MENE, TEKEL, PERES. W.
Staying in to play
My Voice in Your Head
For Immediate Release, September 18th, 2002
Variablemedia is pleased to announce Free Download by Michelle Deignan
and Simon Goodwin. Commencing on the 23rd of September, this new
work is an email and web project which will be updated daily for
Each day Deignan and Goodwin will email a password protected link
to a personalised gift to one address from the Variablemedia emailing
list. Addresses will be randomly selected throughout the course
of the project so new subscribers to the Variablemedia emailing
list will also be in with a chance to receive this unique free gift!
Each gift will be a 800 x 600 pixel colour typographic image utilising
what we consider to be the identity portion of the email address.
For example email@example.com would be invited to download
a digital image incorporating the name "variablemedia",
whilst firstname.lastname@example.org would find an image file incorporating
the name "jane24". The image will be made by creating
a digital layout, printing this out and tracing this onto paper.
This will then be hand coloured, scanned and saved as a JPEG digital
image. The file will be uploaded to the variablemedia.org server
for the recipient to download. The recipient will be given instructions
on setting the image as a desktop picture.
Each day the variablemedia.org website will be updated adding a
thumbnail image of that day's template. Only the chosen email recipient
will be offered the opportunity to view and download the full size
final image. The site will indicate whether images have been downloaded
by their recipients.
Free Download disrupts the apparently seamless and impersonal nature
of the digital image by the use of a non-digital craft in its production.
Where mark making signifies the hand of the author, the object's
authorship is confused by the handiwork of two people and the subsequent
conversion of the images back into a digital format. The definition
of the unique art object is undermined; the artists keep the debris
of the process, the drawings, and the selected recipients are offered
the endlessly reproducible 'artwork'.
By turning their audience into a subject Deignan and Goodwin continue
their collaborative project which takes as a starting point the
context within which their work exists. This work reflects their
experience of managing and co-ordinating the Variablemedia project
on-line. Variablemedia's emailing list is made up of subscribers,
the emails of friends and acquaintances, culled mails from similar
organisation's lists, emails found on art web sites, business cards
and flyers. Some recipients of Variablemedia emails may regard them
as 'spam'* (junk email). The offering of 'free gifts' is a classic
junk mail technique.
Variablemedia was created as an internet space in which artists
explore place, process and temporality. Variablemedia is hosting
a continuing series of artists' web projects made specifically for
the www.variablemedia.org site. Participating artists have been
Cliona Harmey and Dennis McNulty followed by Edward Dorrian and
*Variablemedia endevour to
make it as easy as possible to 'unsubscribe' from their list and
are careful to suppress recipient addresses on mailouts to prevent
'harvesting' from their email list.
For further information please contact
[A Word version of this press release is available on request.]