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Research Salon Net art, critical text & creative freedom

Ruth Catlow
Marc Garret

3rd August 2005


Screen grabs from Furtherfield.org

The second iRes Research Salon featured Ruth Catlow and Marc Garret of Furtherfield.org. Invited by iRes Cluster Leader Kate Southworth, they discussed their individual art practice in relation to Furtherfield.org

Furtherfield.org is an online platform for the creation, promotion, and criticism of adventurous digital/net art work for public viewing, experience and interaction. It was founded by two artists Ruth Catlow and Marc Garret as a non profit organization with the aim of developing a sustainable model for the promotion and support of networked and distributed creativity.

Ruth works with people, digital and network media, sculpture, writing, music and drawing; in the streets & other public spaces and on the Internet.
Most intuitive with dirty hands, she dreams of a day when she will be able to connect to the global digital community via the Internet whilst dancing in the garden, but is resolved not to let the fantasies about tomorrow's technology distract her from the experience, reflection and expression, of the big human subjects of love, sex, community, responsibility and freedom.

The work usually connects with specific (often unsuspecting) groups of people in a distinct condition or environment i.e. on their way to work, doing the shopping, taking the kids to school, playing games etc. Or they intersect strangely with dominant and pre-established entertainment genres in the mass media such as games or pornography on the web.

Ruth is currently Associate Senior lecturer in Constructed and Virtual Environments at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, UK

Marc Garrett is an Internet artist, writer, street artist, activist, curator, educationalist and musician. In a constant state of being renascent. He share's no allegiance to any one form of art or expression. 'For me, art, or rather creativity, is an intuitive strategy that involves learning, questioning, progressive thought and putting playful explorations into action'.
Emerging in the late 80's from the streets exploring creativity via agit-art tactics, Marc declares his own and humanity's seemingly perpetual dysfunction. Consciously using unofficial platforms such as the streets, pirate radio, net broadcasts, BBS systems, performance, intervention, events, pamphlets, warehouses and gallery spaces. In the early nineties he was co-sysop with Heath Bunting for Cybercafe BBS.

Marc Garrett has embarked on many projects involving various communities internationally and locally. Has published many articles on the net, in the press, as well as various agit-punk stories. Also more recently has been Making waves with the Internet based electro-punk band 'Ouch! Those monkeys'.