:: Saturday, August 30, 2003 ::

"Selectparks" has been mentioned once or twice here before for its encouragement of and the platform it creates for the games industry, in particular small independant companies and artists doing intresting things. "9-11 Survivor" is a game mod in development based on the Unreal Game engine that has its documentation and details of its progress hosted on "Selectparks".

A game mod is basically a unit, usually visual or aural, designed for a game that already exists. For example a designer or artist takes a game such as "Quake" or "Unreal" and uses it (the basic code, the engine) to create a game with their own visuals and sounds. A shoot-em-up has to stay a game with characters either chasing or fleeing each other, a racing game has to remain a racing game, yet beyond that there is plenty of scope to produce interesting re-interpretations of games of the particular chosen genre.

"9-11 Survivor" does exactly this. It reconfigures a game environment / space to tackle current social events and real world spaces. It questions the idea of a 'game' being "An activity providing entertainment or amusement; a pastime" and how a disaster situation can be so over mediated that it ultimately gets translated to a space where it can be instigated at will. A game genre where players are usually chasing each other to punch, shoot and kill each other in a fantasy environment, here they are running for survival in a former real world scenario.

Whether this is an outlet for a huge loss (some of the designers seem to have been present at the real disaster) or whether this transgresses the boundaries of taste in terms of respect for the deceased, one thing is certain that "9-11 Survivor" is absolutely valid new media art and does not what 'good' art should do, but must do, question us, the world and our relation to it.
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
The following is a response/comment by Isabel Saij to a previous report on InteractivA 03 taking place at MACAY, it appears as received:

As previously announced, some comments after reading your (very interesting) experience/story about your presence in Merida and your participation in Interactiva03. Please consider that this mail is (relatively) short. Some ideas are expressed very directly : in a longer statement I'll introduce of course a number of shades. Below the 3 points I like to mention :

>1- Museum and officials :

The lack of interest and engagement of an official structure is not really surprizing. But the question is : why ? Currently I see different reasons :
-the economic crisis : notable about a crisis is that in our european countries the first effect is to cut down all credits to art. I'm not so aware about the system in the USA (as far as I know it's different from Europe) but recent example (Steve Dietz, Mirapaul,...) prove a problem. Of course the exemples are linked with the netart but I think it's representative of the general situation for art.

-the "danger" of netart.
The first difficulty is a technical one. Netart is new and made with computer (hardware, softwares, codes). The formation and knowledge of leading museum officials is mainly (exclusively ?) art history. How can they have an opinion about internet pieces ?. The second problem is the netartist. All what I see, all what I read, the personal contacts I have (even only per email) prove that the people involved as netartist are able to think and to create a lot...!. I'm not quiet sure it's a good starting point to get the attention of officials. What I've seen and experienced in Europe (i.e. Austria, France, and Germany) let me being doubtful about the intention of the officials : an "average" artist with few capacities is easy to manipulate... furthermore with theory and citations it's not so difficult to emphasize his/her work. A sad situation. I often get angry about it.

-the small number of netartist. If a museum withdraws its support to netart... what are the real consequences ? The community will send mails and that's it ! In the world of art, netart doesn't count, at least now (I'm completely engaged in netart, webart,... and I hope and want this situation to change).

>2- Despite the lack of support Interactiva03 took place :
You describe how all the artists have hardly worked to "produce" this exhibition. It means artists were able to achieve the project successfully. In my opinion : a very positive sign.
Far away from :
-"everybody is an artist" which leads to the boring exhibitions to be seen throughout empty museums and galleries
-the artist as "head only" : very expensive installation with very sophisticated systems that need as well engineers as many workers to be conceived and installed.

>3- Meeting with colleagues :
I find it necessary too. It's now one of my aims to know personnaly netartists to develop professional and personal contacts.

>4- Last information : Iceca/Thailand
I had almost written this mail when I received from Francis Wittenberger the information about the problems in Thailand. Just a confirmation what I suppose in my point 1-. I've sent a mail to the officials in Thailand to tell them what I think. Francis Wittenberger - who organized the show- let me know per email that this situation was very hard for him (I understand it of course!) In the same time I've got several mails from french students inviting artists to read and comment their work around the theme "netart". The interesting here is the number of studies on the subject. A clear sign that we are in the 21st century and that art with computer will find its place.


Posted by
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Friday, August 29, 2003 ::
Shockwave is overlooked too much these days because of how time consuming it is to learn and programme yet as a faster solution to using Java and the ability to still do many things that Flash can't do, some people do make that effort.

Unfortunately "shapevent" by Zevan Rosser does'nt do anything particular that only this technology can do. Don't get me wrong, the experiments are all good in themselves and while I do like these sort of playing with form, movement and colour I'm begining to see just too many of these types of sites. Shockwave has had some incredible things integrated into it in the last two years such as 3d and the multiuser server, yet rarely do we see these used in pieces such as these.

