From robots to drawing machines, Cybernetic Serendipity – the first UK exhibition devoted to the love affair between arts and technology – brought together the very latest in tech arts in 1968. With a celebratory archival exhibition now on show at the ICA, we’ve been inspired to explore domain art – that playful and pointless website you stumble upon yet can’t tear your eyes off – a brilliant contemporary tech art trend. Appearing at obscure locations across the world wide web, these sites live independently at their own domain names, often without any explanation of their existence. Below we select ten domain art sites that rock the internet. Welcome to the head-spinning world of hypnotic graphics and weird ideas. Have a look and then have a lie down.
Swedish artist Jonas Lund’s “Paint Your Pizza” is pure internet genius. It offers New Yorkers the chance to use an online paint app to design their own pizza which then gets delivered to their door. Pizza designs so far range from the Ninja Turtles to the “Mona Lisa”. Pizza art perfection.
“Rorshmap Street View” is James Bridle’s secret love letter to London – a local version of his Rorshmap algorithm that feeds off Google Maps, mirroring and abstracting its view. It’s full of plane trees, cloudy skies and terraced housing. Press ‘H’ for endless spinning beauty.
Raphael Rozendaal is king of domain art, contributing new sites every few weeks. His simple concepts, neat graphics and acid colours can enthrall us for hours. “Deep Sadness” is one of his best this year – with its abstract shapes and melancholy sounds it’s woefully hypnotic.
“Brbxoxo” searches online sexcam sites broadcasting live video feed only when the performers have stepped away from their webcams. Flicking from one bedroom to the next, it’s an eerie stream of the most ordinary crumpled bed sheets and empty chairs.
Surprisingly addictive and verifiably strange “I Love You Like A Fat Lady Loves Apples” is the brainchild of Geoffrey Lillemon and Random Studio. The idea is simply to feed apples to a lady with a totally insatiable appetite. It goes on and on.
“Tarsal Bones on White Smoke” is part of Evan Roth’s No Original Research project in which he pulls GIFs from Wikipedia to make strange and enchanting websites. Each site is made from hundreds of copies of individual GIFs that load out of sync to create throbbing circular animations.
No longer satisfied with the static emoji Taylor Holland has gathered together his favourite emoji GIFs into this flashing online repository. And that’s it. Share, steal and enjoy.
“Jennifer in Paradise”, an image taken by John Knoll of his wife reclining on the beach in Bora Bora, was the very first image to be Photoshopped. Here Constant Dullaart subjects the same image to endless Photoshop filters with an accompanying sentimental soundtrack.
Angelo Plessas makes interactive animated drawings that exist on their own domains. The titles of the pieces are their domain names – complex phrases he plucks from his imagination and elsewhere. The results are pleasingly simplistic, surreal and poetic.
Not strictly domain art but a clever play on the theme, Olia Lialina’s “Summer” is a short animated loop of the artist swinging back and forth on a swing. The twist is that each of the 21 frames of the animation are hosted on different artists’ websites leading to a jerky playback as the site automatically redirects from one server to the next. Click on a link to start the cycle.