In my last post I mentioned i wanted to continue exploring into early internet art, using Rachel Greene’s book as a guide. In a chapter entitled ‘Parody, appropriation and Remixing’, she mentions herself the materiality and brings attention to the artists Mark Napier, notably, previously a painter. He created a browser that takes a web page and shreds what makes up that digital page, including graphics, text and any underlying HTML code, and then
puts it all together transforming it into a brand new display (Mirapaul 1998) .Mirapaul wrote an article in 1998 discussing this format and its role within contemporary art, when the subject was relatively new.
I looked at an article a few years later, closer to the time as when Greene was writing and found an interview for ON OFF magazine. From what I can gather in this piece of work Napier wants his audience to reconsider the identity of the web and the form of web pages, and allows us to see it a new unorganised dimension. In an interview with Andreas Brøgger for ‘ON OFF’ he talked about his early career as a painter, but he then found himself becoming influenced by the internet and the materiality of the medium: “The web interface has capabilities that go beyond painting though. In net art the artwork can move. It can change and evolve over time, which creates a whole other dimension to this art form that just doesn’t exist in painting.” (http://www.afsnitp.dk Last accessed 25/11/14). Early internet art, like Napier became influenced by the internet because it was able to give a whole new material and dimension to the art world, rejecting the old way of believing that art had to be created using traditional methods. The internet made it able for Napier to come away from his traditional art form to discover a whole new medium and material. This work benefits the viewer by reminding them that the internet is a collation of digital temperamental values, a virtual material. Greene also draws attention to the fact he used to be a painter and compares it to an expressionist painting (Greene, 2004). To me this serves as a reminder that materiality changes over time from physical and digital matter and how contemporary artists are able to adapt their skills to new mediums, when a new one appears.
S far I have only looked at online resources for this piece of work so I have looked into our library for another book, and I find one entitled virtual art which again deals with the materiality of virtual art. From reading this book I have learn that by looking at work emerging from the 21st century compared to early internet artists such as Mark Napier it is possible to see a subtle difference between the appeals from early 20th century artists. Internet influenced arts began as an utilisation and celebration of the material, a new and exciting prospect and subject of materiality. But instead of the artist now just utilising the tools and advantages it begins to develop and mature. Grau believes any computer based worked is always built on standardisation and repetition, due to the nature of programming. This then suggests it’s up to the artist to draw away from the algorithms, develop the process to create something new that isn’t possible to imagine or draw (Grau, 2003). This is exactly what I can interpret from early internet art up till now.
My early internet art research has taken me to a place of understanding how they were first able to utilise it as a medium to create individual original work, and I feel as though I have a good grasp of what makes it good now, so next what i want to be able to do is see how its being used now, what have they taken from these artist utilising the medium and what is the contrast to how the medium is adapted now, and how are they being original about it?
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