March 8 - 15, 2003
From time to time there's a real gem of work that passes through rhizome's net art news announcements and this week, these came through:
Cory Arcangel has created a piece of what I would term (and I don't often say this!!) an exceptional piece of net art. Mainly known for working with sound and video games, such as his released album "8-bit Construction Set". In this piece, "Data Diaries" Arcangel's work uses Quicktime to read "the binary data daily passing through his computer's RAM" to create a non-interactive, heavy-in-sound, heavy-in-image piece.
It's difficult to pinpoint what qualifies this piece as net art since, from a strictly technical point of view, it would work on either CD-ROM or video. Perhaps this is a sign of a truer art form that is free from its medium? But on a conceptual level, this work resides firmly in an Internet space. With ideas of memory, persistence, authorship, stream of conscience vs. stream of data, the relation between a user and their computer (or vice versa), and the intersection of text (data) and image (light), the creation of a website around this work ensures that the computer's purest data, its raw memory, is shared with as wide an audience as possible.
There is, of course, something personal that every computer user imbues in their computer and it could be claimed that those in new media use them as sketchbooks for their own raw memories and ideas. Alex Galloway comments in the introduction "What did Cory Arcangel do in this piece? Next to nothing." Hardly. Arcangel has managed to reveal his own identity in a unique way: to stream his 'memory' over the internet; surely this is the perfect avatar free of its body.
:: Garrett Lynch ::