noted digital artists including Shu Lea Cheang, Netomat's Maciej Wisniewski, and Rhizome's own Mark Tribe -- and do some good at the same time -- if you log on to "Shine." It's a benefit for Amnesty International, and this online exhibition of special commissions of web-based art by 12 hot artists also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the human rights advocacy organization. All the work relates to the theme of "light," as in the candle flame that serves as Amnesty International's logo. Links are also included so you can easily join an Amnesty International email campaign.

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Seeing in the Dark

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NIGHT VISION, an exhibition curated by Joy Garnett, opens today at University Galleries at the Illinois State University, in Normal, Illinois, where it remains on view through April 3, 2002. The concept behind the show relates to the shadowy images seen via special lenses used by the military during wartime to seek out enemies in the dark. The blurry, eerie aesthetic is now more than familiar after recent events in the Middle East. Garnett has recruited some of the New York area's top new media artists to contribute, including Jordan Crandall, Joseph Nechvatal, and the Radical Software Group. The show then travels to White Columns in New York City and g-module in Paris, France. In NIGHT VISION, the all-seeing lens often refers to real-life tech utilized by the artists experimentally, as well as a metaphor or frame of reference for different means of visual perception.

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A Way with Words

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Words are simple to understand...what you see is what you get. Well, maybe not. 'Interview,' by Marius Hartmann, allows users to play with words so they can try to figure out how we generate meaning from these symbols on a page or screen. The piece proves that words may possess qualities beyond what merely meets the eye...in other words, excuse the pun, groups of letters can have an aesthetic meaning. Choose 3 sentences or words, and 'Interview' generates and regenerates them into fractal algorithms to allow you to read your words in a whole new way.

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Get Initiated

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An earlier version of "The Shaman's Space," a web site by Joseph Lef

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Open Source Radio

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The Walker Art Center's Gallery 9 has commissioned "Free Radio Linux," a new project by radioqualia. What is it? An online radio station. But no ordinary online radio station. It's also the first net.radio distribution of Linux, the true geek's favorite open source software. Huh? Well, the sounds transmitted aren't music, but a computerized reading of the entire source code used to create the Linux Kernel, the basis of all distributions of Linux. Naturally, the project launched on February 3, the fourth anniversary of the day the Open Source Initiative (http://www.opensource.org/) coined the term "open source" as a label for freely published code.

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