Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Net Artist Music Videos

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The latest in an ongoing series of themed collections of creative projects assembled by Prosthetic Knowledge. This edition brings together music videos by artists for whom the internet is a primary medium.

Rosa Menkman, ‪03: Karate aka ☵ ☲ // 010 101 // kǎn lí‬. GIF extract from music video for Little Scale. 

The terms "net art" and "music video" are, while useful, close to becoming retronyms. With electronic technology becoming more easily available and ubiquitous, we are in a time where "new media" is not necessarily "new". As McLuhan famously punned his own phrase, "The Medium Is The Massage:" "All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive...that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered." This applies to the internet, which is becoming more and more familiar and available, making the boundaries and definition of Net Art less and less clear. 

Music videos (or at least, how music is promoted and delivered) are also changing—we are seeing more and more examples which are not necessarily traditional viewing experiences. For example: Machine Stop by Duologue, which uses WebGL to display Kinect-gathered performances which the participant can edit; Skrillex Quest, an online interactive game; works by Aaron Koblin. Maybe the word "video" is returning to one of its possible etymological origins, in which it was linked to the word "idea," and away from its more familiar definition...

Despite these shifts, though, both are still enjoyable cultural forms with plenty of creative possibilities still to be explored. In this short playlist, I bring together several works by unique creatives most often associated with Net Art applying their talents to the music video. Enjoy.

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The Voluptuous Blinking Art of Teletext

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With its blocky, low-res graphics and clunky interaction, the television-based information retrieval system known as teletext seems out of place in today's world of touchscreens and flatscreen TVs. But in an excellent blog post on the history of teletext art posted Friday, Goto80 (aka Anders Carlsson) pointed out that the medium is still very much in use in several European countries. In fact, the iPhone and iPad app for Swedish teletext was one of the most popular iTunes downloads in that country 2011. And as Carlson writes, among the latter-day fans of the medium are numerous artists, from JODI to the participants in the 2006 Microtel project that inspired the title of this article to the participants of the second annual International Teletext Art Festival (through September 15).

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