Katie Bush’s art, buried as it is beneath Technicolor camouflage and her maze-like website, makes you search, retreat and wonder what’s around every corner. Among her online exhibits are a slide show of comic clip art, select prints, and an arcade of video collaborations with the deliciously bizarre Authority Office. The content is so subversive and nutty that you (I) can’t resist clicking absolutely everything just to see where it leads.
But work so original and entertaining is also, at first, befuddling. Don’t be daunted, for example, when you reach the “NO—a terrible mishap has occurred and only you are to blame” page. Take comfort—you are not the only idiot. The characters that populate Katie Bush’s work share your hapless vulnerability. In “all systems go” they are a trapeze artist who drops his partner (“not again!”), a portrait of a young girl and her goat, which suddenly transforms into a stack of raw steaks, a gentleman in a sitz bath (“No, I don’t like this t’all”), a bottle-fed baby ambushed by a red alligator and countless others who repeat their mistakes or fumble bad enough that they won’t have to. Or they simply hover in a complacent haze. The tiny animations are corny and delightful, illuminated by shots of dialogue clever enough to be worth straining your eyes to read the absurdly small text.
Not all of Katie Bush’s work is web-based, but her exhibitions that live on the web mock the utilitarian functions of the medium itself and the users that get trapped in them. Her page www.destroyevil.com has been an Internet treasure for years. Soon to come are lovefucklove.com and notroublemakers.com. And don’t miss the complimentary thrills to be found on her MySpace page.