On November 1, 2002, Dia launched Zombie and Mummy, an online work created by Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied for Dia's series of Artists' Projects for the Web. Zombie and Mummy can be seen at www.diacenter.org/lialina.
The work chronicles the struggles and adventures of two characters -- Zombie and Mummy -- through twenty weekly comic strips that are available on Dia's website and for download to a personal digital assistant (PDA). Each episode of the strip, which is drawn by the artists on a PDA in a style merging elements of gothic and hip-hop, features the characters attempting to accomplish something, such as starting a company, visiting the zoo, or learning a programming language. These ventures are thwarted by a problem caused by one character, then the other; the final frame illustrates a solution.
Born in 1971 in Moscow, Russia, Olia Lialina has been making web-based artwork since 1996, when she created My Boyfriend Came Back from the War, a piece widely acknowledged as an important early work of art on the world wide web, in which she presented a personal narrative while experimenting with the formal and technical possibilities of storytelling on the web. Lialina became a luminary in the online art community by founding, in 1998, the first net art gallery, at http://art.teleportacia.org, and by organizing international events and forums. While her earlier practice involved using personal narrative within a conceptual exploration of the world wide web as a medium, she has more recently advocated for net artists -- and for the net community in general -- to become more engaged with such global issues as migration, mobilization, immigration, labor, and new forms of social protest.
Born in Munich in 1975, Dragan Espenschied has been a computer artist, programmer, and musician since 1991. In 1995, he co-founded the home-computer band Bodenstang 2000, which performs internationally. Espenschied earned an International Media Art Award in 2001 from ZKM Karlsruhe. Currently, he teaches at Merz Akademie Stuttgart and conducts experiments with new technologies as a scientist at VR lab of the Fraunhofer Institute Stuttgart.
Artists' Projects for the Web
Dia initiated a series of web-based works in early 1995, becoming one of the first arts organizations to foster the use of the world wide web as an artistic and conceptual medium. Dia's collection of web projects currently numbers eighteen. Previous projects, which can be visited on Dia's website, include Jeanne Dunning's Tom Thumb: Notes Towards A Case History (2002), James Buckhouse and Holly Brubach's Tap (2002), Shimabuku's Moon Rabbit (2001), Feng Mengbo's Phantom Tales (2001), Stephen Vitiello's Tetrasomia (2000), Diller + Scofidio's Refresh (1998), and Komar and Melamid's The Most Wanted Paintings (1995). All may be viewed at www.diacenter.org.
Dia's series of artists' projects for the web have been funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts.
Dia Art Foundation was founded in 1974. The nonprofit Dia plays a vital role among visual arts institutions nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects, and by serving as a primary locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism. In addition to presenting exhibitions and public programming at Dia Center for the Arts in Chelsea, Dia maintains long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and on Long Island. In May 2003, Dia will open Dia:Beacon, a new museum in Beacon, New York, to house its renowned collection of American and European art from the 1960s to the present.
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