Z I N E n
new media






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a journal of new media experimental visual literary theory practice


Ted Warnell


Features, reviews, papers

News of this exciting art project by A&T contributing artist, and ARTbytes project organizer and curator Barbara Lee. Here is Barbara's feature -- enjoy...

First published as A&T 12/18/97 at Art & Technology, The Mining Company, New York. Copyright © 1997 by The Mining Company and Ted Warnell. All rights reserved.


1997 DEC 18

ARTbytes Project


I've been creating interactive installations since 1993 and my past works have been 'closed systems.' These are Installations where the participants traverse an interPASSIVE environment (e.g., point-click behavior repetition, linear path activity development). The difficulty I experience as a user and creator of these environments is two-fold. First, my innate activity inside the interface usually occurs somewhere off-center (I don't naturally do what other people expect me to). Second, the genius of the individual creator seems broad in relation to sequential behavior, but too narrow for the parallel bandwidth of the electronic hive.

    "...participants become performers who tailor their own binary illuminati..."
As a former French Chef, cooking provides excellent examples of interACTIVE behavior:

Sequential Experience:
> I never use recipes. I never record my cooking experiences.
> I pour a glass of wine and prepare my meals from scratch.
> I'm very experimental -- I love combining familiar ingredients in unfamiliar ways. My entrees are either savory delicacies or rude experiments.

(while I'm going through the above ritual, somewhere else...)

Parallel Experience:
My girlfriend's kids are telling her they are hungry. She prepares ready-made foods that require heat and minimal concentration so that she can spend more time listening to their ideas.

Another friend is eating burritos at the corner store, because he ONLY cooks for company -- which requires he do the dishes first. He hates to wash the dishes.

All participants share the same activity, but no two share the exact same cooking experience. Each Kitchen (e.g., site, tools, ingredients, atmosphere, etc...) creates a different behavior because each cook took an active role in the selection process -- customizing their experience to fit their needs.

ARTbytes attempts transcendence of interPASSIVE -- the static Industrial Age technologies which brought us K-MART's "one size fits all" to the interACTIVE fluidity of Digital Age technologies via "customization" -- participants become performers who tailor their own binary illuminati through:

> Selection of their own cell's initial content.
> Body movements (behavior) that imprint art with their current emotional state, creating new content.

This is the type of interACTIVITY I'm striving to give form to through Installation Art. Each Cell creates Performance Art via each gallery participant's behavior as a collaborator who shares in all selections. The participant is given collaborator status and actually becomes performer. The entire process is a Performance collaboration from the online artist's artwork -- to the Netcast artifact.


Online Works of Art in Any Medium

Deadline: (Ongoing through March 1998):

Artists can submit multiple online artworks via the Internet from December 1, 1997 through March 31, 1998.

Contributions of contemporary online art in any medium are being solicited for ARTbytes, an interactive collaborative Installation, Web site archive, and Netcast event.

Created by Barbara Lee, Artist-In-Residence at DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), ARTbytes uses FOUR body-on, hands-on, feet-on Installations, termed Cells. All FOUR Cells (SOUND, VISUAL, LITERATURE, and NEW MEDIA) will exhibit in April 1998. Participating galleries include: The Vorpal in San Francisco, The ART TECH: Silicon Valley Institute of Art & Technology in San Jose, and the Center for Visual Art in Oakland.

Accepted submissions will be exhibited in their original form with the artist's caption in the ARTbytes online gallery -- a permanent, curated, digital archive sponsored by DEC. In addition, accepted submissions will be used by gallery participants and the artist in the larger dynamic of the ARTbytes installation -- they form the interactive malleable, mutable raw material for the performance aspect of each Cell. Online artwork is a vital and important component of each ARTbytes Installation cell.

Participation means:

New works of contemporary digital art (SOUND, VISUAL, LITERATURE, and NEW MEDIA) will become part of the FOUR interactive ARTbytes Installations, exhibited at THREE Bay Area galleries.

> Artists can continue to send work over the next four months.
> Artists can view gallery visitors interacting with their work.
> All works will be housed in their original form as part of a permanent ARTbytes Web site archive sponsored by Digital Equipment Corporation.

To Exhibit your Online Art in the material plane -- Go to the ARTbytes Web site:

This URL takes you to a brief Form; in which to describe your work(s) and enter yourself in the project. (i.e., name of the piece(s), year of completion, etc.) VERY IMPORTANT!!! All Artists whose artwork is selected will be notified and their artwork exhibited at the ARTbytes Web site.


ARTbytes Project

Barbara Lee
is an artist working with interface technology and installation art. She is currently Artist-in-Residence at DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) in Palo Alto, USA. Her current project ARTbytes is a year in the making. You can learn more at the ARTbytes Project, and you can email Barbara Lee at

Arttech note: Barbara Lee is co-creator (with Beverly Reiser) of the interactive hypertext work, Private Loves/Public Opera, A&T 11/06/97. Look in!

    With gratitude to Barbara for allowing this work to be posted at A&T -- and, all success with your project!

    Image clips from the ARTbytes Project, courtesy of Barbara Lee. Used by permission.

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Copyright © 1998 Ted Warnell. All Rights Reserved