Net Works

Net Works offers an inside look into the process of successfully developing thoughtful, innovative digital media. In many practice-based art texts and classrooms, technology is divorced from the socio-political concerns of those using it. Although there are many resources for media theorists, practice-based students sometimes find it difficult to engage with a text that fails to relate theoretical concerns to the act of creating. Net Works strives to fill that gap. Using websites as case studies, each chapter introduces a different style of web project—from formalist play to social activism to data visualization—and then includes the artists’ or entrepreneurs’ reflections on the particular challenges and outcomes of developing that web project. Scholarly introductions to each section apply a theoretical frame for the projects. Combining practical skills for web authoring with critical perspectives on the web, Net Works is ideal for courses in new media design, art, communication, critical studies, media and technology, or popular digital/internet culture.

xtine burrough is a media artist, educator, and co-author of Digital Foundations. She believes art shapes social experiences by mediating consumer culture and envisioning rebellious practices. As an educator at California State University, Fullerton, she bridges the gaps between art and design histories, theories, and practices. Her website is: www.

Net Works Case studies iN Web art aNd desigN

Edited by xtine burrough

First published 2012 by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN

Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

© 2012 Taylor & Francis

The right of the editor to be identified as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Net works : case studies in Web art and design / edited by xtine burrough. – 1st ed. p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Art and the Internet. 2. Web sites–Case studies. I. Burrough, Xtine. II. Title: Case studies in Web art and design. NX180.I57N47 2011 776–dc23


ISBN: 978-0-415-88221-7 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-415-88222-4 (pbk) ISBN: 978-0-203-84794-7 (ebk)

Typeset in Garamond by Wearset Ltd, Boldon, Tyne and Wear

Printed and bound in the United States of America by Walsworth Publishing Company, Marceline, MO on acid- free paper.

One wedding + one manuscript: for Paul Martin Lester, my December groom, whom I married just two weeks before sending this manuscript to the publisher. Thank you, always, for your support.



List of Figures x Acknowledgments xiii List of Contributors xiv

Introduction to Net Works 1 X T I N e B U R R O U G H

PART I Formalism and Conceptual Art 3

Formalism and Conceptual Art, introduction 3 e D W A R D A . S H A N K e N

1 Color Field Paintings (Browser) 7 M I C H A e L D e M e R S

2 YouTube as a Subject 16 C O N S T A N T D U L L A A R T

PART II Collections and Communities 25

Virtual Communities: An Interview with Howard Rheingold 25 X T I N e B U R R O U G H A N D H O W A R D R H e I N G O L D

3 WTF?! 27 R O B e R T N I D e F F e R

4 SF Garden Registry 38 A M Y F R A N C e S C H I N I , D A V I D L U , A N D M Y R I e L M I L I C e V I C

PART III Crowdsourcing and Participation 47

Cheaper by the Dozen: An Introduction to “Crowdsourcing” 47 T R e B O R S C H O L z

5 Mechanical Olympics 55 X T I N e B U R R O U G H

6 Google Maps Road Trip 66 P e T e R B A L D e S A N D M A R C H O R O W I T z

viii CoNteNts

PART IV Data Visualization 76

On Data Visualization 76

7 Superfund365 79 B R O O K e S I N G e R

8 Pastiche 90 C H R I S T I A N M A R C S C H M I D T

PART V Error and Noise 100

Seductive errors: A Poetics of Noise, introduction 100 M A R K N U N e S

9 Luscious 104 F e R N A N D A V I é G A S A N D M A R T I N W A T T e N B e R G

10 Tumbarumba 111 e T H A N H A M

PART VI Surveillance 121

Web 2.0 Surveillance and Art, introduction 121 C H R I S T I A N F U C H S

11 F ’Book: What My Friends Are Doing in Facebook 128 L e e W A L T O N

12 Traceblog 137 e D U A R D O N A V A S

PART VII Tactical Media and Democracy 145

Tactical Media, introduction 145 C R I T I C A L A R T e N S e M B L e

13 The Good Life/La Buena Vida 148 C A R L O S M O T T A W I T H e V A D í A z , F R e C K L e S S T U D I O ,

A N D S T A M A T I N A G R e G O R Y

14 Oiligarchy 158 M O L L e I N D U S T R I A / P A O L O P e D e R C I N I

PART VIII Open Source 166

Open Source Creativity, introduction 166 D A V I D M . B e R R Y

CoNteNts ix

15 The Real Costs 170 M I C H A e L M A N D I B e R G

16 Add- Art: Sharing, Freedom, and Beer 179 S T e V e L A M B e R T

PART IX Hacking and Remixing 189

Hacking and Remixing, introduction 189 S T e F A N S O N V I L L A – W e I S S

17 Pigeonblog 192 B e A T R I z D A C O S T A

18 JoyceWalks 200 C O N O R M C G A R R I G L e

PART X Performance and Analog Counterparts 210

Performance and Analog Counterparts, introduction 210 K e N G O L D B e R G

19 The Gandhi Complex: The Mahatma in Second Life 212 J O S e P H D e L A P P e

20 Alerting Infrastructure! Challenging the Temporality of Physical versus Virtual environments 221 J O N A H B R U C K e R – C O H e N


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