UBC | Digital Visions
Digital Visions
View site
The 12hr-ISBN-JPEG Project

In response to the question that Ippolito posed in his article about "what happens to constructions of subjectivity that are based on interaction?" a net art piece such as "Access Points" not only justifies interactivity as part of the piece, it is in fact necessary to integrate user-interactivity "to open a greater space for dialogue within a piece" (Babel). Similar to the Dada goal of finding independence, the map of "Access Points" assists viewers in locating themselves in relationship to different geographies or access points, thereby creating a unique narrative sequence for each individual. Although viewers may at first find themselves alienated within this virtual town, curiosity draws the viewer to search the map for places with "a physical reality that people can easily identify with" (Babel). The abstract representation of the town does not take away from the user experience in the exploration of the space, because "it is more difficult to create a convincing digital simulacrum of reality than it is to create a reality that only exists digitally" (Joseph). It is precisely this abstracted space that encourages the viewer to explore and interact with the piece. Indeed, it was the abstract paintings that induced the Zurich Dadaists to look for new expression within dissolution.

When considering Hans Richter's Dada historically at the Cabaret and the element of collaboration that resulted in Dada creation. Since "new media art, and the web more generally, could be seen as a huge multimedia cabaret" (Joseph), the piece "Access Points" is also naturally a form of a Cabaret, where it shares the original Cabaret Voltaire's "enthusiasm on mutual inspiration which started things moving" (Richter 28). Within this intimate virtual town of "Access Points", numerous pieces are exhibited including pieces of interactive simultaneous poetry, manifestos, abstract work, interactive photomontages, chance, and also some other media elements including audio and animation. These can be considered a digital representation of a modern "Cabaret Voltaire". Moreover, since the work that progressed in the Cabaret Voltaire consisted of several artists and poets, the net piece follows this route as well. The pieces by different contributors created a different feeling and direction depending on the mediums used, giving the viewer a need to explore each access point and see how the message is delivered in each piece.

In both the Cabaret and in "Access Points", the work functions when the audience is considered as part of the construction of the narrative. Within "Access Points", the piece called "The Squat… is 'live' in the sense that comments are added by visitors" (Babel), showing the significance of user collaboration in the construction of the piece; "without the input of many people … we will never be able to adequately describe or reflect on the worlds we now inhabit" (Ippolito). The input of a viewer on narrating and constructing "Access Points" also adds to the Dadaist interest of chance, "a new stimulus to artistic creation" (Richter 51). Within the exploration of MADA, the new media artists selected elements of chance not only driven by their programming abilities but encouraged by the hopes that the audience would contribute.

In "Access Points", chance is found and possible to tag in the interactive poetry pieces called "Musa [Fly]" and "30 Pieces of Silver / Take the Money and Run". These two pieces are an extension of the original Dada simultaneous poetry forms from the 1920's where looping narratives were composed from different interactive elements. This mix of sound, imagery, text, and interactivity creates an interactive photomontage, ad this is well-suited to the possibilities of the internet. The piece "Cat [Para]site" is a photomontage of photos and cartoon cat drawings. This piece utilizes in links, and rollover images, sound, and animation which function unlike simultaneous poetry only when the mouse is rolled over the element. The audio poems and collages crate a post-Dada moment where shock moves beyond that of visual.

The piece "Museum of Local Crafts" speaks about production versus access. Although this piece lacks the usage of typography found in the original Dadaist manifestos, the element of animated imagery is added to enhance the statement and places it in the same revolutionary frame of earlier movements where a manifesto directed the audience to participate.

With the integration of interactivity, abstract representations, Cabaret-like collaboration, audience, chance, interactive simultaneous poetry, interactive photomontage, and manifestos, MADA has redefined Dada online. These elements are interwoven in such a way that they are similar to the traditional Dada practices but also fit in terms of new media structures. 391.org draws the viewer's attention to "point[s] of access that is at once necessary and problematic" (Babel). This delivery of "Access Points" online re-iterates chance, new progress and the possibility that the new or undisclosed is still plausible but is contingent on decoding and understanding one's access points.

previous 1 | 2
Site: http://www.391.org/