Eric Van Hove
This gathering is aimed at forming a multi-language/multi-topic
world-wide chat involving e-mail coming from cell phones directly
within an exhibition space, as well as from any web-accessed
computer or digital device on the planet. There is few technical
or material requirements for participation in: basically, any
device that can send e-mail.
This textual online exchange, symbolizing a digital human identity
(the Golem), is created and subsequently destroyed: it would
live and die as a conversation does. Nothing will be recorded,
nothing will be archived: communication is a chimera that should
be attempted. Visitors to the exhibition are able to "witness"
the happening in real time at the venue.
Why use email? We believe that, within the digital field, pluralism
can only be achieved by using its most basic and global-spread
Why a chat? Witnessing the cross-cultural success of "Internet
chat rooms" in terms of global interaction, we acknowledge
the potential of this medium, which - combined with emai l-
represents the widest and most egalitarian digital exchange
Concept of the work: The
More than anything else, we would like to propose a
cross-cultural gathering that only digital technology may
host, as we stand at the threshold of a new era provoked by
what analysts call the Informational Revolution.
We do not forget that nowadays the notion of art itself is
equivocal and puzzling, and that "digital art" could
definitely be looked at as a specialized, hence categorical,
field. Consequently the artwork itself lies at the very edge
of the communication and exchange process and doesn't need
to be antecedently acknowledged by all participants (this
therefore enhances the possible scope of dialogue and exchange).
The chat corpus will anyhow be turned in real-time into a
semantico-digital art installation, creating a memory that
transcends the physical situation of the beholding.
The project's aim to reach another step in net-art and mobile
communication within public space following other recent projects
that have used such device or email on a smaller scale such
as: Blinkenlights of the Chaos Computer Club (2001-2002),
hello Mr.president of Johannes Gees (World Economic Forum
- 2001), Caterina Davinio's global project GATES (July/September
2003), Kaleidophone of Christian Möller (ZKM - 1999) or Markus
Schnell Wunschbrunnen (Basel 2003).
The "Golem" is an allegory, based on the humanist
reciprocal idea that all of humanity exists in each human.
A digital metaphor of human identity, it will be born, thrive
and pass away just as we do, endeavoring only to relate. Content
will be deleted almost immediately following its communication,
nothing will be recorded. The sum of our existence amounts
to having touched and been touched by others. Perhaps that
is our greatest legacy, more than any monument or statue or
anything else that can be left behind (and subsequently protected
as a UNESCO World Heritage Site....).
Eric van Hove
Artist based in Tokyo.