Remember this?

Several years ago I was on a jury for a Networked art show….

While sifting through endless days of net.art sites I came across jimpunk’s “nowar.nogame.org” . How refreshing to sit back, feel out of control and to be driven along by the browser. Somewhere in the midst of the work was a section where the Twin Towers.. ( the square NYC World Trade Towers variety not the beautiful circular Petronas Towers in KL ) made from empty pop-up grey vertically rectangular browser windows on a plain grey horizontal background, appeared. Then with a strike of thunderous sound, one by one they fell down.. or in more technical terms compacted towards the bottom of the screen.

A short, powerful, simple sequence. Beautiful I thought. Fantastic use of pop-ups. jimpunk goes on my top 10 favourite artists list. I put a link to it on my web site entitled ‘best twin towers at jimpunk”. The net equivalent perhaps to Sean Penn’s moving September 11 short film on death and transformation when the grief and denial of an elderly man (Ernest Borgnine) is healed when light streams into his dark apartment as the Twin Towers collapse.

Funnily enough the work didn’t make it into the net art show, as I discovered the other juror had completely opposite aesthetic sense to myself , and didn’t share my enthusiasm for jimpunk’s work, nor I for the works he liked.
After much negotiation we settled for works we both though were good rather than ones we individually loved [ah the joys of the jury process].

I have wanted to view this fragment of work again, and to show it in lectures, however I was never able to find it. I thought perhaps it was an Easter egg, a little gift for the adventurous user hidden within the site, and it was just eluding me. However recently jimpunk has told me the sequence I recall didn’t ever exist.

I dont quiet believe him – but nowar.nogame.org is offline now so I can’t check for myself. He directed me to 9/11 Memorial, which has a similar use of pop-ups. But the towers are stable, the back ground is animated and they just disappear rather than collapse. It is much more formal, and to my mind a less powerful work than the apparently non-existent one I recall.

So perhaps I was the only recipient of that random combination of windows that became such a potent artwork in my memory. Perhaps it was the optical hallucinatory affect of massively moving pop-ups. Perhaps it illustrates networked art is a truly individual experience. Perhaps it was an illusion – the art equivalent of false memory syndrome – created by mediated tower terror pattern recognition. The only certainty is that the reality of memory bears no relation to truth or falsity

Melinda Rackham


9/11 memorial REMEMBER

Petronas Towers

Dr Melinda Rackham
artist | curator | producer
-empyre- media forum

originaly from rhizome.org

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