:: Saturday, February 07, 2004 ::

Long gone are the days when net.art almost certainly crashed your browser through a desire to push the limits of the limited technology, to highlight flaws / holes / opportunities and to counter the ever controlling grasp of companies such as Microsoft over the web browsing experience with Internet Explorer.

Today browser crashing has become a real test of programming skill for a skilled few, or a display of misuse / abuse of too many plugins by an over surplus of bad web designers without the vision to look beyond one browser or one system. But lets look back on the skilled few here, the programmers.

One site that does not profess to be net.art in itself but displays a dedication to inventive ways to crash your browser is the bomb site. Essentially a collection of crash techniques the site has become a snapshot of technologies, browsers at a certain period of time, 1998 to be specific. Much of the crash attempts are well documented and long fixed browser issues and so no longer work on many browsers / systems yet are still interesting to watch for their purity of form and lack of content.

The collection of 11 bombs listed with catchy titles on the site such as "invincible alert dialogue" and "while loop processor hog" strikes me as if its presented like a collection of music on an album. An early release in experimental electronica, interesting to have experienced and look back on occasionally yet no longer cutting edge. Click and watch the crash at your own risk.

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
:: Thursday, February 05, 2004 ::
Net Art Review Turns One Year Old!

Exactly a year ago, on this date, I wrote the first reviews for Net Art Review. These were quite simple, short and straight to the point. The aim of the online resource, at that time, was to provide access to material that would be interesting and in some ways important to the online community, while also serving as a bridge to people who were not too familiar with online projects.

The challenge that immediately faced NAR (acronym for Net Art Review) was to create a community of writers who would consistently contribute quality material. In the beginning, I asked people I was acquainted with to write for the resource, just to see where the project went. These early contributors are Kristen Palana and Ludmil Trenkov. Garland Kirkpatrick—a well respected Graphic Designer in the Los Angeles area—became NAR’s design consultant. I also realized the website would need some quality control, so I asked a long time friend, Yong S. Kim, a former technical writer and editor who had just moved back from the Boston area, to edit more extensive texts now known as the Weekly Features. Shortly thereafter, Garrett Lynch joined, and a few days later Peter Luining came on board as well, along with Neil Jenkins. And this was the netKru for a few months. And then Lewis LaCook, Francesca De Nicolo, Isabel Saij, and most recently Ana Boa-Ventura joined the netKru. Kanarinka, an artist working from the Boston area, also joined briefly, but eventually left the crew due to time commitments. At the end of 2003 NAR began to collaborate with Evelyne Rogue, working in France, founder and editor of Artcogitans, and an exchange of articles on a monthly bases were started on December with Furtherfield.org. Lora McPhail, director of Postartum, joined Net Art Review as editor in chief at this time as well.

Now, NAR is having its first anniversary, and I am extremely excited that it is growing at a healthy pace. The netKru is collaborating in its development. We are looking forward to offering our readers material that can be valuable on many levels. Where NAR will go at this point depends on the dynamics of our readers and contributors. We are very sensitive to the developments around the web and internet and we try to do our best to accommodate as many diverse interests as possible. The more diverse the netKru becomes, the richer the content NAR can offer. If any readers are interested in joining as contributing writers, please feel free to contact Lora for more details.

We hope to offer many new features in our second year. And to do this, Garrett Lynch is now our information architecture developer, who is currently strategizing the best way to make a transition to a more dynamic and efficient interface. So, these are very exciting times for Net Art Review.

We, the netKru and you our readers, all have contributed to a resource that is worth coming back to day in and day out. Knowing that I will get up every morning with the possibility to learn something from someone I collaborate with is one of the greatest emotions I have experienced during my activities on the web. And knowing that people are reading the material we write is also quite a reward for the amount of time I invested in developing the portal. I would like to thank the members of the netKru -- who are incredible for delivering consistent content -- for sticking it out this long. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Lora McPhail, who is doing an exceptional job as editor in chief. We are already experiencing a higher level of enthusiasm and only a good editor in chief can accomplish this. Most importantly, I want to say thanks to you, our readers. We could not do it without your support. And so, here is to another year!

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 ::
In addition to Eduardo Navas's mail below about Zanni who claims to have sold a net art work as an art gallery object. I want to repost here part of an email I sent last week to nettime as a response to Cornelia Sollfrank's message that a work of her was purchased by one of Germany's most important private collections "the Sammlung Volksfuersorge".

Cornelia> Net Art as Collectors' Object -
Cornelia> How Smart Artists Make the Machine do the Work

Cornelia> With the purchase of artist Cornelia Sollfrank's net.art generator
Cornelia> 'nag_04', the Sammlung Volksfursorge becomes a pioneering art collector.

In the first place congrats. What I always understood is that being bought by important collectors or into a private collection is the highest recognition that a German artist can get. And it's interesting to know that also private collectors in Germany start to begin to develop interest in net art.

Below some history (that is far from complete) about net art as collector's object that could be of interest for anybody who's interested in this subject.

Since 1998, first netart gallery art by Olia Lialina. http://art.teleportacia.org
The work "If You Want to Clean Your Screen" was in 1999 sold to entropy8zuper and can be found on their site: http://www.entropy8zuper.org/

Since 2000, artcart.de a German based net art gallery that sells amongst others net art works of artists like Valery Grancher, Blank & Jeron and Heath Bunting. They do artfairs like Art Frankfurt and did collaborate with galleries like Haines Gallery (San Francisco, USA).

