November 01, 2007
Internet Art Shows In Real Time...
The upcoming art event, The Blogger Show, opens Nov 3, at four NE galleries plus the 'net and, of course there's also a blog for the group. I applaud the effort which has already introduced me to many new artist's blogs to peruse.
One might think this is a new and different phenomenon but... not! The idea of putting together works based solely (I assume) on the idea that they are artists talking via the Internet was successfully produced and performed in 1998 near Washington DC. That's not to say that it shouldn't be done again (and again and again,) but let me take this opportunity to introduce you to, very likely, the first such show, "Met On The Internet", strictly based on artists using the Internet to converse with one another... and it happened long before there was a word called "blog."
The art email list, Paint L is probably about twelve years old now, and still going strong. I was one of the original members, artists anxious to use the web to communicate beyond their own neighborhood... the world was wide open and we formed a bond all 'round it! It was a haven after the rough and tumble attempts at dialog on the old rec.arts.fine newsgroup (anyone remember newsgroups?) We had few trolls, next to no anger but lots of discussion, teaching, learning and sharing daily... not to mention good laughs!
At one point the idea of putting together a group show came up and one of our members was in a position to offer the gallery at a large hospital in Silver Spring, Md... it was great! She did all the ground work, we had only to ship our paintings and show up for the opening. As it happened, I did neither, to my regret... too much going on personally for me to participate, but I did create the website for the show. Here is the opening page... scroll down to the list of artists to view some of the artwork included. (An aside... the site was totally lost when I graduated from AOL to the real cyber world and neglected to save all the data. Later, when we realized it had totally disappeared, we were able to find the bones of it at the Wayback Machine which archives old websites. We rebuilt as we could from there.)
This community of artists went on to have other exhibitions, to meet and travel in small groups including NYC for the Christo Gates, Santa Fe, the scenic mountains of Arizona, a residency in the South of France, gallery runs in Atlanta and San Francisco and I'm sure I'm missing more. We had T-shirts with logo and for a long time, made sure it was in all our photos for the web album we kept. Many of these excursions I've made, and hope to make more in the future. In short, it's become a group of real time friends beyond being known only through the keyboard and monitor. It's also a welcoming group should anyone reading this care to see for themselves. Tell them I've been bragging on them ;-) Time restraints have put me in lurker mode lately but I consider myself very much a part of the longest ongoing list of artists on the Internet... (I would love to hear if there's another group of artists that can match or beat that statement.)
I send good wishes to all those participating in The Blogger Show and to those producing. It will undoubtedly bring more attention to this corner of the 'net so we'd best dress the part and be sure our spell check is working. Wonder what effects this show will have on the perception of today's artists... to the artists involved... to the artworld in general? My core belief has always been: just be ready... you don't know what's happening next!