Learn here more about projects and web links, collected from sites that cover a wide range of online communities around the globe.
“Art is you” –this could have been this web site’s subtitle and it would refer to the visual recreation of the visitor’s voice’s aural imprint. Now, whether a graph can be considered art is a whole different story but what cant denied is that it is unique; no visualization can be identical to another since all voices differ from each other but of course one can see common elements. To have their graphs made, Interested visitors can send an audio file with their voice which can contain anything from a word to a complete phrase; the fewer the syllables, the most discernible the final result will be.
In the web site, visitors can see samples of art works in different colors and shades; prices for the paintings start from $89 and reach $459 depending on the work’s dimensions and the material on which it is going to be printed on (paper or canvas). Before making their final choice, visitors can see a preview of the work by uploading the audio file; the web site will create the graph and the potential customer will have an approximation of the final result or, if they are not pleased, they can try different phrases or words.
Project HOPE Art is a charity organization founded in January 2010 which aims to employ art to better the quality of life of children in underdeveloped countries. The organization’s educational programs for children are carried out in hospitals, orphanages, schools and local communities and they all use art as a vehicle to help children develop their critical thought and express their creative talents. Most of the organization’s missions have been to Haiti, they are dispatched quarterly and on average they last for one month.
Interested parties can contribute financially in the organization’s goals through various programs; their contribution can be in the form of money, clothing items, food or painting materials (money contributions go directly to the web site whereas for everything else a postal address is provided). Also, the web site offers visitors information about the organization’s various projects and each project’s goals, photographic material from the missions classified by each year and read a blog containing testimonials from artists who participate in the missions.
More Europe is an organization aiming to promote and support the role culture plays in the international relations between the European Union member-states; it was founded in 2011 in Brussels which is also the home of the European Parliament. Modern diplomacy demands for a new way of thinking regarding how international challenges are faced and the organization attempts to contribute towards the advancement of this new way of thinking by promoting fundamental values such as dialogue and the recognition of the crucial role the society plays in strengthening the relations between countries. Through organizing discourses in various European capitals, More Europe tries to bring together artists, citizens and top level policy makers.
In More Europe’s web site, visitors can see the cultural organizations that were its founding members, the profiles of various distinguished speakers from the various conferences it has organized, a listing of the events scheduled and the agenda for the discourse in each one, a section with texts analyzing the organization’s positions as well as an archive with audio and visual material from the events themselves.
In 2005, the Lamar Advertising agency set up an LED ad billboard at the roadside of a highway passing near Richmond, Virginia. In the day the company’s engineers were there testing the billboard, David Morisson happened to pass by and he was surprised to see how similar the pictures displayed on the billboard were to various wallpapers he had installed in his personal computer. This is how he came up with the idea to buy some advertising time and display on the billboard images and messages that had nothing to do with ads; with time, more people with artistic sensibilities became involved in the project as well.
In the project’s web site visitors can find an archive with all the imagery that has been displayed on various billboards all over the United States; there is plenty of visual material, both in still photography and video as well as a listing of all the artists that have participated in each city and links for their personal web sites (for some artists available are also filmed interviews where they discuss how they view the project and their participation in it). Finally, visitors can find out how they can also be a part of the Billboard Art Project either through their own art or by sponsoring the works of others.
What is the most unusual object in your museum? Where do your collections come from? What was the building’s original function before it became a museum? Why galleries invite artists to talk with the public? How is a day in the life of a curator? An attempt to answer these questions and others along similar lines can be found in “Ask a curator” where curators from various museums and galleries give their replies through videos; these specialists describe their jobs and share their knowledge giving visitors a pretty good idea about how museums work. The web site is a private enterprise created by the company Sumo that offers marketing services to cultural institutions.
The videos are classified by subject including history, people, future, artists etc. and by museum featuring museums from various countries such as Great Britain, Spain, USA, Japan etc. Although its last renewal was in 2011, it is still interesting since the subjects touched remain current and offer a taste of museums’ “backstage” areas.
