Tag Archives: internet art

The Wrong

still from "The Noise of the City" by Alexander Antipin

still from "The Noise of the City" by Alexander Antipin

The Wrong is big. Really ridiculously, absurdly large. The sheer number and variety of works encompassed in this digital biennial is overwhelming, across its pavilions, curated pieces, and events. When this second iteration of The Wrong was about to launch, even organizer Guillo had not yet seen every work. The scale is mostly a positive thing -- as someone fairly immersed in new media and net art, I found many pavilions filled with unfamiliar artists -- it was great to break out of the digital art I'm exposed to through social media into currents of work that are farther afield. On the downside, the site offers little in the ways of an entry point, which can create a barrier for those not already knowledgeable about net art. It is easy to follow links from the Wrong into Facebook groups that no longer have content posted, or to 404s, or pages which ask you install questionable software locally.  My guess is that most people will end up entering The Wrong from pavilions or artworks by people they know, which somewhat defeats the purpose -- my favorite works were mostly those that I found accidentally.

The strongest pavilions tend to have the more specific themes. A stand-out for me is  www.not-found-exhibition.com (curated by Cesar Escudero Andaluz and Mario Santamaría), a selection of netartworks no longer found online, at least not in their original locations. Rather than netart that is intentionally ephemeral, these are works that have died a natural online death; either consciously taken down, or simply moved when sites are updated or retooled. It reminds me of Curt Cloninger's Pantry War, recently killed by Rhizome's redesign (which invalidated its own comment markup language). In this work, Curt paired opposing images, posted inline from other sites, as a contest to see which would outlast the other -- for instance a magic marker vs an eraser.

Some of the works in Not Found Exhibition can still be found rather easily in web searches -- but the strength of the pavilion lies in how intriguing the written descriptions of the works are. The minimal design does not interfere with the descriptions: big blue classic HTML style links, lots of monospaced type giving it a library feel, wiki-media-style markup for the title, and plenty of whitespace to keep it uncluttered.

DiMoDa, exterior view

The DiMoDa (the Digital Museum of Digital Art) pavilion took an almost opposite approach, building a virtual 3D environment filled with immersive works. At DiMoDa (designed by Alfredo Salazar-Caro and William James Richard Robertson), it is always sunset. It feels like a place found by accident; the loneliness of the space, with the insect sounds which follow you into the museum. It capitalizes on the airless VRML-quality of Unity, reflecting on the feel of the institution. The museum itself is beautifully designed, juxtaposing classical and contemporary architectural styles familiar from current trends but taken further, just barely within the realm of what's realistically possible architecturally. Inside are four digital art installations, by Claudia Hart, Tim Berresheim,​ Jacolby Satterwhite​, and my favorite election prediction by Salvador Loza and Gibrann Morgado (it involves Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and a tumorous horse-like thing). Each installation feels distinct from the others and from the museum itself, and sometimes change the physical laws. At one point, I got rickrolled, so there is at least one Easter Egg, possibly more (you'll have to find where on your own 🙂 ).

Apart from the pavilions, there are also featured artworks, such as Jan Robert Leegte's Random Selections Object. Here, the rectangles of spectral Photoshop ants are the content, against a black backdrop. In very dense groupings of selections, the clusters of digital ants appear to walk in two directions at once. It continues Leegte's experiments with the materiality of digital artist's immaterial tools.

The Wrong (again) can be found at http://thewrong.org/. It officially runs from Nov 1 to Jan 31, 2016. More content, including events, will continue to appear throughout the exhibition.

[Full Disclosure: I participated in the Wrong within the UnnamedGroup pavilion]

Characteristics of Internet-based Art

            The “ongoing” characteristics of Internet-based art offer an open-ended element to the concept of a project. These characteristics begin with access and presentation on the Internet, but are always supplemented with the specific intent of the artist.

