ON OFF version 3.0 features a new project by Jonah Brucker-Cohen online here at afsnitp.dk and in the printed magazine Hvedekorn.
Brucker-Cohen is a native in our digital world, having worked - despite his young age - in nearly any sector of the computer and computer-related industry already: as a game designer, programmer, engineer, writer, artist.
So, we might ask, is he an artist working as a research fellow in digital technology? Or is he a computer scientist experimenting with aesthetic issues? Recycling digital culture and related issues at his website Coin-operated, and writing on digital culture for magazines like Wired, ID Magazine, Paper Magazine, and Time Out New York, Jonah Brucker-Cohen could also be described as a critic and commentator on these very same fields of expertise.
His activities are cross platform in more than a literal sense. And so should perhaps our concept be of what an artist, an engineer, a computer scientist, and a writer is at this point in the history of (digital) art?
Brucker-Cohen's project for Hvedekorn consists of a number of pages which have to be folded in a certain way for the project to appear correctly in the magazine. Hvedekorn features a Mad Magazine-style centerfold which provides a secret link to the online part of Brucker-Cohen's project, as well as an explanatory map of the online project.
Brucker-Cohen's "interactive" print pages could be considered a magazine version of his many experiments with "physical web interfaces", such as his Crank the Web (2001), a crank-driven internet connection, which recently won the 4th International Browser Day's first prize, Live Window (2001), which registers shocks in the physical surroundings, IPO Madness (2000), a slot machine which conjures up web site addresses and accesses them, Site Traffic v. 1.0 (1999), a music sequencer that can be programmed via the web and in real space, and many more.
The online part of Brucker-Cohen's project for ON OFF is the continuation of a love story that Brucker-Cohen already indicates in Hvedekorn. It is a narrative, retro-computer game style, and so Brucker-Cohen in some respects takes up the link from ON OFF v. 2.0, where Isabel Chang similarly toyed with concepts like the superficiality/complexities of love in a modern world and the escapist/liberating nostalgia of playing. For an analysis of this, please see my text Art in a Culture of Cut-Copy-and-Paste here at ON OFF.
Jonah Brucker-Cohen has recently completed a research position in Interactive Telecommunications at New York University. His projects have been exhibited at SIGGRAPH, F.I.L.E., Digital Salon, and various other exhibitions around the world. In fall 2001, Brucker-Cohen accepts a new research fellow position at Media Lab in Dublin, Ireland.
Jonah Brucker-Cohen's website is Coin-operated.com