Tuesday, March 20, 2001

BitStreams Preview

75th and Madison was the place to be on Tuesday March 20th, as museum members and a critical mass of digital artists filled the Whitney Museum of American Art for the preview of “BitStreams” and “Data Dynamics,” the museum’s selection of creative works of digital technology and Internet applications. TSC will defer to the New York Times’ 3/25 Sunday Style section for those of you who are curious about the scene-makers. While the party was exciting, all of you have a chance to experience the not-to-be-missed exhibits.

“Bitstreams” fills an entire floor of the museum with works of art ranging from Inez van Lamsweerde’s monumental digitally “re-touched” photo, Me Kissing Vinoodh (Passionately), to Robert Lazzarini’s skulls. Lazzarini created this series of sculptures by laser-scanning an actual human skull to create three-dimensional CAD files, which he stretched and distorted digitally and “printed out” by a machine that rendered them three-dimensionally.

Downstairs, in the Whitney lobby you’ll find a collection of on-line installations that signify a watershed event in the history of art and the Internet. “Data Dynamics” is composed of five major installations that are web-enabled. Adrianne Wortzel’s Camouflage Town creates a theatrical scenario for a robot that lives in the Museum space and interacts with visitors. The robot is remotely controlled by visitors over the ‘net. A second major installation, Maciej Wisniewski’s Netomat, takes visitors for a ride into the Internet’s subconscious. Museum visitors can enter “search phrases” into web-based terminals in the dimly lighted “netomat theater.” Netomat then responds by filling the immersed environment with a collage of streaming images, text, animations, voices and music harvested from the web-based archives.

Find out more about the exhibit at www.whitney.org, and mark your calendars for the Whitney Contemporaries ART PARTY 2001: BitStreams from 9pm to 1am on Thursday April 19.