Art and the Internet R&D project

Art and the Internet: The Network as a Research Area and Theme in New Visual Artistic Practices Research and Development Project, funded by Agencia Estatal de Investigación. Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. Government of Spain). Principal investigator (PI): Juan Martín Prada. Universidad de Cádiz (Spain).

Research members: Andrew Dewdney. The Centre for the Study of the Networked Image (CSNI). London South Bank University (LSBU); Annet Dekker. Faculty of Humanities. Capaciteitsgroep Media & Cultuur. University of Amsterdam; José Carlos Escaño. Universidad de Sevilla. (Spain); Kepa Landa. Adjunt professor. Universidad Europea de Madrid.(Spain); Ira Lombardía, Syracuse University (USA). College of Visual and Performing Arts; (USA) Virginia Paniagua. MIDECIANT-CAAC (Spain); Henar Pérez. Universidad de Cádiz. (Spain); Zara Rodríguez. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain); Remedios Zafra Alcaraz. Universidad de Sevilla (Spain).

This project proposes the analysis of the impact that the Internet has had, and specifically “social media”, in the development of new artistic practices. To do so, it proposes an in-depth study of the relationship between art and the Internet from the consolidation of the so-called “web 2.0” to the present. The most recent phases of net art (mostly social media art) will be analyzed as well as those artistic manifestations that, without being online works, work about the Internet in any of its dimensions, aesthetic, technical, linguistic, political or economic and through all kinds of means of expression (video, still image, installation, performance, etc.). The field of study of this project will therefore be made up of all those artistic manifestations that throughout this period have made the Internet their specific action context and / or their field or theme of main reflection.

This research is structured around four complementary lines of work: The first of them is focused on the study of the role played by the Internet in general and social networks in particular in the emergence and evolution of artistic practices called “post-photographic”, making a critical analysis from their first theorizations (Mitchell 1992, Hansen 2001, Brea 2005, etc.) to the most recent (Grau 2015, Fontcuberta 2017, etc.).

The second line of work is oriented to the study of how artists are making use of social networks, blogs and participatory platforms of the web, converting them into their medium and specific context of action. This line will deal with the main manifestations of “social media art”, with special emphasis on “blog-art” and on the very different types of “networked performance” (Garrett and Rea, 2014, Boisvert, 2016, etc.).

The relationship between the Internet and the physical space, between the digital and the material, will be the central theme of the third line of work, which will encompass the new practices of “locative media art” (Paul, 2013, etc.) and “augmented reality” on mobile devices (Rhodes, 2014; Geroimenko, 2014, etc.) until the new neo-objective developments of the so-called “post-internet art” (Novitskova, 2010, Vierkant, 2010, Kholeif, 2014, Droitcour, 2014, Quaranta, 2015, etc.).

On the other hand, the fourth line of research will be focused on the relationships between new artistic practices and digital activism in the field of “social media”, developing an analysis of the three most active and fertile pathways so far: those based on artistic thematization of the questioning of forms of control and surveillance in the field of the network (Galloway, 2004, Bazzichelli, 2009, Castets and Obrist, 2016), forms of ownership and the digital commons, and critical thematizations developed by feminist art and “queer” of the forms of self-representation in the media and social networks.

Juan Martin Prada, June 2019