One of the most loved strategy of nowadays artists is the invasion of different contexts. Tired of being contained by dedicated spaces, art is now inside the most varied places, contaminating the everyday life, entering the empty spaces of our lives, the common objects and activities. The first conquer has been the streets, then houses, supermarkets, stations and airports. And again bars, discos, ads and dresses.
Art now even goes plug-in , and appears from the remote angles of our computer, inside the context of an everyday and familiar activity: surfing the net. Known also as add-ons or extensions, plug-in are non autonomous software that interacts with other programs to modify and extend their functions. A very popular add-ons category is the adblockers one that, once installed on your browser, prevent the visualization of ads, banners and annoying pop-up.
The American Steve Lambert thought to use this spaces subtracted to the advertising to show works of young contemporary artists. The project AddArt , now released under form of prototype and financed by the Eyebeam Open Lab of New York is a plug-in for Firefox that not only substitutes publicities with white spaces, but also replace them with artistic projects. As an abusive gallery, AddArt will occupy spaces once not destined to those type of contents, proposing every 2 weeks from 5 to 8 artists projects selected by a curator.
Again, the Firefox users have the possibility to use The Real Costs , signed by Michael Mandiberg (author of Oil Standard , software that converts the dollar prices on a web page into petrol barrels). This new project face the ecology theme, inserting graphics and data about the emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere inside ecommerce websites of travelling (air companies, travel agencies, rent car services). A sort of discreet but efficient reminder of “real-costs” and not only for our wallet of services we buy. “Just think about it as a nutritional table on an alimentary box” , writes the artist on the project home page.
The fox browser can also become the support for “visual online poetry”. This is the definition the Slovenian artist Jaka eleznikar gave to his work. Artist committed from years in a stimulating research on literary implications of net art and software art. Installing the add-on Letters on Firefox will see different combinations of 3D letters appear on our screen, in Slovenian and English, forming a sort of poetical floating cloud.
Artistic plug-in doesn’t concern only browser. The collective named Barbarian Group for example recently released Magnetosphere , a software that integrates the visual effects of i-Tunes. Lights, colours and shapes by the cosmic aspect, following the rhythm of the music. The result is hypnotic, fascinating, involving. The objective is simply astonish . And authors advise: you could be enchanted and say goodbye to your productivity .