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Artist: Sawad Brooks and Beth Stryker

Sawad Brooks, 2003
Sawad Brooks and Beth Stryker have collaborated for years. In their work they explore how network technologies often blur the boundaries between art and commercial design.

The World Wide Web is one such network technology. It is often promoted as a way for people in different parts of the world to connect with each other--to create communities independent of geography. According to Sawad Brooks, DissemiNET attempts to provide a means to "record the presence and/or absence of those who in some way played or touched" others. Or as his collaborator, Beth Stryker, put it in an interview:

In creating DissemiNET, one of our concerns was how to articulate what is missing. While there has been a lot of talk about online "communities," surfing the Web has often been a very solitary experience. This piece . . . evolves through the participation of viewers so that users are not just passing along set routes.

One way that the artists try to create a work about forming a community across a digital space that connects people who live in all parts of the world is through participation. DissemiNET doesn't just present others' stories; when it is installed in a gallery, it is also a kind of "furNETure" that allows people to input and tell their own stories


Interview with the artists

Copyright 2003 Walker Art Center