Accessible online at http://guestandhost.herokuapp.com/ and installed on ten iPads at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art as part of the Host & Guest exhibition curated by Steven Henry Madoff, GHOST is a networked art piece made up of six database documentaries or “Zeegas” that are user actuated. Each is composed of hundreds of stills and gifs hosted across the World Wide Web. The media files reside in these scattered locations. They are not copied or downloaded. Rather, summoned up and stitched together in real time via Zeega, they come together only as you play each of the pieces. Due to user inputs, network latencies and the speed at which individual files are served up, every performance is slightly different even though each Zeega has been meticulously built and scripted. It is users who bring GHOST alive or, rather, who produce the networked apparition that is GHOST.
Please note that, due to bandwidth concerns with the onsite iPads, I have limited the use of sound to only one sequence. In an ideal iteration, the pieces would have richly textured sound accompaniments. Similarly, many of the gifs –there are only gifs, no video whatsoever– have been downsized in a deliberate effort to capture something of the granularity of early animation and the early experimental cinema (cited with some frequency within the pieces). For those looking for additional subplots, alongside the convergence between certain features of network culture and early animation, there’s equal weight attributed to the notion of paging/swiping as travel and reading as a spatial performance. Threaded throughout the Zeegas are the traces of Stephane Mallarmé’s Un Coup de dés.