:: Saturday, June 28, 2003 ::

Weekly features to be updated tomorrow, Sunday.

In the mean time here is an interesting take on Spam by Marc Garrett: The net piece Become a Curator was inspired by a spam e-mail selling penis enlargement received by the artist. Garrett appropriated the spam message's selling pitch by switching the term "Penis" for "curator." The result is a strange re-evaluation of net-art culture's role within the more established art institution. Also, the institution's phallocentrism becomes quite obvious when placed in this context. The activity of curating is problematized by inviting anyone who is willing and has the time to do so to become a curator -- a possibility the art institution openly dismisses and net-art activism openly embraces.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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:: Friday, June 27, 2003 ::

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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"VIPER" Basel International Festival for Film, Video and New Media which is taking place November 21 - 25, 2003, is making a call for submissions under the theme "[READY MADE CUSTOM MADE]". The "Vipar" festival, now twenty years old, is the most significant festival for linear and non-linear media taking place in Switzerland. The deadline is June 30th (just a few days left now!) however "Works and projects which are not ready by the closing date for entries can be entered in the form of indicative documentation material or as a concept description". For further information on the theme and sub-themes of the festival please see the website.
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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:: Thursday, June 26, 2003 ::
Here is an intensive exhibit which recently closed offline, but is still available online. Press release:

"Variablemedia is pleased to announce VM.01 at the Hoxton Distillery Gallery London from the 19th until the 22nd of June. Marking a year of on-line artistsí residencies at www.variablemedia.org, VM.01 will both present and elaborate on all 6 of the first years on-line projects. The www.variablemedia.org site has hosted artists based in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland."

A particular piece to note is Paul Blichard's Staying in to play which was previoulsly reviewed; one of the most interesting 3-D interfaces combining online user participation with gaming strategies.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, June 25, 2003 ::
It is going down again:

NEXT 5 MINUTES 4

International Festival of Tactical Media

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM

Amsterdam 11 - 14 September 2003

De Balie / Paradiso / Melkweg / Waag Society
NIM Montevideo / Imagine IC / SALTO

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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delvemagazine is a great magazine exploring all areas of visual culture, published online quartely and in-print annually.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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Here is an online collective worth noting:

"xurban.net An online collective at www.xurban.net since the year 2000, dedicated to art and politics. Xurban attempts to motivate/provoke theoretical/political discussions and online art works. Currently situated mainly in New York and Istanbul, xurban.net realized site-specific installations with online components to circulate through the world wide web, as well as works that are realized specifically for viewing on the internet. "

To check out some of their works and features, visit their website. A site worth checking out more than once.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 ::
"ALTERNE" (Alternative Realities in Networked Environments) consortium is making a call for outlines of artistic projects. "The chosen projects will acquire access to new tools, interfaces, SW and technologies related to qualitative physics, virtual storytelling, AI technology, implementation of alternative principles of causality and new visualization techniques for immersive CAVE-like environments." The consortium researches and develops works funded by the European Commission and endevours to promote collaborations between new-media artists and laboratories. For further specifications on the project outline format please see the website.
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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Just a quick reminder to look into a brand new community-blog on steroids: discordia.us; the future in blogging authoring. For more comments read the original review on Thursday June 19, 2003.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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New on Turbulence.org:

"Formed in 1999, Galza is a group of artists who make ASCII [American Standard Code for Information Interchange] art. Members are mostly Russian, but the group also includes individuals from Belgium, Finland, the US, Canada, and Sweden. [...]

Galza is part of the ASCII virtual community; every few months, they release their art in zipfiles, as is common in the underground art scene.
But because few people know and appreciate text-mode (ASCII) art, Galza decided to emerge from this relatively small community and reach out to
a wider audience. They make ASCII T-shirts, and have exhibited in Moscow and Izhevsk (Russia), including at the famous DOM Gallery. Another, and by far the most important output of the Galza group is their website. 'There we've put our heritage in a graphical form, so that anyone
with a standard web browser can enjoy our art and side projects.' "

For more information visit Turbulence.org's spotlight
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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:: Monday, June 23, 2003 ::
"ATHICA, Athens Institute of Contemporary Art" is making a call for entries for web specific projects to be featured in their Virtual Art Gallery from August 7th 2003.

