Posts for September 2002

Killing Me Softly With His Song

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lightofspeed.com contains David Crawford's net art projects from 1996 to the present. Of note are his two most recent pieces, 'I Am Not An Animal' and 'Dance to the Radio.' In these, Crawford constructs ready-made music videos by combining '80s pop songs with stock photos that correspond to the song's lyrics. The photographs are then randomly displayed as each song plays. The results can be unaccountably melancholy. Joy Division's Ian Curtis monotonously sings 'Isolation' as snapshots of bleak 80's office spaces replace each other in forlorn succession. Black humor via ironic juxtaposition. - Curt Cloninger

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Growth From Idleness

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Distributed computing has been used to break 'unbreakable' codes and to search for extra-terrestrial life. The concept is simple -- thousands of users devote their computers' idle time to a common computational cause, and this army of sleeping computers accomplishes what a single computer could not. 'The Bank of Time' is a networked screen saver that uses distributed computing for a more conceptual purpose. Computer idle time is 'saved' in an online 'time bank.' The screen saver then 'grows' time-lapsed virtual plants on your screen based on the amount of idle time you've accumulated. Kooky. - Curt Cloninger

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Get Sleepy with a CPU

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The computer is commonly perceived as a tool for work, but Krista Connerly and Thomas Feulmer purpose its usefulness as a sleep aid. They have posted a rather large (17 MB) sound file online and ask users to make themselves comfortable as it downloads. Instead of the usual 'loading

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Be Adventurous!

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Seasoned readers of Net Art News can attest to the importance of adventurous decision-making to making great art. What is Entropy8Zuper if not adventurous? Joy Garnett's nuclear materials project recently profiled in Net Art News: daring. Rhizome.org invites you to be an adventurous new media art enthusiast by participating in our 2002 Community Campaign. Help Rhizome.org bring you the best and brightest in new media art by making a donation. We recognize all donors for their support: $10 = an email address @rhizome.org; $25 = a Yael Kanarek mousepad; $50 = a Rhizome.org T-shirt, and $250 = a Rhizome.org laptop backpack. Take a leap for the new media art community and donate to our Community Campaign!

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Pirates on the Digital Waves

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Intellectual property is a big issue in the information age: content is a commodity, 'data lords' lease access to warehouses of digital information, and armies of lawyers police new copyright laws. In response, Kingdom of Piracy (premiering this month at Ars Electronica) has defiantly erected its flag on a virtual realm of interconnected 'properties' and invites hackers and artists to 'plug into the supply lines of digital abundance.' The web site creates a map of participating links in shark-infested, copyrighted waters. Ironically, the pilot of this project ran into trouble earlier this year when its original sponsor demanded editorial rights and a name change. Naturally, the project curators rejected this, and the Kingdom of Piracy lives on. - Helen Varley Jamieson

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Monkeys In High Places

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'Panorama, Brooklyn' combines indie rock, poetry, and gorgeously lo-fi web art into a music video for the band Eiffel Tower. As a sweeping, hand-drawn city scape scrolls past, you are invited to click into the thoughts of Brooklynites as they watch the sun set. The piece holds attention well, with interactivity that isn't forced or superfluous. Illustrator Vicki Wong's texts against the music's breezy air blend the mundane and poetic seamlessly. It's web art that is unabashedly happy to showcase a human element, and there's nothing wrong with that. -Eryk Salvaggio

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Putting Code First

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CodeDoc, a new exhibition at Whitney Artport, forces us to view the scripts and codes that generate software art before seeing the 'art.

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Meta-Music for a Future Age

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In 1995, an interviewer asked ambient music godfather Brian Eno, 'If you could make anything, what would it be?' Eno answered, 'an Eno box that would create its own music in my style.' Technology has finally caught up with Eno's theories, enabling him to created 'Generative Music 1.' Also termed 'unfinished music,' each piece plays out differently every time, but always within the same artist-defined paramemters. Tired of the way a particular iteration is going? Just hit refresh -- each composition is infinitely long, and infinitely varied. How will they copyright this? - Curt Cloninger

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When Your Inbox Needs a Makeover

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Just when you thought your Inbox would only ever fill up with work dross and spam, Red Leader Industries, a British collective of multimedia artists and designers have the answer to

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Wine and Cheese Not Included

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'reFresh:reLoad' is a networked screen saver that turns your computer screen into a rotating gallery of new work by experimental digital designers. New images are regularly added to an online database. The screen saver then connects to this database and randomly displays various images from it for your viewing pleasure. The designers' URLs are included, so if a piece of work strikes your fancy, you can visit the creator's site for more. For those who think they have what it takes to show in this distributed gallery, submissions to the image database are open. - Curt Cloninger

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