Tag Archives: internet art

The Current Thing

I’m honored to have a small contribution in the The Current Thing, the outcome of several weeks of editorial work during lockdown by Caspar Stracke and Keith Sanborn. The Current Thing is an interactive journal with contributions by a terrific group of artists and writers on dramatic shifts in daily practice during lockdown and beyond. It is also a re-activation of THE THING, NY: one of the most important early online art communities. The journal exists in both online and print version.

The Current Thing features works and words by:
Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere / Alexandro Segade / Almagul Menlibayaeva / Amanda McDonald Crowley /Andy Graydon / Anna Thew / Ashton Applewhite / Bradley Eros / Caspar Stracke / Cathy Lee Crane / Coco Sollfrank / Daniella Dooling / Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby / Darrin Martin / Deborah Stratman / Diana Vidrascu / eteam / Emily Mode / Graeme Arnfield / Nordholt & Steingrobe / Jaakko Pallasvuo / Jackie Goss / Les LeVeque / lundi matin / Jason Livingston / Jeanne Liotta / Jeffrey Skoller / Jim Supanick / Juliane Henrich / Joy Chan / Kathy Brew / Keith Sanborn / Kim Modig / Leo Goldsmith / Lynne Sachs / Mark Street / Masha Godovannaya / Mike Hoolboom / Monika Czyżyk / Nina Katchadourian / Olav Westphalen / Peggy Ahwesh / Perry Bard / Rebekah Rutkoff / RPI / Ricardo Dominguez / Sean Cubitt / belit sağ & Robert Luxemburg / Sebastián Romo / Steve Reinke / The Society of the Friends of the Virus / Thomas Zummer / Torsten Zenas Burns / Wolfgang Staehle / yann beauvais / and Zoe Beloff /

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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.


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

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


faces – gender, technology, and art

the thing






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Alchemy: Masterclass for New Media Artists + Curators


In 2000 ANAT (Australian Network for Art and Technology) convened ALCHEMY: the International Masterclass for New Media Artists and Curators.

The Masterclass took place in Brisbane in May and early June 2000. 16 tutors and 42 participating artists and curators explored new media practices, critical concepts for cross cultural collaboration and generally had an extraordinary time exploring with and playing in the newly opened Brisbane Powerhouse – Centre for the Live Arts, who partnered with ANAT on the realisation of this project.

Participants had 24 hour access to the equipment and the building and the project provided participants with an incredibly rich learning environment, both technically and conceptually. The masterclass engaged with a diverse range of topics. Themes included: science discourse; curatorial practice; net art practice; Indigenous and regional Asia Pacific issues; and performance and hybrid practices.

Participants for Alchemy were selected from a call for proposals distributed internationally in late 1999. The participants were chosen through their proposals, with reference both to the thematics and with geographical and cultural considerations also taken into account.

Alchemy participants:

Brook Andrews (NSW) Caroline Farmer (SA) Christian Thompson (Vic)
Clare McGrogan (Qld) Dena Curtis (NT) Gongxin Wang (China)
Hartanto (Indonesia) Jenny Fraser (Qld) Jo Law (WA)
Keith Armstrong (Qld) Kim Machan (Qld) Mae Adams (Vic)
Megan Rainey (SA) Monica Narula (India) Patricia Adams (Qld)
Raewyn Turner (NZ) Rebecca Youdell (Qld) Sam James (NSW)
Sarah Neville (SA) Shilpa Gupta (India) Steve Bull (WA)
Bruce Gladwin (Vic) Chris Dempsey (Qld) Christiawan (Indonesia)
Deborah Lawler-Dormer (NZ) Edwina Bartleme (Qld) Grisha Coleman (NY)
Jane Schneider (Qld) Jernej Kozar (Slovenia) Kamal Krishna (Qld)
Kelli Mccluskey (WA) Lisa Anderson (Qld) Jernej Kozar (Slovenia)
Mari Velonaki (NSW) Mike Stubbs (UK) Partha Pratim Sarker (Bangladesh)
Peter Toy (WA) Raul Ferrera (Mexico) Rolando Ramos (NSW)
Sarah Ryan (Tas) Sheridan Kennedy (NSW) Sophea Lerner (NSW)
Vanessa Mafe-Kean (Qld)


Alexei Shulgin (Russia) Nina Czegledy (Canada) Mongrel (UK)
Geert Lovink (Aust and Netherlands) John Tonkin (Aust) Rea (Gamileroi/Wailwan)
Shudahabrata Sengupta (India) Sara Diamond (Canada) Marko Peljhan (Slovenia)
Tess de Quincy & Laura Jordan (Aust) Blast Theory (UK) Mike Stubbs (UK)

The project provided for an intensive and productive period for exploration, conversation and the generation of dialogue and new ideas. The masterclass included daily presentation and discussion periods, workshops, skillshares, and skills development opportunities. Weekly BBQ and performance events provided opportunities to network with local Brisbane artists and curators; evening events provided opportunities for lead tutors to present their work in public forums, and a performance evening at the conclusion of the masterclass provided participants with the opportunity to present work in progress to the greater Brisbane community. Technical Management: Martin Thompson; Project Management: Charity Bramwell; Project and Technical assistant: Tim Plaistead.

Please note these are historical sites – some links may no longer work

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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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deep immersion: creative collaborations


To follow are a range of online residencies I conceived and developed at the Australian Network for Art and Technology from 1997 – 1999. This page is still a work in progress, and some links may be broken as these are historic projects.

deep immersion: creative collaborations

In 1997 ANAT with support from the Australia Council, activated the deep immersion project with a series of online residencies ‘deep immersion: creative collaborations’.One of ANAT’s primary aims since its inception has been to facilitate situations whereby artists can spend concentrated periods of time researching new ideas, acquiring new skills, forming fruitful collaborations, playing with new media and developing new bodies of work.

The overall intention was to foster and facilitate placements and relationships whereby artists can come together (flesh meeting or remote mind links) to germinate and hothouse their ideas, test their hypotheses, develop new processes and create new works through a period of ‘deep immersion’ in a suitable ideas/technology culture.

The first two residencies within this framework of this project were undertaken in 1997 by Terri-ann White and Keith Netto. In 1998 the final two residencies were undertaken by low key operations and nude productions and elendil.

On October 25, the deep immersion: creative collaborations initiative was officially launched at an event at the Mercury Cinema in Adelaide, the central website linking to the four individual projects was unveiled at an event featuring artists presentations by Keith Netto and elendil. The two projects by low key operations and nude productions and Terri-Ann White were available for viewing in the foyer of the Cinema.

This project was curated by ANAT’s Director, Amanda McDonald Crowley, and conceived in collaboration with Francesca da Rimini.


Terry Ann White, Trace, 1997

Terry Ann White, Trace, 1997


Terri Anne White: Terri Ann White of Perth, WA undertook a residency in 1997 with trAce (Nottingham, UK) who provides information about writing resources of all kinds and offers an arena for literary debate between writers and readers working in cyberspace and beyond.

Terri Ann worked from Perth, and in discussion with Sue Thomas of trAce developed ways for other contributors to trAce to participate in this project in the spirit of collaboration, critique and exploration of the online environment. One of Terri Ann’s aims was to explore ideas about memory, from the individual act of memory to its transmutation into collective memory, and especially to the complexion that collective memory acquires through social symbolism, ritual, and tradition.



Michael Hogg and Claire McGrogan, aka low key operations and nude productions developed work entitled please press play, with AltX in Colorado, USA. Combining their respective individual areas of practice, the two artists created a hybrid work combining elements of music, poetry and the spoken word.

SonicForm, was a web based sound project by Keith Netto who worked with Electric.Music.Group [EMG], an experimental web project, online since 1995. It was set up as an outlet for artists working in a range of technologies who wanted to extend their work to the Internet.

SonicForm, was a platform for web participants to become integrally involved in the project by inviting them to go out into their local environment to source sounds for submission to SonicForm. These sounds, will be combined with those sourced from others in the SonicForm ‘community’, to become part of the online environment: this is a project premised on collaboration.

Says Netto of the project “We wander across the expanse of the net, one hyperlink to the next, in search of the next quick fix, the html-hit that provides us with transitory info bliss. The net is a place designed for the immediate satisfaction of individual desire. It’s culture has become dominated by the forces of edutainment and commerce. My intention is to create a space which can expand and deepen; a place for the reinvention of the idea of creative interactive community. Net based communities need not be bound by culture, geography or lifestyle, they can span these boundaries as conduits of communication. I intend to use SonicForm as a vehicle to explore the notion of an online communities combined with Artificial Life to create something that is a living expression of a net community.”

*Water writes always in *plural, 1997

ANAT, as a joint initiative with the Adelaide based Electronic Writing and Research Ensemble, commissioned Perth based writer Josephine Wilson and Brisbane writer Linda Carroli to undertake ‘virtual’ residencies simultaneously in 1997.water-always-writes-in-plural_1997-300x300

The intention was that the writers worked collaboratively via the internet to produce work hypertextually. The writers/ artists worked at their own location and were therefore in-residence virtually. The Perth Institute for Contemporary Art and the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane are providing the writers with computer and internet access and the environment from which to work.

Carroli a freelance journalist, arts writer, essayist and researcher, has published in a range of art journals including Eyeline, RealTime, and Periphery and has curated a number of exhibitions, most recently as the Exhibitions Coordinator at Metro Arts in Brisbane. “I am hoping to extend my writing practice by addressing, in the context of writing and virtuality, contingent ideas about process, participation and performance. This project will provide me with a space in which to make connections between the theory and the practice, perhaps blurring a few boundaries in the process.”

