A well known interactive web artist, Mark Napier, is infamous for his works that can be found on his site, potatoland.org. On his artwork portal he says, “I create “net art”, online artwork that is about the Internet and is designed to exist in the network environment. My work explores the ideas of ownership, authority, territory, and communication in the virtual world.”1 Furthermore, he defines his work as a process, where he can code and accept unexpected results when creating code that does not always turn out the way you want them to. Much of his work is critiquing or dematerializing the sometimes oversaturated data within the internet.
The artpiece, Venus 2.0 is a series of works of PAM, which critiques a celebrity through an interactive interface of a fragmented Pamela Anderson image. Napier mentioned, “I started with a sympathetic view of the actual Pamela Anderson. She is part of the spectacle of sexuality in contemporary media.”2 In Greek and Roman art history, Venus de Milo or also known as Aphrodite is a well known sculpture that is a symbol of iconic and epitomy of beauty. How the depiction of ideal beauty of the past also prevails in the present, which is why Napier subjected Pamela Anderson. She has been a focus of the media for years and her body is always changing through plastic surgery enhancements to perhaps enhance her viewership. The concept of the body and beauty is examined in the virtual realm of infinite metadata that can be used to mold something completely disfiguring is both interesting and haunting. This piece brings out the disfiguring and discomfort of how the media and celebrities have a great impact of what people want to see and how one sees themselves. It also brings to question of the real and the imagined individual, since the internet is a vast and complex network in itself and questions whether reality even exists anymore. Similar to this work is a project called Barbie.
Here is a video interview with the artist, talking about his background and influences…http://www.archive.org/details/TECHNEArtistInterviewMarkNapier