2013年11月26日 星期二

Prsentation: Mouchette.org

A)     Introduction

 l   Link: http://mouchette.org/

l   Artist: Uncertain

l   Name: Mouchette.org

l   Year: 1996

l   Display in the internet

l   Networked Digital Art

B)     General Description of the Website

        Mouchette’s website is supposed to be a thirteen year old girl. The first page just introduces hername, age and a list of relevant information. Next to the introduction has a portrait of a sadlooking adolescence girl. The background contains the combine pictures with a close-up a luridflower, its petals crawling with ants and files which created a sense of eerie. The background canbe changed if you pressed the button of “reload” which next to “My next mood is …..” The otherstrange thing is the weird sound like smiling and crying in different time. The drop-menu link candirect you into different theme of the story.

C)   Detailed Illustration of the Internet Art

1.      Interested Sections

l   Suicide Kit

l   7 songs

l   Blind Jump

l   Flesh and Blood

l   Cat

2.    Central themes of those sections

a) Suicide

“Suicide Kit”
What is the best way to kill yourself when you're under
13? The strange question to  ask you to commit suicide. The
funniest thing is many people response and shown their answers
on the Internet. Some response would suggest ways to die like
taking pills. Some viewers would kindly to suggest cherishing the
valuable life.  

b) Sex

 1. “Flesh and Blood”

The child is depicted in a sexual way. The background image is of
close-up a young girl’s face,sticking out her tongue. The text
accompanying this image reads: “Want to know what my tongue
tastes like? Try it on your screen and tell me. The site possesses
interactive questions for viewer to respond and ask for the e-mail
address. You access to the page: “Meet my dad” and “Meet my
Mum” to read the strange story.

      Simply read from the title, I expect the section is the sweet singing by the youth girl. The truth is entirely shocking. The 7 songs are about a woman gasping are activated. From the song, I just can imagine the scene of sexual intercourse between the couple. Why the child is so early to be sexualized?


3.    Blind Print

This page appears when I click the right corner of the first page. I am shocked to see this scene. When you move the mouse, the picture will appear. The picture is small but you can guess what is
happening with a woman moaning.

c) Violence


      An image of a cat, open its mouth and showing it sharp teeth nervously which convey a sense of ambiguous. The cat was violently shaking on the screen while shrill screaming and are playing, the viewer is asked to kill this cat.

D)    Features that the artwork shares with the earlier art movement

1.   Pop Art

l  Popular
l  Straight-forward presentation
lThe repetitive arrangement of picture


Mickey, Andy Warhol

2.    Dada Movement

l   The event and audience participation
The audience can chose the different section of the web to read. In the website, there are multiple choices to answer the question.

l   The chance/ Random
There are some blind prints which have some special animations or pornography which pop-up unexpectedly.

l   Formal Instruction
There are drop-menu and multiple choice guides you to explore the mysterious website. For example, the “Painting”, you press the button the “Author unknown”, then you can read the development of the story telling form the story.

l   Borrowing or appropriation
It is not start from zero. The Mouchette persona and Web-site are loosely based on Robert Bresson’s 1967 Film, “Mouchette” about a suicidal adolescence girl who is raped in a forest at night. The portrait of a sad girl on the cover page matches with the background story of Mouchette.  

 E)     Criticism and Controversy

1.      The dispute of Copyright

According to the “Film Quiz”, there is a formal notice from Robert Bresson to “Mouchette” to cancel the film Quiz in 2002. According to Toni Saint, “this copyright issue the question of ownership over fictional identities……and raises issues of originality and ownership.” It is difficult to claim who is right or wrong. The dispute of copyright is a complex issue. Personally, it is just an inspiration from the original film which the unknown artist makes use of it and combined with new elements. Therefore, it may irrelevant to the copyright issue. On the other hand, it can be a promotion to the original film from the popularity of the website.

2.      Child sexuality and Identity Online

“Clearly, http://mouchette.org provokes heated reaction to
portray of child sexuality and to the way it constructs and
manipulates the identity online.”

Could such a well-developed Web-site really be the work a 13-year-old girl? Who is the real Mouchette? The true identity of the artist behind http://mouchette.org remains unknown. It raises our concern of the masking of personal identity on the Internet. Also, the ability of the creator to maintain the anonymity for over twenty years is one of the significant reasons this website has gained its “international reputation” in the Internet art community.

There concerns stem from the anxieties surrounding cases of pedophilia and other sexual fetishes. No matter the “7 songs” and “Flesh and Blood” are sexually suggestive. However, it can be seen as a trap to pedophilia. Also, it challenges the convention that a youth girl engaged in the initiation of sex. I don’t like the presentation of the child sexuality. Even though I know it may be fake and just a gimmick in the website. A youth girl should not be so sexually mature and sexual arousing which I am doubt about the intention and implication of the artist.   

