Post-Internet Art Blurs Identities, Boundaries Between Online and Offline

Pictured above, from left to right: Corey Arcangel, Ed Fornieles and the Daniel Keller/Nik Kosmas duo.

Art critic Karen Archey started up the panel by reading an essay she wrote to share some of her post internet observations.” If digital art is defined by the use of digital technology”, she explained, “Internet art works through the browser”, using elements like .gifs, videos, images etc. In that respect, “post internet art doesn’t mean art existing after the death of the internet” she added “but rather after the apparition of the internet.”

After this introductory speech, artists started talking about their works. Cory Arcangel explained his working process for a video that was broadcasting simultaneously. He had downloaded approximately 200 video of cats playing piano back in 2009. He then proceeded to edit and select the music notes needed to play the first atonal piano composition (Drei Klavierstücke op. 11 by Arnold Schönberg). A self-described computer nerd, Arcangel, by producing the video, wanted to make 2 internet audiences -watchers of cat videos and atonal music fans- meet and introduce each communities to the other. This led, he said, to the creation of 2 art moments at the same time.

Ed Fornieles then introduced the audience to one of his own performance. Called Animal House, it aimed at reproducing the typical american college party. He gathered people in a house and each persons were assigned roles and tasks. However, Fornieles explained, as the evening went on, the structure he had set up crumbled, the evening became much wilder than planned. He then put a similar experience online by creating a 32 participants closed network on Facebook. Those profiles interacted and developped plotlines as it went which eventually ended on a cliffhanger.

Blurring boundaries between online and offline, Fornieles later used items from the Animal House performance and turned them into part of sculpture works. Fascinated by  the fluidity between online and offline reality, Fornieles concluded: “Facebook made us professional in character creation. We are getting better and better at it.”

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