:: Saturday, May 15, 2004 ::

Well I guess all reviews can't be positive but at the very least they should be constructive. The following fits into this category. Me and Billy Bob a hybrid video installation / net.art work by Jillian McDonald is a work which discusses "misplaced Intimacy...a symptom of our heavily mediated culture".

On arrival to the site we are 'treated' to one of Jillian's object of affections, the actor Billy Bob Thornton, talents. A dirige sung by the actor / singer / songwriter (etc. etc. etc.) entitled Starlight Lounge. This immediately sets the mood for a downbeat narrative and we enter Jillian's world, seemingly her computer complete with Billy Bob desktop image and icons (of a sort).

The site contains nothing other than short extracts of films staring Billy Bob, romantic scenes in particular in which the love interest is played by Jillian. Both male and female gaze at each other in strange combinations of love and sadness with no resolve. The clips while interesting in technique and idea seem far too short and poor in quality. Not alone does the desire of the two protagonists remain "unconsummated, looping infinitely" but the users time and effort to download the clips remains ungratified.

"MeandBillyBob.com masquerades as a fan site, leading the visitor into position as voyeur. Rather than promoting information about the starís personal or professional life the focus is my romantic obsession. Bordering on mania and inciting curiosity, the ultimate goal of the website is of course to attract its very subject."

Yet this fan site nether has the look or feel of a fan site and one wonders why the relevance of it being an installation piece? Fan site's tend to have memorabilia, desktop images and icons you can download not just the semblance of them and where are the updates or news sections, the forums and chatrooms? While appreciating what Jillian is attempting to do, focus through one narrative on modern cultures obsession with the gaze, it seems too diluted in its approach and presentation.

For futher information on the work please see Jillian's principle site here.

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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:: Thursday, May 13, 2004 ::
Webby Award 2004 winners in the netart category are Marie Sester's "access" and Dragan Espenschied's html piece "GRAVITY". Meanwhile the winners of the Prix Ars Electronica 2004 awards where also announced. The golden Nica in the category Net Vision went to "creativecommons". The Awards of Distinction in this category went to Marcus Weskamp and Dan Albritton for their project "Newsmap" and MoveOn.org's project "Bush in 30 seconds". To have a look at all honory mentions click "here".

:: Peter Luining [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, May 12, 2004 ::
As new media becomes part of "old media" new books categorizing and tracing the creative development are published. Perhaps the first major work to have placed new media on the map of the mainstream artworld would be Lev Manovich's The Language of New Media, published in 2000. Another major book, which is actually a compilation of historical readings leading up to what now is commonly known as new media, is The New Media Reader,edited by Nick Monfort and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, and Multimedia, edited by Randall Packer and Ken Jordan, is yet another essential supplement for the new media enthusiast. In 2003 Thames and Hudson released Digital Art by Christiane Paul, and most recently they released Internet Art by Rachel Greene.

What is worth noting in the consistent publishing of these books is that the emerging technologies field is now entering a new stage where work known as new media is becoming available to the average art enthusiast. One can only hope this will be viewed as a rhetorical invitation for others who are active within the new media field to write their own histories.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 ::
As some of our readers who are subscribed to the major list-serves may already know, Neural recently released its latest issue in English. Neural is an online magazine that also offers its content in-print. It features news and reviews on emerging technologies ranging from hacktivism to e-music, and what from time to time is referred to simply as "art."
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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:: Monday, May 10, 2004 ::
"Uncle Roy All Around you" - Blast Theory, and other incursions of UK theater into the realm of SMS, PDAs and GPSs...

Blast Theory has just done another great "Uncle Roy all around you" performance, this time in Manchester, UK. The program read "28 April - 2 May and 5 - 8 May (last entry for Street Players at 8pm)"...

Why that last note? Because Uncle Roy All Around you has some of Howard Rheingold's "smart mobs" but with a "twist", that being the game-like script (storyline) that makes the piece something between a MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), a novel and your worst nightmare.

UK is definitely the place bubbling with these creative theater groups that some call alternative theater, and that involve wireless, PDAs and people both on the street and online... and on the street/online.

Tim Etchell (read below) is another name to keep in mind. Titles like "Forced Entertainment" (the company he directs) or Surrender Control (one of the theatrical pieces) are self-explanatory.

Etchells:
"It's a very liberating moment when you admit that you aren't even tied to particular forms or strategies: that the next thing you do might be a publication, or a twenty-four hour performance or CD ROM or, indeed, a completely text-based performance, that you're tied to ideas, nothing more." (in interview to Caridad Svich for alternativetheater.com)


"Uncle Roy all around you"- http://www.uncleroyallaroundyou.co.uk/
Blast Theory- http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/
Forced Entertainment- http://www.forced.co.uk/

:: ana boa-ventura [+] ::
...
Machida Museum of Graphic Arts's Art on the Net for the year 2003 is up for view now. While some links are still not functioning, the online works by the artists are available. This is a website I will review in more detail in the near future, but for now, I would like to invite our readers to click through the rich material offered online this year.

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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:: Sunday, May 09, 2004 ::
The use of Google in net.art, as already mentioned here before, has become a major theme only concreted by the arrival of oreilly's "Google Hacks 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tricks".

Some of you may know the Google Art creator / Google Groups Art and we have already reviewed the Googlehouse. Now there is My Google Body, a suitable inhabitant for the Googlehouse.

My Google Body is a portrait of its creator, a net.artist, as a Google image search query result. The body is split into its major parts - head, torso, arms, hands, legs, feet, and each of these words, the names for the body parts, are used as a keyword to search the Google image database. Google image search returns corresponding images which are then correctly assembled to create the body.

In a sense My Google Body is a return to early net.art concerns, representation / identity in virtual spaces by pseudonyms or avatars. It's continual animation and interchanging of body parts emphasise the lack of correspondence between identity and physicality in virtual spaces.

Simplistic and classical (in terms of net.art history) these are My Google Bodies strong points which make it instantly recognisable and understandable.

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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