Website of the month
Isn't it a little strange to plan an exhibition of internet art and place it in a museum space instead of cyberspace? Well, that is what renowned curator Peter Weibel did, and you can see it on the net anyway. Check out net-condition on the very elegantly designed website of www.zkm.de.
Another website of excellent design - this one of a major new exhibition which has opened recently in Europe, and features a number of artists from Africa (see international listings). Click on an artists name to bring up samples of the artist's work, then mouse over the black line at the base of the pictures to reach other related information.
Newly online is the website of the monthly 'Red Eye' art-for-all event at the Durban Art Gallery, described here as a "kick in the pants art initiative". A sharp design in black and red characterises the site, with some nifty flash animations and sound effects, only slightly marred by repeated requests, a la Telkom, to 'please be patient' while various bits download.
The site gives the philosophy of 'Red Eye', a history of the multi media event, galleries of past highlights, and tells you how to send in a proposal for a future 'Red Eye'. Trying to check out what is in store for this month, the Forthcoming Events page announced only: 'This is where you will be informed of future events', but no doubt this will be sorted out soon.
Cape Town's Association for the Visual Arts is one of the oldest galleries in the city, and under the directorship of Estelle Jacobs, provides space for a continuous round of exhibitions decided upon by a Committee. The AVA also serves as a clearing house for art information and has an outreach programme which benefits less privileged artists. Their website has recently been upgraded, and now carries news of current shows, and information and images of the artists who have exhibited there in the past.
This is the website of Cape Town's fledgling South African Centre for Photography, and gives images and information about current photographic events.
Indispensable daily reading for anyone who wishes to keep up with the the best of local cultural happenings. Under the rigorous editorship of Sophie Perryer, the site also features lively interviews and reviews taken from the Mail & Guardian.
Every artist deserves a business card on the net, the Artslink webmaster TJ de Klerk believes. And galleries can have a whole page, free. This local site becomes more and more useful, with its e-mailing of arts-related press releases available to anyone through its Acemail programme. Won the Arts and Culture award for best art site in the country last year.
Museums Online: South Africa presents all the current activities and exhibitions of local museums. Two recently added sections are an Events section which enables anyone in the museum of related community to announce relevant activities on the internet, and a by-subscription mailing list which will allow one to be e-mailed regularly on museum activities.
Another South African museum goes online - this is the website of the King George VI Art Gallery in Port Elizabeth, with news of current exhibitions and activities and a virtual tour of some of the gallery's highlights.
This cool site by "professional garage futurist" Bruce Sterling puts out a wittily worded general appeal for "communications paleontologists" to set up a site listing dead media - in this age of cyber communication, all those earlier devices that have fallen into disuse. Ever heard of the electric lantern? Contributions from a number of sources are listed, and you are invited to contribute.
New York artist Joy Garnett has started a website of interest to artists. Newsgrist,"where spin is art" has images and prose and poetry and articles. Not all that much there yet, but worth checking out.
E-flux bills itself as the "the first electronic mailing company devoted exclusively to serving the international art world." Working from a data base of cutting edge critics, collectors, consultants, galleries and museums, e-flux will email information about exhibitions to its subscribers at "a small fraction of the usual mailing costs". Logging on to the site will provide information about a wide range of current exhibitions in the States and Europe. The curators of "Translation/Seduction/Displacement", the show of South African artists opening at the White Box this month used e-flux to send out pix and info on the show.
If you're up to grappling with questions of 'critical thought around the whole subject of how culture and technology are interweaving at the end of this century', you could click on the Frame site to read essays by contributors from around the world. Frame is an e-zine emanating from the UK. It's edited by Sue Thomas and Simon Mills, who are calling for contributions for the next issue which will appear in February on Love and the Web and Digital Love.
One of the better exhibition websites around is this one, which shows a number of works by each of artists on New York's Museum for African Art show, 'Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa'. It's a good place to go for all those matric essayists constantly seeking information on local artists.
Published biannually in India, www.Gallerie.net is the gorgeous online version of a global ideas magazine. Four issues old, it has won seven national and international awards for excellence addressing issues that are of universal concern through the arts, performing arts, essays, poetry, photo-essays, socio-political stories of communities and people.
Chinese artists are attracting more and more notice on the world art scene - check this well designed site out for a look at what's going on on that side of the globe.
The Thami Mnyele studio in Amsterdam, established in 1993, is a home from home for two visiting artists a year, providing an air ticket and living and working space. In a recent policy change, the foundation is also considering artists from other African countries. The website tells how to apply for a fellowship and the conditions.
Inspired by Robert Rauschenberg's Erased De Kooning drawing, Sawad Brooks has transported the concept of erasure from the analogue to the digital domain. Erasure always leaves its own traces, and Brooks raises the question of how we can decipher digital erasure with four elegant projects: Shuttle Shutter, Focus, Annotator and Register. It is the viewer that must perform the erasures. This is interaction at its most evolved.
A New York-based website which is one of the best and the biggest, constantly updating current information on exhibitions, and offering excellent reviews and magazine coverage.
Focusing on an interchange of material about Africa, this fresh-looking Dutch-based site has a particular emphasis on the arts and culture of this continent, and searches for new virtual exhibitions to host online.
A site of truly wondrous projects. Breathing Earth, for instance, is a visualisation of earthquakes that have happened worldwide in the past 14 days. A globe with a map of the world comes into view, and on each of the 14 dates, swellings bubble up indicating the location of the seismic activities. Other projects involve the number of kilometres the world has swung round the sun while you have been busy on the website, and the sounds of the web itself.
One of the best - great artist projects, articles, news.
Intriguing initiatives especially designed for the web from a variety of artists. All of them are worth checking out.
Stroom is an organisation in Holland which not only has its own gallery but also sponsors numerous public art projects by such artists as Vito Acconci. Their site lists and shows many such projects. At present, the site is in Dutch only, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem for South Africans.
This artist's website is that of Rob Moonen, a Dutch conceptual artist known to many South Africans after he participated in a Cape Town workshop in 1996. He is currently working with Kevin Brand on a collaborative textile piece to be made up at the Textile Museum in Tilburg, Holland. But his website is listed here because of its good design and the insight given into the artist's fine work.
"These years, I've been thinking of creating a nice and multi-functional container for art communication," Shanghai artist Shi Yong introduces his site, presenting his solution - "a handcart and a transparent suitcase." The artist goes on to present a variety of images in categories such 'background' from which readers are to select the most appropriate to go into the suitcase to make up their idea of the "New China".
A year and a half ago, the same artist had a different website where he invited people to choose what hairstyle and clothing he should wear to successfully represent the New China. Engaging and fun.