Blending artist theory, personal memoir, satire, and fictional
narratives, a noted net artist constructs a poetics of net art that
parallels his practice. This rich collection of writings by
pioneering digital artist Mark Amerika mixes (and remixes) personal
memoir, net art theory, fictional narrative, satirical reportage,
scholarly history, and network-infused language art. META/DATA is a
playful, improvisatory, multitrack "digital sampling" of Amerika's
writing from 1993 to 2005 that tells the early history of a net art
world "gone wild" while simultaneously constructing a parallel
poetics of net art that complements Amerika's own artistic
practice. Unlike other new media artists who may create art to
justify their theories, Amerika documents the emergence of new
media art forms while he creates them. Presenting a multifaceted
view of the digital art scene on subjects ranging from interactive
storytelling to net art, live VJing, online curating, and Web
publishing, Amerika gives us "Spontaneous Theories," "Distributed
Fictions" (including his groundbreaking GRAMMATRON, the helpful
"Insider's Guide to Avant-Garde Capitalism," and others), the more
scholarly "Academic Remixes," "Net Dialogues" (peer-to-peer
theoretical explorations with other artists and writers), and the
digital salvos of "Amerika Online" (among them,
"Surf-Sample-Manipulate: Playgiarism on the Net," "The Private Life
of a Network Publisher," and satirical thoughts on "Writing As
Hactivism"). META/DATA also features a section of full-color
images, including some of Amerika's most well-known and influential
works. Provocative, digressive, nomadic, and fun to read, Amerika's
texts call to mind the cadences of Gertrude Stein, the Beats,
cyberpunk fiction, and even The Daily Show more than they do the
usual new media theorizing. META/DATA maps the world of net culture
with Amerika as guide and resident artist.
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