App or Art?

26 Apr

BY KIM YE

Two weeks ago, I received an email from my friend/artist/curator Tobey Albright that started like this:

I’d like to invite you to an exhibition I’ve curated which is opening right now and running until April 24, 2010. This isn’t a typical exhibition insofar as it is taking place via a Firefox plug-in extension that replaces online advertisements with art-scientist/artist collaborations

Wait…what?!

Ever since taking a programming class from this guy in undergrad, I’ve been interested in web-experience as interactive art (for example: this or this). The show curated by Mr. Albright was made available through Add-Art, a Mozilla plug-in created with support from Eyebeam and Rhizome. Basically, Add-Art provides an interesting new way for users to experience contemporary art and curated bodies of work while internetting. Instead of being barraged with banner ads or animated .gifs for wrinkle cream or weight-loss supplement, one is exposed to new works from artists around the world in a totally innovative context. Amazing!

Luckily, Rhizome, which has been affiliated with the New Museum since 2003, shares my enthusiasm for web/art confusion and plays “an integral role in the history, definition and growth of art engaged with the Internet and networked technologies”. Recently, they held  Seven on Seven, a conference that paired 7 visual artists w/7 techies in teams of two to create and present a project within 2 days. One of the creations, brainchild of Graffiti Research lab’s Evan Roth and Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, rewards bloggers with a congratulatory video upon the publication of their post! (I’ll be testing this feature shortly).

Though Tobey Albright’s show The Hustler and the Carer was only available via Add-Art through April 24th, you can find more info about the project here.

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