tom moody

More Internet Aware Art

Let's keep talking about the phrase "internet aware art."
Two senses of the term are in use:

1) Offline art made with internet presentation and dissemination in mind. (A behavioral quirk observed by the artist* who originally coined the phrase).

2) Offline art that is influenced by online conventions, trends, and jargon. (This is mostly a theory in search of artists, where curators look for examples of non-tech art informed by tech concerns. "We know the internet must be changing art, so let's go find examples. Look, here's a sculpture that uses the letters 'OMG'--it's perfect. I'm sure the artists weren't aware that this is what we were looking for.")

Both senses of "internet aware art" are present on the Vvork website, and suspect:

An example of the first type: this installation called Turbo by Baptiste Debombourg. The sheetrock of a gallery wall bulges surrealistically like a hand or head emerging from a TV in David Cronenberg's movie Videodrome, almost to the point of touching a conveniently placed viewer. The drywall is cracking but miraculously retains its convex shape during this real space morph. Neat idea but it doesn't need to exist as a piece--you have everything you need from the installation shot. The bulge, a gallery pole, and the human for scale. It reads as instantly and dramatically as an advertising image, with the "product" being an academic soundbite about patriarchal space rendered abject. Would this have been made without vvork.com and the internet to spread it around? Yes, it could be an image in an art magazine, but would it have survived the first critic's visit who noticed the piece only "read" from a couple of angles and didn't hold up to more than a few seconds' study? Vvork means never having to explain--success is presumed.

An example that combines both types of Internet Aware Art: Also very jpeg-friendly, this installation by Martin Pfeifle, titled about:blank, consisting of stressed-past-the-point-of-cracking wood (reminiscent of Kai Vierstra's work) that appears to be circulating around the walls of a gallery space. "about:blank" is Internet jargon, a command to load a blank page into a browser, to use as an "inline" frame (an HTML page within an HTML page), which can then be modified by scripts. By calling his installation "about:blank" Pfeifle wants you to think about internet browsing and how it relates to his hand-made, three dimensional work: the gallery wall is the page; the wood is the inline frame; the cracking is--the script? A virus? Time to go read the press release.

(*Have not consulted with Guthrie Lonergan on any of this--he may hate it.)

- tom moody

March 7th, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Posted in general