"Shapevent" is interesting to play with for five minutes or so but without experimentation into the newer technologies, connection and use of external technologies, databases, php, asp etc. it seems like the same old, same old and destined to fade away as did praystation.com, the most infamous of these sites.
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
:: Thursday, August 28, 2003 ::
New media art in Ireland is still in its debut stage due to lack of interest and understanding from organisations who are very slow to invest time or money. Things are gradually begining to improve, however most events and exhibitions tend to take place in Dublin (the capital) meaning the general public in other cities very rarely see new media artworks. One such organisation / space exhibiting new media art are "The Digital Hub"...

"In December 2002, The Digital Hub launched the first in its series of exhibitions showcasing digital technology. During 2003 The Digital Hub will continue to exhibit work" and is starting this with a call for projects under the theme of "Exhibit 4:Play", to be exhibited at The Digital Hub, 10 - 13 Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland.

"Exhibit4:Play will focus on Gaming, Games sector and games related projects" and are looking for works which are experimental, educational, conceptually and technically innovative. The deadline for receipt of submissions is 15th September 2003, please see the website for further information.
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
Here is an upcoming deadline worth noting:

Submit your top ten links to LINKING PROJECT 2003 (deadline extended to November 1st, 2003).

This exhibiting opportunity was previously featured on Net Art Review a few months ago. I am hereby digging out my original post from the archives of June 10, 2003:

A few months ago, I watched the movie Scratch by Doug Pray. At one point in the film, DJ Shadow is interviewed and is asked about his obsession with collecting old records; he is simultaneously shown spending his time in a basement of a used record store finding materials for his world famous samples. As a result of his obsession, Shadow is known as 'the king of digging.' Many DJ lifestyles are built on serious music collecting; this is similar to a writer building her vocubulary from book collecting.

Collecting links may be the same for net artists and net enthusiasts. And here is a chance to show off some of the best links from our personal collections:

"Call for Work: Adhocart.org linking project The current state of geo-politics and globalization highlights once again how the connections of our actions resonate and impact other peoples, beings and environments around the world. The Linking Project looks to individuals, with an open call, to trace, through the use of links, relationships that impact bodies of knowledge and how this information filters down to influence global outcomes. Use the links to trace information, construct information, or to exemplify. Use your links to challenge, criticize or celebrate. Please submit up to ten or so links in the form of an HTML page. Include a short description of the linking process or what your links accomplish. Include a brief bio. And optional email contact (for the HTML page.) All linking projects will be accepted. Deadline: Deadline: November 1st, 2003"

For more information contact Andrew Bucksbarg

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 ::
Just when you thought that biennales were over this year, here comes biennale-de-lyon. The exhibition happens between September 18, 2003 and January 4, 2004, but the website has been released as a preview. Although the exhibition is not having a major emphasis on new media, I think it is worth keeping in mind. Here is the artist list

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
"The Collective Unconsciousness Project (TCUP)" is a blog with a difference, its a blog of dreams created by users visiting the website. The website is'nt "a finished project, but an evolving framework that is both created and changed through interaction with it. It exists as both an online community and personal space."

Like all websites "The Collective Unconsciousness Project" is a database collecting information into coherent presented forms. Yet here exploration of the content works in several ways allowing the user true freedom of movement into and through the space of the site. Users can continually click on the "continue" button to navigate through the database sequentially or can click on a keyword related to the dream they are reading and jump to another dream with the same keyword. Added to this, users can make their point of departure anywhere in the collection of dreams by searching for a keyword and starting there.

Not alone do unexpected relations between dreams and the personalities of their contributors arise from the continual evolution of "The Collective Unconsciousness Project" but it manages to cleverly link different interpretations of ideas of the virtual. Firstly something is virtually real - like a dream, and secondly virtually real as in the more contempory interpretation virtual reality. Is "The Collective Unconsciousness Project" suggesting that virtual places such as websites are in fact idealised spaces originating from dreams? And do we as users feel that it achieves this by making the virtual more tangible, more navigable and shared?
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
:: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 ::
"PixelACHE 2004" the festival of DIY electronic art, taking place from the 1-4 April 2004 in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland is making a call for proposals on the theme of "Audiovisual architecture".

"The event will consist of 4 days of performances, screenings, workshops, presentations and club events" and "projects which combine digital and architectural design. Interactive furniture, installations in public spaces, sculptures and graffiti, ambient sound projects, audiovisual experiments and creative misuse of technology" are saught with particular emphasis on artists / researchers "from Brazil, Italy and UK". For further information please see the website.
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
:: Monday, August 25, 2003 ::
The shape conceptual art can take on the web can be quite unexpected at times. A good example is MTAA, who are net artists largely grounded on conceptual art from the Seventies, and whose work has already been appropriated by other net artists (linkoln.net: complex net diagram). While the strategies by these artists are intellectually intoxicating, it must be admitted that their artwork is dependent on a more established art aesthetic; that is, while their work is definitely dependent on, and defined by the net, this one is not inherently validated by it, but rather the net can be considered an extension of previous conceptual strategies. This does not mean that the work is "bad," but rather it is using an already established language to explore a relatively unestablished medium, while preparing it for proper historization.

