Net Art & #SelfieUnselfie

Net Art

This week we have delved a bit deeper into Net Art.  In lecture I spoke about the internet as a distributive, collaborative, multimedia information system.  And all internet information is always subject to constant recycling, reproduction, and remix.  Of course, this becomes a cultural game changer resulting in a certain reality: the truth is no longer something we can easily apprehend.  It seems digital artists were rather prophetic in understanding the implications of this.

From the 90’s and after, we have seen a proliferation of net art as well as online galleries, net art curators, and net art critics.  Some notable communities of practice include The Thing &;    Rhizome;  äda ‘web.   I have encouraged you all to explore these sites, and many of you have discovered some engaging projects in  Be sure to check our twitter stream for some smart peer recommendations.

#NetNarr Studio Visit: Emilio Vavarella

On Tuesday evening we had a truly inspiring #NetNarr Studio Visit with digital artist Emilio Vavarella.  Emilio was able to share his reflections on his creative process, and he walked us through some of the central themes behind his depthful and compelling portfolio of work (i.e. technology & power, mediation & perception).

As I write, I am in transit to Oslo.  I will be presenting my experiences  as a Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Digital Culture at UiB.  So…, in lieu of lecture Thursday 2/15, please watch the wonderful conversation we had with Emilio.  I believe the visit is “chuck full” of insight and inspiration:


Another theme for this week is further reflection on the issue of self representation in the digital age.  The ever present selfie is at once an individual performance,  but it is also a communal and public activity.  Some claim selfies are a mark of our narcissistic culture.  And some see the selfie more positively – as an affirmation of self-love.  Still others consider the selfie simply a new version of the old idea of the self-portrait.  In addition, it is often argued that the selfie is a key component of a person’s “personal brand”.   There is no doubt that selfies have become a particular lens into digital culture in the early 21st century.

For lab time this week (in lieu of meeting in person), please complete the #SelfieUnselfie assignment posted in our #NetNarr Make Bank.  The assignment is meant to dig a bit deeper into the idea of online identity through creative reflection.  This video will help you get started:

With #SelfieUnselfie, I have designed an installation to be featured in the Bergen Public Library. Your individual contributions will be curated to form a public art exhibition to be featured for a week in Spring 2018.

Scheduling conflict with the Arduino course

Next week there is a scheduling conflict due to the Arduino workshops held on Tuesday as well as Thursday.  A majority of #NetNarr students are signed up for the Tuesday Arduino course, so I have decided to cancel our lecture.  There will be no class meeting on Tuesday 20/2.  I will see you all on Thursday morning 22/2 (for those of you who will be attending the Arduino workshop on that day, I am trying to set up a video recording for that lecture).

In lieu of our Tuesday time together, I am asking you to check out this recent panel discussion, which was sponsored by Rhizome and takes place at the New Museum in NYC.  The panel topic:  What is the future for the field of internet art? Will it continue to offer artists the opportunity to connect with publics directly, without relying on art institutions? How will the history of internet art continue to inform its future, given the problems of creating digital social memory? How will the web’s increased competition from locked-down applications change digital cultural production and distribution? What has internet art’s embrace by the mainstream of contemporary art and popular culture done to its form and visibility?

For next week

Have some fun with the writing and making this week!

Until I see you next week….


Post Script:

As most of you already know, there was a mix up in the schedule regarding this week’s Arduino classes and the DIKULT 103 schedule. Please understand that I was informed of this information early last week for the first time.  Based on this recent information, I have decided to cancel Week 8 lectures & labs.

There are NO LECTURES OR LABS for Dikult 103 #NetNarr for Week 8 (Feb 19th-Feb 23rd). There is no blog due for Week 8. Week 9 is Winter Break (so no blog for break-week either). That said, you are always encouraged to surf and participate in our #NetNarr backchannel twitter stream and share #ddas and/or resources here and there (even if we having a bit of a break from lecture).

When we return from break for Week 10, we will pick up our momentum and have some fun as we enter into our next phase of class – gaming!


Happy mid-February

I really like the book “the moon is a harsh mistress”. A sci-fi revolving around revolutions, anarchy and tech. It has some well written character and a bunch of half baked ideas. To many these half-explained dough piles might be seen as random fluff, but I like my stories filled with tons of ideas or kernels of ideas.

Two things really got me in this story, no worries I won’t spoil it. The first was the fact that you have a sentient AI, but the tech is ancient, so he has to produce output with either voice or on paper. The second one is the different ideas of marriage. Our main protagonist is part of one of these alternate versions of the classic bonding. Instead of two people bonding in monogamy our “hero” finds himself in a hierarchical clan system where you marry into a generation. Grand parent generations, parent, child, grandchild etc. I really like this idea as it makes relations even more complicated yet gives us a chance to dream about alternative variations.

First of all, one might imagine that some people who marry into the clan might still want to be monogamous. Polyamorie ain’t for everybody and attraction is really weird. So, in many ways for such a system to work the system would have to create some sort of self-policing system to care for every person’s consent. Part of the clan system as laid out in the book is built around the idea that everyone in the clan must accept the marriage proposal. So from the get go everyone must agree on the terms on which someone joins the coupling.

And what would happen to the normal family power-struggle? Would every clan end up a patriarchy where the old men have the last say or would it flip to a matriarchy where every younger generation looks up to their caretakes? This of course is based on the stereotypical family unit so often touted by US television. Maybe clans would predefine these internal power structures from the get go? Some sort of merit system or maybe just survive the longest and you will be leader? Would there be a need for a leader at all? I think so as any group larger than one will end up having arguments where passion overrules reason, but maybe not.

I’ve not written anything for the blog for the longest time… or rather I’ve not posted anything for some time. I have been tinkering with a piece for about two weeks now, but every revision makes it worse and the original was a drunken rant I wanted to get of my chest. Too bad my writing is even more nonsensical when I drink. So, this is my way of just skipping the problem and trying to kick start my enthusiasm and inspiration. Hope you all had a nice day and if you got any good books please ping me on twitter.

Entry Three

Third entry! So last week we went over and looked at digital art installations. One example we looked at in class was the Sky Magic Live at Mt.Fuji: Drone Ballet Show.
An art showcase of drones organized and synchronized with traditional Japanese guitars, Shamisens playing in the background, while they are displaying the whole Mt.Fuji. Now the video in it self if really well made, they even gave it a modern twist with some backdrops in the music so it would feel more lively and upbeat. Trying to dissect the video was challenging mostly because you would get distracted by the showcase of lights, music and editing.

Personally i was left with a feeling of merged cultures trying to showcase how well and unique digital art and traditional art can fit together. Looking at it from a daily perspective, we can these “installations” everywhere. Per definition they might be the same but i personally think the merge of two worlds, the digital one and the traditional one has been implemented more and more into our every day culture. I mean after all, we are in the digital age!

This weeks entry might have been suuuper short and overdue by a mile, but at the end of the day i really see this as a start to discover and develop a new sense of thinking about the things we can see in digital art and in our own culture. Having to dissect art and learn a to see things from a new perspective on things such as these is going to be a challenge for sure!