A forerunner in digital art, Dia Art Foundation initiated a series of web-based works in early 1995 to present work that employs the world wide web as an artistic and conceptual medium. Previous projects include work by Liliana Porter, Rosa Barba, Maja Bajevic, Glenn Ligon, and architecture firm Diller + Scofidio, among others. alphabeth by Dorit Magrieter is a mesmerizing black-and-white full screen animation derived from her typeface “zentrum,” itself a modular component of sign lettering from a modernist housing project in Germany. The result is an abstract animation rather that a series of letters, though the right side is actually a conceptual rendering of Dia’s press release for the online exhibition. Watch carefully.
A component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit created by the Sociable Media Group from the MIT Media Lab, Personas is a visual algorithm that shapes a portrait of an individual’s online identity. Enter a name and the program scours the web for information that characterizes the person – in short, an authoritative statement on how the Internet sees you. According to programmer Aaron Zinman, Personas is “meant for the viewer to reflect on our current and future world, where digital histories are as important if not more important than oral histories.”
The Nine Eyes of Google Street View
Making the rounds this month has been the borrowed photography of Jon Rafman (including a comprehensive artist statement posted on Art Fag City). Rafman’s project riffs on images taken by the roaming Google fleet sent out to document every highway and byway in the free world. From the linear to the abstract to the extremely specific (raised middle fingers, public makeouts, cars on fire, nudity, crime), the scenes captured and collected by Rafman are glorious accidents. He makes the point that “rather than a distrusted invasion of privacy, online surveillance in general has gradually been made ‘friendly’ and transformed into an accepted spectacle,” creating yet another facet of the tension between public and private spheres.
What are we missing? Tell us what you consider the best of new media art in the comments.