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THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

Published by C3 Center for Culture and Communication, 1998

Somewhat late, in 1998 this CD-ROM came out which presents a grand art show entitled The Butterfly-Effect, which had chosen one of the latest scientific achievements, chaos theory as its motto. Organized by Soros Center C3 and one of the most famous Hungarian art institutions, M┼▒csarnok in 1996, this program was aimed at offering an overall view on the media art of the present and its historical context, in cooperation with a Hungarian and international group of artists and theoreticians. The show consisted of a media art exhibition, an exhibit on the history of the media, as well as, an international symposium on media art and technology.

It was worth the wait as the CD-ROM is fine with its pleasing, ingenious surfaces, well organized structure and easy navigation. We can follow the media art works from room to room, advancing in space and by stopping at the pieces that we like we can have the author's brief description and/or interpretation of them, as well as, the details of realization. Pity that still images hardly capture the essence of interactive and video installations, real videos or quicktime movies would have done better. In the field of media relics, four striking keywords direct us; whereas scope presents the historical devices of illusion-making through still and moving images, tele recalls witty reflections of the time on 'new inventions', clicking on graphe we find a catalogue of the exhibited objects, documents, and a thorough chronology from 1420 to 1898. Phon, a brief chapter, is dedicated to inventions reproducing sound. The presentations read at the symposium are, for lack of something better, programmed in HTML, so you have to install Netscape if you want to read them!

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