:: Friday, January 09, 2004 ::

Empty Folders, by 100luziano testi paul, is a piece presenting, as the title explains, empty folders ready for download. The folders contain folders within folders. The user is encouraged to add and delete folders, and to adjust the already existing folders to then redistribute.

Definitions is another interesting piece by Testi Paul, using denotation as the subject of art. Here, the term "definitions" is presented with numerous links to search engines providing further information on the names of the search engines themselves. Meaning is inevitably created with the website presentation and links.

Both pieces rely on conceptual strategies made popular in the seventies. While Empty Folders recalls Michael Asher's strategies to expose ideologies supporting naturalized environments and structures of the art institution, Definitions allegorizes Joseph Kosuth's Conceptualism dependent on text to deconstruct the object of art. Both web pieces are good examples that there is more to art than a good idea -- Conceptual art is no exception. The implementation of established strategies can often be a welcomed breath of fresh air when reinterpreted through a new medium, however Testi Paul's project falls into the realm of Pastiche. This is because self-referencing is now part of the art vernacular. Late postmodern artists are known for creating copies from copies, for referencing and exposing the supporting structures of discourse, something that by now should be very carefully exercised or it quickly becomes an acoustic readymade, a formula. The real challenge facing these online pieces by Testi Paul is how to displace appropriation itself, how to make it more than an allegorical exercise.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 ::
The story of intellectual and electronic spaces is inculcated with spatial analysis and manifestations. One such repository lies at Mappa.Mundi Magazine, which hosts an archive called “Map of the Month.” While I have an intellectual dilemma with the inherent limitations of mapping, I am much engaged by the visualizations presented at the site. Mappings include: How people use a website and site-flow; what a city might look like in cyberspace; the global spread of the Net; even an examination of a traditional mapmaker’s topographic approach to mapping of information. Fractals and anemones. Spirals and stacks. Webs and cobs. Spokes and wheels. The visualizations present numerous abstractions of abstractions, and are stunning in and of themselves. However, perhaps the point will come when these seemingly abstract images will be as recognizable and distinct as a traffic sign.

:: [+] ::
:: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 ::
Curators Maya Kalogera and Koraljka Jurcec Kos have organized the multimedia exhibition GROUND OF MY STUDIO" -- an ambient mix of offline and online sculpture, video and net.art installations. Participating artists include Ruth Catlow, Agricola de Cologne, Marc Garrett, Maya Kalogera, Jess Loseby, Eryk Salvaggio, Teo Spiller, and Jody Zellen.

The aim of the project is to accentuate the, “parallel articulation of similar ideas; visual experiences as forms in the online/offline zones; offline zone as a new circuit of net intensity; transforming of "white cube" to immersive, sensorial, multimedia evolving experience; "virtual is part of the real" syntagma.”

An onsite installation consists of a projected image: An abstraction composited from images sent by artists of their studio floors, uploaded from all over the world.Continual participation is welcome -- click here to send an image. This interactive work is available for view and participation for the duration of the offline portion of this exhibition. The offline project also includes a presentation of Ruth Catlow's early web project '”Diary of the objects on the street.”

Online at: http://www.wowm.org/gradec/
Offline at: Gallery Gradec, Katarinin trg 5, Zagreb, December 18, 2003 - January 18, 2004
:: [+] ::
I think we need a new, exclusive category for Dutch software artist Douwe Osinga. Osinga seems to have so thoroughly absorbed the O'Reilly book Google Hacks that he probably dreams of URIs.

His latest project, Land Geist, isn't technically a Google Hack, though; according to his home page, "For this project I used AllTheWeb and not Google, as I usually do, because the results on Google are rather untrustworthy. Google claims that 8% of all pages with the words 'united states"'as a sentence on them, also contain Cheese, which sounds like a lot. Other searchengines put this number around the 1%."

Sounds natural to me that 8% of pages referencing the U.S. would also reference cheese.
:: Lewis LaCook [+] ::
Not an art project per se, but it has great implications for all new media artists.

Turns out Mark Napier and Daniel C. Howe have been working on a set of Java components for artists. Called Open Java, these handy tools will enable Java artists to simulate physics via engines written by the programming duo. True to the spirit of Open Source, one can not only view demos of the components on the project homepage, but also download source code to allow Java Headz to incorporate these behaviors into their applets.

Java may have recently suffered blows from monolithic giant Microsoft, but projects like these prove that the language is thankfully here to stay, and will no doubt continue produce compelling new media work.
:: Lewis LaCook [+] ::
:: Monday, January 05, 2004 ::
Here are some additions to the New Media Fix this week:

Featuring writings on: new media art | philosophy | culture

The 6th Graz Biennial on Media and Architecture

The VCMN is a collaborative site facilitating large-scale cultural endeavors consisting of different cooperating factors through computer networking.

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Sunday, January 04, 2004 ::
Following the honorary mention of sourceforge, the open source development network, in the Prix Ars Electronica this year it surely needs to be asked when will art institutions look sideways at commerce and how software companies and developers have adapted to use the network as a fused combination of space for initiation and collaboration / dispersion / distribution and beyond to do likewise for art forms / disciplines such as net.art. Net.art having a long history of practitioners who are programmers it seems that obstacles and technical hurdles lie in the domain of the institutions rather than the artist.

One such approach is Ars Publica "a digital art publisher and agency established for providing and funding new media art, activities and resources in affiliation with the art server Noemata.net" and currently supported by the Council of Cultural Affairs in Norway. Yet cultural or physical borders don't hold for this open content site.

Their "policy is to support collaboration, community, transparency, immediacy in the arts - net.art, media art, correspondence/mail art, network art, context art, or other otherness and marginal artifactualizations" no matter where the content is originated or what language it uses, through a no restrictions policy. The server space embraces art work and its byproducts in all shapes and forms, functioning and non-functioning - in fact reveling in the successes, changes and even failures of the combinations of art and technology, documenting work as it is, in an almost dadaesque manner.

Individuals and institutions can participate in broadly two ways. Firstly they can add, modify or remove material on the server to contribute to the work. Secondly they can purchase shares of noemata.net...

"Shares can be browsed and purchased from the catalogue, establishing ownership in Noemata. The art will usually be delivered to you prior to your order, the digital art being freely available on the net the audience and potential buyer is already owner of the art - it is already distributed and downloaded by being browsed (much like quantum mechanics, readymades, zen, or similar commodities). In addition, the art of Noemata is open content licenced, meaning no fee can be charged for it, so that's another problem - no order, no payment (if you figure out a way to pay us we'll consider whether to accept it or not). By buying shares of Noemata in the form of art we in Ars Publica fancy having provided a solution where you can order something you already possess, and purchase something which may not be charged for - these are problematic issues, maybe paradoxical, anyway, we'll have a shot in the arm at it."

While arspublica should be felicitated on its approach it does seem an attempt that lacks dedication to posterity. True, art can be added in any way but how is that art contextualized? How does it exist in relation to the piece next to it? And how will it be cataloged for users?

One final thing, because of the nature of the work that arspublica contains (often collaborative, contributory and variable) and the fact that it can contain many works, how do we define the border between the works and the space? Where are the indications you would have in a classic space such as a gallery, indications disposed of to free the space yet possibly to the compromise of context? How do we stop the space itself just becoming an immense collective net.art work in itself? Is this good or bad? Do we consider galleries collective art works?

For more information on arspublica and their approach see the site or contact arspublica@kunst.no.

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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