Posts for December 2002

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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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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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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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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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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Totally Rad Return

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

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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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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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Let the Bidding Begin!

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As part of an annual fundraising campaign, San Francisco experimental venue New Langton Arts is selling parts of art web sites on Ebay. Why not entire projects? Richard Rinehart of New Langton explains the organization's intention 'to play' with the notion of collecting the intangible, and barely sell-able net.art. So, support new media art, and build an innovative collection with a discrete page, pixel, or 'virtual point' from works by Sonya Rapoport, Lisa Jevbratt and Richard Rinehart and Shawn Brixley, respectively. But hurry, the auction is only on through the 12th of December, and I already placed my bid on the page from Rapoport's 1998 gender-expose 'Arbor Erecta: A Botanical Concept for Masculinity.' -- Rachel Greene

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Rhizome's Web

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Who's offering high-quality hosting these days? And for only $65 per year? RHIZOME IS! For that annual fee, Rhizome members can put their sites on a Linux server, with 20MB disk storage space, 750MB data transfer per month, catch-all email forwarding, daily web traffic stats, 1 FTP account, and the capability to host your own domain name (or use http://rhizome.net/your_account_name). And there is more, the hosted can take comfort in knowing they're being active roots in the rhizome schema, helping the .ORG self-sustain.

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