Aram Bartholl
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curation / exhibition concept

Opening speech by Olia Lialina

Evan Roth

Olia Lialina Dancing Girl

Cory Arcangeli On compression

Claude Closky Stripes & Flags

Emilie Gervais and Sarah Weis Blinking boys

Kim Asendorf Total Redundanz

Phil Thompson N+1

JODI rtyuiop

Faith Holland RIP Geocities

Jonas Lund Race Condition

Dragan Espenschied Education of the Noobz

22nd February - 23rd March 2013
Introduction by Prof. Olia Lialina

participating artists :
Cory Arcangel, Kim Asendorf, Claude Closky, Constant Dullaart, Dragan Espenschied, Faith Holland, JODI, Olia Lialina, Jonas Lund, Evan Roth, Phil Thompson, Emilie Gervais & Sarah Weis

curated by Aram Bartholl

new2 is the first show realized in the OFFLINE ART exhibition format.  Web-based art works will be disconnected from the Internet but accessible via a wireless network. A high-profile selection of twelve artists from various 'Internet generations' - all of whom work digitally and online - will present both old and recent works. OFFLINE ART: new2 is a group show about files, versions and copies that question the idea of endless 'novelty' in an era of daily remixing on the Internet. A digital file can be copied endlessly, without any loss of quality, thus enabling a web culture of nonstop creating, sharing and remixing files, which has influenced an entire generation of artists. 

Over the last two decades, Internet artists have been constantly and prolifically creating web-based works. Files are often collected online, reused, recycled and remixed in varied ways. A former version of the file is called ‘new.gif’ and it becomes outdated five minutes later, with the arrival of ’new2.gif’. Computers and the Internet don't require a final version. “I still need to make some changes...”

What is the current state of net art and what happens when works are taken offline? What is the correct format for a work of art that is to be shown in a gallery if it had only existed previously on the web? What is the relationship between Internet art and the ever-growing number of mobile devices? OFFLINE ART: new2 reflects recent discussions among artists and curators about whether or not pieces should be available offline and how this should occur. All pieces in this show are browser-based and at the same time only locally accessible. In the end, each artist decides how and which version will also be available on the Internet.

The OFFLINE ART exhibition format:

Browser-based digital art works are broadcast locally from wifi routers which are not connected to the Internet. Each art work is assigned a single wifi router which is accessible through any device, like smart-phones, tablets or laptops. To access the different art works, the visitor has to connect to each network individually. The name of the network reflects the name of the artist. No matter what URL is opened, only the specific artwork appears in the browser. A small web server holding the art piece is installed on a USB flash drive which is connected to the router. Like frames holding the art, the routers are hung in the exhibition space which is otherwise empty. The art i tself becomes visible only on the visitor's private screen.The pieces are locally widely accessible but disconnected from the Internet

Aram Bartholl 2013

Opening speech:
by Olia Lialina is available in the blog.

The exhibition format is inspired by David Dart's open source project Piratebox.

The OFFLINE ART router software is based on Open WRT and Piratebox. Thx to Matthias Strubel for programming this special mod for the show. The OFFLINE ART software is open source GPL3.0 and can be found on Github.

Download OFFLINE ART router software.


Art works:

Cory Arcangel
On compression (2007)

Arcangel wrote On compression at the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008, and since then, he has been showing it in as many different formats as possible. It was first published in a book, and then he scanned that book and published the scans in another book. He then printed it all out on one page and published it in a magazine. Then, the super-compressed JPEG of that page was published online. And now, this!

Kim Asendorf
Total Redundanz (2013)
Animated GIF

“Assume a finite universe, U0, as small or as large as you wish, which is enclosed in an adiabatic shell which separates this finite universe from any ‘meta-universe’ in which it may be immersed. Assume, furthermore, that in this universe, U0, there is a closed surface which divides this universe into two mutually exclusive parts: the one part is completely occupied with a self-organizing system S0, while the other part we may call the interpretation by a human H0 of this self-organizing system: S0 & H0 = U0” (Heinz von Förster, 1959)
…while the other part we may call the interpretation by a human H0 of this self-organizing system: S0 & H0 = U0.

Claude Closky
Stripes & Flags (2012)

Well-known for his ongoing series of minimal, single web page pieces, Claude Closky confronts the user with a large collection of stripes and flag JPGs found on the Internet. In the case of many of these images, it is hard to tell if they are a flag (we don't recall it?) or just an abstract striped image from a different context. How are the concepts of nation, borders and countries being applied in the era of globalized Internet? And which of these pictures are in fact paintings from different artists’ popular stripe series?

