I took this questionnaire on net.art in 2005.One still finds net.art as unknown and unheard of now.
The Java Museum for Internet Art showcases internet based art from all parts of the world.Take a tour.
This was part of their interview project for anyone who was interested in answering their 10 questions on internet based art-work.
I’m Rahima Begum, an artist interested in working on the internet.
10 question—>10 answers
Since a reasonable time, digital media entered the field of art and extended the traditional definition of art through some new , but very essential components.
Do you think it is like that and if yes, tell me more about these components and how they changed the perception of art?
The components by which digital media changed the arts are hypermediacy, interactivity and wide scale dissemination. Hypermediacy is a mode of engagement that is brought by art that functions not just as image but with existing codes that allude to or represent something. Digital art like good video, projection based work or net.art functions by giving the user both existing and new frames with which s/he can engage with it.
These arts hold with them the potential of creating different ways of manipulating time and space, through controlling our vision and streams of thought.
Because of these components, art can be and is being made more participatory and emancipatory. It can act as antidotes to the ills that the technologically driven world brings with it.
A really relevant section of digital art represents Internet based art. The Internet was hardly existing, but artists conquered already this new field for their artistic activities.
Can the work of these early artists be compared with those who work with advanced technologies nowadays? What changed until these days ? What might be the perspectives for future developments?
Any history of net art can only be a fragment of what was actually happening.
While new scientific technologies have been used by artists with sufficient training and knowledge(Marko Pelhijan’s Makrolab is an example),the great thing about the net is the way that non tech people can use its low-cost benefits. For artists this means unfathomably bigger audiences, and newer ways of facing/confronting them.
The education in the field of New Media art , including Internet based art, started late compared with the general speed of technological development and acceptance.
So, generations of artists who used the Internet as their artistic working field were not educated in this new discipline(s) and technologies, but had rather an interdisciplinary approach.
What Do you think, would be the best way to teach young people how to deal with the Internet as an environment of art?
Curating theme based portals showcasing net art is one idea. The internet has been a place for sharing images and photography, poetry and literature.I think that curating becomes the key link between user and art in the case of net.art, because a lot of users will not have the patience to follow link after link in trying to engage with the art-work, and a lot of net.art is obscure at the first visit.
Most people use the net as a means of faster connectivity and access to communities. The best way to teach someone about net.art is to encourage them to use the internet to create their own art.
Tell me something about your personal and professional relation to New Media and Internet based art.
What kind of meaning have the new technologies and the Internet to you,
are they just tools for expressing artistic intentions, or have they rather an ideological character, as it can be found with many “netartists”, or what else do they mean to you?
Many “Internet based artists” work on “engaged” themes and subjects, for instance, in social, political, cultural etc concern.
Which contents are you particularly interested in, personally and from an art critical point of view.
I’m an artist interested in working on the internet.
The internet has been a remarkable tool of education and empowerment for me.
I’m interested in feminist and anti globalization efforts and the ways in which the net has facilitated them.
I’m also interested in the ways that its connectivity can bring about exchanges not possible in physical spaces.
I’m concerned about the downside of information overload and too much virtual as opposed to physical life.
The term “netart” is widely used for anything posted on the net, there are dozens of definitions which mostly are even contradictory.
How do you define “netart” or if you like the description “Internet based art” better,
do you think your work belongs to this specific genre,
do you think “netart” is art, at all, if yes, what are the criteria?
Are there any aesthetic criteria for an Internet based artwork?
If the artist uses the ‘medium’ of the internet, exploiting its possibilities in aesthetically challenging ways, then that work is net.art.
An aesthetics for net.art would have to be both universal and culture specific. It should work both with textual, pictorial and narrative constructs.
“Art on the net” has the advantage and the disadvantage to be located on the virtual space in Internet which defines also its right to exist.
Do you think, that “art based on the Internet”, can be called still like that, even if it is just used offline?
If its performing part of its function, yes.
Dealing with this new, and interactive type of art demands an active viewer or user.
and needs the audience much more and in different ways than any other art discipline before. How do you think would be good ways to stimulate the user to dive into this new world of art?
What do you think represents an appropriate environment to present net based art to an audience, is it the context of the lonesome user sitting in front of his personal computer, is it any public context, or is it rather the context of art in general or media art in particular, or anything else.?
If you would be in the position to create an environment for presenting this type of art in physical space, how would you do it?
I would use the lonesome user on a public console in a cyber café mode. That establishes personal interactivity with the web interface, an imagined public that you chose to connect with, and the familiar or unfamiliar public around you.Curators can work with cyber café’s ,taking over one or two consoles for net.art.In India a lot of people access the internet in cyber cafés.
As Internet based art, as well as other art forms using new technologies are (globally seen) still not widely accepted, yet, as serious art forms, what do you think could be an appropriate solution to change this situation?
I think artists working seriously with these media donot consider it of great importance to be part of any canon.The recognition comes later, after persistent engagement.
The Internet is sometimes called a kind of “democratic” environment, but the conventional art practice is anything else than that, but selective by using filters of different kind.
The audience is mostly only able to make up its mind on second hand. Art on the net might potentially be different. Do you think the current practice of dealing with Internet based art
is such different or rather the described conventional way through (also curatorial) filtering?
Do you think, that speaking in the terms of Joseph Beuys, anybody who publishes anything on the net would be also an artist?
I agree, everyone holds the possibility of being an artist on the internet.Its just a difference of platform, reception and audience.
Do you think, the curators dealing with net based art should have any technological knowledge in order to understand such an art work from its roots?
No, but it would help to know the technology.
It is planned, to re-launch
JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art
http://www.javamuseum.org/ in 2007 in a new context, very likely even in physical space. What would be your personal wishes and expectations connected to this re-launch ?
A great deal of intelligently chosen ,delicious and provocative art, and a good site to host it.
I would be interested in art works that are collaborative, inter-cultural and interactive, bringing out the best of each of each of these modes.
It is hard to look at what a portal is doing out of its cultural location, even in a show, so related links and interactions with real users would help.