Networked_Music_Review

Paul DeMarinis

messenger.jpg

The Messenger Delivers a Golden Nica

The Messenger (1998) by Paul DeMarinis has been awarded the Golden Nica for Interactive Art by Prix Ars Electronica 2006. In The Messenger, email messages received over the internet are displayed letter by letter on three alphabetic telegraph receivers: a large array of 26 talking washbasins, each intoning a letter of the alphabet in Spanish; a chorus line of 26 dancing skeletons and a series of 26 electrolytic jars with metal electrodes in the form of the letters A to Z that oscillate and bubble when electricity is passed through them. Movie.

The Messenger is an internet-driven installation based on early proposals for the electrical telegraph, in particular those made by the Catalan scientist Francisco SalvŠ. As in many of my works I examine the metaphors encoded within technology, especially lost or orphaned technologies and try to trace their origins, speculating on the way that mechanisms are the repositories of larger unspoken conceptions and dreams. In The Messenger I take the telegraph as a point of departure from which to examine the relationship between electricity and democracy, and how electrical telecommunication technologies have participated in our solidarity and in our isolation, in our equality and our oppression, in the richness of our experience and the uncertainty of our lives.” — Paul DeMarinis

Paul DeMarinis has been working as an electronic media artist since 1971 and has created numerous performance works, sound and computer installations and interactive electronic inventions. He has performed internationally, at The Kitchen, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Het Apollohuis in Holland and at Ars Electronica in Linz and created music for Merce Cunningham Dance Co. His interactive audio artworks have been shown at the I.C.C. in Tokyo, Bravin Post Lee Gallery in New York and The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at The Exploratorium and at Xerox PARC and has received major awards and fellowships in both Visual Arts and Music from The National Endowment for the Arts, N.Y.F.A., N.Y.S.C.A., the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation New Media Award and the D.A.A.D. Berlin Artist Fellowship.

Much of his work involves speech processed and synthesized by computers, available on the Lovely Music Ltd. compact disc “Music as a Second Language”, and the Apollohuis CD “A Listener’s Companion” Major installation works include “The Edison Effect” that uses optics and computers to make new sounds by scanning ancient phonograph records with lasers, “Gray Matter” that uses the interaction of body and electricity to make music, and “The Messenger” and “Firebirds” that examine the myths of electrical communication. Public artworks include large scale interactive installations at Park Tower Hall in Tokyo, at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and Expo 1998 in Lisbon and an interactive audio environment at the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport in 2003.


May 23, 2006

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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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