adding to the internet (2010) - Justin Kemp

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NOWHERE (2005-2006) - Ralf Baecker

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Nowhere is a three-dimensional milling machine that carves a landscape relief on a 70x70x10cm large block of hard foam. The machine receives a stream of live search requests from the german search engines metager and metager2 (www.metager.de) via the internet. The users search movements erode rivers and canyons on the surface. Search requests that shoot through the internet just for a fraction of a second and generate an answer on the searchers screen, cause the machine to write a constant growing sculpture into the space. The continuous stream of changing search requests defines form and rhythm of this process.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Required Reading

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This loss of trust in humanoid media is accompanied by a new silence in the dialogue between master and servant. The language that is directed at the servant becomes terse. The previously still cultivated courtly official style gives way to short commands. The example of these commands reveals what has becomes apparent: communication has become machine language. William Thackeray even brags about this in 1850: “We never speak a word to the servant who waits on us for twenty years.” After its high point in the eighteenth century, communications between lords and servants seem to have come to a standstill. “In the Victorian household, there is an impression of increased silence.” What causes this silence? Something bisects the old human-human interface. The transition from listening to dumb waiter hints at the cause: the nineteenth century is a time in which the most varied services are transferred to technical media, which in their telematic, indirect, oblique communicative abilities replace the personal conversation with a depersonalized understanding. In this gradual but nonetheless comprehensive process of transferal may lie a reason why the corporation AskJeeves ultimately decided to abandon the imagery of the servant.

But why are these functional characteristics of various facets of domestic service relevant? Within those facets of the servant that elevate him or her to be the center of information gathering and dissemination is hidden a comparison with the service portfolio of a search engine. Thereby one may demonstrate how thoroughly the knowledge of search engines as well as domestics can be assessed. On the other hand, the implicit juxtaposition of servant and search engine susses out Jeeves, forcing one to pursue the question of the plausibility of the metaphor. The privileged knowledge of domestics feeds not only off their activity as messengers but also off their roles as ...

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Yahoo Search Loop (2008) - Kim Asendorf

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Enter the first keyword to start an endless search loop with Yahoo.

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Google Portrait Series (2007-2009) - Aram Bartholl

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Each code represents a visual enryption of a search on 'Aram Bartholl' in a specific language on Google.

A Google Portrait is a drawing which contains the Google URL search string of the portrayed person in encoded form. Any camera smart phone is capable to decode the matrix-code with the help of barcode reader like software. The result points the mobile phone browser to a search on the portrayed person's name at Google.

A large number of people can be found by name on Google today. Everyone who is working on a computer and uses the internet regularly can be found on Google. Even people who don't use computers can be found sometimes because their names appear in 'old' media (i.e. books) on the net.

'Egosurfing' is a popular way for a user to find out what websites and information Google returns on his/her name search.

How many hits does Google show on my name? Am I popular? Do I want to be found at all? Who writes about me? What do people find out about me when they google my name? Am I in concurrence to other persons with the same name? Do I rely on the results Google shows me on a person's name? In which way do I relate to someone which I only known by Google results?

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mr. Danny Snelson

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Google's mission "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" centers around faith in the power of the keyword to unlock its bottomless treasure chest and put the right answer in one window. Years have passed since the company's ranking algorithm outpaced the approach of human navigators filing information into channels -- an approach that Yahoo has been trying to keep alive by farming the digital labor to users themselves. But even as search algorithms make dinosaurs of the Dewey decimal and other brain-powered systems, it might be worth considering the benefits of staying open to a plurality of variously scaled methods.

These issues converge in Danny Snelson's work as a writer, editor, and archivist. His titles increasingly overlap in the internet's library without walls--an environment that often embodies the Foucauldian idea that "one never archives without editorial frames and 'writerly' narratives (or designs)," as Snelson put it in an email. As an archivist, he has made substantial efforts to preserve endangered cultural artifacts -- making them universally accessible and useful, you might say -- on behalf of PennSound, an audio archive specializing in recorded poetry, and UbuWeb, where, at the suggestion of founder Kenneth Goldsmith, he scanned out-of-print titles and reformatted them as PDFs for free distribution via the site's /ubu channel. The PennSounds and UbuWebs of the internet undertake preservation projects that small presses and recording labels can't touch due to financial reasons, thus ensuring that experimental work will continue to reach audiences in years to come. Distribution networks like these matter in an environment where the internet (for those without access to academic libraries, at least) is often the first and last stop for research -- a realization that impelled Goldsmith to formulate a radical ontology in the title of his 2005 essay, "If it doesn't exist on the internet, it doesn't exist."

