Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum Web Biennial 2003 - 'the Preview' -
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Web Biennial is a contemporary art exhibition which will be realised exclusively on the World Wide Web (W.W.W.) in every two years. Currently the Web Biennial 2003 is a work in progress. The previews will start in March 2003 and the exhibition starts in June 2003. The exhibition will be online till the end of the year 2003. The Biennial has been anounced and will be realised, produced, exhibited and than documented exclusively on the W.W.W. The project not only aims to offer an alternative approach for exhibiting online art but also an alternative approach for exhibiting art online.

In the exhibition all projects will be presented as diverse and unlimited as possible. The exhibition portal will contain hypertexts that will lead into individual sites of the artists or groups. The main server will not host any information other than the information on the directory page. In this regard the project differentiates from many other online museums and galleries but at the same time resembles other web formats such as link lists or web rings. However in case of the Web Biennial all the participants are required to change the source code of their index pages and add the texts "Web Biennial 2003- Name of the Artist- Name of the Project" in their titles. Hence these voluntary re-coding underlines the participation and a different form of community creation.

The de-centralised structure of the exhibition has many disadvantages but also advantages. First of all, it enabled us to carry no limitation on media, size or the number of the artists participating in the exhibition. Still we needed a custom made search engine to navigate through this complex structure. The embedded words in the search parameters "Web+ Biennial+2003" and title tags helps us search for a clustered sample of the W.W.W.

For the project, all anouncements were made online and the calls were posted on free public domains like rhizome.org, nihayeticimdesin.com, artswire.org and absolutearts.org/. We used e-mail groups to distribute the information. We tried to reach all artists who are active or who wants to be active on the WWW. After seven months of online announcements, through September 2002 to March 2003, 42 artists from 13 countries responded to our call, they send us their URL's and changed their source codes.

The artists and groups and the names of their works that are listed in the "preview"section of the Web Biennial are: Ali Miharbi: brush 1.1/ Contiguo, Cabrera, Debona: Paul Vater/ Bovey Lee: Ultimate Life/ T.W.C.D.C.: ACOS v2.0/ CarianaCarianne:Two Minded Chat/ Melinda Rackham: __line__/ Leftloft: Daily Distillery/ Sal Randolph: Free Manifesta/ Stefan Sun: Figurative Words/ Paul Catanese: Invisible Maps/ redcaiman: Im an Animal/ Viktor Vina: Flux/ Katie Bush: destroy evil/ dlsan: HyperMacbeth/ ravi jain: Gallery of Transportation/ Jody Zellen: Crowds and Power/ Matteo Peterlini: doppiamano/ sante scardillo: LIFESTYLE/ melody owen: Deadly Nightshade/ enrico mitrovich: Obsolescence of G.U.I./ Elizabeth Bajbor: Digital Gobelins/ Judson: THE PASSAGE OF TIME/ D. Alvarez Olmedeo: Conexiones/ Paula Cordova: Kronos/ Jillian Mc Donald: HomeLikeNoPlace/ Agricola de Cologne: Violence Online Festival/ Kate Armstrong: The Relation Papers/ Joddy Zellen: Crowds of Power/ T. Vujinovic, Z. Simcic: Hardbody/ zhangming hong: zp/ Michaël Sellam: Le Cri/ Adad Hannah: Stills/ Marina Zerbarini: Latido/ Gabriel Otero: Estado Flarmanico/ gianluca costantini: oracle/ R. Miranda Zuñiga: Vagamundo/ Victor Liu: delter/ Aleksandra Glokobar: Hello my friend!.../ babel: Patinage/ Luigia Cardarelli: Fragments/ Grant Corbishley: podmedia/ Andrej Tisma: REMEMBER CRIMES

Web Biennial is an 'open' exhibition which means that the participating artists were not chosen or invited by any one. All the applications to the exhibition were accepted to create a non-hierarchic form of a collective. We only had to exclude commercial sites. We believe that at the end, not only the individual works but the exhibiton process itself became an example for networked communication and exchange.

Last but not the least, istanbulmuseum.org/ which organises this exhibition, is a web based virtual museum. It is an artist run independent organisation with no physical exhibition space. There are no sponsors other than the artists themselves, involved in this project. Still istanbulmuseum.org will not be the only location for the exhibition. We will create mirror sites with different URL's and we are expecting others to create mirror sites for us so that the de-centralisation prevails.

The Biennials are mostly named after the cities. For example Venice Biennial is named after Venice and Istanbul Biennial has been named after Istanbul. In contrast Web Biennial will not be located at any specific city but it will be spread through the web. Therefor we can argue that the Web Biennial will not only help to legitimise web based art such as web-art or net-art but also question the current Biennial models and it will help to strengthen the core notions of W.W.W. itself.