Form Art, commissioned in 1997 by Hungarian arts organization C3, is an interactive website navigated aimlessly through a series of web forms. "'Forms' are HTML conventions that appear in the guise of menus, checkboxes, radio buttons, dialogue boxes and labels; they are often used when filling out web-based applications, surveys or questionnaires. Small, interactive sections of web documents, forms have a conceptual appeal since their content is often submitted seemingly into the ether (though more likely to a mail server or a web server)" (Greene, 2004). On this website, viewers are invited to explore a labyrinth of recourses composed by the artist, each pathway accessed through forms and hyperlinks. Forms lead to other larger combinations of forms, some coalescing into text while others compose abstract designs. The work's appearance relies largely on whichever operating system the viewer is using to access it, resulting in a morphing aesthetic that updates itself over time, in tandem with software's constant evolution.
About Alexei Shulgin
Net artist Alexei Shulgin has gained renown with his ongoing “386DX” performances, in which he manipulates an antiquated computer with Microsoft Windows and an Intel processor to perform digital renditions of popular music hits, while a text-to-speech voice “sings” the lyrics. He has also produced interactive works, such as Form Art (1997), in which he uses HTML to program minimal forms and blank boxes that require viewers to aimlessly click through to discover more boxes. Recently Shulgin has left the online environment to focus on the production of tangible, technology-based objects for his gallery-cum-gadget shop, Electroboutique, which sells distorted screens and high-tech toys.
Russian, b. 1963, Moscow, Russia