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Garrett Lynch

no/copy/right is an online exhibition that has just been opened by , a “new Jerusalem art network envisioned as a platform for experimental projects in the area of netbased and digital art and for the exchange of independent information on contemporary art.” Subsequent to a call for works on the theme of anti / counter copyright which went out through most mailing lists at the start of this year for a new ‘space’ completely unknown to the community, I have been regularily checking the site to see how well the exhibition fared. It’s a shame but many online exhibition “spaces”, which have had promising debuts, have not been in successive exhibitions or have quite simply been pushed out by the mainstream art world. One example of the latter was the Irish Museum of Modern Art – which was initially started as a protest against the sad state of affairs of new media art in Ireland (a comment I’m well qualified to make) by using a url suggestive of the state funded institution and having an online exhibition at that url, but in fact having nothing to do with the Irish Museum of Modern Art –, the institiution based in Dublin. As you can see by clicking on the previous two urls, both domains are now one and the same due to legal action taken against the artist who initiated the exhibition, questioned the lack of support of new media by the recognised institution and of course the state, found himself pursued even in this virtual space for something he had legally bought, set up and run and has found all to no avail due to the continuing lack of support of new forms in the arts by the ‘real’ institution.

This seems to be the first online show have curated yet the thought and care that has evidently been invested in it presents us with an exhibition that is current, challenging and very relevant. The exhibition is a well-chosen eclectic collection of works, some not specifically – yet cleverly re-appropriated for the show under the theme no/copy/right, some which are already well known and a few others completely new. It nether suffers from a lack of quality in its submissions nor fails to deliver these in an appropriate and intelligent manner touching on many themes and techniques of, counter culture, subversion, cultural recycling, recontextualizing media, software as art form, minimal and conceptual to name but a few. A fantastic debut to a new space, lets hope will persevere with future net based exhibitions and set a new standard.

Eight works make up the exhibition:

A New Movie by Matt Roberts, is an application that uses the latent energy of a users mouse movement to re-edit Bruce Conner’s A Movie (1958) to create – A New Movie. Technically similar to works such as Jonah Brucker-Cohen’s Desktop Subversibles, conceptually the work has been completely taken in a different direction. Instead of reveling in the pure data produced by the interaction to create an artwork, A New Movie emphasizes the non-linearity of the user’s gesture by appling the results of a non-linear process to a linear form creating a new montage of a known film – recontextualising it, reediting it and drawing into question the position / role of the creator.

AfterSherrieLevine by Michael Mandiberg, builds on a copyright controversy which occured in the late 70’s and is essential 20th century art history. “1936 Walker Evans photographed the Burroughs, a family of sharecroppers in Depression era Alabama. In 1979 in Sherrie Levine rephotographed Walker Evans’ photographs from the exhibition catalog ‘First and Last.'” In 2001 Michael Mandiberg took this a step further by scanning these same photographs, and creating the websites and His intention was “to facilitate their dissemination as a comment on how we come to know information in this burgeoning digital age”. While not classical in the forms and modes we are used to, it is the reprodution and dissemination of these works in the electronic domain, building on the previous initiative and achieving the next logical step for these works which necessitates their recognition as

Beadgee by Tamar Schori “is based on the book ‘Three Young Rats and other rhymes’, a collection of 19th century nursery rhymes + drawings by Calder”. Here a correlation between image and word is made. Each part of each drawing is associated with a rhyme and the user is invited to deconstruct Calder’s appropriated drawings via Schori’s interface to create new images and new rhymes. The act of deconstruction not alone allows the user to dismantle and contribute to the evolution of, not one but two, art works but also allows the user to share that act of creation through appropriation by saving these ‘new’ works to a gallery space.

co~dec by Michael Takeo Magruder informs us about the subversion “of copyrighted media information for the creation of artworks which reflect upon the dualistic nature of media as both information source and cultural stimulant”. A movie for the net, co~dec converts information to art with the application of processes. Translations, dissections, compressions and the digital artifacts they leave behind all added to the piece create a thing of beauty yet mysticise their contents.

digitalrecycling by Gaulon is essentially a collective users, trash web browser – let me explain. Users can upload files of nearly any content type (text, image etc.) to the site. These get stored according to type on the server and can then be viewed and downloaded by other users to possibly be used to create new works of Digitalrecycling is in fact a work as repository reflecting the society of archiving and recompilation that exists today.

STEALTH WALTZ by Manu & Mukul imagines a “future of arts and music in its most cynical and well-regulated manner’ where computerised systems hold stead and intellectual copyright owned by corporations has spun out of control. Primarily focusing on music and its possible distribution methods, STEALTH WALTZ is not the easiest of works to penetrate in terms of its concept yet holds true as a realisation of the direction our post napster society is pointed in.

tooGle by Fabio Franchino like co~dec uses the subversion of information to create its content. It is a highly technical and experimental work which has reminiscences of works such as Mark Napier’s Feed and the more recent Googlehouse by Marika Dermineur & Stephane Degoutin. Using Google’s news feed as it’s source material, tooGle uses each word from the headlines to compile a sequence of images into a movie, continually dissecting the information into a chaotic sequence – a remixed anti-news feed.

The Record Machine by Talia Israeli is the one of the two primary conceptual works of the exhibition (the other being AfterSherrieLevine) which simply uses images to discuss the image and its reproduction in the digital age. Here each photograph, the first of a recording device, the second of a printing device, present simply and chronologically the age of the image. Its inception via caption devices and then the need to diffuse it via printing methods, the work all the while suggesting the insignificance of these now through the medium they are presented.

A special feature from Net Art Review. You can find more reviews and information about the NAR team at