Hacker News is not the typical community for a site like metamatic:taf; this because at first glance it is a community for computer maniacs. It was created in 2007 by Paul Graham to support his Internet startup investment fund and the initial aim was to become a place where people interested in computer science could get together and discuss technology related matters. Still, in the years that followed it became a worldwide community analyzing a plethora of matters ranging from technology to science to social issues.
The web site’s functions are pretty simple and this is what makes it very user-friendly: Users can create a simple profile and after that post links for articles they find in various places on the web; following that, the community members comment on the articles on Hacker News and vote for the opinions they find interesting. Every member has a public profile which shows the posts they have made as well as an average of how interesting their opinions are for the rest of the members.
Eliezer Yudkowsky is an American writer dealing in subjects such as artificial intelligence and singularity. In 2009 he created LessWrong as a web site that would promote ideas related to rationalism; the site is designed as a blog where articles are presented in chronological order and the members of the community contribute by offering their commentary. Besides the web site itself, the LessWrong project also includes real life meetings of its members in various places around the world as well as an unconventional forum where members discuss things and vote for subjects they consider interesting.
The best way to explore LessWrong’s contents is through the section labeled “Sequences”; this functions as an index table presenting in a condensed form various posts classified by subject and for every subject of this section there are tens of articles with hundreds of comments each. In subjects such as quantum physics, one of the most attractive to those interested in science, the articles are classified according to knowledge level (some of the areas covered ask for specific background) while there are also suggestions for articles with similar content from other categories.
Can computer generated digital creations be considered “art”? Hardcore art fans would probably answer in the negative but even a cursory glance at some works would be enough to leave us speechless. As computers evolve, techniques such as photorealism that up until a few years back would have been considered anything from impossible to incomplete are today commonplace resulting in computer generated creations being equal to classical painting. DevianART is the biggest digital art community on the Internet with more than 22 million members, more than 45 million visitors each month and 100 million works; also with time it has broadened its scope to include other fields like painting, photography, literature etc.
The web site has all the characteristics of a social network with members being able to upload their creations, to comment on other people’s creations, to vote for works they find interesting and to have discussions in fora or chats. The art works are classified in 20 basic categories with each one of them having several subcategories; this in an effort to organize the unbelievable wealth of creations that has been amassed in the twelve years the site has been online. Also worth noting is that many of the art works are available for sale in various dimensions.
Big think was created in 2007 as a public space of dialogue between the public and some top thinkers from various science and letters fields. It is also known as the “YouTube of ideas” because videos are the main medium through which the views which are the starting point for the dialogue are presented. Among big think’s backers is Peter Thiel, one of the founders of the famous Internet payments system PayPal and one of the primary investors of Facebook.
The web site’s basic function is pretty simple. One of the intellectuals sets a subject for discourse through a brief presentation which is presented both by text and video and after that, the public contributes to the dialogue expressing their views through the comments’ section while visitors evaluate the various opinions by vote. Although the way the system works reminds of the way blogs function what makes big think different is the quality of the commentary and the broad spectrum of the subject discussed; subjects that include the arts, the environment, business, politics, history, mass media, the Internet, science, technology, medicine etc.
New York Foundation of Arts was founded in 1971 by the state of New York as an independent organization offering supporting services to artists of the broader NY area; the programs offered by it, focus on three areas: cash grants and fiscal sponsorship, online resources, and professional development training. Since 1984, through its sponsorship program the Foundation has been supporting 100 artists per year offering each a $7,000 award to those chosen after a competition process; also, through its educational seminars, it aids more than 5,000 artists per year while there are also special programs for foreign artists.
Since 2002, when the web site began operating it the NYFA has been regarded as one of the best information centers on the Internet with more than one million visitors per month. Its information hub is the NYFA Source, a database offering information about more than 9,000 grant programs, awards, organizations and publications for artists. Other interesting services include classified ads for all sorts of collaborations, descriptions for all educational programs offered with detailed resumes of the teaching staff, a section with hundreds of articles related to artists’ professional development etc.