Jason Nelson
Since the beginning
Works in United States of America

Without really predicting the future, I've discovered a few places where quality goods can be purchased. I'm
also from Oklahoma, but sadly don't live there now. Being a poet by training, I love the way lights flicker and sounds make my stomach all a flutter.

Jason is scared of being hidden. But then so are the digital bits he farms. Certain regulations require his standing, and then sitting, which is just too damn obvious. Sometimes he teaches at Griffith University (on the coast’s most golden of coasts) as a lecturer in Cyberstudies, although the term conjures robots with beaks and hard wired…somethings. If you like this, you love this: www.heliozoa.com.

Sometimes, after nights of talking with friends late into the night, you come home at three or four in the morning and stumble into the bathroom. After a long release of fluids, and the sound of a night’s hard work being flushed away, you look in the mirror. At first the disheveled interloper in the metal backed glass is someone you don’t know. You douse your face with water and lookup again. Still the head and nose and eyes appear strange wobbling back at you with their curious stare. You strain to recognize the person. You clean the glass with a mildewing towel from the floor and still struggle to befriend this other invading your space.

Perhaps that is the way I feel as a hypermedia poet. After the intoxicating experience of creating hypermedia works, I am bewildered by my artistic reflection. Am I, as some ask, a painter? A poet? A sound manipulator? A multimedia tinkerer? I suppose some would say I am all of these. And others would say none. The work presented here for the Ohio Arts grant represents my pulling together art forms, my collage of poetry, image, sound, movement, and interaction. All of these elements are then filtered through the web environment, allowing for a broad audience, a hypermedia gallery for every computer.

But all of this, all the merging of various genres and technology is still too new, too ever evolving for anybody to know in any coherently explainable way what exactly they are doing. And that is exactly why hypermedia is so beautiful and enticing. Sometime, long ago, someone began classifying and categorizing our world. You are a baker, you are a criminal and you over there are a Central American poet revealing the class struggle. While some say postmodernism is mired in it’s own labeling of anti-labeling paradox, it has, at least, provided a generous platform for the creation of hypermedia works. The previous ideas of what goes where, of what poetic technique is helpful for recreating the pains and joys of life, seem silly in a hypermedia environment. An environment where technology allows the artist to cross boundaries and create new borders. Creativity is dental floss is mouse movement.

When I painfully shave the coarse hairs from my face, and cleaning the cream from my face look into the mirror, I don’t see an artist I can place in a recognizable category. All I see are the crooked lines between my eyebrows and the towel rack behind me. I see a poem forming in the exhaust fans loud and louder buzz. The condensation over words carrying the light from a seventy-five watt bulb to patterns on the floor.

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new net artwork--evil mascots

This one is even stranger


new device/widget for creating/authoring digital poetry

Announcing the first trial of a new digital poetry device.

This is a beta, very rough version, for testing and exploration.

So I invite all poets to come and play, test and critique, writing their
own poems for this engine, or entering some of their old ones. The best
will be archived permanently. Again this is designed to help poets
think of their writing in a 3-d, multi-linear/dimensional way.

URL: http://www.secrettechnology.com/poem_cube/poemcube.html

Please do offer thoughts on how it works, and it might be explained and
work better.

Cheers, Jason Nelson

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from a b-grade (indy?) net artist

This recent chatter (borrowing the term from our home imprisonment agency) about
Mr. Tribe's glossy book or the future and past of net art brought about a realization.

Net Art has/is/will travel the same icy path as nearly all other forms of media. What was once a more or less free for all, a do what you want, how you want, a wonderful and dare I say cowboy/girlesque world of wranglers and such, has become institutionalized.

We are now academics, curators, grant givers and getters, publishers and book makers and on. And while I am terribly happy for the job and always love seeing new, curious work supported with bright buildings and fancy parties, there is one major drawback to all this institutionalization:

That drawback is the creation of hierarchy, building levels of influence. Of course, as with all other media forms, these levels, this hierarchy is largely built on seemingly arbitrary and unfair notions. Personal taste of those in power, friends, location, language, style, politics and the most powerful: random choice and perception. I say random, because when writing a book or article or making choices for funding there is a certain level of randomness...choosing from a field of tall blue poppies....

So when all this talk about books and such come around. And we read these books and dont see our names, or other's names in them, we cringe.....and complain.....

BUT....that is the trick isnt it. We arent complaining about Mark's choices, we are complaining about the hierarchy, the ordering of things, the choice of which works are deserving and which arent. And we complain because of why most of us started in this net/new media art world in the first place. We hated the ordering, every webpage was as close as the next, and we felt free to create however and whatever the hell we wanted. Sadly.....unless one divorces themselves
from the arena, the process, the institution of new media art, that ordering, that hierarchy, that power structure will continue.

SO.....my realization......after all this...I realized that in the hierarchy of things I am either a b grade artist or one of those awkward looking and quirky indy movie characters........and I suppose I dont care much, although given the chance to have
a few sentences and a bit of color space within the walls of borders, I would gladly get a nose job and tone my abs to industry standards...

Jason Nelson

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new net artwork....almost

Seeking feedback on a new net art creation....
about 70 percent done...

title: between treacherous objects


cheers, Jason Nelson

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net art dead or just moved neighborhoods.

Jim (and others),

Such great words here. There always seems to be this fight, this sort of strange
need for institutional acceptance. These institutions with heavy doors, locked with
tents and sleeping bags of artists waiting outside for entry. The large bouncer of
curators, and funding bodies.

I might have mentioned this before. But I'm in a quandry. The difficulty of being in
academia is that one must constantly "measure" the impact of their work.

So in one way, the pay and security is pleasing, but in another an artist must find
the most "known" institutions and send your work there. And while those venues are
most likely filled with gorgeous people, with sturdy ankles, they really shouldnt be our sole audience. And in fact they should be a very minor part of how net artwork should be shared, let's say 15 percent. Lets say that.

And yet that is the audience that gives the least....well...um....audience. For example
I recently had a few older works, Uncontrallable Semantics, This is how you will die,
and Hermeticon, picked up by sites like Fark.com and I-AM-BORED.com and other
link aggregators. And with that has come 2.2 million visitors to my site secrettechnology.com in the past 4 months. In addition this audience e-mails you and
suggests your work in that wonderful viral way, that blog to site to forum to newspaper sort of way. And you can see them go through entire works, spending sometime
an hour or more exploring. This is the audience I want and this should be the audience
we seek.

What this then suggests is that part of this discussion about net art dead or dying or
failing etc....is because so much of it moving to institutions. While this could lead to
more funding, more respect in some circles, it is the wrong direction for net art to swim. Or maybe it simply is the wrong SOLE direction. Institutions are here to share artwork
with some audience. But we circumvent the need for institutions. Well....almost
there is still the point about funding. Well....not sure what to say about that.

Also....it does appear that many former net artists have moved to installation or
what seems to be mislabelled as new media art: video art. This again seems to be
sign of net artists moving towards buildings, rather than the web.

So consider this missive another well traveled call for swimming in what ever the hell
direction you want. I want to be a cowboy.


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