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Net-Art

Read Introduction to net.art (1994-1999) for a bullet-point manifesto on the movement.


Supposed origin of the net.art term: http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-9703/msg00094.html


An observation on how net artists lose some control over their online works, by Ben Fino-Radin via Rhizome:

"Internet based digital works are affected by the most fundamental form of infrastructure: the browser. This piece of software is the user/patron/visitor's sole point of access to web based work, yet it is produced and controlled by neither artist, patron, nor collecting institution. Manufacturers of web browsers explicitly define what can and can not be accomplished within the browser window – a rapidly shifting paradigm." [1]

Open Filters

I/O/D represents the coming together of Matthew Fuller, Colin Green, and Simon Pope. The group began their Web activism in 1994, with multimedia presentations via floppy disk. Their work became infamous for engulfing a computer, reducing it to a frustrating series of seemingly random generated dialogue boxes that would often crash the system. Soon after, I/O/D made the Web its target with The Web Stalker. A new type of browser, The Web Stalker offered a completely different interface for moving through pages on the World Wide Web. The user opens a URL, then watches as the "Stalker" blows open the structure and source code for that Web site, stripping the site of all content and design, and leaving only a two-dimensional mnemonic showing a skeletal map of how the Web is linked together. [1]

I/O/D 4: The Web Stalker was a new kind of web browser that decomposed websites into separate sets of entities. The texts of the site were treated as the primary resource, but were stripped of most of their formatting. Links from one file to another were mapped in a network diagram, which allowed users to visualize their path through the clusters, skeins, and aporias of files. This Map built dynamically as a Crawler function gradually moved through the network. We saw the logical structure of websites, established by the links in and between them, as another key resource, and we wanted the software to act in a modular manner, with users calling up functions, each with their own separate window, only when they needed them. [2]

Cornelia Sollfrank is an artist who pioneered Net Art and Cyberfeminism in the 1990s.

In 1997 Sollfrank hacked the "world's first" net art competition, Extension, organized by the Hamburg Art Museum in Germany. Her work titled Female Extension involved the creation of 289 computer-generated websites created by combing the Internet and combining fragments of HTML into exquisite corpse-like websites. Each website was submitted under the name of a different artificial female artist. No women were awarded prizes, but press releases distributed by Sollfrank received widespread attention for her intervention, overshadowing the gallery's own awards.

Cornelia Sollfrank founded the organization Old Boys Network. In 1997, it organized the Cyberfeminist International at documenta x in Kassel, Germany. Old Boys Network published First Cyberfeminist International in 1998 followed by next Cyberfeminist International in 1999. Closely associated with Cyberfeminism, Sollfrank has expressed reservations that it limits the perception of her work as "womens issues". [1]

The SPEED SHOW exhibition series was conceived by the artist Aram Bartholl in June 2010. The basic idea of this exhibition format is to create a gallery like opening situation for browser based internet art in a public cyber-cafe or internet-shop for one night. The exhibition format is free and can be applied by anyone at any place. (See how to instructions)[1]

The SPEED SHOW exhibition format:

Hit an Internet-cafe, rent all computers they have and run a show on them for one night. All art works of the participating artists need to be online (not necessarily public) and are shown in a typical browser with standard plug-ins. Performance and live pieces may also use pre-installed communication programs (instant messaging, VOIP, video chat, etc). Custom software (except browser add-ons) or offline files are not permitted. Any creative physical modification to the Internet cafe itself is not allowed. The show is public and takes place during normal opening hours of the Internet cafe/shop. All visitors are welcome to join the opening, enjoy the art (and to check their email).[1]

No Fun is the video of an online performance in which we simulated a suicide and filmed viewers’ reactions. It is staged on a popular website that pairs random people from around the world for webcam-based conversations. Thousands watched him hanging from the ceiling, swinging slowly for hours, without being able to know whether it was reality or fiction. They unwittingly became the subject of the work. [1]

Laboratory provides space and support for interactive art in Spokane, Washington. What is interactive art? We want to support artistic experiences that go beyond either ‘something on a wall’ or ‘something on a stage’. We’re interested in art that creates experiences, where the viewer/user is an integral part in their own experience, where they can touch, manipulate, and, well, interact with the stuff they’re seeing. We want people to feel that art is something that they’re a part of, not just something they look at from a distance and move on. [1]

