spring 2003
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 QUARK - 2003 TAM Digital Media Commissions

Mark Napier

When Quark loads:
Click anywhere in the black area to activate the artwork
Move the mouse to the upper left corner to open a menu
Click the blank square to clear the screen and restart
System Recommendations:
Internet Explorer/Netscape 5 or later browser, min 800x600 monitor
Statement: About Quark
In personal computers, colors are represented through the RGB color model. All colors of light can be created by combining three pure colors: red, green and blue. In the computer, colors are stored as three numeric values that describe the intensity of each of the color components, hence the name RGB for red, green and blue.

In particle physics, the Quark is considered a fundamental particle, a building block of the larger particles, such as protons and neutrons, that make up all matter. Three "strong charges" are associated with quarks and are labeled by physicists with the colors red, green and blue, in analogy with the three primary colours, red, green and blue that make white light. The story goes that Murray Gell-Mann (the physicist who discovered quarks) took the name "quark" from a line in James Joyce's 'Finnegan's Wake': "three quarks for Muster Mark". The line suggested the name to the physicist because the quarks appeared in sets of three within protons.

This artwork presents three "particles" that are connected by simulated forces. The particles both attract to one another and also repel from each other, creating a chaotic system that constantly seeks equilibrium. Each of the particles contributes either red, green or blue to an RGB color value, so that as the particles move they generate waves of color.

My goal with this work is to create a tactile and reactive "world" in which a single click results in an infinite variety of generated designs. Once activated by the visitor, these three "fundamental particles" generate a rich and complex world of responses.

Bio: Mark Napier has been creating artwork exclusively for the web since 1995. He combines his training as a painter with 15 years of expertise as a software developer to create "art interfaces", software that addresses issues of authority, ownership and territory in the virtual world.

Napier is known for his wide range of internet projects including The Shredder, an alternative browser that dematerializes the web, Digital Landfill, an endless archive of digital debris, and Feed, a web filter commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for the 010101 show. Noted for his innovative use of the web as an art medium and for his interactive artwork, Napier's work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Forbes Best of the Web, ArtByte, Wired News, Art Forum, Publish, the Guardian, the Village Voice and many international publications.

A recipient of a NYFA Fellowship (2001) and a grant from the Greenwall Foundation (2001), Napier has been commissioned to create net artwork for SFMOMA, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim, and Altoids.com. His work has been shown in the Whitney Biennial (2002), the SFMOMA 010101, the Whitney's Data Dynamics show, ZKM net_condition, the Walker's AEN show, and at new media festivals in Germany, Italy, Denmark and South America.

Credits: This work has been created with support by the Creative Capital Foundation and by The Alternative Museum.