Joseph Beuys asked us to see his objects and performances as stimulants for the transformation of contemporary art practice into what would become the development of a new kind of social sculpture, "an expanded concept of art." Mark Amerika's PHON:E:ME, a commissioned Web project schedule to launch June 24 , asks its audience of net-connected, interactive participants to expand their concept of what a writing practice is. Amerika uses original sound tracks, text, and advanced programming to blur the borders between spoken, written, and sculpted artistic forms. Part oral narrative, part experimental sound collage, and part written hypertext, PHON:E:ME also addresses the new possibilities of both conceptual and performance art in network culture.
The sound works associated with PHON:E:ME were developed with Minneapolis-based sound artist Erik Belgum and composed with a specially programmed speech synthesizer that uses the artist's own voice. This tailor-made synthesizer was created by sampling the artist's voice as he speaks all of the phonemes of the English language as well as mimics other electronica sounds, such as drum kits and bass lines.
Mark Amerika is the Founding Director of the Alt-X Online Publishing Network. His GRAMMATRON project (http://www.grammatron.com) was released in June 1997 and is one of the most widely accessed art sites on the World Wide Web. He is the author of two novels, The Kafka Chronicles and Sexual Blood.
Walker Art Center Calendar, Mark Amerika's PHON:E:ME, June 1999.
G9 launch: June , 1999
credit line: Commissioned by Gallery 9/Walker Art Center with additional support from the Australia Council for the Art's New Media Fund, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art and the Jerome Foundation.
technology: 800 x 600 pixels screen; 4+ browser: Netscape, Internet Explorer; Shockwave 7; Real and/or MP3 player: G2 (Real), Quicktime 4 (MP3), Winamp (MP3-PC)