A performative application challenges the users sense of navigation.
Screenshot from http://wwwwwwwww.jodi.org/
JODI is a net art group consisting of Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans. The group was one of the first to use the Internet’s creative possibilities. Already around 1994 they were beginning to use the Internet as material.
JODI often work with code in their works, where the usual set-up of web-pages is deconstructed. In JODI’s works the users encounter a chaotic interface, where elements often flash and jump around on the screen. Such imagery has become JODI’s trademark method of using the Internet; where the error becomes an artistic tool. Their chaotic but still lyrical use of code has also been called code poetry. As well as using webpages for their works, JODI have also worked with the e-mail and the mailing list as media in which logic is once again challenged and the error provides the key element.
The Internet is, to this extent, where JODI’s works belong. The group uses all the properties of the Internet, which can affect the expression of the work. They have in some cases, taken web browsers apart and created their own equivalent versions. They have also made their own versions of well-known computer games such as Quake and Wolfenstein.
Like many other net artists JODI have entered into the social media world. For example, in the work Global Move (2003), where they use the mapping site Google Maps, or the installation Sk8monkey on Twitter (2010), where the user of the work makes status updates to the Twitter network by literally using the computer’s custom-built keyboard as a skateboard. Sk8monkey on Twitter is also an example of JODI’s web-based works that simultaneously engage real space. JODI make tools that allow the user to become a part of a performance that they themselves are co-creators of.
More JODI online:
For the Net.Specific exhibition Communication Paths, JODI have created the work ZYX.
ZYX is a so-called app – an application – which is a small computer program that can be used on a ‘Smartphone’.
The work is a tool that engages the user, and which plays with the interface that app users are used to seeing. JODI has made several versions of ZYX, and for Net.Specific they have made a version 1.2. ZYX is a performance tool that enables the user to see and experience their surroundings in a new way, as they have to move around according to the instructions which the application gives them. It allows the users to become performers themselves.
The application has a corresponding website that has both code as well as small illustrations of the application in use. Also on the site correspondence between JODI and the Apple App Store that ultimately has to distribute it can be found. This exchange shows how there is a certain logic attached to when an application is considered viable. Here the Apple App Store criticise ZYX’s user suitability and its method of communicating with its users.
The work is a good example of another way in which JODI questions network and computer logic. ZYX shows how different forms of communication can be interpreted – and how a not necessarily logical design of a program can give its user new possibilities and experiences.
The next exhibition Performing the media – Online Identitites will be accessible from April 1, 2014.
The exhibition is curated by Tina M.K.Madsen