“You probably spend hours a day staring at this screen — working, playing, talking to friends, shopping. With so many creative people spending so much time on their computers it is no surprise that the computer interface itself has become source material for contemporary art. Daily immersion in a two-dimensional space has raised an intriguing question that many contemporary artists can’t resist: what is the physicality of the screen? The ubiquitous interface experience has created a symbiosis between the metaphorical space of the computer and the physical world.
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““Wallpaper,” by Lachlan Blackley (Laurence King, $40), is a delirious catalog of work by mostly European artists and designers showing how the ornamental and the decorative play nicely as art. A two-year-old Swedish design collective, made one of the best examples, a photosensitive paper that is white until the sun hits it and then its pattern, a repeat of a still life of iconic Nordic design objects — a vase, a lamp, a mug — develops. Even better is “Rat Wallpaper,” which was actually made by gerbils, who gnawed through rolls of white paper, making a lacy pattern (the holes let a previous paper show through). “They were fantastic,” said Katja Savstrom, one of Front’s four designers. “They are really hard workers.” Sadly, both papers are still in prototype only. (E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and beg.) PENELOPE GREEN
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