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Web Performer

"Web Performer" by Ursula Endlicher By Carl Goodman, ReelNYWeb Web Performer mounts an assault on your desktop by spawning yapping, jumping miniature browser windows. The work examines the nature of performance and identity online, though it is experientially similar to the effect of emptying a jar of frogs onto a table. For the performers in Web Performer, Endlicher chose to work with characters -- historical, fictional, and in-between (actors) -- that she herself has played in previous works or performances. The initial image loops are of the artist dressed as those characters. From there, she uses a novel organizing principle: As you advance through the piece, the picture used to represent each chosen character is itself based on its corresponding Web page's ranking in a search engine (such as Yahoo) for that character. Got it? As the piece reaches its 6th and final level of character transformation, a patient online art patron may be faced with this burning question: "WHAT THE HELL IS THE KEYBOARD COMMAND FOR CLOSE WINDOW?" [Answer: ctrl-w] Animations representing six different characters are loaded into separate windows that dance across the screen at different speeds. Each figure is based on a character from one of the author's live performances. As more windows appear on the screen the sounds emanating from each window appear to become more disjointed. Moving further through the piece (using the menu), images from search engine results for these six characters replace the initial animations.