FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc. and Postmasters Gallery are pleased to announce their collaboration in support of the latest form of the longstanding and highly successful Net Art project, Mouchette.org http://www.mouchette.org. Mouchette is a recipient of a Franklin Furnace FUTURE OF THE PRESENT 2003 residency.

Contact:
Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.
45 John Street #611
New York, NY 10038
212-766-2606
info@franklinfurnace.org

Location:
Postmasters Gallery
459 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-727-3323

Date:
April 20, 2003, 3 - 5 PM

"Mouchette" is the Net-based alter-ego of an anonymous artist whose actual identity is a closely guarded secret. Mouchette is a very young girl (not yet 13) who created her own website in October of 1996. Since then she has constantly expanded her website as she has taken part in numerous exhibitions and events in the artworld. Mouchette holds a very important presence within the NetArt community and has lectured and appeared extensively, and anonymously, in online and offline events and publications.

The power of the Mouchette persona, and its ability to provoke heated debate around contemporary political and sexual issues has once again been demonstrated in the last few days by the exchange that has taken place at http://rhizome.org. Contributors have speculated on the identity, and more particularly the gender, of the artist responsible for http://www.mouchette.org, and argued about what they have called a 'glorification of sexual abuse and a celebration of pedophilia against young girls.'

On Easter Sunday, April 20, the seven-year-old Mouchette project changes forever. The artist who created and maintains the website mouchette.org has decided that they are ready to meet their public, reveal their identity, and talk about their motives and intentions. This remarkable event will take place in an inflatable live environment especially constructed with New York artist Anakin Koenig (http://www.akairways.com/) at Postmasters Gallery, 459 West 19th Street (at 10th Avenue) New York, NY 10011, between 3 - 5 PM.

Even more remarkably, this event at Postmasters Gallery will provide an opportunity for Mouchette to give the website away. Not only will visitors meet the present artist behind the persona, they might also get to be the next one! Anyone thinking of taking the site over and becoming the new Mouchette should attend, as the current Mouchette wants to meet you in person.

The entire event will be streamed live, online from Postmasters Gallery via the NetArt Initiative's jihui salon at http://netart-init.org. Martha Wilson, Founding Director of Franklin Furnace, and Robert Ayers, British AHRC research resident at Franklin Furnace this spring will interview gallery goers.

jihui is a self-regulated digital salon that invites all interested people to send ideas for discussion/performance/etc. jihui is where your voice is heard and your vision shared. jihui is sponsored by Digital Design Department and Center for New Design @ Parsons School of Design jihui is organized by agent.netart http://agent.netart-init.org, a joint public program by NETART INITIATIVE and INTELLIGENT AGENT

THE FUTURE OF THE PRESENT is Franklin Furnace's artist residency program, founded in 1998 when Franklin Furnace transformed itself from a physical to a virtual entity. Franklin Furnace offers artists an honorarium and a residency to create "live art on the Internet" facilitated by Franklin Furnace, for a 2-4 month duration at a physical or online venue. http://www.franklinfurnace.org

POSTMASTERS, established in 1984, is a pioneering gallery firmly committed to presentation and support of new media art: http://www.postmastersart.com

THE FUTURE OF THE PRESENT 2003 is made possible by grants from Jerome Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Mouchette's participation is further supported by Funds for Visual Arts, Netherlands (Fonds BKVB), and the Mondriaan Foundation Netherlands.

Note to editors: Mouchette will be available for interview. Please email info@franklinfurnace.org for an appointment.