Internet art is art 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. 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 form art, net.radio, 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's no established terminology for Internet art yet. In literature, the terms Internet art, Internet-based art, net art, net.art and web art are used together; not any of those names has predominated until now. Some feel the term "net.art" refers to a specific group of artists working on the medium from 1994-1999; these are usually referenced as Vuk Cosic, Jodi.org, Alexei Shulgin, Olia Lialina and Heath Bunting. This can be misleading, however, as other artists were working at the same time: Superbad (Ben Benjamin), Snarg, Zuper (Michael Samyn), and I/O/D (Collective) to name but a few.
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2 Artists and projects
History and context
Internet art is rooted in a variety of artistic traditions and movements. Some Internet art projects are particularly related to conceptual art, Fluxus, pop art and performance art. Internet art is also historically related to the interdisciplinary field of technology-centered or electronic art which has developed since the 1970s in research institutes and specialized art centers throughout Europe, Japan and the United States - outside the regular, "non-technological" museum and gallery circuit. Examples are the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, early network radio experiments at ORF Kunstradio, and Paris-based IRCAM, a research center for electronic music. The fact that both the computer and the internet have become a common, accessible technology has opened this formerly high tech art circuit up to a much broader field of artists.
Internet art was most visible and witnessed its peak from 1996 to 1998; broad public attention and acclaim for Internet art at that time were largely related to the dot-com mania. Art in and around computer networks has a much older history though, which can be straced back to the early eighties. Currently, there is a stronger tendency to look at Internet-related artworks in a wider context of technological art.
Artists and projects