EXPLORING ART- Web Cams


Christa Erickson

Neighborhood WATCH, 1999

This is a A website exploring aspects of our culture of manic watching. It uses readymade webcam imagery, chance selection, and asks you to contribute to a vicarious database. I found it interesting because rather than the many straight voyaristic cams out there, it asks the viewer to question things. There is a survey portion that is integrated with the readymade imagery that Erickson extracts off the web. I thought that this and other works by this artist looked to go beyond the basic use of web cams, to try to explore meanings of contemporary culture. She does this by making the viewer a voyer, who must become conscious of what they decide to watch.

Earth and Moon Cam

This cam is straight forward, easy to use, and updates regularly. I liked the simplicity of it, and the flexibility. It allowed me to create and save successive images of the earth that I could put into a slide show or short animation. I could choose from several satellites, and click on the image to change my perspective a bit. I could zoom in or out. The viewer gets some control over the images,and there is little text to tell you what to do with it. (Just presentation of data/images)

Iowa State University Insect Zoo

I found this site interesting for the interactivity. It worked pretty quickly- though sometimes too quickly. In order to effectively control where the cam turned I needed to make slow steps. If I did not leave space for the camera to focus on something- I found that I was zooming in on walls quickly. The site is not very exciting to look at but it is interesting and strange to be able to monitor a cockroach zoo from my bedroom at 12 midnight.