is art?", Allen Ginsberg asked William Burroughs.
"A three- letter word", he answered.
as Canvas offers a series of artistic proposals conceived for
this new canvas and at the same time stage of contemporary creation,
which is the Internet. All the projects we think are representative
of the new creative tendencies in the Internet and are directly
linked to the topic of this year: "stretched painting".
This subject is very wide and we are not in favour of huge selections,
so we have decided to choose ten projects, which from our point
of view materialize what we understand by "painting with code".
Nine of these are already existing projects, which have been lent
by their creators for Web as Canvas (thank you so much to everybody!)
and one of them, World Wall Painters, by the collective Area3
from Barcelona has been specially made for Art Futura 2002. It is
an application for the Carnivore Project by RSG Radical Software
Group, a project based on the software with the same name used by
the FBI to intercept Internet communications. The Carnivore spies
on data packages, and offers artists these packages to be reinterpreted
in a creative way, turning thus the own computer code into a work
of art. After artists such as Entropy8Zuper and Mark Napier (who
take part in Web as Canvas with other projects), Area3 has also
put one of the great dogmas of art into practice, that is, to use
something for a different purpose than it was first conceived. Thus,
an instrument of repression and control such as the Carnivore becomes
a dispenser of realistic paintings in the case of Area3 and Entropy8Zuper,
a dispenser of fractal and abstract images in the case of Joshua
Davis and even a dispenser of music in the case of Tom Betts.
The rest of the projects offer different ways to paint with the
code and, at the same time, establish clear bonds with the great
movements of modern art. The "oldest" project is Communimage
from 1999 by the Spanish-Swiss group Calc. Since then
it does not stop growing thanks to the netizens' contributions.
Entropy8Zuper, the baroque voice in the Internet, presents the
last version of Eden Garden, exhibited at the SFMoma in 010101
Art In Technological Times. The project is based on an application
that reads the html code of a web page typed by the user and turns
it into elements of an artificial 3D paradise, planted with fantastic
trees and flowers. For the same exhibition, the SF Moma also produced
Feed by Mark Napier, a paradigmatic work of the relationship
between net.art and the great artistic avant-garde movements. Feed
is a creative browser that borrows the structure and contents of
web pages and turns them into a constant flow of pixels using data,
codes, images and texts to produce out a computer action-painting.
Something similar to what happens with Turux. Lia
and Dextro's work has been defined as "a dream by Paul
Klee in a Picasso world." Unfolding Object by John
Simon Jr is also more linked to the pictorial tradition than
computing. The piece, based on a digital structure that changes
according to the netizens' access to the web, links to many artistic
experiences from Sol LeWitt to Paul Klee, and even to the techniques
used in the Alhambra's design and other Islamic architectures.
In the free-flowing and unlimited space of the virtual creation
the limits between art and design have been mixed and faded away.
Three aspects represent this versatile area, which feeds from so
many different sources, from graphic design to conceptual art. The
elegant minimalism of InsertSilence, a shared project between
the Israeli Amit Pitaru and the English James Paterson,
who started working together when they found out by chance they
lived in the same street in New York. The underground and brutalist
design of Snowcrash by the American of Cuban origin Antonio Mendoza,
whose work mixes the psychedelic aesthetic from the seventies, comics
culture, Indian iconography and the girls from adult manga comics.
Typographic variations of Textension by Joshua Nimoy,
an artistic research directly influenced by concrete poetry, focused
on perception and pleasure of interaction. Finally, the graphic
experiments in Electric Sheep by Scott Draves turn
into forms of artificial life thanks to a software, which generates
complex fractal-shape animations.
Ten projects: ten different forms to paint with code.
Roberta Bosco and Stefano Caldana