I contributed an essay on my project Traceblog to the book publication Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design, edited by Xtine Burrough. I want to thank Xtine for the opportunity to share my ideas. Below are excerpts from my chapter contribution, which is titled after the actual online project as “Traceblog.” After the excerpts you will find the table of contents, which, in my view, includes an impressive list of contemporary new media artists. Excerpts from my chapter contribution:
[…] Traceblog was developed in reaction to one of my previous projects titled Diary of a Star (2004-07), a blog that appropriated entries from The Andy Warhol Diaries. As exciting as Diary of a Star was for me to produce, it consumed more time than I expected because entries had to be carefully written and took much longer to compose than average blog posts. Soon after I finished the Warhol project I began to think about the changes that had taken place with the shift to Web 2.0, and how blogging had changed since 2004. I realized that keeping track of people’s surfing activity had become an important element for private, public, and state organizations to data-mine patterns of communication and consumption online. The term “social media” began to be used more often when discussing the growth of early networks such as Orkut, and Friendster around 2004, the period when I began to develop Diary of a Star.
I evaluated the changes in online activity since 2004 and decided to develop Traceblog to reflect on the new stage that global culture was entering in 2008, during which millions of people around the world willingly shared information about themselves online, via social networks such as Facebook, Flickr, and Myspace, as well as YouTube, not to mention thousands of blogs, which by such time were conventional tools of communication for average Internet users. The result of the social media frenzy is an attitude of sharing that is ubiquitous in 2010, the time of this writing.
[…] Traceblog is a direct result of my ongoing practice as artist and media researcher. It makes the most of the default state of works of art in new media practice as informational forms, not defined by physical presentation. Traceblog and similar online works function in a state of flux defined by the growing archive and its relation to the ever-present: the now.