Software art presses the notion that all the materials of today's society, for example word processors and email clients, are open to critique and analysis and are subject to experimentation. Besides addressing utilitarian tools, software artists also develop astonishing formalist projects using code. If you want to get involved with this important cultural field, consider attending Read_Me 2004 -- a 'Software Art and Cultures Conference' which will be held in late August, 2004 in Aarhus, Denmark. The festival will host seminars and panels so that those researching and practicing in the fields of programming, design and art can share findings. Software enthusiasts and users are also welcome, and all participants are likely to enjoy the city-wide Dorkbot camp that will follow the formal conference. Until March 1, 2004, organizers are accepting abstracts so if you want to present at Read_me, it's time to start working on your script. -- Rachel Greene
Turbulence.org is currently showcasing recent work by French artist Nicolas Clauss, the creator of the bilingual art site flyingpuppet.com. In eight interactive web pieces made over the last 18 months, Clauss has further developed his signature whimsical style. Subtle interactive components enhance a collage of audio fragments and dream-like images, resulting in mesmerising performative etudes. Influenced by contemporary dance as well as his original medium, painting, Clauss aims to express a depth of feeling beyond genres, words and concepts. The works cover a range of themes, from the esoteric to the humorous (run your mouse over the portraits beside the artist's bio for a smile). In fact, run your mouse over all of Clauss' work and you'll find gifts to rival what the other Claus might have left under the Christmas tree. - Helen Varley Jamieson
In December 1989, a massive crowd of costumed protestors, including a Jesus Christ and an entourage of his furious friends, surrounded and invaded St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. One of many vibrant and aggressive protests, AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power's (ACT UP) 'Stop the Church' action contested the Roman Catholic Archdiocese's public stand against AIDS education and condom distribution. Fourteen years later, veteran activists and artists have launched the ACT UP Oral History Project, a multiple-year venture, which aims to document the legacy of New York's AIDS activist movement. Founded by Super-8 filmmaker Jim Hubbard and writer Sarah Schulman, the Oral History Project includes in-depth video interviews with living activists, who explain both the successes and failures of the movement. At one of the most oppressively conservative and urgent contemporary political moments, ACT UP affected concrete change and transformed ingrained cultural attitudes about sexuality, illness, health care, civil rights, art, and media. The Oral History Project online includes video clips and PDF transcripts of activist interviews and documentation of the deployment of art in ACT UP efforts, in addition to a comprehensive topical and chronological index. - Matt Wolf
Do you value Net Art News? Do you appreciate the research and thought that go into its writing? We hope you prize art discourse and that you will make a contribution that reflects your values, because Rhizome needs your contributions now. Rhizome is aiming to raise $37,000 by February 1, 2004. So far, we are almost one third of the way there. Supporters who give more than $5 will be eligible for individual memberships and can subscribe to lists such as Rhizome RAW, RARE, and DIGEST. Members are eligible to win Rhizome Net Art Commissions (see the Commissions page for details), and as an added bonus, those who give more than $15 will receive a 10-20% discount in the New Museum of Contemporary Art's Online Store. If you are holiday-shopping why not buy books, art editions, gifts, jewelry, and children's merchandise at a discount and help Rhizome at the same time? Check out the Online Store here: http://www.newmuseum.org/comersus/store/comersus_dynamicIndex.asp. Thank you for considering this request. -- Rhizome.org
Eliza, the 1966 brainchild of programmer Joseph Weizenbaum, has enjoyed many artistic interpretations and now she's about to step onto the telerobotic stage: Adrianne Wortzel's "Eliza Redux" has been recently selected by Franklin Furnace for their 2003-04
Who is 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 a whopping 350MB disk storage space, 1GB 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). PLUS, those who sign up for Rhizome hosting before January 15, 2004 will receive a *FREE* domain name for one year. 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. Details on the site.
The term 'community' is a highly-contested one in official art lexicons, and has been tossed around like a grenade across online art forums as well. Such online forums themselves exemplify the new manifestations of 'community' made possible by the Net's ability to connect subjectivities across time and space. And, with these new spaces of social interaction come new possibilities for representing individual and communal identities. One such attempt, Mr. Wong's Soup 'Partments, is a virtual high rise apartment building constructed of the pixel creations of its 406 'residents.' Similarly, at the futurefarmers' Communiculture site, one can mix-and-match colors and bodies to create a Web-safe avatar to place within communities organized around opposing opinions like 'Jacob Neilson or John Maida.' In both, 'community' is visualized through a cohesive aesthetic. It's an IKEA model, wherein identities are designed to be legible in the confined space of prefab isometric cubes. As Huey Lewis prophetically said, 'It's hip to be square.' - Ryan Griffis
We all have our own versions of the truth, just as we will all have our own interpretations of Tamara Lai's 'Web of Lies'. By slicing up her poetic texts and emails to virtual correspondents, and adding visual and audio material, the artist has built a series of 'interactive shocked movies' examining the distortion of reality and virtuality, hopes and fears. Some patience is required to explore fully the subtly-changing layers that at first glance appear obscure and random. When a search for the ideal lover abruptly gives way to images of atomic explosions, one has to consider the distance of reality from fantasy - and wonder how 'real' is either form? Whether clicks yield truths is tangled in Lai's Web: get crawling. - Helen Varley Jamieson