The Art Happens Here:
Net Art’s Archival Poetics
New Museum, New York
–26 May 2019
The Rhizome Initiative for the Conservation of Digital Art and Culture, based at the New Museum in New York, presents selected net art works based on its two-year online exhibition “Net Art Anthology”. The aim is to reveal the processes of archiving work with artistic practice on the Internet. The idea is that this project will illustrate the history of digital art since the 1980s and sketch a possible canon.
For two years, Rhizome has been publishing regular posts on individual art projects from different decades on a specially created website. Hundreds of ideas illustrate some of the ways so-called net art can look like. Some projects take place or have taken place exclusively in virtual space, others are and have been expanded offline.
In one of the works shown, Shu Lea Cheang imagines the year 2030, where garlic is the socially recognised currency. Her work was shown at an exhibition in 2002. Visitors were invited to submit a URL address and in return would receive virtual garlic, also called “G”, which could be exchanged for organic garlic in case of emergency in 2030 – a kind of independent barter system. Other exhibits include Alexei Shulgi’s Performance as 386 DX from 1998, the world’s first MIDI-playing cyberpunk band, and Bunny Rogers’ installation (2012) of a non-public florist’s shop that was designed to inspire curiosity and encourage online research.
The exhibition will be accompanied by performance lectures on corresponding current projects.
The publication “The Art Happens Here: Net Art Anthology” (January 2019) creates an analogue version of the exhibition contents.