Revisiting Tumblr as Art

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.

Five Art Projects That Change the Way We Browse the Web

BERKELEY, California — Whatever definition for art you hold dear, quality art often offers the viewer a chance to challenge that definition and a new means to look at the world. New perspectives are important: they disrupt our expectations, allowing for new ways of thinking, new dialogues, and new ideas. A particularly interesting genre of internet art offers the same possibility. Rather than the single URL-based work that links nowhere, works that embrace the internet’s networked structure allow us to engage and explore the internet in an entirely new way. These works give us new ways to browse.

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