A Companion to Digital Art

A Companion to Digital Art Edited by Christiane Paul

An extract page 575/631

Enabling the Future, or How to Survive FOREVER
Annet Dekker

An Example: mouchette.org
Mouchette.org (1997) is a project that started in the early days of the Internet and is still running. The project presents itself as the web site of a thirteen‐year‐old girl who tells stories about her life, while inviting others to participate and play in her worlds (Figure 26.2). Over the years the site has grown and more and more stories have been added, each occupying their own web space within the site. Next to orchestrating her online presence, Mouchette organized offline projects, from birthday parties to music CDs, postcards, and a Guerrilla Fanshop. Some of these are easy to trace, but others are more difficult to track, and even Martine Neddam, the artist behind the project, does not remember all the projects or performances that have become part of the Mouchette network. In order to keep track of new articles or projects, she has been regularly checking the referrer site for links to statistics of mouchette.org since 1998, but offline events, in particular, prove to be hard to trace, because of a lack of official “commissioning” contracts or exhibitions where all the Mouchette‐related projects are exhibited together, a concrete “end date” for (components of) the project, or other parameters that usually determine an artwork. This type of a distributed network of projects and events exemplifies what Deleuze refers to as “a One and a Whole.” Instead of departing from one form of the work and evolving into slight variations, as in Laurenson’s “authentic instances,” mouchette.org is a (still growing) ecology of different projects circling around the brand Mouchette. As such, it would make sense to refer to mouchette.org as authentic alliances. This understanding gives prominence to a set of relationships and processes and moves away from the idea of the final, finished object.

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