F) References of Key Quotes

1.       Mouchette, and Manthos Santorineos. "Rape, Murder and Suicide Are Easier When You Use a Keyboard Shortcut: Mouchette, an On-Line Virtual Character." Leonardo. no. 3 (2005): 202-206. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1577754 (accessed November 14,2013).

2.       Tribe, Mark. New Media Art. Los Angeles: Taschen, 2006.


2013年10月24日 星期四

Blog for Marks Napier, “Shredder”, 1998

Marks Napier’s “Shredder” http://www.potatoland.org/shredder/

Marks Napier, “Shredder”, 1998

“This work is typical of much digital art because it is an artwork that places important on:
l   Formal instruction
l   The concept rather than the art objects
l   The event and audience participation
l   An interest in random events and/or chance
l   Borrowing or appropriation

1. Formal instruction

There is formal instruction for the use of Shredder. After you input the link of website browser, there is an instruction: “Click to launch the Shredder”. Then, you enter into the page of Shredder. If you don’t follow the instruction, you can’t do and experience anything from the Shredder.

2.      The concept rather than the art objects 

Shredder emphasizes on the concept rather than the art object. The concept of shredder is to transform the original website into new, rearranged and messy website. It destroys the tidy and neat design of the original webpage. You can’t click the link button. The picture is lengthened and distorted and repetitive. The word and link are overlapped and readers are failure to read the content. It is similar to the circle of the destruction and reconstruction of the artwork.

3.      The event and the audience participation 

The event is under the control of the user. The action of pressing the button of “enter” is totally relied on the user. The audience is participation is 100%. The audience can input any website link and transform and distort the website. For example, I have tried the link of Google and Free Porn. Eventually, the original design of those webpage is completely changed. 

4. An interest in random events and/ or chance 

Shredder shows an interest in random events. In the website, there is a “bookmark” and a blank area. You are choose the prepare website and to look for the powerful transformation of Shredder. There are around over 20 links for you to choose at random.

5. Borrowing or appropriation 

The other feature of Shredder is borrowing or appropriation. The creation of the new webpage design is not start form zero. It is obviously to borrow from the original website and adopt the transformation by its pre-designed formula. For example, the website of You Tube.  

Blog for the ethnic of digital games

A) Discussion

1.      According to the film, what are some pros and cons of playing videogames for individuals and societies?

There are some pros and cons of playing videogame. Playing videogame is a good chance to learn and an effective channel for education. For example, the introduction of army game in USA teaches the basic technique of shooting. Some game players are interested in the real training of army after they play that game. Also, it is a golden opportunity to earn big money. In South Korea, the professional players gain well respect from the public and earn huge income.

However, there are some disadvantages of playing videogame too. The excessive time of playing videogame cause different kind of health problems like the back and the muscle are painful. The videogame can gradually change the way we think. Even the professional game players earn a lot, they have to isolate from their family and feel lonely.

 2.      According to the film, is there any evidence that digital games can encourage aggressive values and anti-social actions in the real world? Do you agree?

There is no evidence show digital games can encourage aggressive values and anti-social actions in the real world. The digital game can arouse the aggressive feeling when you play the game. However, the game players are wise to distinguish the game from the reality. There is no proof for aggressive feeling during the play of game can stimulate aggressive action in the society.

I agree with this view. A rational person can easily distinguish the game and the real world. Many people like to play the violent game (shooting game/ fighting) as it helps to relieve their pressure. Therefore, it shows that playing digital games properly that can help to maintain the balance of mental health. There are many tragedies of shooting classmate in USA school. Then, some people may blame this for the negative influence of the aggressive digital games. It is may be true. However, this claim leaves out a number of complexities such as the mental condition of the criminal, the accessible of gun in USA and the accumulated conflicts between the criminal and classmates which are also the possible reasons to trigger off the misfortune.     

 3.      Should governments have the right to ban a certain game or place age restrictions on it? Why?

Yes, governments should have the right to ban a certain game or place age restriction on it. There are some games emphasized on the content of sex and violent. It would definite have a bad influence on children as they are too young to distinguish the right from wrong. The game contains the elements of sex like exaggerate the female body and sexy clothes will distort the image of female which should place age restriction. The violent game likes shooting and fighting shows a bad way to solve the problem and dispute. It creates an illusion that violence can solve all problems and conflicts. Also, some game may include racial discrimination like shooting the other races should be banned.  

