Post- Internet Practice 1.1 In relationship with all this Post-Internet has a much more complex, explosive form. In part due to the dispersion of the Internet even at its Web 1.0 period, but also due in part to the chaotic, wildly networked/rhizomatic field of play. As previously stated online is not a single entity, and our whole notion of online is a fluid move from thought. We all slip online in near uninterupted fashion (the advent of Google Glass may mark a point where that move is so quick as to be indistinguishable from reality). Music streams, statuses update, articles drip into our pockets and onto our desks with blissful ease. Undercurrent feel more apt than stream in a state where even the advent of internet embedded furniture may
quickly be upon us. Internet dripping from every imaginable surface. One of the most defining factors of this ‘space’ is its inherent “plane of consistency” which plugs together points into lines (think Glenn Gould’s transformation of Bach from a noted, pointed composition into something more linear, interweaving; eloquently phrased sound undulating through the sonic landscape). The key factor, artistically, is the decontextualisation of the image, art history dispersed from a single, linear narrative and scattered en mass in spectacular, cosmic fashion. The Internet particularly in relation to its modes of image distribution have acted as a much more fluid, decentralised gallery to the IRL power structures employed by White Cube et al. Images relationships to each other now encompass a much more wide ranging body, in turn affecting the reading as a whole (the thought here is concerned with any structures where images, although projected from the distributor, disperse amongst ∞ feeds, a chaotic stream which sees artwork side by side with softcore porn, political propaganda, memes and a miasma of other content). How can we, at
this pace, step back and review the spectacle when the spectacle rattles with a BPM off the scale. Do we, as Debord suggests, need to view the spectacle not as a collection of images but rather a social relationship between people mediated by images? This rapidity not only produces a distributory effect but also contains at least some sense of psychological impact. If we now see 1000+ images a day (images here in the sense of jpegs, content) then at the core of our memory will be those which sear into our mind, for whatever reason. As an effect art then becomes the battleground of reference and re-reference (trends and seasons could soon feed into the direction(s) of art as they do so with fashion). Unlike the definable eras gone (though it is said that to define an era you need to be out of it) art, and artistic pracitices overall are now instantly devouring themselves like some kind of reverse weight-watchers. Image consumption has now taken the place of eating habits as our ‘onthe-low/keep-it-hush-hush’ vice. We see blogs such as ‘Contemporary Art Daily’, ‘Who Wore It Better’, ‘The Jogging’ become mediators of this image
culture, not in any sense curators but more barometers of an atmosphere, instead of the three hor mixtape the thirty minute edited version now satisfies our tastes.
_ Post-Studio _ 1.2
Post internet is a declaration of the network as the new ‘space’. The need for real space is not the necessary destination it once was for artists, which not only affects viewing but forms an expanded output and contains within it a strange psychological effect in the process of art-making. Post-Internet is branded networks, contingent on content and situation, not style-specific, surfing on a wave of its decontextualised power (free/ dissasociation at its core allow for a more fluid output less in line with art school rhetoric of developing style). “Strategically [it] used the emperors new clothes obsession with ‘digital’ as a force multiplier for its own accumulation of cultural capital and spread” (Ben Vickers - Post Net Aesthetics ICA) however that’s not to say that it inherits diminished value, more succinctly now the landscape of digital has become more embedded IRL the heydays of digital artists as the online PYTs is evaporating as we speak.
