Post Internet Art Essay Compare


Oliver Laric (AT-DE), Aleksandra Domanović (SR-SL-AT-DE), Katja Novitskova (EE-NL), Jon Rafman (CA), Timur Si-Qin (DE), Cory Arcangel (US), Marisa Olson (US), Petra Cortright (US), Ryan Trecartin (US), Artie Vierkant (US), AIDS 3D (US-DE), Harm van den Dorpel (NL), Simon Denny (NZ-DE), Amalia Ulman (AR-UK-US), Anne de Vries (NL), Yngve Holen (DE) ...


Exhibitions & catalogues[edit]

Selected group exhibitions featuring works of three or more artists.


  • Image Search, P·P·O·W, New York City, 25 Jun-31 Jul 2009. Works by 13 artists: Aids-3D, Colleen Asper, Aleksandra Domanovic, Christoph Draeger, Daniel Everett, Oliver Laric, Jason Lazarus, Abigail Lloyd, Lucky Dragons, Jill Magid, James Shaeffer, Suzanne Treister, Conrad Ventur. Curated by Jamie Sterns. "Presents the work of artists who use the internet as the primary source for reference and research in their image-making process."


  • Surfing Club,, Basel, 26 Mar-30 May 2010; Espace Multimédia Gantner, Bourogne, 9 May-3 Jul 2010. Works by Aids-3D, John Michael Boling, Petra Cortright, Aleksandra Domanovic, Harm van den Dorpel, Joel Holmberg, Oliver Laric, Marisa Olson, Guthrie Lonergan, Paul Slocum & Nasty Nets, Spirit Surfers, Loshadka. Curated by Raffael Dörig. "Works by a new generation of artists working with and within the internet." Booklet. Video report.
  • Exhibition One, Chrystal Gallery & Gentili Apri, Berlin, 6-7 Oct 2010. Works by Kari Altmann, Charles Broskoski, Lindsay Lawson, Billy Rennekamp, Maxwell Simmer, Harm Van Den Dorpel. Curated by Timur Si-Qin. "Extracting a parallel instance of the work as a three-dimensional representation of geometric data, Exhibition One offers an opportunity to present an alternate framework that posits the questions: Where does an artwork stop and its documentation begin? What is the function of a prospective image that is decisively not-a-model?" [1]
  • Free, New Museum, New York City, 20 Oct 2010-23 Jan 2011. Works by 22 artists: Liz Deschenes, Aleksandra Domanovic, Lizzie Fitch, Martijn Hendriks, Joel Holmberg, David Horvitz, Lars Laumann, Andrea Longacre-White, Kristin Lucas, Jill Magid, Takeshi Murata, Hanne Mugaas, Rashaad Newsome, Lisa Oppenheim, Trevor Paglen, Seth Price, Ryan Trecartin and David Karp, Jon Rafman, Clunie Reid, Amanda Ross-Ho, Alexandre Singh, Harm van den Dorpel. Curated by Lauren Cornell. "“Free” explores how the internet has fundamentally changed our landscape of information and our notion of public space. ... The artist Seth Price's essay “Dispersion” serves as touchstone for this exhibition." Interview with curator (Hyperallergic). Review: Rosenberg (NYT). [2][3]


  • Post Internet Survival Guide, Future Gallery/Gentili Apri, Berlin, 28 Jan-6 Feb 2011. Works by Lorenzo Bernet & Yannic Joray, Sam Hammocks, Martin Kohout, Oliver Laric, Gene McHugh, Christian Oldham, Aude Pariset, Tabor Robak, Timur Si-Qin, Micah Shippa, Kate Steciew, Damon Zucconi. Curated by Katja Novitskova and Michael Ruiz. [4][5]
  • Stone Sky Over Thingworld, Bitforms Gallery, New York City, 2 Jun-29 Jul 2011. Works by Michelle Ceja, Brenna Murphy, Jon Rafman, Artie Vierkant. Curated by Claudia Hart. "The relatedness of style and discourse [of these artists] emerges from ... their educations, the function of the Internet as a system of distribution and communication, – and ultimately, their shared attitudes and digital strategies."
  • Land Art For A New Generation, Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam, 18 Jun-7 Aug 2011. Works by Aram Bartholl, Artie Vierkant, Coralie Vogelaar & Teun Castelein, Dennis de Bel, Jeremy Wood, JODI, Juliette Bonneviot, Kari Altmann, Constant Dullaart. "The starting point for the project is the fact that the analog and digital are now so closely interwoven. ... The exhibition centers on a generation of artists dealing with themes such as (digital) decay and the continuous processing of vast amounts of information. They all share an interest in the creation of new databases at the interface of the physical object and immaterial digital culture."
  • Grouped Show, Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, 16 Jul-20 Aug 2011. Works by Nicolas Ceccaldi, Aleksandra Domanovic, Yngve Holen, Keller/Kosmas, Oliver Laric, Marlie Mul, Timur Si-Qin. Selected by Robert O. Fitzpatrick. "The artists have worked together to place their work atop of, directly aside, or obtrusively in front of one another. ... These 'object hybrids' confront how the status quo methodology for curating group exhibitions (via fixed positions in physical display) is confronted by near-instantaneous peer-to-peer sharing of image, text, media and knowledge content between artists." Reviews: McGarry (Artforum), Sanchez (Artforum).
  • Rat Piss Virus Give It To Me, Yautepec Gallery, Mexico City, 21 Jul-20 Aug 2011. Works by Justin Bochek, Rachel De Joode, Dosha Devastation, Cédric Fargues, Radamés "Juni" Figueroa, Parker Ito, Jeffrey Joyal, Martin Kohout, Duncan Malashock, Carlos Laszlo, Ilia Ovechkin, Artie Vierkant. Curated by Gerardo Contreras.
  • New Jpegs, Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö, 23 Jul-20 Aug 2011. Works by Chris Coy, Parker Ito, Jon Rafman, Ben Schumacher, Artie Vierkant. Curated by Parker Ito. "For this generation [of image-makers] traditional boundaries between object, action, and documentation has fully dissolved, leading to a set of working methods that can be seen as truly post-medium. ... The works exist equally as objects in gallery space and images in circulation." [6][7]
  • The Greater Cloud, NIMk, Amsterdam, 10 Dec 2011-5 Feb 2012. Works by Marjolijn Dijkman, Martijn Hendriks, David Horvitz, Marisa Olson, Jon Rafman, Alexandre Singh, Ryan Trecartin, Artie Vierkant, Lance Wakeling, Pablo Larios, Pamela Rozenkranz. Curated by Petra Heck, Aleksandra Domanovic, Oliver Laric, and Katja Novitskova. "A show in which the Internet as a platform, medium or subject matter functions as a source of inspiration for artists and influences their artistic practice." Review: Dekker(NL).


  • Image Object, Foxy Production, New York City, 1 Jun-20 Jul 2012. Works by Andrea Longacre-White, Travess Smalley, Kate Steciw, Artie Vierkant. "The exhibition considers the relationship between images and objects in the age of digital media. ... With visual content transposed and modified across digital platforms, notions of what an artwork can be are in flux, not unlike the way personal identities are shape-shifting across social networks."
  • Remainder, Hillary Crisp, London, 14 Jun-14 Jul 2012. Works by Neïl Beloufa, Steve Bishop, Sofia Hultén, Iman Issa, Toril Johannessen, Luke Stettner, Artie Vierkant. Curated by Alex Ross. [8]
  • Net Narrative, Carlos/Ishikawa, London, 13 Sep-20 Oct 2012. Works by Iain Ball, Ed Fornieles, Marlie Mul, Katja Novitskova, Ben Vickers, Holly White, Artie Vierkant. Curated by Harry Burke. Publication.


  • Art Post-Internet, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 1 Mar-11 May 2014. Works by Aids-3D, Kari Altmann, Cory Arcangel, Alisa Baremboym, Bernadette Corporation, Dara Birnbaum, Juliette Bonneviot, Nicolas Ceccaldi, Tyler Coburn, Petra Cortright, Simon Denny, Aleksandra Domanović, Harm van den Dorpel, Ed Fornieles, Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, Joel Holmberg, GCC, Josh Kline, Oliver Laric, LuckyPDF, Tobias Madison and Emanuel Rossetti, Marlie Mul, Katja Novitskova, Marisa Olson, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Aude Pariset, Seth Price, Jon Rafman, Jon Rafman and Rosa Aiello, Rachel Reupke, Bunny Rogers, Hannah Sawtell, Ben Schumacher, Timur Si-Qin, Hito Steyerl, Artie Vierkant, Lance Wakeling, Andrew Norman Wilson, Jordan Wolfson. Curated by Karen Archey and Robin Peckham. Catalogue. Booklet. Video presentation. Reviews: Folks (AQNB), Nastasijevic (Widewalls).
  • Traucum, Parc Saint Léger, Pougues-les-Eaux, 13 Sep-17 Oct 2014. Works by Xavier Antin, Kévin Bray, Erik Bünger, Ann Craven, Aleksandra Domanović, Jennifer Fréville, Dominique Gilliot, Jémérie Gindre, Jack Goldstein, Alexis Guillier, William E. Jones, Michael Jones McKean, Mark Leckey, Christophe Lemaitre & Aurélien Mole, Marc-Antoine Mathieu, Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet, Ceel Mogami de Haas, Maya Palma, Aude Pariset, Pierre Paulin, Elodie Pong, Jon Rafman, Manon Recordon, Sébastien Rémy, Soraya Rhofir, Rita Sobral Campos, Pacôme Thiellement, Stephen Willats. Curated by Céline Poulin. Catalogue. Review: Luquet-Gad (02).
  • Private Settings: Art After the Internet, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, 25 Sep 2014-4 Jan 2015. Works by Sarah Abu Abdallah and Joey L. DeFrancesco, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Ed Atkins, Trisha Baga and Jessie Stead, Darja Bajagic, Nicolas Ceccaldi, Jennifer Chan, CUSS Group, Czosnek Studio, Jesse Darling, DIS, Harm van den Dorpel, Loretta Fahrenholz, Daniel Keller, Ada Karczmarczyk, Jason Loebs, Piotr Łakomy, Metahaven, Takeshi Murata, Yuri Pattison, Hannah Perry, Jon Rafman, Bunny Rogers, Pamela Rosenkranz, Gregor Różański, Ryan Trecartin, Ned Vena. Curated by Natalia Sielewicz. [9]
  • Hike, Hack / Hic et Nunc, XPO, Paris, 9 Oct-26 Nov 2014. Works by Pierre Clément, Guillaume Collignon, Manuel Fernandez, Hunter Jonakin, Jill Magid, Paul Souviron, Penelope Umbrico, Clement Valla, Kevin Zucker. Curated by Non Printing Character (Alexis Jakubowicz and Jean-Brice Moutout). Review: Nechvatal (Artillery Mag).


  • Les Oracles, XPO, Paris, 12 Feb-4 Apr 2015. Works by Julieta Aranda, Juliette Bonneviot, Caroline Delieutraz, Aleksandra Domanovic, Jeanette Hayes, Kristin Lucas, Brenna Murphy, Katja Novitskova, Katie Torn, Saya Woolfalk. Curated by Marisa Olson. "The ten artists either respond directly to classic science fiction works or more broadly explore the iconography and pop cultural mythologies they convey and inhabit." Catalogue. Interview with curator (DIS).
  • Surround Audience: New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York City, 25 Feb-24 May 2015. Works by 51 artists: Nadim Abbas, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, niv Acosta, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Sophia Al-Maria, Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Ed Atkins, Olga Balema, Frank Benson, Sascha Braunig, Antoine Catala, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, José León Cerrillo, Onejoon CHE, Tania Pérez Córdova, Verena Dengler, DIS, Aleksandra Domanović, Casey Jane Ellison, Exterritory, Geumhyung Jeong, Ane Graff, Guan Xiao, Shadi Habib Allah, Eloise Hawser, Lena Henke, Lisa Holzer, Juliana Huxtable, Renaud Jerez, K-HOLE, Shreyas Karle, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Josh Kline, Eva Koťátková, Donna Kukama, Firenze Lai, Oliver Laric, Li Liao, Rachel Lord, Basim Magdy, Nicholas Mangan, Ashland Mines, Shelly Nadashi, Eduardo Navarro, Steve Roggenbuck, Avery K. Singer, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Martine Syms, Lisa Tan, Luke Willis Thompson, Peter Wächtler. Curated by Lauren Cornell and Ryan Trecartin. Reviews: Pulitzer (Artforum), Weiner (Art Agenda), Gilbert (Bomb), Viveros-Fauné (Village Voice), Wilson (Daily Serving), Scott (New Yorker), Wolin (TimeOut NY), Hendricks (Huffpost). Video report, Photographs.
  • Concentrations 59: Mirror Stage—Visualizing the Self After the Internet, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, 10 Apr-6 Dec 2015. Series of solo shows by Ed Atkins, Trisha Baga, Antoine Catala, Aleksandra Domanović, Jon Rafman, Jacolby Satterwhite, Hito Steyerl, Ryan Trecartin. Curated by Gabriel Ritter. "Examines the changing understanding and representation of the self via digital technology and the Internet." Booklet.
  • Generation Smart, NTK Gallery, Prague, 13 May-13 Jun 2015. Works by Kryštof Ambrůz, Filip Dvořák, Jakub Geltner, Katarína Hládeková, Ondřej Homola, Martin Kohout, Martin Kolarov, Adéla Korbičková, David Krňanský, Ladislav Kyllar, Martin Lukáč, Kristýna Lutzová, Black Media, Andrea Mikysková, Richard Nikl, Olbram Pavlíček, Julius Reichel, The Rodina, Lucie Rosenfeldová, Barbora Švehláková, Ladislav Tejml, Nik Timková. Curated by David Kořínek a Milan Mikuláštík. Review: Jindrová (A2).
  • Inflected Objects #1: Abstraction - Rising Automated Reasoning, Istituto Svizzero, Milan, 15 May-13 Jun 2015. Works by Philippe Decrauzat, Harm van den Dorpel, Katharina Fengler, Femke Herregraven, Lars Holdhus, Pierre Lumineau, Jenna Sutela and Sophie Jung. Curated by Melanie Bühler and Valerio Mannucci. Photos.
  • Return of the Object & The Disorder of Things, Kvalitář Gallery, Prague, 11 Sep-6 Nov 2015. Works by Annabelle Arlie, Iain Ball, Delong, Constant Dullaart, Tereza Fišerová – Evžen Šimera, Martin Kohout, Martin Kolarov – Filip Dvořák, Kristýna Lutzová, Štěpán Marko, Richard Nikl – Jan Brož, Nik Timková – Jakub Hošek, Magdaléna Vojteková, Ted Whitaker. Curated by Václav Janoščík.
  • Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015`, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 7 Nov 2015-20 Mar 2016. Works by 19 artists and collectives from 14 countries: Ilit Azoulay, Zbyněk Baladrán, Lucas Blalock, Edson Chagas, Natalie Czech, DIS, Katharina Gaenssler, David Hartt, Mishka Henner, David Horvitz, John Houck, Yuki Kimura, Anouk Kruithof, Basim Magdy, Katja Novitskova, Marina Pinsky, Lele Saveri, Indrė Šerpytytė, Lieko Shiga. Organised by Quentin Bajac, Roxana Marcoci, and Lucy Gallun. "Probing the effects of an image-based post-Internet reality, the exhibition examines various ways of experiencing the world: through images that are born digitally, made with scanners or lenses in the studio or the real world, presented as still or moving pictures, distributed as zines, morphed into three-dimensional objects, or remixed online. Its title refers to the Internet as a vortex of images, a site of piracy, and a system of networks." Reviews: NYT, Woodward (WSJ], Wolukau-Wanambwa (Aperture). Interview with curator. [10]


  • Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966): From Experiments in Art and Technology to Art After the Internet, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 29 Jan-15 May 2016. Curated by Omar Kholeif. Review: Fuller (Mute).
  • 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art: The Present in Drag, Kunstwerke and other venues in Berlin, 4 Jun-8 Sep 2016. Works by ca 50 artists. Curated by DIS (Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, David Toro). Reviews: Perlson (Artnet), Edmonson (Art Agenda), Langham (Aqnb), Archey (Frieze), Farago (Guardian), Casavecchia (Mousse), Petersson (Kunstkritikk), Plinta (Szum), Čech (Artalk), Elderton (Flash Art), Duncan (Apollo), Forbes (Artsy), Batycka (Hyperallergic),Vaughan (Artfagcity), Lukáčová (Artalk), Maier-Rothe (Ibraaz), Heddaya (Art Newspaper), Salemy (Ocula), Bisello (CFA), Kleinmichel (CAS), Öğüt (e-flux), Pinto (WDW), Franke (Metropolis M).



  • Ways Beyond the Internet, panel discussion, DLD (Digital Life Design) conference, Munich, 23 Jan 2012. Moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, speakers: Ed Fornieles, Nik Kosmas, Karen Archey, Jon Nash, Oliver Laric, Cory Arcangel, Rafael Rozendaal. Video documentation. Archey's diary of events.
  • Post-Net Aesthetics, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 17 Oct 2013. Moderated by Karen Archey, speakers: Harm van den Dorpel, Rozsa Farkas, Ben Vickers, Josephine Berry Slater. Video documentation.
  • Já bych ty postinternety zakázala, panel discussion, Veletržní palác, Prague, 28 May 2014. Organised by KIV Gallery, moderated by Martina Poliačková and Lumír Nikl, speakers: Martin Kohout, Richard Nikl, Palo Fabuš, David Kořínek. Review: Stejskalová (A2larm).
  • Lunch Bytes Conference, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 20-21 Mar 2015. Video documentation of closing panel discussion.


See also catalogues above.


  • Katja Novitskova (ed.), Post Internet Survival Guide 2010, Berlin: Revolver, 2011, 272 pp. [11][12]
  • Gene McGugh, Post Internet: Notes on the Internet and Art, Brescia: Link Editions, 2011. Collected posts from the blog, Dec 2009-Sep 2010.
  • Omar Kholeif (ed.), You Are Here: Art After the Internet, Manchester: Cornerhouse Books, 2014. Publisher, Co-publisher. Reviews: Swift (AQNB), Sumpter (ArtReview).
  • Lauren Cornell, Ed Halter (eds.), Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century, MIT Press, 2015, 528 pp. Anthology. [13]. Review: Galati (Leonardo).

Magazines, Journals[edit]

  • DIS Magazine, 8 issues, eds. Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, and David Toro, New York, 2010-2014.
  • Pool, 2011.
  • Zérodeux 70: Pre->Post-Internet, ed. Patrice Joly, Nantes: Association Zoo galerie, Summer 2014. Essay by Benoît Lamy de la Chapelle; interviews with Artie Vierkant, Tobias Madison, features on Ed Atkins, Neïl Beloufa. [14](French)/(English)
  • Elephant 23: "What is Post-Internet Art?", Frame Publishers, Summer 2015. [15]
  • Kunstforum 242: "Postdigital 1: Allgegenwart und Unsichtbarkeit eines Phänomens", 2016. [16](German)
  • Flash Art CZ/SK 42: "Postinternet", ed. Lýdia Pribišová, Prague, Dec 2016-Feb 2017. (Czech),(Slovak)

Essays, Book chapters[edit]

  • Marisa Olson, "Lost Not Found: The Circulation of Images in Digital Visual Culture" [18 Sep 2008], in Words Without Pictures, ed. Alex Klein, Los Angeles: LACMA, 2009, pp 274-284, HTML, PDF. On surf clubs and film montage.
  • Artie Vierkant, "The Image-Object Post Internet", Jst Chillin' , Dec 2010.
  • Marisa Olson, "Postinternet: Art After the Internet", Foam Magazine 29, Winter 2011, pp 59-63; repr. in Art and the Internet, London: Black Dog, 2013. [17]
    • "Postinternet: arte a partir de internet", trans. Paloma Checa-Gismero, in Olson, Arte postinternet, México: ESAY - Escuela Superior de Arte de Yucatán, 2014, pp 19-29. (Spanish)
    • "Pós-internet: a arte depois da internet", in Museus sem lugar: ensaios, manifestos e diálogos em rede, eds. Helena Barranha, et al., Lisbon: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2015, pp 123-136. (Portuguese)
  • Jennifer Chan, "Stacking and Leaning: The Seduction of The Found in <Postinternet> Contemporary Sculpture", in “Real Things” Rachel de Joode, Dallas, TX: Oliver Francis Gallery, 2012, pp 60-74. [18]
  • "Postinternet Art", ch in Art and the Internet, ed. Phoebe Adler, et al., London: Black Dog, 2013. TOC, [19].
  • Michael Connor, "What's Postinternet Got to do with Net Art?", Rhizome, 1 Nov 2013.
  • Brian Droitcour, "The Perils of Post-Internet Art", Art in America, Nov 2014. Based on blog post, "Why I Hate Post-Internet Art", 3 Mar 2014.
  • Domenico Quaranta, "#post-internet", Flash Art 305 (Mar-Apr 2014), p 28. (Italian)
  • Stella Rieck, Shifting Relationships towards Commerce in Net Art, Post-Internet Art and Post-Digital Art, 27 Jun 2014, 57 pp. Master's thesis. [20]
  • Scott Reyburn, "Post-Internet Art Waits Its Turn", New York Times, 26 Sep 2014. [21]
  • Melissa Gronlund, "From Narcissism to the Dialogic: Identity in Art after the Internet", Afterall 37, Autumn/Winter 2014, pp 4-13.
  • Václav Magid, "Aura postinternetového umění. Umělecká kritika masové kultury a zbožní estetiky", A2 24, Prague, 19 Nov 2014. (Czech)
  • Václav Magid, "Ozvěny špatného smíchu. Postinternetové umění a kulturní průmysl", Sešit 17, Prague: VVP AVU, 2014, pp 66-96. (Czech)
  • Domenico Quaranta, "Situating Post Internet", in Media Art: Towards a New Definition of Arts in the Age of Technology, ed. Valentino Catricalà, Pistoia: Gli Ori, 2015.
  • Morgan Quaintance, "Right Shift", Art Monthly 387 (Jun 2015).
  • Richard Grayson, "An Internet of Things: Post Internet Art", Broadsheet 44:1, CACSA, 2015, pp 75-78, PDF.
  • Paolo Magagnoli, "Digital Utopia in the Post-Internet Age", ch 4 in Magagnoli, Documents of Utopia: The Politics of Experimental Documentary, Columbia University Press, 2015, pp 123-160. [22]
  • Stefan Heidenreich, "Freeportism as Style and Ideology: Post-Internet and Speculative Realism, Part I", e-flux 71 (Mar 2016).
  • Anselm Franke, Ana Teixeira Pinto, "Post-Political, Post-Critical, Post-Internet: Why Can't Leftists Be More Like Fascists?", Open!, 8 Sep 2016.



Primary references[edit]

  • Surf clubs
  • VVORK blog, eds. Aleksandra Domanovic, Christoph Priglinger, Georg Schnitzer, and Oliver Laric, Vienna, 2006-12.
  • DIS Magazine, eds. DIS (Lauren Boyle, Solomon Chase, Marco Roso, David Toro), New York, 2010-.
  • The New Aesthetic blog, ed. James Bridle, London, May 2011-.
  • Seth Price, Dispersion, New York, 2002/2008.

See also[edit]

Katja Novitskova, Post Internet Survival Guide 2010, 2011.
Gene McGugh, Post Internet, 2011, PDF, Log.
Omar Kholeif (ed.), You Are Here: Art After the Internet, 2014, ARG.
Lauren Cornell, Ed Halter (eds.), Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century, 2015, ARG.

Courtesy and Harm van den Dorpel.

An extended and altered version of this text will be published in... You Are Here: Looking at After the Internet (Cornerhouse Books 2014), edited by Omar Kholeif.

Earlier this month, Rhizome presented a panel discussion at the ICA in London titled "Post-Net Aesthetics." Following in the wake of prior panels (titled "Net Aesthetics 2.0") which were organized by Rhizome in 2006 and 2008, this edition was precipitated by the recent discussion of postinternet practices by a number of art institutions and magazines, including Frieze. We invited a longtime Rhizome collaborator, critic and curator Karen Archey, to chair and organize the panel, and what emerged was a wide-ranging and extremely generative conversation in which participants began to articulate some of the shifts they'd seen in artistic practice in recent years, while critiquing those shifts and their framing as "postinternet."

One dynamic to emerge from the panel discussion is an intergenerational tension that has played out in comment threads on Rhizome and Facebook. This tension was in evidence even before the panel in, for example, a response by Mark Tribe (b. 1966) to a question about postinternet art for an interview that was published in Art in America in September:

Internet art was a movement that arose in 1994 and waned in the early 2000s. Post-Internet artists stand on the shoulders of Net art giants like Olia Lialina, Vuk Cosic, and JODI, not in order to lift themselves higher into the thin atmosphere of pure online presence but rather to crush the past and reassemble the fragments in strange on/offline hybrid forms. See also: New Aesthetic.

Examples of efforts by postinternet artists to "crush the past" are numerous; one example can be found in "The Image Object Post-Internet" (2010), in which Artie Vierkant (b. 1986) wrote, "New Media is here denounced as a mode too narrowly focused on the specific workings of novel technologies, rather than a sincere exploration of cultural shifts in which that technology plays only a small role." While Vierkant is using the term "New Media" rather than Tribe's "Net art," he does so in an effort to articulate a new relationship with technology in contrast with preceding generations. 

It should be noted that, within postinternet discourse, there are many who do cite the importance of art and technology precursors, such as Karen Archey, Chris Wiley, and Hanne Mugaas in the recent Frieze roundtable. Equally, established curators and artists like Tribe have, even while acknowledging the conflict between "postinternet" and its precursors, done a great deal to support emerging artistic practices. In this article, I hope to build on this existing dialogue to further encourage ways of thinking about recent artistic practices engaged with the internet as both distinct from and connected to recent histories of art and technology. To do so, I discuss several works by Olia Lialina spanning 1996 to 2013 in relation to Marisa Olson and Abe Linkoln's Abe & Mo Sing the Blues (2005) and the exhibition "Brand Innovations for Ubiquitous Authorship" (2012), in order to show how the problems associated with generational shifts also played within an individual artist's practice. In this discussion, "postinternet" emerges as a useful term for tracking artists' shifting relationships with the rapidly-changing cultural objects we know as "the internet," in that its definition has changed so dramatically since Olson's original articulation. 

The reference normally given for the first use of the term postinternet is a 2008 interview, but Olson remembers using it as part of a 2006 panel organized by Rhizome. In an email discussion that was printed in TimeOut New York in 2006, she wrote:

What I make is less art "on" the Internet than it is art "after" the Internet. It's the yield of my compulsive surfing and downloading. I create performances, songs, photos, texts, or installations directly derived from materials on the Internet or my activity there.

As critic and curator Gene McHugh has pointed out, this was an early articulation of what Olson would call a "Post-Internet" way of working. The term has since evolved considerably, sprouting an array of differing use cases that would take considerable effort to catalog in full. As a result, today one often hears the criticism that "postinternet" is a vague neologism, but for Olson, it had a specific meaning, referring to a mode of artistic activity drawing on raw materials and ideas found or developed online. 

Abe & Mo Sing the Blues (2005) screenshot

One example of making art "'after' the Internet" is Olson's 2005 collaboration with Abe Linkoln, Abe & Mo Sing the Blogs, an album in the form of a blog. Each "track", or entry, consists of the copied-and-pasted text of a found blog post, a link to the original post, and a link to an MP3 in which either Linkoln or Olson sings the the post. Authors of the found posts included music critic Sasha Frere-Jones, artists Ubermorgen, someone named Glue Factory Bob, and Eggagog, the mysterious author of Internet classic "THIS IS FUN TO MAKE A BLOG ON THE COMPUTER WEBSITE." Abe & Mo Sing the Blues now functions as an archive of the blog form at what, in retrospect, feels like its peak moment; in many cases, the posts used as source material are no longer online. The website draws together source materials and offers them up for the analysis of a visitor; removing the posts from their original context strips some of their original meaning (what is Frere-Jones is talking about when he says "Look at all the fives. It's like a five factory?). By rendering the posts opaque, Olson and Linkoln make them available as internet objects of study for an observer who is positioned (at least temporarily) on the outside. At the same time, though, by using the blog posts as readymade scripts for a series of performances, Linkoln and Olson inhabit these objects, or perhaps the objects inhabit them; they allow them to move through their body as performed songs. This is a kind of mimicry, but by investing their performances with emotion and energy, Linkoln and Olson participate Olson and Linkoln's artistic project can be seen as an attempt to come to an understanding of a quickly-evolving internet culture from a perspective that is both inside and outside of it.

If "making art 'after' the internet" in 2006, then, involved being a participant-observer of an emerging internet culture, then many other artists of the time also worked in a similar mode, including other participants in the first "Net Aesthetics 2.0" panel, hosted by Electronic Arts Intermix in New York and organized by Lauren Cornell for Rhizome. (The other participants were Cory Arcangel, Michael Bell-Smith, Caitlin Jones, Wolfgang Staehle, and myself.) The "2.0" in the title was, in part, a slightly facetious nod to the hype surrounding "Web 2.0," a term used to describe the increasing use of centralized services rather than independent websites to share and access content online. It was clear that the web's culture was changing: social networking sites were growing in popularity, and YouTube had launched the previous year. In broad strokes, these changes meant that many more people were making and sharing content online, and they were doing so through a smaller number of channels.[1]

But in addition to this nod to changing conditions on the web as a whole, the "2.0" was also a provocation, pointing to a shift in the ways that artists were engaging with the internet. This can be seen not only in the work of artists like Olson, who came to prominence well after the initial, heroic phase of web browser-based art, but also in the trajectories followed by artists who were associated with that initial period, such as Olia Lialina.

In the 1990s, Lialina's work often took the form of web pages that used various elements of the nascent language of the browser for narrative purposes. In My Boyfriend Came Back from the War (1996), Lialina used HTML frames and hyperlinks to tell a story that opens out across nested HTML frames; in Agatha Appears (1997), she used changing URLs as a narrative device; in Anna Karenina Goes to Paradise (1996), she queried three separate search engines (Yahoo, Magellan and Alta Vista) to narrate the searching undertaken by her titular character.

In 1998, Lialina described her interest in the web during this first heyday of net art:

At that time [1996], I spoke of the Internet being open for artistic self-expression, that the time had come to create Net films, Net stories and so on, to develop a Net language instead of using the web simply as a broadcast channel….[2]

With this text, circulated to the artists, writers, and internet thinkers of the nettime mailing list, Lialina announced a shift to working as a net art gallerist. Shortly thereafter, she launched the website, which offered a series of single-page web-based artworks for sale to collectors for $1000 to $2000 each. Lialina later said she was "not really intending to become a gallerist, so the next exhibition, Location=Yes, was not about selling." She may not have been selling, but she was acting as a champion for the practitioners of the emerging artistic language of the "Net."

Increasingly, Lialina's focus seems to have included championing not only the work of self-described artists, but also the work of the many non-art identified internet users who also were crucial in developing this "Net language." This interest was manifested through talks and illustrated essays, such as A Vernacular Web: The Indigenous and the Barbarians (2005), which celebrated the popular forms of self-expression on the early web and critiqued the more truncated forms of online expression offered by the centralized services of the Web 2.0 era. This shift can also be seen in a collaborative project with her partner Dragan Espenschied, With Elements of Web 2.0 (2006), consisting of a series of aluminum prints that bring together tropes of the vernacular web (outer space backgrounds) or even older forms of cultural expression (a spiral notebook) with iconography of the Web 2.0 era, such as the Google Maps navigation buttons.

With Elements of Web 2.0 (2006)

A decade separated With Elements of Web 2.0 (2006) from My Boyfriend Came Back from the War (1996), and there is evidence of a changing set of concerns in Lialina's practice. While the early online work was keenly engaged with the problem of articulating a new artistic language through the internet, Lialina increasingly began to respond (in her solo and collaborative artistic practice, and through her writing) to the wider conditions of cultural production and circulation online. It isn't so much that her artistic project changed. It's the web, and the critical discourse around it, that changed. Commercial companies structured vernacular uses of the web and profited from them long before the advent of Facebook, but with the rise of Web 2.0, they started to get a lot better at doing so. And by 2006, the time of the first "Net Aesthetics 2.0" panel, coming to grips with this changing internet landscape seemed like a most pressing task for many artists. Artie Vierkant characterized this shift as follows: "Artists after the Internet thus take on a role more closely aligned to that of the interpreter, transcriber, narrator, curator, architect."

Both Abe & Mo Sing the Blues and With Elements of Web 2.0 (2006) reflect the artists adopting this role. For their series, Lialina and Espenschied appropriated materials harvested from the web; they presented these materials as solid objects, as aluminum prints rather than digital codes and liquid crystals. While their tone is markedly different from that of Olson and Linkoln's website—melancholic, where Abe & Mo is celebratory; contemplative, where Abe & Mo is participatory—the series can also be thought of as "art made 'after' the internet," per Olson's formulation. Olson's "after" was connected to a historical shift (to re-state it, the explosion of online creators on centralized web services constituting an internet culture in which artists increasingly acted as participant-observers) but it did not refer to this shift; it wasn't marking out an epoch. Instead, it referred to a delineation within the artist's practice, which could be experienced in everyday time, not historical time: "I surfed, and then I created art." Maybe it was just a convenient way of referring to a more general structural boundary between artistic practice and internet culture. Art outside of the internet.

After Olson's 2006 formulation, of course, the cultural conditions of the internet continued to change, rapidly. It's not popular, these days, to ascribe cultural shifts to the appearance of a new technology rather than shifts in perceptual regimes or economic models[3], but let's just say it: the iPhone was released in 2007. Olson's language of making art "after" being online, though surely not meant to be taken literally, initially suggested a perceived boundary between time spent online and off. This boundary was eroded with the proliferation of smartphones and the growing pressures of an attention-based economy. And so Olson's concept of making art after the internet no longer applied in the same way. There was no after the internet, only during, during, during. The artist could no longer realistically adopt a position on the outside.

In this context, it no longer makes sense for artists to attempt to come to terms with "internet culture," because now "internet culture" is increasingly just "culture." In other words, the term "postinternet" suggests that the focus of a good deal of artistic and critical discourse has shifted from "internet culture" as a discrete entity to the reconfiguration of all culture by the internet, or by internet-enabled neoliberal capitalism.

Many of the artists who are working on these questions are acting less as "interpreter, transcriber, narrator, curator, architect," and more as fully-implicated participant: Ann Hirsch performing as a cam whore, Auto Italia South East setting up a workspace for immaterial laborers in a major London real estate development, Ed Fornieles' manipulation of other people's social media profiles. One useful example of this shift is the 2012 exhibition "Brand Innovations for Ubiquitous Authorship" at Higher Pictures, in which "a large group of international artists were asked to produce an object using a custom printing or fabrication service such as CafePress, Zazzle and Walmart, which delivered the objects in sealed boxes directly to the gallery." These rules circumscribed the process of artistic creation entirely within the more or less truncated forms of customization available on the internet; one might reasonably draw the inference that all forms of creative production are similarly circumscribed. The process was made visible through a series of YouTube videos in which the gallerists documented the "unboxing" of each artist's work, fresh from the factory, entirely unseen by the artists up to that point, wrapped in bubble wrap or immersed in packing peanuts. The videos were given slightly macabre titles (Unboxing Marisa Olson and Unboxing Jon Rafman), equating the artist with their product and conveying the impression that the artists' names are also brands.

Unboxing Maria Olson at Higher Pictures, filmed by Artie Vierkant (2013)

Unboxing Jon Rafman at Higher Pictures, filmed by Artie Vierkant (2013)

As much as the Unboxing videos highlighted the artists' participation in digital economies, they also highlighted the objects' participation in such economies. Through exclusion, the videos call attention to the highly organized systems of authorship, production, and distribution that brought these objects into existence, and brought them to the gallery. They do not try to represent these systems, only to represent their participation in them.  

The strategy of calling attention to these systems of production and circulation is not limited to the world of solid, stable objects. Here, we can return to the work of Olia Lialina. Lialina's past online work has often made creative use of the URL, and she has also written about the importance of the URL in creating the context in which an online artwork exists. The most notable example of this is her work Agatha Appears (1997), one section of which involves a series of pages, each featuring an identical image of a woman, that moves the user from one URL to the next, each one adding a bit more narrative information. The current version of the work uses the following URLs:

In summer 2013, Lialina released another project in which the URL played an important role. Summer (2013) is a short animated loop in which the artist swings from a playground swing that is seemingly fixed to the top of the browser window. Each frame of the animation is played back from a different website, and so the browser must re-direct quickly across a number of websites, such as:

The URLs in Agatha Appears are used as by Lialina a creative tool, while those in Summer are modified by the artist in the most generic way possible, through the addition of her first name and the title of the work. Thus Lialina's use of the URL here, rather than offering a means for creative expression, merely highlights one aspect of the network in which her work circulates. In this, it has something in common with the "Brand Innovations" project, which also seeks to highlight the networks in which the works circulated. In contrast with that exhibition, though, Lialina chooses to circulate her work in a network defined partly by friendship and shared interests, not solely economics and production. Lialina's work calls attention to the work's reliance on a network of friends, a kind of autonomous zone in which her image circulates, in contrast with the endlessly implicated position of "Brand Innovations," which calls attention to the artworks's reliance on a network of logistics and manufacturing, and no such autonomy is assumed to be available to the artist.

In Olson's articulation in 2006/2008, the term "Post-Internet" positioned the artistic creation process "after" or structurally outside of the internet, while acknowledging that the artist was a compulsive participant in internet culture. In the more recent example of "Brand Innovations," artistic creation is more explicitly tied to a system of circulation of brands and images and objects, an internet-enabled neoliberal ether. The outside is not presumed to exist. Lialina points to this problem, but her response is to try to set off a semi-autonomous zone defined by networks of friendship and trust; the artists of "Brand Innovations" do not assume such autonomy.

This fully-immersed position has interesting implications not only for artistic creation, but also for the circulation, reception, and discussion of art. In other words, it has interesting implications for me, a writer a and curator. I wanted to write this text in a way that would appeal to olds like me (I'm not really an old, except in internet years), and so I assumed a serious voice, I tried to stick to the facts, I tried not to make too many grand and unsubstantiated claims. But, this kind of writing somehow feels inadequate for a discussion of postinternet practice; it assumes a critical stance outside of art and internet and even neoliberalism, when in truth I am immersed in all three. So although the word "postinternet" is now about to collapse under the weight of its overuse, even though its position inside of the digital ether may be easily mistaken for a lack of critical politics, I still think there is something true and interesting and complicated about this refusal to buy into the assumption that artwork, artist, audience, and art worker can assume autonomy, and I'm still grappling with this in my own practice as a writer and curator. Even as they criticize the woolly discourse around postinternet art on forums and social media and in the pages of art magazines, I hope the other olds are doing the same.

[1] For an excellent contemporaneous critique on this term, see MUTE Vol 2, No. 4, "WEB 2.0: MAN'S BEST FRIENDSTER" (January 2007).

[2] Olia Lialina, "," Message to Nettime-l mailing list, January 19, 1998.

[3] See, for example, Jonathan Crary, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, New York: Verso, 2013. p 36: "This pseudo-historical formulation of the present as a digital age, supposedly homologous with a 'bronze age' or 'steam age,' perpetuates the illusion of a unifying and durable coherence to the many incommensurable contituents of contemporary experience."

Updated 11/1 to add the sentence, "Equally, established curators and artists like Tribe have, even while acknowledging the conflict between "postinternet" and its precursors, done a great deal to support emerging artistic practices." 

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