100 The Art Happens Here: Introduction
Hi, I’m Michael Connor and I’m Artistic Director of Rhizome, a digital art non-profit that’s been affiliated with the New Museum since 2003.
Rhizome’s focus is on born digital art and often on net art, or art that’s deeply engaged with and inseparable from the internet. And this exhibition comes out of a larger research effort that we’ve been involved with called net art anthology to re-present 100 key works from the history of net art one at a time. Mainly through an online exhibition at anthology.rhizome.org. This exhibition is an effort to consider the kinds of questions that emerge again and again when thinking historically about net art, and indeed about digital culture as a whole.
Because net art takes place through encounters among users and computers and infrastructure, because it plays out through networked practices that exists in a browser and offline, it’s very difficult to return to the net art of the past, to return to the network culture of the past. These things play out in moments that are very difficult to recapture. They rely on context, both social and technological, that are very difficult to return to.
Part of what we do at rhizome is thinking about how we can sort of recreate aspects of context or to re-perform works in a way that brings some of that original context to light. So in this exhibition, what you will see are works that consider different strategies for revisiting net art of the past, through re-performance, through restoring software context, through technical restoration, and in one case at least, Julie Chang’s Garlic=RichAir, a thorough reimagining of a work for 2019.
Audio guide: “The Art Happens Here: Net Art’s Archival Poetics,” New Museum, New York, 2019.