frankhats icon page

Joel Cook (frankhats on made this page:
...that he had been showing around to a few people. It's an impressive collection of avatar-sized images from every imaginable source, with many or -originated examples. The screenshots above and below only give a ghost of a semblance of the page -- many of the icons are animated.

Cook described the project in an email:

Originally I started collecting what I thought could be used as avatars on a web project I was fooling around with (mainly following a tutorial for using pubnub messaging). The idea was to give each new user a random avatar with no username. At the time it was a chat site with nothing hooked up (no history, no system for users, messages just got pushed to any open browser, chaotic), and I was liking the anonymous aspect... but I have moved on to a more fleshed out idea and haven't tried to "finish" the weird hack I was playing with.

Images are not optimized, only forced not to exceed certain dimensions with css. The php script lists every image in the directory and spits it onto the page, and I keep adding to it [1,500 images, 100mb]... There are a few broken images and duplicates probably, oh well.

The term "aggregating" or "image aggregating" has been used to describe this type of creative endeavor, which makes it seem pedestrian and rote rather than carefully chosen and Dadaist. One also might want to avoid the framing of Domenico Quaranta's current curated show at 319 Scholes in Bushwick as the "Internet generation... implementing and developing a practice started in the Sixties by Conceptual Art." Cook's page may have connections to that era through a kind of systematic thinking but otherwise it's something sui generis we're wrestling with here. The "internet generation" doesn't need to be oversold with heavy-handed historicizing based on 1968 precedents. Lastly, compared to Cook's page, Quaranta's favored artists, such as Brad Troemel and Oliver Laric, make work that resembles what you expect internet art to be, as opposed to what it actually is (e.g., vulgar, funny, and beyond the scope of any single artist genius coming out of art school.)

Update: Cook has moved the project to a new URL, as discussed here. [Updated link, 2018]

reality taken for spin

Strange post-election analysis from Bloomberg News seems to take the theoretical position that we live in a world of signs unconnected to any underlying meaning (emphasis added):

Democrats, too, saw opportunities in Romney’s biography. They spent months and millions of dollars painting him as a corporate raider, happy to ship jobs overseas, and a wealthy man eager to favor his rich friends over a suffering middle class. They had some help from Republican presidential contenders, who had labeled Romney, the co-founder of Bain Capital LLP, a "vulture capitalist" during the primary campaign.

Those attacks, and the ads that contained them, outraged Romney, who complained frequently to advisers, donors and friends that Democrats were wildly misrepresenting his record. Still, his campaign struggled to effectively respond, and the caricature stuck.

Romney himself only reinforced that profile when he told voters in New Hampshire that he “liked to fire people,” NASCAR fans in Florida that he had a lot of friends who were team owners, and supporters in Michigan that his wife owned “a couple of Cadillacs.”

The video leaked from a spring fundraiser in Florida at which Romney uttered the 47 percent remark gave the Obama team the final boost they needed, with Romney’s own words solidifying the profile created by his rivals.

Uh, caricature, profile, painting, label: Romney was in reality all the negatives listed in the first paragraph. An effective campaign simply had to make people aware of it.