The Internet, as an expression of western connected, digitalised media and communication and, therefore of western thinking, has spread to almost the entire globe. As a fundamental media infrastructure, it influences cultural articulations and, not least, art. Artists react to the changed media-cultural conditions in different ways, which various authors describe with terms such as “digital condition” (Stalder, 2018), “post-digitality” (Cramer 2015, 2016) or also “Internet state of mind” (Chan 2011). The new, self-evident way of dealing with interlinked digital media, its aesthetics, the corresponding symbolic forms, and the changed conditions of production, distribution, and reception can be observed for example in the art of so-called “post-internet Art” (Olson 2011).
But the claim to equalization that goes hand in hand with the globalization idea of digitalization and the Internet must be called into question. On the one hand, from a media-critical perspective: Does access to digitally networked technology really lead to a democratization of the art scene or are we now dealing with further forms of digital divides, on a technical, economic, cultural, formal and content level? How does the Internet affect questions of visibility and invisibility of art, artists, as well as the formation of a public and accessibility of art? Ultimately, does a gap between the so-called “Global South” and the “Global North” remain in the areas mentioned? – On the other hand, from a postcolonial perspective, what universalisms are transported in the context of the Internet? Which culture-specific, regional peculiarities and particularisms are thereby lost sight of, excluded and made invisible? But, where does it also make artistic works visible and traceable, and thus also the artists who previously worked under the protection of anonymity? Are artists in non-democratic, opressive countries of the world now faced with the choice of either gaining international visibility or working in a more critical and therefore clandestine way? If so, then the Internet not only changes the media-technological conditions of art production and distribution, but also influences them in a sensitive way in terms of content.
The panel attempts to disclose and discuss these and other questions that the Internet holds for art – and also to work out first possible answers.
Chan, C. (2011). Art in Berlin. In: Stil in Berlin. https://www.stilinberlin.de/2011/02/interview-carson-chan.html
Cramer, Florian (2015). „What Is Post-Digital”? Aarhus: APRJA. www.aprja.net/what-is-post-digital/
Cramer, Florian (2016). Nach dem Koitus oder nach dem Tod? Zur Begriffsverwirrung von „postdigital“, „Post-Internet“ und „Post-Media“. In: Thalmair, Franz (Ed.) (2016). Postdigital 1. Allgegenwart und Unsichtbarkeit eines Phänomens. Kunstforum International, 242/2016. 54-67.
Olson, Marisa (2012): Postinternet. In: Foam Magazine 29/2012, 59–63.
Stalder, Felix (2018): The Digital Condition. Cambridge: Polity Press.