Organizers have recently announced LIFE 4.0, an international competition for digital arts. The competition will evaluate artwork specializing in "artificial life," a term given to computerized systems that emulate the behaviors of living organisms. Spain's Telefonica Foundation is sponsoring the competition. A total purse of $20,000 will be awarded to four finalists. Deadline for submissions is November 2, 2001. Previous winners include the American artist Ken Rinaldo, who last year created "Autopoiesis," an installation artwork using robotics.
On August 29 Net Art News reported the opening of a new solo exhibition by Wolfgang Staehle at Postmasters Gallery in New York. Like Staehle's previous work "Empire 24/7"--a webcam version of Andy Warhol's realtime documentation film "Empire"--this new exhibition features three webcams, each trained on a different urban landscape. One of those landscapes is Lower Manhattan. In grim coincidence Staehle's webcam captured the terrorist attack of September 11, streaming it onto the gallery wall just as CNN streamed images of the attack onto televisions around the world. Staehle's show is not viewable via the Web, however New Yorkers may visit the gallery exhibition, which closes on October 6.
The Ars Electronica Festival, an annual celebration of all things new in the field of art and technology, concluded last Thursday in Linz, Austria. This year's theme was "Takeover: Who's Doing the Art of Tomorrow?" Special events this year included an audio installation called "Container Park" that used forklifts and shipping containers. Artist Golan Levin created a musical symphony using nothing but the sounds of ringing cell phones. Winner of the Prix Ars Electronica for Net.Excellence was PrayStation.com, the unique online portfolio created by artist Joshua Davis. The net portion of the Prix Ars Electronica had been criticized in past years for its unusual prize selections.
Long a central organ for communication within the new media art community, the mailing list Syndicate has moved servers to a new home in Norway. Syndicate was established in 1996 as a communication channel focusing on building bridges between Western and Eastern Europe. Several successful gatherings and publications have been produced by the email community. The mailing list was previously hosted by the V2 organization, located in Rotterdam. Sources connected to the email list report that differences of opinion within the network have prompted the move.
New York City is in a state of shock today, after Tuesday's disastrous attacks on the World Trade Center. Concerned emails poured in today, asking about the status of Rhizome and our community. The Rhizome office, located in the SoHo neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, was not physically affected by the attack. All Rhizome staffers have been accounted for and are safe. One Rhizome consultant, who lives two blocks from the attack site, was fortunately not in the area at the time of the attack. The Rhizome web server went down on Tuesday morning, blocking Rhizome Raw and staff email for approximately four hours. The downtime was an apparent side effect of the attack, but no concrete connection has been established. Communications via the Rhizome network are now functioning normally. The World Views artist residencies, a program of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, were housed inside the World Trade Center, and have been lost. It has not yet been reported if any World Views artists or administrators have been injured in the attack.
Net artist Alexei Shulgin has recently released a CD of music performed by his cyberpunk band, 386 DX, with whom he performed in Berlin in early 2001. The disc features rock songs dating back to the 1970s up until now, played in a retro-futuristic, computer-music style -- as well as an illegal but functional copy of Windows, an added bonus.
What happens when new media art isn't new any more? Michele Thursz, former director of the Moving Image Gallery in New York, has developed the Post Media Network to address the evolution of computer-based artwork. Featuring artist projects and dialogues between artists (including such noted Net artists as Andy Deck, Fakeshop, and Michael Mandiberg), the site documents shows and presents analysis.
The second "Art Servers Unlimited" gathering begins tomorrow in Labin, a small town on the Croatian coast. For a week, several of the world's leading media art organizations--from Budapest's C3 to New York's The Thing--will meet to discuss tools and techniques for the digital arts. The gathering will pick up threads originally discussed in 1998 in London, the site of the first Art Servers Unlimited meeting.