Mez Breeze

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Mez Breeze is an Australian-based artist and practitioner of net.art,[1] working primarily with code poetry, electronic literature, and digital multimedia works combining text, code, image and sound. Born Mary-Anne Breeze, she uses a number of avatar nicknames,[2] including Mez[3] and Netwurker.[4] She received degrees in both Applied Social Science [Psychology] at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Australia in 1991 and Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong in Australia in 2001. In 1994, Breeze received a diploma in Fine Arts at the Illawarra Institute of Technology, Arts and Media Campus in Australia. As of May 2014, Mez is the only Interactive Writer and Artist who's a non-USA citizen to have her comprehensive career archive (called "The Mez Breeze Papers") housed at Duke University, through their David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. [1]

Work[edit]

"Mez does for code poetry as jodi and Vuk Ćosić have done for ASCII Art: Turning a great, but naively executed concept into something brilliant, paving the ground for a whole generation of digital artists."

—Florian Cramer[5]

Breeze developed, and continues to write in, the hybrid language mezangelle. Her unorthodox use of language demonstrates the ubiquity of digitisation and the intersections of the digital and the real that are increasingly common in 21st century life. As well as creating static literary texts using mezangelle, Breeze also creates multi-disciplinary multimedia works online, and participates in online happenings that blur the lines between on- and off-line behaviour.

Code poetry[edit]

"These works are not content to let code remain below the surface but rather show it erupting through the surface of the screen to challenge the hegemony of alphabetic language."

Mezangelle is a type of poetry Breeze developed in the 1990s using Internet text language found in ASCII codes, online games, and other forms of Internet communication. "Mezangelle" refers both to the works themselves and the hybrid language in which they are composed—codeworks of this sort "playfully utilize programming terminology and syntax"[7] alongside "human-only" or so-called natural language, creating a creolised language that combines human language and code. In these works, the primary message is semantically overcoded in such a way that multiple different readings are made possible. For example, the word 'mezangelle' itself is sometimes written as 'm[ez]ang.elle',[8] which itself demonstrates the ways in which punctuation and non-alphabetical symbols (in this case the period and square brackets) disrupt and erupt through the human readable language. The word "mezangelle", itself a neologism, is fractured into multiple fragments that may allude to the words '"Mez", "ez" (easy), "mangle", "angle", "angel", and "elle", along with many possible others.[9] This hybridisation of human-only and digital languages demonstrates both the reliance of human language upon connotation and context, and the inclusion of code in everyday digital communications. Breeze also creates online multimedia works, in which texts in mezangelle are combined with images and sound.[10] These works are often fragmentary or chaotic, as they rely both upon the polysemic nature of mezangelle and the inherent possibilities of computer programming for the display of dynamic audiovisual elements.

Online interventions[edit]

Breeze also explores and exploits environments that involve online socialisations or encounters.[11] Such encounters involve the modification of online gaming environments, such as World of Warcraft,[12] EVE Online, and Second Life, and social networking and alternate gaming software such as Facebook, Passively Multimedia Online Game (PMOG) and Twitter.[13] As a member of the online group Third Faction,[14] Breeze has been involved in a number of in-game projects within World of Warcraft, with the aim of disrupting and challenging the combative structure of the game. In this way, Breeze challenges the assumed binary division between the online environment and the real world, and acts to subvert the factionalised “confrontational player-vs-player interaction”[12] that the game world tries to enforce. Breeze’s use of multiple avatars for her digital works further emphasises the breakdown of the division between digital and real selves.

Exhibitions[edit]

  • Wollongong World Women Online, 1995[15]
  • ISEA, 1997 Chicago USA
  • ARS Electronica, 1997
  • The Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo Japan 1999
  • SIGGRAPH, 1999 & 2000
  • _Under_Score_, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, USA 2001
  • +playengines+, Melbourne Australia 2003
  • p0es1s, Berlin Germany 2004
  • Arte Nuevo InteractivA, Yucatán Mexico 2005
  • Radical Software, Turin Italy, 2006
  • DIWO, the HTTP Gallery London, 2007
  • Y O U . O W N . M E. N O W . U N T I L . Y O U . F O R G E T . A B O U T . M E. Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana 2008
  • New Media Scotland, 2008
  • The Laguna Art Museum California and Alternator Gallery Canada, 2009
  • Federation Square Melbourne, 2010
  • Transmediale Berlin, 2011[16]

Awards[edit]

  • VIF Prize [Germany] (2001)
  • JavaArtist of the Year (2001)
  • Newcastle Digital Poetry Prize [Australia] (2002)
  • Site Specific Index Page Competition [Italy] (2006)
  • Burton Wonderland Gallery Winner [judged by Tim Burton, Australia] (2010)[16]

Publications[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Grau, Oliver. Imagery in the 21st Century. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-01572-1. 
  2. ^ Bosma, Josephine. "Networked Media and Internet Art – Mez". Furtherfield. Furtherfield. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Augmentology 1[L]0[L]1". Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Livejournal". Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Mills, Simon. "Mez – Interview by Simon Mills". Nottingham trent University. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  6. ^ Hayles, N. Katherine. "Deeper into the Machine: Learning to Speak Digital". Computers and Composition 19. ISSN: 8755-4615.
  7. ^ Sondheim, Alan (2001). Introduction: Codeworks. American Book Review. 
  8. ^ Mez (2000). "The Art of M[ezang.elle.ing: Constructing Polysemic & Neology Fic/Factions Online". BeeHive. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Raley, Rita (2002). "Interferences: [Net.Writing and the Practice of Codework". Electronic Book Review. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Netwurker (2001). "_][ad][Dressed in a Skin C.ode_". Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  11. ^ O'Brien, Nicholas. "Mezangelle'n w/ Mez". Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Evans, Sally. "'The Anti-Logos Weapon': Excesses of Meaning and Subjectivity in Mezangelle Poetry". Cordite Poetry Review. ISSN 1328-2107. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Twitterwurk set". New Media Scotland. Retrieved 7 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Third Faction". 
  15. ^ Hight, Jeremy. "LEA New Media Exhibition Re-Drawing Boundaries Focus On: Mez". Leonardo Electronic Almanac (ISSN 1071-4391). Leonardo Electronic Almanac (ISSN 1071-4391). Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Breeze, Mez. "online resume". Retrieved 7 December 2011. 

Further reading[edit]