Refresh: The Art of the Screen Saver, 2000
James Buckhouse, a San Francisco artist, has curated 'Refresh: The Art of the Screen Saver'. This online exhibition shows the work of 22 artists who have created digital projects that are both works of art and functional screen savers. All screen savers can be downloaded from the site free of charge but be prepared to wait a while - some of these files are huge. The exhibition opened on November 4 on www.artmuseum.net.
Examples of screen savers viewed and downloaded include an endless cinematic loop of a thief emerging from darkness, climbing through a window and melding back into abstraction. Another displays photographs and texts describing the last meals and statements of the 25 people that Texas has executed between January 1st and July 12th, 2000 - a comment on capital punishment. An interactive screen saver, controlled by the mouse, shows a rotating head aging from bald to full growth and then back again. And another shows close-ups of basketballs taken from televised games so that the ball stays in the center of the screen throughout the video while many hands pass over and around as it spins seemingly in place, the background changing wildly as the camera tracks its movement.
In an article in the November 28, 2000 issue of the iTechnology section of the Cape Times, Buckhouse explains what inspired him to create such a project: "[In the typical corporate cubicle] the only window out is your computer screen, and the only thing on your computer screen is poetically impoverished. My hope was to bring some small moment of art to the desktop."
Each screen saver indicates its compatibility with either Mac or PC.