HAPPENINGText: Natsume Shiroyama

A Digital festival “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH IT?” is held in ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art).

10 computers and 10 chairs are displayed in a small room of about four mat half that exists in ICA. When I asked “can I see the works here?”, the observer guided it to the empty seat. The majority of our generation have daily used the computer. Perhaps many of Shift’s readers are opposite to computers more than time to sleep. Even if we think that it goes to the exhibition, we need not direct one’s steps to the gallery purposely. Because our computers connect with computers that already exist in home and the office.

The work of Mark Amerika, one of the pioneers for the present digital art, was also one of them. We can see all his works online.

However, it seems out of fashion that we think the digital art can been seen anywhere if there is a computer. ICA had 2 big digital arts. Entering the darkish room, you can see a corner like a set of cinema or drama. The set with grass, land mark and mushroom that seems to exist in the animation world, seems to show the scenery of the hill. A screen was put on the backing, and an abstract image was projected from the projector. Observing the mushroom, I found it wasn’t normal mushroom but a big microphone. It is written, “Sing” on the screen. My friend read it and shout. Then, a lot of branches grew in a moment from the abstract tree projected onto the screen, and the leaf thrust it out. In addition, the sound of a throat natural syllabary came out, and many yellow birds stopped in the branches.

The various image was completed depending on the spectator’s song. The louder voice without any hesitation, the bigger tree can be completed. The image data completed according to spectator’s power is transmitted to DIGIT of those who produced the work. And, the work completed here is exhibited at DIGITFEED. Many of digital art have an interactive element, but this typographic tree installation needs spectator’s “effort” and “motivation”. Nowadays, advanced product toward an easy direction for us is highly evaluated. However, with this digital work which is calm and produced by human’s natural ability, we can reaffirm that the future is not only the digital.

Facing of the work that talks about nature and the technology, another work by Michael Atavar was projected onto the screen as if inhaling the spectator. What kind of work can be made with the full use of computer and the Internet? SCIIS, a game produced with a program called VRML, provides completely different contents depending of the slight judgment of the player. Even if the player does nothing, the game is developed. The cold scenery and voice like in a dream world makes us feel the difference with the real life, but the work changed according to the mouse movement reminds us the author’s “God’s aspect”. Another work like beautiful poem using only HTML is also worth to see. Please search it on his site.

The work created by thinking about the net environment will be developed more. We will be able to enjoy the net art from our own computer. It is good for London’s cold winter!

Date: November 6th – 24th, 2001
Place: ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)
Address: The Mall, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5AH
Tel: +44 (0)20 7930 3647

Text: Natsume Shiroyama
Translation: Jo Phirip

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