Simple Net Art Diagram

From Rhizome Artbase
MTAA
1997
Description

Simple Net Art Diagram is a schematic illustration of two computer terminals connected by a line and a red lightning bolt labeled “The art happens here.” Through an extreme economy of form, the now-iconic image conveys complex concepts about net art: first, that it “happens,” and therefore can be thought of as an action or a performance; and second, that it is defined by in-betweenness. Since its publication in the late 1990s, Simple Net Art Diagram has functioned as a kind of net art meme, remade by other artists to reflect differing conceptions of net art.

Rhizome staff
2021

Simple Net Art Diagram, a basic GIF animation of two computers connected by a line and a flashing red lightning bolt, has become an icon of early Net Art practices. One of MTAA's earliest and most recognized works, it concisely illustrates the nebulous region inhabited by online art.

MTAA
12 March 2008

Art made online exists solely if realized by both author and viewer, since an experience of the work is possible only once, or if, it is accessed. Until then, its location remains undefined and unmapped, without any physical manifestation. MTAA’s Simple Net Art Diagram is a concise rendition of this incorporeality, a basic GIF animation illustrating the nebulous area in which Net Art resides. The schema features two computers connected by a line and a flashing red lightning bolt, placed near a text indicating that, “The art happens here.” The viewer thus observes a reflective representation of that which they are doing at that very moment––looking at art online. In so doing, Simple Net Art Diagram pointedly emphasizes that “Net art, like Process Art, Performance art and Happenings, is less an object for contemplation than an event or action that takes place over time” (Tribe/Jana, 2006).

MTAA
12 March 2008

"The Simple Net Art Diagram simply illustrates where art happens on the net."

MTAA
12 March 2008
Metadata
Variant History
outside link
1997
open submission
12 March 2008
MTAA