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EDITIONS
Monday, 16 September, 2002, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Online art to look forward to
FW:Fwd
The videos will be updated in a few months

With the medium of internet video-on-demand continuing to fall short of its full potential, FW:Fwd presents an online exhibition of video art that succeeds by keeping things simple and not striving beyond its resources.

Anyone who has fought through the torturous, pop-up ridden seige of accessing anything on the likes of Ifilm.com will welcome FW:Fwd's accessibility.

A plain screen contains thumbnails of each video, and you simply click on one to watch.

Blissfully, there are no adverts in sight, nor any tedious format selecting - it is Quicktime or nothing.

Current (2000)
Brian Doyle's piece features the World Trade Center
First impressions of the videos themselves are patchy; a low frame-rate is disappointing, and it would have been nice to look at these clips with less jerkiness.

But they are watchable, and range from the intriguing to the pretentious to the downright odd.

Perhaps most memorable is Richard Fenwick's Artificial Worlds. This compendium of natural scenes viewed through surveillance cameras is an interesting and well-executed piece.

It utilises the format cleverly, managing the rare feat of being unusual and thought-provoking without resorting to pretentiousness.

In contrast, the tedious Would for Trees fails to make much constructive use of the medium and lets the side down somewhat.

Brian Doyle's Current comprises simple shots of ticker tape from a baseball parade, blowing around in front of the World Trade Center a year before its destruction.

Depressionismus (2001) by Jorn Staeger
You can email the artists with your views
The award-winning Depressionismus makes jarring use of frenetic special effects, whilst the animated Yellow Wallpaper features an unsettling loop of a woman crawling in circles as bits of her body melt onto the ground.

Variety is the spice of this site and the "curator" has done well to pick such a diverse bunch, which will be replaced by another eight videos in several months' time.

One aspect where FW:Fwd may be less successful is in its "viral" ambitions; despite the implications of the title, it is hard to envisage punters wanting to e-mail these shorts to their friends.

Video clip attachments are a familiar concept to bored office workers the world over, but they will always be more likely to feature 4 seconds of an amusing animal or wince-inducing skateboard accident than anything remotely lengthy and cerebral.

Still, for anyone interested in the possibilities of video art, this is more than worth a browse.

There is an impressive collection of links for further viewing, and as a further bonus you can e-mail the artists directly and tell them just how impressed you were - or not, as the case may be.

See also:

16 Sep 02 | Entertainment
12 Apr 02 | Entertainment
12 Jul 00 | Wales
12 May 99 | Entertainment
17 Aug 99 | Entertainment
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