I've been working on a site, a 'homepage'. The original version allows
for visitors input. There were several series of images, and the visitor
was invited to write the story that goes with the pictures. The
programmer that was doing the database has not yet finished the work,
and I got impatient, so I did a new version, without the option of
I think art is experienced in the context of the culture it is created
in, and is exhibited in. For me, this community is the essence of web
I'm addressing issues of public and private, as experienced in the
context of home/home on the net/homepage. I was thinking about all
the words that we send out into the world, and how once they arrive in
someones inbox, they are no longer in our control, and the inbox owner
becomes the owner of the words. I was trying to create the feeling of my
inbox, where professional and personal posts mix, where msgs are
stacked, and I read everything together, creating a new experience of
Another issue I'm trying to talk about is space, cyberspace. The
constraints of the monitor screen. The way what we see is very black or
white. we must wait for the page to download, there is this interval.
The interval sometimes becomes the central experience. I divided the
screen into frames, each frame is a small 'world'. Things happen all at
once, or in the order that they download.
I'm playing a subtle, manipulative game. The visitor may feel a sense of
control over what he sees, but of course, it is not real control, or
significant interactivity. I wish I understood the nature of true
interactivity, and had the technical knowledge to build a database that
would allow it, but I can't and don't. So for now I'm creating
I love the idea of email as art, email being used in different
interactive, creative ways. Over the last two years, this community has
developed into a rich source of content for artists to portray in
I can see messages on a huge sculpture, messages taken from different
places combining to make interactive stories, messages made into sound
files and put to music... I consider anyone who would look at Socks and
want to make it into another artistic or educational form to be doing us a
great honor, and I am humbled and deeply moved that people are considering
I hope all the artists here to feel free to let their imaginations fly
and---following the copyright laws---create email as art. It is a great
concept. I am not sure how many people do it. Might be one of those
pioneer things, and I love that. I live for being a trailblazer. It is
like hang gliding into the wind.
I want to go places with interactivity that have not been visited before.
I want people to take risks and try new ideas. I want this to be a safe
environment where people will feel comfortable testing something, perhaps
making mistakes, and then try again until it hits.
It is OK to make a mistake. No bother. No apologies necessary. The more
important thing is that the artist valued us enough to dream. That is what
is so inspiring and what makes us special.
The thing about the copyright law that is so important, however, is that
if the writers here were not secure that they had the choice over what
happened to their words---to keep them private to just the list, or to
have them used in another project---they would not write, and we would be
in big trouble.
It is amazing to me. Sometimes I think of Socks and I think, "We are
so strong." And then I think, "We are so fragile." The trust dynamic in
online communities is at once powerful and vulnerable. And again, as in so
many things, we are stuck with trying to find the balance. For me,
copyright law provides an already thought-out, written-out path to this
balance. It does the philosophical work, so we don't have to. :-)
Dream on, folks. I look forward, with deep appreciation, to all the
ideas, art pieces, interactive environments, and poetry that can be made
out of Socks. They are a sign of strength, beauty, vitality, and my
reason for being online---souls touching across wires.
Text Only Version of Voices