Sometimes the online world reveals unsuspected parallel dimensions. This is an unknown restyle of Neural independently (and secretly as we never knew about it) made by NY-based Motion and Graphic Designer, Clarke Blackham. Very nicely made, perhaps only a bit glossier for the magazine’s line, it testifies once more how even your most familiar outcomes can have another life somewhere else.
We’re only slowly learning how to deal with our extended memories and the physical traces they leave in the world. Both hardware and software keep track of our behaviour in order to serve us better, thus acting as a kind of extension to our brains and bodies. The information they store for possible later re-use is called cache. The most familiar form of cache for most of us is that of the browser. This particular personal memory archive is used by artist Evan Roth in Clearing Four Months of Internet Cache. This work, which seems to be a follow up of his Internet Cache Self Portrait, is a video of the artist trashing a print out of his browser cache and the presentation of the result in a gallery. Roth printed all the cache collected in four months of browsing on a long piece of cardboard. The video shows him and a friend pushing this very large print-out into a trash compacter. The machine turns the print into a messy cube, which is bound with a cord and exhibited in a gallery. There it stands in the glare of a spotlight. Four months of online experience, of fun, of communication, of senseless browsing, and of work is reduced to a lifeless brick. What is surprising about the work is the title. Roth is a knowledgeable hacker artist who knows that the Web is only a part of the Internet. The title therefore could be a gesture towards an audience that is not familiar with the diversity of ways to work with the Net. It could also be a comment on how an amazing, intricate network like the Internet is dumbed down to become a string of images, not much different from a TV channel. In Clearing Four Months of Internet Cache we see the results being crushed and wrapped neatly, to be left for a gawking gallery audience. Evan Roth leaves us to wonder about the value, shape, and function of our own extended memories with this deceptively simple work. Josephine Bosma
Clearing 4 Months of Internet Cache