With your help, I’m going to build New Manhattan: one big artwork that consists of several small artworks. It is a 3D-printed scale model of a fictional city based on the architecture of 100 web pages. And at the same time it’s a moment to pause at our digitized society that we have designed ourselves.
At the TEC ART exhibition, during Rotterdam Art Week, you could once again explore the world of Web Spaces! I had my dual-screen interactive installation up and running, where webpages are transformed into 3D ‘buildings’ in real time. As well as 3D prints of worlds most valuable webpage’s, printed in precious metals.
Web Spaces – Parallel City Dual-channel video projection Duration: 7m48s Site specific (no pun intended) work for the Re-structions exhibition at SIGN, Groningen.
In my interactive installation of Web Spaces, which was also exhibited during Re-structions, you visit one isolated Web Space at a time. These are mostly Web Spaces from internationally well known websites. The Web Space is surrounded by darkness.But as you may already know, the Web Spaces project is exploring the relation between the physical and digital world. At Re-structions I’ve taken the next step in blurring the line between these worlds. Instead of taking the most popular websites to transform into a Web Space, I’ve taken the websites from businesses in the same neighbourhood as the gallery (according to Google Maps). Imagine you’re visiting this exhibition at SIGN, Groningen. Before entering the gallery you’ve just been walking along the canal, through the streets and you’ve been looking at the buildings in the neighbourhood. Upon entering the gallery you see the same buildings projected onto a wall (left). On the right wall however, you see a world normally invisible when walking through a city.What I’ve done here is the following: I’ve transformed the architecture of websites from local businesses into 3D models. I’ve loaded those models into Google Earth. This is what you see on the right wall. Next I made a tour around these virtual buildings, based on the interesting angles of these Web Spaces. Then I synchronised these camera movements to the ‘real world’. Google Earth holds a 3D representation of this neighbourhood and I can explore Groningen in 3D, a bit like a game world but based on satellite images from earth. So what you see on the left wall (‘real world’), is determined by what I wanted to look at on the right wall (world of Web Spaces). It’s both the same tour. The idea for this combination came after participating in the Materialising the Internet exhibition, where Clement Valla was showing his work based on Google Earth. In this work, my world of Web Spaces has come a step closer to the real world. It holds a strong relation to the immediate physical surroundings of the viewer. And by using the digital representation of the real world from Google Earth, the real world is a step closer to the world of Web Spaces. These worlds are fusing more and more… Also now there’s the opportunity to (realistically) invite the owners of the website to come and look at the results!
Web Space – Wikipedia.com (22-8-2016) 8 x 15 x 11 cm 3D printed PLA electroplated with copper, corrosion
Already from the start, during the Graduation Show, and at the Young Sprouts exhibition, art collectors expressed interest in acquiring the Web Space of Wikipedia. I’m proud to announce that since last month it has joined many other artworks in the very diverse collection of Mr. Verberg!
Wow, I forgot to mention in my previous post that MU has given me the opportunity to create two new Web Spaces in solid metal: Google.com and YouTube.com. Especially for the Materialising the Internet exhibition! They weigh about 1KG each and are printed with steel powder infused with bronze. The weight really adds to the experience of holding and touching the objects. What a shame they’re behind plexiglas! Haha.
It’s always a challenge to create Web Spaces – 3D printed Web Pages. The architecture of web pages isn’t meant to exist in the physical world. So when materialising these complex structures, physics (like gravity) starts to play a role! Therefore the materials and techniques used to produce Web Spaces must be carefully chosen. I’ve been experimenting with lots of different techniques (most of them involving 3D printing) for one and a half year now, to get these Web Spaces materialised perfectly.
This September I’ve exhibited Web Spaces internationally at Ars Electronica. Due to insurance reasons I wasn’t able to exhibit the precious metal Web Space of Google or Facebook, but I did show some colourful PLA prints. During the festival I’ve also seen quite some people successfully and enthusiastically interact with the Web Spaces interactive installation. I’m always glad when people are able to overcome the initial obstacle of the gamepad, because not everyone is familiar with this interface. I also had my interactive installation up and running at the GOGBOT festival because I received a nomination for the BLINK Youngblood Award. Unfortunately both events were on exactly the same days so I couldn’t personally attend both. Therefore, only pictures from the setup at Ars Electronica:
Soon Web Spaces will be shown at GOGBOT (nominated for Blink Youngblood Award), Ars Electronica in Linz, at the SBK Sprouts Young Talents exhibition in Amsterdam, and after that in a group show in Eindhoven… Very excited about this progress! But in this post I show what my work looked like at the Frank Mohr Institute Graduation Show 2017 (Der Aa-kerk, Groningen, July 9 – July 13).
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I’ve been wondering for a while what the world inside a computer would look like. Would the directory structure form some kind of landscape, with hills and mountains? While I didn’t end up investigating the folder hierarchy on my computer, this question made me look differently at the world of web pages.
Web pages share a similarity to the folder structure inside your computer, which is their hierarchical nature. In addition to that, elements of a web page have dimensions and are part of a visual layout. So will I really discover a landscape this time?
To the Work in Progress exhibition by Platform Minerva I’ve contributed Web Spaces, a series of 3D printed webpages in combination with Architectural Explorations, a dual-screen interactive installation.