June 24, 2008


Contact (image above) by Stéphan Barron, is a beautiful simple networked installation employing simple interaction in a sophisticated way.

Two seemingly unconnected copper plates in two different locations. When a [sic] someone places a hand on the first plate, the second will begin to warm up.

Posted by: Garrett @ 7:45 pm
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June 23, 2008
Biggest Drawing in the World

Biggest Drawing

The Biggest Drawing in the World (image above, video below) is a final major project by Erik Nordenankar for his degree in Advertising and Graphic Design. It has over the last year got quite a bit of attention on various weblogs as a ‘faked work’, unfairly so as the work clearly rests within a conceptual / net.art framework and so the actual execution of the work is secondary to the idea itself.

Sol LeWitt states in Sentences on Conceptual Art that:

10. Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.

Here the work has taken a form, a digital networked form which documents the idea as art. It may not be the most interesting piece of net.art however it does play on some core concerns such as the manifestation and comparison of an idea (an ephemeral thing) and a digital form (virtual), the use of the web (a virtual / online space) as authentication for an event in the real world (offline) giving it credibility through it’s ‘evidence’ and status (as art itself or as something else) through it’s viral rediffusion.

Originally seen at Information Aesthetics.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:03 pm
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June 22, 2008
Ping Geography

Ping Geography

Ping Geography (image above, video below), a work by Cristobal Mendoza, is another work which looks at how networks collapse distances (see the last post City Distances).

A developing work that involves the constant translation of current network ping times into geographical distances, creating a map-based visualization that compresses and stretches according to network conditions between the client application and user-specified servers. The basic process involves the geolocation of the servers and the client, and its subsequent plotting on a world map. The map then distorts according to ping times. The visualization is fully navigable, with panning and zooming available.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:45 pm
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June 21, 2008
City Distances

City Distances

City Distances (image above) is a work by Bestario who created the Atlas of Electromagnetic Space for the AV Festival 08 in Middlesbrough. Continuing with their research into graphing data and “making the complex comprehensible”, City Distances creates a map of the world comparing real geographical distances with informational distances as defined by Google. The map measures connectivity between locations, revealing the speed of connections and the development of networks there, the more numerous the nodes and the shorter the connections between them, the richer the economy of those locations.

This tridemsional scheme represents the strength of relations between cities from searches on google. The main idea is to compare the number of pages on internet [sic] where the two cities appear one close to the other, with the number of pages they appear isolated. This position indicates some kind of intensity of relation between the cities. After measuring this “google proximity” we divide it by its geographical distance. By this process we obtain an indicator about the strength of the relation in spite of the real distance, a kind of informational distance between cities.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:14 pm
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June 18, 2008
First Person Spam

Last Friday saw a great performance by Malte Steiner (Elektronengehirn) at the Open Ear event in Cardiff. Malte sent a very interesting proposal a few months ago and it was via this I discovered that some of his work focuses on the use of spam, the refuse of the internet, for generating content for art work.

First Person Spam

First Person Spam (images above and concept video below) is an interactive installation which employs a 3D gaming environment where all the imagery is taken from image based spam emails. The 3D world is purpose built for this spam images, a world where advertisments pervade every part of the architecture:

As an undesired side-effect of the globalization and one of the few businessmodels which survived the dot.com hype, unwanted advertisement email services, known as spam, are an important factor of net traffic…First Person Spam is my second work about this aspect of modern communication and abuse of infrastructure. I started to collect the most interesting material which I received and construct in this installation a virtual architecture made of spam. This environment is a hell of billboards and reminds of the grassroots activities of anti advertisement agencies of the 60s.

In some respects similar to Jodi’s game art such as SOD, First Person Spam creates an immersive space where the space itself is art. Here however the space is not an abstraction of code instead it’s a reflection of the globalised, networked western economy.

More videos of the installation can be seen here. More work using spam by Malte Steiner includes Spam.

Posted by: Garrett @ 9:28 pm
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