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Post-Internet Art & Why You Should Care

News

Post-Internet Art & Why You Should Care

Fran Holstrom

Ok, there is no escaping it, we live in a highly connected world. You can't ride public transport without seeing the majority of passengers texting, searching, gaming or listening to the latest TED Talk. There should be a separate lane on the sidewalk for plugged-in pedestrians! In fact, some states are passing laws to prevent accidents caused by 'distracted walking'. We are global citizens via WiFi, with our finger on the pulse of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

It makes sense then, that artists are engaging with issues relating to technology, or utilizing technology itself, to measure it's impact on society. Sure, painting may still trump all in the high art world, but keep your eyes open for the kids coming up, who utilize or reference the internet, apps and technology to make or display their work. Post-internet art may be a new genre to add to the history books, but it looks like it is here to stay. Or at least until the singularity.

If you need some more background, check out the article by Ian Wallace, "What is Post-Internet Art? Understanding the Revolutionary New Movement"

CHAT ROOM
To help me understand this new type of conceptual art, I took a brain-bending class offered by the art collective Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQFU) called Chat Room II taught by badboy, post-internet artist Brad Troemel (of art collective DIS). Troemel got his start selling 'found object' assemblages on Etsy (a doritos bag with a lock on it, for example) and his blog The Jogging created quite a following. The class stimulated a lot of debate, and as the one of the older attendees (the youngest was 16 and trying to decide if he wanted to go to art school) in a room of heated banter, I was glad to be taking the plunge. For a further glimpse into the hilarity of Troemel's work, and his reasons for engaging online markets and freemium platforms, check out this interview with Whitney Mallet.

  ORGANIC PLANT and AIRFRESHENERS (never let a plant stop smelling pleasant) objects for sale to 9/11 conspiracy theorists only  by Brad Troemel, as sold on Etsy (circa 2012)

ORGANIC PLANT and AIRFRESHENERS (never let a plant stop smelling pleasant) objects for sale to 9/11 conspiracy theorists only by Brad Troemel, as sold on Etsy (circa 2012)

GOOGLE
With a similar critical tone (but far less fun), artist duo Joao Enzuto and Erica Love recently imagined what would happen if Google took over the Whitney. This dystopian fiction set in the near future, has Google displaying images from its sizable 'google art project' instead of artwork itself (after demolishing the Marcel Breuer building & recreating it using 3D scans assembled in modular sections).


FREEMIUM
While it is artists' job to engage in social critique, there are also many who unabashedly embrace technology, several were exhibited at the New Museum's fantastically well-curated exhibition "Free" in 2010-2011. Thankfully, Rhizome has archived the exhibit.


MORE RESOURCES

BERLIN
Andrew M. Goldstein's report from the 2016 Berlin Bienalle focuses on some memorable artwork. 

BITFORMS
If you live in New York City, and are interested in this topic, you owe it to yourself to see the show Temporary Highs at bitforms gallery in LES featuring artists Sara Ludy, Wendy White, Lindsay Howard & more. If you miss the show, the curator created an interactive website to engage viewers, log-on now!

EYEBEAM
Yeah we know you want more tech by artists! Visit Eyebeam in its new location in Sunset Park, hosting exhibitions, residencies and opportunities to collaborate.

RHIZOME
Total no-brainer, this hub of digital wonder is an organization nestled within the New Museum in NYC. Rhizome hosts exhibitions and events, and commissions new digital art, it is a major resource.

 Artwork by Sarah Meyohas as part of her 'bitchcoin' series 

Artwork by Sarah Meyohas as part of her 'bitchcoin' series 

ARTISTS TO WATCH

There are so many! But for the sake of brevity, here are a few that come to mind:
Cryptocurrency Sarah Meyonas
Digital Sculpture MSHR
Software Engineer Emily Xie
Instagram art star and fashionista Tony Gum
Painter Gina Beavers
Performance/video artist Marisa Olson
Video artist Gregory Kalliche 
Video artist Petra Cortright