Five net artists/artist groups have just been awarded commissions from Rhizome.org, chosen from 135 proposals. Each will be able to create original works of net art thanks to Rhizome's new Commissioning Program. The five judges--Steve Dietz of The Walker Art Center, Alex Galloway of Rhizome.org, Ken Goldberg of U.C. Berkeley, Christiane Paul of The Whitney Museum of American Art, and Mark Tribe of Rhizome.org--had the tough task of selecting the winners. And they are...drumroll, please: Christopher Fahey, the Institute for Applied Autonomy (IAA)/Hactivist.com, and John Klima (whose previous work is pictured) all receive $5,000 each; Nungu and Lisa Jevbratt will both receive $2,500. In addition, ten proposals were named with Honorable Mentions. All will be presented on the Rhizome.org web site in October 2002, and launched with a public event in New York City.
Haven't you ever wondered how an artist makes her decisions, in terms of imagery, color scheme, etc.? "Memoirs" is an animated web site that allows you to trace an artist's choices via an unexpected use of java-scripted roll-overs. The viewer is invited to follow visual links, say of different hues and/or echoed forms, which mimick an artist's own vision. The viewer is allowed to see how source materials inspire an artist -- in this case the creator of the web site, net artist Cynthia Beth Rubin -- to create an original work.
Nico Westerdale's "Dirty Fingerprints" reminds us of the layers of use our work computers endure. Take a look at your own monitor, under that lovely glare of your office's fluorescent overhead lights and witness the grey leftover fingerprint marks on the screen, your own, as well as those of colleagues who've touched your workstation. Westerdale's piece is screensaver that gathers mouse-clicks as your monitor (keyboard) gathers fingerprints. The program visualizes the clicks (on collaborating websites) as dirty fingerprints on the user's screen. After five minutes have passed, the program checks to see if a new fingerprint has been placed. Clicking on a collaborative site isn't the only way to interact. You too can add to the network of sites by offering a simple line of code to one of your webpages--without a trace to your own web site's visitors. Note to Mac users: this screensaver is currently only available for PCs running Windows.
Is that a pile of tiny wires or a mound of giant tubes? Can an image be beautiful or intriguing even if you don't know what you're looking at? Perhaps this is the beauty itself of abstract art. Xavier Cahen's aptly titled "Abstract" makes us ponder unidentifiable objects, presented online in brief videos. Could this piece work better in another form, such as video projection in a gallery or still photos on a wall? Or is online presentation, which often requires a more intimate viewing situation...such as sneaking a quick look in between work duties or studying...Makes you think not only about the nature of abstract art, but the nature of art presented online...
Freshly launched last week, "ReferPrint," by Mark Daggett, creates original, automatic art from the images culled from other web sites that are linked to "ReferPrint." How does it work? Link your home page to "ReferPrint," then when you log on to Daggett's site, it reads in all images from your page where the link to "ReferPrint" appears. An abstract composition appears on your screen, and you can save a new image at any time (when you hit the "save" button, a copy will appear on your clipboard, and you can paste it into a file).
Some news from Rhizome.org, the parent of Net Art News. We've increased the parameters of the ArtBase, Rhizome's acclaimed online archive of new media art. Originally, the archive focused on net art. Now, any genre of new media art, from software to games, can be submitted and catalogued. If you're unfamiliar with the ArtBase, which currently is home to more than 550 objects, give it a look. Its goal is to not only save new media art for posterity, but to provide a living, up-to-the-millisecond resource for anyone interested in innovative uses of fresh tech.