Internet Art


Internet art is art or, more precisely, cultural production which uses the Internet as its primary medium and, more importantly, its subject, much like video art uses video as its medium - but is also very much about video, although many artists working with the Net view video as only a component in a Software Art or meta-art system, which is very much "about" code. Quoting a definition by Steve Dietz, former curator in new media at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis:
Internet art projects are art projects for which the Net is both a sufficient and necessary condition of viewing/expressing/participating. Internet art can also happen outside the purely technical structure of the internet, when artists use specific social or cultural traditions from the internet in a project outside of it. Internet art is often, but not always, interactive, participatory and based on multimedia in the broadest sense.

Internet art can take concrete form in artistic websites, e-mail projects, artistic Internet software, Internet-based or networked installations, online video, audio or radio works, networked performances and installations or performances offline. Internet art as a "movement" is part of media art and electronic art. A few sub-genres of Internet art are software art, form art,, browser art, web-specific art, spam art and code poetry. Internet art as a subgenre is a dubious construction really, since the internet is used by all kinds of artists in many different ways. Art in general has changed or expanded through the use of the internet.

There is no established terminology for Internet art yet. In literature, the terms Internet art, Internet-based art, net art,, Web art and "artists working with networks" are used together; not any of those names has predominated until now. Some feel the term refers to a specific group of artists working on the medium from 1994-1999; these are usually referenced as Vuk Ĉosiĉ,, Alexei Shulgin, Olia Lialina and Heath Bunting. This can be misleading, however, as other artists were working at the same time: Superbad (Ben Benjamin), Graham Nicholls, Snarg, Zuper (Michael Samyn), Artcontext (Andy Deck), I/O/D (Collective), Philip Pocock to name but a few. Some culture producers on the Internet liken the term "net art" or "" to a pun, a recapitulation of the consumerist ideals of Pop Art and prefer project-based rather than catagorical terminology. -- [Oct 2004]

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