Expanded Internet Art and the Informational Milieu

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Ben Aqua, NEVER LOG OFF, 2013 (Limited edition t-shirt designed for #FEELINGS)

We are no longer mostly dealing with information that is transmitted form a source to a receiver, but increasingly also with informational dynamics—that is with the relation between noise and signal, including fluctuations and microvariations, entropic emergences and negentropic emergences, positive feedback and chaotic processes. If there is an informational quality to contemporary culture, then it might be not so much because we exchange more information than before, or even because we buy, sell or copy informational commodities, but because cultural processes are taking on the attributes of information—they are increasingly grasped and conceived in terms of their informational dynamics.

- Tiziana Terranova, Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age

Post internet[1], post media [2], post media aesthetics[3], radicant art[4], dispersion[5], formatting[6], meme art[7], circulationism[8]—all recent terms to describe networked art that does not use the internet as its sole platform, but instead as a crucial nexus around which to research, transmit, assemble, and present data, online and offline. I think all of the writers advancing these terms share a sense that since the rise of mainstream internet culture and social media, art is more fluid, elastic, and dispersed. As Lauren Cornell astutely points out in the recent  "Post Internet" roundtable for Frieze, terms are always placeholders for more complex ideas, and when successful, can instigate further, deeper conversation. Towards that end, I'd like to introduce another word to the list—expanded. Drawing from the definition of expansion as "the action or process of spreading out or unfolding; the state of being spread out or unfolded," I consider "expansion" not as an outward movement from a fixed entity, but rather, in light of data's dispersed nature, a continual becoming.[9] Expanded internet art is not viewed as hermetic, but instead as a continuously multiple element that exists within a distributed, networked system. In order to elaborate this term, and to take small steps towards thinking through the changing conditions for art production in the early 21st century, I will use Tiziana Terranova's notion of an "informational milieu" to describe the dynamic process of exchange among artist, artwork, and network.

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Assembled Texts by Harm van den Dorpel

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If rationality and consistent thought are the preferred distinguishing marks of man, then even if it is admitted that man, as a whole, also has passions, the supremacy of rational thought over them may well seem an unquestionable idea. This is all the more so, since it is quite obvious that gaining some such control is a basic condition of growing up, and even, at the extreme, of sanity. But to move from that into making such control into the ideal, rules out a priori most forms of spontaneity. And this seems to be absurd.

I would suggest to find your deepest impulse, and follow that. The notion that there is something that is one's deepest impulse, that there is a discovery to be made here, rather than a decision; and the notion that one trusts what is so discovered, although unclear where it will lead—these, rather, are the point. The combination—discovery, trust, and risk—are central to my sort of outlook, as of course they are to the state of being in love.

 

 

Although this is not print, I write in a manner that facilitates transmission in other forms such as print, spoken word, and via a screen reader. So terms such as "this article" are preferable to "this website," and I avoid terms like "click here," which makes no sense when using a screen reader, for instance. In determining what language is most suitable, it is helpful to imagine I'm writing the content for print. So my work is no longer a finished corpus, some content enclosed in an object or its margins, but a differential network, a fabric of traces referring endlessly to something other than itself, to other differential traces. The content in these traces is a glimpse of something, an encounter ...

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From Basel to Hong Kong, Don’t Miss These Dreamy Exhibitions and Events

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Katja Novitskova and Timur Si-Qin, Installation view at the Center for Curatorial Studies: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

I'm going to imagine a time in which post-internet megabucks are really rolling in, and I'm equipped with a private Rhizome Vistajet. If that time happened to be this week, I’d be sure to hit up these exhibitions and events, ranging from Katja Novitskova and Timur Si-Qin's upstate New York exhibition to Robin Peckham's new art fair excursions in Hong Kong. Check out the upcoming exhibitions listed below, with a couple outstanding shows not to be missed. 

“Bcc 9: Das Ei ohne Schale.” at Oslo10, Basel, Switzerland
Opening Thursday, May 10th at 7PM.

Is Bcc the new BYOB? Oslo10, a new exhibition space in Kunstfreilager/Dreispitz, just outside of Basel, Switzerland, will host the ninth edition of Bcc. Originated by Aurélia Defrance, Julie Grosche and Aude Pariset, who have also curated this edition, the exhibition format mandates that all artists submit their work digitally, rather than physically. Artists in this round include Harm van den Dorpel, Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, Stephen Lichty, Sara Ludy, Mélodie Mousset.

Kate Steciw, “Live Laugh Love” at The Green Room, London
Opening Friday May 11th at 6:00pm, runs through June 17

Surprisingly, this is Kate Steciw’s (much belated) first exhibition in Europe. Green Room programmer Ché Zara Blomfield seems to be aggressively bringing the work of American “internet-related” artists to London, her last exhibition mounting the work of Artie Vierkant, and previously showing Petra Cortright.

Rhizome Benefit – New York, NY
May 9th at 7pm, VIP Cocktails with a silent auction and DJ set by Venus X, 9PM, Afterparty with LE1F and Extreme Animals

Alright, this is a shoo-in, but come party with us! Support Rhizome, drink some drinks, and enjoy ...

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Rhizome Editor-at-Large Picks Top 10 for 2011

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Looking back at and consolidating the year in exhibitions is one of the more challenging tasks an art writer faces. Tracking trips to shows throughout the year, and more importantly, the evolution of your feelings about them, is a daunting, sometimes insurmountable task. While in Europe this spring and summer, I was lucky enough to view some of the exhibitions I found more momentous and personally resonant. Starting in Italy with the 54th Venice Biennale, I traveled up to Switzerland through Geneva and Basel, heading next to the UK and landing finally in Berlin. The list below reflects both personal favorites and those that I felt to be important in the confluence of art and technology.  

Josephine Pryde, “Embryos and Estate Agents: L’Arte de Vivre” at Chisenhale, London

British artist Josephine Pryde bears the unique ability to successfully navigate both photography and sculpture, two mediums which seem almost diametrically opposed. Up until this year I’d only been familiar with Pryde’s sculptures of half-finished baskets precariously suspended by butcher hooks, shown at Galerie Neu in Berlin last year; as well as her strange, oversized macro photographs of fabric, featured at Reena Spaulings in 2009. For her presentation at Chisenhale, “Embryos and Estate Agents: L’Arte de Vivre,” Pryde presented two sets of photographs. The first takes medical images of fetuses, superimposing them in Photoshop against barren desert landscapes; the second stages stock photography-style portraits of young, alternative-looking women contemplating whether or not they’re pregnant. Beyond Pryde’s fascinating material practice is her confrontation of oft-taboo, extremely personal, female-specific issues generally elided in contemporary art discourse. 

Cory Arcangel at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York  / Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin

Arcangel Fever spread around early spring 2011 as his Whitney retrospective drew near, the artist being asked by a vertiginous number of New York media outlets to grace them with pre-opening press. The show sparked some lukewarm reviews

 

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