Searching for the Truth (1999 updated in 2002)
Natalie Bookchin

i chose natalie bookchin's "searching for truth" for review because i enjoyed her piece my boyfriend came back from the war "truth", however, was a definite departure from the experimental narrative structure of "my boyfriend". instead, this piece was a little bit more satirical, a little bit more socially aggravated. There is a single column of numbers placed in descending numerical order. Each links to a different search engine site that may or not have the word "truth" typed in the search box. i'm not sure exactly how the numbers correlate with the sites except for the fact that theoretically they approximate the number of entries spit back by each site based on the query of "truth". However, when I went to the site, the top four or so, related as follows: the number of entries found from one link or listed number equaled the actual number listed above that link or listed number. For the listed numbers towards the bottom, the number links directly correlated to the entries found at their respective linked sites. anyhow, what I interpreted from the piece, or at least what it
provoked, was a commentary on modern day inquiry and exploration via technology/Internet. even more general is the message that we cannot live or know life through our computers, though it seems to a certain extent, a lot of people try. we cannot find real meaning through them, nor can we use them as proxy or host. this also raises issues of our need for immediate gratification, and how our remoteness from real life has distanced us from finding true meaning in life natalie's pieces, as many other net artworks do, play with you. it is often about the interaction and a game you must engage in. but they are much less straightforward and theyeither confound, mislead, or provoke. bookchin's correlation is clear, but her aim less so. but that is the beauty of this piece and others like it, i.e. alexi shulgin's desktop is or jennie holzer's please change beliefs

back to home