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Indepth Arts News:

"Art Now: Art and Money Online"
2001-03-06 until 2001-06-03
Tate Britian
London, , UK United Kingdom

Art Now is a programme of exhibitions that aims to generate discussion and promote awareness of new art in Britain. It also highlights new technologies, and Art Now:Art and Money Online, sponsored by Reuters, presents three installations by artists whose work refers to and makes use of the Internet. These works will examine in different ways the current and rapid commercialisation of the Internet, and the growing culture of e-commerce.

Most Internet art is difficult to accommodate within a gallery show, as it requires interaction with a single viewer, and is suited to display only on a small scale. Increasingly, however, artists are using the Internet in new ways, and to highlight this development, and to bring Internet art to a wider audience, Art and Money Online shows work that is immediately accessible to visitors who previously may have been put off by the computer interface.

The artists featured are:

Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway () who have created a new work, titled Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium, that uses the Internet to access and utilise live stock market data. Companies trading on the world's stock exchanges will be represented as constellations of stars in the night sky, drifting and flickering in response to fluctuations in the financial markets. An ecology of artificial-life creatures will live within this financial universe, and feed from the trading activity of the stars. The creatures will evolve and will attempt to navigate and predict the turbulent trading patterns of the markets.

Redundant Technology Initiative ( www.lowtech.org) who recycle discarded, outmoded computers and bring them back to life. This installation, entitled Free Agent, re-purposes computer trash as a tool to search for the word 'free' (one of the most frequent search terms on the internet). Mixing video footage and the results of internet searches, this networked low-tech video wall displays images and text which scroll across thirty-six screens; a demonstration of the potential of no-cost technology and a stunning display of retro computer graphics, in which images are rendered as abstract blocks of garbled text.

Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead ( www.thomson-craighead.net) whose installation is entitled CNN Interactive just got more interactive. This involves the intervention by the artists into the existing CNN news site, whereby the viewer is able to select their own 'audio mood' music in relation to the news item they are viewing. Moods to select from include 'jubilant', 'melancholy' and 'dramatic', leading to surreal and often hilarious juxtapositions. Instead of using standard on-screen architecture such as the Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers, the interface has been specifically designed by the artists for use in the gallery and parodies the touch screen multi-media stations used by corporate media companies.

The exhibition is curated by Julian Stallabrass, Lecturer in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art and former Paul Mellon Centre Fellow at Tate Britain, who will publish a book on Internet art through Tate Publishing later in 2001. The Art Now programme is supported by Patrons of New Art.

Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway
Detail from first sketch for constellation map,
Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium 2001
Re-created by Simeon Portway, Courtesy the artists

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