Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kate Armstrong and Michael Tippet - Grafik Dynamo

“Grafik Dynamo!”, created by artists Kate Armstrong and Michael Tippett, is an interesting and engaging project that utilizes the content of social networking sites and remixes them into something new and entertaining. The piece makes use of RSS feeds from the networking site LiveJournal and combines the text received with an image from the photo sharing website, Flickr. Both are then inserted into one frame of a three panel comic strip, creating a possible comic out of the material. Since it almost completely random, the created images range from fitting startlingly well together to downright confusing.

The most fascinating aspect about this piece however, is the way it takes people’s images and recombines them into something brand new. All of the images and text are completely anonymous in this piece, stripped free of the identities of those who created them. The project then recombines them, creating a brand new identity from the material and causing us to question what we can consider “ours” on the Internet.

Year(s) Created: 2005

Media: Website, use of random images and text

Artist Statement

Grafik Dynamo is a net art work by Kate Armstrong & Michael Tippett that loads live images from the internet into a live action comic strip. From the time of its launch in 2005 to the end of 2008, the work used a live feed from social networking site LiveJournal. The work is currently using a feed from Flickr. The images are accompanied by narrative fragments that are dynamically loaded into speech and thought bubbles and randomly displayed. Animating the comic strip using dynamic web content opens up the genre in a new way: Together, the images and narrative serve to create a strange, dislocated notion of sense and expectation in the reader, as they are sometimes at odds with each other, sometimes perfectly in sync, and always moving and changing. The work takes an experimental approach to open ended narrative, positing a new hybrid between the flow of data animating the work and the formal perameter that comprises its structure.

Exhibition History

"Grafik Dynamo" has been available online since 2005 at the following website.


Image Sources

Photograph. Grafik Dynamo! Turbulence.org. Web. 8 Dec. 2009. http://turbulence.org/Works/dynamo/index.html.


"About." Grafik Dynamo! Turbulence.org. Web. 8 Dec. 2009. http://turbulence.org/Works/dynamo/index.html.

Colman, Allison. "Grafik Dynamo." Furtherfield.org. Furtherfield, 7 June 2005. Web. 8 Dec. 2009. http://www.furtherfield.org/displayreview.php?review_id=152.

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