World of Goo


Designed in the 18th century, the Parc de Bruxelles, located in the center of Brussels, allegedly contains a hidden symbol in its layout, visible only from the air: a Masonic compass, signified by a circle atop a triangle. For GEO GOO (Info Park), currently on view at iMAL with elements online, Internet art trailblazers JODI have created a series of their own arcane symbols by employing 21st century geographic technology, leveraging Google Maps' innate functions in the service of graphic expression. Manipulating a variety of default icons, some of JODI's animations use maps of the Parc de Bruxelles itself: one places a crowd of tiny green explorers on the Parc, hiking the Masonic compass; another iteration generates new symbols on the Parc's layout each time it loads -- including euros, yen, houses, touristy cameras and red crosses -- obliquely evoking semi-random political significance when layered atop the center of the EU. Other examples utilize global maps, pushing the limits of Google's service to create jittering compositions, while some avoid the land altogether to enable exercises in a more pure abstraction. GEO GOO harkens back to a 2007 work by JODI, GEO GEO, in which they traced words and whole sentences onto the maps of various cities (chosen for having lent their names to fonts). Both projects continue the Dutch-Belgian duo's intricate and obsessive drive to derange the Internet from inside out, taking advantage of innate quirks and loopholes in available systems in the service of a punked-out creative jujitsu. - Ed Halter

Image: JODI, GEO GOO (Info Park), 2008

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