If space may be the predicament then the removal of space can in turn force the a new wave of unexpected outcomes, to think big and brash is the new player, the ‘conceptual space’ is in effect limitless, the artist in turn is afforded the equivalent of architectural scope. Fabrication becomes the only limit. The expanded idea of a P-Studio artist brings to the fore questions around what artists are and what they can acheive, what artists could change (be it political, social or mere aesthetics) and how that in turn can affect their lives. The curator often has an identifiable goal in their output, namely the production of a show[case] (show here is an expanded, unrestricted notion) which creates a sense of dialogue, interrupting and disrupting the viewer whilst creating a sense of cohesion (or friction) in and around the works. Post-Studio the artist has a much broader sense
of creation available, but at the same time has the potential to find inherent problems around the fact that such expansion can lead to a more misty cohesion of the practice as a whole. Often it is easiest when an artists practice is legible, mappable and has in some form of trajectory/residual damage akin to the billowing fumes of an aircraft. Each piece adheres to both the former and future works, not necessarily linear, but connected under some canopy to the greater whole. The Post-Studio artist creates the problem (excitement) in that they open up a relationship to other disciplines, fluidity and a decentralisatied practice become rooted in their overall output. In such an expansion of purpose Post-Studio opens up the kind of horizons formally preserved for the likes of architects, designers or musicians. Poly-studio, polyrhythmic practices which bleed into and out from one another. Artists have often been seen to try to demystify, rearrange and reduce their practice, form it into a certain thing (narrowed and thus simplified). Complexity is sometimes brushed aside (and not in terms of skill or craftsmanship, but in consideration of a whole practice, something which could be at
it’s most complex in a kind of vein which leads philosophers to have a polyscopic view). Maybe complexity has a place to be embraced, and not exploded into atomic components. The question which arises though is how much cultural/social/political space can we occupy at one time. Post-Studio (as a psychological state) affords a scope that neitherdf limits production in terms of materiality nor spatiality. Complexity becomes the target of thought. Too easily simplicity is marvelled upon like some divine prophet, yet some of the most beautiful, imaginative ideas don’t reduce, complexity is celebrated in the likes of Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx and Wittgenstein. By virtue it is a moving target for the masses. Consequently it becomes embedded with the notion of risk, complexity as risk, non-spatiality as risk, and a non-definable vocabulary as risk. Risk entails failure over success, whilst the weight of success from risk is valued in terms of the potentiality of failure. Post-Studio tests belief systems (and safety nets). Artists can have a role if they want it, not just as cultural by-products, but as something with a worth which in its scope perforates beyond ‘audiences’.
- The Anxiety of Influence & The Intoxication of Followers- Post-Internet Practice 1.1 - Post-Internet 1.2 - Post-Studio Practice 1.1 - Post-Studio Practice 1.2 - Theaster Gates - Post-Studio - The Studio as Laptop & Networked Production - Bibliography -
Theaster Gates _ Post - Studio _
Post-Studio Practice 1.2 Leading from Gates’s practice Post-Studio has the capability to be thought of in terms of a belief in places, of geography not as static or rigid, but as a fluctuating counterpoint weaving between the fabric of concepts, materiality and practicality. Equally it also underlines a belief in social impact, facilitation, alteration, (each idea a redundant mindset in a practice which grounds itself in the studio). Socially alterable, philosophically open and built with a creative adaptability which in turn broadens the value of production as a whole. Post-Studio in its essence becomes an accumulation of projects, rooted in their decentralised focus, but focused none the less. Their capacity is one which can catalyse production, building on or against output, but all the while encompassing notions of transformation. Belief in imagination
and possibility, using whatever tools are at hand to fashion a life which can pulsate with some value. Culture is not a byproduct of labour, but an echoing, resonating focus. Carrying history and not living within it. Equally Post-Studio opens up the capability of an engagement in how people shape people [you] via a practice which carries itself, and is not carried by space, held up by it or weighed upon the shoulders of it. Citizenship integrated into artistry, social production but also social cohesion, the intergration of context into a practice so as to be melted into the foundations of it (Gates, 2012). Entwinning both optimism and pragmatism. Space has value, but value is relative, and if there can be a deployment of beliefs around the potentiality of space, not as a restrictive ecosystem, then the value can be stretched, welded into it, not brought about because of it. Content can be taken and reimagined, reframed, rethought and then reinstilled with a life, life as living, not stale; thereby content is used not to archive but to utilise. Local and global can exist as one (Gates, 2012), the project can thus contain a multiplex of communities, of brands and of junctions. Post-Studio encompasses not just thoughts about what a practice could be beyond the studio, but equally about what the building(s)/ foundations under which one practices can act as in relation to a practice.
