Thursday, 28 July 2011

Mark Napier: Shredder 1.0

Mark Napier created Shredder in 1998. Its aim was not to appropriate from the web, but to emphasise the materiality of the web. Napier cites Pollock and Smithson as inspiration as  both call attention to the materiality of there art. Napier explains his approach: “I wanted to expose the raw material that make up the ‘design’, ‘content’ and ‘information’ of the web and use of information directly. Of course, this material is a construct of software and the graphics display. It is ‘raw’ only by virtue of the context The Shredder creates” (Green, R., 2004 p.100).

“What we see when we browse the web” argues Tribe and Jana, “is a carefully designed veneer, an orderly facade that conceals the jungle of the code” (2007 p.70). Napier’s Shredder 1.0 “lets us peek behind the curtain, revealing a colourful jumble of text and images” (2007 p.70)..

When you visit the site you are encouraged to enter a web address in the location field at the top of Shredder 1.0’s interface and Shredder literally deconstructs the original site. The result of the dicing and slicing of the web pages is an abstract composition.

There is a similarity to here to Photosynthing in that it deals with the DNA of the visual.  It does sometimes disrupt an image.

The results of The Shredder are closer to abstraction and abstract expressionism in particular.  I have seen examples that look like Hoffman.The reference to the materiality of the web seems close to modernisms idea of honesty of materials.

Greene, R., (2004) Internet Art,  London: Thames and Hudson

Tribe, M., (2007) New Media Art Los Angeles: Taschen

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