Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans formed the art duo JODI in 1994. Pioneers of web-based art, they are well-known for their website jodi.org, which has become an artwork and a statement, and their artistic modifications of computer games such as Wolfenstein 3D, Quake, Jet Set Willy or Max Payne. They have also created performances, interactive installations and exhibitions.

 

Website of JODI:
wwwwwwwww.jodi.org

Artists’ statement
JODI (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans)

ISEA 97 catalogue

 

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Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans
Kaatsheuvel (Netherlands), 1968 / Brussels (Belgium), 1965

 

Joan Heemskerk studied photography at the St. Joost Academy in Breda; Dirk Paesmans studied with Nam June Paik at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf. They met at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, where they studied photography and video. In 1993, they began an eighteen-month artist residency at the electronic arts laboratory CADRE at San Jose State University in California. At CADRE, they learned about digital media and the internet. In 1994, they formed the artist’s duo JODI and the following year launched the website jodi.org, which has become their most well-known artistic project. A cryptic combination of text and images that at times only makes sense when the html code is inspected, the site established a particular visual aesthetics using basic elements and became a statement of the artist’s critical attitude towards technology. JODI subverted the logic and functionality of html pages at a time when websites were intended to convey simple and clear information, and in doing so confronted users with the underlying code and complexity of the friendly interface that had become part of their daily environment. Among the first web-based artworks created in the framework of wwwwwwww.jodi.org are Automatic Rain (1995), which was inspired by the artists’ experience in San Jose, and ASDFG (1999), a glitchy animation created by redirecting the browser between two web pages. The website was featured in the net art section of documenta X in Kassel (1997), where it attracted attention to the artist’s work.

In 1999, they began creating artistic modifications of popular computer games with SOD (1999), which transforms the visual elements of the title Wolfenstein 3D (id Software, 1992) into an almost abstract environment, maintain the original gameplay. They also created a version of Olia Lialina’s celebrated net art piece My Boyfriend Came Back From The War in 2001, as well as modifications of the computer games Quake (Untitled Game, 1999-2002), and Jet Set Willy (Jet Set Willy Variations, 2002), and Max Payne (Max Payne Cheats Only, 2004). In 2002, they began their “screen grab” period with the video installation My%Desktop (2002), which consists of recording the computer monitor while working, playing video games, or coding. They also started developing software art pieces, such as OSS (2002), which creates visual compositions based on the interactions with the computer’s desktop; and Wrongbrowser (2001-2011), which comprises eleven alternative web browsers that transform any website into a JODI interface.

As the web evolved from static html pages to dynamic, customized services, JODI continued exploring the creative possibilities of subverting online platforms such as Google Maps, which becomes a canvas for generative visual compositions in GeoGoo (2008), or YouTube, with the series of video performances Thumbing (2010). They also created software art for iOS with ZYX (2015), an app that forces the user to become a performer. In their latest artworks, JODI explore the unsettling situation of being subject to surveillance and overcome by machines in the installations \/\/iFi (2018) and XOXO (2018).

JODI has exhibited their work internationally, in numerous contemporary art venues such as Documenta X, Kassel; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; ZKM, Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Bonner Kunstverein and Artothek, Bonn; InterCommunication Center, Tokyo; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Eyebeam, New York; and Museum of the Moving Image, New York, among others. JODI has received numerous awards and distinctions, among them a 1999 Webby Award in the category Net Art, and the inaugural Prix Net Art Award, awarded by Rhizome in 2014. Their work is part of the permanent collections of the MoMA (New York), SFMoMA (San Francisco), and Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), among others.

Full archive of JODI
https://joid.org/archive/

Artworks
IDN (2015) http://idn.jodi.org/
ZYX (2014) https://zyx-app.com/
GeoGoo (2008-2015) http://geogoo.net/
Thumbing (2010) https://thumbing.org/
OSS//**** (2002) http://oss.jodi.org/os.html
Jet Set Willy Variations (2002) https://jetsetwilly.jodi.org
Wrongbrowser (2001-2011) http://wrongbrowser.com/
Untitled Game (1999-2002) https://untitled-game.org/
SOD (1999) http://sod.jodi.org/
ADFSG (1999) http://asdfg.jodi.org

References

Games in the Gallery (2018, February 27). Harvard Museums. [ENG]

JODI. Art Basel 2021 Catalogue. (2021). Amsterdam: Upstream Gallery. [ENG]

JODI at Upstream Gallery. [ENG]

Chiaverina, John (2018, July 17). “‘You Can Still Make Websites Nowadays’: A Talk with the Pioneering Internet Art Collective JODI”. ARTnews.

