Artist Web Projects

Inaugurated in 1995, Dia’s Artist Web Projects series is the longest-running program in the United States commissioning artists to create original projects for the internet. The series invites artists that do not typically work in the digital realm to realize projects that explore the aesthetic and conceptual potentials of the medium.

Below, in reverse chronological order, are the artist web projects since 1995.

Nick Mauss and Ken Okiishi, Poetry as not, with singing
Launch Date: April 16, 2015
Nick Mauss and Ken Okiishi have been working together since they met in 1998 while enrolled in art school at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. While Mauss and Okiishi maintain individual artistic practices, they often cocurate exhibitions.


Iñaki Bonillas, Words and Photos
Launch Date: June 12, 2014
Taking the digitized J.R. Plaza archive as a point of departure for this new commission, Bonillas creates an extensive index of associated words that “mirrors” the image database. The relation between these two levels unfolds as the visitor explores the possibilities of matching text and image. Starting with a set of about 400 core images, the work will progressively expand until the entire archive (approximately 3,800 images) is mapped out.


Daniel Lefcourt, Modeler
Launch Date: October 3, 2013
Commissioned by Dia, Daniel Lefcourt's web project, Modeler, focuses on systems of signs and interferences. The starting point is a grid composed of grayscale stock images of industrial objects and spaces, a seemingly infinite dataset suggestive of what Lefcourt deems "The pleasure of sameness and repetition." Extending from his current body of work, which emphasizes observation and detail, Modeler invites the visitor to investigate the complex nature of virtual perception.


Laylah Ali, John Brown Song!
Launch Date: June 20, 2013
As evinced in her darkly suggestive gouache-on-paper paintings, Laylah Ali’s work often engages with questions of oppression, heroism, and emancipation. With undeniable wit, Ali crafts visceral narratives that evoke culturally and historically referential moments. For her Dia commission, Ali gives focus to the radical abolitionist John Brown by composing a portrait of associations to consider the contemporary impact of this complex and elusive historical figure.


Shannon Ebner, Language Is Wild
Launch Date: April 12, 2012
Dia has invited Los Angeles-based artist Shannon Ebner to develop an original project that will be hosted on Dia’s website. Ebner is most frequently identified with photography-based works that mine the meaning and form of language.


Sue Tompkins, My Kind Book
Launch Date: December, 2011
In My Kind Book, Tompkins will put the energy and playfulness of her signature performances in the hands of visitors by sharing her writings as a web-based book with audio that will be triggered by the audience’s exploration of the text.


Cecilia Edefalk, 24-Hour Venus
Launch Date: September 21, 2010
For this project, Stockholm-based artist Cecilia Edefalk photographed an outdoor scene at Västeraspa, near Stjärnholm, Sweden, over a full day near the summer solstice. This series of images will be turned into a time-lapse for visitors to interact with to see how light alters the landscape, giving different dimensions to the scenery.


Lisi Raskin, Warning Warum
Launch Date: Friday, November 13, 2009
Enter target address, select weapon, accept, fire shot, wait.


Dorit Margreiter: alphabeth
Launch Date: 5/19/09
Dorit Margreiter presents two animations utilizing her zentrum typeface, which she designed in 2005 based on the signage of Bruehlzentrum, a modernist housing project in Leipzig. One will feature the letters of the alphabet broken down into their modular pieces, the other will channel information from Dia's press office, transforming it from information into something more abstract.


Liliana Porter: Rehearsal
Launch Date: 11/6/08
For Liliana Porter's first web-based project, a chorus of chicks sing "La donna è mobile" from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto.


Barbara Bloom: Half Full — Half Empty
Launch Date: 6/26/08
Barbara Bloom presents a video still life that does not remain still. On a table are a gift, book, keys, paper, grapes, candle, wine glasses. These objects have movement without any visible agent. One can switch between three parallel running versions of a conversation between a male and female voice in the present, future, or past.


Rosa Barba: Vertiginous Mapping
Launch Date: 5/29/08
In "Vertiginous Mapping", Barba presents a collection of film, images, texts, and audio that she compiled and created about a fictional country, Forgotten, whose story is woven together and presented via five locations.


Ezra Johnson: Wrestling with the Blob Beast
Launch Date: 4/17/08
Ezra Johnson presents a collection of screensavers. Animated explorations of painting, Johnson's works range in theme from romantic landscapes or figurative vignettes to meditations on color relationships.


Wilfredo Prieto: A Moment of Silence
Launch Date: 6/30/07
For his first web-based project, Cuban artist Wilfredo Prieto invites visitors to participate in a moment of silence.


