Surreal Google Earth images break the illusion of digital mapping

Postcards from Google Earth, a project by Brooklyn-based artist, Clement Valla, which started in 2010, is a collection of warped Google Earth screenshots. As eerie and uncanny as they appear it can be easy to dismiss the images as nothing more than odd screenshots, but by touching on these visual mishaps, Valla wants to pull back the curtain on Google’s processes for us to consider. With the photorealism of Google Earth its easy to take its visual representations as accurate. Postcards from Google Earth is a reminder that all representations are approximates, no matter how convincing they may seem. It is…

Ride the Metaverse

Hold your guts in as you’re thrown around a virtual reality art space

Created for a Render the Metaverse OTOY and Oculus sponsored contest last year, the virtual reality project “Mashup Between the Clouds” is a surreal journey into a world of stacked pallets, overturned desks, and cardboard boxes. It’s also a virtual reality still, meaning that while you could look in 360 degrees, you are constrained to simply observation. More recently, the project’s creator Moritz Reichartz released a new way to look at his Metaverse, throwing a “collision cam into the scene” to see what happened. The resulting video, “Ride the Metaverse,” is a carnival ride in perhaps all senses of the word. From the sound effects…


Glaciers writes poetry using Google’s most popular searches

Currently wrapping up its first weekend on display at New York’s Postmasters art gallery, Glaciers is the latest art project from Sage Solitaire (2015) creator and Tharsis systems designer Zach Gage, as well as several billion unknowing co-authors. The exhibit features a collection of small e-ink screens, each displaying a digital poem generated using the top three Google autocomplete results to a specific prompt, such as “how much,” “does he want,” and “should I save.” The poems refresh once per day, meaning that like their namesake, they have the potential to change shape and meaning over time. Though Gage is well known for his…


Computational artist creates a nightmare of writhing bodies

A mass of speedo-clad elastic men floating in space—just human enough to be unsettling. They don’t move of their own volition but, rather, succumb to the physics of zero gravity, writhing and contorting around each other. It’s as as if an astronaut has sneaked her childhood collection of Stretch Armstrongs onto the International Space Station. This is the bizarre reality presented by computational artist Albert Omoss in his most recent short, Undercurrents. According to his website, “Omoss’ art practice relates the axiomatic structures of reality to the anthropocentric ideals of technological innovation,” which could perhaps be translated to mean that…

Anne Horel

Shove your face into the hyper-eclectic web art of Anne Horel

When the internet was born the French artist Anne Horel was watching. In fact, I think it swallowed her. She exists now mostly as images stuck in looped emoji dances that are scattered around the web. Where she goes, rainbow fonts and pizza slices follow, spiraling off the screen in a ditz as they merge with the face of Miley Cyrus or a scene from a Disney movie. This is the labored work of a datamosh queen. Horel is a force of mass creation. If the rapid speed of the internet encourages us all to consume at a high rate, then Horel…


Polygon Shredder is all the fun of confetti with none of the mess

As I tool around with the cascading confetti waves of web developer Jaume Sanchez Elias’ Polygon Shredder, I feel a bit like Moses parting the red sea. Except this sea isn’t just red, but also blue, yellow, white, and I think I saw a little chartreuse in there. If you ever had a pet tornado in the ‘90s, Polygon Shredder follows a similar principle. As a sort of desk toy for the digital age, Polygon Shredder works by generating a certain amount of multicolor cubes based on your preference, then shredding them into paper-thin strips and tossing them into the…


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,…


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…


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.…