Art as teleportation via the internet

27 Aug

Artist Mariele Neudecker has expressed a fascination for the ability to create art in multiple locations simultaneously, via the internet.
Mariele Neudecker visual artist

‘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).

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Retro style, now technology

13 Aug

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…

Rodney Smith portfolio page

Of course, Mr Smith now blogs, and his call for ‘technofiles and blogorithms’ is put across in rather nice typography:

Blog by Rodney Smith

Independence, interdependence, internet art and home-made conspiracy theories

4 Aug

Which US corporations have directors on the board of other institutions? What are the links? Designer Josh On collated data from 2004, and made it available on TheyRule.net, and interactive website that allows you to mix and match the data and create your own theories on what the vested interests might be…

TheyRule.net

Josh says:
[In 2004] ‘There was a rise in the antiglobalization movement, there were more and more interest in social networks on different fronts and there was the dotcom crash. I think people were looking for anything that was exciting, that was happening on the internet and wasn’t commercial.’

Art and online activism: RTMark

3 Aug

Art and online activism, a history:

RTMark

I’m on the Internet

1 Aug
Im on the internet icon

I like this profile icon by Deborah Ng!

Artists’ reasons for having websites

31 Jul

‘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

Can nobodies influence people? Yes, if they are nice…

28 Jul

Here is a bit of online networking: I’m sharing some links that I think are very interesting for current and potential users of social media. Of course you polite and nice people have plenty of netiquette and do good things online anyway, but do I do recommend that you read Kirsty Hall’s blog post on how to to Succeed Online. It explains clearly how the popular ownership of the internet works.

However, the view that the internet gives voice to the people is contested by some, starting from the fact that since Web 2.0 appeared mid-decade ago, the use of templates has multiplied, and online aesthetics are more uniform as a result (of course, it does help to put doornoobs on the same place on every door). I needn’t mention firewalls, the litigated monopolies of browsers and search engines, and other examples of corporate and governmental domination…

‘The internet was meant to change our idea of influence, drawing it away from a few and distributing it among the many. And while that is true more people have access to the vast online community through viral sensations and Twitter followings, real influence seems to remain stubbornly in a few hands,’ says P. Delves Broughton, writing for the Evening Standard. In the article he introduces the Influence Project, created to test if the number of followers corresponds to the amount of influence a user has. Want to test yours?

Fast Company - The online Influence Project

‘Connected: The amazing power of social networks and how they shape our lives’ is a podcast by Nicholas Christakis on how online AND offline social networks can make you fat, make lots of friends or influence people:

RSA event on social networks

For a deeper scholarly discussion, read sociologist Amitai Etzioni’s ‘Strength in Numbers’, RSA Journal (Autumn 2009) p. 24-27

Copyright, Creative Commons, Free Culture and Clipart

27 Jul

It is not true that putting your images online automatically makes them free for all to copy and use. With recent stories of publishers lifting images from Twitpic and other platforms to use without the artist’s consent (or payment), the online world is rife with misunderstandings, thiefs and ARTISTS!

Belief in free culture, as expressed, for example, in the film ‘Steal this Film‘ could damage artists whose copyright is violated. Of course, in a nice world, people share good things with each other. But where is the line between promoting your new discovery amongst your friends and stealing intellectual property and crafted labour? Usually, it’s commercial exploitation.

Many argue that giving some work for free and having work copied can lead to a viral kind of popularity that in turn leads to increased recognition and revenue.

Some artists prefer a Creative Commons license, which operates on the principle that people can copy the work and share it, providing that the artist/author is always named alongside the work, and that the images are not exploited commercially. A fair agreement, of which you can find out more on the Creative Commons website. A Creative Commons license on your work would be the legal way of ensuring that others understand that you are happy for your work to be shared for personal enjoyment. Copyright is stricter in some countries than others, and ‘fair use’ of the work can be much tighter.

Whatever your choice, nothing seems saner than a simple bit of communication on your views. Here is a plain, clear message on artist Lisa Falzon’s Facebook page:

‘All these images are © Lisa Falzon. All rights reserved. Do not alter or repost anywhere without my express permission. This isn’t clipart.’