Wilson’s recent work has been in two fields: narrative fiction and writing for performance. Her recent performance work The Geography of Haunted Places, which drew on post-colonial and feminist theory in dialogue with contemporary political issues received high acclaim when it toured recently throughout Australia and in London. Reviewing the play at the Performance Space, Stephen Dunne wrote “This is everything contemporary performance should be – playful, intelligent, self aware, technically superb and confronting.”

This project was collaboratively curated with Jyanni Steffensen and Linda Marie Walker of the Electronic Writing and Research Ensemble.


Francesca Da Rimini – Makrolab residency

Marko Peljhan’s Makrolab was installed on Rottnest Island off the coast of Fremantle (WA) as part of the Perth Festival of the Arts (February). Makrolab is a ‘self-sustaining survival environment’ which has radio signaling and tracking devices installed. Marko invited artists to submit proposals to be in residence for short terms during the project. ANAT worked with Marko to identify Australian artists and also provided small amounts of support for travel and living expenses whilst in residence in the lab. The two artists supported by ANAT to work at Makrolab were Francesca da Rimini and Leesa Willan.

Francesca da Rimini developed a poetic web diary Ghost Fields during her residency.

(Slovenian artist Marko Peljan first came to Australia as part of ANAT’s Code Red project, undertaken in collaboration with The Performance Space and curated by Julianne Pierce. Marko traveled to Brisbane after the Makrolab project, to participate in the Alchemy Masterclass.)



LOGIN was a series of residencies for emerging visual artists to develop web-based projects.

In 1998, the pilot year of the project involved four residencies for Australian artists, run in partnership with members of the Contemporary Art Organisations (CAOs) network. 200 Gertrude Street (Melbourne), 24 Hour Art (Darwin), Canberra Contemporary Art Space and Boomalli (Sydney) hosted the physical component of the residencies.

The LOGIN: residencies provided the participating artists with access computers and the internet, as well as the critical and cultural context of the host arts organisations. The artists also had access to server space, some technical support and the support of an online community. The online environment is currently a site of some of the most politically challenging and aesthetically innovative art projects. It’s a context where traditional artforms meld and mutate, and where traditional notions of authorship, exhibition and publishing dissolve into and out of each other.

The intention of LOGIN: was to provide emerging artists with an opportunity to explore, experiment and participate in the connectivity of the internet. Artists were given opportunities to develop new skills and create new works, which may encompass web-based interactive artworks, virtual environments, web-tv programs, web-based software or artificial life projects, CUSeeMe and Real Audio performances.

Lisa Beilby, a new media artist who works with photographic media and the internet, completed her residency with 24 Hr Art in Darwin in January 1999. Lisa  created a work entitled thing, a constantly evolving reactive multimedia virtual space, thing prods, cajoles and quizzes the interactor/s into a meandering network of shifting pathways made of lush and challenging sound, visuals and intellectual / psychological adventures.

Beilby describes the website as ‘something which exploits the more insidious aspects of human nature and human psyche with and without the Interactor/s consent‘.



For her residency, Anita Kocsis, an artist who works in installation and painting within a digital context, began an adjunct to an architectural model of her mind processes, called Photonpsycho (a visual protoplasm). Her residency project was undertaken in collaboration with Melbourne organisation, 200 Gertrude Street. Her project, Neonverte, is a web based installation, built as a Garden. The installation component of the project featured elements from the site as well as a VRML glide-through of areas of Neonverte.

She wrote of the project, “My main methodology has to do with an interest in a multidimensional transformative practice rather than adhering to the transcriptive language the web provides. These ideas also intersect within the constructs of the net-collaborations. The outcome is continual.”

Dysfunctional, unpredictable and rapidly growing, the internet is drawn into the funnelweb of Kocsis’ garden site. As Anita stated: ‘to climb to the top of a tree is no easy task. The kids in Enid Blytons ‘Folk of the Faraway Tree’ knew it. They had to contend with interruptions. Yet they still climbed to see what new land had arrived. As far as I can recall some of the lands were shockers, like the ‘land of smacks’. The minute they got there they wanted to get out. Yet it was never so easy.’



Michael Barac is an artist and programmer who has used digital media technologies to create works for web, video and photographic environments. His residency was undertaken in collaboration with Canberra Contemporary Art Space, during which Barac explored contemporary political debates regarding Australia’s constitution, focusing the pragmatic
representation of Australia as a Republic. He focused particularly on the icon of the flag, constructing an alternative flag forum, where internet users can partake in the creation of a flag that evolves with time.

His aim was that once audience members have created their flag they can submit it via a form button in Netscape and it is automatically added to a web page. He says, ‘It’s my hope to monitor votes from visitors to the site and have a program generate a flag in a quasi-democratic way. Either votes are collected or you add the details of the flag that you made to a grand pool of details where the most popular characteristics generate a collective flag.’

Web participants may determine each mutation of the ever metamorphosing flag, by voting, or intermingling different designs. He says of the project, “I would like people to participate and have fun in some way. It would be an opportunity for people to feel involved…creating more discussion, particularly about what it means to be Australian“.


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