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December 06, 2006



Art Wallpaper Email Exhibition

A-WAL | art wallpaper: adorning the vernacular one email at a time. Email Exhibition Project. A-WAL is a new kind of cultural tool that allows individual users and organizations to upload their own photos and images to be displayed as background wallpaper in their email messages. A-WAL email is web mail, so you can access it from anywhere in the world, and use it the way you would your regular email. However, A-WAL is the only email that allows you to take creative control through featuring your own images. For its pre-launch, A-WAL email was a featured project used by artists participating in Satellite Project, Shanghai Biennial 2006 as an extension of exhibition.

Email Exhibition Project: The A-WAL Email Exhibition is a quarterly curated art project that is two-fold in approach. Each quarter, a curator recognized for having achieved a unique distinction in an area of experimental curatorial practice will construct the Email Exhibition around their own set theme. This will be featured on the A-WAL website as an online exhibition, and the art images are available for use as art wallpaper for A-WAL users as an extension of this project. The A-WAL Email Exhibition is a non-profit public art project, with this edition being sponsored and brought to you in kind by Batteli.

For this quarterly installment, we are pleased to feature independent writer, lecturer, and curator Dr Kathy Battista, who is based in London. Kathy’s abiding interest in and support for experimental art forms and innovative practice has been displayed through her past involvement and work with esteemed organizations such as Artangel, Tate Modern, and the Serpentine Gallery. Kathy has regularly contributed to Contemporary, Frieze, Third Text, and Art Monthly amongst other publications, is an editor of Art & Architecture Journal, and has recently authored the forthcoming book Women’s Work: Feminist Artists in 1970s London (I B Tauris, 2007), resulting from her doctoral research re-considering the work of feminist artists in 1970s London and their role in the context of perfomative practice and alternative spaces. While at Artangel, she founded and was Head of the Interaction Programme, a series of contextual projects based around Artangel’s project s in unusual places, working with artists including Steve McQueen, Richard Wentworth, Matthew Barney, Janet Cardiff, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov and Tony Oursler.

The artists featured in this exhibition include: Daniel Jackson, Delaney Martin, Jamie Robinson, Sans Facon (Tristan Surtees & Charles Blanc), Dallas Seitz, Krisdy Schindler and Heather Sparks.

Excerpts from the writings for the Online Exhibition Project: The development of the World Wide Web is the most important technological advancement of our time. It has revolutionized the way we work, communicate, shop and live. The immediate transfer and dissemination of information has resulted in a truly globalized world, for better or for worse. It has also had a profound effect on art practice. The twentieth century notion of the white cube gallery space has given way to an infinitely expanded notion of digital display, where art can be seen anywhere in the world at any time.

The A-WAL project engages with the computer and in particular email as a site for artistic production. Using what has now become a vernacular form—email —A-WAL merges the everyday with the artistic. The selection of artists for this first A-WAL exhibition explores themes around patterning and wallpaper. The group of international artists shown here engage with these ideas through various media.

The Chinese are credited with first developing wallpaper around 200 BC, when they began to cover domestic walls with rice paper. French courts, such as that of Louis XIV, would commission artists to create paper for wall panels that could be moved when travelling between various residences. In England during the arts and crafts movement William Morris elevated wallpaper to new artistic heights. His designs, which played with a tenuous balance between abstraction and natural form, are still in production today. Morris broke with the Victorian ideal of illusionistic wallpaper, and devised designs that flattened out and enhanced the two-dimensionality of the wall. This is akin to the screensavers and wallpapers that are ubiquitous in our culture today: from computer screens to mobile phones two-dimensional images are at the center of our existence.

One of the main characteristics of wallpaper since the late nineteenth century is a repeat pattern that can be joined to make a coherent whole. The artists featured in this A-WAL project each work with a pattern that can be repeated in this way. This patterning is also a nod to the dots and zeros that make up computer programming. The A-WAL artists use various media—from painting and drawing to photography, video and computer rendering—to create their images.

The artists in this incarnation of A-WAL take the notion of patterning and wallpaper into the twenty-first century. Regardless of medium—the resulting patterns play with notions of surface [...].

- Taken in part by Kathy Battista's writings for the A-WAL Online Exhibition.

A-WAL is proud to enable this new form of techno-vernacular display, and would like to thank the artists curated who boldly embrace new forms of installation practice. A-WAL is committed to supporting public art projects through the use of this medium to enable an exhibition, or for use as an extension of a physical exhibition. Inquiries for such special projects can be sent to artprojects[at]A-WAL.com, although anyone can register for their own personal or organization A-WAL email account on the website.

A-WAL wishes you interesting and artful email messages.

Posted by jo at December 6, 2006 10:13 AM