Posts for April 2003

Against the Duopoly of Coke and Pepsi

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Wolfgang Staehle began trying to sell digital images via Thing.net in the early-mid 90s. John Simon Jr. and Olia Lialina created their own boutiques around 1997: these were other pioneering efforts to establish net.art markets outside established channels. Now there is another proverbial can of soda in the vending machine, ArtLexis. Interesting features of their model: most images are available as economical open-edition multiples which they print-on-demand; and many are inexpensively priced to move as JPEG downloads. Purveyors seem to have anticipated critiques: the FAQ is bustling with opinions on pixel logic, the art object and commodification. Seems ArtLexis knows if they're working with media artists, they're dealing with an engaged and often critically-minded group. By the way, they're actively seeking submissions -- details on the site. -- Rachel Greene

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Bookmark This!

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Did Those Feet, in

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What reminds me that I am English? Watching Eastenders, eating curry, drinking tea, disliking George Bush

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Behind the Neen Screen

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Los Angeles venue Electronic Orphanage will host a presentation April 8 from 6-10 PM by Yi Zhou, a Chinese born, Italian-raised, London/Paris-based artist who has made a number of Internet-based projects. Zhou's resume, which also includes a record deal, suggests she must be traveling a lot, but she has clearly put a lot of time into her web-based animations. They are self-conscious, beautiful and delicate, and the several photos of the artist that adorn her work and accompany related announcements suggest the same of her. Electronic Orphanage events come highly recommended, and are also associated with the 'neen' scene. Curious parties should peruse the EO website, and can also check out neen.org. -- Rachel Greene

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New York Digital Salon 10th Anniversary Celebration

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From April 22-May 25, the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the New York Digital Salon will take place in Manhattan. Luminary-laden panels on 'The Artist as Programmer' and 'The Museum and the Art Gallery in the 21st Centruy' are complemented by a strapping, accompanying issue of Leonardo, and a website stocked with new essays by the likes of Lev Manovich, Christiane Paul and Benjamin Weil. The 'Artists' section of the site is especially expansive and challenging. Deepen your grasp of new media aesthetics by taking it upon yourself to figure out why Gene Youngblood's 'Expanded Cinema' made the curators' cut. Details of panels and events, which require registration, are on the site. -- Rachel Greene

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Canadian Net Art Show

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Curating based on citizenship can be tricky: it can be limiting to identify or understand artwork in nationalistic terms. However, a brief visit to the 'I-Highway - Netart from Canada' show curated by Agricola de Cologne dispels concerns about over-the-top Canadian essentializing. Simply, the curator has aggregated a lot of introductory information on Canadian artists, projects and organizations. Despite de Cologne's propensity to stage exhibitions dramatically -- each one is heavily scored and features unusually literal graphics (like images of people working on laptops with Canadian cityscapes in the background, or cups of coffee representing the J.A.V.A site), with a little patience one can work one's way into artists' more individual, singular aesthetics. -- Rachel Greene

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Weinbren on Interactivity

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Artist Grahame Weinbren will present his strapping body of work (which ranges from the HBO autism documentary 'George' to the reconsideration of 19th century photo portraitature, 'Frames') at jihui Digital Salon, a week from this Friday in New York City. Weinbren has worked with film /video and installation since the 70s, and speaks ably (and without romance) on the impact of technologies on cinema. Hot topics of the evening - is the notion of interactive narrative productive and interesting now? What are the ideological and psychological implications of interactivity? I recommend considering some of Weinbren's writings and lectures in advance of the event: examples are available in Telepolis and Yale web archives. Weinbren's live presentation will be webcast - all details are available on the jihui site.

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Wage War on TV

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Think you might be watching just a bit much TV at the moment? Fancy some more? Iroom is interactive digital television on your home computer. You are invited to enter the lost reality department of a fictional TV station to discover a range of subjects and presenters - many acted by the artist, Ronald Fraser-Munroe, who aptly turned up in character as the head of the culture department for the launch of the project at the Site Gallery on the 28th March. Forget war coverage for a nanosecond, and engage with the iroom presenters in their war against terrible broadcasting.- Charlotte L. Frost

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MTV is DOOMed

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Paramount hired Angelina Jolie to play Lara Croft in a film based on a video game. George Lucas hired video game designers to create Pod Racer, a video game based on his film. Now at machinima.com you can 'view 'movies' created by 'directors' manipulating 3D game environments. These aren't games or even film adaptations of games. These are non-linear CG game environments reverse-engineered to create short narrative digital videos. All those dizzying first-person shooter camera pans and polygonal 3D surfaces without any interactivity. Kind of like icing without the cake. Mmm. - Curt Cloninger

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Could You Be the Next Mouchette?

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On Easter Sunday, April 20, the seven-year-old Mouchette project will irrevocably change. The artist who created mouchette.org will not only reveal his/her/their identity and artistic motives, he/she/they will donate the web site to another artist who will take on authorship and continue the project. This radical step continues Mouchette's messing with of the notions of identity, reality and representation in the virtual world. A live environment has been specially constructed by artist Anakin Koenig for this historic event, which is the first of the Franklin Furnace Archive 2003 "The Future of The Present" series. The venue is Postmasters Gallery, 459 West 19th Street (at 10th Avenue) in New York City. All Mouchette candidates should present themselves between 3 and 5pm - but surely, for this kind of assignment, a virtual presence would be acceptable? - Helen Varley Jamieson

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