Ed Halter's recent Artforum cover story on Guthrie Lonergan (now offline) discusses the historic context of the Nasty Nets "internet surfing club":
The bulk of Nasty Nets’ activities transpired between 2006 and 2009. The first few of those years also marked, arguably, the cultural apogee of Internet browsing itself, before such pleasures would be challenged by competing activities —- our attentions corralled into mall-like social networks, highwayed over by serial-television bingeing, or processed through a toy box of apps.
What do you mean "our," Mr. Tool of the System? In the same article Halter speaks approvingly of "defaults":
Perhaps Lonergan’s most influential work is his piece Hacking vrs. defaults chart, 2007, a two-column HTML table attempting to parse what he saw as the two main modes of Internet art at the time. The left column, titled “Hacking,” is typified by “Hacking a Nintendo cartridge to make images” (a reference to early work by [Cory] Arcangel, such as Super Mario Clouds, 2002), “Rock & Roll attitude,” and “Sophisticated breaking of technology,” and it is counterposed with “Defaults,” the right-hand column, which offers instead “Using MS Paint to make images,” “Exuberant humility,” and “Semi-naive, regular use of technology.” The chart was received as an aesthetic manifesto of its moment, even read at times as a generational line in the sand.
Jacob Ciocci also fondly references Lonergan's chart in a recent article about the New Hive platform, where he is an invited artist. New Hive encourages semi-naive, regular use of technology by ordinary mortals who want to do creative multi-media art projects without learning the ins and outs of Photoshop, GIMP, Aftereffects, CyberLink PowerDirector, Maya, etc., and is inviting artists who do know how to use these products to do guest, demonstration pages using the New Hive software. (Like many startups, such as Moot's rapidly defunct "canv.as," the idea seems to be providing media rich tools with a social community, which either will or won't take off.)
Artist participation in New Hive inspires a delicate dance of creative skepticism vs compromised sponsorship that in Ciocci's case lacks a point of view in a way that could be called, to be kind, Warholesque. When he says "I love the System, I love thinking inside the box" is he being sarcastic? Since he knows how to make art without New Hive's readymade design and media savvy, would he ever sign up for New Hive account if he hadn't been invited?
Lonergan's chart was posted before the Snowden moment, when you could use the Man's tools without having every move sent back and logged at the corporo-governmental Mother Ship (or at least, you thought you could -- this was before Facebook started blowing privacy seals and laughing in your face). Now "sophisticated breaking of technology" is looking good again, or at least, finding a way to do it that doesn't net you a short prison term.