Characteristics of Internet-based Art

            The “ongoing” characteristics of Internet-based art offer an open-ended element to the concept of a project. These characteristics begin with access and presentation on the Internet, but are always supplemented with the specific intent of the artist.

            Artist, Dina Kelberman has a couple of ongoing projects listed on her website. One of Dina’s processes is to form her art by surfing the web. These found digital images range from cartoons to postings of personal videos. They are grouped by subject matter in a free-form visual association to create her Internet-based projects. The online-only exhibition website page of the New Museum has more about Dina’s artistic practice.

            The Smoke & Fire and Sleep Video are two examples of Dina’s ongoing projects listed under her 2013 work website category. She believes this pattern of working began subconsciously, but she gave credit to the very malleable nature of digital art. Dina refers to this quality simply by saying “I can always change these so I will whenever I want.”

            The malleability of digital art and Dina’s experimental approach to her projects does have a specific method that makes them coherent. The majority of the projects are based on rules pertaining to the process of collecting. Some of these rules conclude the collecting process more quickly than others, because the content is exhausted. The Internet offers new daily content for Dina to surf (if she wishes) and to continue the “ongoing” aspect.

            This characteristics of digital art have other components besides what the artist changes or adds to the project. Dina pointed out that recently, YouTube had a bug and it drastically changed the condition of the Sleep Video. The Sleep Video was formed by an overlaid YouTube playlist, which was created with found videos that are periodically edited and reconfigured.

Still from “Sleep Video” Courtesy of: Dina Kelberman

            During the process of reconfiguring the videos for the playlist, Dina explained her thought process. She first thought to herself how this felt like a problem, but after reviewing the new iteration of the video her thoughts went to “this is the whole point of this.” She is referring to the ending description of the Sleep Video that the video is “periodically edited and reconfigured.” This example demonstrates another side of digital art being malleable. By the video being hosted by a current social media platform, the Sleep Video is open to the possibilities of others restructuring a video social media site with their specific intentions.

Screenshot of “Sleep Video” webpage showing playlist. Courtesy of: Dina Kelberman

            Focusing on one of the many methods of Dina’s experimental approaches, which she calls “fiddling around,” I will explore how the use of digital media and her artistic intent work together. In the btwfyi section of her website, part of her statement about her work is that fiddling around is important to her. Fiddling around is an important part of the experimental art process, but I consider the fiddling around process as a broader part of digital media. I wanted to take into consideration that a lot of types of media called for a little fiddling around, such as in the 20th Century before cable television. In order to maintain a clear picture on a television set the antenna needed to be fiddled with to find the right broadcasting signals.

            The fiddling around can be applied to many aspects of digital media. Dina’s method of surfing the web would entail adjusting the type of content details that enable her to create multiple outcomes with searches. These open ended results from fiddling around to form art and the use of digital media as a medium place undetermined variables into an art practice, viewing art, and of course the traditional concept of archiving artwork. By making this statement, I can’t help but recall that the projects are based on rules pertaining to the process of collecting. The collecting process can also be seen as malleable. Of course depending on what is being specifically collected and I view Dina’s work as a personal collection. The process has its own ongoing activity, lulls, and if the collection is still in progress it has its own fluidity within the everyday activities on the Internet.

By: Carrie Ida Edinger   

Carrie’s interest with new media is in interdisciplinary methods and the use of the Internet as a presentation site for evolving contemporary projects.