Thought of spaces during the production of things (bilateral thought in parallel moments). Still as “housing” but not necessarily with the intended infrastructure, where the house is contextualised and purpose built for the house.The potency of space here lies in the radical re-appreciation of what is possible. The studio as laptop doesn’t inherently afford a post studio tag, identifiable in place, being both physically and digitally located, overtly familiar yet permanently rearranged. It is at its core the most loneliest but also antithetically the most social place possible and in turn shifts the studio from what was once considered ossifying (Buren, 1971) to the dynamic, fluid, decentralised (Jones, 2013). As much as all this merges into the seemingly ideal, the studio as laptop cannot exist without taking into account its more broader functionality, functions which at their core perform a distraction away from the ‘studio production’. The sheer volume of content now accessible, from gaming to research material, pornograophy to music video only highlights the fact that what once had the capability to distract in the studio (a lonely magazine for instance) has now expanded ad infinitum to the point where ‘content’ vastly overrides resource (although in this case it could be considered that, Post-Internet, content is indeed
Theaster Gates is an artist and cultural planner based in Chicago, Illinois who in his practice performs a kind of urban reclamation. His wide ranging output lassoes disparate entities from performance, sculpture, interior design and community organisation in order to radically reform the way in which we could view the artist. Gates orchestrates space in a way which integrates art and life, socially conscious in his output with the effect of expanding the potential capability of what an artist can acheive today, not just as cultural investigators but as cultural movers and evolvers. Aesthetics after all is only part of the game. Originally trained as a city planner, his initial line of practice gave him the tools to plan big projects, involving the city “expansively” as a platform of production. What’s more the step from city planner to artists proliferated in his practice a reduced inhibition in terms of output, with socially conscious art that revi-
resource). In equal weight the studio now has also become a networked potentially social environment which has at its core altered our means of feedback, critique which also allows us the capacity for instant distribution globally. The web in this sense, however, is not the sparkly vision it sounds. As the 90s pushed ahead into a new millenium the web began to turn a corner away from the amatuer version of itself it resembled, and what began to breed like japanese knotweed was an overriding takeover in favour of the web as a professional space, void of individualised homepage telling people about yourself, your cat and your favourite movies/music/dull hobbies (Lialina, 2005). These moments of individuality began to get boxed within certain formats, from personal blogs (rambling monologues contained within strict linear formats) to social media profiles (highly stylised yet generically designed pages which began to allow comparison between profiles as if we all lived on these equal planes of existence - the job, the relationship status, the music, the photo albums, the network of ‘friends’). The vernacular of the web had shifted aside amateurism in favour of a brutally professional model (Lialina, 2005) Relative to the studio as laptop this created a new white cube space which required a either an acceptance or a subversion of the given space.
The Anxiety of Influence &
The Intoxication of Followers
_ Intro _
Talk of “post-” applied to any historical cannon has the ability to immediately render things a lot more hazy than their former selves. The aftermath always has a much more complex and scattered relationship to its former state [one only has to look at the destruction of the twin towers as a model of how aftermath explodes form, perceptually altering focus, jolting the viewer into a wider, starker reality: post-9/11 is a prime example of a highly complex state of being in relation to its original state.]. From post-punk to postmodernism, post-9/11 to post-Impressionism the term seems to encapsulate an infinite
Post-Studio Practice 1.1 Post-studio practice was a term originally proliferated by John Baldessari to describe and expand the function of the class at CalArts, intending to “indicate people not daubing away at canvases or chipping away at stone, that there might be some other kind of class situation”. Context, here, was given as much weight as a produced end. Post-Studio was not an ideal, more an abstract idea, lifestyle even, throwing artists into the mindset of endless capability (beyond studio confines) to realign both themselves and their work [in]to the world. It diffused any notion of “studio time”. Removed the burden of the looming object. Studio archives piling up omnidirectionally deceased. Psychologically it sounds a breath of fresh air. Studios inherently cater to gradual, processional practices, to archives and histories often encasing a ‘body of work’ which only serves to drag you back, limiting what could be a more exciting, disparate but equally rounded progression/experimentation. Free up, loosen the buckle: adapt/ adjust/adapt. The loss of any required space not only translates towards what could be called an “omni-spa-
