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So far I have investigated  the boom of the GIF as art   since the declaration of internet as a human right and its influence on art in the past five years. In my lecture series I have also learned about the importance of context with any artwork. I really want to sink my teeth into some early internet art, but first I want to go back to the early nineties when internet was only just being introduced as a tool in everyday life. My lecture series suggested looking into the history of my subject so this is the perfect next step, I think this will really help me have a greater understanding of how internet came to be, not just the GIF.

One of the first books I looked at is ‘Computer and Art’ written in 1997. This book in particular doesn’t actually mention Internet art but it does talk about the involvement of the digital age and how it affects art and design.

The writers (obviously) seem very behind on the time, and most seem quite scared by the growth of the internet, or feel nervous about it changes. But what is heavily noted is the undeniable force of technology and its effect on the art and design world. It became something very difficult to ignore. Even though the notes I’ve taken are from a very old book, it still important to note, that the change was being noticed. Some fear it, and Bill gates was even refered to by one of the writers as “satan himself” .  Where as other writers like Brown, glorified it and focused on global effects and advantages. They also looked at the benefits for artists and all of the new opportunities it offered. This is all in reference to quotes written below, important to note that writing following the small arrows are my own notes on the quotes I have collected.

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In comparison, In Green’s book about internet art, written years later in 2004, it moves onto the influence of the internet, rather than just the influence of technology. This writer is incredibly positive about the opportunities and the diverse amount of work the internet inspires, and just how much it has given to the art world, in a  wholly positive world. It talks about the importance fo the internet creating this completely new, and incredibly exciting world for artist to work, communicate and thrive in. She often mentions the importance of the materiality of web-based art, and how artist have played and manipulated with that and the importance of doing so. This book was incredibly interesting and has given the best insight into the importance fo internet influence art and how it has been able to influence the practice of many illustrators and artists.

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All of these books have been incredibly helpful in gaining a better understanding of why internet art came to be, and why it proved popular.  However even though they give me an excellent context and eeper understanding because I know why they exist and the benefits now when I actually look at works of internet I know that it began with the invention of the home computer; when it became available in the everyday home in the 1970’s, the computer was able to offer an new digital alternative way of working, which was often a lot more economical and efficient for artists (Noble cited in Mealing 1997). Noble was writing in 1997, which was even before the internet became a discussion of human right in the early 2011, he was beginning to address “what is the computer to a fine artist?…For one artist the computer is only a tool, for another it is a completely new medium” (Noble cited in Mealing 1997 p77). This shows that even before internet was accessible for everyone; it was still making a profound influence on the art world.

Not only this but Green speaking a few years later in 2004 the discussion of technology and art makes a natural move from the production of computers to internet art, Rachel Greene believed that the internet created such diverse and chaotic form of public space, making it hardly surprising that so many people created art forms inspired by it. (Greene 2004). Art will always have links with what is happening in the current social, economical and technological climate. For the past 20 years or so, the internet has increased in popularity; this growth was undoubtedly going to influence artists and non artists alike. Internet art is an art form that allows itself to be intertwined with issues of technology and decentralization (Greene 2004). Decentralization is a perfect summary of internet art, as it isn’t constricted to people exposed to an art school education, a celebration of art being available to anyone, art education or not, due to use of technologies and the internet being widely available across the globe.

All of this research I will be able to use in  my dissertation as context and deeper understanding, although dated, provides me with reliable information. In this research Green briefly touches on the Medium of the artwork and what I would like to do is look further into the medium that makes internet art and what exactly this means.

References in this blog post:

Brown cited in Mealing, S., 1997. Computers and Art, United Kingdom: Intellect Books.

Noble cited in Mealing, S., 1997. Computers and Art, United Kingdom: Intellect Books.

Greene, R., 2004. Internet Art (World of Art Series), United Kingdom: Thames & Hudson Ltd.

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