“Internet art” has been around as long as long as the Internet itself. A renegade thing, it’s always on the edge of new technology, with its medium functioning as its own platform. GIFs, CAPTCHA codes, found imagery, experimental social networks — the manifestations and run-off of our daily online experience is all ripe fodder for the net artist. There has been some exciting new work floating around lately, so instead of taking you back to some ’80s cave drawing era of net art, we’ll introduce you to a few fun recent net artists, ranging from the tongue-in-cheek early Internet throwbacks to the user-friendly art “tools” anyone can enjoy. Disclaimer: If you think art is pretty paintings of pretty things, this little primer isn’t for you. In any case, we welcome your constructive snark! Proceed.
Santa Barbara-based Petra Cortright is one of the most alluring web artists to ever exhibit at the New Museum. Alright, her manipulated YouTube videos are just damn mesmerizing. At a particularly poignant moment in her career, her early work VVEBCAM was censored from YouTube for her endless use of offensive keywords like “sex” “fuck” “orgy” “slut,” even though the content was rather innocent — a passive self-portrait interrupted by the shuffling of random, cartoon-ish web imagery as it was “consumed” by the artist. It is now backed up on Rhizome, and the incident is immortalized in academic circles.