Above: Video documentation of Altarboy Cyrille, 2003
Altarboy Cyrille is the first of two portable server-sculptures* containing a network based art work that can be sold. The sculpture contains a laptop running as web server. This means that “physically” the code of the work resides in the sculpture and can be owned by a collector or an institution as any other more classic artwork. Indeed, it is up to the collector to decide when to plug it into the web letting the public see and interact with it at a proper website (website becoming visible when the sculpture is connected to the Internet). If the server is turned off, the work can be seen privately using the data stored in its database (data collected during the days of its online activity).
The artwork running on this Altarboy is called “Cyrille” and it is the portrait of Cyrille Polla. The code constantly queries Google Images through 10 keywords Cyrille has chosen to briefly describe her personality.
The returned images are resized to 1 x 1 pixels each one and placed in her pupils in an array of almost 144 pixel-images per pupil. A series of small windows pop up around her face looping slide shows containing all the returned images for a specific keyword. The screen is equipped with a touch screen so that one can touch her eyes and launch the pop ups with the always new google images.
Altarboy Cyrille premiered during Artissima art fair in 2003 at the Galerie Analix Forever booth and it is now part of her private collection.
Code by Carlo Giordano
*the other Altarboy is Altarboy Oriana
AltarBoy is a sculpture and a web server hosting a netart work. It can be seen also as a temporary answer to topical contemporary questions such as “Is it possible to sell network-based artworks?”, “If yes, in which form?”, “How can I buy something public?” and “How can the concept of property merge with the sharing one?”