Home Transfer

2000 - Net-art - interactive and participatory work

URL: www.hometransfer.org


• ISEA 2000, "Revelations", 10th International Symposium on Electronic Art. Forum des Images, Paris, France.
December 7 to 10, 2000.

• MECAD Media Center: "NETaforas v.3", Barcelona, Spain. May 10 to June 8, 2001.

• MEDI@TERRA_01: "De-Globalizing / Re-Globalizing". Traveling in Greece, The Balkans, Germany (Frankfurt
International Book Fair). September 16 to October 16.

• Watershed Media Center: "Net_Working". Bristol, UK. November 20 to 29, 2001.

• The Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum: "Reload", Istanbul, Turkey, 2002.

• Free Biennial, organized by Sal Randolph in New York City and globally, online, 2002.


Rhizome Art Base January 9, 2000.

Center for Contepmorary Canadan Art, Concordia University. Montreal, Canada, 2005.

ADA Archive, Danube University, Kerms, Austria, 2017.

HOME TRANSFER, created in 2000, was an ongoing interactive and participatory net-art project that inspected the relationship between home, architecture and new technologies. A dwelling made of bread and its parasitic invasion was used to reveal the participant's psychological and physiological relationship to home. Global migrants participated in redefining notions of 'home' and 'touch'.

The entire work was built using Flash and included streaming narrative videos, games containing interactive images and poetry, and participatory storytelling. Because Adobe discontinued its support of Adobe Flash Player software in December 2020 (marking the artwork’s ‘end-of-life’ in its original Flash format) this page assembles still and video screen captures of the piece as one means of preserving the content for archival purposes.

Home Transfer (2000), interactive and participatory “net-art” work. An information button led to the
project’s credits and timeline. The piece unfolded via three menus titled: GUEST, HOST and PARASITE.


HOME TRANSFER is part of a cluster of works begun in 1993 exploring new forms of nomadism and the effect on memory, place and presence. In these works ("Housebroken", “Urban Projects”, "Cultures & Ferments", “Borderlines” and "Tower-Tour"), bowls cast in bread-dough and baked by the thousands at Poilâne’s artisanal bakery in Paris, France, served various functions allowing me to explore social space. These projects created pathways of communication via participatory storytelling engaging people in physical space and on-line. The public at large and specialists in different fields of Art, Science and Humanities (Bakers, Doctors, Architects…) were invited to participate in these projects.

The bread-bowl icon used throughout these projects has the appearance of a vessel or archaeological remains. Given its material (bread), it is representative of a great technological transition in the history of humanity: the ‘agricultural revolution’ marked by the passage from the nomadic hunting and gathering stage to the sedentary stage, the start of cultivation, and the development of human settlements and societies. My intention was to address the contrasting lifestyle change brought about by the ‘technological revolution’ marked by a new form of nomadism – a type of virtual mobility in which roaming and wandering is made possible thanks to newly configured electronic architectures.

I was also interested in seeing how this phenomenon intersected with emerging practices in architecture and new technologies, prompting me to create HOME TRANSFER. The piece integrated network structures; a backdrop of electronic code; and poetic, narrative, and iconographic elements exploring new meanings associated with the expression "to feel @ home".

The work was organized into 3 interactive and participatory chapters or "containers" (to remain with the
metaphor of the bowl) titled: Guest, Host and Parasite. An introduction to the project with animations and
narrative texts was accessed via an ‘information’ button that included credits and a timeline about the genesis of the project, and its development from1993 to 2000.

Information and Timeline

Home Transfer: video capture of the Information and timeline menu.


The Guest chapter included an invitation “to share thoughts on new ways to live at home”. It showcased
streaming videos of architects who discussed a cultural paradigm in which new technological architectures
impacted aspects of domestic life. An interactive and participatory module invited online visitors to post their personal views about the new porosity between private and public spaces. An extensive archive documented answers to the question “Is this a home invasion?”. The written entries revealed the relevance of contemporary practices on feeling @ home. My aim was to build an online space for speculation. The evolving discussion was essential in building the work’s content throughout several years.

