Book review: At the Edge of Art

2edgeofart.jpgIt’s Summer, a great time to read they say. Each day or so, i’ll write about a book i love, recently bought or think might interest my nice readers. As you might guess that i’m not going to mention novels, so the format for the book post will be a few lines about the book and a spotlight on one of the projects i discovered through that book. Here we go:
At the Edge of Art (Amazon USAUK) by Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito.

Though they may call themselves scientists, activists or hackers rather than poets or performers, today’s electronic visionaries are redefining art for the Internet Age.

Art’s recent eruption in fields as diverse as artificial life, computer games and community activism reveals a seismic shift in the role it plays in society. No longer content to sit on a pedestal or auction block, these works infiltrate stock markets, sway court cases and invade networked bedrooms, reaching across the globe to expand the edge of art.

Reading that on the back cover, i thought it sounded perfectly we-make-money-not-art-ish. The authors focus on, which was a bit of a disappointment but i should have guessed it by looking better at the cover instead of rushing to the counter. However, i always thought i needed a better education on, so fair enough! What got me a bit puzzled was the comparison of “art in the age of internet” with the human immune system. An idea that makes sense but the strict and very detailed comparison was sometimes a bit forced.

The main body of the book discerns new genres of creation that emerged during the Internet age. It’s a bit tiring to read a list of projects one after the others but the introduction to each chapter is rather interesting and after all, this inventory of projects with plenty of images and a good description of each art work turns the book into an excellent document for research and reference.

More details, excerpts and overview of At the Edge of Art.

Now, the project i discovered through the book might be old story to some of you but, hey, told you i needed an education in

4misterwong.jpgMr. Wong’s Soup’artments is a very clever work of pixel art. Dubbed “The Tallest Virtual Building”, the project is now terminated but it allowed participants to create a visual community: each floor of the skyscraper was built by a different person. You downloaded a template, designed your apartment, and Mr. Wong added it to the edifice. A few rules had to be respected: no ads, no plagiarism, no porn, no politics, etc.