Activism/ Hactivism just depends on your attitude and your primary means of expression, computer or in the “real” world. People with something to say normally do it with their friends or surrounding individuals, but the hactivists take it to the radio waves to get their message across. Keith Obadike and his Blackness for sale website is a great example of a hactivist message being transported to the populace through an online garage sale called ebay. His page looks pretty much exactly like a real eBay page but there is a total difference. Nobody can really buy blackness, or can they? This page is a comment on racism and the struggle/benefits of being an African American in contemporary society. Overall, I believe this is a good hack because it looks realistic. I think that if you are going to riff on a pre-existent entity on the net then it should look damn close to the original. The idea is to confuse the viewer and make them question certain aspects of the society.

Another great version of hactivism is the laborious work being done by the Yes Men. These guys go out into the community and pose as very important people in the scene of world affairs in order to get their messages heard. For example one hactivist action they took was to pose as WTO members and gave a speech on how to remotely monitor laborers through a giant phallus. This is amazing because half of the crowd at the conference doesn’t even blink at the idea, although they must have known there were some subversive actions taking place. This is an extreme form of hactivism that demands many man hours and lots of research. Good job fellas.

There are many sites on the net that are complete mock ups of they originals and these are there to fool us into reading their material as legitimate info. A couple of people have set up the United States department of Art and Technology website. This site is extremely realistic and brings up the question, what exactly does the division of Art and Technology do with their government budget. Well you can look for yourself at This site is meant to bring up issues that are considered not to be important in America, but that artist feel would make a difference. I think that the people behind works like this are extremely lucky to have their site still in operation. The messages they are able to relay to the public bring up some important issues of what exactly the role of art in the community can accomplish.

Craig Baldwin is on a whole other area of hactivism. He creates films that are compiled up of cuts from pre-existing video. His work takes found footage that is available to the world through archives or the digital frontier and mashes it up to tell a story that is personal to his own thoughts. I was lucky enough to have a private lecture from him and he was very into his work. His argument is that he can take a number of different found clips and mash them up in his own collage, and the end result has more a historical relevance than the original manicured movie. The hactivism here is the personal message being displayed to the public through movies and scenes that are already familiar to most people. He is just mashing them up in his own way in order to use the medias own power against them. He considers this a type of artistic jiu-jitsu.

On another form of hactivism I found interesting was found in a performance with one of the members of the Lucky Dragons. There is a device that they use that is considered a hack to audio controllers. This machine takes the electromagnetic field found within the audio box and allows for users to distort and create at the same time. With the aid of body parts, we as a group made music by touching each other. This was incredible for me to see in person. The music we were hearing was a direct result of human/human contact and this is the type of hactivism that will bring the world closer together. This work is amazing in the sense that a computer can be the mediator between physical human interactions. I see this as the antithesis to the social media so abundant in contemporary society, which uses the computer a mediator for human interaction, but can also promote solitude and hermitic environments. I just recently went to a lecture on “intuition, technology, and communication” at the conference of world affairs held at the University of Colorado at Boulder. There is one quote that stood out during this lecture, and it was that a hammer could either be used to “build a house, or hit yourself on the head”. The relevance of this statement in today’s society is impeccable. Technology is looked at in a multitude of ways, and in all reality, it is not going anywhere anytime soon, so for your own benefit, build that house.

In response to the multi-media show that features dancers, musicians, transparent structures, and a room full of people that look like they are thoroughly enjoying the whole experience-à go to a Phish show. They have better musicians, more lights, more room to dance, and better drugs. That’s just to start things off; I am pleased to see that the art world is accepting all forms of artwork in their venues. The performance, Four Electric Ghosts, by Mendi + Keith Obadike is a great example of what can happen when musicians and dancers meet gallery. This is beneficial to everybody because it gives the people that only go to galleries the time to see a performance that they might not venture to see elsewhere. Overall, I thought the dancers and musicians where great, but it didn’t look like they planned out too much, kind of like a group of friends improvisational dance to psychedelic rock show. This performance belongs in a club somewhere very late at night! I do enjoy the experience of seeing just about any artist perform his or her work, and with these two, I think it’s more of a live show aspect that needs to be pushed farther. Sounds like I’m raggin’ on these guys but I’m not, I have just seen plenty of experiences just like that (minus the color changing structure). This performance is just one of the many great works by this artistically active couple, so I encourage you to go check out their site and gather your own opinion.

The role of the activist has always been important when something is just not right with the direction of the world. The computer culture has developed a new strategy to focus the attention of the masses, hactavism. There are all types of hactavism and there is some controversy with some of the methods, but the kind developed by the makers of The United States Department of Art and Technology webpage have created a fully functional site that deploys the thoughts of these artists. The site is focused on the social change of the United States and their site is extremely official looking. The numbers of people who go to it probably think that it is legit, and in a way it is. This is a great way to get to the people of the world. Everybody can go their site and see ( in a easily navigable way) the thoughts and ideas of this group that is concerned with the state of the States.

Death of the Analogian

A curatorial project by Brent Bishop

Throughout history artists have been hypersensitive to their environment and have relayed to the rest of the future the course of the society that has been relevant in their lifetime. With new emerging media to communicate ideas with, this platform in which art is created has expanded to involve many new and exploratory methods of creation. This exploration comes in many forms; Futurism out of Italy in the early twentieth century when the Industrial Revolution was highly influential, Dadaism critiquing the direction of culture in Europe in the early twentieth century, and Conceptualism rising out of the toilet of the French artist Duchamp in 1917. All of these movements had their contextual reasons for emerging at that time in history and the same is true with net art.

