StoryRooms at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester

Cornelia Sollfrank Generator



The generator uses an automatically working computer programme with which visitors can create their own artwork on the Internet on three workstations in the exhibition. By typing in a title collected material (images and texts) from the web is recombined and put together in a new website. The generated sites are then archived by the authors’ name and accessible in a gallery.

The generator does not only produce an endless number of works, but asks at the same time the essential questions on what does it mean, when there is no longer an identifiable author (artist) of a piece of work, when the creator has the chance to stay anonymous on the net? What is the material is working with, and what new forms can be developed out of it? In what context has to take place in order to be identifiable as such? Who can access it?

It is another attempt to change the focus of from creative web design to other, more hidden levels of the net. At the same time the work plays an ironic game with the widely spread idea of as web(site)art by declaring exactly those websites to be art, which have been randomly generated from online found material.

A new generator will be developed specially for the exhibition.


Background information

Cornelia Sollfrank lives and works in Hamburg and Celle. Since the mid ninties, the hacker, cyberfeminist, conceptual, and net.artist, Cornelia Sollfrank has been investigating world-wide communication networks and transfering subversice artistic strategies of the classical Avantgarde into the digital medium. The central concerns of her conceptual and performative works are to test new models of authorship, to continue artistic techniques of appropriation, and to deconstruct myths around geniality and originality. Recently Sollfrank contributed to the discourse on intellectual property. Another focus of her work is the investigation of artistic collaboration, networking, and communication as art. Furthermore most of her works show either an implicit or an explicit gender-specific apporach.

Sollfrank was founding member of the collectives frauen-und-technik and -Innen, and initiated the Cyberfemininist alliance known as Old Boys Network. She is webmaster of and, administrates her own server and runs and moderates the mailinglists [echo] art, critique and cultural politics in Hamburg and oldboys on cyberfeminism (in English). She organized the three international conferences on cyberfeminism (1997, 1999, 2001). Her project Female Extension (1997) was a hack of the first competition initiated by a museum, in which she flooded the museum's network with submissions by 300 virtual female net artists. She has invented the generators which automatically produce art on demand. Her project Improved Tele-vision is an intervention into Arnold Schoenberg's composition 'Verklaerte Nacht' and consists of two parts: an online audio platform, as well as a sound installation. She published the readers first Cyberfeminist International (1988) and next Cyberfeminist International (1999). In 1999/2000 Sollfrank produced a body of work on the subject of 'women hackers'. In 2004 the artist monograph generator Cornelia Sollfrank has been published by Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg, Germany.
Susan Collins
Paul Demarinis
Ken Goldberg
Paul Sermon
Cornelia Sollfrank
Tan Teck Weng
Andrea Zapp