B) Interview a Classmate

Vivian Ho likes the Sim City very much. She likes to design all the custom and the plan of the city. Everything is under her control that can create an ideal city. She claimed this game as an artwork. You have to communication with other citizens. The design of the game is attractive and beautiful. The game is similar to the real life which is fun and exciting to pursue your personal goal. The advantage of the game is you have to learn how to get well with others and improve your interpersonal skill.

Reading Exercise: Art in the age of digital distribution

1.      Dada and New Media Art both described as “reactions”. What did they “react” do?

Dada reacted to the industrialization of warfare and the mechanical reproduction of texts and images. New Media Art reacted to the information technology revolution and the digitization of culture forms.

2.      What are some similarities of New Media Art to Dada, Pop and Video Art?

New Media Art reuse the strategies of Dada artists, such as the photomontage, collage, the readymade, political action and performance-as well as Dada artist’s provocative use of irony and absurdity to jar complacent audiences.

Similar to many Pop painting and sculptures, some New Media Art refers to and is engaged with commercial culture.

The introduction of new technology catalyzes the popularization of Video Art and New Media Art as an art movement. The invention of portable video camera and PortPak are relatively inexpensive and affordable to artists. As a result, it encourages the artist to develop Video Art. The introduction of the Web browser intensified the birth of New Media art as a movement. Therefore, this two art forms aims to make use the accessible artistic tool (Web Browser or portable camera) to explore the changing relationship between technology and culture.  

 3.      When Net Art was first included in a major exhibition: Documenta X in Kassel, Germany?

Net Art was first included in the Documenta X exhibition in Kassel, Germany since 1994.

 4.      Is new media art focused in one country? Why or Why not?

New Media is not focused in one country.

New Media Art is world-wide movement. E-mail and Web Sites served as alternative channels for the discussion, promotion and exhibition of New Media art work, enabling artists to form an online art scene that is available to worldwide contemporary art and digital culture. Its worldwide nature can be indicated by the proliferation in the 1990s of international biennial exhibitions, including the Johanneburg Biennial and the Gwangju Biennial.

 5.      Why were many artists drawn to new media art from other disciplines?

Advances in personal computing hardware and software attract many artists drawn to new media art form other disciplines. In the mid-1990s, the personal computers becomes affordable and able to manipulate images, render 3D models, design Web pages, edit and mix audio with ease. Also, the first generations of artists have grown up with personal computers and videogame was coming of age. They are familiar with the new net technology. 

2013年10月17日 星期四

Group Discussion of required reading and Comments on Super-Mario Clouds

Group Discussion of required reading

A) In your opinion, what are some key feature of the kinds of things we call "art"?

1. Inspire people to think
2. Visual enjoyment 
3. Beauty (harmonious arrangement of  formal element: color, forms, style)
4. Meaning or artist's expression 
5. Creativity
6. Educational value 

B) How does Adams define art in your reading? Do you agree with his definition?

~The definition of Adams 
1. Arts last: People preserve arts as they are aesthetically interesting.
2. Arts conveys message.
3. Art has content.
4. Art has an Aesthetic.
5. Arts contain ideas.
6. Arts make you feel something.
7. Art is not formulaic. 

~Group response
For example, the famous artwork Fountain by Duchamp which is ugly and vulgar. However, it challenged the traditional value of art. It raised a question that whether everything can be art. Then, it becomes an ironic example to criticize the conservative value of arts in 19 century. Can the Fountain be an artwork even if it lack of attractive appearance but contains a message? On the other hand, the luxurious golden toilet cannot be classified as an artwork. In spite of attractive visual effect, it does not have any useful message. So, if the artwork conveys significant or important messages but against formal elements of arts, can that artwork still be claimed as Arts? Or Arts have to include a message and attractive visual effect at the same time? 

C) Can video games be classified as art? What does Adams say? What do you think?

Yes. Adams believes that video game can be classified as art. It needs promotion that let the public and the press to accept it as an art form. Also, there are six steps that the game developer must take. Games must to seek to do more than provide fun. There must be an aesthetic for games and game player. Games developer should explore the medium which may take artistic risks and break new ground. Video games should challenge their players and provide a way seeing things. Prizes and award must recognize aesthetic merit and not merely technological prowess or craft. Games must be the subject of genuine criticism, not merely product reviews. Games developer should be well-respected and treated as “artist”.

I agree with the comment of Adam.

Firstly, no matter the media and public need time to accept that videogame can be classified as art. Videogame often just treated as a leisure activity. It needs the publication to promote its aesthetic and artistic quality to convert the impression of majority people. As a result, public may raise their respect to game developers and designers and treated them as artists.

