Hyperrhiz 06: Gallery

Because You Asked/When I Was President

Alan Bigelow

"Because You Asked"

"Because You Asked" (2006) is the artist's digital self-portrait in sound, text, and image. It provides the user with the opportunity to create the self-portrait, and then, if they wish, erase it. This work is a commentary on the tradition of self-portraiture and its ongoing evolution in a digital age.

"Because You Asked" is created in Flash, and uses a synthesized combination of text, images, and audio to complete the self-portrait. The piece requires that the user click on a series of buttons, appearing as icons, to proceed through the work. It is only through the user's participation that the self-portrait can be completed, and once completed, the user has the option, through tools provided on the site, to erase it.

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"When I Was President"

"When I Was President" is a portrait of absolute power as depicted by a fictional President of the United States. This President is unnamed and non-historical, that is, he has never, and could never, exist, yet what he represents is archetypal in nature and endures within the optimism, dangers, and limitations of political power.

The work is created in Flash and divided into nine sections, each of which addresses a different Presidential act of power, and its consequences. The acts of power are elemental and metaphoric--they are simultaneously absurd, idiosyncratic, and impossible, yet they seem to tell some basic truth about the promise of absolute power, and its inherent failures.

This work uses images, videos, and audio files acquired online, and modified by the artist. A credits page is included on the site.

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