6(excerpts) Do you have any questions for Benjamin or myself about äda 'web's developmental structure? we should get theis going. Yes?
MALE AUDIENCE: if the web indeed becomes a real exhibition space, what do you think is going to happen to museums?
Benjamin Weil: That I guess is a question for the Museum staff. I think that what I can say from my viewpoint doing this web project is that the Museum will still function as a repository for history basically, and will probably and hopefully engage also in the development of web projects. So I think that it's maybe going to continue as a location, but eventually extend itself onto the web, but that's all what I can imagine. I think that somebody from the Museum would be better suited to answer this question.
MALE AUDIENCE: We have not had the chance to really see your site. And you talked about images and text. Do you also work with sound, and video?
Benjamin Weil: There are some sounds in many of the projects we have produced; videos as well. We surfed a lot of different places this evening. We haven't sort of concentrated on any specific place because it's probably easier for you to look at it on your screen. So we used this particular screen as a background basically to sort of signify how the web is omni present and around us now. But as you might know, multimedia is still something that is sort of bumpy. Downloading video takes a lot of time, and the best you cvan achieve is a small frame displaying a maximum of 10 to 15 frames per second. Real time video doesn't really work yet. Real time sound is also quite bumpyas it depends on which speed you access it, and downloading big sound files take forever. So it's -- I think there's a lot of talk about multimedia, but it's not quite multimedia yet, I'd say. Julia, do you have anything to say about that?
Julia Scher: Well, it is. I mean they're live sites -- Nina Sobel has a live performance going every Thursday night, and there are some things that are slowly inching their way through. With Real Audio, you can already get NPR through your computer, you can already get continuous live feeds. However, I also think we really don't know what's coming next, although it's probably coming a lot sooner than we can imagine.
I mean, for artists who do still work, it's something to think about in terms of the massive kinds of layering that you can do with the organization of tools that you already have. That big blue thing you saw was from a screen shot from a Scala file from a TV that was PAL, that got scanned in at 150 dpi-- or 300, and now it's 72; all the distortion was just done in Photoshop with the distort tool and some drawing tools. So you can animate that right now. That's not hard.
MALE AUDIENCE: There's been a lot of talk about government's monitoring of content. Is there a real threat of control over the web traffic?
Benjamin Weil: Julia, you're the surveillance person so you should know better.
Julia Scher: Yes. Every time that you -- right. The potential that for every moment you log on and every twist of the AC powercord-- like, we're not doing it like usually you jiggle, not the hardware -- usually you're jiggling a mouse. You're handling a mouse which can be recorded. Your eye movement or eyeball scan can be made while you're watching your screen. So not only could every moment that you're logged on be recorded and that information be sold somewhere else, but every one of your movements while on can be tracked easily as well. Commercially, it's certainly not the case now, but there are many ways to do that at this particular moment. Where you're sitting, how you're touching the mouse, how lightly, how hard, where your finger is going down, where your eyeball is going, how long you linger at a certain site. (towards brain wave recognition)
MALE AUDIENCE: How and why is this medium relevant for making art?
Benjamin Weil: Why is it relevant to art? I think that's -- I don't know. I guess I didn't make myself clear in the first place. But I think because it is becoming a mainstream medium very, very fast and because we have the possibility of inserting art in its very, very early stage, it means that there is a change that art has a substantial part in the development of it, and exists on it as opposed to any other mass media communication systems that have existed before in which there's absolutely no art present whatsoever.
Julia Scher: You could also look at it like a new landscape, the shape of which is still to be determined. Although it runs electronically, it still can be inhabitated by trees or representations of them or simulations of them, and if spaces are big construction of a lot of former art and representations a big issue, how one is represented in space is an issue to art and it is to a lot of art. It's a cool place to work for that reason alone. Taking the body of itself as a bunch of digit bits hooked up to some beige colored hardware is only interesting perhaps to a few, but there are other issues in it that are also stimulating.