:: Monday, April 12, 2004 ::

E X T E N D E D . F E A T U R E
BY: Francesca De Nicolò

EXCERPT: Se virtualmente clicchiamo sulle immagini delle nostre beniamine, scopriamo che c’è dell’altro; strillano vendetta immesse in un montaggio ennesima citazione/contrasto. Loro, infatti, non a caso accerchiano un carro armato inneggiando al fate l’amore non la guerra, sono sdraiate tra palazzi e scontri metropolitani e ancora sono languide apparizioni nel traffico abbrutente di un tamponamento a catena alla Crash di Cronenberg.

Ma c’è anche un altro strappo messo in atto nella nota e navigata società dei consumi, dove la moda è fatta di lustrini, boa stivali di latex e modelle nordeuropee. Le Valchirie dominatrici del sesso ridicolizzano l’altro-uomo e quali potenti vampire spaziali allargano le gambe illuminando la via della rivelazione,doppie e conturbanti. E ancora quali principesse della vernice denudano l’ambiguità dell’altro, che affascinato e inibito dalla provocazione né è vittima.

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This article will be featured through 25 April 2004.

ORIGINAL POST: Sun Mar 28, 09:05:48 AM
BY: Garrett Lynch

scan_rate created by Brad Todd is a net.video work inspired by "the early phase experiments with tape loops by Steve Reich".

Nine windows arrange themselves on screen from left to right, each one progressively containing a vertical strip of one video. In effect splitting the same video between nine different windows, nine different plugins each with a ranking in the web browsers download order.

The video's, "are loaded into memory simultaneously while the bandwidth allocation introduces delays and stutters in the sync. The deep resonance of the audio begins to expand and distort in ways not present in single or even coupled segments. The bands of filmic image sustain our watching with a mesmic looping and, occasionally, moments of cohesion occur..."

Configured to be a more classic video work, possibly playing from nine VHS players timed to play off sync (Douglas Gordon eat your heart out!), its easy to visualize this piece playing in a gallery - it certainly has that yearning to fill a room with its presence! Yet its the internet, ideas of speed / delay / file size / playback speed / memory etc. which make this piece ideally suited to the net. The windowed video's, easy to lose behind one another / the black backdrop window or other applications, allows the user the possibility to alter the video's presentation by reconfiguring the order of the strips. This feature, impossible as a more classic video work, only adds to the work on the net.

One problem for those of you who have limited internet access or are net.art purists, scan_rate is 26 MB, idea and presentation are impeccable however so it is worth the wait!

ORIGINAL POST: Fri Mar 26, 02:32:23 PM
BY: Eduardo Navas

Is there such a thing as an online retrospective? Furtherfield.org is testing the possibilities with Andy Deck's first retrospective. Here is what Furthefield proposes in their launch-release:

This is Furtherfield’s first ever ‘artist’s retrospective’. We’ve been puzzling over what this might actually mean in the context of a platform such as this, and why we would do such an ‘art world’ thing? Well, in the case of the work of Andy Deck, someone’s got to do it and why not us? It’s got to be done and it should have been done already, so now we are doing it.

Perhaps it is also because with Deck’s work there is coherence, a crystal clear dedication, a purpose to his oeuvre that offers an unique perspective on the artistic/critical history of the Internet. In committing ourselves to a retrospective we create an alternative context, a choice. History is subjective, fickle and can be divisive, which can all too often make being seen a political situation whether one wishes it to be or not.

Furthefield's premise is mainly a conceptual model; that is, they treat Deck's material with the same approach as their other features, but what makes it different is using the term "retropective," and placing an emphasis on hindsight as a critical model.

What does it mean to take an established model such as a retrospective to focus on an artist's work, which mainly functions online, is something that can surely be debated. However, whether one agrees with the premise or not, one thing that must be acknowledged is that Andy Deck is an innovator in online practice. So log on and enjoy his work.

ORIGINAL POST: Wed Mar 24, 04:16:28 PM
BY: Garrett Lynch

Subsequent to today’s ruling by the EU against Microsoft on more anti-trust violations (abusing their near monopoly in the software market and forcing competitors out of business) and ordering them to pay 497.2 Million Euros, a record fine by the EU, its possibly a good idea to side step the multinationals and have a look at what single individuals can achieve with limited access to resources and funds.

Dyne:bolic is a free software operating system developed as a Linux based front end by Jaromil. Now there are lots of Linux front ends out there however some points that seem to be getting Dyne:bolic a lot of attention are:

1) It's particularly developed with multimedia production in mind so is an ideal system for new media artists and creatives aspiring to avoid supporting the major system developers and their agendas.
2) As well as being developed under the GNU General Public License (Copyleft), it's developed under a Rastafarian approach to software development promoting values such as freedom of choice, the way we communicate and share information and knowledge.
3) And lastly, a small detail but almost certainly allowing the possibility to 'try before you buy' (the later being metaphorical here of course), the fact that it can be burned to a CD and run from that CD on quite modest computers (pentium1 or k5 PC 64Mb RAM).

While far from posing a threat to companies like Microsoft, Apple etc. developers of software and systems like these should be commended for their valuable efforts to speak out and raise awareness for what is essentially the commodification and branding of information which until now has remained in the public domain. Without developers like these, artists like us would not have alternative means and methods and rapidly find the new digital domain simply a corporate space.

ORIGINAL POST: Thu Mar 04, 02:15:43 AM
BY: Peter Luining

Soundengines, ook wel soundtoys genoemd, komen in alle kleuren en maten. Een goed overzicht wat er op dit gebied allemaal te koop is kun je vinden op soundtoys.net. De ontwikkeling staat echter niet stil, vooral sinds designers/ programmeurs zich op de engines hebben geworpen krijgt de vormgeving die tot voor kort vaak slechts ten dienste stond van het geluid (zie bv tonne) een enorme boost. Er verschijnen dan ook steeds meer soundengines die van een fraai en hip uiterlijk worden voorzien. Aangezien het in designerland nog steeds uitermate spectaculair is om isometrisch te werken, is het niet verwonderlijk dat er recentelijk isometrische soundengines zijn verschenen. Ik bespreek er hieronder 2 die ik de moeite waard vind om te bespreken.

De eerste is INN-SS02 01 van het Spaanse gamedesign bedrijf Innot. Met deze engine is het mogelijk dmv blokken, waaraan geluiden zijn gekoppeld, een 3d sculptuur te bouwen die vervolgens geheel geanimeerd kan worden. Het resultaat dat je bouwt heeft uiteindelijk iets van een lego animatie. Het 2de project waarbij de beeldende kant er nog nog een stuk spectaculairder uitziet is het werk repercussion van de Canadese Carla Diana. Het werk won dan ook niet voor niets de prijs in de experimentele categorie van het Flashforward 2003. Toch is deze 2de soundengine niet zo innoverend als de eerste. Want waar je bij het werk van Innot daadwerkelijk isometrische structuren kunt bouwen en deze kunt animeren, bestaat het werk van Carla Diana slechts uit spectaculair uitgevoerde sequencers. En met dit laatste hebben we gelijk de zwakke plek van de meeste soundengines die geproduceerd worden door designers en programmeurs: de meeste zijn kwa geluidsproduktie concept gewoon niet vernieuwend