Maja Bajevic: I Wish I Was Born in a Hollywood Movie
Launch Date: 3/30/06
Maja Bajevic’s I Wish I was Born in a Hollywood Movie presents images of locations reminiscent of cinema noir -- melancholic and bleak, yet compelling. Bajevic set out to contemplate the impact of the "dream machine" by weaving together this collection of scenes that serve as real-world counterpoints to Hollywood’s glamorized representations of life.


Dorothy Cross: FOXGLOVE: digitalis purpurea
Launch Date: 12/5/05
For her first web-based artwork, Irish artist Dorothy Cross considers the condition of altered vision— seeing in blue and white— that can be a side-effect of the drug digitalis, which is derived from the wild foxglove flower found commonly in Ireland and Europe.


Ana Torfs: Approximations/Contradictions
Launch Date: 12/2/04
For Approximations/Contradictions, Belgian artist Ana Torfs focuses on the Hollywood Songbook, a collection of very brief, powerful songs written by the German-Austrian composer Hanns Eisler in 1942 and 1943 while he was in exile in California. She elicited powerful performances from a group of very talented, diverse people singing the songs, and weaves them together into something entertaining and beautiful yet deeply disturbing and compelling.


Allen Ruppersberg: The New Five-Foot Shelf
Launch Date: 3/30/04
Allen Ruppersberg's The New Five-Foot Shelf offers visitors fifty volumes of texts compiled during two decades of artistic practice accompanied by images of the physical contents of the studio he occupied for fifteen years. The original Harvard Five-Foot Shelf proffered readers early in the last century the "equivalent of a Harvard education." Ruppersberg's version is similarly encyclopedic incompass, but personal and poetic in nature.


Marijke van Warmerdam: And then the chimney smokes
Launch Date: 10/30/03
Dutch artist Marijke van Warmerdam's first project for the web is centered around a short film that uses the motif of a house as a vehicle to chart the potential of drawing to conjure the world. And then the chimney smokes offers the visitor a uniquely numbered edition of the film to download for burning to CD, and an accompanying CD cover to print and assemble.


Glenn Ligon: Annotations
Launch Date: 3/30/03
For his first web-based project, Ligon brings an interest in questions of juxtaposition, collage, and the accidental to his ongoing practice of exploring issues of historical memory and the construction of race. Annotations explores the format, conventions, hidden histories, and serendipities found in the family photo album.


Olia Liliana and Dragan Espenschied: Zombie + Mummy
Launch Date: 10/31/02
Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied collaborate for this series of weekly comic strips, available on Dia's website and for download to a personal digital assistant (PDA), that chronicles the adventures of the title characters.


Jeanne Dunning: Tom Thumb: Notes Towards A Case History
Launch Date: 5/16/02
In her first web-based project, Jeanne Dunning follows the adventures of Tom Thumb as he travels between the inside and the outside of the body. Tom is swallowed by a cow, a fish, and a wolf, feeds himself through a hole leading directly to his stomach, and reaches his hand inside the stomach of another.


James Buckhouse in collaboration with Holly Brubach: Tap
Launch Date: 3/1/02
For Tap, James Buckhouse and Holly Brubach offer animated characters for your handheld device that learn to tap dance. A dancer will practice, make mistakes and eventually master a series of sixteen moves, which can be recombined and exchanged to create virtually limitless choreography.


Shimabuku: Moon Rabbit
Launch Date: 10/11/01
The core of Moon Rabbit is a screensaver that presents exaggerated depictions of figures imagined on the surface of the moon -- a rabbit, a face, a donkey, a crab, a frog with a rabbit. While gradually shifting between these interpretations, the image of the moon slowly increases and then decreases in size in reference to theories that postulate the moon was once very close to Earth.


Feng Mengbo: Phantom Tales
Launch Date: 6/14/01
Feng Mengbo has created three animations for Phantom Tales: One Silver Dollar, Three Bloody Stones, and The Technology of Slide Shows, each approximately five minues in length. The Beijing-based artist, whose early childhood coincided with the height of the Cultural Revolution, chose to examine two widely popular picture books from his childhood. The third component illustrates technologies espoused by the People's Liberation Army for creating animation effects using slides.


David Claerbout: Present
Launch Date: 11/9/00
For Present, his first computer-based work, David Claerbout offers viewers the choice of three flowers, an amaryllis, gerbera, or red rose, to implant on their computers for approximately one week. With its progression from bloom to decay, and eventual disappearance, the flower manifests the rhythms of a natural lifecycle in a virtual environment where time normally lacks organic reference.