Secondly, in term of artistic value, many videogames achieve an excellent standard already. Because of the advanced technology, videogame can present in 2-dimensional or even 3-dimensional space perfectly. Its possibility to explore the sense of space from the 2-dimensional LED screen is much powerful than the traditional paintings. The pictorial quality is realistic and vivid. The online game characters often have a good modeling and shading which is a common characteristic among videogame. Many videogames fulfill the requirement of art in aspects of artistic value.

Thirdly, videogames should exceed fun which is most important thing to achieve. In the reading, the writer shows an example: The Balance of Power, Chris Crawford. The game reveals the actual constraint and strategy of USSR and USA during WWII. It provides a new perspective to understand the war history. Also, Cooking Mama developed by Office Create exceeds fun and provides a basic concept for cooking. Nowadays, many people don’t know how to cook because of the busy life. Cooking Mama simplified the cooking steps and guides the players to cook step by step. As a result, game players can be more familiar with cooking, or even arouse the interest of real cooking. Therefore, videogame can be popular and claied as “art”, which is not only being fun, but also contains ideas.

In conclusion, videogame can be arts in the future. However, it needs time for public to convert their traditional impression of videogame. Also, videogame developers need to improve the inner quality of videogame like maintaining the outstanding artistic elements and instill a meaningful idea to the videogame.    

Comments on Cory Arcangel: Super-Mario Clouds, 2002


1) The Background of the Artist- Cory Arcangel

Cory Arcangel (born May 25, 1978) is a Brooklyn, New York post-conceptual artist who makes work in many different media, including drawing, music, video, performance art, and video game modifications, for which he is perhaps best known. Arcangel often uses the artistic strategy of appropriation, creatively re-using existing materials such as dancing stands, Photoshop gradients, and You Tube videos to create new works of art. His work explores the relationship between digital technology and pop culture.

2)  Super Mario Bros

It is a 1985 platform video game initially developed by Nintendo R&D4 and published by Nintendo as a pseudo-sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. In Super Mario Bros, the player controls Mario and in a two-player game, a second player controls Mario’s brother Luigi as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist Bowser. The game has been highly influential; popularizing the side-scrolling genre. It was the best-selling game of all time for approximately three decades. Nintendo released special red variants of the Wii and Nintendo DSi XL consoles in re-packaged, Mario-themed, limited edition bundles in late 2012 as part of the 25th anniversary of the game’s release.

3) Super-Mario Clouds  

It is a game transformed from the Super-Mario. The artist rearranged the game by removing all the characters and keeps the blue sky and cloud. Compared to the original version, there is none of the obstacles and magic tools like the ghosts, tortoises and super-power Mushroom. The game just includes the scene of floating clouds in various sizes. The sky is in simple blue.

C) Personal Comment 

I do not think the Super-Mario Cloud is art.

Neither has it fulfilled the requirement of a game nor art. For game, it should be interactive with the game players. I am shocked to see the constant moving clouds that just feel bored after three seconds and want to switch off the video. You have nothing to control in the game. There is none of the character under your control; none of the enemy for you to defeat; none of any goal or destination for you to achieve. The essence of the game is totally lost.

For art, Adams claimed that should contain message and idea, aesthetic quality and arousal of different feelings. First, it just arouses my negative feeling towards this game. Some may claim that it helps to cool down their emotion with the constant picture which provides a room of reflection of the fast movement of video or online game. However, I cannot connect in this channel. It is a wasting of time to read the boring game and I will turn it off in three seconds. Feeling of being bored leads me to reject to understand or examine the intention of the revised game. It just creates a negative impression to me, so what is the point for it to claim as art?

Secondly, it does not contain any aesthetic quality. Aesthetic quality means the composition of background, the design of character, the setting of the game which can create the sense of pleasure and beauty to the audience. It is ironical that some flat clouds and pure blue sky created a sense of aesthetic feeling and contained pleasure in reading it. The removal of the character, the beautiful scene or background eliminated the sense of beauty and pleasure.

Thirdly, it did not contain a message or idea. For the original version of the game, at least it showed that if you want to upgrade yourself, you may have to deal with different challenge or potential opponents. The challenge in the higher level will be more difficult to achieve. Just like in our life, the person in senior position would have to bear greater responsibility and duty. However, the revised version of the game was blank to tell you anything. The message is repeated movement of clouds and you cannot change it but just look at it and accept it. If this is a new idea or message, I have to say thanks to the hard work of the artist. 

In conclusion, the Super-Mario Clouds would not be art as it doesn’t fulfill the basic requirement of the art: contain message and idea, aesthetic quality and arousal of different feelings.