Refresh: The Art Of The Screensaver

October 12 - November 26, 2000
Contact: Merrill Falkenberg at 415-643-2970;

STANFORD, CA AUGUST 2000—Intel Corporation's Art and Design Research Council, in conjunction with the Stanford University Digital Art Center (SUDAC) and the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford, will present an on-line and museum exhibition entitled Refresh: The Art of the Screensaver.

Refresh transforms the screensaver into a venue for public digital art. Although screensavers no longer fulfill a utilitarian function, they remain a popular means of personalizing the generic visual space of the computer screen. While many screensavers fall into the realm of advertisement or kitsch, several artists like Jenny Holzer and Alan Rath have recently created screensavers that challenge the medium's distinct properties. Unlike web-based art that often attempts to solicit the attention and input of the viewer through flashing imagery, circuitous links and images that unfold through time, screensavers often attempt to outdo time, cycling repeatedly without beginning or end. Chosen by the user to act as both prominent image and background noise, the most effective screensavers paradoxically capture the user's attention while lulling him into an almost subconscious awareness of the moving pictures on screen.

This exhibition is unique in that it will take place both as a physical installation at the Cantor Arts Center and as a permanent on-line exhibit at ArtMuseum.Net. All works in the exhibition will be available as free downloads.

An international group of over 20 artists have created digital works for the exhibition. Participating artists include Entropy8Zuper!, winner of the SFMOMA Webby Award; Paul Pfeiffer, winner of the Whitney Museum Bucksbaum Award; painters Peter Halley, Matthew Ritchie, Chris Finley; performance artist Patty Chang, and Bay area-based artists Rebecca Bollinger, Anthony Discenza, and Harrell Fletcher.

This exhibition is co-curated by Merrill Falkenberg and James Buckhouse.