The 24 Hour Count is a multi-media blog band made up of Colorado artists Mark Amerika, Rick Silva, and Nathaniel Wojtalik. For this 24 hour online blog performance, the artists will use a variety of media including the Internet, mobile phones, digital video and photo cameras, mini-disk recorders, musical instruments, and many computer software programs to improvisationally remix, interpret, and respond to current events while filtering their "digital readings" through the prism of Count Lautréamont's "Songs of Maldoror," a classic French text written in the 19th century and whom the Surrealists adopted as the progenitor of their significant 20th century movement.

André Breton wrote that Maldoror is "the expression of a revelation so complete it seems to exceed human potential." Little is known about Lautréamont aside from his real name (Isidore Ducasse), birth in Uruguay (1846), and early death in Paris (1870). It has been said that "Lautréamont's writings bewildered his contemporaries but the Surrealists modeled their efforts after his lawless black humor and poetic leaps of logic," exemplified by the oft-quoted slogan, "As beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella!" which has also been used as an album title by the underground UK band Nurse With Wound. Rumor has it that Maldoror's shocked first publisher refused to bind the sheets of the original edition, all of which bodes well for this 21st century remix since all of the live data transmission will take place over the net and will contain links to whatever current events happen to be developing during the duration of the performance.

The original work's prefatory warning, that "[o]nly the few may relish this bitter fruit without danger," sets the tone for the texts, images, and sounds that the 24 Hour Count promises to deliver. Processing all of their collectively accumulated creative data through a customized "Lautreamont Filter" that they will create as a procedural composition device, the artists will attempt to embody the spirit of Lautreamont as he himself unconditionally released his darkest data on to the empty white page. In this instance, the blank white page will have transformed into an electronic canvas, aka The 24 Hour Count blog website.

Tapping into the pure, psychic automatism of the collective unconscious as manifested over the World Wide Web at any given moment in time, the artists propose to express, via spontaneous writing, video and still image manipulation, sound experimentation, and customized programming codes, the associative maneuverings of the mind as it engages with our contemporary "new media condition". Impishly engaging with the latest multi-media mobile phone messaging systems means the artists can create their content wherever they happen to be located in the world. Along the way, the artists will appear to capture a collaboratively-generated thought process modeled after the biting yet lyrical voice of the Count, one that playfully relishes in maintaining its outsider status before all aesthetic preoccupation.

This distributed multi-media blog performance will take place online as the artists will be located in three different locations: Sydney, Australia, Boulder, Colorado, and Scottsdale, Arizona. For 24 hours straight, the three distributed artists will use the same blogging website as the virtual location for their ongoing multi-media jam session. The performance will coincide with the opening of the SOUTHWEST.net:Techno show and a living archive of the multi-media blog site itself will remain online both in the gallery and on the web throughout the duration of the exhibition and beyond.


Mark Amerika
, who has been named a "Time Magazine 100 Innovator" as part of their continuing series of features on the most influential artists, scientists, entertainers and philosophers into the 21st century, has recently had four retrospective exhibitions of his digital art work in London, Bilbao, Tokyo, and Sao Paulo. His epic online narrative, GRAMMATRON, was selected for the 2000 Whitney Biennial and his sound art work, PHON:E:ME, was commissioned by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art in Western Australia. The third and final project in Amerika's net art trilogy is FILMTEXT 2.0. The work was commissioned by Sony Playstation 2 for his European retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London and can be accessed at his website.

Rick Silva was born in Sao Paolo Brazil 1977. His video and net art have been exhibited internationally in such places as Tokyo, Paris, London, Sydney, Sao Paulo, and New York. Recent performances with Mark Amerika and the DJRABBI collective have taken place at the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts in Tokyo and E:VENT in London. Silva's work has been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, Libération, and the CBS Evening News.

Nathaniel Wojtalik is an artist working out of Boulder, Colorado who's work in web art, interactive sound and video installation as well as performance art has recently been exhibited at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, CU Art Museum, Quotidian Gallery and online at Histories of Internet Art: Fictions and Factions, among others.  His current research using PureData, Supercollider and the object based programming language Max/MSP/Jitter emphasizes human interactivity in digital environments.  He is responsible for organizing the nine-member experimental noise symphony called The Russian Soiree who use custom built audio and video equipment during performance. He also plays in the nationally touring band Mannequin Makeout.