Descriptive prose can often resemble an intricate fractal in terms of its structure...right? Cory Clarke's experimental application, "l[inguistic] system" attempts to utilize the ever-growing amount of online texts. The site asks users to type in URLs or to cut-and-paste the text of a story; the program then visualizes the branching structure of the prose by interpreting patterns in punctuation and syntax. The result is a pretty image that proves that a picture just may be worth a thousand words.
Sure, video streaming online is often choppy and less than fluid...but it has a certain beauty to it, almost like that of modern dance. Choreographer Molissa Fenley has taken the characteristics of movement as captured on the web to heart, and has created "Latitudes," a dance designed to be watched online. Originally commissioned for the Dia Center of the Art's web site, the piece is striking and enjoyable to watch...unlike an out of synch video conference. Foley turns a technical inadequacy (the offbeat timing of web video) and turns it into an effective ballet. Plus, as the audience, you've got the best seat in the theater for this performance...
Maybe it seems too soon for some of us net art old-timers, but already a new generation of net artists are beginning to surface, who claim their work follows "in the tradition of" established artist groups such as Jodi and Superbad. Brazilian-born Rick Silva, a recent graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, is one such example. He's released "Swound," an homage and fresh take on earlier works of net art. Blind (black on black) buttons link to other mysterious screens; each screen initiates a soundscape. Currently, the abstract, intentionally elusive piece has about 40 screens and 120 links. Stay tuned for more.
The Walker Art Center's Gallery 9 has commissioned "Free Radio Linux," a new project by radioqualia. What is it? An online radio station. But no ordinary online radio station. It's also the first net.radio distribution of Linux, the true geek's favorite open source software. Huh? Well, the sounds transmitted aren't music, but a computerized reading of the entire source code used to create the Linux Kernel, the basis of all distributions of Linux. Naturally, the project launched on February 3, the fourth anniversary of the day the Open Source Initiative (http://www.opensource.org/) coined the term "open source" as a label for freely published code.
Words are simple to understand...what you see is what you get. Well, maybe not. 'Interview,' by Marius Hartmann, allows users to play with words so they can try to figure out how we generate meaning from these symbols on a page or screen. The piece proves that words may possess qualities beyond what merely meets the eye...in other words, excuse the pun, groups of letters can have an aesthetic meaning. Choose 3 sentences or words, and 'Interview' generates and regenerates them into fractal algorithms to allow you to read your words in a whole new way.
NIGHT VISION, an exhibition curated by Joy Garnett, opens today at University Galleries at the Illinois State University, in Normal, Illinois, where it remains on view through April 3, 2002. The concept behind the show relates to the shadowy images seen via special lenses used by the military during wartime to seek out enemies in the dark. The blurry, eerie aesthetic is now more than familiar after recent events in the Middle East. Garnett has recruited some of the New York area's top new media artists to contribute, including Jordan Crandall, Joseph Nechvatal, and the Radical Software Group. The show then travels to White Columns in New York City and g-module in Paris, France. In NIGHT VISION, the all-seeing lens often refers to real-life tech utilized by the artists experimentally, as well as a metaphor or frame of reference for different means of visual perception.
Check out some great, brand new net art by noted digital artists including Shu Lea Cheang, Netomat's Maciej Wisniewski, and Rhizome's own Mark Tribe -- and do some good at the same time -- if you log on to "Shine." It's a benefit for Amnesty International, and this online exhibition of special commissions of web-based art by 12 hot artists also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the human rights advocacy organization. All the work relates to the theme of "light," as in the candle flame that serves as Amnesty International's logo. Links are also included so you can easily join an Amnesty International email campaign.
You've got about a week to get ready for yet another good conference on new media: from March 8-10, University of California, Santa Barbara, hosts "Interfacing Knowledge: New Paradigms for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences". Featuring heavyweights in the field, including Peter Lunenfeld, Lev Manovich, and Katherine Hayles, the discussion will surely be lively. Because Net Art News has given you ample lead time, you'd better ask some good questions. Why not pick up your copy of Manovich's "The Language of New Media" off the shelf and choose a passage to inquire about? These guys know their stuff, so don't be afraid to speak up and find out where digital art is headed--and where it's been.