BRANDON derives its title from Brandon/Teena Brandon of Nebraska, USA, agender-crossing individual who was raped and murdered in 1993 after his female anatomy was revealed. Cheang's project deploys Brandon into cyberspace through multi-layered narratives and images whose trajectory leads to issues of crime and punishment in the cross-section between real and virtual space. Conceived as a multi-artist / multi-author / multi-institutional collaboration, BRANDON will unfold over the course of the coming year, with 4 interface developed (1996-1997) for artists' participation and public intervention:

bigdoll interface
roadtrip interface
mooplay interface
panopticon interface

During 1998-1999, guest curators will be invited to select other artistsand writers to contribute additional uploads for each of these interfaces.
BRANDON is launched with a netlink between Amsterdam's Theatrum Anatomicumand The Guggenheim Museum in Soho on June 30, 1998. Two netlinked forums, Theatrum Anatomicum interface, are developed with DeWaag, Society for Old and New Media, Amsterdam.

The Brandon site is shown at regularly scheduled hours on Guggenheim Soho's videowall.

for information: Scott L. Gutterman, Director of Public Affairs.

BRANDON is curated by Matthew Drutt
Associate Curator for Research, Guggenheim Museum
produced in association with
Society for Old and New Media
Caroline Nevejan and Suzanne Oxenaar / curators;
Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue
Anna Deavere Smith and Andrea Taylor / directors
Banff Center for the Arts
Sara Diamond / director of media arts

BRANDON is part of a broader program in the media artsbeing led by John G. Hanhardt, Senior Curator of Film and Media Arts at the Guggenheim Museum.

Funding for BRANDON has been made possible by grants from The Bohen Foundation, a Moving Image Installation and InteractiveMedia Fellowship from The Rockefeller Foundation, a Computer Arts Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and in Holland, grants from The Mondriaan Foundation and the Ministry for Cultural Affairs. This project is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Challenge Program. The project is being hosted by USWeb Los Angeles.Artist in residency provided by Woo Art International (New York) and Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst.

Restoration Concept and Supervision:
Joanna Phillips, Senior Conservator of Time-based Media, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Prof. Deena Engel, Department of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University

Source Code Analysis and Restoration Prototyping:
Emma Dickson (class of 2017) and Jillian Zhong (class of 2016), students in the Department of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University

Execution of the 2016-2017 Restoration:
Emma Dickson (class of 2017), student in the Department of Computer Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, supported by Jonathan Farbowitz, Fellow for the Conservation of Computer-based Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim's initiative to Conserve Computer-based Art (CCBA) is supported by the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Christie's, and Josh Elkes.


Why was BRANDON restored in 2016-2017?
BRANDON was programmed between 1997 and 1999 and used then-current web technologies such as Java applets, CGI scripts (written in Perl), JavaScript, HTML, and PHP. Almost two decades later, some of these technologies are no longer supported by contemporary browsers, and parts of BRANDON had become corrupted or inaccessible. Before the restoration, BRANDON's many Java applets that animate text and images were not displaying properly; font types, sizes and colors were not interpreted correctly; links were broken; the Mooplay interface was inoperable and the virtual court records were not accessible through the Theatrum Anatomicum interface.

Summary of the 2016-2017 restoration:
The goal of the restoration was to reinstate BRANDON's intended online experience and interactivity as a living artwork, while preserving all functional behaviors and aesthetic properties of the work as defined by the original source code. No original code was removed, only commented out so that it is no longer executed. Every addition to the code was documented through source code annotation, version control and treatment reporting. BRANDON's Java applets were replaced with JavaScript functions and animated GIFs. Deprecated HTML tags that previously specified BRANDON's styling of text and pages were replaced with CSS styling, and HTML framesets were replaced with tables and iframes. Static user data sets were extracted from a MySQL database and integrated into the code.

How to experience BRANDON best:
BRANDON makes extensive use of popup windows. To experience BRANDON as it was originally intended, users should disable popup blocking in their web browsers. BRANDON was designed to be viewed on desktop or laptop computers and was not designed for tablets, mobile phones or other touchscreen devices.