Above: screenshots of pages accessed via the "Guest" menu. They contain videos, texts, and participatory platforms that allow visitors to post narrative texts.
Below: video capture of the “Guest” chapter.


The Host chapter explored the question “How can I make you feel at home?” via an interactive game of chance whose randomized outcome influenced the emergence of poetic texts. Clicking on any one of 6 bread-bowl icons caused the random appearance of poetic texts about sensual exchanges between one body and another; phrases expressing the capacity to affect and be affected: “By opening your pores to my secrets”, “By opening my pores to your secrets”, “By letting you reveal my body’s generosity”, “By letting me reveal your body’s generosity”, “By letting you draw the color of my love”, “By letting me draw the color of your love”, “By letting you seal my scars alphabetically”, “By letting me seal your scars alphabetically”, “By breathing your name with each gesture”, “By breathing my name with each gesture”. The game was ‘won’ when all texts were revealed simultaneously. The Host chapter also included a participatory module where visitors could post answers to the question: “Tell me what makes you feel at home”. The written entries revealed contemporary notions on feeling @ home. My aim was to build an affective online space. The evolving comments were essential in building the work’s content throughout several years. Comments are assembled on monthly issues and in December 2020, the archive contained 248 issues and over 1000 vernacular comments.

Below: screenshots of pages accessed via the "Host" menu. They contain videos, texts, and participatory platforms that allow visitors to post narrative texts.
Below: screenshots of pages accessed via the "Host" menu showing the participatory platform that allow visitors to post narrative texts.
Below: video capture of the “Host” chapter.


The Parasite chapter included an invitation to ‘regulate the household invader”. The ‘invader’ in this instance was a ‘weevil’, a parasitic insect that feeds on flour and bread. The chapter began with an animated and interactive text (written from the point of view of the weevil) that took up biological relationships between host and parasite and applied them to the Internet and the home. The parasitic weevil whimsically played the part of a contaminant infiltrator --a biological impurity that metaphorically embodied the relentless threshold of “otherness.” The notion of contamination is marked by trespassing of inside and out, a mixing of what supposedly belongs and what definitely does not. Extending these ideas, I played with parasitic and viral references that cling to the Internet and with Jacques Derrida’s notion that “rhetoric itself is parasitic or viral,” and that metaphors are “the logic of contamination and the contamination of logic.” There were three interactive games in the Parasite chapter offering participants the possibility to regulate the infiltrator (the weevil) by ‘killing, ‘containing’ and/or by ‘propagating’ it. The interactive games explored how to frame invasions of boundaries, the risks of loss and deterioration, and what it means to spread and perhaps to spoil. For example, by choosing the “Kill” game, the killer was rewarded with appropriate messages: “Ouch! you‘re obviously in control!”; “Ouch! killing is a tricky hobby”; “Like you, I’m trying to deal with abundance”; “Go on, get rid of the crap in hopes of finding profitable information." By choosing the “Contain” game, the participant could catch weevils on the run and then drop them out of sight into a bowl. Participants ‘won’ the games once all the weevils had been either killed or contained. Lastly, by choosing the “Propagate” game, participants were able to help the parasites “expand, overow and occupy all!!” by sending a personalized email with a weevil animation to any number of friends and an invitation to participate in the project, thereby looping new participants into HOME TRANSFER.

Below: screenshots of pages accessed via the “Parasite” menu with interactive games.
Visitors interacted with a whimsical text written from the point of view of a parasite,
and then go on to play the “regulate the parasite' game.
Below: video capture of the “Parasite” chapter.

Project Credits:
Pat Badani, project director: concept, interface, web design, visuals, video capture, and texts (except texts by online participants). With thanks to The Canada Council for the Arts / New Media section for Presentation Grants, to online participants, and to HOME TRANSFER's Production Team: Ozgun Ozguc, Dmitry Strakovsky, Carrie Mandel, Todd Margolis and Jeff Holmes.

Note: with special appreciation to Ozgun Ozguc, Flash programmer.