Reading Reflection: Web Art, Telecom [ Yr 2| IM 2]


The internet, The World Wide Web, has been dominating our world in these 30 years. As a tech and online enthusiast, I believe telecommunication features offer freedom of expression and structure and visualize information through multimedia. I decided to learn more about web’s telecom art through reading Wilson Stephen’s Information Arts: Intersections of Art.


The Internet as a public art space : HUMAN <-> MACHINE

According to Stephen, there are 4 telecom features of the Web that enable art to blossom online:

    1. Connectivity between Persons
    2. Collaboration and Group Work
    3. The Creation of Distributed Archives
    4. Internationalism

With the ever-advancing technology, I think the web provides a totally new experience for both the artist and viewers. Artwork can be created collaboratively with unknown netizens and displayed in both the physical and digital world. An artist community, Futherfield, created the term DIWO (Do-It-With-Others) in 2006 that means ” enables like-minded people to collaboratively work on a task, project or any other service. This project development technique is a complete execution of Stephen’s theories and thoughts mentioned in this 2002 published book. (WOW) I totally agree that telecom web connects people together, raises the possibilities of DIWO and lowers the barrier for creating art.

Kazuhiko Hachiya—Post Pet, 1996-99








In the early stages of email, artists capitalized email’s sending and receiving messages feature to create interactive and collaborative digital telecom platforms and artworks. Post Pet is one example examining the technique. The “sending and receiving of E-mail messages are visualized as objects carried by cartoon characters. Users get to interact with characters by feeding and playing with it. Most importantly, the user can send the character back to its owner by replying to the message. Users  could act as the character to ‘live’ in the virtual E-mail world and may emotionally connect to the web.

I think that the Post Pet broadens the range of possibilities of web art when users use Email. The ‘game’ promotes the sending and receiving features of Email which fastens the speed of information & ideas exchanging. It is an aid to better the whole user experience of E-mail. Bring fun to the users and does a good job of visually representing information in a different way. Personally, I like it a lot! However, this early developed web art has limitations in terms of customization. The scope of the audience is restricted by its style and functions.

Ed Stastny—“SITO,”                                                  HyGrid, and Infinite Grid, 1993

Ed Stastny, Infinite Grid. Web visitors contribute images to a dynamically growing array.










Another artwork that drags my attention is Ed Stastny’s “SITO,” HyGrid, and Infinite Grid. It is a collaborative artwork. Visitors could contribute images to complete a square-like artwork with a growing array. It is a nice example showing capabilities of the internet. Ideas, sources and information exchange via the no national boundary platform to create the  Infinite Grid collaboratively. It is an artwork repository. This early experiment facilitated sharing and learning nature of the web, with not only text but also image.

Later Web art

Christopher Baker—Hello World!, 2008

The book was published in 2002 and it introduces the early web art in this section. I would like to introduce you to the later web art which fascinated me!

“Hello World!” is a new form of sharing and collaborative large-scale audio visual installation. Baker comprised over 5000 video diaries of lonely individuals greeting and talking to imagined audiences in each grid. These video diaries were taken from online video sharing sites such as Youtube. Hello World! displays individuals talking at the same time and viewers are not able to listen to all speakers with technology constraints. This is to express the message that humans all want to be heard, yet with overwhelming information available online, it is impossible to listen to all voices.


 With addition devices connected to the web, such as webcam and sensor, the level of interactivity evolves with advances of technologies. It is interesting that the Internet is acting as a new form public art space with telecommunication function it has. It lowers the barrier of creating art, connecting people around the world and enables ideas sharing. I can see web art to continue evolving in the future and reshapes our world in a certain way.

Wilson Stephen's Information Arts: Intersections of Art., 2002

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