Saturday, September 29, 2007

What is the Art of the Net? What is Web-Art?

It's on the Internet, doh! The work is digital. Sourced through Google, manipulated in PhotoShop, hosted on LAMP servers. It's the modern way of mixing pigments with oils and solvents and layering them on various media. It's the Art of This Century.

Here's one dilemma: Do we let this art unroll quietly, un-self consciously? Or do we double-click on it for a closer inspection. How much will we change it by measuring it so early in its development?


Taking the lead from Marinetti's traveling exhibit of the Italian Futurists in 1913: the more artists see the revolution the they will produce revolting stuff revolutionary works. (Just as before, bad artists produce crap. So do good artists, but much less so.)

There so many cool aspects of this new digital work:

For example it does not deteriorate. In all likelihood digital works could last until the end of time. Unlike Leonardo's stalecoes frescoes. And innumerable paper works.

The next part is starting to be interesting. It's interactive. The viewer owns the presentation. The viewer decides what is going to be seen and when and by which route. Compare this to boring contemporary videos where it is the artists that controls exactly what the viewer sees and for too how long.

And then the new stuff is almost all open source. Being built on HTML, JPG image files and MP3 sounds, the tools to recreate the work are available to all who can view the work. Instead being locked up in a rich old fart's house, the work is as accessible to a youngster in a remote African village as it is the slickest silicon valley web guru. The work is accessible for many purposes not applicable to traditional art viewing, improving, scratching, embedding, whatever.

And the freakiest thing of all: what benefits do ownership confer? If you own something everybody can access easily and for free, what is it that you really own? It is simply your pleasure to own it. Perhaps it's not about ownership it may be more like a marriage. You and this work are in partnership. You put a work of art on the web and its reward to you is the number of visitors that to whom it gives pleasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment