History of the Web Site
Prepared for ORF Prix Ars Electronica 98 - Austria


Last Place.com started as Truly Virtual Web Art Museum. The site had been under development since April 1996 and finally went online in May 1997. The sole Web designer of the site and pages is Rodney Chang, or Pygoya the Cyberartist. Basically the computer artist of 13 years now has built his own virtual environment to present his digital works on the Web.

The virtual environment is a simulation of physical museum exhibit space. The artist attempts to recreate a similiar formal museum-going experience online. Together with his various digital works over 13 years, the audience, or online visitor, gains a new cultural experience. The site is dedicated as a mission "to contribute online cyberculture to the Internet global community".

The digital art within the site varies as one would guess through digital effort by one experimental artist since 1985. Early Computer Paintings (oil on canvases) is highlighted as the historic "computer art " exhibition at the Las Vegas Art Museum in 1990. Other works include animation, multimedia, Web-only Cybert and 3D graphic based works.

The artist also role plays as "museum curator" and scouts the Web for good digital artists and mounts exhibitions to promote the artists' works. Several internal site "webmuseums" coexist, each specific to different art forms, such as The O'Carney Webmuseum Theater for "fine arts digital animation" discovered on the Web. There is also the Mausoleum Art Museum "for all deceased artists, no matter how good or recognized the art was during the artist's lifetime".

Las Vegas Art Museum is now the sponsor of the site and uses it as its "homepage" on the Internet. LVAM is fascinated with the simulated reality of Truly Virtual Web Art Museum and its curator has proclaimed it a true Web-based "work of art" in its own right and definition. LVAM also showcases Early Computer Paintings as a precursor of online digital art, prior to the popularity of the Internet, thereby foreseeing through this exhibition the musuem's foresight of predicting the importance of digital art as an important art medium as we embark into the high tech age of the next millenium. The museum and Rodney Chang are collaborating in exploring and developing the relationship between physical and virtual exhibit museum space.

 

Cyberstaff, April 14, 1998