Monday, August 24, 2009

Net.Art, Web Art, $$$, and what is this shit?

There's often this wariness toward digital art regarding "but how do I make money off of it?" For those who use digital art as a platform for painting or producing the same visual imagery which would be created via other media -- charcoal, pastel, acrylic, the same ol' same ol' -- this wariness is mostly resolved. Their work has value so long as they find a means of marketing it.

But what of net art? That is, the artwork which is inherently sited on the internet, the world wide web with all its instant and constant and mostly uninhibited accessibility. How does one place value, a concept of exclusivity, on something which is (usually) all-inclusive?

For net artists, this was long a question answered with doom because, while the medium was welcomed and embraced by artist and public well enough...

"...from a financial perspective, this art form was a failure."
So says Wolf Lieser, who briefly owned a London digital art gallery that had to close when most of the work exhibited never sold. Such was often the plight of others, of course, but luckily for net artists it is a given that humans like to pay for shit and art likes to reinvent and lift itself to more importance than it is perhaps perceived as initially worth.

Thus, net art conquers! It is actually being paid for. This is the subject at hand in this Wall Street Journal article, discussing a few examples and avenues of net art and who is paying for it -- including major museums.

Take that, O Wary Public. Art, even when you doubt it to be such, will have your head! ...or at least your wallet.

And then there is web art. Like net art, it is a form of art which is viewed with some hesitation, but it is out there (bewaaaare). Web art is a form of art which utilizes the concept of networking and networking systems. Humans, in case you haven't noticed, tend to like to network. We constantly seek connection in some degree. Even a hermit has a network: the system by which he maintains his reclusivity via maintaining a self-sustaining life and livelihood. It's inescapable. Anyway. This means that your cell phone can participate in web art, your music collection, your email and texting and gossip in high school.

There are a lot of myths about net art, web art, internet as art. Got an assumption, any assumption, about these? Take a gander at Jon Ippolito's essay on those myths and assumptions and dispel a few! Because, as the tired saying says, "blah blah blah something about asses."

Okay, now that I've sounded pretentious for a while, here are some links to web/net/stuff art that we have been viewing in my class today. I do not necessarily enjoy or laud these, but I'm sharing them. Be afraid, be very afraid?
And there was one other, but guess what? No.

In case you're one of my "regular" readers and haven't figured out yet what this post is, it's basically what comes about when a teacher says all authoritarian, "I COMMAND THEE, MAKE BLOG POST ABOUT THESE PARTICULAR THINGS." And I say "well, fuck."