Connor, Michael. (2013). Required Reading: A Closer Look at JODI’s ‘Untitled Game’. Rhizome Journal.

Galloway, Alexander. (2016) Jodi’s Infrastructure. E-flux Journal #74.

Publications

2018
Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today, Eva Respini, ISBN 9780300228250 The Metainterface, Christian Ulrik Andersen and Søren Bro Pold, ISBN 978-0262037945

2017
New Gameplay, The Nam June Paik Art Center, ISBN 978-89-97128-33-4
Escaping the Digital Unease, Raffael Dörig, Domenico Quaranta, ISBN 978-3-85616-844-5 2016
IDN, by JODI, galerie West Electronic Superhighway, Edited by Omar Kholeif, ISBN 978-0-85488-246-5 2015
Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s, by Alexandra Schwartz
Works of Game. On the Aesthetics of Games and Art, by John Sharp 2014
SandWitz interviewt JODI, showroom Mama, Rotterdam
Art and the Internet, by Phoebe Stubbs, ISBN 978-1907317989

2013
Bluecloud : Live Transmission, By Dirk Paesmans/ JODI, ISBN 9788890307850
Witnessing You, on trust and truth in a networked world, Caroline Nevejan 2012
Junk Jet n°6 here and where!, ISBN-10: 3981474821
Junk Jet n°5 net-heart!, ISBN-10: 3981474813

2011
Nettitudes: Let’s Talk Net Art (Studies in Network Cultures), Josephine Bosma
Collect the WWWorld, Domenico Quaranta, ISBN-10: 1447839498 2010
The WORLD OF DIGITAL ART, Wolf Lieser, ISBN:0841671648
ART POCKET DIGITAL ART, Wolf Lieser ,ISBN: 978-3833153372
Form+Code, Casey Reas, ISBN 9781568989372

2009
This is a Magazine – Pink Laser Beam ,Milan, ISSN 1721-4904
Gamescenes: Art in the Age of Videogames, by Matteo Bittanti, ISBN 8860100100

2008
GeoGoo, Imal Springerin, issue4/08, ‹bersetzungsarbeit: aWebcra.sh/2800 ́ | Franz Thalmair Junk Jet n∞2 ,Stuttgart, ISBN 18659357
Digital Art, Christiane Paul, Thames and Hudson, ISBN 9780500203989
Holy Fire, Art of the Digital Age, ISBN 978-1470938741

2007
Videogames and Art by Andy Clarke, Grethe Mitchell, ISBN: 978-1841501420
At the Edge of Art,by Joline Blais, Jon Ippolito, Thames and Hudson, ISBN 0500238227

2006
NEW MEDIA ART (Taschen’s Basic Art Series) ISBN 3822830410
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
distribution2005 N51∞52’02” E4∞26’18” AutoRoute 1:1 (ed.)Theo Tegelaers
Spam%Spam Les Cahiers del ́espace, ISBN 2-915151-03-22004
Computing 101B,by Michael Connor (ed.) FACT , ISBN 0954693116

2005
The Sharpest Point, by Chris Gehman and Steve Reinke, ISBN: 0920397328 2004
Protocol(Leonardo Books), by Alexander R. Galloway
INTERNET ART. World of Art Series, by Rachel Greene, ISBN: 0500203768 2002
Install.exe by JODI Christoph Merian Verlag ,ISBN 3-85616-184-8
Mariosofia (about gameculture) by Erkki Huhtamo Helsinki

2001
Interaction: Artistic practice in the Network, by Amy Scholder, ISBN: 1891024248
De-game by AC Pinto Meiac Madrid
net.art 2.0 by Tilman Baumgartel Verlag fur moderne kunst Nurnberg, ISBN: 3933096669 2000
Net.Condition Peter Weibel, ISBN: 978-0262731386
DU – Zeitschrift für Kultur: Du, Nr.11, Net.Art. Rebellen im Internet Boek voor de elektronische kunst Arjen Mulder V2 Roterdam

1999
net.art by Tilman Baumgartel Verlag fur moderne kunst Nurnberg, ISBN 9783933096173
GASBOOK 06 Cdrom A&P Publishing Tokyo
ID magazine “Interactive Design issue”Browser by Liz Faber King Publishing

1998
DocumentaX shortguide Cantz verlag
Von Holzschnit bis Internet ,by Rene Hirner, Cantz verlag, ISBN 978-3-89322-352-7
Art in America April 1998
GASBOOK 05 Cdrom A&P Publishing Tokyo
 OSS/••••, CD-Rom , Mediamatic Foundation (pub), Vol. 9#2/3, Context Issue, Amsterdam
CREAM Phaidon books London, ISBN: 0714838012