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New Media Artists Use The Internet To Create Interesting Works

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While you may use the Internet to shop, gather information or share information, artists are continually finding new ways to use it as their means of expression. In the following report, NY1 Tech Beat Reporter Adam Balkin takes us inside a new Internet art exhibition.

You won't see Internet art in the Louvre or the Guggenheim just yet, but the New Museum of Contemporary Art is hoping exhibits like its new Rhizome Artbase 101 will help the public and art world warm to the high-tech canvas.

“It's 40 works organized around 10 themes, which include net cinema, games, e-commerce, software art and dirt style,” says Lauren Cornell, the director of Rhizome.org. “New media art is definitely still an emerging field, so it's still establishing itself within the art world. But what this show is trying to accomplish is demonstrate how robust it is already as a medium, how diverse it is, and how many different kinds of things are going on.”

Speaking of different things going on, one work is called “Extreme Animals: The Movie, Part 1,” and it's supposed to be a real life version of those original computer animations called GIFS. Even if you have no idea what I'm talking about, it’s still something to look at.

“It's stuffed animals that they found in thrift stores that move back and forth and are mechanized, surrounded by collages of animated gifs that they found through Google's image search,” says Cornell.

Another work is more of a commentary piece by artist Corey Archangel.

“It's called ÎData Diaries,’ and basically what Corey did is gather all this junk that was on his computer every day — e-mails, Word documents, jpegs - and each day he would feed that junk into a Quicktime player and basically trick it into reading it as media files,” says Cornell.

Finally, "One-Year Performance Video" is exactly that. It is artists trapped in a cell-like room for one year, and it takes approximately 8,760 hours to fully consume the artwork. The video is literally an entire year long.

“If you access it online you can log your time and save your time so you can come back, and eventually if you watch it for one year you get what we call art data for free, which is an XML file describing a year-long video,” says Tim Whidden, the artist who created the piece.

You have to be a real hard core techie to not only appreciate that prize, but also just know what an XML file even is.

The best part of an Internet art exhibit, though, is that you don't have to be anywhere near the museum to enjoy it - it's also on the internet. You can check this one out at www.rhizome.org/artbase101.

- Adam Balkin
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