Tonight, the Dia Center for the Arts in New York will launch "Tap," a work created by digital artist James Buckhouse in collaboration with former New York Times Style Editor and tap dance instructor Holly Brubach. You can see "Tap" on Dia's web site as well, but the physical celebration of the launch takes place from 6 to 8pm, with a public party in Dia's bookshop at 548 West 22nd Street. The artists have created two animated dancers for whom the user may choreograph routines. The animations, accessible online, can be passed on through wireless handheld networks; they are also available via beaming stations that interface with all Palm Powered personal digital assistants (PDAs) around New York. Buckhouse encourages the project to expand beyond the internet and individual computer desktops. Once codified, the dances that users create themselves may be saved for future performances.
Does the Internet deserve its own flag? In the true DIY spirit of the web, artist Mark Napier has launched the Internet's own flag online. Commissioned to create "Net Flag" by the venerable Guggenheim Museum, Napier has fashioned a site where visitors not only view the flag but can change it in a moment to reflect their desires or identities. Thus, the flag is always in flux, and it is simultaneously an icon and a min-domain. Just like the web itself, it is never the same thing twice.
This is quite week for net art and new media art events. On March 8, this coming Friday, renowned artist Eduardo Kac presents a free lecture, "From Telepresence to Transgenic Art" at the Mount Royal Station Auditorium at the Maryland Institute College of Art (Mount Royal Ave. & Cathedral Street in Baltimore). Nearly 20 years ago, Kac began experimenting with art dealing with networking and robots controlled remotely. A decade later, he began working transgenic art, which incorporates genetic engineering to develop unique living beings and to address the social and philosophical issues raised by genetic experimentation in general. Kac will introduce the audience to Alba, a live green fluorescent rabbit named Alba who lives with Kac and his family in Chicago, among other works of art. The talk begins at 7pm.
Yep, the latest edition of the Whitney Biennial, one of the art world's most anticipated exhibitons, will open this week. Net art will be included throughout the show, rather than be "ghettoized" this year, and viewers will get to see works by Lisa Jevbratt/C5, James Buckhouse, and others, among paintings, sculptures, videos, installations, and photographs. On March 8, however, the net artists featured in the Biennial will participate in a LIVE panel. It takes place from 7-9 PM at the Tishman Auditorium at 66 W 12th St. The discussion will be moderated by Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts at the Whitney Museum and responsible for the Biennial net art selection. Not in NYC? Don't despair. You can log on to a live Webcast at http://www.netart-init.org.
Lowell Robinson's "Hippie Brain Explosion" could only have been made in San Francisco...it's a blend of acid-trip visuals and tech-nerd inventiveness. Billed as both an "experimental drawing tool" (its practical purpose) and a "meditative toy" (its emotional function), "Hippie Brain Explosion allows you to create images that look like fractals...or tie-dye...well, both. Far out.
This weekend, join in on the launch of the "Free.The.Media Summit," which will examine how democracy and public space can be established online. Tomorrow night, Saturday, March 9, the event kicks off at Name.Space.Lab at 11 East 4th Street in New York. From 7pm-2am, refreshments and dialogue will be served up. Those up for a debate will be net artists Diane Ludin and Ricardo Dominguez, among others, as well as media theorist/guru types such as John Perry Barlow and Howard Reingold (the latter two via remote...how appropriate). Saturday's talk will cover such topics as how to end corporate and government domination of media, as well as focus on an examination of ICANN (the institution that determines domain names) and its possible parallel to the World Trade Organization. Fired up? Can't attend in person? Then send whatever you need to say or show and tell to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your messages will be played, read, projected during the Summit, and posted on the FREE.THE.MEDIA website.
Now that the official Whitney Biennial is on view in New York, it's time to look at Whitneybiennial.com -- an online exhibition NOT sponsored by the Whitney Museum of American Art, but organized by artist Miltos Manetas. Those included aren't just artists, but support themselves and create cool stuff as designers, architects, and programmers. Without the "parasite" of Whitneybiennial.com, many of these works might be unseen by the public, and because their creators operate outside of the art world, they may not have the same opportunities to have the Whitney Biennial stamp as the artists included in the real exhibition. (Well, sort of. Artist Yael Kanarek, for instance, whose work is pictured, is in both shows. And who knows? A savvy curator might solicit some future exhibition material from Manetas' "parasite.") All of the works included on Whitneybiennial.com are available for manipulation by the user...via a handy application called "Turntable" devised by artist Michael Rees...a feature one certainly won't find at the official Whitney Biennale, online or off.
Vancouver-based artist Deanne Achong has created an archive that intentionally possesses the unwieldy nature of the Web. Its organization is ordered by disorganization...its instability is its distinguishing characteristic. Gaps in knowledge, according to Achong, can sometimes be as interesting as orderly information. Clicking through images and text on this site is like snooping through shoeboxes of photos and notes found under a stranger's bed. Try to piece together a narrative if you can...or not.
With references to Marcel Duchamp and a decidedly Modernist feel, Germany's Frieder Rusmann's (aka Johannes Auer) "For the Natural Death of the Work of Art" seems retro, yet teems with net art spirit. Download a manifesto! Sign up to protest via email! Or just click through the intriguing screens, such as a "haiku" that's either disturbing or funny, depending on your mood (check out the
Opening today and running through March 16 in Sheffield, England, is the latest edition of "Lovebytes," an international gathering of artists working with the newest of media. Special events fill the calendar, including panels and workshops. Check out "Search Engine Cinema," which features online moving image works discovered randomly on the Web, including sweet Flash animations and cool DV mini-epics. Or listen to the "laptop punk" of Sicilian musician Massimo. While you're at it, witness a performance by renowned Brit sound artist Scanner, best known for incorporating scanned mobile phone conversations into his works.