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April 2nd 2002: Interview: Mai Ueda

[April 2nd 2002]

Photo by Miltos Manetas - Dot com art
Web domains are the new art objects. In the future people will start buying them. That's what L.A. based artist Mai Ueda (born 1978 in Osaka, Japan) told Kristine Ploug, when they spend a few days in March talking by e-mail.

Mai Ueda

3/15/02 11:59:35 AM -08.00, Mai Ueda wrote:

Hi Kristine,
Here is what I think about after contemporary art. I recently saw some contemporary artists making Flash pieces for the Whitney Biennale, most of them doesn't know what to do with flash. They can't get away from contemporary art identities, they would use letters which are talking about love or political things. Instead flash animation should be as easy as naming while programming is as difficult as theory. They should easily come out with little nice ideas for it. Miltos Manetas says that websites are the new art objects and that people should start collect them. I agree with him and I have started buying different .coms as, etc... I hope that in near future, we will be selling them very expensive, with pretty interactive pets on it.
Best, Mai

3/18/02 9:27 AM +1.00 (CET), Kristine Ploug wrote:

Hey Mai,
That's a funny idea - please fill me in about your thoughts about it, I find it very interesting. Who do you think will be willing to buy it and will it be bought as a work of art or a pet? Will there be a "feeding the pet" device attached like the Japanese artificial pet Tamagocchi that seemed to be a big deal a few years ago? In what way will the pets be interactive?
Best, Kristine

3/18/02 11:42:09 AM -08.00, Mai Ueda wrote:

It 's not a TAMAGOCCHI. It will be bought as an artwork, probably very expensive by collectors or Museums. There are already different nice pieces such as Golan Levins at etc. but people don't know yet how valuable they are and they don't even think of buying them. Even the artists don't think of selling them directly on the Web as a domain, which would be a unique piece. They would sell them as an installation with a machine and mouse with it. Very cheap taste.

3/19/02 12:27 PM +1.00 (CET), Kristine Ploug wrote:

What is gonna turn people around and start buying the Web domains as art? One thing is the museums that try to stay on top of the technological developments in art (SFMoMA and Whitney particularly) - they might follow ones it becomes popular. But what is gonna make people regard as something you buy? Doesn't Manetas also believe that all content on the net should be free to anyone. What do you personally plan to do with your domains? How do you plan to market them?
Best, Kristine

3/19/02 12:20 PM -08.00, Mai Ueda wrote:

It shouldn't be difficult, but unfortunately I don't know how will it happen. Soon there will be more pretty pieces around and people will start thinking that they want to own them...I already want to own some pieces from different artists such as, etc... but I am just not rich enough. should be free and open for the public, in the way that you can see traditional art in the Museums and galleries but the property of the piece itself can belong to a collector. I myself, just buy the domains and create a pretty image for them. Some galleries are already interested in them, they are the professionals and they should come up with a marketing plan.

3/21/02 3:02 PM +1.00 (CET), Kristine Ploug wrote:

Hey Mai,
I agree that it is the up to the gallery/museum's marketing professionals, but I find your views interesting. Plus it seems to be a very central theme these days, property rights on the net.
What I still don't quite comprehend about your project is that you are saying you want to put pretty interactive pets on your sites. However, it is nothing like a Tamagocchi. Would you elaborate on that a bit? Also, ones people buy a domain, what is gonna happen to it given that software etc. changes rapidly and the software used on the site will be obsolete in no time.
Best, Kristine

3/21/02 6:03 AM -08.00, Mai Ueda wrote:

As everything else, culture is based on emulation, the most interesting stuff will stay somehow and old stuff will disappear anyway.

More Mai Ueda
Mai Ueda at :
Photos of Mai's performance at Lyon biennial.
Photos for a French magazine Influx for their text about technology and body, they also used #16 as a cover of this issue.
A drawing little video of Mai's next performance eat the bugs.


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