The Venice Bienniale
- Philippa Pires

Armed with the latest technology we could find, myself and two others joined the barrage of press that descended upon Venice for the 49th Exhibition of International Art. It was impossible to see everything and with a maze of streets and canals taunting us we knew we had to keep moving. In the end, it was our unwillingness to stand still, and by that I mean in line, that cost us the chance to see the Canadian Pavilion. This year Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller created an audio/visual experience titled The Paradise Institute which bagged the special jury prize. For more information visit

The following are some of the highlights:

The Slovenian Pavilion was one of the few that focused on net art. Works by Vuk Cosic, 0011010010101.ORG, and Tadej Pogacar tackled issues of copyright, and recognition of those outside the system.

In the Russian Pavilion Sergei Shutov's kneeling figures of different faiths praying in different languages left a clear impression of the similarities between the many faiths of the world.

The Romanian Pavilion, featured Context Network, a project with 5 projectors showing the works of 21 artists. Audio and visuals were directed by user interaction and sensors that picked up movements within the space.

In the French Pavilion, Pierre Huyghe's Atari Light brought back memories of the computer game Pong.

One of the more interesting installations was in The Nordic Pavilion, where a specially constructed radio transmitter picks up every radio signal out there and outputs them on one frequency. The resulting cacophony makes apparent what we don't always realise is all around us all the time.


Top:Ron Mueck - Crouching Boy
Bottom: Bogdan Achimescu - Context Network