Posts for 2002

Fall in Love with Zombie and Mummy

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From the 'grandmother of net.art' Olia Lialina (who has just entered her 30s), and music producer Dragan Espenschied come the adventures of Zombie and Mummy. Their capers include making family trees, moving house, and going swimming, and they're executed with found Web debris (images, animations, backgrounds), line drawings in the comic strip mode, and goofy music. These fresh narrative doses, and varied, energetic pastiches are slotted to appear online every Monday through March 2003, and can also be downloaded to Palm Pilots. My favorite episode thus far has been when Zombie and Mummy make a homepage, as the page's links and animations reveal that the artists' interests are beyond the horizon of Google, somewhere in a DIY, homemade net.art region I've been missing. -- Rachel Greene

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Four Score and Seven Slides Ago

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Would Martin Luther King Jr's famous 'I Have a Dream' speech have sounded better delivered through a text-to-speech engine? Do Beatles tracks still produce emotion in MIDI form? These are questions artist Peter Norvig is trying to answer with his ironically convincing, 'Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation.' Using Powerpoint's auto-content wizard, Norvig adapted Abraham Lincoln's famous wartime speech into six slides with bullet point headings including 'What Makes a Nation Unique' and "Gov't of/for/by the people". After frustration with hearing countless boring presentations in an age where technology is supposed to solve our communication problems, Norvig's work might actually prove the opposite. -Jonah Brucker-Cohen

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Totally Rad Return

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Flashback with Paper Rad online, a website that serves up 80s nostalgia

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OK, OK

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From Friday December 6th to Monday 9th, the no-longer-in-use East Airport in Athens, Greece, will come back to life with Medi@terra, a four-day festival of art and technology addressing the theme of 'New Platforms.' The programme is now online and gives details of the performances, installations, screenings, panel discussions and workshops to be given by artists from all over the world. Alongside the festival is an open competition for the best text message in under 160 characters. This 'SMS OK Contest' is a reminds us that the term 'OK' was first used by Greek migrants to the USA 150 years ago, who could only afford to send one-word telegrams home - OK for 'ola kala,' everything is alright. They'd be amazed by the communication platforms and hybrids we use to say 'OK' today. -Helen Varley Jamieson

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Chat Up A Narrative

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Described as hypercinema, Unmovie is an exercise in chatter-bot and human collaborative screenwriting. Fuzzy philosopher bots engage in real-time chat with humans, and words from the chat log are trigger edits in footage from a database of found video. These trigger words appear over the video stream to partially contextualise the edits while leaving much open to interpretation. If your screen is big enough, you can become both auteur and spectator (although the audio streams might fight) - watching the video stream while chatting to the bots and pondering just how your words may be influencing the narrative. -Helen Varley Jamieson.

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Remote Responses

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What might a group of new media artists come up with when left in the Scottish Highlands for a few weeks? r a d i o q u a l i a worked on a net.radio service broadcasting sounds captured from planets and objects in the solar system. Thomson & Craighead proposed the twinning of Newtonmore and Las Vegas. Driving the most dangerous road in Britain occupied Katrina McPherson and Simon Fildes, while Cavan Convery put a new spin on the traditional 'interpretative panel.' Organised by New Media Scotland, the exhibition at Iona Gallery in Kingussie, Scotland was followed by a one-day forum at The Fruitmarket Gallery (Edinburgh), that brought the artists together with leading media academics to question the urban monopoly on new technologies and the idea of 'rural' as 'remote.' The artists' presentations were interesting, but the event could have been more cohesive if keynote speakers had addressed the conference theme and participating artists' work. - Helen Varley Jamieson

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Smokin'

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[Editor's Note: Due to an editing error, yesterday's Net Art News mistakenly listed 2002 Shooting Live Artists. This year's artists, the 2003 Shooting Live Artists, are below.] The BBC and the Arts Council of England have committed to several convergence projects for this year

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b. in the loop!

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b.aware, b.there, b.clued up -- the place to b. this weekend was at the

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Travel-based Net Art

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Travel-based net art was big in the early days, with projects such as Arctic Circle, Siberian Deal, and Communication Creates Conflict layering international travel with web site navigation. www.tropisms.org is a recently launched travelogue and vlog. (Vlogs are like regular blogs, but feature video as well as text and images). With lively graphics, the site's videos document the seemingly random travels of Dutch filmmakers Jan de Bruin and Luuk Bouwman in South America. The duo touch on some critical media issues in Peru and Bolivia, and as a platform for footage from South America, and a sample of vlogging, www.tropisms.org is worth a visit. -- Rachel Greene

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Kanarinka Can

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Kanarinka is the only net artist I can think of who does color studies. Her work on yellow, 'Color Stories - Yellow' integrates samples featuring the color to build 'art modules.' Some of these have an informal quality, but still, perhaps because of the affective capabilities of the color, they seem to move beyond the screen. In other modules, the dominance of color gives way to a focus on narrative, or to an investigation of animating color. Some 'Stories' seem in line with Abstract Expressionist concerns with 'beauty;' others evoke color field studies. There is a lot here -- Kanarinka's work covers some dense (yellow) territory. -- Rachel Greene

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