Tag Archives: Research

Internet Art

Internet Art: 1992 – 2014

For the last while, I’ve been thinking about the fact that the Mosaic Browser was released 20 years ago this year. It would have been 21 next year. Netscape was released 19 years ago. Notwithstanding Tim Burners-Lee’s seminal work essentially inventing the web at CERN in 1989, the Mosaic browser, to me, marks the beginning of an open and publicly accessible web.

So all of this makes 2014 a significant year for the World Wide Web. It will be 25 years old, if we count from Berners-Lee’s initial release of the idea at CERN, and a “publicly accessible” web (if one considers the Mosaic browser the first truly public manifestation of the World Wide Web) will have been around for 21 years.

    Introduction to net.art (1994-1999) - Installation: text: Natalie Bookchin and Alexei Shulgin; Stones: Blank & Jeron (1999)

Introduction to net.art (1994-1999) – Installation:
text: Natalie Bookchin and Alexei Shulgin; Stones: Blank & Jeron (1999)

Last night, in New York I was super excited to attend the Rhizome hosted discussion with The Thing, “The Internet Before the Web: Preserving Early Networked Cultures“, at the New Museum as part of their New Silent series.

In the 1990s I watched the work of The Thing from afar. I was peripherally involved in the Australian artists collective System X, who ran a dial up BBS which launched in 1990, and who still maintain the web presence of a few of the artists and projects that they hosted back then so have a particular interest in pre-web internet art. In fact as Australia gears up to host ISEA2013, it is worth looking back to TISEA in 1992, when as far as I am aware it was the first international (media) art festival to include internet art projects, including System X projects, represented founders by Jason Gee and Scot Art.

I’ve started to compile a bit of a bibliography about internet art. Of course there are dozens of articles about the topic, so this is really just a starting point. Back in the mid 1990s when I was doing my Masters in Art Administration at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, Australia, I did my interships online with System X (in fact I have to own that authored the Soundsite pages as an intern in 1994 or 1995 using simpletext and Netscape Gold!), and ArtsWire. It was an extremely novel idea to do an online internship at the time, but a lot of what I was working for my (never completed) Masters didn’t quite fit the traditional model of arts administration at the time. I was going to write about art on the internet back then, but didn’t quite get around to it. Many brilliant colleagues have done much better work since. So I’ve started to collect a few of these resources. I’d be thrilled if others would contribute more.

In light of Rhizome’s pre-web discussion last night, panelist Jason Scott, Director of BBS Documentary provides a fantastic (if a little US-centric) overview of BBS culture. Staying with the US, I thought it would also be fun to review Judy Malloy’s great summary about Arts Wire: The Arts Online Beginning in 1992: Memories of Arts Wire.

Wolfgang Staehle, founder of The Thing gave a brilliant and inspired overview of the foundations of this seminal online artist collective. I was especially moved by his remembrance of Hakim Bey’s Temporary Autonomous Zone which came out just one year prior and truly spoke to collective independent space for artists to own this new “virtual space”, if only for a moment.

Rhizome’s Digital Conservator, Ben Fino-Radin should be commended for hosting a lively discussion, but especially for being instrumental in initiating the conservation of such important early internet art material.

So, to some resources that follow on from this work. This is by no means comprehensive work. I’d love feedback and additions.

Amanda

Internet Art resources – links and collections:

Gallery 9, Steve Dietz, curator, Walker Art Center. Between 1997 and 2003, under the direction of Steve Dietz, Gallery 9 was a key venue for the exhibition and contextualization of Internet-based art.

Screenarts was an Australian resource for online screen-based project 1998 – 2003. No longer online.

Rhizome Artbase, founded in 1999, the Rhizome ArtBase is an online archive of new media art containing some 2155 art works, and growing.

Natalie Bookchin, a story of net art (open source) begun 9/99 (dates to 1993). last update 5/5/01

Robbin Murphy et al. artnetweb New York network of people and projects investigating new media in the practice of art.

Whitney Museum ArtportChristiane Paul, curator, internet art gallery and online commissioning program, since 2002

Books/ writing on internet art:

Tilman Baumgärtel, net.art 2.0. Neue Materialien zur Netzkunst. New Material on art on the internet (bi-lingual: deutsch/englisch), Nürnberg 2001

Julian Stallabrass, Internet Art. The Online Clash of Culture and Commerce. Tate Publishing. London 2003

Rachel Greene, Internet Art, Thames and Hudson, 2004

Tom Corby (ed) Network Art: Practices And Positions, Routledge, 2006

Josephine Bosma, Nettitudes – Let’s Talk Net Art, 2011

forthcoming:
Joanne McNeil, Domenico Quaranta, Art and the Internet, Edited by Phoebe Stubb.  2013

Online art exhibitions

resistant-media, an exhibition for Perspecta99: Living Here Now, a city wide exhibition in Sydney, Australia

Whitney Biennial exhibitions.

Rhizome exhibitions

Aram Bartholl et al Speedshow internet art exhibition format developed by Bartholl. 39+ shows since 2010

STATE an online exhibition platform [on tumblr] that featured new projects by artists who use the internet as a primary element in their work. June 2010 – July 2011.

Collect the WWWorld. The Artist as Archivist in the Internet Age

Internet Histories:

Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996)

Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web (London: Orion Business Books, 1999)

John Naughton, A Brief History of the Future. The Origins of the Internet, (London: Phoenix, 1999)

Online critical discussion lists and conversations:

whole earth catalogue

Jordan Crandall et al. BLAST

nettime

faces – gender, technology, and art

the thing

syndicate

Rhizome

Reblog

fibreculture

empyre

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Art/Tech/Food

Art/Tech/Food

Art/Tech/Food, a curatorial research strategy to bringing biologists, environmentalists, food activists, and molecular gastronomists, together with artists to deliver urban agricultural strategies, bio-generative art, and open source software and hardware. My intention is to deliver new research with the goal of curating an interdisciplinary programme that might include exhibitions, symposia, and associated publication(s).

I also collate research resources here on Scoop.it/ArtTechFood.

I have spent time developing this research during curatorial residencies at Bogliasco Foundation, Helsinki International Artists program (HIAP) and Pixelache residencies in Helsinki, and at Santa Fe Art Institute as part of their food justice residency cycle.

Recent projects that deal with this topic include Agrikultura, a major public art event in Malmö, Sweden in 2017; the exhibition food nostalgia, at Radiator Gallery in Long Island City, NYC, 2016; Circuit of the Senses, a celebratory meal and participatory event conceived by artist Emilie Baltz at the Bemis Center in Omaha, Nebraska in 2014; GastroLabs, a program series developed with New Media Scotland for the Edinburgh Science Festival 2014; and the exhibition CONSUME at Gallery gallery@calIT2 at the University of California, San Diego in 2012.

DIY Eat

Image: Shu Lea Cheang, DIY Eat, 2012

I am especially interested in developing a programming series that undertakes a critique of the commercialization of food production, where contemporary consumption is more likely to be watching people prepare food on television than spending time in the kitchen. Where discussion does happen it is often either inside the food justice movement, with little cultural context; or in an art context, with little discussion of policy, food justice, or broader cultural context of food production. Food is either designer-sexy, or a social justice issue, but rarely both. And there has been little exploration of the historical and contemporary trade routes of food and how they affect our cultural landscape.

As Maya Kuzmanovic from fo.am has written “Food is so much more than just a biological fuel. As a communal lubricant, food is one of the oldest cultural products, a symbol of hospitality and sharing. Over the entire plant, food rituals bring people together in gracious dances of giving and accepting, from simple family meals to festive banquets. …”

I also have the intention to provide a space to widen the discussion of our food systems to include environmental issues such as fracking, water sources, soil contamination, global warming, and labor (immigrant) exploitation. The inclusion of including artists and experts from diverse backgrounds is intended to broaden the discourse and hopefully move toward valuable and applicable models of discussion and action in a variety of different forms and to widen the dialogue to include people beyond those who currently can’t afford the time or the money it takes to negotiate this incredibly often obfuscated and confusing landscape.

As the gastronome Brillat-Savarin noted three centuries ago, “the discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness than the discovery of a new star.” Food is an essential product of our reciprocal, sustaining relationship with the environment. It is also one of the oldest cultural expressions, rooted in hospitality and sharing. As concerns for the planet and the quality of our life upon it intensify, there is no more immediate concern than that which we put into our mouths one or more times a day and the pressures these acts place on the larger systems that sustain us.

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Open Culture

data visualization from Hip Hop Word Count by Tahir Hemphill

data visualization from Hip Hop Word Count by Tahir Hemphill

As Director at Eyebeam art + technology center, building on the work of the Open Lab and its predecessor the R&D Lab, we established an Open Culture Research Group in 2008 to explore the history of craft traditions, free software, open source, creative commons, and other models of shared, open culture.

Part of an Open Culture, is the culture of sharing, so we regularly organized skillshares about a range of issues: from how to share your wifi safely, to how to best advocate for open licensing among artists and visual makers.

Projects developed by Fellows ranged from Ayah Bdeir‘s littleBits, which has gone on to be a major successful open hardware business, Limor Fried research which led her to establish the highly successful Adafruit Industries, and Zach Lieberman and Theo Watson‘s work further developing Open Frameworks, a c++ library designed to assist the creative process by providing a simple and intuitive framework for experimentation, with the OF community.

Resident artist Dustyn Roberts published Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists, published by McGraw-Hill in 2010. Fellow Michael Mandiberg and artist xtine burrough published Digital Foundations: an Intro to Media Design with the Adobe Creative Suite with AIGA Design Press/New Riders under a CC license (a first for the publisher.) Mandiberg was also a lead artist on writing Collaborative Futures, a book first created by 6 core collaborators, as an experimental five day Book Sprint in January 2010.

Resident artist Tahir Hemphill developed Hip Hop Word Count, a project which he used as a tool to establish the The Rap Research Lab as a place for teaching art, design, data analysis and data visualization to students using a project based curriculum that visualizes Hip Hop as a cultural indicator.

Exhibitions that explored Open Culture included: Open City: Tools for Public Action – a glimpse into the current media and tactics of artists who take their practices into the street,conceived and developed by Eyebeam Fellows Evan Roth and James Powderly of Graffiti Research Lab; and Re:Group: Beyond Models of Consensus, an exhibition which examined models of participation and participation as a model in art and activism, developed in collaboration with Not An Alternative, and Upgrade! NY.

Significant partnerships included: Open(Art) was a joint initiative launched by Eyebeam and Mozilla to support creativity at the intersection of art and the open web; The Data Viz Challenge, a call to designers and developers to visualize how our federal income taxes are spent, created by Eyebeam and Google; and events such as Data After Dark, with O’Reilly Media to share innovative ideas in a visualization showcase.

Following an Opening Hardware Workshop  hosted by Ayah Bdeir, the purpose of which was to create a direct dialogue between Creative Commons and key players in the Open Source Hardware Community, the group went on to draft a public definition of Open Hardware, and to establish the annual Open Hardware Summit as a venue to discuss and draw attention to the vibrant open source hardware movement. Founding partners were Buglabs, MakerFaire, Creative Commons, littleBits, Eyebeam, Htink.

Further projects and events can be found on the Eyebeam Open Culture and Open Lab pages.

 

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Sustainability Research Group

Eyebeam Sustainability Research Group

165389751_a4e31b8df7As a cultural worker and curator, I am equally interested in providing contexts for artists to produce new work and research as I am in curating exhibition programs.

In the context of Eyebeam art and technology center’s brief to provide critical contexts for artists and technologists to  produce, and present new works and new research, I established the Eyebeam Sustainability Research Group in 2006. Initially managed by Rebecca Bray as part of a research internship, it comprised residents, fellows, alumni, and staff at Eyebeam. The structure was very loose and various artists used it as a platform to individually and collectively undertake research, develop projects, programs and exhibitions. As examples, in 2007 Michael Mandiberg, Brooke Singer, and Paul Amitai led an effort to establish an Eco-Vis Challenge; in 2008, Andrea Polli used the Group as a platform and to convene monthly discussions related to her research; the significant exhibition FEEDBACK was collectively conceived by the group in 2008; in 2011 resident artist Stefani Bardin used the group structure to convene conversations and around her research in the area of Food and Emerging Media, as well as a series of XLab Salon dinners. Projects were not specifically curated, rather the research themes at Eyebeam became factors in the selection process for fellowship and residency programs at Eyebeam, and the research structure provided a rich context to produce work. Occasionally larger collaborative public programs also emerged from the group.

Further information about artists, projects, and programs related to this research topic can be found at Eyebeam Sustainability Research Group.

 

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Synapse : Art/Science strategy

Synapse

From April – August 2002 I worked as a consultant to the New Media Arts Fund of the Australia Council undertaking research and policy development for the Fund’s Art/Science strategy. The research resulted in the establishment of the Synapse Program.

From Australia Council call for proposals for Synapse, 2002.

From Australia Council call for proposals for Synapse, 2002

 

 

ANAT also ran a database of Australian artists and science organisations working in this field from 1999-2005. although no longer online, components of the site, including artists is viewable on the waybackmachine. synapse_screenshot

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deep immersion: scientific serendipity

deep immersion: scientific serendipity

Justine Cooper (NSW) at Museum of Natural History, New York

Justine Cooper (NSW) at Museum of Natural History, New York

In 1998, ANAT initiated Scientific Serendipity, a program which focussed on the interaction between art and science, providing a framework for the development of projects and commissions which directly engage with science, scientific visualisation techniques and technologies. This project initiated a number of residencies/research projects for Australian artists hosted by Australian and international scientific organisations. The aim of the residencies was to investigate the discrete discourses surrounding sciences and media arts and encourage the generation of unexpected and ‘alchemic’ outcomes.

Four residencies were held over 1999 – 2001. The host organisation provided a work space, some technical support and the critical context of a science research community. ANAT provided artist fees, materials support and some travel and living expenses. Three of the residencies (Oron Catts & Ionat Zurrr, Justine Cooper and Adam Donovan) were hosted in science institutions and the fourth by David Rogers was conducted independently with some support from members of the scientific community.

The program was initially conceived as part of the extended programming series deep immersion, developed in collaboration with Francesca da Rimini.

The deep immersion series also included deep immersion: creative collaboration, a series of online virtual collaborative residencies; deep immersion: regional realities a program which looked to develop networks between artists in Australia and Asia; and deep immersion: theology, a experimental research thread (led by Samara Mitchell) examining the crossroads of science, technology, ethics and religion within contemporary cultural practices and social structures.

deep immersion: scientific serendipity was further developed and refined in collaboration with Honor Harger and co-curated with Linda Cooper.

More information about the scientific serendipity residencies is available here.

A publication documenting the program, edited by Julianne Pierce, artist interviews conducted by Kathy Cleland plus illustrations, statements from host organisations, and with contributions by Linda Cooper, Terry Cutler and a commentary by Rich Gold is available to read on the ANAT web site here.

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screenarts

sceenarts header image

The screenarts web site was a repository for Australian internet art projects and related exhibitions, which was active from 1998 – 2003. It was developed by the Australian Network for Art and Technology, and funded by the Australian Film Commission.

Screenshot from screenarts website (via waybackmachine)

Screenshot from screenarts website (via waybackmachine).

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National Multimedia Training Strategy

Cover image: Brad Miller

Cover image: Brad Miller

National Multimedia Training Strategy

From May – October 1995 I worked with Arts Training Australia (later Create Australia), the Australian federal Industry Training Advisory Body on a National Mulitmedia Training Strategy. With Annemarie Jonson, program manager, I worked on research and consultation to develop a strategy to determine training and education requirements for the multimedia industries. The resulting document was used by Industry and the Education sector to develop training for the Multimedia Industries in Australia.

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