Gasbook 3 & 6
'Frantic' by Shankar Barua


Gasbook came in to us from right out of the blue, as two old CDs (#3-dated 1997 and #6-dated 1999) with almost all information data aboard them in Japanese, both contained in blank cases with almost blank CD-faces. A brief attempted follow-up by us on the internet yielded very little, including old stuff from about the same period as the CDs, and e-mails (in English) sent to the few links found in these sites went unanswered.

But everything on the CDs ran just fine, making clear soon enough that these were CD-gazettes of electronic art, not very much unlike ZKM's "ArtIntact" (see contents), or even The IDEA (at least conceptually from some perspectives).

Basically, each of the Gasbook CDs is formatted as an audio & data CD, with the data-segment offering navigation through an interactive magazine/gazette of about a half dozen interactive electronic artworks ('typically' of the sort created in software like Macromedia Director). Unlike the basic CD information files in Japanese (e.g. "Read Me" or "User Support"), the actual creative works are largely in English or language-neutral.

So, here's a collection of screen-shots and brief descriptions for you (all off an iMac). Keep in mind that all of these materials, including the few animated GIFs we've created here and there for a better feel of some works, are based upon cursory exploration, and only *representative*.

Gasbook 3

Gasbook 3 opens to the object above-left twirling into existence in the centre of a black screen with touches of sparkle and dazzle. Clicking this object leads through to rapidly coalescing & disintegrating credits like that above-right.

After that comes the actual contents page of Gasbook 3 (above) with the names of individual artworks rotating in a virtual-3D ring that's mouse-controllable. A hovering mouse yields clues like the image in the upper left-hand corner, while clicking leads through to the work itself.

This seems to be a simple dress 'em up piece challenged by continuous horizontal scrolling. (*Representative GIF)

A hilarious piece of work with great background music. Originally interactive by clicking any of the four pointers to navigate through a collection of different individuals, or by clicking an individual image to switch to its alternative. (*Representative GIF)

Seems to be a font collection,.. in Japanese

A series of flowing grids froming all sorts of simple flowing patterns

A brief language lesson played out variously to make the point that spoken English is back-to-front in relation to Japanese, and/or vice versa. (*Representative GIF)

  Not sure what this is about, but basically a window one can drag across images set 'virtually' behind a black screen, with animated links to Print, change image, or Exit set here and there. (*Representative GIF)

A fun collection of slightly animated images set 'virtually' one behind the other in a grid. Clicking an element of the grid brings forward a corresponding element of the image below, independent of what one might do to/with other elements of the grid/image.

Set to music that perfectly complements the work by drawing users into clicking in time with it. (*Representative GIF)

A choice of various views/versions of the same rap dancer, any of which can be chosen to dance with the music.

Not reallly sure what this was about, but it seems to be partly on the disc and partly on the internet. (*Representative GIF)

An astronomy / astrology / stargazer / calender sort of thingamajig. (*Representative GIF)

Seems essentially to be just two collections of images

something 'extra' aboard Gasbook 3


Gasbook 6

Gasbook 6 opens as a folder-window (above), in which double-clicking anywhere in the image-grid at left just opens up the particular image-segement in Photoshop. B u t clicking the names of individual works in the central column leads stright into each.

This work noisly and repeatedly asks the user to insert an audio CD.

We didn't.

Basically, clicking inside or alongside individual segements of the form presented in the center of the screen changes the component (round, half-round, square, etc.) or makes it appear / disappear. Parameter-controls at the bottom of the screen seem to require a wee bit of patience to be explored / understood. (*Representative GIF)

Seems to be some kind of DJ device. (*Representative GIF)

Grab the white jelly blob and drag it around the black screen before tossing or just dropping it,.. with appropriate stretching, dragging, wibbling, wobbling and sound-effects all the way.

Simple, good, clean fun,.. for about a half-minute

Couldn't figure this one out, or it just wasn't working right.

The vertical bar with the little white square near the top of it just buzzed around back and forth, horizontally on the screen, with a nasty noise the while.

A sort of "movie". (*Representative GIF)