aus De:Bug 35

Perma-splash pages.. Arty 404-Error screens… Trashing your archive, Antiwebs, Auctioning your domain.. Closing shop and selling the farm is probably the most poignant sign that the web isnÕt getting any younger but the stars are. The last year has been THE year of the web, at least for the rest of the world, and the scene is changing. At least the old-guard is. In fact, there is no internet. We are all on the web. ICQ doesnÕt count. Conversations in my favorite cafe are close enough so that i cannot NOT overhear them. A most average couple talking about the “internet” (they surely mean the web) and then some important keywords are dropped. “E-commerce” pops up but I miss the context and it sounds like they must be jobbing.. Ask me what I do: moan inside: “web-design”. whoopy-do. As we grow up, or better said, as IT grows up, what is happening to the obsession, the all-nighters, crystal deadlines, pizza, beer and rock and roll..? Can preachers retire when the congregation is full, everyone is singing and noone is left to convert? The most active and well-linked Josh Davis of Praystation.com and Senior Design Technologist at Kioken Interactive, New York has a lot to say about why and where his work is going at a time when more and more of the first-wave web-heroes are hanging it up, or disappearing and taking their sites with them. Specifically, Josh is one of the most active designers today coupling his graphic ideas with math. Or code. Or scripting. It is the beginning of a new era for design, where cool graphics are no longer a commodity and dynamic relationships to user-input are changing the way we see and feel. I asked him to explain why he does it and why the web is better than ever.. CONNECTING TO SERVER: D: Steve Cannon made the comment on subtheory.com that “If web art and design are to go to the next level, they have to learn how to do the things these (e-) commerce sites do.” Given art and design experiments are using more and more code-driven ideas, Steve posits that commerce sites are the best thing that ever happened to the web. D: Do you agree? How has commercial experience inspired your private work? J: I love Steve as a friend – but I, to an extent disagree. I think that most netart and design needs to become the exact opposite of what commerce sites are. I feel the more commercial and commerce driven things become – the more obscure netart and design should become. J: I attribute the success of my Once-Upon-a-Forest Site – and endless amounts of confused and interested e-mail the site receives, to the fact that there are no instructions, Nothing to Purchase, No “legal Notice”, No data-base integration, No business model, No FAQ’s or Info. I want to provoke questions, not answer them. D: Commerce sites are _always pegged on the lowest-common-denominator in terms of user-experience. Nothing they are doing is going to change our experience on the web, unless someone hasnÕt bought a book at amazon yet.. Perhaps the best thing about commerce sites is that they intensify the definition of what is useful for consumers, how we can hack that and confuse that might broaden our definition of art, technology and commerce (etoy).. The web is actually making a shitload of cash nowadays. The enthusiasts were right. Getting more people on the web has never been easier. As everything approaches commercial melt-down and bandwidth opens up, people and business will look to art and design to define the next wave. Modem connections and user inexperience are the most important factors in commercial site design right now. As bandwidth opens up and connection cost drops, we should anticipate some evolution. ItÕs a little overkill to have a fast loading site based on gifs and html when youÕre connecting with a T1 or 2MB line on a 4.0 browser with flash and java. D: What are you trying to do with praystation? in the beginning it was a collaborative effort with submissions.. now it seems to be more an ongoing personal interface experiment. J: The first year – I believed PrayStation to be a solid concept – we all fell in love with computers, going back to the Atari and the Commodore 64. I thought that I would take video game vernacular and distort it into a fluid work of art. It then spawned into people donating monthly covers, which was difficult (trying to get people to submit on time and other things.) And the first year was great. J: after doing this for a year – it kinda bummed me out. So I tore down the content from the previous year and was then stuck. I didn’t have it in me to do the same thing another year in a row. J: Then something had started to happen – I took my content down, Uploading killed it’s content, Invertebrae never got past issue 2, Famewhore Declares that he’s Sick of this Shit, etoy goes to court with etoys, HELL.com anounces that the domain is for sell . . . had netart died ? J: When it came time for me to decide PrayStation’s future – I decided to keep it simple. Build a calendar – if I make something, I post it. I started posting all of the tiny widgets that I build for potential client work here at kioken. It is moving into a pretty fun collection of micro experiments. In terms of visibility and repeat traffic I would hope that people would keep coming back to check the calendar and see “what’s new”. J: Year 2 is about personal introspection and experimentation. J: I hate being labeled as a designer, I am not a designer, I am a design technologist – Much like what John Maeda is doing at the MIT.media.lab – I very much enjoy taking simple objects and have the marriage of code/math create the composition. The whole Month of March on PrayStation will produce an amazing puzzle I have given myself. J: If anything – time has given me, the ability to understand what technology needs to be used, and then using it, without flaw – to create an image in my head. It’s this understanding on knowing how to build the foundation – and not necessarily the whole building. D: How do you start? Do you have any principles that you typically follow? J: Build a self contained experience – Think of it as an OS – It’s not for the WEB – there is no Internet – You’re making a Movie – it should move like video – be aware of the Culture around you – it doesn’t have to last Forever, but must convey the pulse of the moment – understand motion – pull all-nighters – build camaraderie with your team – refine down to the pixel, craftsmanship will never be overlooked. D: Some of the best european designers or web artists negotiate their work around bleak criticism and revolutionary (and fashionable) “statements” -they have always had a thing for the manifesto-style.. they _want to take their work more seriously.. i loved the riefenstahl adaption for etoys that was buried in HELL: the german bath-boys sieg heilÕing america across a bloody atlantic.. D: What do you think of Europe? J: Anti-American – That’s the first honest words that come to my mind. When the whole Etoy vs. Etoys crisis happened, there was a very brutal thread of comments on HELL.com. About how America was suffocated with commercialism and politics. D: Yeah.. and like europe isnÕt run by a wirt-mafia.. Good thing all that gold vanished after the war.. = ) J: It’s kind of like honking at someone who just cut you off on the road. My honking is not going to change the past events. The person who cut me off is not going to be “Awakened” by my honking and become a better driver. D: True -but never stop hating.. = ) Americans tend to be a little less desperate, politically. At least they very rarely couple their work with politics or nationality. They more like creative play. Cute and slick. ÕPortfolioÕ and the ÕcontactÕ page are still pretty standard on most US design/art sites. In europe you are not allowed to do anything sellable. You must die a long and terrible death before you are accepted by the RevolutionaryArtForce of Europe.. Some of us grew up with Christ, so we understand that angle. = ) J: But I understand the motivation – I think Europeans in general take more pride in their craft and are less inclined to publish crap. D: Yeah, right.. What are you working on now? J: Just finished the Codex Series 2 CDROM, curated by Matt Owens PrayStation, sometimes daily updates Once-Upon-a-Forest, monthly updates k10k.net, guest news updates Motown Records New and Classic Universal Records Natalie Cole’s Site Barney’s New York +++++++++++++++++++++

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