Laboratory is focused specifically on supporting the development of interactive art. So, we’re interested in artists whose work changes or reacts to audience participation, the changing environment, or other sources of real-time data. Because of this, we tend to have a lot of people who do digital/new media work, but we try hard to be open to other media too. Is your project a wall of paint that people are encouraged to come up and smudge around? A sculpture to be climbed on? Great! Basically, anything that actively involves the viewer, or relies on some kind of data, we’re all for it.[2]

Brandon Tauszik’s GIF images of black barbers in Oakland, California reveal the resolve of a group of ardent professionals. The project illuminates the position of barbers as conduits of black communities; of Oakland. Behind these portraits are the aspirations of men who are not just making a living, but who see the value of their labors in the development of black community life. Like the GIF images themselves, these men and their shops are not static. Even as they stand behind their barber’s chair with arms propped up clutching the clippers, they are constantly in motion and in tune with the comings and goings of the people in their city.[1]

References: 1. http://taperedthrone.com/

Marpi is a Polish-born, San Francisco-based artist who creates interactive, scalable work across multiple platforms in digital and physical space. In his current practice, he designs and builds vast digital ecosystems that encompass both environments and creatures that are brought into being and shaped by users. His recent work provides different windows into the same universe, where sound, gestures, and other inputs from our world provide the basis for completely new forms of life.[1]

Marpi creates work through Marpi Studios. He works with a small network of creative collaborators - designers, technologists, musicians, and others - to create exhibits, events, and other commissions throughout the world.[1]

References: 1. https://marpi.pl/about/

The Telegarden is an art installation that allows web users to view and interact with a remote garden filled with living plants. Members can plant, water, and monitor the progress of seedlings via the tender movements of an industrial robot arm.[1]

Users participate in tending a living garden using a remote industrial robot to perform simple requests such as watering, planting and viewing the garden. Users are presented with a simple interface that displays the garden from a top view, the garden from a global composite view and a navigation and information view in the form of a robot schematic. By clicking on any of the images one commands the robot to move to a new absolute location or one relative to where they just were. The robot, upon completion of the move, will return a refreshed image of the garden. In this manner one can explore the entire garden remotely using simple mouse clicks. [2]

The robot performs users requests on a first come first server bases. Because of this multiplexing of the robot more than one user can be within the garden at once. By using the member tracker overlay one can not only see who but where other members are within the garden. If they wish to communicate with these other members they can enable or enter the village square. The village square is a public message chat system where people within the garden can discuss subjects of their choice. [2]

To water the garden users align the camera image over the section of the garden to water and press the water button. This will command the robot to release a small squirt of water over the area in view. To plant a seed a user is first requested to find a spot that is relatively empty (there are no restrictions to where one can plant) and then asked to press the plant button. This will cause the robot to poke a small hole in the ground, proceed to the seed bowl, suck up a seed and deposit it back into the previously dug hole.[2]

The Telegarden is a community project where users interact not only with the garden but amongst themselves. The project was created to push the possibility of web interaction using customizable user options, chat areas, garden movie making, web cameras, etc.[2]

isthisit? is a platform for contemporary art, exhibiting over 700 artists since its creation in May 2016, founded by its current director, artist and curator Bob Bicknell-Knight. Online, it operates as a gallery producing monthly exhibitions showcasing emerging to mid-career artists, hosting a roster of guest curators experimenting with the medium of the internet to interrogate a variety of concepts. The website also hosts monthly residencies, where artists are given a web page to create new work that exists on the internet as a piece of net art. Offline, it has held exhibitions nationally and internationally and is the publisher of isthisit?, a book series released on a triannual basis.[1]

For Zombie & Mummy, Lialina and Espenschied are creating weekly episodes of a comic strip featuring the two title characters. Each episode is embedded in a colorful environment. Drawn on a Palm pilot, the cartoons themselves have a low-tech look, with no shades of gray and only 160x146 pixels per frame. They can be viewed online or downloaded for a palm device.[1]