Simple Net Art Diagram (1997)

by MTAA

Simple Net Art Diagram, a basic GIF animation of two computers connected by a line and a flashing red lightning bolt, has become an icon of early Net Art practices. One of MTAA's earliest and most recognized works, it concisely illustrates the nebulous region inhabited by online art.

Full Description

Art made online exists solely if realized by both author and viewer, since an experience of the work is possible only once, or if, it is accessed. Until then, its location remains undefined and unmapped, without any physical manifestation. MTAA’s Simple Net Art Diagram is a concise rendition of this incorporeality, a basic GIF animation illustrating the nebulous area in which Net Art resides. The schema features two computers connected by a line and a flashing red lightning bolt, placed near a text indicating that, “The art happens here.” The viewer thus observes a reflective representation of that which they are doing at that very moment––looking at art online. In so doing, Simple Net Art Diagram pointedly emphasizes that “Net art, like Process Art, Performance art and Happenings, is less an object for contemplation than an event or action that takes place over time” (Tribe/Jana, 2006).

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Artist Statement

"The Simple Net Art Diagram simply illustrates where art happens on the net."

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