Internet art

From Academic Kids

Internet art is art or, more precisely, cultural production 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, although many artists working with the Net view video as only a component in a Software Art or meta-art system, which is very much "about" code. 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 new media art and electronic art. A few sub-genres of Internet art are software art,, 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 is no established terminology for Internet art yet. In literature, the terms Internet art, Internet-based art, net art,, Web art and "artists working with networks" are used together; not any of those names has predominated until now. Some feel the term refers to a specific group of artists working on the medium from 1994-1999; these are usually referenced as Vuk Ćosić,, 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, ][mez][ (mez breeze), Zuper (Michael Samyn), I/O/D (Collective), Frederic Madre, Eryk Salvaggio, Marc Garrett, Ruth Catlow ( or Antiorp to name but a few. Some culture producers on the Internet liken the term "net art" or "" to a pun, a recapitulation of the consumerist ideals of Pop Art and prefer project-based rather than catagorical terminology.


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 with succesfull public venues such as Adaweb directed by Benjamin Weil and [documentaX (] curated by Simon Lamuniere; broad public attention and acclaim for Internet art at that time were largely related to the dot-com mania, although some cultural producers linked this form to other contemporary art practises, such as [ØtherLands (], [Humbot 1999 (] and [UNMOVIE docs (] by collaboratives of artists, hackers, architects and writers. Art in and around computer networks has a much older history though, which can be traced back to the early 1980s, and back to the late 1960s and the "Software" show at the Jewish Museum New York. Currently, there is a stronger tendency to look at Internet-related artworks in a wider context of technological art, while artists working with networks usually prefer to be contextualized within the general contemporary art discourse, bridging real and virtual space, such as Gruppo A12, E-toy, Axel Heide, Knowbotic Research, Joseph Nechvatal, Udo Noll, Philip Pocock, Felix Stephan Huber, Wolfgang Staehle, Gregor Stehle, Florian Wenz.

Artists and projects

  • Arctic Circle ( - a Net-critical cyber-roadmovie through the Canadian Artic and along the Infobahn from 1995 by Philip Pocock and Felix Stephan Huber.
  • The ArtBoom ( - an on-going family tree of the art world started by Yucef Merhi in 1999 using the prototype of the first wristwatch-camera.
  • Museums of the Mind ( - a web project by Dr. Hugo Heyrman (Belgium): exploring the telematic future of art and mind. Online since 1995.
  • JODI, Joan Heemskerk (the Netherlands) and Dirk Paesmans (Belgium), are among 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.'
  • ØtherLands aka 'Equator' ( - the earliest database-driven online hypercinema collaboration produced by documenta x with Philip Pocock, Florian Wenz, Udo Noll, Felix Stephan Huber and Øthers. It began a series of 'situative' cyber+realspace public installations.
  • 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.
  • ( - is an evolving venue for new media artists and artwork.
  • documentaX (, the first international art event including internet art, now as an archive.
  • Ada'Web (, an important early gallery of internet art, now part of the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center.
  • Humbot ( - a 'Kohonen SOM 'movie-mapping' collaboration by Daniel Burckhardt, Gruppo A12, Udo Noll, Philip Pocock, Florian Wenz, Wolfgang Stehle.
  • Interversion (, Version : exhibitions on digital and video art held in Geneva Switzerland.
  • The story of net art (, an open-source list of net art projects organized by year of creation, 1994-2000.
  • [1] ( - commissions and exhibits internet art. Founded in 1996, it is now one of the preeminent sites for Internet art.
  • Furtherfield ( Since 1997 Furtherfield has been an online platform for the creation, promotion, and criticism of adventurous digital/net art work for public viewing, experience and interaction.
  • erational ( - generative interface and software art
  • SITO Internet art since 1993. Special focus on collaborative projects.
  • UNMOVIE ( - python/flash datoid-base cinema, a 'stage' of bots 24/7 online co-writing the Script with users, connecting to a 'stream', streaming since 10.11.2002, of poetically indexed 'found' net-videos. collaboration with Axel Heide, onesandzeros, Philip Pocock, Gregor Stehle and Øthers.
  • machfeld ( net-based and interactive art since 1999
  • computer fine arts (, online netart collection
  • ( Founded in 1995, creates work that pushes the boundaries between the corporate realms of business, art and engineering. Core members are heath bunting, rachel baker, minerva cuevas, daniel garcía andújar and marcus valentine.
  • DHD Multimedia Gallery ( Gallery of free-to-use material for art and other projects, mainly JPEG
  • ( Nascent collaborative art projects based on set themes
  • Since 1996, the first french net art revue of international reputation

See also


  • Art Servers Unlimited, ed. Manu Luksch, Armin Medosch (1998) ISBN 899858985
  • Baumgärtel, Tilman (2001). 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 :

de:netzkunst fr:Art en ligne pl:sztuka Internetu


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