ArtAIDS is an artists’ Internet project that celebrates and commemorate the fight against AIDS Launched in November 1994, ArtAIDS aims to make a critical and creative contribution into the web. More directly, it tries to provide an opportunity for artists to include their work on a website with a specific content and context. ArtAIDS commissions new work from artists, exhibits work submitted via the net, and if possible gives technical assistance to artists whose health is impaired. This is not a health information project or a campaigning site. ArtAIDS tries to balance the role of a public access project with that of a commissioning arts agency. It raises funds to facilitate new work by artists, and often works in collaboration with other organizations to maximize opportunities and publicity. 1996 projects included a screen saver animation with artists group General Idea, in collaboration with adaweb and MOMA, NYC, and a 24 hour webcam and text project recorded on World AIDS Day 1996. ArtAIDS began as a ‘Day Without Art’ project in response to the lack of creative material that addressed AIDS as an issue on the web. Initially it took the form of a gallery of work by invited artists but with the clear intention of becoming an open submission project that invited any interested users to upload relevant artwork. It used the viral metaphor: its theme and structure emphasized the constant mutation and adaptation of artworks – a metaphoric subversion of the HIV virus. Underlying ArtAIDS is the theme that collaborative involvement has become an essential means for dealing with the social effects of AIDS. It aims to present a model of the way that networking can be creatively challenge the cultural and political isolation. This principle has continued through the evolution of the site to encompass more complex single artworks: on line poetry, performance events, director movies and animation’s. ArtAIDS works as an independent project led by an artists collective. Many of the contributions have been commissioned with the financial support of the Arts Council of England. A CD-ROM of the project will be released in Sept. 1997.
- Peter Ride, Australia/UK. Internet and Digital Arts Programme co-ordinator, ARTEC, the Arts Technology Centre (UK). Ride has worked as curator and organiser of multimedia and internet projects since 1994 as well as (orating and writing on photo and media arts pracitce. Ride is currently the organiser of CHANNEL the UK Internet Network of Visual & Media Arts organisations, and co-ordinator of ARTAIDS an AIDS art/ activist Net project included as a web event as ISEA97. Talks and presentations include ISEA96: Devising and Positioning Interactivity in Net Projects. artaids.org.uk westminster.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/directory/ride-peter