Marialaura Ghidini, ed. On the Upgrade: WYSIWYG (or-bits.com, 2013).
One of the most intriguing things about On the Upgrade, a series of publications resulting from the activities on online exhibition platform or-bits.com, is the way it considers shifts in formats. At first look, the book series seems like a kind of flexible archive. The web-based projects of or-bits.com are reflected in printed form in the books: artists who contribute to the publication are those who participated in the various online projects of or-bits.com. And the book is used as a way to disseminate, document, or expand the work within a different scheme.
Work from the series Todays Questions by Eva Weinmayr.
NARRATOR (@Narra_DowningSt): She pushes her bike to the front door of No 10 and rings the bell. Samantha Cameron answers the door, smiling. #Downing_St
EVA (@Artis_DowningSt): Can I leave the bike in the hallway? #Downing_St
SAM (@Sam_DowningSt): Of course. Just lean it on the Giacometti. #Downing_St
The above lines are from the opening scene of Downing Street, a Twitter play created by artist Eva Weinmayr (of The Piracy Project) in response to the artist’s real-life brush with the eponymous halls of power.
The forthcoming introduction of generic top-level domains (gTLDs)—which will replace the .com or .net suffix with specific words or terms, such as .food, .movies, or .microsoft—poses new speculative opportunities as dizzying as those of Zola’s 19th-century Paris.
On Reed’s website (subheaded “Probably one of the coolest guys ever,” by the way), alongside the bio, blog, flickr stream (don’t be surprised there isn’t an Instagram feed, the man’s not mainstream), and blog, there is also a “books” section. Apparently, for the past ten years, Reed documents all the good books he read. And he reads a lot, “without rhyme or reason,” according to him. No one would be amazed to discover that The Catcher in the Rye, Herman Hesse’s Siddharta, or Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus made the list. Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke are even more obvious. But John Medina’s "Brain Rules" series—Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School and Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five—may catch you a little off guard. And Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, and The Virtue of Selfishness are even more of a surprise.
I think the meaning of this article is in the conflation of Artsy and e-flux, but nevermind that. Here's the real point: I have no actual interest in criticizing e-flux for its decision to apply to run the gTLD. I'd be happy to do that if they actually win it, and once they start charting out what they'll do with it. In the meantime, my only goal in this piece is to point to some problematics and interests in these two discussions on URLs, branding, art, and money.
About democracy and the internet community: well, first of all, I'm totally unconvinced that some weird democratic taxonomy is the best we can come up with. And in the case of e-flux, I think their time/bank project is an interesting precursor to what may happen with .art. I thought the time/bank had a great chance of being successful because e-flux had a built-in community of people who are interested in alternative economies around it. Instead it's circulating as an artwork and continuous project that is more of an experiment than a real entity. Who knows if .art (which attracted attention via that same e-flux community) won't be the same.
Flux Factory is seeking proposals from game designers, technical wizards, emcees, performers, set designers, house bands, and all manner of mischief makers! We need your help to create iSpy, a live reality show meets stage show spectacle meets video game that combines game design and theater with the topsy-turvy power of networked cameras in public spaces.
The experience will revolve around players carrying networked cameras in public space, beaming images back to the gallery-turned-theater as they compete to finish absurd challenges with the audience’s help (e.g.: corralling strangers to swing at pinatas, in-store scavenger hunts, and impromptu games of Balderdash on the street). The Flux theater will be rigged with cameras and surprises too, turning everyone into unwitting players.
As an interactive and theatrical game experience, this project is not limited to the gallery. The production of iSpy will be highly collaborative, with all invited creators helping to form events open to the public during the last two weekends of April 2012. We need collaborators to make mini-games, elaborate scoreboards, 70’s game show-style sets, spectacular lighting design, and surprising interactions, and we need house bands, emcees, actors, technical crew, facilitators, and much more to make it happen.