Quite common are cd-roms used primarily as an optical support for storing images behind a personally designed interface for practical exhibition, the "book" made to promote the artist; hence the digital portfolio. As early as 1993, several months before [the clearing], Sammy Cucher's Cultures: From the Annotated Self was "first in a series of computer-based solo exhibitions produced by bASE.ARTS", a self-extracting Macromedia application delivered on a 3.5 diskette wrapped in a fiery red and white square card. The warmly designed envelope disguised the choice between a coldly interfaced catalogue exhibit of black and white thumbnails indexed by serial number and a non-interactive slideshow of the Venezuelan artist's photographed "garabatos".The work as a "meditative doodle inquiry into the relationship between art and science" is questionable, but the idea of sketching out a technically artistic digital scenography is budding.
Arquitecto Juan José Diaz Infante's eponymous cd-rom is a typical example of an "artist's catalogue" whose ironically awkward architecture distracts from its artistic content. His personalized interface is characterized by hand drawn "VCR buttons" already familiar to the analogue world (back, forward, stop, play) which encourage the viewer to click silently through his notebook of sketches and photos interlaced in staggering wipes of codebars, suggesting the possible maquette of a website.
Roz Dimon's Information Woman is a corporate portfolio in disguise, with the artist's "making of Info Woman" (a non-interactive Director projector which reconstitutes her finished digital canvas stroke by stroke) as a colorfully animated lure into her grab-bag of screen-click presentations. The "book"'s auto-promotional wrapper, selling it as a "very exciting digital art CD-ROM by Roz Dimon" including "a FREE copy of (...) an interactive multimedia art-game", "Dimon's technical tips so you can sharpen your skills", and "Dimon Arts, Inc.'s corporate multimedia samples for teachers and young professionals", speaks for itself. The surprise at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box is "The World's Greatest Bar Chart", a child's play of audio and visual elements which can be mixed and matched within a "multimedia" collage. When all the candy is gone, this may be a souvenir toy worth saving.