Inanimate Alice is used as an example of “internet art” at the Art Gallery, University of Maryland. The Art Gallery’s “Slow Reveal” -collection of links to internet art sites – was just launched yesterday.

Some of the context of internet art:

“Once the Internet emerged as a mass global communication network in the mid-1990s, artists quickly recognized the possibilities for creative innovation as well as the opportunity to question and redefine the conventions of art. The original term net.art referred to a certain group of artists: Vuk Ćosić, Jodi.org, Alexei Shulgin, Olia Lialina, and Heath Bunting, who identified themselves more as on-line activists.[1] The Internet created an opportunity for them to address some of the most pressing social and ethical issues of the day. As with cable and video in the mid-twentieth century, these artists began inserting themselves into the framework of the Internet while removing themselves from institutional art spaces.” {[1] For more information on early Internet Art, see Stallabrass, Julien. Internet art: online clash with culture and commerce. London: Tate Publishing, 2003.}

Of the works the Art Gallery links to, they say:

“The creators of digital narratives and their audience are responding to the tools of our time, in an attempt to make meaning of our everyday experiences.”

Teacher Diane Aronow provides background on students that have created work inspired by the Inanimate Alice series.

They are all high school special education students, many with learning disabilities, and many that really dislike reading and writing. When I first discovered the Inanimate Alice episodes, I thought they would be perfect for my students. I made up a Unit for them, including some ideas from the educational pack your site provides and adding some of my own ideas. The images, sound, and interactivity truly engaged them and still lent itself to “teaching” literary elements such as setting, mood, characterization. When we completed the 4 episodes, my students couldn’t stop asking, “When is Episode 5 coming out?” I finally said, “You guys are going to create your own!”  I had 4 different classes, each working as a collaborative group. They used a program called PhotoStory 3, which I’m guessing is similar to iStories. My students wished they could have had their episodes “do more”, such as moving text, or clicking on objects, etc. Overall they were happy with their results. I actually had them use an evaluative rubric to score them to see which episode “won”. It was a great learning experience.

Have a look at these links to see what the students have created.

http://aronowsenglish10.blogspot.com/
http://aronowsenglish11.blogspot.com/

Here is one example:

video

Created by LaToya S., Theresa K., Diana M., Mitchell C., Angie E.