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Maciej Wisniewski:

two network-based multimedia installations:

3 seconds in the memory of the internet


Maciej Wisniewski's exhibition - his second at Postmasters - will open on January 12 and will be on view until February 9, 2002. The show will present two network-based multimedia installations, both projecting live data from the Internet and using the netomat software created by Wisniewski and further developed by netomat, inc. Wisniewski is an artist and programmer whose work focuses on the underlying creative and social implications of the Internet, networks, and technology in general. Wisniewski's deep understanding of networks enables him to explore the Internet as a new entity different from any previous carriers of information/communication/expression. Attempts to visualize or comprehend the Internet via familiar metaphors (pages, 3D space, linear progression, etc.) are limiting representations of such a complex new medium. Wisniewski shows that there are other ways to access, interact with, and understand the information on the network. With netomat Wisniewski built his own interface to the Internet. The original netomat --- which was launched at Postmasters in June 1999 --- revealed that multimedia information existing on the web could be searched directly, freed from its original html page format and structured and displayed however the viewer chooses to see it. In the subsequent "Data Dynamics" exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 2001 the netomat installation extended this idea and made the Internet a large, public, theatrical experience where two people could conduct a live dialog using the material existing on the network (images, animations, sounds, text etc.). In January 2001 Maciej partnered with some of the most innovative minds from the worlds of art, gaming, finance, and entertainment to expand netomat into a powerful communication technology for everyone. Based in New York, netomat inc. is developing a series of next generation multimedia communication software for enterprises and consumers. netomat will change the way everybody communicates on the Internet. The two projects presented in the current exhibition explore the Internet by searching the memory and probing the subconscious of the network. Reversing the standard view of the Internet as a reflection of the world, Wisniewski challenges the viewer to see what the Internet projects onto the world.
•view quicktime movie of the full installation (@3.5mb)

3 seconds in the memory of the internet, 2002
This spatial three part projection presents the memory of the Internet. Three slices of time will be arbitrarily selected by the artist from three different decades in the Internet's development. In three simultaneous live feeds, netomat will crawl the visible and invisible Internet and display what was created or modified at these moments in time and still remembered today. These include messages exchanged, news posted, documents published as well as log and error files. A liquid, image-transforming interface created by the artist where each pixel is visibly "live" evokes memory itself. Here, the traces of what is left on the web reflect subjective memory rather than objective archive and emphasize the vast scale of the Internet as an organic and fluid entity.
•view quicktime movie of the "3 seconds" installation (@1.9mb)

netomatheque, 2001
The second project in Wisniewski's exhibition will be interactive. In a living room setting the audience is given a telephone as a very unusual but at the same time very familiar interface to the Internet. Using their own voice, the viewers can engage in a phone conversation with the network and see the Internet reply with a stream of changing images and fragments of text on the walls as well as sounds. It was originally presented in a traveling ICI exhibition "Telematic Connections" curated by Steve Deitz and first shown at the San Francisco Art Institute. In Deitz's words: "netomatheque" is an alternative browsing experience; one which will take you on a journey deep into the Internet's subconscious."
•view quicktime movie of the "netomatheque" installation (@1.6mb)

Maciej Wisniewski (MAH-CHEE VIS-NYEF-SKI) was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1959. He studied toward a Ph.D. program at the Institute for General Linguistics and Computational Linguistics at University of Stockholm, Sweden. He holds an MFA from Hunter College in New York. In addition to The Whitney Museum and SFAI, "netomat" and his other projects "metaView," "Inter-Sections" (1995), "Fetch-a-Sketch," "Tele-Touch," "Jackpot" (1997), "ScanLink" (1998), "Turnstile" I and II (1998) have been featured in online and offline exhibitions at ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Johannesburg Biennale, South Africa; and 'ada' web. Wisniewski is Founder and Chief Scientist of netomat, inc.

Contributing to the production of "3 seconds in the memory of the Internet" were Steve Cannon, Thomas Escobar, and Christian Wenger of netomat, inc.