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Detail(s) from GRAMMATRON Opens at Upfor Gallery


Animated GIF adaptation marks 20th anniversary of
original groundbreaking work of net art


GRAMMATRON, a pioneering moment in digital and net art and one the first works of online art to be exhibited as part of the Whitney Biennial of American Art, turns 20 on June 26, 2017.


June 30, 2017

Portland, Ore.

Mark Amerika: Details(s) from GRAMMATRON (Animated GIF Remix)

July 1 – September 30, 2017

Viewable online 24/7 and free to the public at upfor.digital


Artist Mark Amerika’s four year process of creation culminated in 1997 with one of the first artworks built to live online, using solely online content. Composed of thousands of hyperlinks, pages of text and visual web content, GRAMMATRON created a randomly-generated, open-ended viewer experience. The accompanying soundtrack and theory guide helped push the work across genres, encompassing visual and conceptual art, literature and film, leading to numerous presentations, performances, and interviews for Amerika.

GRAMMATRON will be the focal point and inspiration of an international symposium to be held by the British Computer Arts Society in London in September with an accompanying group exhibition, both co-sponsored by the Electronic Literature Organization and the University of Colorado where he is a faculty member. Upfor.digital, the online extension of Portland’s Upfor Gallery, is proud to help commemorate the anniversary with an online presentation of Detail(s) from GRAMMATRON (Animated GIF Remix).

Made in collaboration with artists Melanie Clemmons and Zak Loyd, this online-only exhibition remixes animated mega-GIFs from the original site as well as scans of text, ephemera and other artworks that informed the original work’s development from the GRAMMATRON print archive. True to the era in which the original work was created, Detail(s) from GRAMMATRON (Animated GIF Remix) provides an ever-changing viewer experience that is intended to run for minutes or hours, not seconds, and stubbornly refuses to cooperate with mobile devices. The result is a curious blend of modernity with nostalgia for an era when artists set out to “crash your browser with content,” testing the limits of what an internet experience could be.



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