Glossary on net art, digital poetry and interactive art
The works that make up NETescopio are organized in a database that can be browsed in various ways: through an alphabetical list of authors, a list of works, using the search engine, or browsing the thematic tags.
Each work is also cataloged according to its format. Digital works can adopt different characteristics either due to the different devices used -web protocol, FTP, networks and mobile devices, augmented reality, virtual environments such as Second Life, CD ROMs-, but also according to the artistic proposal and the role that the author is adopted as the one assigned to the public or the device –interventions, actions, generative, interactive, time or site specific, participatory, random formats, etc.-. The following glossary can help you understand these different practices in more detail, which you will come across later as you walk through the database.
Actions on the Internet
These are actions that can be carried out on one or more levels of the Internet, that is, not only on web pages but through email, social networks, Wiki spaces or even electronic commerce platforms.
Actions in Second Life
These are actions carried out by the author through an avatar - which may or may not be the artist - and which take place in public or private spaces in the 3D multiverse of Second Life
This technology is used mainly in projects that involve the spectator's participation in the physical world, whether in public spaces, inside museums or government buildings, urban routes and drifts, or artistic signs or historical events.
Augmented Reality Actions
These are actions that are generally carried out in public space and that use augmented reality markers to add content or make a mark on a specific spatial point, such as buildings or monuments with a strong symbolic or historical significance. These actions used to be announced through email groups or web pages and in recent years, through social networks.
Actions using FTP
These are actions in which the FTP protocol is specifically used. Generally, two or more artists or even the public is authorized to download, modify and upload files through an open FTP address or with a key distributed especially for the occasion. In some cases, the action can be extended in time, leaving the web open so that it can be freely intervened and modified by the public.
App for Google Glass
Applications developed for Google's augmented reality glasses, generally associated with events or interventions in public space.
Widely used until well into the 21st century, especially for multimedia works, due to its storage capacity and the limitations of the bandwidth of Internet connections in its time, which made it difficult to view complex audiovisual content online.
Electronic poetry (Cyberpoetry, Digital poetry)
Poetry projects that use the potentialities offered by the computer, either through random, generative, or interactive systems. They should not necessarily be published on the Internet, and may have been developed for offline applications, installations or CD ROM.
Works that can generally be downloaded for offline use and that focus on generative, random capabilities or other functions that a computer can provide.
Applications developed for the FB environment that take advantage of the interactivity and propagation provided by social networks.
Blog format focused on images. Was very popular until the appearance of social networks. Its successors are posts on Tumblr or Instagram.
Generative audiovisual piece
Algorithmic works that result in an automatic generation of images and sounds. They are usually works that address geometric issues, either in 2D or 3D.
Plastic works that resort to algorithmic potential or to image or pattern libraries, preserving in a certain way thematic or compositional aspects that link them to traditional painting.
The animated GIF reigned for some years on the web as the only animation format supported by the first browsers. The format fell into oblivion for a few years until it was recovered with the appearance of smartphones and social networks.
Interactive biotelematic installation
Projects that involve the public in the biological development of plants or other living ecosystems. This can be through turning lights, sounds or generating different types of waves.
Installations in Google Earth
These are based on the installation of objects, labels, legends and other editable features that Google Earth allows, either as interventions in “public space” or as forms of signage or activism.
Any open work that, due to its non-linearity, requires public action. There are different formats: among them, those in which the user must choose between a series of options and others in which participation is free, such as, for example, collective texts. Interactive works should be differentiated from random or generative ones.
Texts that call for the participation of the reader, either by choosing between different proposed plots or as a collaborator in their writing.
It is an audiovisual product that uses some of many techniques that allow interactivity. Generally, this interactivity is limited to choosing one of different options, generating a different narrative for each viewer. Its use began to spread with the appearance of interactive DVD technology and later on the possibilities offered by video platforms on the Internet.
Intervened Video Game
Interventions, appropriations or hacks to the software or the platform of a video game, generating a totally differentiated experience in the user. In some cases the result can be an image generator or a sound toy, and in others a parody of the original game. They are available online, they are on CD ROM and there are others to download and play offline.
