In his 1970 book S/Z , Roland Barthes attempted to interject a new form of textual interpretation which foregrounds the experience of the reader. His description of the topos of meaning in which a text passes is beautifully prophetic to the sensation of reading within the networked environment, stating, "The blanks and looseness of the analysis will be like footprints marking the escape of the text; for if the text is subject to some form, this form is not unitary, architectonic, finite: it is the fragment, the shards, the broken or obliterated network -- all the movements and inflections of a vast "dissolve," which permits both the overlapping and loss of messages." Barthes' sentiments echo through the genre of electronic literature, emergent in the 1990s, and carry on in the Institute for the Future of the Book's latest project, The Golden Notebook, which went live yesterday. This 1962 novel by Doris Lessing candidly chronicles the life of Anna Wulf, and is narrated through the vantage of several separate notebooks. Uploaded on a site similar to Google Books, the Institute invited seven notable female authors to read the book and carry on conversations in a forum adjacent to the text. While group discussion online is old news, the possibility of uploading and reading entire books online is still a recent development, and it carries with it a number of crucial debates. By adapting the model of a reading group, one that parallels the text itself, it follows precisely with the Institute's mission to investigate the "ecology of readers, authors and texts" surrounding the networked book. One other dimension to the project, which is strangely absent from the press release and the site's Q&A section, is the decision to invite a group of female ...
Artist's statement- Vote For Anything is a kind of a social experiment as well as an Internet "game" that was running even before the widespread adoption of the "World Wide Web" HTTP protocol. It originally ran as part of my gopher-based "e-zine" Glum Homebody, on the gopher of ECHO, gopher.echonyc.com (which is no longer available)...As the Web expanded beyond the original confines of CERN, I adapted the underlying program to run as a cgi-bin program on my personal web page at ECHO and also at WFMU.org, where it runs today. A few years ago, I prettied up the color scheme, but it basically runs the same as it always has... It's an interesting art piece that can be hijacked by someone with an axe to grind, simply by writing in people and things they wish to hate or promote. From an early implementation, I've always filtered out HTML in the write-ins, so that no redirection or other spoofing would be possible. By allowing for negative votes, one can actively disapprove of something, which fulfills a real need for voters. No one is restricted from multiple votes for multiple items, which sounds like it should make it easy to jam the election in some way, but in fact, this has never happened. The list of candidates ends up looking a little like lists of search engine search items, but they are a little more intentional. The open ended nature of the list lets incongruous items creep in between more serious entries, if any. In fact, incongruous items tend to take over the list, making a kind of collaborative poem, if there's enough traffic.
The Guggenheim Museum, in celebration of their renovation and as a tribute to their former chairman Peter B. Lewis, commissioned the above work from Jenny Holzer, For the Guggenheim. Text from seven poems -- "The End and the Beginning," "Could Have," "Children of Our Age," "In Praise of Feeling Bad about Yourself," "The Joy of Writing," "Tortures," and "Parting with a View" -- by Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska are slowly projected across the exterior facade of the building. For the Guggenheim will screen from dusk to 11 pm every Friday through December 31 (with the exception of October 24). Vernissage TV shot the above footage.
Juried Exhibition: Earth, at 440 Gallery, Brooklyn
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator