Following on from last week’s chat with the creator of CCHits, we’re taking a look at another very popular Ning App – or rather, a set of Apps. The Utopia! Exhibition is both an art project and a contest in which visitors can submit and rate photographs. There are eight different divisions, each with its own App, cloned from our own very popular This Or That. The top-ranked entries in each division will be exhibited as part of Fair Exchange at the Millard Sheets Gallery, and the whole project is part of the 2006 LA County Fair. Note that the deadline for both submission and voting is this Sunday, July 2nd, at which point voting will be turned off – so if you want to take part as either an artist or voter, you’d better move fast.
This is a large and fascinating project which raises and exercises issues regarding the roles of artist, curator and viewer. It’s also a great demonstration of how relatively simple social apps can be used in new and ambitious ways. The man behind it all is Jeff Cain (pictured above right, photographed by Dercum Over). In this interview we wander through the issues raised by the project, the patterns of submissions and votes so far, and how he’s been using Ning to power it all.