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At last, a virtual art gallery made for bizarre gifs

A building constructed of concrete slabs with a sign reading “Hyper GIF 3D Gallery” awaits you beyond pixelized trees. An open door beckons. Within it, a description of the current show declares “Akihiko Taniguchi, solo show of GIFs.” keep digital art within a virtual space  This is the entrance to a browser-based 3D art gallery. While the street you begin on consists of detailed high-rise buildings—across the street is a restaurant, and next to it a brick building appears to have flowers painted on it—the interior of the gallery itself is, much like physical art galleries, comprised of off-white walls,…

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An Aphex Twin tribute morphs the virtual body into horrifying shapes

Richard D. James (better known as Aphex Twin) has often seen his songs associated with disturbing, warped bodies. In the early ’90s, the label he co-founded and that produced his music, Rephlex Records, described his style as “braindance.” Pitchfork‘s Paul Cooper wrote about this terminology in 2002, saying that “‘braindance’ escaped the mind/body binary opposition of electronic music– here was a rhythmically hyper, complex genre that retained its club roots by appending fantastically supple limbs to the listener’s fervid imagination.” The corporeal imagery conjured there is hardly an embellishment on Cooper’s part. By that time, the music videos directed by experimental…

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Welcome back to the old Internet. It had problems too

It is easy to pine for the old web. The past is in the past, temporally shielded from our attempts to fetishize it and incapable of reaching through the screen to knock some sense into its eulogists. This is how the nostalgia-industrial complex, the one sector that will never take enough of a pause for us to eulogize it, flourishes.  “Cameron’s World,” a project by Cameron Askin and Anthony Hughes, attempts to revive the joys of building a personalized webpage on Geocities in the mid-to-late 90s. The resulting pages are full of overlapping graphics, bright text, animation, and even music.…

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The weird abandoned spaces of virtual worlds

I went to college in a rolling campus up on a forested hill, where the woods served as a playground on bored Sunday evenings, and frequent late-night power outages meant sneaking into empty administrative buildings, or finally searching for that deserted amphitheater tucked away in the forest, resigned to wood rot in its abandonment. There were days I would walk across campus and not see a single other student anywhere on the winding roads, dirt trails, or cement plazas of the school. But even then, the emptiness of these real, physical spaces rarely felt as eerie as that of the…

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Digital typeface 83M80 is an attempt to claw back earlier internet eras

These are great times for the weird internet, which is a little strange because it’s all so respectable. Sure, there are still genuinely weird sites like oj.com, but they are weird precisely because they are retro. It’s probably for the best that we don’t live in the era of make-your-own-Geocities and frames, but what have we lost along the way and does it have any aesthetic value independent of our nostalgia?  83M80 — Letterpress in the Digital Era, a documentary by Gonzalo Hergueta and MRKA, attempts to address what has been lost in the move towards a more professionalized internet.…

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What is #DeepDream and why is everyone getting so weird with it?

To answer your question, Mr. Dick, yes, androids do dream of electric sheep. Or, at least, artificial intelligence does. And it’s less sheep and more like an insectoid nightmare of sheep as seen through a faint kaleidoscopic filter. We are fascinated and disturbed, Mr. Dick, but the future isn’t quite as horrendous as you might have thought it to be. Not yet. Look! Here’s another of these strange machine dreams, this time featuring US president Andrew Jackson’s portrait on the $20 bill morphed into an arachnid’s face. Another! This time of one of the most iconic images of 9/11, yet the…

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MoMA.org celebrates two decades of existence with a gift to future art historians

Always having their heads in the past has meant that archivists and museum organizers are generalized as old curmudgeons who can’t see the future through the coat of dinosaur dust on their glasses. But the MoMA continues to earn the modernity label embedded in its name, as an emblem of what a museum can be when it embraces the ephemeral landscape of its subject. So when the screeching siren’s call of dial-up internet sounded, the Museum of Modern Art of course answered without skipping a beat, launching their website on May 25th 1995. As the MoMA blog post celebrating the anniversary…