CULTURE: Whitney’s Internet artists on an enlightening visit
 
From left to right: documentary-photo collage; multi-media; light sculpture; environmental art.

Christiane Paul, new media arts curator at New York’s prestigious Whitney Museum of American Art has been spreading the word about Internet art in a three-day visit, during which one of the primary objectives was to elevate evolutionary (Internet) art, more conveniently known as "evol," in the eyes of a still-hesitant and conservative Russian audience.

Produced and curated by Nina Colosi of New York City, the exhibition was designed as a series of presentations and lectures by a team of around 18 international that took place in three sites: the Internet cafe at The Russian State University of the Humanities, the House of Journalists and Gallery L, which for the duration of the visit became the artists’ base.

Evol takes note of the social, commercial and artistic factors prevailing in our time with the aim of addressing problems of society in a technological age. Basically, it’s art that often comes with a message. One of the artists was Agnes Denes. Erudite in her field and renowned for environmental art, she travels widely, engaging in real-life projects in which people are invited to participate. The idea of active participation from its audience fundamentally underscores the basic idea of Internet art. Open their Websites and you’ll find yourself drawn into a visual and musical art form that can either become a game or a further process of creation.

Among the Internet artist in the show were:
John Klima
(www.glasbead.com);
Maciej Wisniewski
(www.netomat.net/);
Mark Napier
(www.potatoland.org/p-soup/);
Andy Deck
(www.draw.artcontext.net); Marek Walczak, Martin Wattenburg
(www.turbulence.org/Works/apartment).

The Russian side of the exhibition was led by Nikolai Selivanov, senior lecturer in the History of Arts at the University of Humanities, as well as a teacher at the College of Art in Krasnopresnenskaya.

It was in the second capacity that I came across him at Gallery L. Surrounded by his students, he was in the throes of initiating them into the mysteries and techniques of evol, partly augmented with some of the latest information he had gleaned from his international colleagues – who at that precise moment were still recovering in their hotel from the exertions of the previous day’s lectures and presentations.

Selivanov’s latest work of evol art takes pictures from an old family photo album and the forest as primary themes. Here, too, players are able to manipulate images and soundscapes. As he said, "The possibilities in this art form are endless."

More about evol in Russia can be found at: www.evo1.org and www.intelligentagent.com/GalleryL.html.

By Alisa BARSTOW

Introduction - Exhibition - Opening & Internet Conference - Essays - Press - Contact - Russian Version
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