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Top 5 - 10

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title_leaving.gif Nicolas Sassoon, Leaving, 2009 (From Computers Club)

 

Ceci Moss is Rhizome's Senior Editor.


 

For my top 5-10, I've decided to pull together my favorite online exhibitions of internet-based art from the past 12 months.

► Computers Club

Each week or so, Computers Club introduce a new work by an artist. Many of the Computer Clubbers have helped to define the current crop of internet-based art influenced by Larry Cuba and Tron-style computer graphics, such as Laura Brothers, Nicholas Sassoon, and Elna Frederick.

► Internet Archaeology's "Guest Galleries"

Internet Archaeology is a site devoted to the recovery of graphic artifacts found within earlier internet culture. (Think Olia Lialina's A Vernacular Web.) Their Guest Galleries section features original work using images culled from the collection by Tabor Robak, Krist Wood, Jacob Broms Engblom, Daniel Leyva, Emma Balkind, and Nasdaq 5000. My favorite piece so far is Robak's Heaven, which I posted to Rhizome not too long ago.

► JstChillin's "Serial Chillers in Paradise"

Run by Bay Area-based artists Caitlin Denny and Parker Ito, JstChillin's "Serial Chillers in Paradise" series is quite ambitious -- for a full year, they're knocking out a new work, in the form of a solo site, by an artist every two weeks, with an accompanying essay by Denny and Ito.

► NETMARES & NETDREAMS v 2.2

Like software, the curatorial project NETMARES & NETDREAMS signal the progression of their exhibitions through versioning. The exhibition "2.2" went live last summer, and it is loosely based on beach iconography, with a gloss of dark surrealism. A sense of the ominous pervades throughout, from Harm van den Dorpel's dizzying montage of palm trees to Michael Guidetti's loop of a rippling, virtual ocean.

► Club Internet's "Dissociation"

Now closed, Club Internet's fall exhibition "Dissociation" was ...

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Top 5 - 10

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Raphaël Bastide is a freelance graphic designer and artist.



► The web web
thewebweb is a net art website in seven acts.
The balance between Internet mythology and new html technology (canvas & js) is perfect.
By Anton Gerasimenko, Sergey Chikuyonok, Kostya Loginov, Showpanorama, Vladislav Yakovlev, Natasha Klimchuk, Kate Malykh, Sergey Filippov, Andrey Zubrilov, Anton Schnaider, Vasily Dubovoy

► Webjam
<~ ~> surfing club

► Avastard by Carlo Lowfi
A great piece with Twitter avatars.

► Temporary.cc
The question about archive when visit really matters.

► GEO GOO by JODI
One of my favorite 2009 exhibition. The way they expose net art in real life was for me inspiring.
Photo gallery

► Mybiennalisbetterthanyours
A Fresh net art overview for 2009 by Tolga Taluy

► Ben Schumacher
Especially his piece 0%

► Junk Jet
A nerdy fanzine discovered in 2009.

► net.art GIANT FUNNEL
The feed I should take on a desert island.

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I Love Alaska (2008) - Lernert Engelberts & Sander Plug

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August 4, 2006, the personal search queries of 650,000 AOL (America Online) users accidentally ended up on the Internet, for all to see. These search queries were entered in AOL's search engine over a three-month period. After three days AOL realized their blunder and removed the data from their site, but the sensitive private data had already leaked to several other sites.

I love Alaska tells the story of one of those AOL users. We get to know a religious middle-aged woman from Houston, Texas, who spends her days at home behind her TV and computer. Her unique style of phrasing combined with her putting her ideas, convictions and obsessions into AOL's search engine, turn her personal story into a disconcerting novel of sorts.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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wipeout (2007) - Chris Coy

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