The history of Net.Art

The Digital Canvas: The Odd and Fascinating History of Internet Art

Art is changing as the times and people are changing too. Previously, you could only experience and consume art through a middleman – museums, galleries, exhibits, and so on. However, since computers were widely available and nearly everyone in the globe got linked and online, the entire world has altered in so many ways that it is difficult to enumerate every part of life that has been impacted by them. Art has also gone digital, and not just in the sense that ancient pieces have been digitized – though they have, that isn’t the issue here.

The argument is that a new type of art has emerged: art that can only be understood and experienced online. In this sense, if we exclude the Internet, the middleman in the field of art has been eliminated for the first time.

Net. Art developed in the early 1990s when a group of artists began to explore the possibilities that the internet offered, from advertising existing work to creating new work utilizing software and browsers. These artists rapidly recognized the significance of the internet as a tool for rediscovering the inherent worth of art, free of the procedures of the art market and moving the attention from the item to the process.

The works created during this period demonstrate the internet’s dynamic and collaborative attitude inside the creative process. The internet was a new domain in which artists were free to explore novelties that existed outside of physical locations. The entire independence from the middlemen put on the artist’s work by art institutions, along with the adaptability of the internet as a medium, transformed the net.art movement into a revolution. It questioned how art was created, exchanged, marketed, and shown.

Net Artists

One of the most known net artists is Eva and Franco Mattes from New York, who goes by the identity 0100101110101101.org. Franco feigned his death by “hanging” himself in 2010 and then joined Chatroulette, a website where you may meet random interlocutors when you’re bored. The reactions from the opposite side of the camera were amazing – some of the participants chuckled, others were terrified, and some were indifferent. Eva and Franco created Darko Maver, a Yugoslavian-born artist, on several occasions in 1998. Maver became a huge success. 

His life was severely impacted by the continuing conflict, and he wandered all over this war-torn country, putting his sculptures of killed victims in abandoned buildings. Photographs of his sculptures were horrifying, and they were even shown in Bologna in 1999 as Darko Maver, Censored Works. Of course, none of this was true – Darko Maver was a fictitious character, and his “sculptures” were internet photographs Eva and Franco had acquired in various places online. Then Eva and Franco revealed that Darko Maver had been murdered during NATO bombings of Yugoslavia in 1999. As a result, a series of postmortem displays honoring Darko Maver was staged, culminating in a posthumous show at the 48th Venice Biennale.

Olia Lialina

Lialina is most known for her browser-art piece “My Boyfriend Came Back From The War,” which she created in 1996. It consists of a series of black-and-white hyperlinked pictures and text that viewers may browse through by clicking on different portions of the screen as a narrative develops. The plot is around a couple who are reunited after the war and struggle to reconnect emotionally. She admits to having an affair with her neighbor, and a marriage proposal appears. This cinematic, grainy, and GIF-like composition influenced many artists who experimented with browsers and software later on.

Final thoughts 

Nowadays, all forms of art have expanded online to the exhibition and sell exceptional pieces of art. Coletivo Amarelo is one of the online art galleries composed of emerging artists and thriving learning space. You can purchase photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures or you can participate in their events and read their blog.

Robert G. Mull

Next Post

What Do You Do When The Supreme Court Is Wrong?

Sun May 8 , 2022
Photo via Ed Post. I was taking some time off this week, the shad are running among other things. But it’s not every day a draft Supreme Court case leaks. Juicy Supreme Court leaks, at least historically, are once a decade kind of things.Related Posts:‘Art isn't about being good, it's […]
What Do You Do When The Supreme Court Is Wrong?