October 5 - 11 , 2003

Evelyne Rogue, editor of Artcogitans.com, examines in her essay Purblue ou le bleu dé-voilé the formal qualities of Purblue, an online project by Yan Breuleux. The net project is influenced by a combination of emerging technologies and paintings by abstract expessionists, particularly Yves Klein, Barnett Newman and Marc Rothko. Purblue is part of the Flow/Courant exhibition, curated by Valerie Lamontagne. The essay is written in French and appears in .pdf format (download the plug-in if necessary) with permission by Evelyne Rogue.

Originally published on 10/01/03

Short interview with Elout de Kok.

Elout de Kok lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His work can best be described as 1920's constructivism meets digital architecture. The interesting twist Elout gives to this is that he adds interactivity to it. However, there seems to be a shift recently towards more personal related work like pictures (which are built by algorithms) of friends and himself.

Peter Luining: When did you start to create work for the Internet, and was there a specific reason for that?
Elout de Kok: Around 1993, I started uploading my interactive Amiga animations onto bulletin boards and dumping my ASCII-art on IRC. These days it feels good that I can express myself with graphics and code, and having a world-wide audience.

PL: A lot of your work looks inspired by 20's constructivism. Is this really the case or do you have different or other inspiration sources?
EK: I just started with these 'raw/simple' building materials; cubes and pixels, [also] inspired by Bauhaus/De Stijl/Constuctivism.

PL: You use different formats, like Flash, Java and C++ to make your work. Why?
EK: They all have their special pros and cons, and it's [a] good thing to learn different languages.

PL: These pros and cons of different languages I can understand, but isn't it so that if you learn one language, you can get much deeper into it?
EK: I slowly dig deeper into different languages now. And [the] reality/fear [is] in the back of my head that your work stops working if a big company decides not to support a certain OS, software or plug-in anymore.

PL: Recent works show a shift towards more personal work. Is this for a particular reason?
EK: I did some digital self-portraits back in 1993. One year ago, I rewrote one of them for the net, and it started from there.

PL: Could you tell something more about the why of this shift?
EK: Mmm. I didn't realize this shift. Maybe after all this playing, learning, and experimenting, I'm finding better ways to express myself; and IÕm trying to push this level every time.

Elout de Kok's site pixel-lab can be found at:

:: Peter Luining ::

Originally published on 09/25/03
Recently exhibited as part of the Athica - Virtual Gallery v2, Brooke A. Knight's An Hour of Your Time is "An investigation of things you could be doing rather than watching this piece".

Literally taking, or using, an hour of your time, the piece gives suggestion after suggestion for each second of that hour, 3600 in total. An Hour of Your Time is surely a commentary into the social phenomenon that occurs with most web 'surfers:Õ pointless surfing through websites that are of no particular interest to fill the time. Beautifully simplistic, the piece turns an interactive format (Macromedia's Director) into a linear form, simultaneously progressing through time as we watch it count down backwards to 00:00:00, a deadline. The presence of the countdown suggests an event that is going to happen at a future time; yet, the title leads us to believe that we will be denied and that the hour will simply be taken from us.

An Hour of Your Time is almost ambient as a net-art piece. Clean, simple, minimal, and unobtrusive, it focuses on a theme relevant to all 'surfers:' absence of time in virtual space undermined by time in the real world, which is represented by the system clock that keeps ticking forward or that dial-up connection timer that's just passed three hours. As for what happens at the deadline, the 00:00:00 point, well, you'll have to invest some of your own time!

:: Garrett Lynch ::

Originally published on 09/25/03
I was recently given a copy of Read_Me 2.3 Reader, a very simple and well designed book that offers writings on software art and its culture; many of the projects can be found at runme.org.

Read_Me 2.3 Reader offers a concise and intense set of interviews and reviews of artworks, as well as commentaries and reports. Some of the most compelling articles are in "Read_Me 2.3 Report," which explains the reasons behind developing Read_Me 2.3 Software Festival and " A Quick view at Software Art." The book also takes on emancipatory narratives in the interview of Hans Bernhard, "Bringing Capitalism and Democracy Closer Together." Unfortunately, many of the writings in the reader are not available online, except for the art reviews.

What is most interesting to me about this whole project is that it really comes to life through the printed material -- a book, which is the last thing one would equate with emerging technologies. Reading the text in such a traditional format is extremely welcomed, and (I will admit this is, perhaps, an idiosyncratic statement but) there is a sense of cohesion that I get from having the book around; being able to pick it up to read a section here and there. Read_Me 2.3 Reader is dense, informative, and unexpectedly abstract in thought, and it has a good chance of becoming the standard to better understand software art. Hopefully, it will be available at your local bookstore soon.

:: Eduardo Navas ::