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Whatever Happened to Net Art?

Not long ago, Internet art was the latest thing. Today it seems historical, along with postmodernism and New Media. Until its peak in the mid 1990’s, Internet art had a scent of the future. It was invested – symbolically and economically – with the capacity to signify and even prefigure a glorious global future for all.

But what is the situation today? Has net art metamorphosed into something else? How do we see it in relation to the contemporary art world? Has net art become a part of contemporary art or is it a sub-sector of its own?

A decade after what could be seen as its dispersion and with the fate of web 2.0, it is highly relevant to look at what net art was and is by linking it to its appearance in various art venues, to its historiography, to advanced media technology, conditions of social and economic infrastructure, and, not the least, to the rapid extension of the Internet itself.

While the conference is occasioned by an on-going research project, the intention with this conference is to assess the situation today, and to discuss ways of dealing with interactive net-based art in the years to come.

This two-day set up will mix artistic presentations with more scholarly papers and a general discussion peopled by renowned scholars, experts, curators and artists from different parts of Europe and the United States.

Participation is free of charge, number of seats limited.

Registration is needed:


Friday, 4 December.

9.00 Coffee and registration.

Session I:

9.45 Welcome and introduction. Dan Karlholm & Cecilia Widenheim.

10.00 Julian Stallabrass, “ and Art History”.

11.00 Coffee.
11.30 Karin Hansson & Åsa Andersson Broms, “A Room, of One's Own: Building an Art Institution on the Net 1995”.

12.00 Mindaugas Gapsevièius, “Second hand WWW”
12.30 Morning summary, Håkan Nilsson.

13.00 Lunch.

Session II:

14.00 Wolfgang Staehle, “THE THING and Other Things”.

15.00 Coffee.

15.30 Anna Kindvall, “ Pioneers”.

16.30 Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, “Untitled”.

17.00 Wrap up , Charlotte Bydler.

18.00 Bar.

Saturday, 5 December.

Session III:

10.00 Josephine Bosma, “Why Some Things Just Won't Die: how net art survived the nineties”.

11.00 Coffee.
11.30 Jakob Senneby & Simon Goldin, “Anywhere You Aren't”.

12.00 Alexei Shulgin, “Net Art as Ultimate Avant-garde”.

12.30 Morning summary, Cecilia Widenheim.
13.00 Lunch.

Session IV:

14.00 Rachel Baker & Ruth Catlow, “A dialogue”.

15.00 Coffee.

15.30 Jennifer González, “Disappearances”.

16.00 Wrap up, Dan Karlholm.

17.00 Bar.

Rachel Baker, artist, and web developer, works with Internet radio as well as being media Arts Officer for the Arts Council of England.

Ruth Catlow, co-founder and co-director of, a grass roots media arts organization and its gallery HTTP Gallery in North London.

Josephine Bosma, writer and critic, with a forthcoming book about net art.

Mindaugas Gapsevicius, artist and co-initiator of the first Lithuanian new media art platform o-o.

Jennifer González, Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz, writes about contemporary art, digital and activist art (via Skype).

Karin Hansson & Åsa Andersson Broms, artists, founders of the Association for Temporary Art [a:t] since 1993.

Anna Kindvall, artist and curator, co-founder of the Electrohype biennial, which begun in 2000.

Jakob Senneby & Simon Goldin, artists, founders of the island The Port in the virtual world of Second Life (with Tor Lindstrand) in 2004.

Wolfgang Staehle, media artist, founder of The Thing in 1991, an online forum for artists and cultural workers.

Julian Stallabrass, art critic, curator and lecturer in modern and contemporary art, author of Internet Art: The Online Clash of Culture and Commerce (2003).

Nomedas & Gediminas Urbonas, artists working together since 1997, co-founders of Vilma/Vilnius interdisciplinary Lab for Media Art in 2000.

The research project at Södertörn University, “Art (without) Spaces: Identities of Internet Art in Germany, Lithuania, and Sweden”, includes three case studies by Professor Dan Karlholm, PhD Charlotte Bydler and Associate Professor Håkan Nilsson, funded by Östersjöstiftelsen (The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies).