Net.art and Hypertext
This collection presents some of the earliest works in the ArtBase, and some of the first artists to work online. Spanning from 1994 through 2004, the collection includes artist who were part of the early 90’s net.art scene, such as Alexei Shulgin, Natalie Bookchin, Heath Bunting, and Mouchette as well as web based works by artists who were not particularly affiliated with the net.art group, but are among some of the earliest artists to work online, such as Shu Lea Cheang, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, MTAA, and Barbara Lattanzi. Appropriately, the collection includes Shulgin & Bookchin’s “Introduction to net.art” – a self aware, tongue-in-cheek manifesto that emerged from the net.art scene of the 90’s. The central component of the work
is its text – a simplified beginners guide to net.art, followed by DIY instructions on how one can can become a net artist. Steps are listed such as “Preparing Your Environment”, followed by potential modes of working and genres one might adhere to for the production of successful net.art. Other sections include “What You Should Know”, “Critical Tips and Tricks for the Successful Modern net.artist”, and "Utopian Appendix (After net.art)". Full of bitter sarcasm, institutional critique, and humor, this text encapsulates the sentiment of the mid 90’s net.art scene.
"Little Movies" is a lyrical and theoretical project about the aesthetics of digital cinema, and a eulogy to its earliest form--QuickTime. The project began in 1994 when the World Wide Web was just beginning to gain mass exposure. Manovich's intention was to create cinema for the Web, employing the network limitations as a new aesthetic.
"Short Story" was the very first online artwork made by Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead. It was an experiment in hypertext, but also uses still images, which at the time of creation had only just become universally supported by commercial web browsers. "Short Story" looked at how making optional links between things might change a narrative thread - unfix it, if you like.
Much of Heath Bunting's work is unspectacular, using black text on a white background and the default blue underline of hyperlinks. This splash page is headlined "Stuff done by heath bunting over the past few years," with mini-stories about actions Bunting may or may not have undertaken. Each one includes a link to a black-and-white, low-res photographic illustration.
The Hiroshima Project is a guided tour through the World Wide Web, and research database, taking the visitor to sites that in 1995 had information about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The tour is non-linear, interactive, open-ended, and juxtaposes geographical and cultural opposites, crosses boundaries between perpetrators and victims.
Rodriguez's "Face Value" is an experimental hypertext essay exploring the relationship between social media and self-exchange. This 1996 hypertext bears relevance to our current media landscape, with excerpts such as "The participant fetishizes mediation as communication becomes faster." and "Virtual presence can only occur if the participant rejects the physical community in which the participant lives".
My boyfriend came back from the war is one of the first engaging hyper text net art narrative in which the story unfolds by clicking on images and texts in various sized windows within the frame. Created by Olia Lialina in 1996, this work will always be considered a classic.
Alexei Shulgin & Natalie Bookchin’s “Introduction to net.art” served as a self aware, tongue-in-cheek manifesto for the net.art scene of the 90’s. It offers a simplified beginners guide to net.art, followed by DIY instructions on how one can become a net artist. In 1999 this text was exhibited engraved in stone. This piece effectively embodies the transgressive, and humorously self-aware style of the early net.art scene.
Eryk Salvaggio's "Absolut Net.Art" project distills the personal stylistic tropes of a handful of standout net.art stars, effectively emulating their work through the template of absolut vodka advertisements. The project underlines the ease of style hijacking inherent in the digital realm.
-------- Original Message -------- Subject: ***Flesh&Blood*** Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 19:05:10 +0100 From: Mouchette Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: "Mouchette's fan club" Hello, I've just made some rather special portraits of myself and of my family which I would like you to see. I always said I would never show any other picture of myself than the small one on my homepage, because I was too shy, or because my parents ...
"Website Unseen" began as a list of one hundred titles for art web sites that MTAA promised to build for $US 100.00 per commission. Launched in late 1999, the project continued into 2001 when the last title was completed. In all, sixteen commissions were accepted, created, and launched under the initial opportunity.
This piece was an interactive splash page produced by Abrahams for Rhizome.org. Using the domain name of the visitors server to influence the text lay-out, and relying on user input for the content, this was one of the artist's first collective writing pieces, using forms, perl and constraints.
This piece is a representative example of the particular fast paced, non-interactive brand of hypertext pioneered by YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES in the early to mid 2000's. THE STRUGGLE C0NTINUES! ALL P0WER T0 THE PE0PLE! THR0W THE BASTARDS 0UT! JUSTICE F0R ALL! THE STRUGGLE C0NTINUES!
Shu Lea Chang's "Wallpaper" was a splash page produced for Rhizome in 1997. An excerpt from her Guggenheim commission "Brandon", it presents a grid of drawn nipples on a pale gray background with a black-painted fingernail pointing at the link to Rhizome's home page.
About This Collection
byThomson & Craighead
Untitled (splash page)
The Hiroshima Project
My boyfriend came back from the war
Introduction to net.art
byAlexei Shulgin & Natalie Bookchin
History of Art for Airports
I am not, served by
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
byYOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES
byShu Lea Cheang
The Letter and the Fly