tial” location but also brings with it an approach disengaged with the familiar tools at hand, the consistency of four walls, bathed in a deathly white light, of resources and studio based histories of research which perch on the wall like your mothers selective taste of ceramics any photographs atop the mantelpiece (influence in this sense falls more in line with the Spanish term “influenza”) Beyond this the model of solo-loneart-object has a retroactive feel, one which can situate itself and then lockdown. Post-Studio & Post-Internet affords a situation of interactivity, not viewer related but within and between objects. Post-Internet falls under the linguistic effect of producer as more apt a term than ‘artist’ (it seems in musical circles musicians have no problem aligning the self with such a term, like the title artists holds too much of a specia place in people’s hearts - the kid won’t be taken seriously calling himself an artistic producer, fuck the gallery system, let’s start an art label) - where artist is brand, such an expansive term can then encompass not just art production, but each and every other part of the workings; with P-S/P-I it can become a much more open-ended game, the rules can be loosened, the outcomes the get more exciting. In effect artists gain the upper hand in a much more fluid production, where all output can exist under said brand (Factory Records pioneered the label as more than just outputting records; anall encompassing brand with a obsessive numbering system and a start
of production unlike any other label) and thus effectively every point of output strengthens every other part of production. From the heydays of the New York loft scene, to Parisienne ateliers and the voluptuous warehouses of the modern-day art glitterati, the link between production and exhibition has always been a tightly bound formula. Saatchi’s Boundary road space, a cavernous white void, played into the hands of artists whose studios (and mindset) we’re similarly structured. The Impressionist’s easel paintings were a direct reaction to both the space of their ateliers and the salon hangs they exhibited in. Par for the course that both sites (studio and exhibition) had an overriding impact on the type of work made, effectively a psychological hand to the artists long before production begins. The explosion of Post-Studio is in part formed by the lessons learnt from artistic (spatial) constraint, and in fact falls gleefully into the hands of
_ Post -Internet _ 1.2
Post-Internet manifested itself in the late noughties as a broad cultural term to define (mainly) artists whose work acknowledged in some way the overall form of the internet, whether in its aesthetic, networked potential, distributory factor or emergent cultural plurality and horizontalism. The term in itself does nothing to justify the vast space which artists have carved around and beyond it, either knowingly or otherwise. What it proposes is a move beyond or in parallel to the internet, yet at its core acts in the same technologically minded framework as net.art and its many other net iterations. As a thing in itself the Internet has not only become an added product or notions in ones live, but a life in itself, once thought of as a separate (and a potentially avoidable entity) it is now a near unavoidable (and one could say necessary) aspect of 21st century living. In part we have adopted it as a way of standardised global communications
Post-Internet practices. Space is now a more whimsical notion, and equally the artist as some sort of spectral figurine slaving away is becoming a more dated, redundant point of fact. Nomadic is the new, production is now a constellation. Supplty should form the backbone of any current practice. Let it breath or risk suffocating any worth imaginable. Feedback loops shroud by firing omnidirectionally, not a singular loop of endless struggles to force artistic direction. By opening up to free thought the ‘studio’ state becomes more fresh and alive: The studio as dance club, the studio online, the networked studio, social space, rhizomatic, studio as brand, solitary, sterile, active or communal; like a paralysis of the mind, intoxication, intimidation and inspiration, the non-definite space (physical or otherwise), equally complex and simple, 4 walls or no walls, physical labour or immaterial labour: precarious producers balanced between real life and online, the studio as a seamless
in which there appears a seamless condition of internationalism. Equally it holds an economy of attention unparalleled IRL, which now more than ever seems to commodify extensively our attention as a product. It barely needs to be noted that the internet has created a seismic shift in the way we produce, distribute and view media of all types, and by way of comparison this plurality of function is in essence a perfect model of the atomised natured of Post-Internet (and undefinable state). The advent of the Arab Spring in 2010 brought with it an eclipsing realisation that these platforms of online space could horizontalise information distribution, gleefully working against IRL vertical hierarchies and “official” online media channels. Then more than ever was the distribution of information under siege from a global democratic hand. The mass once again had become the radical, the medium merely shifted, sidestepping reality and in turn quick footing it beyond authority. Voices which held little worth on the streets and squares of Egypt or Libya against more powerful physical forces had a potentially exponential value online. In the case of Twitter it was no longer the loudest voice that was to be heard, but the strongest, most provocative or most meaningful. Attention became a commodity which could be utilised by anyone, the playing field levelled out and visibility became about multiplicity, retweets and shares placed a snowballing value on these products of the mind. Relatively speaking this model, which would necessarily pounce and virally spread through the art world left art institutions far from immune.
spectrum, a stretching, collapsing effect of what was once there, in turn creating an extremely complex situation to analyse. It’s seems we have an innate ability to define our histories with a precision lost upon our present(s) or futures The most defining fact about any discussion around ‘post-Internet’ is its very real subjectivity, not in terms of perceptual subjectivity but concerning the notion that there are many internets, not just one, and the effect of this is that we all experience the Internet in widely differing ways, particularly in terms of our very (current) rhizomatic approach to being ‘online’. One of the strangest points of fact is that the generation post-89 have lived through (and potentially been guinea pigs for) the development and evolution of the web. Dial-up can seem like a distant haze yet is a very real and recent memory (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dial_up_modem_noises.ogg). Today we browse ‘online’ in a cloud of applications, tabs and windows. The once linear past-time has now become an embedded infrastructure within our devices, and with each iteration further implements a unique subjective view of the user. It’s apt, for instance, that Trecartin has become the most significant figure of a generation to embrace the proliferation of the digital, since his videos have a resonating overbearing quality, images upon images which at times seem extreme, but likeliness has it that you’ll no
doubt be watching his work whilst your twitter feeds spill out in another tab, YouTube is playing a Queen greatest hits, Facebook messages are roaring in your direction and endless other tabs sit atop the screen flickering on and off the screen at your will. By focusing our attention we edit our engagement. The internet is participatory and by that account forms its own subjectivity. Two terms, post-studio and post-Internet, via their adoption of the “post-” prefix vent a dissipation of previous ideologies, all the while allowing for a networked critique of the two since they both lie equally parallel and at intersections to each other, performing a kind of sparkling fusing, not becoming each other, but riffing between the forms and ideas of each. Spiralling feedback loops in overdrive. Looms weaving immaterial fabric, the labor of history has indeed come back to haunt us once more. The point is not to define both these forms, after all cementing theory (on such a subjective topic) works against progression, and within both these ideas lies inherent evolution pivotal in its making. The purpose is more of an exploration, mining ideas, circumnavigating theories, be they interconnected or not. Terms as broad as post-studio and post-Internet have too much of a fluid quality to concentrate into definition, and particularly since the axis is
centred around two points there are a lot more thoughts orbiting, colliding, melting into each other or flying round in direct opposition (Venn Diagram 3D//web 2.0). Both Post-Studio and Post-Internet contain inherent similarities in their ideas of a contemporary framework for practice, and the abolishment of previous rigidity that the more palatable states of their former selves contained (be it the heavily historical studio practice or the notion of Internet art as simply art online). What’s more the most particular quality about both these terms is not that they define an aesthetic bound by any necessary qualities, it’s more the case of everything beyond aesthetics. Aesthetic athleticism overrides content over style - fluctuations in the artists ‘hand’ (to use a painterly term) are a requisite of a practice poured into streams of broad appeal. Both terms nurture ideas around distribution, production and exhibition as a whole, not dislocated parts considered in separation from each other. What’s more, from this web of inter-connectivity bleeds an ideology where context is key, where artists now cannot make work without even the slightest consideration of its framework (be it a New York loft space or blog feed, each ‘situation’ feeds into the wots reading as much as the work itself). It’s not that we need to examine every eventuality, more the case that the work should contain a kind of broader distributory factor, capable of slotting into as many eventualities as
talised not only neighbourhoods but communities. Facilitation in this sense breeds an unpredictable diversity, and as such PostStudio in this sense recognises the fact that outside of a given context (the studio) there becomes a more unrestricted game with which one can play. The rules don’t change, the field of play just gets bigger, more elaborate, more complex. The Dorchester Projects is one of Gates’s ongoing cultural interventions which develops as an ever evolving structure of wide reaching artistic placements. The project inhabits a number of formally aban-
doned buildings on Chicago’s South Side which Gates renovated over time into a cultural axis, both restoring and reactivating the spaces “for reuse as a Library, Slide Archive and Soul Food Kitchen”The project made use of repurposed material from all over Chicago utilsing the detritus of abandoned inner city real estate, creating a practical and purposeful whole with an embedded history but equally a sense of future. These multifunctional spaces have an inbuilt adaptability, never focused down in terms of usage, instead serving ‘as a model for greater cultural and socio
