Please Change Beliefs >>
Jenny Holzer

Please Change Beliefs is an expansion upon Jenny Holzer's previous experiments with her electronic "TRUISMS."

||| HIAFF 3.0 | university of colorado | department of art and art history | digital arts area | in conjunction with alt-x | atlas | blurr
[Reviews] Nothing is more public than the Internet, and for Jenny Holzer, public art is a way of life. It is therefore no surprise that she chose to do an art piece for the web. "Please Change Beliefs" is a "metascape", a work that comments on our media-saturated society and its relation to art. Holzer's work has always challenged the theories and institutions that hold art to certain definitions. For Holzer, art and its meaning are constantly changing.

Often ironic, shocking and painfully true, Holzer's statements have decorated billboards and video screens for 30 years. "Please Change Beliefs" is a digital space that displays Holzer's newest "Truisms". The simple interface offers few choices. When the site's namesake is clicked, the page turns to a list of truisms within a small, scrolling box. Instructions below encourage the participant to choose a truism and change it if they wish. Each newly submitted truism is added to a list, and each submission is tallied. By documenting each and every truism within an archive, Holzer has turned her site into a collaborative work.

Holzer's work has always been extremely powerful. It takes a lot of guts to make a statement and stick to it. As a public, interactive and constantly changing space, the Internet provides Holzer with the perfect medium for this work. The participant is seen as a fellow artist, one who can add to the richness of each statement. "Please Change Beliefs" is constantly being updated, making it more immediate and intense than any of Holzer's previous projects. New data flooding in makes the site current and the sentiments of her participants and fans are readily available.

A painting is forever static; its admirers are secure in its predictability. The only constant for Holzer, however, is change. Since the 1970's she has been critiquing and questioning society with her heavy truisms. Now Holzer chooses to use the Internet, seeing that it is a world full of incomprehensible possibilities. As an artist, Holzer looks for support and inspiration through her participants. She is able to receive feedback immediately and the participant is able to learn through her activism. Holzer has realized that life, like "Please Change Beliefs", is an ongoing process.

By Kendall Pata