Artist Mariele Neudecker has expressed a fascination for the ability to create art in multiple locations simultaneously, via the internet.
‘Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived’ (2000) is her sculpture of a stretched skull based on the skull in Holbein’s painting ‘The Ambassadors.’ Her 3D digital image of the skull is machine-carved out of resin. ‘The stereo lithography machine cut that 3 dimensional, virtual object out into resin,’ she says of the new technology, which she sees as ‘a kind of a forerunner of teleportation, I suppose, because in theory, you could have a computer sitting in Cardiff and send all the information and data down to Australia, and have the machine cut out exactly the same object. You can put any object, any three dimensional object, from the computer into reality’ (Neudecker, 2002).
Photographer Rodney Smith has a sophisticated, very slick website, with a carefully thought out favicon and a bundle of resources geared to make you sign up for newsletters. Smart move!
His portfolio is very easy to use: hover over the thumbnails, and see a large version pop up. Fast, elegant and no going backwards and forwards or opening a new page. Smooth…
Of course, Mr Smith now blogs, and his call for ‘technofiles and blogorithms’ is put across in rather nice typography:
Art and online activism, a history:
‘I love websites, because you can show the viewer the pictures exactly as you want them to see them. I’m confident because I know what people are going to see. I know what they’re going to click, and I know what’s going to happen. There’s no paper damage, there’s no fingerprints… God, I hate fingerprints. What if it bends? It creases? A website is comfortable, reliable. Any person can see it, anytime. It’s not like a meeting, being late… It’s just there.’
Maria Gendelman, photographer.
‘Having a web presence, I think that’s really important now. But I think it’s almost worse to have a really badly designed, complicated, annoying website because it’s quite counterproductive. If you’re going to make your own website, make it very, very simple, just to have the information that you need on it, easy to access, and keep it up to date. Maybe you might need to go and do some extra courses in Dreamweaver or whatever to learn how to do it yourself, because it’s so much better to do it yourself rather than getting a friend to do it but they don’t update it for you.’
Cathy Lomax, director of Transition Gallery
‘I’ve got a lot of work through the web, a lot. Through having a web presence, not necessarily through my own website. You have a presence, you are a real person, you’ve got a history, you’ve done a load of work, and have a background. So it’s easy for them to get a picture of you.’
Alexandra Abraham, artist
Not all artists who have an online presence want to be contacted, or even known. Some literally put up images for you to see them and nothing else. I don’t think these examples are orphaned pages that became detached from their author in the mass of WWW data. Perhaps complete anonymity is a choice made to subvert the art world; perhaps it is to explore art freely on one hand, while keeping a consistent (and unsoiled by experiementation?) art practice elsewhere. Maybe it’s genuine philanthropy? Or is it to acknowledge tribal and medieval cultural practices that were thrown out with Enlightenment? I’m as bemused by possible reasons as I am by these finds:
No contact, no contact form, no email address… just art.
‘It was my belief that the development of the web would be an extraordinary opportunity for art to desegregate itself, and (re)gain a central position in ambient cultural discourse and practice. … Rather than knocking at the corporate door asking for ‘charity’, we thought we could convince them that art could be a valuable asset … it could be understood as a form of creative research which could make them understand better the medium they were investing in.’
Benjamin Weil, founder of adaweb, 1998
‘Anyone with access to a networked computer can put work on the Net without the say-so of an art institution (public or commercial), and anyone with access to a networked computer can, in principle, take a look.’
Julian Stallabrass (2003)
Today is the last day for artists and art professionals to help with this body of research by completing the online survey on art and internet use: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/artexposure
It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to complete and does not collect personal data. Nearly 200 artists have helped so far, and over 100 didn’t request to remain anonymous, and they now have links here. Thank you all!
Having gone through about 50 nice and clean artist websites with lots of white space in one day, it was quite a welcome slap in the face to come across this: it may be too noisy and OTT for some, but I personally find it well organised and good to look at. Not, of course, that appearance is everything, when it comes to websites and blogs!
Today I received an email that said only this:
Well, I do have my email address on this blog so that people can contact me, I thought, so let’s see what this is. I clicked and immediately though, ‘mmmh, weird…’
As the vast majority of people, I have a very short attention span when online, and after a few seconds I still didn’t know what this was all about. I think it’s music. But it’s so random and all over the place it’s interesting! Not sure whether it’s a not-very-coherently-designed website, or if it is one of those designed to make us ponder. ?
Some artist websites are not font-perfect. I like how Alexone plays with drawings and photos of Scrabble pieces to create his tabs:
Just as I received an email from an artist* telling me that her pet hate on artist’s websites is music, I thought: “mmh, can’t recall the last time I saw a website with music – at least not an art one…”
And just then fate intervened and I found this one! Click to get the Indian vibes.
I have to say, in this case especially, I like the music, but I personally don’t encounter much music on websites. What do you other artists think? I didn’t ask that in the questionnaire, so you’ll have to comment here, or email me (email@example.com). Thank you for contributing!
* Thank you for sharing your opinions!