Unbound to GPS coordinates, internet-based art has no place on these other lists, and since it isn’t fair to neglect the increasing amount of works designed specifically for cyberspace, 2015 welcomes our inaugural Best-of-the-Internet list.
I first learned about Cubism in an art history class my sophomore year of college. I remember the moment of revelation, after reading a lot about but still failing to grasp what exactly Picasso and Braque were after. In the darkened lecture hall one afternoon, our teacher summed it up this way: how sparingly could you paint a face while still having the viewer understand it as a face? What was the bare minimum required for representation? As legend has it, these questions and the art they inspired changed the course of art history forever.
Is the same true of the digital revolution? That’s the premise of Decenter, an exhibition curated Andrianna Campbell and Daniel S. Palmer and currently on view at the Abrons Arts Center.
Can you imagine ads being sold on a Mark Rothko canvas? Sponsorships, perhaps, stuck discreetly to a corner of the canvas? After all, artworks get a lot of eyeballs, and that audience isn’t really getting monetized as much as it could be.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of commissioned essay for The World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium. This essay is a revised and expanded version of Ben Valentine’s “Tumblr as Art” that was first published on June 19, 2012.
Much has been written about the rise of internet art. Just in the last few years, we’ve seen net artworks such as “intotime.org” by Rafaël Rozendaal; Twitter art by the likes of An Xiao and others; “e.m-bed.de/d/,” an immersive online music video experience by Yung Jake; and “$,” a Google Docs piece by Man Bartlett. But there is a burgeoning field of both social and discrete, beautiful, and weird internet art that demands our attention: Tumblr art.
Much has been written about the rise of internet art. We’ve seen URL, Twitter and Google Docs works. But until recently I hadn’t encountered Tumblr art.