20240419 - post-internet art, digital fragility and new materialism

Earlier this month, I came across Estonian artist, Katja Novitskova's Post Internet work and love this more recent work: "Soft Approximation (Looking Glass Deers Kissing 04)", 2023 via https://www.instagram.com/p/CzBgKwRofU5 — the materiality of the glass as the fragility of ecology/species works well, and loving the use of colour. Forests of the future?

Rünk, Martin. "Katja Novitskova's Work in a Post Internet World — The Future in a Mediated Reality (extract)." 2015. Reproduced from Kunst.EE, http://ajakirikunst.ee/?c=magazine&l=en&t=katja-novitskovas-work-in-a-po....

Rough thoughts: Web3 is like peeling & slicing an avocado or piece of fruit like an orange and flipping the skin to lift / unpeel it to make it easier to eat. the finance / economic parts are brought to the surface, not hidden below the user and sent internally to the corporation / publisher. In web3, it's flipped to the artist or collector - at user level, visible to each user or viewer of the blockchain transaction record / browser.

Recently came across the The Dark Forest Anthology of the Internet by The Dark Forest Collective, which has some interesting ideas on the dark forest being the places laying behind or alongside the main public Internet, where people and communities go to be more themselves online. For example, email lists, discord servers, private blogs, dark web. I'm still reading through their book (PDF / digital version) so will post more thoughts later. Their description is: "when we learned how to live, create, and conspire on an increasingly adversarial internet". How does this tie into the digital ecology? Is it the hidden habitats / architectures that creatures (human and not) inhabit in digital worlds? Is it the new materialism of the digital world, to be used by post-post internet / blockchain / cryptoart artists and others. I consider blockchain art and cryptoart to be a descendant of net art / new media, and therefore following on from post internet art also. As blockchain is often the material and support / host for my specture project, it's worth examining it here, as well as preceding digital art and internet based art movements.

Still reading through Gene McHugh's Post Internet book (2011) as well as The Perils of Internet Art article (2014) by Brian Droitcour. Droitcour notes that Post-Internet Art is more about the photo of the installation than the installation in the gallery itself — it's changing the purpose and importance of the gallery in the "Art World" (Art with capital A). In 2014, he wrote in Art in America: "Post-Internet art does to art what porn does to sex—renders it lurid. The definition I’d like to propose underscores this transactional sensibility: I know Post-Internet art when I see art made for its own installation shots, or installation shots presented as art. Post-Internet art is about creating objects that look good online: photographed under bright lights in the gallery’s purifying white cube (a double for the white field of the browser window that supports the documentation), filtered for high contrast and colors that pop (Droitcour 2014)."

Louis Doulas (2011) collated multiple definitions of Post-Internet Art from related artists and writers in their article, "Within Post-Internet | Part I.", and then provides a definition as: "Thus, Post-Internet, specifically within the context of art, simply could be understood as a term that represents the digitization and decentralization of all contemporary art via the internet as well as the abandonment of all New Media specificities. Post-Internet then, is not a category, but a condition: a contemporary art." (Doulas 2011) Including decentralisation is key, as this indicates the networked and distributed nature of the art works, and this could be both a precursor and include blockchain art and CryptoArt today. Doulas acknowledges that both new media / net art and post-internet art can be both online and offline. Doulas writes: " There is a difference then, in an art that chooses to exist outside of a browser window and an art that chooses to stay within it; that continues to stay digitized and immaterial. This difference also means recognizing the distinct polarities between online and offline art models and the translations that occur from one space to the other." (Doulas 2011) I think this is a key point for blockchain based art, that is networked art using blockchain as its material as well as medium and support.

Christiane Paul (2011) defines new media as: "New media art is now generally understood as computable art that is created, stored, and distributed via digital technologies and uses these technologies’ features as a medium. New media art is process-oriented, time-based, dynamic, and real-time; participatory, collaborative, and performative; modular, variable, generative, and customizable." (Paul 2011) During my university Fine Arts and Visual Culture Bachelor of Arts degree, I argued that blockchain art, specifically art which uses blockchain metadata itself as material and medium is a descendent of new media as defined by Christiane Paul (2011), as it also is process-oriented (code / systems based), time-based (blockchain is based on time, as new blocks are created regularly / periodically), dynamic (as it reads "live" / active API data of the blockchain itself and real-time. It also fits with participatory, collaborative, performative, modular, variable, generative too, though it is generally not customisable (offline, yes, but once "minted" then it is immutable / cannot be changed, unless re-minted to a new block/IPFS/file location), as it is largely code based / programmatic, which meets these criteria.

DeBatty, Régine. 2008. "Interview with Marisa Olsen." We Make Money Not Art. https://we-make-money-not-art.com/how_does_one_become_marisa.

Doulas, Louis. 2011. "Within Post-Internet | Part I." Pool. https://pooool.info/uncategorized/within-post-internet-part-i.

Droitcour, Brian. 2014. "The Perils of Post-Internet Art." Art in America. https://www.artnews.com/art-in-america/features/the-perils-of-post-inter....

McHugh, Gene. 2011. Post-Internet. Brescia: Link Editions. Kindle edition.

Paul, Christiane. 2011. “New Media in the Mainstream.” Artnodes. 11: 102-106. https://raco.cat/index.php/Artnodes/issue/view/18398/258.

Rünk, Martin. 2015. "Katja Novitskova's Work in a Post Internet World — The Future in a Mediated Reality (extract)." 2015. Kunst.EE. http://ajakirikunst.ee/?c=magazine&l=en&t=katja-novitskovas-work-in-a-po....

The Dark Forest Collective. 2023. The Dark Forest Anthology." USA: The Dark Forest Collective. PDF edition.

Vierkant, Artie . 2010. "The Image Object Post-Internet." Jst Chillin’. http://jstchillin.org/artie/vierkant.html

Oscillo Scape 22 by Oscillo Scape https://oscilloscape.bandcamp.com/album/oscillo-scape-22

Chroma by Loscil // Lawrence English https://lawrenceenglish.bandcamp.com/album/chroma

Environments 3 by The Future Sound Of London https://fsol.bandcamp.com/album/environments-3

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