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Wunder Boys.

It used to that only magnates and maniacal rulers could pilfer enough objects to assemble a "significant collection." Today, anyone can do it: Peruse the data on the Net, download what intrigues you, and share it with others in your very own "cabinet of curiosities." After all, what's a blogger if not a Peter the Great in digital clothes?

In theory the Wunderkammer structure should work well on the Web. In reality, most sites that define themselves as Wunderkammern are more akin to junk stores than to treasure troves. Look hard enough, though and you might find gems. Case in point: Marek Walczak and Martin Wattenberg's ongoing project WonderWalker (wounderwalker.walkerart.org), a viewer-participatory critique of museums and the politics of archiving commissioned by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolls. The idea is for the visitor to insert an "object" (via a link) into a "personal cubbyhole" and then to link that object to at least one other.

Some of the more interesting links include www.randomaccessmemory.org by "Alek," a site where one can store one's memories by date, name, and subject; and www.shoah.freeonline.co.uk/801/Abduct/BettyHill. Html by "Rudie," an article by Barbara Becker posted on an alien-abduction website about "The Betty Hill Conspiracy" (a well-known 1961 abduction case). John Smith's contribution catalogue for a window maker, postings like this one cal into question Wattenberg's stated belief that people "collect with a higher standard in mind," knowing that others will look at their choices. Too bad there isn't deaccession option in the program-I bet Peter would have had one.
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Title Annotation:art on the Internet
Author:Harris, Jane
Publication:Artforum International
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Feb 1, 2001
Words:265
Previous Article:JOHN F. SIMON, JR.
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