Minitasking, by the artist known as Schoenerwissen, searches Gnutella via a graphical interface. Once you connect to the Gnutella network, Minitasking acts as a representative for what it encounters: depending on the amount of content in a file, it is presented in a metaphorical \"bubble\" that differs in size and color based on what the file contains. Queries are color-coded, and Minitasking pairs that bubbles via this system. You can track others\' queries on-screen. Minitasking is a free download, but not if you have a Mac (but check periodically, as this version should be revealed momentarily).
Breaking up is hard to do. And artist Chris Bassett feels your pain. His site \"The Lost Love Project\" proves that breakups provide \"the most interesting love stories.\" His site serves as an anthology of such stories. Log on with your tale of heartbreak, which will be linked by the an official \"lostlove engine\" to create a metanarrative of a relationship. You\'ll soon see that you\'re not alone, even if your girlfriend\'s dumped you.
Sometimes it\'s nice to look back at net art works of the recent past. Alicia Felberbaum\'s
Maybe you spend hours watching the Discovery Channel...really a pioneer in \"reality TV\" (who needs \"Survivor\" when you can watch animals duke it out?) Joshua Goldberg has created an artwork, presented online, which might make you re-examine your Discovery Channel marathons. (And maybe copyright infringement.) His simply titled \"13 Hours of the Discovery Channel\" is \"an ironic, multidimensional algorithmic transformation of 13 discrete hours of Time Warner\'s Discovery Channel. You learn nothing from material designed to educate.\" Goldberg is a video artist, programmer and theatre director living and working in New York. This work comes complete with the statement, \"if you are legal counsel for time-warner, please contact me. I\'m not a punk-ass.\"
Lance Shields\' experience living in the surreal environment that is urban Japan resulted in the web site \"Strange Nature.\" This net art work conveys how a sense of the natural wierdly emerges from and thrives alongside completely artificial man-made landscapes. As Shields writes, \"At the edges of the financial districts concrete foundations of outdated office buildings crumble into the dirt as the weeds reclaim the city. At the same time, digital experiences replace/represent organic ones in ways which are more than just simulations.\" Shields\' site brings together incongruous words and images, yet it works with the simplicity and off-beat rhythm of a haiku.
From the hyper-meticulous crew at k10k.net comes moodstats, self-analysis software that lets users monitor and share moods. Track up to 5 categories daily (mood, creativity, chocolate intake, whatever) on a scale of 1-10. The software graphs moods over time, so users can analyze visually, recognize patterns, and presumably produce self knowledge. Feeling exhibitionistic? Publish your stats online, or download other people\'s stats and compare them to yours. moodstats for mac and PC: trial version free. full version $15.
Lia, half of the Austrian-based duo Turux, recently launched a solo work, 10, that creates algorithmic textures based on mouse movements. End results resemble computer error/landscape painting hybrids, or JODI crossed with Jackson Pollock. There are plenty of buttons and tools to explore, and sound, but no instructions. And since every user creates his/her own masterpiece, Lia hosts a collection of image captures to peruse.
Fun, advanced artworks are currently on sale to benefit The Thing, the internationally renowned website that has been providing the art world with discourse, projects, and community since 1991. The roster of artists donating their work to this auction is impressive, spanning from hot young things to icons: Cory Arcangel, Karin Sander, Joseph Kosuth, Christoph Draeger, Vuk Cosic, and Lawrence Weiner, among others, have contributed art to help the Thing support its programming. The auction ends on June 16th, and the lively selection is worth a look (check out Frank Schroder\'s Laughing Nun, left) even if it\'s out of your bidding range.
\"Cyber-Reader: Critical Writings for the Digital Era,\" edited by Neil Spiller, offers the fundamentals of cyber theory in a compact 300-page hardback. Published in March of 2002, \"Cyber-Reader\" has numerous predecessors but stands out because of its elegant design, concise introductions before each entry, and writings that span nearly a century and a half of cybernetic inquiry. Authors include Babbage, Wiener, Virilio, Delueze and Guttari, Gibson and Harraway to name just a few. This book will surely appear on college syllabi in the Fall and will become a standard reference for new media enthusiasts.
Minerva Cuevas' Mejor Vida Corp. (Better Living Corp.) is physically located in a prominent skyscraper in Mexico City, but also provides services to a global audience through its web site. Unlike most corporations, Mejor Vida Corp. strives to provide a better standard of living at no cost to its customers through distributing free subway tickets, student identification cards, and lottery tickets. At the site, you can download barcode stickers to place over original labels to reduce costs at several international supermarkets. Also unlike most corporations, Mejor Vida Corp. is wholly accountable, taking full responsibility for the use of its products.