Website of the month
Bookmark this one immediately - published biannually in India, www.Gallerie.net is the gorgeous online version of a global ideas magazine. Four issues old, it has won seven national and international awards for excellence, addressing issues that are of universal concern through the arts, performing arts, essays, poetry, photo-essays, socio-political stories of communities and people. This issue, the focus is on "Divides", inviting readers to reflect on the urgency of bridging divides between people and nations. There are three articles specifically on the visual arts, including a piece on African American artist Adrian Piper entitled "Vanilla Nightmares", but it's all good reading.
Another South African museum goes online - this is the website of the King George VI Art Gallery in Port Elizabeth, with news of current exhibitions and activities and a virtual tour of some of the gallery's highlights.
Designed specifically for the Pretoria Art Museum's international exhibition on the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci, this website's front page features an original collage of Da Vinci's most famous works across the elements of his activities: medicine, art, engineering, aerodynamics, to name but a few. As the cursor moves over text a highlighter lifts the words from the page. Navigating the site is easy and the same buttons throughout ensure the user does not get lost.
ZA@Play under the editorship of Sophie Perryer is the brightest, most intelligent guide to entertainment and current arts activity in the country. Updated daily, listing every event worth attending, the site also features relevant interviews and reviews taken from the Mail & Guardian. An excellent system of cross-referencing allows viewers to wander laterally following up areas of interest. The guide section provides crisp synopses of all listings across the country.
Every artist deserves a business card on the net, the Artslink webmaster TJ de Klerk believes. And galleries can have a whole page, free. This local site becomes more and more useful, with its e-mailing of arts-related press releases available to anyone through its Acemail programme. Won the Arts and Culture award for best art site in the country last year.
Since its launch last year, Museums Online: South Africa, which represents all the current activities and exhibitions of local museums, has become so popular that overseas art group tour organisers check it regularly to plan visiting dates to the country.
Two new sections are announced this month. One is an Events section which enables anyone in the museum or related community to announce events and activities on the internet. Just click on 'Events'.
The other is a mailing list - by subscribing to this list you will automatically be e-mailed regular updates about museum activities and events. To view this feature click on 'Subscribe'.
Coverage of the 48th Venice Biennale is being provided by Undo.net, Italy's largest community of artists. Biennale curator Harald Szeeman invited the website to be part of the Aperto section, and to provide daily news of artists, exhibition protagonists and with close-up views only possible from operating directly inside the event.
There is also news of Venice itself, and even useful hints for would-be visitors to the Biennale.
Chinese artists are attracting more and more notice on the world art scene - check this well designed site out for a look at what's going on on that side of the globe.
The Thami Mnyele studio in Amsterdam, established in 1993, is a home from home for two visiting artists a year, providing an air ticket and living and working space. In a recent policy change, the foundation is also considering artists from other African countries. The website tells how to apply for a fellowship and the conditions.
One of the best sites around - devoted to the documenting, discussion and promotion of the art of Africa, Latin America and Asia. Last year, co-founder of the site Gerhard Haupt initiated the "Cultural Exchange via Internet: Opportunities and Strategies" forum. A number of international art figures presented preliminary statements on the way in which the internet is changing the traditional relationships between artists/curators/other artists/organisations, and the potential for the future. The responses from all over the world were truly amazing, and the forum, initially planned for a three-month period, will continue this year with the possibility of a web-based international exhibition. It's all still available, along with many other interesting links, on this site.
Inspired by Robert Rauschenberg's Erased De Kooning drawing, Sawad Brooks has transported the concept of erasure from the analogue to the digital domain. Erasure always leaves its own traces, and Brooks raises the question of how we can decipher digital erasure with four elegant projects: Shuttle Shutter, Focus, Annotator and Register. It is the viewer that must perform the erasures. This is interaction at its most evolved.
A New York-based website which is one of the best and the biggest, constantly updating current information on exhibitions, and offering excellent reviews and magazine coverage.
Focusing on an interchange of material about Africa, this fresh-looking Dutch-based site has a particular emphasis on the arts and culture of this continent, and searches for new virtual exhibitions to host online.
A site of truly wondrous projects. Breathing Earth, for instance, is a visualisation of earthquakes that have happened worldwide in the past 14 days. A globe with a map of the world comes into view, and on each of the 14 dates, swellings bubble up indicating the location of the seismic activities. Other projects involve the number of kilometres the world has swung round the sun while you have been busy on the website, and the sounds of the web itself.
One of the best - great artist projects, articles, news.
Intriguing initiatives especially designed for the web from a variety of artists. All of them are worth checking out.