So, can conceptual art function on the net without citing allegorical premises or methodologies directly? And what is more important, would such attempt bring back a modernist methodology into play?

Enter k-hello.org, an art collective that has developed three conceptual projects. The conceptual approach is so obvious that the artists are able to describe the complexity of each project in three simple sentences:

"waste of time is a software which lets the user write a phrase in an unreadable way, with 10000 webpages."

"cryptographever is an on-line tool which is able to discover secret messages hidden in pages publiced on internet."

"the six o is a mono-dimensional, conceptual videogame."

But the simplicity stops there. Each project is quite complex, and what is more interesting is that k-hello.org effectively combines downloading software for personal use, using online interfaces, and theorizing over pseudo code (three cultural elements that are specific to the internet), with a conceptual approach which could be considered modernist. Waste of Time is a software application commenting on the uselessness of the work of art, while exposing the net aesthetic that is vital to much of the progress in internet technology, which is to develop an application for the sake of running it. In cryptographever internet folklore is brought into play with a technological exploration of finding secret messages within webpages. And the six o, a video game, is as conceptual as it gets, as all the user has to peruse is the "idea," with simple html, something the hardcore conceptual artists from the seventies would definitely find appealing.

I must admit that I find MTAA and Linkoln.net's work to be interesting and important manifestations of art on the net; however, K-hello's approach while not overtly referencing its historical thread, is refreshing by presenting a modernist aesthetic, where the work need not always reference that which contextualises it, but rather it is defined according to the exploration of the form itself. I find this work to be very challenging to appreciate, as current deconstructive tendencies often demand aesthetic and/or political examinations; and it is in these two areas where ideological camps constantly split.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
Javamuseum is at it:
**extended deadline 1 September 2003 for

2003 competition and show case - call for submissions

JavaMuseum organises this event online and offline in cooperation with Computer Space Festival Sofia/Bulgaria and Goethe Institute - Internationes Sofia/Bulgaria. October 2003

"Perspectives'03" will focus on the net based art production 2002/2003. The competition is open for all thematical and technological aspects which net based art allows.

All artists who are working net based are invited to submit up to three works completed after 1 January 2002. Only URLs may be submitted to the competition, the finalists will be invited to send their works also as digital files for an eventual offline display.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
A great opportunity with an upcoming deadline (August 30):

“Innovations don’t mean a thing if they don’t deliver profit.” Asgrow/Monsanto PR statement 2000

The next (Fall 2003) "issue" of ACM's Contextin' Art will focus on the relationship between genetic science, information technology (IT) and culture. As the difference between theoretical science and its commercial application becomes increasingly blurred, the direction of research itself becomes a site of contention. Acknowledging this, the interests of capital continue to develop a culture of consent in all domains.

We’re looking for texts, visual projects, performance documents and web-based works that critically engage the topic of genetics, IT and consumable culture.

DEADLINE: August 30, 2003

For more information visit:
http://art-design.smsu.edu/acm/yougenics/yougenics2/ and
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Sunday, August 24, 2003 ::
Small but nicely formed, "UDO", a project by "MACHFELD" and "reMI" is a audiovisual network sniffing work that "transforms the heartbeat of the Internet into an emotionally entangling experience".

IP packets form the input for the UDO_system which transforms this data (initiated by the users connected) to audio and video output streamed in real time. The viewer becomes a user or collaborator by default, connection and presence becomes the sole criteria required to view a work which would not exist without at least one user connected. No users, no work, creating a sort of Berkelian ideal space where...

"things are every moment annihilated and created anew. The objects of sense exist only when they are perceived: the trees therefore are in the garden, or the chairs in the parlour, no longer than while there is somebody by to perceive them. Upon shutting my eyes all the furniture in the room is reduced to nothing, and barely upon opening them it is again created." ("Principles of Human Knowledge", Berkeley, G.)

Here (in UDO) ideas of perception / presence are taken a step further, questioning the necessity of actual presence to perceive, beyond Berkleys virtual of the mind into the virtual of the internet, the perfect "collective consensual hallucination"?, beyond reality that is!
:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
Slowly the internet gets more and more accepted by artists that work with other mediums. An example of this is the project of the Dutch artist Marcel van Eeden which consists of putting everyday a scan of a new drawing on his website. An interesting development but the project would be even more intresting if he would offer high quality print pictures for download. An idea that just reminds me of Peter Halley's radical netart piece "exploding cell" with which users can compose and print a real Halley.

:: Peter Luining [+] ::
This week's addition to the New Media Fix is Blackout (nothing to do with the NYC incident), a website developed by Jenny Fraser, featuring Australian New Media artists.

This week's recommended fix is da2.org
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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