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Digital Visions
Roya Jakoby
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Rise + Shine

Roya Jakoby, originally from Germany and now living in between London and New York, is an interactive media designer and digital artist. She has a wide involvement with New Media (which refers broadly to the convergence of digital communications technologies and is often associated with the interactive entertainment industry, the internet, digital design, and other computer oriented multi-media pursuits ), having created a variety of other New Media projects (http link:); additionally, she has done some New Media research and exhibition projects for Cambridge University (England). Jakoby has also helped to build and establish an online community network with open access in Brixton (London) (http link:), and she was a creative director for a small New Media company in London until she moved to New York. Apart from her New Media experience, Jakoby was involved with the Asian Cultural Scene in London, co-ran a Persian cultural shop in Berlin, and she has helped to organize cultural events and publications for the Iranian community in the European exile*.

Along with Jakoby’s other Net art on girlfish.net, Rise + Shine was created with the help of technology to manipulate the pixels of digitized images. In creating her avant-garde art, Jakoby proposes as new direction in Net art by challenging the use of narrative or text-based commentary, and knowingly “breaking a whole bunch of Net art rules that have been established by the first wave of Net artists.”* Despite her attempt of going against these rules, she ends up being confronted with a new set of problems with the way her art functions on the Internet.

To begin, Jakoby questions the inclusion of text and narratives to the visual Net artwork; thus aiming to create “visual poetry,”* art that speaks for itself, by itself, and to do it as “uncontrolled and uncommented”* as possible. Her interest in the idea of the “conscious use of text and image, and how they affect each other,”* comes from her interest in Islamic art culture, specifically the “separation between narrative and image;”* coupled with various notions of Walter Benjamin’s essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. She first began tackling this idea in another online project for the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge (http link:), where she dealt with the subject from a museum’s curatorial point of view. Jakoby’s driving question for this particular piece, influenced by Walter Benjamin, was how the western tradition of commenting on the art piece manipulated the audience’s perception.

Comparing her online project for the museum and Rise + Shine, we see that Jakoby further widened the gap between narrative and image by removing any sort of text from her artwork. Without text to guide thought processes, the individu the individual viewer is left to just watch the visual movement and in this way, Jakoby's attempt to allow the art to speak for itself has succeeded. However, through the conventions of Net art we expect that the artist is trying to comment on some aspect of technology. Rise + Shine will force some viewers to find themselves at a lost as to what the art is about or the meaning that Jakoby is trying to convey with the set of moving images. But for better or worse, with the presence of a title, Jakoby has gone against her ultimatum of no text commentary, and has set the scene up to gear the viewer to a specific category that she had in mind when creating the Net art. In the interview, the reason behind “Rise + Shine” is because “some kind of title is nice.”*

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Site: http://www.girlfish.net/