When Reinhold Grether emailed us about commissioning this title, we wrote back something like, "Hey thanks, but would you be disappointed if the website was, um, how can we say it...ugly? Violent?" You see, it seems that net art circa 2000/2001 can sometimes seem a bit optimistic. We want to try something a bit flawed. Reinhold wrote back something along the line of, "Sure, I trust you." Well, that's not exactly what was said, but you get the idea.
When Eryk Salvaggio sent us the website, we spoke of writing a prologue to give the work some other context. We spoke of :
  1. How throwing money into the net has made art impossible

  2. The response of the net's corporate mentality to the net's whimsy and

  3. The transfer of "virtual" goods over a "virtual" environment.

After some time, M. River jokingly pointed out that, "What we really need to explain this work is a nightmare."

That night, M. River did have a nightmare. Not your usual, wake up the next day and think, 'That was weird" but a full-frontal-wake-up-at-4am-with-your-heart-racing-in-a-fight-or-flee-mode nightmare. The following, without Freudian insight, (please no Freudian insight on this...please...) was his nightmare. Consider it to be a warning about art.

M. River's Nightmare

When I first move to New York, I worked in an art supply store called Pearl Paint. In the dream, I am in the office where they kept the cash. I am talking with my old boss. In came an employee I used to work with. He wore a handmade red superman cape. On the cape were small medals for all the retail battles he had fought. I couldn't tell him he was a fool for allowing himself to be humiliated for this minimum wage job. I felt shamed that I couldn't fix him. As we talked, a small girl with pigtails walked up the stairs to the office. I knew that she was a thief and I told her she was in the wrong place. She left the office down the long flight of wooden stairs. The next part happened quickly. A crowd of customers at the bottom of the stairs began to scream and run. I rushed down the stairs to the main retail space. The room was splattered with what looked to be raw meat. I looked up to see a ceiling fan spinning wildly. The little girl's head hung from the fan, pigtails wrapped around the blades.

And now, please enter Website Unseen #11