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banff centre-internet project

Artists Challenge Ownership and Control of Communications

To counteract the growing commercial colonization of Internet territory and
the increasing tendency of governments to impose censorship, the Walter
Phillips Gallery presents *Net Work* on the World Wide Web. Featured are
techno-pioneers Critical Art Ensemble, Australia's VNS Matrix and the
highly acclaimed Spanish artist Muntadas. Guest curator Christopher Eamon
contextualizes these projects in light of a tendency of many media artists
to work against the ownership and control of communication. By taking
advantage of the electronic proximity of people and their terminals, Net
Work attempts to create a space for critical thinking. On-line March 22,
1996 and runs until December 1996.

The artists in *Net Work* critique and explore the effects of technological
change on social and political organization. This is particularily
pertinent as the immediate unrestricted flow of information and ideas,
once hailed as the greatest promise for Net culture, is now seen in the
media and in our legislatures as a threat to the security of families and
nations. Resisting this tendency is the purpose or effect of the web
projects in this exhibition.

In *Diseases of Consciousness,* created specifically for the Walter
Phillips Gallery, Critical Art Ensemble explores psychological
disfigurations of the late twentieth century. Their forthcoming book
*Electronic Civil Disobedience and Other Unpopular Ideas*, criticizes the
naturalization of technological spectacle in our culture. It also examines,
in part, our various relations to technology, capitalist production and
accumulation. VNS Matrix makes an explicit attempt to infiltrate the domain
of male corporate techno-domination by overturning some of the prevalent
stereotypes society has about women and technology. *The File Room* by
Muntadas makes use of the web-site format and gathers information on the
censorship of artists throughout history.

Net Work is located under On-line Projects at the Walter Phillips Gallery
web site:
http://www-nmr.banffcentre.ab.ca/WPG/HomePage.html

Deep Web Home Page:

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