Lisa Falzon Facebook page

For more information check out these sites. The debate is open!

Designers and Artists Copyright Society, DACS, UK

Creative Commons licensing

Free Culture, book by Laurence Lessig

Belief and the mysterious reality of the internet

24 Jul

I’m back on the subject of how the internet may alter perceptions of what’s true, amidst the millions of anonymous cybernauts who could be hideously fake people, posers with malevolent-intentions, or just those who like pseudonyms, alter egos and cross-dressing, for art’s sake or otherwise…

I recently met an artist who confessed that she sometimes poses as a man when making initial online contact with galleries or in other situations where she feels that her ‘masculine self’ would perform better – or be better received (There would be lots to say on gender inequality, but this is not the place). Pause for thought…

Spanish artist Yolanda Dominguez has recently had great media success, and a good deal of controversy, with an artwork for which she created a persona ‘Katy Salinas’, whose blog, Facebook account, and other online presences led many (over 15,000 visitors) to believe that ‘Katy’ was a real person. The controversy was fueled by the potent topic Yolanda had made part of the work, which is how much importance do we give physical appearance, and whether we increasingly demand unrealistic levels of ‘beauty’ from older people. If you can read Spanish, here is one article. You also still read Katy’s blog. Will stories like this make us loose faith in what we encounter online? Or are we too wary and skeptical of the internet’s Big Brother  mysteries and dangers anyway?

Article from Publico.es

Mystery artists with an online presence

21 Jul

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:

Artist Russell Herron's website

borf

No contact, no contact form, no email address…  just art.

Art, the Net and the corporate door

19 Jul

‘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

adaweb

Disgracebook

16 Jul

disgracebook txt

If this story is true, it would be interesting to know what the other party (Facebook) have to say about it. A technical glitch that makes someones whole data disappear for 3 weeks is pretty scary, for a company whose business is to store the personal data of millions of users…
If it isn’t true, and I’ve no opinion either way, then it an amusing online manipulation of  information. Truth on the Internet is perhaps less universal than epistemologists would like.

disgracebookThe veracity of photography as  a faithful depiction of reality in the media was once taken for granted, although analogue manipulations have existed for as long as the medium itself. Likewise, the news-reporting of the world as appeared in print media and early TV used to be thought of as indisputable. The question is, how much of the web do we believe and why?

From hackers, to Big Brother monitoring systems, to people being able to create their own ‘news’, the internet is a field where truth can be made by the users.

Stay on Target

14 Jul

Less than two weeks ago, I  was told to stay on target by Davish ‘Pops’ Krail, aka @GoldFive_ on Twitter. There are many referents for this phrase, and I’ve no idea what his intentions were. His feed looked like this:

Stayontarget

Why his account is now ‘disabled’ is a mystery. Does that mean he chose to disable it? Did he get shot and loose the use of his legs? Was it surrepticiously erased by internet lobotomists?

I’m not claiming that his Twitter feed was art, but it certainly was amusing, though-provoking and ‘useless’ (in the best possible way – like art). Beats all those tweeple who just say: ‘follow me on Facebook too! Like me! Join me! Buy me!

The great advantage of the Internet for artists

12 Jul

‘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)

100 artists

10 Jul

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!

artexposure logo

Spike Splash

10 Jul

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!

spike dennis website

Unsolicited mail

8 Jul

Today I received an email that said only this:

5am

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.      ?

5amweb

Scribbles and Scrabble

6 Jul

Some artist websites are not font-perfect. I like how Alexone plays with drawings and photos of Scrabble pieces  to create his tabs:

alexone

Music to Visuals

4 Jul

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.

bastny

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 (k0952154@kingston.ac.uk). Thank you for contributing!

* Thank you for sharing your opinions!

Internet case studies

3 Jul

The August 2010 issue of Computer Arts magazine features a review of a new publication by Taschen: The Internet Case Study Book. Trust it for the cover, because it does what it says on the can. It reviews 60 examples of online success in different areas, social media, campaigns, e-commerce, etc. You can see the first 100 pages with Taschen’s lookinside facility. Great to get a few more ideas of good practice, and continue developing your online presence!

internet case studies