economic renewal.’ “His goal is to transform a blighted neighborhood into a site of “urban ecstasy” where creative practitioners from various disciplines come together to live and work.”(E. Lasser) Community empowerment and radical hospitality are at the heart of Gates’s practice. With the city as his anchoring subject Gates presents the opportunity for conversation, creation, activation and exploration: artist inspired development, facilitated cultural change. At its heart Gates uses “the act of making to foster relationships” (E. Lasser), activating events and personalities with a kind of embedded social responsibility. “Gates “believes,” a word he does not use lightly, that every cultural practitioner should have a stake in making the world a better place.”(E. Lasser) We have such a [limited] sense of what it means to live in a city that we imagine one could only live where one lives. There’s no radical thought around this idea, especially in this moment where you can be anywhere in the world, there’s a kind of conceptual globalism that has nothing to do with how much you’ve travelled. It has to do with how many places in the world one lives at the same time. ” Theaster Gates (Arts paper Magazine, May/June 2013)
possible - you make the coin fit, not the slot wider. More so than anything however which is the overriding importance of networks (or more succinctly: rhizomes: multipurpose levelled out systems which function on various levels, exemplified by the likes of animal burrows with uses ranging from shelter, supply, movement, evasion and breakout). Post-Internet and Post-Studio both signal an art form being lived and relived through an entirely different set of filters, most significantly acting out in a space with networks a their core (be they social, viral, forums, blogs or video channels) By harbouring all these qualities, both Post-Studio and Post-Internet plant themselves firmly outside the rigidity of other fields (especially those more nurtured and cultivated). They utilise more of a state of mind which acts as a filter between the start and end of art production (and it’s various counterparts). In essence they field a democratic game, rules in permanent fluctuation (the dependency of which is usually reliant on the virility of certain ideas at certain times). The one core question looms however is hob this brings into question the notion of the radical as who harbor a culture of of uninhibited influence which leave everyone as sitting ducks to its pull.
link between IRL and online (like a package holiday in which everything is unnoticeable, fun disintegrates into a drenching hedonism). The first point of structure in an artistic practice is the studio; to flip this on its head provides the necessary step in mixing up and re-editing a practice
In art world terms where image was the transferable medium before text the platform which online structures provided necessarily brought about a rapidly significant shift of exchange. The cock-sure institutions whom had long felt they stood on firm immovable ground started to feel the tremours of an art world moving beyond (though not away from) the physical space as a necessary first call. A questioning, unwelcome haze fell around the institutions positions as an arbiters of value, leaving a vacuum of potential for artists to occupy. The term in itself is a bridge notion which inherently circulates around an expanded (and necessarily undefinable) meaning. It is not, as its prefix suggests, a radical break, but rather an articulation of an awareness of our online existence, which though once thought of as a wholly separate entity, is now merely a slippage from reality. We rarely consider our onlines experiences as a destination (as opposed to the 90s in which linguistics such as “going online”/”boot up the internet”/”apperaring online [MSN]”/”dialling up” proliferated). Now more than ever there is an ever expanding fluidity in our approach to online, our interactions with it and the way it seamlessly leaks into everyday reality. New technologies such as Google Glass™ and other wearable innovations are developing our sense of being online as part of our physical real world experiences in which there is no defined move to being online.The less we notice this shift the more likely we are to engage in (and naturally develop content of) it [the web]. In talking about fluidity then, Post-Internet plays its part in bringing art
Ed Fornieles - Character Date, 2012, Freize London, Frame, Carlos/Ishikawa R7 under a similar slippage; definitions meander loosely between IRL and online critique (and the varying barrels of art histories which come with either of the two) effectively playing up to the ideas of tech such as Google Glass™ whereby the internet is now part of our physical day-to-day experiences. In some sense P-Internet signifies the broader conditioning effect which the Internet has played in our lives, helpfully articulating this cultural change within an art form. If Post-Internet does bring an aesthetic to the table then it is in some senses indebted to the corporate aesthetic which began to infiltrate corners of the web, that of commercial branding and stock photography, this playground of “online business” which however broad it may seem has a defined look, though in a perpetual state of shifting relative to innovations in technologies, both in their output and design systems. What’s more the aesthetic often ties in with the characteristics of “link-baiting”, a form often used by tabloids/new feeds/online entities to bring up endless leads to more endless trivial content, that attractivity for just enough
