10 Years JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art

This is an anniversary which really needs to be celebrated.

10 years JavaMuseum – means 10 years of the development of an art genre which actually never became one, although people are continuously talking about, art schools and universities offer courses in netart, and netart is said by to be dead since so many years by so many people.

The interativity, which is representing a basic component of netart – an art form which is using Internet based technology for creating art – was celebrated in the beginning of the new technologies in art as the future in contemporary art – but what is left during the years is no more than the dry statement: people do actually not want to become active themeselves, but prefer to keep the passive position of a consumer.

In Internet, interactivity represents that fundamental component, at all, and does therefore also not represent anything extraordinary, while the connection between art and interactivity remains something extraordinary, nevertheless, since the traditional values of art and art perception are not valid anymore and replaced by new values, for instance the active involvement of an user., and an art work is defining itself via a process which can be influenced by the user.

Netart never became that popular because the pioneers in the genre started with ideals and perspectives connected to the Internet as a medium for creating art, which however never came true, i.e being able to use the Interent as an independent art medium for creating a typ of art which is self-organised and independent from the “commercially” controlled art scene.

When JavaMuseum started in 2000 and launched in 2001 its first global competition, all submitting artists had these ancient ideals in mind which nowadays are completely out of date, since the reality of the Internet, especially regarding art, did not follow these idelogical ideals, but was captured by the commerce on one hand, and in concern of art by some established art institutions taking fundamental, but de-encouraging influence.

Netart had its real high time in 2004 with a really extensive art production worldwirde, while afterwards a dramatic decline could be observed.

It became obvious, that the artists generations using netart did not longer last than 3, maximum 5 years, when most artists either changed the medium or the profession, and were in any case no longer or only occasionally active in netart. The idealistic ideas of independece came to its limits quite fast, since netart couild not be used commercially like the traditional art forms, and artists could not make their living by creating netart, and therefore also no market for netart developed, the questions of authorship and copyrights are also quite complicated, since there does not exist a global agreement between the countries regulating only the basic legal questions.

In this way, 2004 was also the high time of JavaMuseum and it was always the question, how to deal with netart in future – this art form which was never really explored by anybody for its entire potential until these days. Nobody explored the divers programming languages for their artistic potential, since an ideal would be an artist who is ingenious as an artist and a programmer, at the same time. But this actually represents a paradox, and just a handful people worldwide can be classified like that.

The years after 2004 until 2010 are still marked by an art production worldwide which can be classified rather as embarrassing, not concerning its quality, but the quantity of artists active in the field of netart and the realised substantial projects during a year.

The fact that the artists generations last mainly just a few years and that much time is needed for exploring programming languages and the Internet for an extended artistic potential caused, that the artistic productions have lost the label to be innovative. In a certain sense, the way how programming languages and software is used for artistic productions remains since years on a similiar level of the known, one can even speak of repeating, and nobody is taking the risk to explore the unknown in technology and contents transformed via technology into something exciting new.

Nevertheless, the chances are always given, that new technology is used for creating something new and probably also spectacular, and therefore JavaMuseum is looking continuously for the new talents which give netart new inspiration and a new direction probably.

The 10th anniversary project “Celebrate!” want to celebrate netart and share it with the online users via the daily journal of a blog. During one year new and older projects, younger and older artists will be featured, so that at the end of the year, a kind of who is who in netart can be reviewed like a living book.

“Celebrate!” is planned and developed by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, chief curator and director of JavaMuseum.

10 Years
JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art
JIP – JavaMuseum Interview Project

“Celebrate” is part of
10 Years [NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]:||cologne
global heritage of digital culture

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