Net art is a movement that has quickly followed the advent of the internet. The internet has been in use since the late 60’s but was only made widely available to the public in the early 90’s. Artists worldwide have realized the potential of this publicized new medium and have been exploring is capabilities for three decades now. Although they may sound the same at first internet art and art on the internet do not have the same meaning. Art on the Internet is referring to an individual that may use the world wide web in order to distribute or show his or her physical artwork including, but not limited to media such as paintings, drawings, and photographs. In this context the internet is simply an exhibition space that allows the artist to show their work to a wider audience and have a virtual arena to also sell their work. Internet art, on the contrary, is an art form that explores the potential of the actual internet as the medium. These works test the boundaries of every aspect of this historically original technological development.

Internet artists continually rework the preconceived notions of the world into their own thought provoking aesthetic devices. Duchamp and his “fountain” for example, used the “readymade” product and re-contextualized it in his mind. This idea was not exactly understood at first, but later he became a father figure in the movement of conceptualism. As an example of notion destruction on the internet as a means to change the everyday in the mind of the viewer is the Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries. Using their work “Dakota” as an example, the artists have created a dynamic video with no images, only text. The video has a progression of plot along with a soundtrack that perfectly sculpts the surrounding air. Most people probably believe that a video should have some sort of imagery to convey its message, but with YHC Industries, they have challenged this idea with a work that is based on poetry and film, but reformed into their vision that I would call a work of intense textual video drama.

As with the art movements previously mentioned, internet art has a historically specific time and place for it’s conception and will never be repeated per se, but rather re-contextualized by future technological innovators. As with the fluxus situation that morphed out of Dadaism, where of ideas of appropriation and originality where challenged through the re-contextualization of the original artwork or idea. This will eventually happen with internet art, a version 15.8.1 will be created that involves the same notion of the anti-gallery idea that is so prevalent with internet art, but will involve a new platform that is created by the world and manipulated by man. Life is not static and “artists are the antennae to the society” so the artwork therefore will not be static.

This epoch in history is extensively electronic and rapidly progressing. The internet as a gallery is therefore perfect for the times. The physical art world cannot keep up with the ever-changing progression of artistic techno-creations and so the gallery becomes the internet. I don’t mean that you go to the internet to check out a specific work and it functions as a conventional gallery. I mean that the internet is now the space for artist around the world that can share their ideas with each other and the entire rest of the world. This has never been able to be done before. This is revolutionary in every aspect and for the artist to ignore such a fact would negate the importance of artist to the society. The abilities of the internet are extensive and growing in every direction. Animated gifs of the past are high-resolution multi dimensional transmedial interactions of the future. If the artists do not explore these revolutionary routes now then they will not be able to keep up as the technology continues to progress and this amazing platform will be left in control of the NETcommers and business conglomerates.

With this in mind I want to continue on to my vision of where art needs to focus in order to maintain the balance of organic/technology. The work that I find most interesting on the internet is work that allows the user/viewer to become a part of the piece itself. Such a comment from Marshall McLuhan in the 60’s has never been so relevant, “the medium is the message”. Artist who deal with the medium as part of the message that they are trying to convey are able to contemporize their story while appropriating from their exact position in societal history. Wesley J. Willet is an artist who explores the future of our existence through digital means and linear sci-fi visions. The work that I am focused on is “propinquity” an epilogue to the end of everything. This piece explores the close proximity of the possibility that we are destroying our existence with our exploratory persistence. This is the intro to what our civilization has in store for us if we do not pay attention to our actions. The work uses the ability of the internet through delivering high-resolution linear narrative images to the viewer who may be too lazy to get out of his/her house and go see some artwork.

The bulk of my exhibition is centered around a more communicative aspect found on the internet. People can become totally engulfed by the techno-illusions found in many aspect of our advanced society. The Death of the Analogian is a theme that has been important to me because I have seen the change from the more analog mentality where people interact with each other more that they interact with interfaces, to world where electronic interfaces rule our interactions. I have realized that many artists are focusing on this idea and are trying to draw attention to the dichotomy between nature and technology. Artist Mitch Trale brings this topic up in his work, Analog Environments (2009), where he leads the viewer, and lets the viewer lead himself through the digital environment of a typical neighborhood surrounding. The viewer has the ability to stop, and “chill”, in these digital resting places and takes a break from the imposed surroundings. This is a comment on how our digitally reproduced environments are affecting us to the degree that we need to step outside sometimes and take a break from it all.

In a more collaborative work, Rhys Turner and Melissa Ramos explore the more social side of this phenomenon of technological interfaces. Their work connects you to other gallery goers and inserts comments to each other depending on your proximity and location. These Australian artists are interested in understanding how social media is determining our social qualities outside of the interface. My fourth work explores the grab and go cyberphychogeographical quality found on the internet. The viewer simply runs through a digital terrain and picks up sounds that he or she enjoys and makes their own soundtrack. The fittingly final piece is commentary on how the omnipotent technology needs to have an organical quality to it in order for us to maintain an appropriate balance for future existence. The work connects two physical places in the world with a real time human heart beats connected and transmitted through the internet. This to me is a conceptual commentary on the importance of the natural while maintaining a technological approach.

The aim of man is to understand his environment. With the environment changing with every breath, man is lost. Techno-terrain is growing thick and the analogian is merely a memory of modes...

In efforts of memorializing the future, one must appropriate the past. Every direction you flow is only a glimpse of what's to come.

Man is now recontextualizing socialization through digital means as a way to reanimate community

As we navigate through the digital data realm that surrounds us we collect samples for further investigation