Absolut Cities 1996, is a painting on paper incorporating the unique Absolut Vodka bottle contour with a composition of various major cities of the world as a backdrop. The impetus for the piece was a Absolut Vodka advertising campaign called the ANT FARM, a reference to the influential book by Kevin Kelly / Executive Editor of Wired Magazine. Located in a storefront in Venice Ca the campaign was an interactive art project examining and celebrating the burgeoning internet “super highway” coming online at the time.
Before the internet was conceivable as a platform for art and creativity a group of LA artist were selected to perform and produce art works using a computer / camera monitoring system that viewers could follow 24 hours a day on the “World Wide Web”. The technology was such that it took an hour to respond to a handful of requests and comments, but the idea of the public-at-large following and influencing the artist’s work was exciting. As jonmarc said at the time, “you really feel like you are truly in the moment, creating and communicating to a global audience.”
JME created a series of works on paper and performed live drawings in a large sketchbook while running on a treadmill as a way to communicate and evoke action with the new online audience. Rather than rely on a static format of an artist ruminating in the studio jonmarc integrated the studio as an active component to the tools and material he would use to generate a lively variety of work during his week of participation in the ANT FARM.