Hoping you all a great Holiday
The Web is full of content that only its creator could love. Witness the office-party photos, blogs about people's pets and bad lip-synched videos that turn up in a few minutes of Google-fueled procrastination.
|A zoom of Guthrie Lonergan's "Internet Group Shot"|
To Guthrie Lonergan, however, Web junk is the basis of his most popular online art. "I'm sort of interested in that boringness," he says.
"Internet Group Shot" is one example. The collage, cobbled from dozens of group portraits, shows how people adopt the same huddle when they're saying "cheese." For "MySpace Intro Playlist," Mr. Lonergan looked for the self-made videos that young people post to their personal pages, then strung them together to show how teenagers tend to act similarly and say the same things when they're introducing themselves.
"There are defaults in our culture," Mr. Lonergan adds. "MySpace doesn't set up something for you to create an introduction video, but kind of like a telephone answering machine, you assume a certain kind of voice and say certain things."
The 23-year-old, who lives in L.A., is one of many artists mining Internet culture for creative inspiration. They make videos out of email spam and multimedia projects from MySpace profiles, and make a case for Web surfing as an art form in itself.
Marcin Ramocki is another. He got the idea for his portrait series "Blogger Skins" when a documentary film he made was being shown world-wide. After setting up search-engine alerts to notify him whenever "8 Bit" was mentioned, he was struck by the unrelated images that came up.
For "Blogger Skins," he Googled a handful of bloggers who write about art, then assembled a virtual mosaic of the images that resulted. "The idea is that a Google search for people who are very active in this community changes every day, so I wanted to capture one specific search," he says.
The image reflects the original order of the search results, he says, "and that creates, sort of accidentally, this beautiful shape, but that shape also reflects the popularity of different images." Subjects with common names had wildly random images associated with them. The artists, though, exerted control over their search results by filling them with their work.
Some of these Web-inspired works have been included in the recently reopened New Museum's "Unmonumental" exhibition, parts of which are on view at its New York location and others of which can be seen on the site for Rhizome, its new-media affiliate. "This generation really knows the Net," says Lauren Cornell, Rhizome's executive director. "They grew up with it and are, for lack of a better word, native to it."
"Art is just going to be what's going on in the world around you. It makes sense to do work about this thing that's changing our life so much," adds Paul Slocum, a 33-year-old Dallas artist whose day job is in systems programming. His video "Time-Lapse Homepage," part of the New Museum exhibit online, is intended to follow the development of the digital aesthetic: in 1,200 screenshots and at 20 frames a second, it chronicles the evolution of a single personal page's look.
He also created a functioning replica of MySpace's log-in page. "I was interested in how you go to these pages all the time that are constantly in flux, changing all the things they show you," he says.
One of the best-known artists in this medium, Cory Arcangel, has "performed" the deletion of his Friendster account in front of an audience at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens, N.Y. "People kind of cringed and then cheered when it was all over," he says. He published on his personal site Kurt Cobain's suicide note alongside Google AdWords that served up ads to social-anxiety treatment and spiritual-growth classes.
"Surfing so much, I get ideas of things that I would like to see that don't yet exist," Mr. Arcangel explains. "This is when I make a project."
This year, Rhizome organized an online group show called "Professional Surfer" that took the prosaic idea of bookmarking Web pages and posited it as art.
"They're like sketchbooks," says Paddy Johnson, a Brooklyn art blogger. "Your ability to spot the best stuff speaks to your eye as an artist. ... The better your quoting ability, the better artist you seem to be."
Even some "offline" works are inspired by Internet culture. For a series called "Monitor Tracings," Marisa Olson searched Google Images for headphones, radios and other devices, then drew the results on paper.
One thing most of these artists haven't solved is how to make money off work that is available to anyone online. Ms. Olson says she sells her drawings and editioned copies of video pieces, but never an Internet-based work. "You would think that the contemporary, hip art world is ahead of the curve on this," she says, "and it's not -- yet."
