In the late 1960s Argentine artist Ana Maria Uribe began creating typoemas -- static black-on-white visual compositions rendered using a standard office typewriter. Anticipating the keyboard's pancultural ubiquity and its potential for artmaking, these early works provided a foundation for the anipoemas that emerged in the 1980s. The creative possibilities afforded by new computer technology led Uribe to incorporate animation, sound and eventually colour into later projects while retaining the frame size and single-font restrictions intrinsic to her creative process. The ease of dissemination provided by the internet allowed the her to cultivate an international audience, and yet her work transcended language through exploration of the plasticity of letters and symbols and their potential for the generation of meaning as visual objects. Her works are infused with a sense of rhythm and dance
So much net art, so little time! But never fear -- Patrick Lichty and Christiane Paul are back to help you sort out the latest online offerings with a fresh batch of articles from the current issue of intelligent agent. Visit the DEMO Scene and track Weston Hilton's Atari Globetrotter as it travels the planet; click on the Generativity thread and learn about the history and contemporary applications of algorithmic art; or read about how laptop computers are making waves, good and bad, in the reception of electronic music. You'll find reviews of exhibitions, festivals, books and new developments in the tech sector, and of course there's Free Radical, where you never know what you'll find. The site is easy to navigate, with easy access to recent and archived issues as far back as 1996, although some of the earliest are only available in print format. Lots of open access goodies here, available in html and pdf. Could it get much better? - Peggy MacKinnon
On April 29th the University of Montreal will honor three pioneers of the feminist digital-filmmaking scene at an international conference 'Gender, Subjectivity, Embodiment and the Transformation of Cinematic Practice in Contemporary New Media Art: Exploring the Interactive Work of Char Davies, Toni Dove and Zoe Beloff. Char Davies is known for her interactive 3D full-immersion environment installations 'Osmose' (1995) and Eph
Developed for Manchester's Futuresonic04 in response to the recent urban makeover of Manchester proper, (area) code is a community-centered project created by British artist Jen Southern and mobile communications innovators centrifugalforces. Signs placed online and throughout the city invite passersby (a la L.A. Story) to respond with thoughts, feelings, and anecdotes spurred by certain monuments that have come to define the developing or disappearing cityscape. Similar to the Toronto based project [murmur], (area) code uses text messaging instead of audio to communicate its monuments' histories. This use of SMS technology helps to remove the storyteller from the story and elevate the narrations into something else - like digital tablets for a new, telemediated mythology. Participating monuments range from the Victoria Station, built in 1844, to the ubiquitous Starbucks, and while the contradictions are somewhat obvious, they help lead you to consider the city's architectural consistency in the wake of urban planning. At the same time, this networked virtual Manchester still celebrates the community that builds and inhabits it. And with your mobile handy, you are freely able to explore both.
Despite recent proclamations that net art is dead (whatever), there is one subset genre that flourishes outside of professionalized or theorized categories: the home page. Multi-media, decorative or text-heavy, home pages vary visually but are usually in the personal if not confessional and hobbyist modes. Overlooked by Googling and threatened with obsolescence by regimented surfing practices or social networks (think Friendster), home pages don't always get the scrutiny or adoration they deserve... until now. Germany-based artist Olia Lialina along with other notable enthusiasts have put together $1000 to award a very interesting personal web page. Submit your own site or one you prize, and the judges are accepting works in Russian, German, Flemish and English. Viva l'amateur! - Rachel Greene
What do you get when you put a bunch of artists and scientists together in an abandoned coal mine? If you're Houston based choreographer Johannes Birringer you get Interaktionslabor 2, a workshop in interdisciplinary creative practice that explores body and movement in relation to environment. Held in the G
Would seeing, touching, or owning some object of Afghani origin foster any more of a connection to the people, culture or geography of Afghanistan than the images and stories that circulate in the broadcast news? Most would answer, 'Of course not.' But the practice of collecting souvenirs as metonymic parcels of places and experiences has a long, ongoing history. Los Angeles artist Angie Waller's 'Ebay Longing,' a net art work that was included in the Impakt Festival's 'Database Dilemmas,' provides a poetic interface for engaging this desire for the 'Other' through objects. 'Ebay Longing' connects visitors to Afghani, Iranian, or Iraqi objects, like coins and jewelry, that are being auctioned online. The desire for authenticity in these objects can be found in their descriptions provided by sellers. To make sure that the process becomes critically self-reflexive, Waller juxtaposes the objects with writings from US soldiers (and their spouses), journalists, Baghdad bloggers and classic Orientalist travelogues. It seems wanting the other's shoes is different from wanting to be in them. - Ryan Griffis
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator