History of Net Art
|The 90's was a golden age for digital art. During the early 90's a website called Jodi.org demonstrated that the internet wasn't just a tool that people can use to publish information but it can also be used as an art medium. The internet was changing; from a network used by academic researches to a popular medium for personal communication, publishing and business, this led to new words like The Net, Web, Cyber space and dot-com emerge in the internet world. This was the start of something massive, all of these events led to the beginning of new media art.|
|The word new media art was first originated in eastern Europe, also known as the place where the most important net art artists came from, The new media art movement was inspired by previous movements like for example the Neo- expressionism and Neo- conceptualism. These two movements failed to achieve their goal and by 1990 they were gone and left a big hole in design. Other art mediums like Painting were declare "dead" and video art took the attention from everyone, it was around this time where new media art emerged.|
|During the 90's new media art started to get popular in the art world, the early 90's was the beginning of the expansion of new media art. Museums, galleries and lots of institutions found new media art to be more interest than others type of art, each year exhibitions around the U.S started to show artist and aspiring artists works in cities like San Francisco, New York city, Minneapolis and even London.|
|While some artist had attention from museums, galleries, institutions, etc, others preferred not to, instead they wanted to work on the low and not get into much exposure with the mainstream. They felt more comfortable working with communities and institutions that knew the meaning behind their work, people that could understand and support what they tried to show. These communities that showed support for artist were from different places around the world, some from Austria, Germany, Japan, U.S, Hungary, Slovakia, Etc.|
|The evolution of the Internet was a big help for artists that were looking to get into the digital art world. Emailing and websites were used by artist to show, discuss and exhibit their work with others. New advances in technology also helped a lot, computers, softwares, etc, were now more affordable to buy, artist could get their hands on one of those faster. Not to mention these computers were even better and were able to perform different task.
With the changes the internet was having, business groups started to call the web "new media", that name became real popular around companies and eventually artists started to use the term "new media art" to refer to their work.
|Not only the internet was changing but also the procedure that these works required,Collaboration and participation are examples of this. More and more artists were needed for a work to function, same thing happen with participation of the audience, it used to be real passive and quiet but it changed with the audience now being able to participate or just interact with the works.
The web gave new media artist the option to use parody against big companies, hacking became a tool for new media artist, artist would use their hacking techniques to get into websites or even work with hackers just to get something for their works.
There were also artist that used hacking for a way to protest against something that they did not agree with.
|A problem that emerged during the 20th century was appropriation, artists were able to use works that were made by other artist and use them for their own benefit. An example, new media artist Michael Mandiberg used Sherrie Levine's re-photographed work ("Depression-Era" that was originally made by Walker Evan) and than named it "After Sherry Levine".That example and others let to believe that the artistic originality of artists was lacking, the web and file sharing networks made it really easy for people to copy others.
Eventually this led music, video companies, etc, bring more restrictive laws that can protect their material, this caused artist to look for new ways to show or share their work.
|Another problem, Collectors were having a rough time finding a way to be able to collect or maintain the work that they wanted in good conditions. Some artists were already prepared to share their work with others, they made copies of their works and put them on CD-ROMs or others were made in paintings. Other artist didn't really thought about it or just didn't want any of their works to be sold. Eventually in 2001 many different museums and organizations created something called Variable Media Network. Documentation, migration, emulation, and recreation were some of the ways Variable Media Network found to preserve artist works.|
|As time went on, new devices started to come out. Two of the most known were the web-cam and remote control robots, what they did was create a sense of telepresence.
Surveillance work it has been used mostly in literature, cinema and art, it wasn't seen as something good but instead evil. Eventually the use of surveillance changed, surveillance wasn't just something for the police or military, etc, but it was now being use as a form of entertainment. JenniCAM and TV series Big brother are some example of what it became.
|There is no doubt that new media art had a major impact in the art world, it was something new, it was a new option that new and old artist can choose to try something different from the usual stuff.