Joan Leandre defines himself as a "media interpreter." Active as a video artist in the field of independent media from the early 1990s, he won international recognition from 1999 thanks to retroYou (RC) (1999 - 2001), a progressive modification of the parameters used to construct the 3D graphics of a car racing video game. With retroyou nostal(G) (2002 - 2003) he goes on to deconstruct a flight simulator. In both cases, Leandre utilizes software to subvert and re-write a powerful ideological machine, translating a rather conventional generator of reality into a medium for illusions. The Dr. Strangelove of computing, Leandre loves the bomb and knows its mechanisms well enough to transform them into the workings of a multi-layered ambiguous narrative, esoteric and seductive at the same time. This aspect of his work is apparent in his latest project, In the Name of Kernel (2006 - ongoing). The kernel, the heart of every operating system, becomes the myth around which coagulates a symbolic event combining travel literature, the alchemy tradition and science fiction, terrorism and conspiracy theories, programming and mountaineering, 3D modeling and satellite mapping, hallucinations and revelations.
Two years ago Caitlin Jones observed in NYFA Current that net artists working in multiple formats were increasingly finding venues to show. Today, the art world is still figuring out how to manage the practicalities of dealer and artist relationships. I spoke with Aron Namenwirth, of artMovingProjects, in an effort to better understand the challenges, and solutions, digital media presents to contemporary galleries with a focus on New Media.