There are many interesting matters for an archaeologist – net.art’s focus on broken bits of computer code, frequent nostalgia for older art forms, reuse of media fragments. And above all the classic issue of media archaeology – how to archive and document work that is insubstantial, time-based and ephemeral?
The evening turned out to less of a presentation and more of a shared exploration through the collection of pieces held in his wiki.
Abram’s own work is actually more interesting then most of the classics of net.art. Fred (Turner) made a comment on his wonderful IP collage that got me thinking.
This work takes the IP address of a visitor to the site, treats the numbers as coordinates and color reference and maps the rectangle onto a white canvas. The result is a growing layered image of quite extraordinary beauty. Fred’s comment – this is a work in the aesthetics of archiving.
Philip (of philosophistry) also uses a color coded graphic to visualize and navigate the postings on his blog – a remarkable manifestation of changing tones and themes.
Then I recalled a work of the Three Landscapes Project at Stanford – the book in a room, a diary of our inquiries into the notion of landscape, produced by Cliff McLucas for the project.
It explicitly worked upon the graphics of record – how to represent a year long inquiry into the notion of place – a layered intermingling of our research, information and findings on three specific landscapes, talks with colleagues, and how it changed in the process of collaborative inquiry, the collaboratory.