concept : miltos manetas

organized by the electronicorphanage.com, assisted by michelethursz.com in Feb 2002

powered by newstoday.com , supported by archinect.com

description :

every two years, the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art in NYC is putting together a major art exhibition. The show is collecting the most interesting american art of the moment. In early February 2002, myself and peter lunenfeld, noticed that the museum has not registered the domain www.whitneybiennial.com. Having decided to put together an internet exhibition which would open the day of the museum gala, I invited different     curators friends to suggest artists. The artist had to create one or more Flash Animations.

(read the story of the whitneybiennial.com)

list of curators/writers and organisations who invited artists: jan aman, andreas angelidakis,archinect.com, stefano chiodi , joshua decter, laurence dreyfus, alex galloway,paul groot,patrick lichty ,peter lunenfeld, lev manovich , magda sawon, newstoday.com, hans ulrich obrist ,marisa olson, michele thursz, roosavelt savage, philippe vergne, olivier zahm and purple magazine .

opening : March 05 2002

special thanks : michael rees for "turntable"

carbonatedjazz for webdesign and the cover page , gnac for the music

and rafael rozendaal for the sticker.


Press release:

Today a new generation of creators is active.

Using computers and the Internet, they doesn't care much about "Real Space". The work of most of them is TELIC, and a few of them succeeds doing a few NEEN works* .

Some of these people, are professional artists, but many are designers, architects, web-designers and programmers or they just do  "things" without caring about what all that they are doing is called. Because most of them are absent from the landscape of the contemporary art shows, we decide to present them in a parasite collection which would open online, at the very same day with the Whitney Museum show. We invited them to contribute a Flash piece. It had be either an art work or their logo, something complete, or a note for a possible artwork. Thinking that most film previews are quite better than the actual films, the WHITNEYBIENNIAL.COM was conceived as a collage of previews.

Q: Why shall they all had to do a Flash animation ?

A: It was an experiment : as Peter Lunenfeld writes at the KLM theory*, "Flash is today's Pop". In fact , Flash is an easy technology which lets you draw a cartoon or a logo, animate it and even make it interactive: the user will click on it and the cartoon will reply. It brings together all other forms of art such as photography, written text, movies and drawing in such a way that makes contemporary art looking like a grandfather. According to Lunenfeld , Flasj is "PoliTech, the irrepressible joy and lightness of being digital after the boom economy has gone bust." It is also scalable, that means that you can display it on different dimensions without any loss of quality. With very little budget and in a short time, you can do something that looks better than any "art video" or "installation".

Q: What's the "Turntable" ?

A: It is an application which we commissioned to artist Michael Rees. It works as a normal turntable that you can use it to mix not only sound, but also Flash movies: all pieces become samples and the user, like a visual DJ can make his/her composition online. The viewer, can change the colours of the background , make the animation larger or smaller, transparent or opaque etc."Turntable", is a revolutionary tool, because it open-sources material and makes even from any "closed" pieces a work in progress. In this show, for the very fist time, the artworks function in both ways, as samples and as stand alone pieces.

Relationship of the Whitneybiennial.com with the Museum's Whitney Biennial.

Even if the Whitneybiennial.com was naturally in "competition" with the Museum show, (because they are both a different view of the actual visual reality), it's not supposed to be not an anti-show. We aren't concerned about the official show; we just wanted to use it for our own purposes.


Whitneybiennial.com is dedicated to the Italian artist Gino De Dominicis (1947-1998 ).

Other inspirations :

"Forgotten Silver" New Zealand, 1995
a movie by Peter Jackson and Costa Botes


"When We Were Kings", a 1996 Documentary on Muhammad Ali, directed by Leon Gast and Taylor Hackford



*about neen and telic

In May 2000, assisted by ArtProduction Fund, I commissioned to Lexicon Branding, the company that introduced the words "Powerbook" and "Pentium", a new term which was suppose to define any subliminal artistic experience relative to the computer screen. Between other terms, Lexicon proposed "Telic", a very convincing and sophisticated term invented by the human stuff of the company. I decide though to go for another term, "Neen" which I introduced at Gagosian's gallery in NY. Neen was a term coined by Lexicon's software: a palindrome produced after Lexicon's technicians feed the computer with the word "screen" and let it run different combinations.

Neen, which by coincidence in old Greek means "exactly now, not a second later" was a controversial name. Only a few people, felt that it was proper to call themselves Neenstars and what they do Neen, and this was because most of us, myself included, we are doing still a lot of TELIC. Our times, are Telic. But we want to see more Neen happening.

Lets define Telic: Telic is magic through technology. Telic is our relationship with the tools which help us design the World and see things in a perspective. Telic is Rem Koolhaas'   S, M, L, XL , its constructive, anything related with job, is Telic. People which busy with aesthetics but who also have jobs and clients, are Telic. 

Sometimes though, these Telic people, produce also Neen!  It usually comes in small doses, hiding in the nightmare of our jobs. Neen-in these cases- is what our clients don't understand but also don't have the courage to ask us to remove it because they happen to like it anyway. Telic is serious : it makes sense or it's a sense wannabe. People recognise it easily and trust it. Neen instead, is Telic-that-went-nuts: you wouldn't believe that it's possible and even the one who makes it cannot easily repeat it. But Neen looks great! And I believe, that at this moment, there are actually a few 100% Neenstars - people without a specific profession-who linger around us .

Telic is Giacometti , Neen is Lucio Fontana. Nature is Telic while Miracles are Neen. Miracles which have a purpose or that become famous, become Telic after a while, although a few of them-such as the one where Jesus walks on the water- stay Neen for centuries. But again, if Jesus would come back today and he will start walking on the water, this would be very Telic. Really, there is no way to preserve Neen, because it expires a second after its created. Neenstars are the people who are OK with that.

more about Neen can be found at www.afterneen.com














ARTFORUM, MAI 2002 ( Mild About Larry: 2002 Whitney Biennial
Bob Nickas, Bruce Hainley, George Baker, and Saul Anton )

Benjamin Bratton (rhizome)