In 2001 Doron Golan started to buy and collect net art works and put them on his site Computer Fine Arts. Since 2003 the computerfinearts net collection is permanently hosted by The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art.

In 2002 the Guggenheim (New York) aquires Mark Napier's work net.flag and John Simon's Unfolding Object.

After my response net artist Valery Grancher sent me the following list of some other net art purchases:

-1998 La Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain (Paris) bought my net art piece "self"
-1999 La Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain (Paris) bought my net art piece 'Longitude 38': http://www.fondation.cartier.fr/

-2000: Reina Sofia Museum Madrid bought Igor stromajer piece
-2003: Le musee d'art moderne centre georges pompidou bought Igor stromajer net art piece
-2003: Le musee d'art moderne centre georges pompidou bought Calin Man net art piece

For the record:
Through net art gallery artcart.de I sold up till now 17 works. 14 x the work titled 6.382.514.297 3x the work titled For both works I used a shareware strategy. Read all about it in this announcer from 24 march 2000 to nettime-bold.

:: Peter Luining [+] ::
Carlo Zanni claims to have successfully sold a net art work as an art gallery object. Altar boy, in essence, is a computer server that can function as a sculpture in the gallery that when connected to the net offers access to net projects developed by the artist. Zanni is interested in specific questions on art as a private and/or public sphere:

-Is it possible to sell networked based artworks? (net art)
-If yes, in which form?
-Is it possible to sell directly the Files instead of just a visualization of them?
-If I want to buy a net_project, what I buy?
-How can I buy something "public"?
-How can the concept of property merge with the sharing one?

How successful this attempt at commercializing net art will be is hard to tell at this point, but what should be noticed is the honest interest by Zanni to market a medium that, to this day, has proven to be a bit hard to sell through commercial galleries. And while artists have a tendency to crititique the market in which they function, Zanni is embracing the possibility of full-on commodification of net art, while also claiming a critical position. How critical such position is becomes the real question.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Monday, February 02, 2004 ::
For those of you who were interested in last night's review of Atmospherics / Weather Works and are interested in hearing more storm audio, Curt Cloninger has kindly forwarded me the following url of extracts from the XTCS series.

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
:: Sunday, February 01, 2004 ::
Last Friday Austin, Texas saw a great and truly interactive art show.

Zack Booth Simpson was showing his Calder sculptures, Mondrian drawings, and his older, always amazing "Shadow Garden", at the Gallery Lombardi downtown. You can find Zack Simpson's homepage and images of his work at http://www.mine-control.com/

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to talk with Zack about his interest in the sculptures by Calder.

Last Friday at the Gallery Lombardi, an art space managed by Rachel Koper, Zack had a full house for his Calder sculptures and Mondrian drawings. It was quite entertaining to see people standing by the big projection screens drawing by hand the thick horizontal and vertical lines that are typical of Mondrian's canvases... By pressing any zone inside the enclosed areas, a palette appeared, allowing them to choose the color to fill the area with. Thick horizontal and vertical lines enclosing large areas of solid color. Isn't there what a Mondrian drawing is? "No" I heard from a local digital artist with a solid training in classical painting... She had some issues with the text that announced of the show: "this work permits participants to simply sketch out and edit compositions in the style of the great abstractionist Piet Mondrian. Create your own composition in 10 seconds!" I would argue that with a huge crowd in the tiny gallery and 4 and 5 people working on each big screen, the show became a truly interactive and collaborative art experience.

One of the screens was reserved to show Zack's prior work- Shadow Garden. The shadows you project standing in front of the projector cause the sand, the pebbles, the butterflies or countless other objects Zack has been experimenting with to interact with your shadow: the sand slides down your arched back or if you hold your hands as a vase you can collect it until it reaches the top and spills. Last Friday two girls amused themselves by stretching a scarf and literally bouncing the sand on the scarf to the frustration of some of the other folks who were trying to have their shadows play with the sand.

The best of the show was probably the turnout. The modest cover that the gallery had to charge did not deter some 500 people who dropped by the small venue - quite an unusually large audience for an unusually cold night in Austin.
:: ana boa-ventura [+] ::
Atmospherics / Weather Works by Andrea Polli, Glenn Van Knowe and Chuck Varga is not a net.art work per se but "a performance, installation, and distributed software project for the sonification of storms (cyclones, for example) and other meteorological events generated directly from data produced by a highly detailed and physically accurate simulation of the weather".

Atmospherics / Weather Works is a classic example of the use of data-sets to generate / create new media art. Re-creating two historic New York / Long Island storms, the first in 1979 the second in 1991, from available data and miniaturizing them in proportion to a gallery space, the creators are almost certainly aware of the information design work of Edward R.Tufte. The work aims to create a sound-space allowing users to "gain a deeper understanding of some of the more unpredictable complex rhythms and melodies of nature" with none of the potential risks.

On the site, which is primarily documentation of the work, the interface allows users to listen "to fourteen individual regions from each of five elevation levels of the sonification of 1991 Hurricane Bob". Clocking a whopping 148.7mb filesize, it is one of the largest filesizes I've seen in an online flash work and the "best viewed with a high-bandwidth connection" is an understatement at best but it is worth the wait if you do have such a connection.

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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