Interview with the artist by A.J. Shock & Ellen Najera-Holbein http://dtc-wsuv.org/projects/elo2016site/Archive/zellen-interview
News Wheel is an iOS app that explores the poetics of ever changing news headlines. It begins as a static disk divided into nine sections each representing a different news source. Tapping anywhere on the screen causes the wheel to spin. Another tap stops the wheel and suddenly a headline in one of nine pre-selected colors appears on the screen. This playful interface invites users to start and stop the wheel eventually filling the screen with a collage of current headlines. Individual words can be deleted and repositioned so users can create their own poems from this content. In addition, dragging one’s finger across the screen creates an animated chain of fragmented and poetic text derived from today’s headline news. Each time the application is launched, a different headline randomly appears on the screen from one of the nine different news sources. The interface is a creative and poetic way to view, juxtapose and interpret world events.
Jody Zellen is an artist working in many media simultaneously making interactive installations, mobile apps, net art, animations, drawings, paintings, photographs, public art, and artists’ books. She constantly explores non-art platforms and formats through an engagement with technology. In this vain, she has created artworks for both the internet and mobile devices. She started as a photographer who gravitated to making room-sized installations of overlapping photographs and when she discovered the internet, she became fascinated by the possibilities it offered and immersed herself in making interactive net art projects. In these projects she wanted to created the illusion of depth by layering overlapping pop-up windows on the screen. She later migrated these screen based investigations to interactive installations where she invite the viewer to choreograph their own experience by triggering sensors that activate animations and sounds within a given space. Having gone large to create installations, she has recently returned to making more intimate interactive works that can be viewed privately on the iPhone. What motivates her as an artist is to learn how to use and implement a technology (be it photography, HTML, camera vision or the iOS operating system) to enliven and activate both public and private spaces. Her work is about the relationship between what is seen and what is imagined. She aims to create visually engaging projects that draw from and reference both the media and a physical environment, like the city, while simultaneously presenting them anew.
Jody Zellen is a Los Angeles based artist working in many media who makes interactive installations, mobile apps, net art, animations, drawings, paintings, photographs, public art, and artists’ books. She received a BA from Wesleyan University (1983), a MFA from CalArts (1989) and a MPS from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (2009). Her site specific interactive installations and animations include “Time Jitters” a commission for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, SC, 2014; “The Unemployed” exhibited at Disseny Hub, Barcelona, 2011; “The Blackest Spot” created for Fringe Exhibitions, Los Angeles, 2008 and “Trigger,” commissioned by Pace University, New York, NY, 2005. Most recently she has been creating mobile apps as artworks. These projects available for free in iTunes include: “Time Jitters,” “Urban Rhythms,” “Spine Sonnet,” “Art Swipe,” “4 Square,” “Episodic” and “News Wheel.” For more information please visit: www.jodyzellen.com