Internet artInternet art
is art which uses the Internet as its primary medium and, more importantly, its subject, much like video art
uses video as its medium - but is also very much about
video. Quoting a definition by Steve Dietz, former curator in new media at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis
: Internet art projects are art projects for which the Net is both a sufficient and necessary condition of viewing/expressing/participating.
Internet art can also happen outside the purely technical structure of the internet, when artists use specific social or cultural traditions from the internet in a project outside of it. Internet art is often, but not always, interactive, participatory and based on multimedia in the broadest sense.
Internet art can take concrete form in artistic websites, e-mail projects, artistic Internet software, Internet-based or networked installations, online video, audio or radio works, networked performances and installations or performances offline. Internet art as a "movement" is part of media art and electronic art. A few sub-genres of Internet art are form art, net.radio, browser art, web-specific art, spam art and code poetry. Internet art as a subgenre is a dubious construction really, since the internet is used by all kinds of artists in many different ways. Art in general has changed or expanded through the use of the internet.
There's no established terminology for Internet art yet. In literature, the terms Internet art, Internet-based art, net art, net.art and web art are used together; not any of those names has predominated until now. Some feel the term "net.art" refers to a specific group of artists working on the medium from 1994-1999; these are usually referenced as Vuk Cosic, Jodi.org, Alexei Shulgin, Olia Lialina and Heath Bunting. This can be misleading, however, as other artists were working at the same time: Superbad (Ben Benjamin), Snarg, Zuper (Michael Samyn), and I/O/D (Collective) to name but a few.
History and context
Internet art is rooted in a variety of artistic traditions and movements. Some Internet art projects are particularly related to conceptual art, Fluxus, pop art and performance art. Internet art is also historically related to the interdisciplinary field of technology-centered or electronic art which has developed since the 1970s in research institutes and specialized art centers throughout Europe, Japan and the United States - outside the regular, "non-technological" museum and gallery circuit. Examples are the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, early network radio experiments at ORF Kunstradio, and Paris-based IRCAM, a research center for electronic music. The fact that both the computer and the internet have become a common, accessible technology has opened this formerly high tech art circuit up to a much broader field of artists.
Internet art was most visible and witnessed its peak from 1996 to 1998; broad public attention and acclaim for Internet art at that time were largely related to the dot-com mania. Art in and around computer networks has a much older history though, which can be straced back to the early eighties. Currently, there is a stronger tendency to look at Internet-related artworks in a wider context of technological art.
Artists and projects
- JODI, Joan Heemskerk (the Netherlands) and Dirk Paesmans (Belgium), are the most well-known Internet artists. Since the mid-1990s they create web projects, absurd software, game hacks and physical installations using archaic computer screen imagery, references to computer viruses, crashes and error messages. The irrational navigation principles in their works are quite confusing; they try to construct an 'anti-interface.'
- The London-based artist group I/O/D created the Web Stalker in 1998 - an alternative, simple browser which creates maps of websites instead of displaying separate pages.
- Martin Wattenbergs Idea Line is an Internet art project which... draws the timeline of a number of Internet artworks. Recommended for who wants to explore the wide variety of projects that have emerged over the past years.
- Vuk Cosic is one of the first internet artists, who uses the ascii symbols of a computer keyboard to generate his art work.
- Superbad is a collage of game shows, design artifacts and a general implosion of pop culture.
- Ada'Web, an important early gallery of internet art, now part of the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center.
- The story of net art, an open-source list of net art projects organized by year of creation, 1994-2000.
- Art Servers Unlimited, ed. Manu Luksch, Armin Medosch (1998) http://asu.sil.at ISBN 899858985
- Baumgärtel, Tilman (2001). net.art 2.0 – Neue Materialien zur Netzkunst / New Materials towards Net art. Nürnberg: Verlag für moderne Kunst. ISBN 3933096669.
- Wilson, Stephen (2001). Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science and Technology. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press. ISBN 026223209X.
- Net Art Review a daily updated site that tries to keep pace with what is happening in the world of netart: netartreview
- The syndicate network for media culture and media art : http://anart.no/~syndicate