Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathMapping and Texticon: navigation pathArchive/Map
The Legible City (Shaw, Jeffrey), 1988Apartments (Wattenberg, Martin), 2001

icon: previous page

between sign and emptiness, but in an interface the place where we begin as well: it is possible to type here—this cannot be taken for granted. An empty page can be filled in a number of ways. But it is new for the writing process to be involved in constructing a home: each typed sentence helps to generate an «William Burroughs» (2001)—that is the title of the work—in Marek Walczak's and Martin Wattenberg's software art. The phrase «Sex and the City,» to quote a popular American TV series, is translated into semantic units that are then arranged to form the ground plan of an apartment: ‹sex› goes to the «bedroom,» but ‹city›—and this is already interpretative semantics—becomes «window.» This project represents a simple, immediately comprehensible and ‹intelligible› solution to subsequent text display handling problems: how does the machine ‹interpret› the text? This can obviously be quickly learned here, in that the user recognizes relations more clearly as more material is typed in. The words presented can also form animated loops, and their frequency also determines the size and position of the room—so the apartment is in a constant state of flux. But another aspect of the


interface appears when the [25] While Jeffrey Shaw's «Legible City» (1988) stages linking up with an ars memoriae by imbuing type with a spatial quality, «Apartment» is a generative production process. [26]

Walczak and Wattenberg have already programmed a whole series of innovative applications. Each of them offers a different solution to the problem of integrating current data into a dynamically generated interface and thus achieving a representation of real time itself. [27] In this respect the Internet projects described so far illustrate an aspect that embodies thinking out alternatives as a visual process. In the history of exploration and geography, mapping an open field has meant deleting «spaces.» But artists and scientists now use the concept of maps and mapping to arrive at new ways of presenting geographical, social, political and artistic fields in the light of new data.

icon: next page