Net Art is exactly what it sounds like: art projects that capitalize on the technology and capabilities of the Internet.
Net Art can take a myriad of forms: email art, web design art, interactive games or experiences, performance pieces, video art, Internet mashups, curatorial projects, and much much more. Even though Net Art began as a way to circumvent the traditional art world by going straight to the public via the Web, Net Art has gained more and more recognition in traditional art venues, inspiring exhibitions such as “Ghosts in the Machine” at New York’s New Museum, as well as a permanent collection of Net Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art called Artport.
Five of our favorite Net Artists:
1. Cory Arcangel: Did you ever play Mario Brothers? Well then, you will enjoy a zen-like nostalgia trip with Cory Arcangel’s most famous piece Super Landscape #1.
2. Jon Rafman: Is taking a screenshot the same as taking a photograph? Rafman became an art world darling in 2009 with his “photography” project 9 Eyes. In order to create the images that make up this ongoing series, Rafman spends hours exploring and then screengrab-ing Google Street Views.
3. Petra Cortright: This YouTube star has made deep inroads into the art world, even exhibiting her zany work at the Venice Biennale. Her website is everything you would hope for from a web artist: intentionally old-fashioned, totally confusing, and heavy on fun.
4. Michael Bell Smith: Smith is the web artists who elevated ironic web mashups to high art. Check out his riff on R. Kelly’s infamous “Trapped in a Closet.”
5. Lorna Mills: Mills is a contemporary painter who uses a contemporary painting tool: Photoshop! Stop spending your time trying to make pixel perfect designs, make ‘em crazy.