These are artistic developments to be executed on Smartphones, taking advantage not only of the portability of the device, but also of the different technologies that are in a mobile: camera, microphone, GPS, sensors.
Multi-user interactive virtual environment
Platforms that allow the public to participate in a virtual environment developed by the artist - unlike other commercial virtual environments such as Second Life.
Name that was assigned at the end of the nineties to digital productions specifically developed for the Internet. It must be differentiated from the word net.art, which designates a very specific aesthetic and group of artists, identified as the pioneers of network art.
Net Art Time specific
Works of net art produced within a well-defined time frame and which generally define themselves as ephemeral art.
Works that rescue the heritage of cinema, in some cases its symbols or narratives, but that take advantage of the characteristics of the network: public participation, temporal and spatial differences, randomness, web cameras.
These are audiovisual works that use some of the characteristics of the Internet, such as randomness or the multiplicity of images on the same screen, to develop a different story for each viewer.
Artistic installations, generally hybrid -physical and digital-, that use the potential of the network, either as a source to collect information, to distribute an audiovisual product or to allow the interactivity of the public from different physical spaces.
These are poetry projects that need the Internet for their generation, either through random or generative systems, or collaborative thanks to the participation of the public.
Net Sound Art
These are those sound works that generally use the network for the production of sounds, such as soundtoys, but also those who use it as a distribution medium such as projects that focus on soundscapes, urban maps, automatic radios or online numbers radio stations.
Programming developments that can only be run through a browser. Generally, these works are either code-centered - random or generative works - or they emulate and parody commercial or corporate shows.
events that call for the participation of the public, either from hacktivism -the demonstrations or virtual “pickets”-, commemorative actions or for collective creation.
These are those interactive works that can only be operated through the Internet. This differentiation was necessary especially at the time when interactive works were mostly developed for CD ROM.
This category includes all those works that do not have the status of a piece, action or intervention, generally being an open project, a collaborative device or a work in progress.
There are many formats that result from the intersection of the Internet with the heritage of radio, not only as a device but above all from the aspect of its history and its use as an alternative means of communication. There are online radios that aim to collect soundscapes, automatic radios with random sounds or those that emulate the mysterious "number radio stations" that there were since the Second World War.
Performances for Google Maps
Performances, actions or interventions made for the cameras that Google uses, in order to appear in the Street View photos.
Performances in Second Life
Works in which the artist's avatar does a performance in SL, in some cases after calling the public in RL, in others appearing before the occasional public. These performances are generally recorded by capturing the SL viewfinder screen, so the result is usually video and images.
It is a programming development that allows the control or operation of a large number of devices. Unlike an interactive installation, in this case the software itself is isolated and turned into the main piece, and can be viewed on any device that supports or emulates Processing.
Real time performances
These are performances transmitted in streaming over the Internet and that can be performed in physical, hybrid or purely virtual space.
Projects that are developed for predetermined virtual, hybrid or physical spaces. There may be net-interventions to platforms such as Wikipedia, spaces such as Second Life, or emblematic places such as the New York Stock Exchange seen through Augmented Reality applications.
All those works in which the main element is the programming code itself belong to this category. Many of the pieces also reflect on concepts close to the code, such as natural language, Artificial Intelligence, or asignifying semiotics.
Digital sound device, generally based on random or generative combinations, interactive or based on sound libraries. For the most part, they are audiovisual, and in them the image is usually treated in a similar way to how sounds are generated.
Actions that take place in the public space, projecting on walls, emblematic buildings or different urban spaces. Although in the 1990s these actions required complex transport devices, their use multiplied with the appearance of projectors and easily portable players.
This category includes the design and spread of computer viruses, developed for artistic purposes and not intended to damage infected computers. Although the viruses were detected and neutralized by the antivirus, the objective was achieved since, in reality, what was sought was the signaling and reporting on certain issues, taking advantage of the dissemination generated by the social alarm.
Weblog (Blog fiction)
It is a narrative format, framed within electronic literature, which in some cases derives from the novel in installments, in others it uses the automatic generation of texts, or adopts the format of the personal diary.
It is a format that appeals to the participation and active collaboration of the public-user of the Wiki. Actions or interventions that have been developed within Wikipedia can be framed in this category.