Conceptual Art meets self-disclosure. Rather than
hide a potentially embarrassing devotion to a
childhood security blanket, nicknamed Niney,
Dikeou makes it the subject of her work. "The
Niney Chronicles" unfolds in a series of photo-
graphs and hilarious text paintings. As the nar-
rative twists and turns (Niney is nearly lost on a
shuttle bus from LaGuardia to J.F.K.!) Dikeou's
homage to her sacred scrap of wool points, with
absurdist levity to the mysteries of our attach-
ment to objects- and that includes art. Through
Feb. 10 artMovingProjects, 166 north 12th st.
*Note we will be open by appointment through
the holidays. Also, the sacred scrap of wool
turned out to be holy synthetic.
Imagine Coney Island's Dreamland, Steeplechase, and Luna Park reborn. Imagine a sea monster in the East River, a volcano erupting in Manhattan, Midtown in ruins. The contemporary brownstones of Cobble Hill buried beneath its original namesake hill, a big whale in the place of the Museum of Natural History, and The New York Crystal Palace returned to 42nd Street.
In short, a New York City that is the forgotten past and the fantastic future all at once. A New York City where anything is possible.
New York, New York, New York is an interactive, multimedia installation. It is a continuation of Flux Factory's interest in urban landscapes and takes inspiration from the Panorama, Robert Moses’ scale model of New York City in the Queens Museum of Art. Members of the Flux Factory art collective will work in collaboration with over 100 artists from all five boroughs and around the world to re-imagine the public and private spaces of New York.
Each artist will contribute a building, a landmark, a street, an avenue, a block, a park, a neighborhood, an expressway, a bridge, an island, an airport—one or several elements of the urban environment. All of these individual works will be combined to produce a cohesive yet chaotic installation, a multimedia, scale-model of the city. Instead of being an exact replica to scale of the city of New York, this project offers a mental map, a replica of an imaginary New York. The goal of the show is to explore the architectural and conceptual elements of everyday space. It is an investigation into the collective unconscious of the cultural capital of the planet: The sum of all of New York's potential exposed in a great experiment in psychogeography.
Boris Achour, Sandy Amerio, Carla Aspenberg, Leah Beeferman, Dominique Blais, Lise Brenner/Uli Lorimer/Katrina Simon, Adam Brent, Adam David Brown, Jason David Brown, Ben Bunch, Paul Burn, Ian Burns, Matthew Callinan, Anibal Catalan, Emmy Catedral/Valerie Opielski, Andrea Christens/ Takashi Horisaki, Emily Clark, Cluster8 (Parsons the New School for Design), Lewis Colburn, Daupo, Johannes De Young, Andrea Dezsö, Brandan Doty, Thomas Doyle, Kerry Downey/Alan Resnick, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Montpelier, Gregor Eldarb, Stephane Gilot, Tamara Gubernat, Ira Joel Haber, Aya Kakeda, Devrim Kadirbeyoglu, Israel Kandarian, Stephanie Koenig, Miwa Koizumi, Yunmee Kyong, Katerina Lanfranco, Maria Levitsky, Matt Levy, Ellen Lindner, Katja Loher, Marie Lorenz/Doug Paulson, Molly Lowe, Marian Macken, Mapping it Out (Eugene Lang College/The New School for Liberal Arts), Evie McKenna, Mary-Anne McTrowe, Greg Martin, Simone Meltesen, Ian Montgomery, Kirsten Mosher, Martina Mrongovius, Joel Morrison/Hiroshi Shafer, Heidi Neilson, Jo Q. Nelson, Rashaad Newsome, Lothar Osterburg, Miguel Palma, Gail Pickett, Bridget Parris, Bruno Persat, Celia Picard, Annie Reichert, Leonora Retsas, Renée Ridgway, Jaimie Robson/Kristal Stevenot, Karl Saliter, Jon Sasaki, Jean Shin, Mike Peter Smith, Soft City (Rose Bianchini, Sarah Couture McPhail, Yvonne Ng, Catherine Stinson, Jason van Horne), Claudia Sohrens, George Spencer, Joel Braden Stoehr, Etosha Terryll, Nick Tobier, Joseph Craig Tompkins, Momoyo Torimitsu, Christopher Ulivo, Gabriela Vainsencher, Jason Van Horne, Vydavy Sindikat/Anytime Development, Lee Walton, Barbara Westermann, Lauren Wilcox, and Ian Wojtowicz.