Now do not touch the mouse!

"Refresh – the art of the screensaver": on the internet and at stanford university, an exhibition with screensavers can be seen

If you want to see art, you have to look. And if the screensaver runs on the computer screen, you do not even see it. But who wants to see digital art, which is currently on the internet and on the californian university stanford should be better looking at the screen of his computer, even if you do not work on it. Because at the exhibition, which is presented online as online, twenty-two screensaver of artists are shown. And just run only if you do not work on the computer.

Do not touch the mouse now!

Mick and ted skolnick: the dreamingmedia screen saver

Refresh is probably the first exhibition that you have to download to have something from her. All "exhibits", the at "refresh" can be shown by the website of artmuseum.Net down and installed on your own computer. So you are succinct owner of a work of partly even relatively well-known artists such as peter halley and jenny holzer – or more precisely, the digital copy of a work of art, from the infinite many other copies are possible. At the museum of stanford university you are currently on screens to see the wall.

Most artificial choices run on different types of computers, some of the exhibition chews only on the mac, other aggressively only under windows2000; some do not run even, at least not on the computer of the reviewman. Nevertheless refresh A good idea: the exhibition deals with an element of computer equipment, which has so far been rarely chopped by artists as an object.

It is actually obvious: screensaver are already through their digital and often often copying form to the multiple used, which has been used as a remedy since the 1960s by artists to distribute cheap, small works of art on so many people as possible. At refresh is unfortunately through a martial "single copy license" forbidden to spread the screensaver as far as possible. Before you download, the user must accept an explanation by mouskick, which it prohibits him more than one copy on his computer or to pass this through. This is how art education is sponsored by intel sponsored "style museum.Net" before, for whose previous splendor "walkable", three-dimensional version of two balances of van gogh obese – whether this commitment by van gogh’s artistic "license" was covered?

Peter halley: screen saver 2000

Qua of their structure is screensaver the videoloops used, with which artists have experimented frequently in recent years, and it would have been interesting, which videocunstists such as klaus from breaking or daniel, who mainly worked with loops, started with this format. Just for fine artists who work audio-visual or movie and video, screensaver could be an ideal format to make working for the computer. The screensaver let the computer monitor appear as a pure image (to which tone can be added), which is included from the plastic of the chassis as of a picture frame.

"What distinguishes the loop of a screensaver from a videoloop", says james buckhouse, the curator of refresh, "is that the loop can accept different expressions here. A computer-generated loop can be varied by an algorithm. Some of the screensavers in our exhibitions are accurately dealing with this possibility. Other life just from the possibility of an exact repetition."

C5: softsub

So far, only a few artists have worked with this as nearby subject – probably not least because of the high cost, which attracts this programming-intensive task, if you do not want to learn to learn the necessary software. General idea, jenny holzer, alan rathwww.Hainesgallery.Com / ar.Work.Screensaver.HTML and francis alys are obvious to the few artists who have created screensaver so far, and interestingly they were all artists who otherwise have hardly or did not work with the computer as a residential medium.

"Normally, screensaver are cheesy, banal and uninteresting, and therefore their transformation in works of art was such an exciting topic", says buckhouse. "All work in this exhibition tries to question or celebrate the room of the screen." the works he helps refresh shows, have been created for the great part for the exhibition. Only a few art screensavers already existed, such as softtsub, a program that analyzes the hard drive in the rest breaks on the screen and ideosyncratic "snapshot" on its own web server highlights – one of the best work refresh.

Greg neimeeyer: survey

Almost like one "proper" screensaver looks the work "emptiness is form" from scott snibbe: only those who set up with a lot of time in front of the calculator sees the outlines of a person in lotussitz, which slowly shell out of a black background. At "survey" from greg neimeeyer, the viewer is drawn into uncanny, virtual space as a camera journey; A kind of lens shows, similar to the optics of the terminator or robocops, the location and the time of the fictitious events.

Some work is taking them topics with which the artists already have a long time: jenny holzer has their shocking work, for example "lust", when it comes to rape, for the screensaver "adapted". Peter halley has animated one of his brightbued images of network nodes to a flickering slightly; glenn ligon shows close-ups of one of his eyes, and patty chang has just made a muscle one of her videos as a screensaver.

Francis alys: the thief

Better are the works that deal directly with the computer and the internet: rather indirectly and without intrusive "that’s computer art"-marker is for example "the thief" (the thief) of francis alys, in which a ghostly figure goes out again and again by out of a window, as if he wanted to leave the windows interface – or actually wants to break into the desktop?

"Camera" from the entropy8zuper, webcambilder shows from the artists (which really always seem to sit in front of the computer, if it is true that the pictures are actually from the webcam on the computer of the artist couple). "Everyimage" from alex galloway, uninterrupted images from the database of the netzkunstsite rhizome, where he employs, from the internet to the desktop. Now not the mouse touched, otherwise everything is over!

Greg lynn: plantoid

"Computers are a lot more ubiquitous today than then and our monitors do not really need screensavers", concrete james buckhouse. "If you use a screensaver today, this is an active choice and no pragmatic decision with which you protect your own equipment." in fact, no screensavers are needed today, because also long on the monitor images no longer burn into the screen of the monitor.

That was different in the early season of the personal computer. One of the first screensavers appeared in the 70s in the computer labs of the university of california in berkeley. It shows only a single indicative line text: "take me, I’m yours." this should preserve the monitor from damage, but also show that the machine was to be influenced. In the 1980s, screensavers became popular, especially as a screensaver of companies such as afterdark, especially for the first macs with GUI, the popular screensavers with flying toasters and star fields produced. From this time, the screensavers, which reminded with flickering color fields and rotating patterns of psychedelic noise films or to the video art of people like steve beck. Even today, every new version of windows is a selection of screensavers. Screensavers are still popular as advertising material for films or software.

"These screen savers work like lava lamps in student sheets or like muzak in department stores", write the organizers of refresh on the website of the exhibition. For you are the screensavers who have compiled for the exhibition, also a new kind of art in public space, which is no longer bursting and home facades, but on the computer monitors, in front of which many people spend more time today than in public space.

At the same time, the art screensavers are also a descending and perhaps involuntary commentary on the role of art in the information society. In the past, art was a bus for mubesta hours, which invited to linger and to the concentrated reflection. Today, the computer is self-standing when he breaks pause, and shows art screensavers at a time when the user is not concentrated. "At work, the colleagues look at the screensaver, if you are not at work", says curator buckhouse. "If you are not there, the screen saver simultaneously shows your own absence by highlighting the standstill of the computer, but also your own presence, because it emphasizes the fact that you have designed the computer individually. The screensaver appears just when he is ignored, and we take him by the way by the way."

Has an interesting sujet refresh so definitely discovered, and it remains to hope that this was not the last attempt to suck artistic honey from this form of software. On the other hand, in the work shown, the question remains whether some of the commercial screensaver of the past are ultimately radical to their topic: the lawnmahermann, which simply scratch the mac desktop, the screensaver installed on my PC, which disassemble the interface like a puzzle or enhance and distort from an imaginary magnifying glass, ultimately examine your item in a greater way than the art screensavers at artmuseum.Net are shown.