Constant Dullaart
Video 10’20”

In his famous series of Google start page adaptations, Dullaart tricks our expectations about how we perceive this omnipresent and ever-expanding Internet search company. Google became big and powerful over the last decade but is still trying to hide behind a blank white page. It’s all just algorithms, there are no decisions taken by the people involved, it tries to suggest. Google wants to be your power socket on the wall; you don’t think about it, so this strategy has been quite successful. Take your time and have Google itself read its license to you, since you have never read yourself.

Dragan Espenschied
Education of the Noobz (2011-2013)

Espenschied has been well-known for his radical and influential 8-bit music compositions for many years. The offline router single P2P is a track dedicated to direct connection on a low level. The exclusive Noobz mini site represents a highly differentiated mix of plain HTML, amateur page style, custom-music player interfaces and sophisticated code hidden in the upper layers.

Faith Holland
RIP Geocities (2011)
Video 2’32”

RIP Geocities is part of a trio of works that envision different models for the Internet. As though on a rollercoaster at an amusement park, RIP Geocities is a ride through what Hollywood envisioned as cyberspace during the 1990s. How should one visualize this new, promising territory? Vast wire-frame grids and high velocity tunnel vision through endless data towers were common ways to visualize the great promise of freedom. While Geocities represented a self-driven, independent user culture for many years, today’s big players, such as FB, Google and Apple absorbed the initial ideas of a distributed, independent Internet much like a black hole would.

rtyuiop (2013)
HTML, javascript

JODI, made up of two pioneers, is very well known for their consistent work deconstructing software and online systems during the last two decades. In their piece rtyuiop, the duo comments on today’s typical targeted advertising services, which violate users’ privacy. In classic style, JODI irritates with distorted YouTube graphics, which flash and jump at a high speed on a full screen. Almost 20 years after asdf, we can’t get used to the fact that our comfortable corrupted computer screens are capable of displaying such high-frequency critique.

Olia Lialina
Dancing Girl 1998 (restored 2013)
HTML, animated GIF

Dancing Girl doesn’t care about copyright. Dancing Girl is having fun and keeps dancing all the time. Historically, she was a deep link from another server, just appearing on this carefully designed page. In the restored version from 2013, Lialinas' Dancing Girl is finally in the same folder and even offline! First-hour pioneer, Olia Lialina has been an unbeatable expert on amateur Web culture for many years. She followed every detail of the traces and versions of Dancing Girl, which was made by Internet user Chuck Poynter in 1997 and since then spread over the Web through millions of copies in web pages worldwide. And she keeps dancing, no matter what!

Jonas Lund
Race Condition (2013)
HTML, javascript

In his works, Lund creates an interplay between sophisticated code and thoughtful research on the formal conditions of the Web with great ease. Race Condition is a code-based experiment of recursively nested divs, which are added and removed at the same time during the same intervals, up the browser/javascript to see who wins on the information highway. The results vary depending on which browser and operating system the viewer is using. The movie-like effect of movement in space disregards the fact that we are looking at pure web code in a tense race condition.

Evan Roth (2013)
Website, With support of the Museum of Moving Image, New York

Roth’s works represent a highly sophisticated mix of net, open source and pop culture. In his often minimalistic web-based pieces, he picks up elements from all these influences in order to remix them in unseen perspectives. His series of one-gif compositions, employ the core medium of pop web culture, which is infinitely repeated on a monochrome background. The viewer is confronted with an abstract moving structure that is elegantly built from found footage of popular Web items.

Phil Thompson
N+1 (2013)
Video 3’10”

In 1936, Charles Sirato wrote “The Dimensionist Manifesto,” where he insists that new art forms should absorb a new dimension (N+1). In particular, he focuses on works of a sculptural nature, stating that a new form of art based around the ‘vaporization of sculpture’ would develop. This proposal can be seen to have reached its formalization with the Internet, where sculptures are able to exist through their documentation without the need for physical and spatial dimensions. With N+1, Phil Thompson attempts to recreate models of sculptural works based on their online documentation, choosing them based on their prominence in Google. By reversing the process it is possible to see what is lost in the vaporization of these works.

Emilie Gervais and Sarah Weis
Blinking boys (2013)
Animated GIFs

The Blinking Boys' collection of seven GIFs is part of an ongoing series in which the artist duo Emilie Gervais and Sarah Weis started to work a few years ago. With each remix of hard-blinking, screamingly-colorful, distorted GIFs, they have refined their style of pop-glitch step by step. Unseen high frequency color patterns challenge the viewer by assaulting many senses. Ah... a girl... ah... a boy? Blinking Boys is pop-glitch Internet culture in explicit overdrive done by a promising generation of young net artists unchained!

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