Artsblog

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

It seems apt that just as I’m about to start my own blog I found myself at a discussion and live webcast for Artsblog Live Week run by Arts Admin.  Christina and I went a long pretty spare of the moment and found ourselves immersed in a really interesting discussion about the pros and cons of using the Internet as a platform for art.

Some of things that first inspired me to consider the web as a medium not just for showing the documentation of physical works but for making and exhibition specifically web based work came up in the talk and so I thought I’d share those thoughts with you on my first post.

I think my initial motivation was based on accessibility, I wanted to make work that was accessible to anyone and everyone – the Internet appears to be just the format for that.  However as was discussed last night you still need to consider whether everyone has access and time to spend on the Internet, do they have enough web literacy to access your work and possibly most important do they know about it?  Access to the arts in many instances I think these days is not limited so much by geography or finance but by information.  Whilst the web may appear to be easier to access in many ways therefore often knowledge of art on the web is fairly poor and despite that all you need is a link many people may never come across a net art project in their lives.

The other key aspect that continues to fuel my desire to acquire greater programming skills in order to create the interactive experiences I have blueprints for is the fact that the web by its nature is an active medium.  The web has ‘users’ not ‘viewers'; they are already engaged.  Great net art should take advantage of this and create experiences that challenge the audience and demand a higher level of engagement.  Or perhaps equally interestingly it could surprise the user by taking back some control, taking the user in unexpected places and behaving in unpredictable ways, how will be user react?  Will they reach for their back button or will they come along for the ride?

Watch the full discussion here.

2 Comments

  • Abhishek

    May 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    “The web has ‘users’ not ‘viewers’; ” is an appropriate conclusion about majority of the people ‘using’ the web. However, this offers a lot more uphill task for the artist; to create something that interacts with the user and force one to think.
    A painting on a canvas or a mural across the wall is also interactive, in a way that it leaves a lot of room for the viewer to imagine and discover and then re-discover it in the light of new thoughts. But, for that the viewer must be able to appreciate the essence of the creation. But, for any interactive form of art on the web, the artist has greater command over the direction of user’s thoughts. Given the sheer speed, an artist can make way into the user’s mind and gain substantial control over it.
    Now, its a different point altogether about which one of these will bear a lasting impression on the human mind.
    On the accessibility part, art on the web will always address a niche audience. It will take us some time, rather a lot of time when majority of art lovers are brought under the ambit of web.
    The key remains that our artists continue to create for the sake of creation, be it for the web or any other media. Let art not get confined too much to the programmer’s constructs. In trying to look through the user’s mind, let the creators not narrow down their perspectives.
    And Kezia, congratulations on the blog. I am sure, you will continue to share your thoughts on the emerging aspects of art going forward.

  • Edith

    January 5, 2015 at 3:52 am

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