Until May 20th 2018, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art proposes an exhibition entitled Art in the age of the Internet, 1989 to today. The museum questions the influence of the Internet on Art since its boom in the early 90s.
The impact of the Internet on all mediums
In order to understand the extent of the Internet influence on Art, the exhibition Art in the age of the Internet, 1989 to today purposely puts together a wide range of mediums. Indeed, close to 60 Artists are represented and express themselves in very diverse ways. Painting, sculpture, video, installation, Digital Art, photography are present in this dense investigation. Among the attending Artists, there is also Nam June Paik, precursor of Video Art, with an installation called “Internet Dream” made in 1994. It faces an Artwork from the Art collective HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN’S entitled “thewayblackmachine” and put together in 2014. It is composed of TV news reports about African Americans murders. The two Artworks echo one another in a flood of images which eventually result in the creation of an empty image through accumulation and repetition.
Questioning our humanity through the Art and the Internet
One of the exhibition’s goals is to foster the reflection on human condition integrating the Internet in the equation. It is what proposes Ed Atkins’ Artwork entitled “Safe Conduct” and made in 2016. In this video the Artist brings the visitor to an airport security check point. His digital counterpart peels of parts of his body one by one to scan them through X rays. Ravel’s Bolero resonates in the gallery dedicated to the Artist to better show the grotesque of the realization? The Artwork questions our humanity and the impact of the generalized paranoia caused by the recent terrorists attacks altogether. Even though such questions are far from new in the Arts, the way of answering it evolves through the apparition and development of the Internet. On the same note, Art-Trope wrote an article about the exhibition Artists and Robots at the Grand Palais in Paris which deals with similar topics.
The infinity of the Internet VS the finiteness of the Arts
The Internet is an infinite source. His inexorable source of topics, images, texts and contents differs from Art which struggles to reproduce such diversity. Also, Artworks in the era of the Internet tend to address issues which have already been raised. Indeed, it often sounds like a quote which would confirm an issue without necessarily developing it. However, the exhibition of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art is also an occasion to remind that the medium is not necessarily the message. It is even more relevant in a world where we use technology in such an intensive way. Therefore we are overwhelmed by information and often shocking images that show without always denouncing. The exhibition is an excuse to question the consequences of the Internet on the Arts and the messages it broadcasts.
Read our article about the auction of one of Modigliani’s nudes for 150 million dollars here.