Socio Political art in the digital realm|ori kleiner

Felix Gonzalez Torres. Untitled (Revenge), 1991, 2,000 pounds of individually wrapped ice-blue mint candies, dimensions variable; installed at the Renaissance Society, Chicago.

As a tool of mass communication and vehicle able to both contain and propagate ideas and ideals, the Internet has proved to be fertile ground for cultivating a wealth of socio-politically engaged art. Enabling artists to reach vast audiences at little or no cost, the World Wide Web is an ideal medium for art that embodies a socio-political message. After all, dissemination is at the heart of artistic political activism as it seeks to empower and engage individuals, ultimately leading to the establishment of communities and mobilization aimed at bringing about social change.

The structure of the World Wide Web compliments the ideal of decentralization and diversification of power, allowing artists to explore inclusive rather than exclusive modes of artistic creation and operation. In exchange, artists have had to re-examine familiar notions that were for centuries essential to the sustenance of the artistic experience: the concept of "the original" and that of "authorship." Cyberspace, by definition, cancels out the notion of the original, unique art object and does away with the modern manifestation of the original embodied in the idea of editions. Artwork available online can be readily downloaded, copied, multiplied and circulated. Lacking the status of the original, blurring the line between author and owner, the digital realm undercuts familiar conventions of authorship.

Socially engaged art utilizing the Internet as a vehicle for propagation seems to have embraced the unconventional constraints of the medium, creating work that embraces rather than rejects its unorthodox qualities. Immateriality being the driving force behind the Internet's superior mode of dissemination enables digitally contained art to transcend the many other physical modes of distribution that preceded it, while bypassing familiar physical control mechanisms.

next page > > >


:: Downloaded by Naja/1.0.5 (www.keyphrene.com) ::