"Conceived of as an 'alternative art space', the Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (ATHICA), is dedicated to exhibiting challenging, provocative and innovative contemporary art in a non-traditional setting, solely for the cultural enrichment if the Northeast Georgia community."

For further information please see the website.
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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This is nether a review of net.art or an announcement regarding a festival / exhibition but has such importance to the net.art community I felt it needed to be posted. Friday the 20th of June was a good day in the states as it has been now dubbed "Gif Liberation Day" the BBC reports the following...

"The patent for the Lempel-Ziv-Welch, or LZW, compression algorithm is set to expire in the US on Friday. It also expires in Europe, Canada and Japan in June of 2004."

The patent lodged by Unisys in 1994 simply meant that all applications creating GIF format files, this includes photoshop etc but also all scripts such as php using the GD library, had to pay licensing fees to Unisys. While there have been free formats introduced to replace the ever popular GIF such as PNG (Portable Network Graphics) for static images and the lesser known MNG (Multiply-image Network Graphics) for animated ones, nether of these have managed to catch on as quickly or developed as rapidly (MNG is still not widely used as a format in applictions).

For further information see the BBC's website, meanwhile I'm off to hassle my US based ip to reconfigure GD to work with gifs on my server! :)
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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Alternative ways for viewing webpages have been part of net culture since the beginning of the web. Rhizome houses some well-known browsing interfaces which are Spiral, Starry Night, Ada 1852, Context Breeder, and Troika all exclusively providing access to the Rhizome database. Other interfaces such as The Boxplorer by Andy Deck, Goodworld by Lew Baldwin, and Revelation1.0 by Mark Tribe focus on reformating webpages into Mondrian-like abstractions.

And then came Epic Tales by Carlo Zanni, which reformats webpages not into allegorical modern compositions but instead leaves the layout intact and reinterprets the text into a combination of Modern English and 'Anglo-Saxon of an ancient warrior culture' text-types. The result is disconcerting layouts. Unlike the alternative interfaces previously described, Epic Tales lets the user reevaluate the actual content in relation to a particular history that is not immediately connected to net technology. The reasons behind this rhetorical strategy become evident when reading the project description, where Borges' addiction to studying languages to find his cultural roots is cited as an inspiration. Borges states:

"Each one of the words stood out as though it had been carved, as though it were a talisman. For that reason the poems of a foreign language have a prestige they do not enjoy in their own language, for one hears, one sees, each one of the words individually. We think of the beauty, of the power, or simply of the strangeness."

And this is not far from the feeling one may get when viewing a favorite website as an 'epic tale' interpretation. One needs to be patient with this piece, but it is worth the wait -- especially when going back to Anglo-Saxon Times. However, it should be noted that the artist contextualizes the piece as a way to expose militaristic tendencies running through contemporary media. A darkside eventually unfolds as one views the website.

This piece is officially being launched on June 25 as a CCA:Glasgow Net Art Commission.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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:: Sunday, June 22, 2003 ::
"60X1.COM" created by Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung is one of those sites that makes you wonder why more people don't concentrate on good images, sound, simple interaction and animation instead of being convinced that Flashing it will make it good!

Heavily influenced by the works of John Heartfield, strongly political. These multimedia collages cleverly use midi sounds, the title tags (displayed as speech bubbles in explorer) layers and image maps to create works that are not alone visual collages but also a collage assembling elements found on the internet, the biggest collage of all.
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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From Monday the 30th of June until Sunday the 6th of July the "Eclectic Tech Carnival" will take place in Athens, Greece. The event is a "a seven day and night carnival of exchanging computer related skills. By women for women".

Topics include a beginners course "computer basic concepts and fundamental terms, Using linux for beginners, scripting language: perl, shell script and open discussions about gender and technology issues". For further information on how to register, please see the site.
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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