Sound bubbles through my computer speakers: bursts of electronica, beeps and voices mingle, while a psychedelic jigsaw of images appears and disintegrates. It's 'Share,' a weekly assemblage of audio and video mixed live in NYC and web cast to the world. As I watch and listen, a voice leaps out from the mix: 'Expectations are high!'Indeed: broadband connections are recommended if you harbour high expectations. Those of us still on the humble dial-up must use our imaginations to bridge the gaps in this streaming data exchange. Like jazz, this is probably most fun for those who are actually doing it. And you can, next time you're in NYC on a Sunday evening. Audio and video artists are invited to bring their own gear, patch into a multi-everything system and join the live jam before special guests take the stage. -Helen Varley Jamieson
A new hotel opens today, at the Chapman Gallery in Manchester (England) and also in cyberspace. Devised by Andrea Zapp (the artist who gave us the world's first 24-hour online surveillance soap) with coding by Onno Baudouin, the Imaginary Hotel is shaped by its guests. Gallery visitors choose images, sound and video elements while online users can modify the hotel web site, changing existing details or uploading new material. Guests, wherever they are, communicate via a web-telephone interface, and a streaming webcast documents the changing environment. Zapp has chosen the social flux of hotels as a platform to explore digital travel between physical and imagined spaces. The hotel room becomes a blank canvas on which the real and virtual guests leave traces. -Helen Varley Jamieson
Art projects like Keith Obadike's post-modern, post-black, post-everything Ebay auction and Prema Murthy's ironically pornographic 'BindiGirl' illustrate how vexing questions of race have followed us out of the analog world and into the brave new digital one. The upcoming Race in Digital Space conference at the University of Southern California (October 10-12) will explore this complex territory, which too often gets mired in discussions about the 'digital divide.' The conference is free, and features the likes of Isaac Julien, Pamela Z and DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid. Why does race matter? Because we live both inside and outside 'the box,' and although technology may be race-blind, its applications are anything but. -Cinqu
Hacking often fascinates the Internet art community, and at times the two practices collide. In 'Revolution OS,' hacker ethics are captured in a palatable documentary about Linux and the free software movement. The film, at times playful and clever, is a classic underdog story, the hackers vs. Microsoft, complete with a spiritual leader (Richard Stallman), and folk hero encounters (Linus Torvalds' appearance at the 1999 LinuxWorld conference). 'Revolution OS' has been screening at small venues across the U.S. since early 2001, and its first eight minutes are viewable online. The final acts are still being produced on CPUs everywhere.
Personally I just like the sound of
Lfoundation.org is a collection of old Shockwave engines created by the off-the-wall pranksters at crtrlaltdel.org. Unlike the lush, intricate Shockwave environments at turux.org and submeta.free.fr, these experiments are decidedly old school (which is still cool). Big, chunky, primary color blocks, audio that sounds like it came from an analog Moog synth, ultra-thin file sizes, and lots of blinking are all par for the course. Proof positive that interesting audio-visual aesthetics are still achievable at dial-up speeds. - Curt Cloninger