:: Saturday, February 15, 2003 ::
Appropriation is an important element in net-art practice, especially for artists who comment on other artists. Michael Mandiberg developed two projects based on appropriation: afterwalkerevans.com and aftersherrielevine.com. Here Mandiberg appropriated Sherrie Levine who appropriated Walker Evans, and then he also appropriated Walker Evans as well. Appropriation is pushed even further when Mandiberg himself becomes appropriated: aftermichaelmandiberg.com. Contextualization is key here, and one has to wonder how far can appropriation really go before it becomes a gimmick? What makes these sites interesting is that they fall on the edge -- here nor there.
Oculart is currently in dire straits. The site is in the hole $1,444.00. Visit the website while you can, and perhaps consider how you can help this well known project. Oculart's images are probably among the most intriguing visual forms to hit the web. It would be a shame if they went off-line.:: Friday, February 14, 2003 ::
If February is too cold to come to New York and visit historic and vibrant Harlem, Emily Adeyanju's Seasons of Harlem could be the next best thing. Full of the sights, sounds, jazz, dance, and literature of the undisputed African American cultural center of the world- the only thing this website can't give you is a taste of mouth-watering soul food. This Flash website explores Harlem's growth, Renaissance, decline, and current rebirth through the metaphor of seasons and Adeyanju's lyrical and visual poetry. Visit this website, then make plans to visit the real neighborhood.
Not too many websites use quicktime movies creatively. That is, most sites present quicktime files in a small window and that is that. Hektor.net incorporates quicktime movies within the actual layout of the browser window. The result is a unique and refreshing look that is quite welcomed, especially when Flash is becoming the standard for movement and sound on the net. Some pieces take on social issues such as lower, middle, and upper class values while other pieces show Hektor's obsession with sex.
Art inspired by tragic moments sometimes becomes oversentimentalized or romanticized. Or, much art work produced around catastrophes is often cathartic, but not necessarily critical. However, there are exceptions. Minfish.jp consists of playful structural commentaries referring to ideological differences. Sakana Sato uses minimal elements that through very simple compositions and movement are able to expose the slipperiness of human conflict. Eleven flash links that can be played in any order are accompanied by a guitar composition. Sato is too nice, as he even developed two versions: "full" and "light," to satisfy your bandwitdth.:: Thursday, February 13, 2003 ::
Vuk Cosic is best known for his ascii art; however, some of his pieces are not necessarily visual. Cosic has developed a net sound piece based on ascii. In ascii History of Art for the Blind, Cosic presents realplayer files consisting of monotonous voices reciting code that resembles ascii images, usually of an important artist or art work. This net piece is quite disturbing because it is impossible to conceptualize an acoustic image of what is being described.
Having Valentine's day coming our way soon, it might be appropriate to recommend 1,000,000. Blowing kisses is the main point of this site. Give the pop-up window arrangement time to develop.:: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 ::
VolumeOne is a visually innovative design firm, which has challenged and inspired its audience for years. Its Seasons project has been presenting an original exploration of interactive narrative for the last few years.
Alternative browsers are net art works not so widely experienced; this may be due to netizens's skepticism to download unknown software. One piece of software worth downloading, however, is Peter Luining's ctrlaltdel. He is interested in reinterpreting standarized html information into different formats, and his latest net project is a browser that converts html code into music. The user can log on to webpages and the results are low tone compositions that are quite soothing. The browser is available for Macs and Windows. However, it does not support webpages with frames.
The influence of Kraftwerk in electronic music could be considered inmeasurable. Now the same might be true for flash interfaces. The official Kraftwerk website consists of conceptual pieces based on some of their famous compostions which include "Tour de France," "Man Machine," "Trans -Europe Express" -- and the most entertaining of all, "Boing Boom Tschak," which lets you record and then play back on the spot. This website is worth returning to again and again.:: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 ::
Many artists are known for posing -- even the respected ones. icurator.org reconsiders poses by well known artists including Robert Barry, Daniel Buren, Elaine De Kooning, Audrey Flack, Rebecca Horn, Lawrence Weiner, and many others. All poses are presented along with playful comments that point to the "unpretentiousness" with pretention that famous artists are sometimes loved or hated for. When visiting the website click on "popular criticism."
The Museum of Conceptual Art is one of the earliest websites that could be considered net-art. However, at the time this site was launched in the mid-nineties the project was not necessarily talked about as net-art, but rather as conceptual art. Conceptualists, like the author of the website, considered the net another form that could be used by artists to present ideas. It is an early and interesting net-piece that is worth a visit.:: Monday, February 10, 2003 ::
Military budgets are often talked about, but never really concretely declared. $817,800,000,000 is a website which presents military budgets in global terms. Here, the fact that most developed countries have a military budget is acknowledged, but what the net project most importantly exposes is the drastic budgetary differences in the economic strata around the world.
Linda Chung gives us a VIP tour of Tokyo's hidden night life in the The Red Spot. A complete contrast to the conservative national image often presented in Japan, this mutlimedia tour allows us to explore the subculture of dark alleys, seedy night clubs, "massage" parlors, witness video-interviewed ex-pats, and read the compelling stories of the site's contributors.The Red Spot is immersive and engaging, with a nice design and beautiful animations, transitions, and imagery.
Jorge Luis Borges has proven to be a major influence in net-art creativity. The Book after the Book is a website developed around Borges's Book of Sand. Here, client side scripting languages make the most of the browser to present a displaced narrative based on Borges's writing. Click as much as possible -- it will pay off.