As a member of the Netorg Jury I had the pleasure to pop into Visitorsstudio on several occasions. Each time I had intended to spend just enough time to check out the site; understand what they were trying to do and to evaluate its user experience. Visitorsstudio describes itself as an online place for real-time, multi-user mixing, collaborative creation, many to many dialogue and networked performance and play. However, each time I visited the site I found that I was unable to get out. Is this a good thing I wondered? Possibly not - as I had plenty more sites on my list to evaluate but somehow the beguiling mixes kept me enthralled, and, as hard as I tried I was totally locked into my screen.
Visitors, like me can in fact drop in and meet others and upload and share their still and moving images and sound tracks with others and mix them into entirely new entities. These dialogues have produced surprising collaborations and several have been performed over the network for others to enjoy either in real-time, or savored at a later date in the archive available on the site. Everyone is welcome here; both new and established artists and even I - a totally uninitiated newbie - tried my hand at my own little mix.
The site is attractive and most important highly intuitive and once you are logged in, your curser movers around with you with your login name. I was hoping to meet others while I was playing with my own files but I usually found myself there alone. With the playfulness of the site and the ability to achieve results so easily, not only was I impressed with the eloquent mixes already there I was particularly enthralled at this real opportunity for distributed creativity.
As a personal recommendation when you go there yourself – don’t miss - Bubbles vinet 04.11.09 Calming and make sure that you bookmark your favorites mix so that you can share it with others.
My House, Kurtm, 05.11.09 Fear
This is a truly haunting loop – but closing in your eyes – dady daddy
Bringing artists together in this way has opened up new possibilities for distributed creativity and Visitorsstudio has provided an excellent platform for this to transpire. It is almost as if artists are sitting side by side in the physical studio and using the local mixer to create new renderings together. In this case the studio is accessibility to everyone and no matter where they might be – as long as they are in the same time zone – or perhaps as an ideal solution for those who prefer to create in their pajamas – this project offers them the perfect location to work, create and take pleasure in their work in an exquisitely beautiful environment!
Jason Sloan's Social Network Project
Jason Sloan calls himself a new media artist, electronic musician, composer and professor and he teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. His minimalist site walks us through his network art projects, fields 2.0, a series of audio-visual - “To Remain” representing moments that were exhibited at The University of Maryland last year which was curated by Jenny Fleming. Here Sloan deliberately uses analog tape to record and playback his soundscapes – there by causing built in deterioration which, according to Sloan, 'eventually makes each listening experience very unique'. Focusing beyond the sounds we are usually aware of, Sloan has succeeded in shedding new light on the way we consume sound and enjoy audio experiences. I am delighted to be able to recognize his social [net.work music] - social [network music] where he draws on the Fluxus traditions to create a sound library from MySpace. Here he selects his friend's links and open their sound files in a new tab allowing the mixes to layer one over the next. The spontaneous composition evolves until he calls in the browser to act as a player when it ends the composition by crashing under the overload.
This project freaks me out! It scares me and causes me to loose endless nights sleep! I am not a hacker by nature, yet neither am I even a particularly private person but there is no way in the world that I would want my gmail to become public! Evidently the Gmaybe team wanted to create something funny, stimulating, and provoking at the same time? I am not sure anyone would find my gmail funny, stimulating or provoking but perhaps reading others might be … hmmm interesting thought…where was that url?
This project deserves an honorable mention for its sheer audacity!!! However, as audacious they are – I am not sharing my mailbox with anyone!
Gridsystem was first launched in 1997 by Ed Stastny and has been maintained and nurtured over the years by Ed and Jon Van Oast. We have decided to give the project an honorary mention this year for its beauty, depth and breadth of its contents. Many articles, videos and commentaries have been spawned by this seemingly endless succession of colorful grids and as an interesting spin-off of Gridsystem there is even an impressive system of poetry readings in mp3's. I would like to recognize Gridsystem for an honorary mention not only for its rich contents but specifically for its longevity. As netorg projects come and go, not too many have been able to come and stay! With more than a 10 year lifespan – this project has probably outlived many of its predecessors and, as new creations are uploaded by their fans, friends and followers are added to the complex grid systems we hope that Gridsystem will continue to grow for many years to come.
Although I did participate in this s "serious" game I am not sure how, exactly I was able to help charity and humanitarian organisations or those working on environmental or educational issues, to take effective action in everyday reality.
I did, however enjoy their beautiful interface, and try as hard as I could I was unable to leave my mark (my cube) and I still didn't get exactly what it was I was getting when I bought my share of Paris. Can anyone help me here please?
Dr. Susan Jennifer Hazan