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An Artist's Impression

Review

"ISLAND/An Artists Impression, by Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, deals with these dilemmas by laboriously constructing a three-dimensional scale model of an on-line MUSH environment in the gallery space. The MUSH has developed a curiously rural English identity, with car boot sales and campaigns to stop tourists building holiday homes, and a similar suburban aesthetic pervades its 3-D equivalent. With the sculptural model of an on-line, textual environment, Pope & Guthrie provide a solution to the problem of spectacle in a way that undercuts the pomposity of institutional display rhetorics, presenting the sculpture as a curiously pointless, hobbyist pursuit. Like the scale models of the D&D environments that were the textual precursor of MUDS and MUSHES, or the obsessive mapping of your home town in a model railway (or its virtual equivalent the flight sim landscape patch), An Artists Impression compensates in its detail for what it lacks in purpose. A similarly fruitless task to Umberto Ecos one-to-one scale map of an empire, it can never hope to represent the thing it describes, but nonetheless stands as a beautiful, futile monument to the physical and temporal differences between the two spaces."

an extract from "Would the last person to leave this website please turn out the lights?"
by Matt Locke
published at DFI: degrees feet inches, a curated space for internet specific artworks; UK (September, 2000) and archived online here on the '2000 archive' pages