Back to the Neolithic Age of the Internet
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Photo: Tanja Kanazir / Drugo more (Flickr galerija)
Back in 1994, when the Internet was still young and most people were struggling to grasp what it even was, the net.art movement was born. “Net.art”, a term widely attributed to Belgrade-born artist Vuk Ćosić, refers to a group of artists active during the second half of the 1990s that used the Internet as both a tool and a subject, the medium and the message.
“As New Media artist Alexei Shulgin points out, Cosic’s phrase is a Duchampian readymade: Cosic saw the words ‘net’ and ‘art’ conjoined by a dot in a jumbled email message and started using the term to describe Internet-based art.”
– Tribe, Mark & Jana, Reena. New Media Art, Tachen, 2009.
The Collected Histories exhibition brings a partial or orthogonal retrospective of the works of this wellknown net.art pioneer.
Set in the Filodrammatica Gallery, the exhibition opens on Thursday, 13 April, at 20:00, and will remain on view until 5 May.
Admission is free.
The exhibition includes the Official History of net.art, a series of works that contains the famous projects History of Art for the Airports, Net.art Classics, ASCII History of Moving Images, ASCII History of Art for Blind and Compressed History of Film. Besides these works, that were primarily made for the Internet space, the exhibition also presents two Ćosić’s gallery pieces – History of Arts for the Intelligence Community and Very Deep ASCII.
Video-report by Moja Rijeka from the exhibition opening
Net.art is a form of digital artwork that successfully bypasses the traditional dominance of the gallery and museum systems, providing the aesthetic experiences via the Internet, which pull the consumer into the interaction with the artwork.
Net.art je oblik digitalne umjetnosti koja uspješno zaobilazi tradicionalnu dominaciju galerijskih i muzejskih sustava, omogućujući proživljavanje estetskih iskustava putem interneta kroz interakciju sa samim djelom.
Ćosić‘s net.art works came out as a result of his interest in ASCII code, low-tech aesthetics, the economy, ecology and archaeology of the media, the intersections between text and computer code, and the use of spaces in information, its fluid nature and infinite convertibility.
Sidestepping the traditional method of making and showing art gave Cosic and his counterparts a radical edge, and many of their works have earned cult status.
Cosic’s deconstruction of the classics prompts viewers to recognize that new-media art must forsake old-media models, but also wants digital artists to reconsider the assumption that high-tech art must rely on the latest high-tech tools.
– New York Times
The crowning case of stolen identity had to be the cloning of the Documenta X site, Documenta Done, by Slovenian bad boy artist Vuk Cosic.