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ReadMe, 12-06-2002

Back in Time and Around the Globe with Just a Click

Suddenly, with the click of a mouse, you're in the middle of a battlefield during World War I. A few more clicks leads to archetypal images of a mother and child, a weather-worn diary entry, and the headshot of a beautiful woman superimposed on the animated scene of soldiers caught in the middle of a crossfire.

Nicolas Clauss has given viewers the chance to go back in time and see not only the First World War, but also the "thoughts" of the soldiers, presented as stillimages fading into the battlefield.

The intensely emotional piece, entitled The Sleepers, can be found on his website, which includes many of his varied works.

Ideally, Clauss would have his work displayed on a large screen in a dark room. "When the work is bigger than the spectator, that's the best."

However, Clauss sees many advantages to the Internet. It enables him to refresh his "gallery" easily, an aspect he enjoys since the more recent his work is, the more he likes it. After a few months, he says, "I just get bored [with] it."

Before 1999, Clauss was a painter and if asked, still refers to himself as one. "I painted for 12 years, but the Internet is cheaper, quicker, and [allows the viewer] more independence," he says. Clauss appreciates the medium for its ability to allow collaboration with people all over the world, without stepping foot outdoors.

Clauss also values the fact that anyone, anywhere can view his art. But the biggest advantage the Internet provides, according to Clauss, is intimacy-the feeling a viewer gets from the lone interaction with his art. "I really believe in that one-to-one relationship," says Clauss.

Meeta Shah

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