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April 6, 2001

Internet Artist Goes Live at CSUS

Artist Natalie Bookchin, who is responsible for creating some of the Internet's most provocative art and entertainment according to Interactive Week magazine, will talk about the evolution of digital media at 5 p.m., April 18 at California State University, Sacramento.

Bookchin, a professor at California Institute of the Arts, works with the Internet, computer games and other media to create interactive artworks. Her pieces combine modern culture with ancient ideas to sneak art into places where people do not except it to be.

"Computer games are really the best example of a successful interactive narrative," Bookchin says. "Structurally, they are a very effective because as a player you have some kind of stake, you are inside the game itself. I believe the metaphor of gaming is increasingly going to used to discuss love, politics and gender."

Her recent project, a game called The Intruder, is a translation of a story by Jorge Luis Borges about a love triangle between two men and a woman. The game transcends gender roles to bend artistic boundaries.

"In order to receive the story, one has to move through a series of 10 game-like scenarios. You shift subject positions within the game, so that at one point you become one of the men, and at another you become the woman. I'm also making it into a full-size video arcade game, trying to get it installed in places like the lobbies of train stations and in bars. It's a way to sneak art into spaces where art isn't expected to be," she says.

Bookchin's recent projects include organizing <>, an eight-month series of lectures and workshops about the spaces between art, activism and the Internet at CalArts, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and Laboratorio Cinematek in Tijuana, Mexico.

"For me the most exciting thing happening on the Internet now is work that makes use of the net to gather people together and create some kind of action which then takes place off the Internet, in real life so to speak. People are no longer remaining only in virtual or symbolic space any longer," she says.

Bookchin regularly exhibits her work and lectures throughout Europe and the United States. Her work is frequently covered in national and international journals including the New York Times, ArtForum, Interactive Weekly and El Pais.

In 1999-2000, Bookchin received grants for project development from Creative Capital, Creative Time, Walker Art Center, Jerome Foundation, the Media Center of Art and Design in Barcelona, the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Daniel Langlois Foundation.

For more information about this free lecture call the CSUS art department at (916) 278-6166. Media assistance is available by contacting the CSUS office of public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


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