:: Saturday, December 27, 2003 ::

Dan Trachman recommends his visitors to view his new project, Parallaxia , as “simple visual enjoyment.” Trachman’s graphic-scapes, utilize the language of nostalgic collage in contrast with a sharp design aesthetic. The scenes, (one introductory and four additional scenes), appear like Victorian-inspired parlor amusements, whose ultimate pleasure are only arrived at through sustained viewing and conversation. Subtle and discreetly chosen graphics serve as the foundation for looping animations and sounds. Minimal interactivity is contained within each vignette, serving primarily as a prompt to enter the subsequent space.

However, while beautifully designed and animated, Trachman seems to lose his playful intent after the first two scenes. The determined simplicity of his initial design seems to be replaced by a need for additional content. And, although, each vignette is meant to be experienced individually, the predetermined linear ordering necessitates a kind of narrative reading. As such it is difficult not to “read” the parts in the context of the whole.

Perhaps, as Trachman states, we “have simply stumbled upon an opportunity for [the artist] to manifest (and hence purge [himself] of) various visual ephemera bouncing about in [his] head.” As creators of content, the balance between accessibility and relevance is always a challenge, and basic condition of art making.

par•al•lax n
1. an apparent change in the position of an object when the person looking at the object changes position
2. the angle between two imaginary lines from two different observation points meeting at a star or celestial body that is used to measure its distance from the Earth

:: [+] ::
:: Friday, December 26, 2003 ::
Trashconnection.com has been sending public mass e-mailings on spam as art to various listserves. The idea behind this project is asking people to create spam messages from premade templates by logging on to spam.trashconnection.com. Such premise somehow contradicts the principles of SPAM. If "spam art" will become a felony at this point is something to consider --especially now that a new law against SPAM is being passed by the United States Government.

In any case, if anyone has room in their boxes, it might be worth considering the potential of a spam project like Trashconnection's, although the awareness of such activity being "art" and not "real" spam does deny its "spamicity" -- therefore such material can only function as rhetorical discourse (within art communities) and not as actual interventions in the everyday network, where they would be dismissed as real spam. What may be true is the annoyance of receiving "artful" spam e-mail holds the potential of being just as annoying as good old SPAM.

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Thursday, December 25, 2003 ::
This is a simple post wishing all of Net Art Review's readers and contributors a good time with friends and family during the last days of 2003.

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Monday, December 22, 2003 ::
Guessing is a great tool of the trade. Try your luck at: malevole "Programming language inventor or serial killer" is a very provocative presentation of looks versus social conventions.
:: ludmil trenkov [+] ::
Sean Kerr a New Zealand based artist, develops work in all types of media including video, installations and web-based material. In his online project Pretty Pictura -- created for the Korea Web Art Festival 2001 -- Kerr contemplates how the outcome of colonization in New Zealand inspired landscape paintings that were strategically constructed to promote a specific myth of what New Zealand would be like to potential colonizers; Kerr quotes R. Leonard:

"A tourist brochure's idyllic description of a New Zealand landscape! In the 1800s an England- based colonisation company, the 'New Zealand Company,' instructed artists like Charles Heaphy to paint a pretty picture of New Zealand. 'But New Zealand was hardly as accommodating as the pictures suggested. Expecting to find arable farmland, settlers discovered to their dismay cliffs and bushy gullies. It would take work to convert this wilderness into an Eden.' "

Pretty Pictura is inspired by four landscape paintings that Kerr found to be very similar in style to vector images produced in Flash. The project can be experienced on the browser as looped animations, or as screensavers ready for download, consisting of flat landscape compositions. The first two of the pieces show wide views of the ocean and mountains with birds flying in and out of the frame, complemented with soothing sounds of nature. The third animation takes the opposite view from ocean to land and instead of bird callings one experiences the loud sound of the sea, harshly complemented by an obnoxious tractor driving in and out of the frame. The fourth presents a view of buildings against a mountain with clouds passing by occassionally.

Pretty Pictura obviously critiques constructs of Westen culture. The fact that these animations are part of an online exhibition sponsored by the "east" (Korea) is something that also needs to be taken into account when viewing the work. The flat images recall early prints from the east that influenced Western art practice in the 19th and 20th century. Now we have work coming from the east based on the west's ideas of the east. Of course considering who is making the work is also necessary here -- how the artist may be perceived based on his own ethnicity and personal position further complicates the running signifiers.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Sunday, December 21, 2003 ::
Here are the latest additions to the New Media Fix:

Suburbia is resource offering news on diverse events in New Media culture. Hacktivism is the implicit emphasis.

Fineart Online is one of the oldest resources offering news on new media events.

The recommended fix for the week is Interaccess.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
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