            Artist, Dina Kelberman has a couple of ongoing projects listed on her website. One of Dina’s processes is to form her art by surfing the web. These found digital images range from cartoons to postings of personal videos. They are grouped by subject matter in a free-form visual association to create her Internet-based projects. The online-only exhibition website page of the New Museum has more about Dina’s artistic practice.

            The Smoke & Fire and Sleep Video are two examples of Dina’s ongoing projects listed under her 2013 work website category. She believes this pattern of working began subconsciously, but she gave credit to the very malleable nature of digital art. Dina refers to this quality simply by saying "I can always change these so I will whenever I want."

            The malleability of digital art and Dina’s experimental approach to her projects does have a specific method that makes them coherent. The majority of the projects are based on rules pertaining to the process of collecting. Some of these rules conclude the collecting process more quickly than others, because the content is exhausted. The Internet offers new daily content for Dina to surf (if she wishes) and to continue the “ongoing” aspect.

            This characteristics of digital art have other components besides what the artist changes or adds to the project. Dina pointed out that recently, YouTube had a bug and it drastically changed the condition of the Sleep Video. The Sleep Video was formed by an overlaid YouTube playlist, which was created with found videos that are periodically edited and reconfigured.

Kelberman_sleepvideo2

Still from "Sleep Video" Courtesy of: Dina Kelberman

            During the process of reconfiguring the videos for the playlist, Dina explained her thought process. She first thought to herself how this felt like a problem, but after reviewing the new iteration of the video her thoughts went to "this is the whole point of this." She is referring to the ending description of the Sleep Video that the video is “periodically edited and reconfigured.” This example demonstrates another side of digital art being malleable. By the video being hosted by a current social media platform, the Sleep Video is open to the possibilities of others restructuring a video social media site with their specific intentions.

Kelberman_ScreenShotSleepVideo

Screenshot of "Sleep Video" webpage showing playlist. Courtesy of: Dina Kelberman

            Focusing on one of the many methods of Dina’s experimental approaches, which she calls “fiddling around,” I will explore how the use of digital media and her artistic intent work together. In the btwfyi section of her website, part of her statement about her work is that fiddling around is important to her. Fiddling around is an important part of the experimental art process, but I consider the fiddling around process as a broader part of digital media. I wanted to take into consideration that a lot of types of media called for a little fiddling around, such as in the 20th Century before cable television. In order to maintain a clear picture on a television set the antenna needed to be fiddled with to find the right broadcasting signals.

            The fiddling around can be applied to many aspects of digital media. Dina’s method of surfing the web would entail adjusting the type of content details that enable her to create multiple outcomes with searches. These open ended results from fiddling around to form art and the use of digital media as a medium place undetermined variables into an art practice, viewing art, and of course the traditional concept of archiving artwork. By making this statement, I can’t help but recall that the projects are based on rules pertaining to the process of collecting. The collecting process can also be seen as malleable. Of course depending on what is being specifically collected and I view Dina’s work as a personal collection. The process has its own ongoing activity, lulls, and if the collection is still in progress it has its own fluidity within the everyday activities on the Internet.

By: Carrie Ida Edinger   

Carrie’s interest with new media is in interdisciplinary methods and the use of the Internet as a presentation site for evolving contemporary projects.

Open Call: Black Box and Newhive

Black box is a widely used term that refers to many things: movie theaters, transistors, flight recorders, algorithms, the human brain. It is also an abstract theory that relies on observable inputs and outputs to define the invisible functions of a device, network or object. The box is “black” because the opaque facade obstructs visibility. In order to understand the internal workings of the box, one must enter its system. 

In an artistic context, black box theory provides a way to explore systems of the unknown which are widely accepted by society – particularly the social, political, ethical, and aesthetic implications concealed within a culture increasingly shaped by technology. How might art reveal black boxes? Is art, itself, a black box?

All newhives tagged #BlackBoxing before Friday May 15 will be considered submissions for Black Box – a new art, film and technology festival produced by Aktionsart in partnership with SIFF, SAM, Cornish and DXARTS in Seattle, Washington – and a featured collection on NewHive’s homepage.