Reactor

Cloaque’s One-Year Anniversary Project Harnesses the “Collaborative Potential of the Internet”

by Ben Valentine on February 4, 2013

Screen capture of Emilio Gomariz's contribution to "Cloaque.mov"

Screen capture of Emilio Gomariz’s contribution to “Cloaque.mov”

For the one year anniversary of the Tumblr artwork “Cloaque,” founders Claudia Maté and Carlos Sáez decided to do something a little different; they pushed their Tumblr project and added a collaborative video. In case you missed it, “Cloaque” is one of my favorite Tumblrs. It is an endless collage made possible through collaboration by notable net artists from all over the world; I wrote about it last year.

“Cloaque” is a visually stunning space that is constantly expanding as the next participant adds to the ever-growing collage. In that sense, “Cloaque.mov” is a natural progression from Tumblr into video, while keeping each artist’s particular digital aesthetic and creating seamless transitions from one contribution to the next.

cloaque.mov from cloaque on Vimeo.

“Cloaque” founders invited artists Chris Timms, Rollin Leonard, Jasper Elings, Anthony Antonellis, and Emilio Gomariz to each make a 30-second video for the project (in that order), giving them total artistic freedom. Then Sáez, with some help from DMNTIA, worked on some of the transitions, and Maté did the ending of the video, with added music by Yoshi Sodeoka over the entire piece to help set the tone.

Screen capture of Anthony Antonellis' contribution to "Cloaque.mov"

Screen capture of Anthony Antonellis’s contribution to “Cloaque.mov”

The surreal cyber quality of the entire movie is great. I especially like the segments by Antonellis and Gomariz. Antonellis’s recursive Photoshop-building computer section is pretty fun (top), and Gomariz’s “Finder Fantasy” (above) is all sorts of crazy cyber-psychedelic. “Cloaque.mov” is a great anniversary artwork. What impresses me most is how well it works within the context of the originaly Tumblr project.

Maté and Sáez are capitalizing on the collaborative potential of the internet for art production. As a social web becomes more and more immersive, the question of how art can grow out of that context is still something artists are grappling with. Maté and Sáez’s knack for getting artists from around the world to work on one project, giving each complete artistic freedom while also making something cohesive and beautiful, is a truly impressive feat — and one that hopefully we will see a lot more of in the future.

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