Stephen Vitiello: Tetrasomia
Launch Date: 9/14/00
Stephen Vitiello's first solo project for the web, Tetrasomia presents intriguing web-based archives of sounds from the natural and physical world, including such sounds as a fruit fly courtship, an underwater volcano, and poison frogs, as the source for an interactive sound project. Tetrasomia also features four new sound compositions by Vitiello: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.


Gary Simmons: Wake
Launch Date: 2/16/00
For Wake, his first project for the web, Gary Simmons has photographed empty ballrooms and other dance spaces redolent of an earlier era. As the viewer moves the mouse over the screen, image fragments appear then quickly fade, making it impossible to view any of his nine haunting scenes in its entirety and at one time. Mediated by a soundtrack comprised of the humming of old but well-known songs that are still popular favorites, these sites seem generated as much by involuntary memory as by tech


Francis Alys: The Thief
Launch Date: 3/11/99
For his first project for the web, Alÿs has created an animation, available as a screensaver, as his response to the computer, the network, and the ubiquitous Windows metaphor. The process by which he came to this emblematic clip has been documented in a series of short arguments where Alys investigates the parallels between contemporary interface design and "Alberti's Window," a method of linear perspective drawing encoded and canonized during the early Renaissance through Leon Battista Albert


Arturo Herrera: Almost Home
Launch Date: 11/19/98
Arturo Herrera's work is known for its exploration of our psychological relationship to narrative. For his first project for the web he created a series of 100 collages which are presented as an interactive diptych. The collages, some of which are animated, combine cartoon imagery with other formal elements, creating playful and surprising juxtapositions and associations.


Diller + Scofidio: Refresh
Launch Date: 10/1/98
For their first art work for the web, Diller + Scofidio have created a project centered around a dozen live office webcams from around the world. For each location they fabricated a narrative in text and imagery to create an investigation which reflects on the effects of live video on everyday life.


Kristin Lucas: Between a Rock and a Hard Drive
Launch Date: 8/13/98
For her project for Dia's site, Lucas created a series of waiting rooms for the internet. For anyone who has experienced chat, this "lullaby for the indiscriminate," as the artist calls it, will ring with familiarity, albeit it a strange one.


Claude Closky: Do you want love or lust?
Launch Date: 12/11/97
Claude Closky presents thousands of questions taken from popular magazines quizzes, ads, and billboards. While sometimes superficial or absurd, they entertain and enlighten while suggesting the inconclusive and futile tenor of the questions we are confronted with daily.


Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: Prometheus Bound
Launch Date: 9/18/97
Tim Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), have created a series of "dialogues" which weave together excerpts from Aeschylus' play, studio discussions, and outside commentary. The outcome is pages or "scrolls" which are works of art that, as with all of their work, has been produced collectively.


Cheryl Donegan: Studio Visit
Launch Date: 3/20/97
Cheryl Donegan, an artist who works with painting and video, took as her starting point a mainstay of art practice, the studio visit. In Studio Visit, Donegan put together a visually rich and playful interface constructed from imagery she has utilized in her work.


Molissa Fenley: Latitudes
Launch Date: 11/14/96
A choreographer since 1975, Molissa Fenley's work is marked by a highly personal movement vocabulary, inspired in part by ancient and southeast Asian sculptural artifacts. In Latitudes, choreographed specifically for Dia's website, Fenley explores these sources of inspiration in concert with a detailed examination of a suite of movements.


Susan Hiller: Dream Screens
Launch Date: 7/3/96
Susan Hiller, an American-born artist living in London, is widely known for works that explore through a variety of media the margins of consciousness. In this project, created especially for Dia's website, Hiller maps her long-standing interest in dream states onto the nebulous realm of the web using interactive colorfields and a soundtrack in six languages.


Komar + Melamid: The Most Wanted Paintings
Launch Date: 9/5/95
This project, created by the dissident Russian artists Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid, attempts to discover what a true "people's" art would look like. Through a professional marketing firm, a survey was conducted to determine what Americans prefer in a painting; the results were used to create the painting America's Most Wanted.


Tony Oursler, Constance DeJong, Stephen Vitiello: Fantastic Prayers
Launch Date: 3/31/95
Fantastic Prayers premiered as Dia's first artists' project on the world wide web. This web project, by writer Constance DeJong, artist Tony Oursler, and musician/composer Stephen Vitiello, describes a kind of urban landscape, which is inscribed with memories of lives lived, objects possessed or discarded, and places inhabited.

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