Reconfiguring the Author: The Virtual Artist in Cyberspace

Keynote address

Mark Amerika
Alt-X Online Publishing Network, USA
[Home Page]

Abstract: In this presentation, Mark Amerika will discuss the state of narrative art in online culture. The presentation will highlight issues that concern all artists working on the Internet today including the slippery tensions between text and image, the desire to pioneer new modes of interventionist cultural production and distribution, the problematization of the "individual artist/author as genius" model, and the blurring of the lines between art, entertainment and what the corporate media industry likes to call content.

About the Presenter: Mark Amerika is author of two literary novels, The Kafka Chronicles and Sexual Blood, and also the Founding Director of the Alt-X Online Network. The Alt-X site has received positive praise in a variety of venues including Details, SPIN, Utne Reader and The Web magazine. Publisher's Weekly has called the site "the literary publishing model of the future." Founded in 1993, Alt-X includes an electronic book review, digital art exhibitions, a program, and a virtual imprint featuring out-of-print novels, story collections and scores of interviews with contemporary writers, artists and theorists. Mark Amerika's GRAMMATRON will be included in the Whitney Biennial 2000. The project was released in June 1997 and is one of the most widely accessed art sites on the World Wide Web. GRAMMATRON has received praise from numerous publications including The New York Times, Reuters International, Die Zeit, The Australian, The Village Voice, Wired, CNN Interactive, the Denver Post and Time Digital. The work has been exhibited internationally at Ars Electronica, the International Symposium of Electronic Art, SIGGRAPH 98, the Telstra Adelaide Arts Festival, and the "beyond interface" exhibition at the Museums On The Webconference in Toronto. His new web-project, PHON:E:ME, a streaming audio installation with an accompanying "hyper:liner:notes," was commissioned by the Walker Art Center with additional support from the Australia Council for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art. It was released at the Walker Art Center's Gallery 9 website in 1999.