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Refresh: Circumstance / Choice / Chance

Erika Tan
2002
website with downloadable screensavers
web project with downloadable screensavers

Refresh: Circumstance / Choice / Chance

i>dentinet is a collection of new web-based works by contemporary artists on the theme of identity. The four artists' works, by Jananne Al-Ani, Nick Crowe, Lucy Kimbell and Erika Tan, take a subtle and reflective look at the nature and construction of identity and highlight the forces (personal, cultural and technological) that contribute to our increasingly multi-faceted images of ourselves.

Erika Tan's work explores ideas of cultural identity, cultural difference, transgression and translation. Her work for identinet, RE-FRESH_:/circumstance_/choice_/chance_/ consists of a series of downloadable screensavers and other accessories through which the user can customise the desktop of their computer. Although their original function was to protect and refresh the computer screen, screensavers are now available in endless permutations that allow people free rein to express their individuality. By encouraging users to consider a complete makeover of their computer screen, Tan highlights both the surface nature of the changes and the underlying codes and patterns that determine genetic and cultural identity.
"This current work extends this initial exploration of the internet and the computer 'inter-face' as a site for a more direct confrontation with issues both theoretical and personal related to that of identity. The work explicitly engages with different theoretical and disciplinary approaches to identity -often oppositional and highly contested, trying to navigate a personal route through the tensions between choice, prescription and context or authorship, genetics and the environment of class, culture, politics and history." -the artist
i>dentinet was commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella in collaboration with the Arts Council of England and Channel 4 Television and were produced in conjunction with a series of short films on each of the featured artists.
re-fresh:/circumstance/choice/chance has been produced in collaboration with Ian Kerrigan, Karl Bunyan and Nadine Kennedy.

Concept and research: Erika Tan
Screensaver programming: Ian Kerrigan, Karl Bunyan & Nadine Kennedy

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