time to grab your attention, drag you in and push you further into the labyrinth. In some form this leads to an aesthetic that often has an immediate visual purchase but not enough adhesive to keep the viewer, necessitating a wider practice which networks itself to spread the viewer through the whole rather than sustain viewing through a singular piece or project. The catalogue is where value exists, rose tinted and gold rimmed. On an opposed note what also comes into play is a fluctuation between craft/reskill ing and the adoption of a look which seems to have been erratically filtered through the Internet on endless repeat until it is spat out resembling something moderately ethereal ad otherworldly. Like an amplifier on a permanent seesaw between lo-fi and hi-fi, in which both craft and appropriation equally skip between the two, undefinably predjudice to either. When acted on in a way which acknowledges this ‘networked practice’, not stumbling over each object/entity as a singularity, the form of Post-Internet has much more of a sustained cohesion beyond it being a game of art world link baiting. In Ed Fornieles
practice networks are not only inherently part of collating his practice, but also the source of much of his work. “Dorm Daze” takes the form of an online soap opera played out through the “self contained network” (Fornieles/Rhizome) of Facebook and its peripheral content. In essence the work takes the form of an online performance piece scripted by Fornieles which placed participants in a semi-realistic narrative based around “real life American college students” (Fornieles/Rhizome) though wholly played out through various scrolls, click-throughs and highlighting edits of Facebook. It’s quick paced narrative points to a dispersion of sustained interests online, where suicide and the end of the world are just another ‘events page’ in our permanently full calendar of social activities. It spotlights how social interactions can meander with a much more bitter grace compared to their physical real life workings, de-sensitising any emotions we could even string together anyway. In effect it highlights both the absurdity and mundanity of our new socially networked living whilst also questioning realities which play out with embellishment and some-
times falsehood online. In one sense comedic, it also throws into question our own engagement with online social media, darkly conveying familiar explorations of profile upon profile. The social network through Fornieles eyes opens up users to the fact that the network is now the more considered and worthy virtue than the social. “The skills used to generate and sustain a profile on Facebook have become incredibly nuanced and habitual” (Fornieles/Rhizome) [On a similar note the short film ‘Noah’ (http://obser ver.com/2013/09/noah-short-toronto-film-festival/) plays out through similar workings by exploring a kind of emotionally void heartbreak in first person, highlighting an atomised culture both in terms of its social implications but also in the ways in which we flitter between social media and endless free streams of pornograophy, as if this shift is all too natural in our online (barricaded) lives, hermetically sealed and thus free to roam in a hedonistic reverie.] What this all leads to question in terms of Post-internet is the way in which it is often not the user shaping the internet but platforms/brands/
companies shaping the user, effectively cultivating content in lieu of a ‘Terms of Service”. Post-Internet is not a definable form, but there are definite moments of clarity around what it is, when it is what it is. Most significantly it bears an undeniable debt to the forms of the networked image proliferated via the internet Post-Tumblr/Post-Twitter/Post-Image-Feed. Post-Internet doesn’t so much act as an aesthctic in and of itself (although reverberations of an such a style can be found), but rather it spirals around the potentiality of the image, leaning towards a mode of complete dissipation, acting as a product for itself rather than of itself. The idea of a participant user/observer gaze has never been more of a significant definition than under the playing field of Post-Internet.
ing, any suggestion of such close sensuality swiped sidewards]. A further suggestion is that although there is a never ending roaming debate about the platforms of distribution little has been done in the way of shifting distribution onto a definable ‘Post-Internet platform’ (in absence of a better term). Subversion of given platforms is all well and good [the hacking, context surrealism, the use of predetermined linguistics/rule to invert ther intended purpose] yet it doesn’t necessarily go far enough, or as far as it should, like the football game is only being played in the penalty box. Instead it seems the mass got drunk on followers and likes without actually considering wholeheartedly what each node of connectivity could do. The network took presidence over the social.
