BAD MIND TIME™ is a multi-layered, syncretic, exploration of digital art created by composer and new media artist Joey Bargsten. Using imagery that is both visceral and virtual, random and maze-like strands of narrative and quirky animation unfold before users as they explore a variety of interactive modules. As users navigate through the animated-icon interface, they are invited to administer electroconvulsive therapy, create bad poetry, paint landscapes of body parts, and explore random and interactive theatre, text, imagery, and music. A journey into the shadows cast by the digital age, BAD MIND TIME™ is interactive mind-candy in the guise of high art, or vice-versa.
A central concern in the creation of BAD MIND TIME™ was to imagine an online experience that paid homage to the artists and traditions of avant garde and outsider art in the Twentieth Century – – Dada, Lettrisme, Aleatory, Fluxus, Joyce, Cage, Duchamp, as well as experimental traditions in film, video, language, underground comics, and electronic music – – and to invite viewers into a digital, interactive extension of these traditions, without necessarily making overt references to particular genres or artists. In this manner, BAD MIND TIME™’s most receptive audience seems to be new media and web artists with an understanding of the non-digital past, although its appreciation is by no means limited to them. The blending of these often subversive and outsider-art traditions within a visual and sonic style that covers a broad range from commercial/mainstream entertainment (Robot Cat Dances™) to interactive musical modernism (Web Symphony™) to arcane visual references (Blob Sez™) to a playful dismantling of language and narrative (Let’s Get Critical™ and Dave Saga™) gives BAD MIND TIME™ its syncretism and numinous psychological undercurrent.
BAD MIND TIME™ has won awards from the Stuttgart Filmwinter Festival for Expanded Media, the New Media INVISION Competition, the International Cinema in Industry Competition, and the Broadcast Design Association International Design Awards in Los Angeles (where it beat SAMURAI JACK for the coveted Silver Award! – well, OK, ‘Adult Swim’ took the Gold, in that and almost every category that year . . .I mention all of this because that was one brief, shining moment when BAD MIND TIME™ actually nearly touched that osmotic membrane between ‘total obscurity’ and ‘zeitgeisty mainstreamness’, before tumbling irrevocably back to the proto-memic abyss). It was also included in PRINT Magazine’s Interaction 2000 Annual and in the 2002 Fluxus International Digital Festival hosted in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.