The internet is vast. Bigger than a city, bigger than a country, maybe as big as the universe. It's expanding by the second. No one has seen its borders.
And the internet is intangible, like spirits and angels. The web is an immense ghost land of disembodied places. Who knows if you are even there, there.
Yet everyday we navigate through this ethereal realm for hours on end and return alive. We must have some map in our head.
I've become very curious about the maps people have in their minds when they enter the internet. So I've been asking people to draw me a map of the internet as they see it. That's all. More than 50 people of all ages and levels of expertise have mapped their geography of online.
Murmur Study is an installation that examines the rise of micro-messaging technologies such as Twitter and Facebook’s status update. One might describe these messages as a kind of digital small talk. But unlike water-cooler conversations, these fleeting thoughts are accumulated, archived and digitally-indexed by corporations. While the future of these archives remains to be seen, the sheer volume of publicly accessible personal — often emotional — expression should give us pause.
This installation consists of 30 thermal printers that continuously monitor Twitter for new messages containing variations on common emotional utterances. Messages containing hundreds of variations on words such as argh, meh, grrrr, oooo, ewww, and hmph, are printed as an endless waterfall of text accumulating in tangled piles below.
The printed thermal receipt paper is then reused in future projects and exhibitions or recycled.
Art Fag City started their artist essay series, IMG MGMT, again this week with "Zappos Selbstdarstellung" by Joel Holmberg. In this essay, Holmberg considers the corporate culture of the online shoe company Zappos, which encourages the individual expression of its employees through social media outlets, content it then uses to build their overall brand. Holmberg makes the observation that this communal bonding through self-expression is similar to the Selbstdarstellung performances acted out by members of Otto Muehl’s Action Analysis Commune. Here, members were to "reveal one's freest self" through "spontaneous acts of self-representation." What results is "joy-bordering-on-desperation," as members were pushed to test their own boundaries by the larger group. The Zappos example illustrates the contemporary corporate adaptation of psychological practices used in various social experiments from the 1960s and 1970s, a subject elaborated in greater detail by filmmaker Adam Curtis in The Century of the Self.
Does free video uploading and downloading equal democracy? I asked myself this question during the recent Open Video Conference, organized by the Information Society Project at the Yale Law School and the Open Video Alliance, an umbrella coalition for the development of an “open video ecosystem”: a “movement to promote free expression and innovation in online video.” Conference sponsors include Mozilla, Redhat, Intelligent Television, and Livestream. The conference was held at New York University’s Vanderbilt Hall, home of the NYU Law School from June 19-21, 2009. I attended several of the panels at the conference, although it was primarily Yochai Benkler’s opening keynote that was of concern.
As another major American art museum joins the Twitter-verse this past month (@Guggenheim), it begs the question: how can institutions and the public they serve better benefit from participation in Web2.0? Currently, many museums utilize the major social networking sites in the same manner they use their websites—to promote current and upcoming exhibits, special events, display works, and post the rare job opportunity. And while we can all benefit from multiple reminders, it's beginning to feel as if these institutions are not truly adapting to the opportunities opened up by social networking. The goal is to use these sites as they were intended, as a tool for conversation and relationship building between individuals, and not as an avenue for a one-way transmission of information.
The fear, of course, is that once museums begin actively participating in Web2.0 environments, they will have to give up some control over both content and message. As museum professionals Nina Simon and Gail Durbin both point out, in a world where all knowledge is at one's fingertips, visitors expect to be able to respond to their experience, therefore museums should develop platforms that allow for a diversity of voices. One New York institution in particular, The Brooklyn Museum, has successfully adopted Web2.0 endeavors, with two blogs on the website documenting installation and artist processes, an iPhone application to view and search the museum's collection, and 1stfans, a $20 museum membership with exclusively social network-based content and features, such as the Twitter Art Feed (@1stfans), which allows followers to pick a different artist to create work for the feed each month. Another example of an organization which has expanded its 2.0 reach is the Victoria and Albert Museum, which uses its ...
Focusing on a wide array of themes such as the context of a rapidly changing planet, our evolving human / natural ecosystem, the growing global strain on natural resources, and the advancement of artistic methods on potential of technological infrastructures, the 10th edition of the FutureSonic festival spanning 14 years integrated a wide and impressive array of international speakers, workshops, exhibitions, and performances. Scattered around the bustling city of Manchester in the United Kingdom, the festival took into account both its local strengths and its global outreach to encourage debate and showcase a wide arrange of artistic projects that examined just how far we have come in these debates and how far we have to go to make sense of the evolving technological apparatus that surrounds us.
David Horvitz’s For 2009, Idea Subscription__ (2009) is an email-based subscription list and tumblr blog of “open source” ideas for art projects, updated on an almost daily basis. Readers are encouraged to, “…realize, change, steal (you can't steal something that is free!), publish, claim as your own, destroy, become influenced by (either because you like them, or because you hate them so much that they give you better ideas), appropriate, spray paint, or anything else with them.” The ideas are all whimsical and offbeat, such as leaving a pile of flour outside one’s door for visitors to step in and photographing the resulting tracks (April 4th) to flying a kite in an area with dense advertising, such as Times Square, in order to serve as a distraction (March 13th). One of the ideas, dating from April 7th, has taken on a life of its own. Horvitz suggests that readers take photographs of their head in a freezer and upload it online using the tag “241543903”. There is now a dedicated site for these images at 241543903.com as well as a flickr group, while a quick flickr search results in at least 80 photographs of people with their heads in a freezer. The emerging popularity of 241543903 is additional proof (as if any is needed) to support Cory Arcangel's statement from the March 2009 issue of Artforum that, "...you can put anything up on the Internet and there will be five people who want it, no matter how weird or obscure the information. The niche exists: someone’s going to find you, period."
This ongoing series explores significant developments on the internet, like this new hot thing called twitter that everyone's been talking about. We've culled the, uh, "twitterverse" to bring you some of the more curious and unique accounts out there (plus a few entertaining twitter spin-offs). Feel free to add links or suggestions in the comments section.
Each cat has a small RFID tag on the collar. When a cat is in the close proximity of the door, a small RFID reader reads the tag and if the cat is authorized, a servo will unlock the cat door. The RFID reader and the servo controller are connected to an old laptop. The software on the laptop is written in Delphi and for each "cat door event" is sending a Twitter message and a picture to twitter.com.