Life in Cultural Smog – On the Value of Junk, Leaks, Spills, and Noise

Spring 2014 I was invited to talk on a panel organized in Hito Steyerl's exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. Theme of the panel was 'circulationism', a term Steyerl uses for the online distribution of images. I was asked to speak about alternative networks, or rather, about the possibility for the creation of alternative networks after the revelations made by Snowden showed the Internet is heavily surveilled by the NSA. In my talk I try to show alternative networks already exist, and will be very hard to erase or control completely by authorities.


β€œThe location of power - and the site of resistance - rest in an ambiguous zone without borders.” Critical Art Ensemble, The Electronic Disturbance,1994.

Beyond net.art - escaping network nihilism in media art criticism

May, 2002

In 2002 I was invited to speak at the Reality Check for Cyber Utopias conference in Zagreb, organized by MAMA, the Croatian media lab. I decided to talk about the way art is approached in many media art contexts, something I elaborate on almost ten years later in my book Nettitudes. I make a plea for a different view of both net art and media art, and defend the legitimacy of all contemporary art practices that involve the Internet.

Outdoor installation at the Technorganic festival organized by Cary Peppermint and Leila Christine Nadir in 2005.

The space of net art

October, 2001


In 2001 I was asked to give a talk at NCC48, a rather curious 48 hour nonstop congress in a cave in Graz, Austria. I decided to present my very own thoughts on net art, after I felt many words had been put in my mouth by others. The hype and noise around net art had produced an almost impossible climate to discuss this new art context seriously. Needless to say my words hardly impressed anyone. Today it turns out I was right: more 'users' creates more mainstream art behavior; artists have started to explore the broader virtual field of the network (which is translated in 'new' theories from post-Internet to New Aesthetic);  and art institutions are very, very slowly exploring their new expanded field of influence. For your information: the open letter by Jon Ippolito I am referring to here criticized the possibility for art institutions to be able to get a .museum domain (instead of a .org or .com suffix), posted on the nettime mailing list in December 2000.

Today I would have to add some words to the last paragraph though, to be clear. I am NOT saying the Internet is a conceptual space, but I am saying that to think about art and the internet it is necessary to let go of simplistic and outdated notions of the Internet as a purely technological, singular medium. Quote: "So the 'web of possibilities', which is in the expanded virtual space of the combination of technology and humans is the true basis of net art. One could say the ability to see beyond the purely technical environment produces a new kind of abstraction in art."

Picture of the entrance to Dom im Berg, the cave in which the NCC48 congress was held

Identiteit en Kunst in Computernetwerken

April, 2012


Lezing gegeven in Januari 2000 in SubK te Utrecht, ter gelegenheid van een avond over 'digipersonae'. 


De kunstenaar achter antiorp, Gheorghe Dan. 


Software art and poetry: Graham Harwood and William Blake's 'London'

Lecture written for the Electrohype conference 2002, in Malmo Sweden.

Between Moderation and Extremes - the tension between net art theory and popular art discourse

May, 2000

This is an early attempt of me to develop my view on net art discourse. The title reveals how I saw (and mostly still see) art discourse as popular in its approach of net art. What happens in most art discourse relating to net art barely scratches the surface of what is going on, and this was definitely the case in 2000, when this was written. However, much of what is said in here I would say different today, at the very least.The lecture is a bit 'incrowd'.

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