Ursula Endlicher turns code into physical form. Conversely, she imposes a physical element onto virtual systems. An Austrian-born NYC-based media artist who has worked since the early ’90s with interactive media and the Internet, she is investigating and using the – often hidden – structural components, architectures and interfaces of the networked world as topic and creative engine for her own work. By superimposing rule sets from the Internet with processes in the material world, surprising and often humorous perspectives on the “nature” of either world are discovered and further exploited. Her work combines Internet art, AR, installations, performances, environmental works and dinners; code and real-time data are determining their layout and choreographies.
Among her most well known work is “html_butoh”, an net art work for the HTML language, commissioned by one of the first leading websites supporting Internet Art, Turbulence.org. “Light and Dark Networks”, commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art for artport, populated the museum’s website with different “data performances” driven by changes in New York City’s weather and air quality. Recently, the work was also featured on Hek.ch – the website of the Haus der Elektronischen Künste, Basel, and at the Chronus Art Center, Shanghai, as part of an exhibit about the histories of net art “We-Link:Sideways”, where it utilized weather and environmental data from each location.
In Endlicher’s performative installation “FAR-FLUNG’s (fx) form”, presented at Eyebeam in NY, an “intelligent” space rewarded the audience with a re-enactment of their collective data.
Her multiple-media installations incorporate ceramics, video, data, agricultural fields and food; in one of these recent installations, “Input Field Form #2”, she transformed the Artist Residency application form – the HTML form that gathers user information through Input Fields – into an agricultural field at ChaNorth in Upstate NY during the “Process Park” residency, inviting visitors to celebrate these re-coded systems by sampling “edible HTML”.
Her latest works in the series “Input Field reversal” reflect on ecology and are interactive digital gardens that “turn” IRL vegetables and trees into interfaces driven by real-time weather data. “Input Field reversal #1” was shown at Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York from Jan – April 2022. “Input Field reversal #2” is currently shown at HEK (House of Electronic Arts) in Basel from September – November 2022 which is about the trees on the square outside HEK. A related work (also at HEK), “Custom HTML Plant Tags”, is a digital image series, accessible through an Augmented Reality experience by scanning the bark of trees outside HEK, and then access them as NFTs at HEK.editions on OBJKT. A third of each sold NFTs is donated to nature preservation.
Her work has also been exhibited and performed nationally and internationally at transmediale Berlin; SIGGRAPH Asia, Yokohama; ZERO1 Biennial; WUK, Vienna; Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; and Harvestworks, NY. Her work is part of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s artport collection.