Release date: June 10, 2002
SAN FRANCISCO, CA June 10, 2002The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) today launched the second iteration of e.space, its innovative online gallery at www.sfmoma.org/espace/. E.space was inaugurated in the spring of 2000 with a selection of the Museum's permanent collection of Web sitesthe first such collection to be assembled by a U.S. museum. With its redesign, e.space adds two new sections, "Curatorial Experiments" and "Artists Projects." E.space is jointly organized by Benjamin Weil, SFMOMA curator of media arts and Joseph Rosa, SFMOMA Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, thereby encompassing two complementary viewpoints of the Web's development as a forum for exploring and retooling notions of space, narrative and the networked environment.
The redesign of e.space was prompted by the need to accommodate a wider range of projects online. The new "Artists Projects" section offers direct access to commissioned artworks, permanent collection Web objects, and featured Web sites. With today's relaunch, two recently commissioned works are featuredAgent Ruby by Lynn Hershman and World of Awe 2.0 by Yael Kanarekin addition to the five projects commissioned for the 2001 exhibition, 010101: Art in Technological Times. "Curatorial Experiments" presents essays and other curatorial projects that investigate new models for online exhibitions, such as the collaborative sound art project Crossfade: Sound Travels on the Web. Selections from SFMOMA's permanent collection of Web sites will continue to be available through the e.space archive.
As Weil and Rosa state in their introduction to the new e.space, "Art has always been engaged with representing our world: it is only natural that artists now incorporate this new set of tools, which is simultaneously a new venue for their work."
Agent Ruby by Lynn Hershman
Lynn Hershman has worked in photography, video, installation and interactive and online art. Her 53 videos and seven interactive installations have won many international awards. This multimedia body of work addresses the social construction of the female identity and related issues of social conditioning, most often through the narrative construct of an alter ego or "agent." In her second feature length film, Teknolust, 2002, for example, Hershman introduces Agent Ruby, one of several female SRA's (self-replicating automatons) who interact with the scientist who modeled them after herself. (Please note: Hershman's film Teknolust will be screened at SFMOMA on Thursday, June 13, 2002, as part of the monthly film series The Seventh Art: New Dimensions in Cinema.)
In Hershman's online project, Agent Ruby returns as an Artificial Intelligent Web agent that is shaped by and reflects her encounters with usersthereby simultaneously being part of the real and virtual worlds. Ruby converses with users, remembering their questions and names, and is ultimately able to recognize their voices and have moods corresponding with whether or not she likes them. Her mood may also be affected directly by Web traffic. Agent Ruby is seeded to user servers and is downloadable to users' desktops or Palm OS handheld computers; it is multi-platform, integrating PC, Mac and Palm operating systems.
According to Hershman, Agent Ruby is designed to have a self-perpetuating life cycle of three phases:
The Web Site is the hub from which the entity searches and returns communication.
Beaming/Breeding Stations allow users to replicate Agent Ruby onto their palms, shifting information directly.
Ruby Speech Synthesis and Voice Recognition enables users to speak directly to Ruby. Users will also be able to drop information into a site that will be collaged onto a cumulative billboard revealing an overview of world concerns and the shapes of the patterns this information takes.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project that will significantly enhance gallery, education, and public spaces, enabling the museum to better showcase more of its expanded permanent collection. While the museum is temporarily closed for construction, through 2016, SFMOMA is “on the go” with an extensive array of off-site programming across the Bay Area, including collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, major outdoor projects and commissioned installations, and new education initiatives.
Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.