Sun/ICA New Media Centre

"Art not Tech!" protests an early entry on the discussion page, complaining of digital seduction. But both worlds are embraced here, with evangelical inclusiveness. These pages form the online component of a "Media Centre" of which the newly wired ICA itself is also a part, along with the huddle of expensive Sun Microsystems-supplied equipment installed beneath the bar. There's a calendar of events, archive information and plans for live broadcasting of talks, while "content providers" (artists) will have their own exhibition space, with a graffiti board thrown in. An excellent introduction to hypermedia explains everything from online portfolios to computer- generated lifeforms. To log in, visitors graph their interest levels in technology and culture, repectively, to customise the site. Exemplary as an interactive gesture, though it's good to see the numerical tag defining one's place on the artistic/technical spectrum can be changed at will.

Gorilla Paintings

"Fauvisme" was the name of an art movement meaning "wild beasts", but painters Michael and Koko take things a stage further here, by being real gorillas. On display are authentic works from simian artists who, already skilled in sign language thanks to their mentors at the Gorilla Foundation in California, have turned their attention to painting. Michael is the most talented of the bunch, with his confident still life of a floral bouquet, which he has robustly entitled "Stink Gorilla More". ("stink" means flower as well as smell, in inter-species signing). The gorrila's from-memory portrait of a friendly dog is startlingly, but not vulgarly, representational, catching its movement as well as the glint in its eye. When asked to paint the emotion anger, though, an abstract expressionist daub is the result. Prints of the works are purchasable from the site - pawprints, in one case.


This is quite literally a Web site, a Shockwaved spider's web within which playful motifs from the composer's work wobble and jostle around a central flame. The approach, based on one of Ligeti's dreams, brings out all the whimsical inventiveness of this "difficult" contemporary artist. Arising from a teachers' course given by the Philharmonia Orchestra, the site is aimed primarily at children, some of whom are shown here on video, taking part in the suggested "creative activities". These can be pretty demanding: "Make your own tone cluster from either a diatonic, chromatic, whole-tone or pentatonic scale; use this to create a static sound mass; improvise a melody over this drone using the same notes." Soundclips are here from the famous Overture for Car Horns, as well as the piece lifted for the 2001 soundtrack.

Alien Resurrection

Lights! Aliens! Carnage! A promo site for the latest bout of dank corridors and gruesome biomechanics, complete with second-by-second countdown to the UK opening this Friday. Perhaps best viewed in the dark, the site opens with the snapping of fangs and the usual doomy space-industrial sounds, and provides reports from all stages of the production. There's a thorough grounding here in the business of film-making - from script preparation to the final wrap, explained with interviews and slides - while thrill-seekers are challenged in an Alien Experience game. "Remove the alien embryo growing inside you and make your escape" - perhaps to the Cargo Hold to purchase an authorised Alien baseball cap.


For global surfers without phrasebooks, this new live translation service, when up and running next year, will handle all the main European languages, with Chinese, Japanese and Russian to follow. Subscribers retrieve their chosen Web page via one of the company's proxy servers, which will then convert it as required and pass it on. E-mail, news and chat will also undergo the same "draft level" machine translation. Globalink, the designers of the system, suggest that the online version, because it is going to be continually modified, will be more accurate than their retail translation programs. There is no mention of what the translation service will cost just yet, but users registering at the site now may volunteer to take part in a free 90-day beta-test.