early-ish net art


Have been browsing through old Rhizome.org links and am using my blog to take some notes:

1. Netartgenerator (1999). Rhizome ArtBase lists Cornelia Sollfrank as the artist but it seems she mainly commissioned other artists (and/or programmers) to make "generators." Of the five generators only two still work. The image above was made with the image generator and the other one is the Dada generator (haven't tried it yet). To make my image I put in the word "random" and a search engine looked for some pics with the word "random" associated with them (a la Google Images) and used them to assemble the image algorithmically. For example, I think that meandering line was someone's walks traced via GPS. Looks like the NAG is still pretty active--lots of other new images from today on the Stats page.

2. Heath Bunting, _readme. This page from 1998 takes a UK press article about Bunting and turns every word into a hyperlink. So "digital" clicks through to digital.com, "interesting" to interesting.com, "the" to "the.com," etc. As you can imagine, this is an ever-changing encyclopedia of parked domain pages, search pages, corporate advertising pages, and plain old spam pages (with some "legit" sites mixed in). I like the hand-coded-seeming simplicity of this, and its relative timelessness even as the web constantly turns over site ownership. (Certain words aren't linkified--am sure each one has a story.)

awwk - posted prematurely - some ranting removed - have to work on it more

youth audiences curator


The magical religious phrase of the dotcom era (1996-2001) was "media convergence." Somewhat like the New Age movement's harmonic convergence, with a side of Singularity: the sublime moment when TV, music, and homepages would all be united in a single monetizable particle-plus-waveform. The dotcommers famously crashed and burned, mercifully taking their dreams and jargon with them, but like all fanatics, they waited and bided their time in dank cellars (supported by their parents) until suddenly...they were back.

While these, um, curators work on integrating the home video picks of Joe and Jane Sixpack with the youth audience lusts of their children in a family convergence special, the art world has its equivalent of media Satori in high-minded talk of "new productive systems." At institutions such as Rhode Island School of Design, future-minded administrators are seeking to engineer a convergence of the convergences by collapsing the art, architecture, design, and media vizier departments into one uber-department that will guide our audio/visual/textual discourse into the next century (or until the fuel runs out).