[NetBehaviour] Art in Cyberspace - Jan. 96.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Jan 5 17:02:54 CET 2008
Art in Cyberspace - Jan. 96.
Art in Cyberspace: Can It Live Without a Body?
THE LEVELS RISE UP ENDLESSLY. The structure is immense, intricate, a
circular web of connecting cells grotesque in sheer girth, with no
vanishing point in sight. The image is "The Tower of Babel," by Pieter
Bruegel the Elder. And now, 433 years after Bruegel painted it, a
computer search to find the picture on line proves tellingly,
deliciously labyrinthine. It's a voyage into a virtual world that,
depending on your point of view, either complements the world of
physical objects or threatens to subsume it.
Using Yahoo!, a directory service on the global Internet that says it
can locate more than 10 million cyberspace addresses, a search for The
Tower of Babel calls up 422 entries, from Biblical references to
programming-language chatter. But not a single one reveals an on-line
location for the painting.
Another directory, Lycos, and another search, for Vienna
Kunsthistorisches, the museum that owns the picture, brings up 5,128
more entries. Nice if you happen to have the next 12 months free to
noodle dreamily through the delirium of information. But who can resist
looking at "Austria's Imperial Cities," an exhibition at the museum, or
reading through an illustrated history of Gustav Klimt, or even spending
time with Vienna Online, which delivers local weather and 18 other
Austrian on-line connections? Still, no luck with the painting in question.
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