Indepth Arts News: |
"David Claerbout: Present - Download an Amaryllis, Gerbera or a Rose for Your Computer"
2000-11-09 until 2000-12-31
Dia Center for the Arts
New York, NY,
On November 9, 2000, Dia Center for the Arts will launch
Present, a work devised by David Claerbout for Dia's series
of artists' projects for the world wide web. The address for
the project will be http://www.diacenter.org/claerbout. An
event celebrating the project will be held in Dia's bookstore
on November 9th, 2000 at 548 West 22nd Street, New York City,
For his first computer-based artwork, Claerbout offers visitors
the choice of three flowers to download from the internet. An
amaryllis, gerbera, or red rose will then live on each
visitor's computer for approximately one week, after which time
it will remove itself, leaving a seed to send to someone else.
During the flower's lifespan, the user will be able to view it
by clicking on a desktop icon. Depending on the local time, a
brief, looping video of the flower will appear in morning,
afternoon or evening light, or darkness.
Present responds to Claerbout's struggle with the lack of
body, or presence, on the internet, while building on his
interest in using video and digital technology to animate
imagery so that a temporal relationship is created between the
viewer and the work. In his 1999 interactive video projection,
Untitled (Carl and Julie), the viewer encounters a man sitting
outside on a patio talking with a girl who has her back to the
viewer. When the viewer triggers a sensor, the girl turns her
head to look out of the scene, involving the viewer in the
moment of the image. With Present, Claerbout expands on his
interest in temporal relationships linking image and viewer by
engaging the media of digital technology and the internet. Even
though the flower lives in a wholly digital environment, it
manifests the rhythms of an organic lifecycle as in real time.
Its presence and eventual (automatic) disappearance interject
real world temporality into a digital environment where time
normally lacks organic reference. Extending the natural
metaphor, the seed that remains after the flower is gone can be
given as a gift, complete with a message from the sender. In
this sense, Present reflects on its context: the gift economy
in which most network-based art is created.
Funding for Dia's series of artists' projects for the web has
been provided by the New York State Council on the Arts.
Photography for the project was done by Philip Bol and
programming was done by Peter Berry, Steven Fujita and John
Sharp of Tall Software.