getawayexperiment.net

January 2005

Supported by The Greenwall Foundation

“getawayexperiment.net” proposes a dialogue between the virtual and physical processes of sign and site design and perception. Stern and Neustetter have transformed several information-based web pages into collaboratively constructed communication sites; they commissioned local sign-makers in Johannesburg, South Africa to “re-mix” five websites (Fox News, Google Images, joburg.org.za, Solidarity and Turbulence) by painting stylized versions of each image on their main pages. The hand-painted signs were then scanned, prepared for the web, and uploaded.

MEDIA & ACHIEVEMENTS

You’ve Got to Getaway!
by Kevin McGarry
Net Art News, Rhizome.org

Nathaniel Stern and Marcus Neustetter are getting their hands dirty along with a team of local Johannesburg programmers and sign-makers to stylistically markup the five websites targeted by their ongoing getawayexperiment.net, a recent turbulence.org commission. Viewed through the getaway site, graphics occurring on fox news, google images, joburg.org.za, solidarity and turbulence are postered over by handmade alternatives: scanned sketches, watercolors, and paintings depicting their digital originals. The information-heavy sites’ texts and layouts are left intact; only the markers around them have been given paint jobs. Does this look like analog web design or its full-circle opposite? Regardless, completing the replacement, or helping it tread water, while, say, the google gif engine steams away, is a Sisyphisian objective that implores the participation of collaborators near and far. Login to getawayexperiment.net’s edit mode to upload your own restyled signs.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Each of the five sites can be seen in three ways:

1) the original site (on its original server); 2) the “getaway” site in edit mode; and 3) the “getaway” site in non-edit mode. In edit mode, participants from anywhere in the world can click on an image in any one of the “getaway” pages and upload their own replacement images. In non-edit mode each individual image is randomly pulled from the site’s database, thereby transforming the “getaways” into dynamic collages that signify something completely new.

Concept, Artists/Designers: Nathaniel Stern, Marcus Neustetter

Information Architecture: Templar Wales

Programming/Scripting: BlinkNewMedia

Core Sign-Writers: Mduduzi Manyoni, Tebogo Phafudi, Bongani Nkou, Kasa Thamae, and Nkosana.

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