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Art on the Web:
Category-Defiers

By John Poole
washingtonpost.com Staff
Wednesday, October 6, 1998

   


    Josh Ulm's 'da fam'e le'
When touched by a mouse, the text in Josh Ulm's "da fam'e le" is spoken aloud. (Remedi Project)
Variously portrayed as an information tool, a home page repository and the ultimate shopping mall, the Web conceals an oasis of creative juice amid the scattered sands of info-bits. There's actually art all over the Web. Sure, there are paintings, sculpture and photographs on museum sites, but look past these traditional areas and you'll find something even better. The best Web art defies conventional categories and keeps you asking questions: Is it a book? A movie? A picture? A cartoon?

The Remedi Project, created by artist Josh Ulm, is a collection of extraordinary Web projects whose common denominator is their devotion to unorthodoxy. The sites might be called the koans of the digital world. Don't look for answers or obvious navigation – it's up to you to extract insights and conclusions.

Ulm's "da fam'e le" is a three-screen series of word games set to a soundtrack – sort of like choreographed refrigerator magnets or alphabet soup for the computer-enhanced. They're what you might get if you crossed a musical instrument with a book. You don't just read these words from left to right – with each window, you come up with a
Annette Loudon's 'Skyline'
The "skyline" in Annette Loudon's work is stitched together in an endless loop. (Remedi Project)
   
new way to read. The best one is the short paragraph where, as your mouse rolls over each word, that word is highlighted and then spoken out loud on audio. You're free to follow the sentences from beginning to end or to compose your own. Or just to run your cursor in circles in word-drunk delirium.

Annette Loudon's "Skyline" is another good one. Eschewing digital flash and bluster, she manages to create something simple and contemplative, yet exciting at the same time. The project is in essence a brilliantly stitched-together photomontage with an extended caption, the whole thing stretched to a width of several feet and given movie controls.

Visit the Remedi Project at http://www.theremediproject.com.

   
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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