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Online Exhibitions

Nicolas Sassoon, Leaving, 2009 (From Computers Club)


Ceci Moss is Rhizome's Senior Editor.


For my top 5-10, I've decided to pull together my favorite online exhibitions of internet-based art from the past 12 months.

Each week or so, Computers Club introduce a new work by an artist. Many of the Computer Clubbers have helped to define the current crop of internet-based art influenced by Larry Cuba and Tron-style computer graphics, such as Laura Brothers, Nicholas Sassoon, and Elna Frederick.

Internet Archaeology is a site devoted to the recovery of graphic artifacts found within earlier internet culture. (Think Olia Lialina's A Vernacular Web.) Their Guest Galleries section features original work using images culled from the collection by Tabor Robak, Krist Wood, Jacob Broms Engblom, Daniel Leyva, Emma Balkind, and Nasdaq 5000. My favorite piece so far is Robak's Heaven, which I posted to Rhizome not too long ago.

Run by Bay Area-based artists Caitlin Denny and Parker Ito, JstChillin's "Serial Chillers in Paradise" series is quite ambitious -- for a full year, they're knocking out a new work, in the form of a solo site, by an artist every two weeks, with an accompanying essay by Denny and Ito.

Like software, the curatorial project NETMARES & NETDREAMS signal the progression of their exhibitions through versioning. The exhibition "2.2" went live last summer, and it is loosely based on beach iconography, with a gloss of dark surrealism. A sense of the ominous pervades throughout, from Harm van den Dorpel's dizzying montage of palm trees to Michael Guidetti's loop of a rippling, virtual ocean.

Now closed, Club Internet's fall exhibition "Dissociation" was entertainingly cryptic, as I discussed in a previous post to Rhizome. Of the included works in the show, Harm van den Dorpel's Ethereal Others received the most airplay, but Christopher Pappas' RADIUS (CIRCULAR) and Ola Vasiljeva's Joan Miró were also quite intriguing.

The theme for this year's Xth Biennale de Lyon was "The Spectacle of the Everyday" -- a proposition that would be difficult to fully carry through, I think, without an online segment. Thankfully, Tolga Taluy curated a special online exhibition of internet-based art as a portion of the biennial, titled "mybiennialisbetterthanyours.com" with works by thirty-one artists, including Nicholas O'Brien, Isabelle Prim, Math Wrath, Nicolas Djandji, Raphaël Bastide, Petra Cortright, and many others.

Why + Wherefore-ians Summer Guthery, Lumi Tan, and Nicholas Weist presented two installments, one complete and one in process, of their series "7 x 7" this year - the first invited 7 publications to curate 7 shows, and the second invited 7 curators to put together 7 shows. The results are varied and unique - ranging from a gallery of Flickr photos tagged "emoticon" (by I Heart Photograph) to a selection of mp3s in which the narrator describes the visual details of an item, such as a photo or a website (by VVORK) to artworks made in Photoshop (by Josh Kline). Rhizome was a participant as well, with "The Long Gallery" curated by Brian Droitcour, a collection of works that exceeded the browser's frame horizontally.

I liked the way this show skirted the divide between online and offline exhibition -- all the works were distributed in pdf form by Private Circulation, with the intention that the recipient would print out and display the 10 "paintings" by artists AIDS 3-D, Kerstin Bratsch, Charles Broskoski, Marcel Dionne, Aleksandra Domanovic, Anders Nordby, Guillaume Pilet, Hayley Silverman, Anne de Vries, and Ulrich Wulff.

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Travis Hallenbeck Jan. 3 2010 00:13Reply

Was anyone in Computers Club specifically influenced by Larry Cuba and Tron-style computer graphics?

It seems more like a style that starts over and over again independently from use of similar tools rather than a tradition.

Just curious if anyone specifically mentioned Larry Cuba…

Peer Dassow Jan. 3 2010 04:23Reply

Travis Hallenbeck Jan. 3 2010 23:24Reply

I'm just looking for more similar artists.

Ceci Moss Jan. 4 2010 16:52Reply

Thanks for your reply, Travis! To answer your question, the Larry Cuba and Tron reference is my own read/interpretation, I felt it aptly captured the aesthetic I was attempting to describe. None of the artists from Computers Club mentioned Cuba or Tron as an influence to me directly.

> It seems more like a style that starts over and over again independently from use of similar tools rather than a tradition

That's a good point. Are the Computers Club artists I cited really using similar tools though? How close is the connection between a program like GRASS and an animation made in Flash? I don't have an educated answer for that, and I'd be interested in hearing what other people have to say about this. I also want to clarify that I wasn't trying to lay out a grand tradition of computer animation here by calling up Cuba and Tron, rather I wanted to simply point to a similarity in terms of the use of geometric forms and movement.

Parker Ito Dec. 20 2010 11:51Reply

Cool thanks and i wanna remind everyone to