PHON:E:ME is an “orchestration of writerly effects” contributed by network artists, writers, designers, DJs, programmers and curators. Their combined efforts created a transformational online narrative environment that tells the story of how net culture is altering our received notions of authorship and originality, and how emerging digital artists are helping to break down the boundaries between the virtual and the real, between art and non-art, and the various disciplines that have too often led to rigid compartmentalization and weak critical speculation. The project was promoted as “an mp3 concept album with hyper:liner:notes” that deeply explored the relationship of new media technologies, sound, and writing. The project was commissioned and exhibited by the Walker Art Center. Collaborative artists included Erik Belgum, Anne Burdick, Cam Merton, Tom Bland and Brendan Palmer.
PHON:E:ME investigates the way auditory media pervades our daily lives and how this in turn effects the way we experience what have become routine cultural practices such as reading, writing, listening to music, and surfing the Internet. With a multitude of viable media formats and cultural objects fighting for our attention, questions of how we choose to design our own interactive experiences come to the fore. By experimenting with both the design interface as well as the artistic content constructed especially for the PHON:E:ME web site, Amerika attempted to find ways of expressing the impact of this audio-visual “noise” we encounter in our everyday life while simultaneously inviting the participant — the artistic “co-conspirator” — to create their own alternative version of the work within the programmed parameters the artist has constructed. The work has been exhibited in many international venues including Videobrasil in Sao Paolo, the Zeppelin Sound Festival in Barcelona, and the Walker Art Center’s “Art Entertainment Network” exhibition as part of the traveling “Let’s Entertain” exhibition.
PHON:E:ME was one of five works of art nominated for the prestigious International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Award in 2000.