By Eric Lin, Tue Oct 07 07:45:00 GMT 2003
Is AvantSoap art? Because we can't quite see the drama. Either way, it is a sign of things to come.
The idea behind AvantSoap is simple: a digital media group was asked to produce something for a gallery in the Netherlands. However instead of producing something to bring to Amsterdam, they're bringing visitors to them. Why should digital or new genre art interest the Feature? Because the four artists throughout Europe have collaborated on a loose script which will play out over constant stills taken with cameraphones and transmitted to a server at the gallery which compiles the story and displays the pictures.
The project just began a few days ago, so no clear story lines have emerged yet. And while it's difficult to pick out the drama (this an "avant soap," after all), it's easy to see that cameraphones are being used to create a cost effective, highly personal story. This media is surely young, two dimensional and even dull today. But it is clearly evocative of the intensely immersive or exciting personal experiences of Neal Stephenson's science fiction.
As cameras become more ubiquitous and the cost of transmission nears zero, anyone who wants to becomes an always-on TV show. What AvantShow show lacks in science fiction technology, they are making up by expanding this concept to four people in geographically disparate places to create a single show. Now if only they could do something exciting, or even witness something of interest. Then they'll surely grab our attention.