MAUVE DESERT: A CD-ROM TRANSLATION
Mélanie is a fifteen year-old of the memory. She steals her mother's Meteor every chance she gets and drives away from her mother's lover Lorna and toward the dawn.
Laures is the middle-aged academic who stumbles upon Mélanie's
life in a second-hand bookshop and translates her into another tongue.
Jenik is a telecommunications media artist who has been working for
over 15 years as an artist, teacher, curator, administrator, and engineer.
She received her BA in English from Douglass College, Rutgers University
and her MFA in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Prior to joining the UCSD faculty, Jenik was employed as an engineer
in the Blast Jr. development team for Disney Online's Daily Blast. Over
the past 10 years she has taught a broad range of electronic media classes
at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), UC Irvine, University
of Southern California (USC), and UCLA's New Media Lab.
From her early productions with Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish TV (1985-1990), performances with the band Snakes & Ladders,and publications with the 'zine collective SCREAMBOX (with Pam Gregg and Bryn Austin), Jenik's artistic projects have continued to straddle and trouble the borders between art and popular culture. Her video productions include the internationally exhibited video short, What's the Difference Between a Yam & a Sweet Potato? (with J. Evan Dunlap), and the award-winning live satellite TV broadcast, EL NAFTAZTECA: Cyber-Aztec TV for 2000 A.D. (with Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Roberto Sifuentes). Her work often serves as a catalyst of community and social movement and interpersonal understanding during its creation and reception. To this end, much of Jenik's work has been collectively or collaboratively produced. Distribution outlets have encompassed television, clubs, bars, and city streets in addition to screenings and events in more traditional cultural and educational venues.
the years, Jenik has consistently moved among and between media. This
insistence on expressing herself and her ideas on many levels (musical
composition and performance, math/logic/programming, poetry, drawing/painting,
videography) finds a well-suited home in her recent computer-based interactive
projects. MAUVE DESERT: A CD-ROM Translation is Jenik's internationally
acclaimed interactive road movie based on the novel Le Désert
mauve by French Canadian author Nicole Brossard. Jenik wrote, directed,
produced, edited, designed, programmed and published the disc. MAUVE
DESERT has been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival,
Festival International Nouveau Cinéma Nouveaux Médias,
the Virginia Film Festival, 2nd Annual Digital Storytelling Festival,
Melbourne International Film Festival, Centro Nacionál de las
Artes and many other venues. The work is considered a landmark piece
of interactive narrative and continues to be included in international
writing, exhibitions and curricula addressing new media and literary
Her current project, DESKTOP THEATER, is a series of live theatrical interventions and activities in public visual chat rooms developed with multi-media maven Lisa Brenneis. Inaugurated with waitingforgodot.com in 1997, DESKTOP THEATER has continued with weekly experiments and "doubly-live" presentations at venues including Digital Arts & Culture '99 in Atlanta, FutureScreen '99 in Sydney, Australia, and Urban Futures 2000 in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the interest of introducing a new model of immersive and invested play to the computer gaming field, and a new form of theatrical improvisation to the performing arts field, DESKTOP THEATER will present new work and a series of DESKTOP THEATER workshops throughout 2000-2001. Jenik is also the founder and facilitator of the Smokey Johnson Memorial Center for Research and Development. Since 1997, the Center has supported the creative efforts of artists, musicians, writers and performers through an informal program of residencies in the Mojave Desert.
Jenik's work has been reviewed and discussed in such publications as Parachute, The Independent, Jumpcut, The Village Voice, Afterimage, Art Papers, Artlink, Modern Fiction, Salon Magazine and The New York Times Online. In addition, her creative writing and essays have been published in High Performance, Felix, The L.A. Weekly, Off Video, Heresies, and The Utne Reader. Her awards include a 1997 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in New Media, and most recently, a Franklin Furnace Archives commission for the 2001 Future of the Present internet performance series.