Although Post-Internet becomes a canopy of networked aesthetic some of its qualities in part suggest a precarity towards anything leaning too far over the line of radical production. In an age where spectators are avatars then shouldn’t art have the conviction to act in a spectatorless arena/vision, uninhibited politically/ socially/aesthetically instead of playing to the herd in desperate hope of glorification, celebration or general emotionless (online) reverence. In this sense Post-Internet lay back with an attitude of caution, users refusing to make the next move and instead favouring a volleying round back and forth with little risk of switching it up. As a further critique what is essentially an operation heavily reliant on networked structures to feed off it makes little in the way of a networked holding; what could have been formed (and as such departed from the rigidity of the lone artist producer) is an enquiry into what the aesthetic of a network (not an aesthetic falling into a network) can consist of, how can it act, practice and thus most importantly look [there is a widespread surge of collectives however these mostly consist of individual visions produced in line with each other, parallel yet rarely touch-
One eminent step in a new Post-Internet aesthetic direction is the bubbling proliferation of three dimensionality shifting relativity between on and offline like a chameleon. Image seems, in some artists hands, to have been shifted to the side in favour of 3D content as if our online explorations should not only be a flat relative to their offline counterparts but actually exist in a near equal state of explorational existence. The feedback loops are now turning in on themselves as the sparks of a new form of content begin to rise with the likes of 3D modelling/printing beginning to be adopted by artists. The output has a kind of one-step-removed-onestep-familiar quality to it. Although at times the aesthetic can seem retrograde (harking back to earlier computer game aesthetics) the move not only requires us to curate image over a flat shifting screen but we can now take corners, view behind us, and yet equally use this 3D space to force the viewing of space which would otherwise be impossible IRL. Ben Washingtons work uses the linguistics of arcade games to structure a kind of vapid narrative where space exists as an unpopulated jagged version of its reality cousin. Washington embeds these scenarios in mock arcade game
monoliths merely adding to the reinforcement of exploring such a hollow environments. On a similar note Oliver Laric used the sculptural archive of The Usher Gallery and The Collection in Lincon to create 3D scans of each work, fully explorable in a kind if silk greyscale. The works not only provide a sense of the new wave of archiva possibilities but also lean towards an eventual future where these files can be utilised, remixed and restaged breeding new life and thus creating an ecosystem where it is not simply images being mined from the Internet but equally sculptural form as digital others (http:// lincoln3dscans.co.uk/). The examples of 3D modelling as Post-Internet’s second stage are slowly begining to surface, suggestive of a new pace to this game, and one which could hold more effectively a networked aesthetic solution (already there have been examples of online group shows, google street view style or
with 3D graphics sparking interest in a new stage of potential). Maybe once the net can shift from its ridged replication of individuality online can Post-Internet aesthetic begin to take on a much more interesting, dispersed and wholly networked capacity. What P-Internet does then question is the notion that art must necessarily be linked in some form to an online existence. Are there ways beyond the internet, beyond practices which even in their lightest sense acknowledge the webs presence. Maybe Post-Internet holds onto its vast and vague emporium because of the necessity of it, because of its ideals of creating an attention economy, because we feel we neth t exist with it and thun we do, because it’s not going to by eradicated until the platforms which it riffs off are also eradicated, though most likely to be replaced with another form
of existence feeding another form of aesthetic. Can we circumnavigate an art practice (and equally an art world) which doesn’t have to lean on the internet in such a relaxed and amiable way, or has it become so indelibly linked in our lives that notions such as image sourcing and information collation would seem a near impossible task (or at least arduous to the point of pointlessness). It seems that by theorising on what it is or could be, unavoidably theory opens up a vortex of anxiety about its omnipresent influence, questioning the values of an art practice in its current permutation to its core (that of research, profile, distribution, promotion et al.) strategically it would be a minefield to live without or beyond, thus does it require a consideration that Post-Internet is not just an art world categorisation, but actually a more broader apprehension of the state of Post-internet-Living we seem to be enveloped by.