Guardian feature writer and artist Andy Field visited us, the Birmingham 2022 project group, at mac, birmingham to discuss how the internet is altering our perception of art, and how it may transform art in the future.
Andy gave us a short introduction in how artists are already using the internet, as well as giving two interesting examples of how a technological development, even a seemingly unrealistic one, can unwittingly change how we live our lives. He also asked us to ponder whether the creative youth of today were taking advantage of the internet and the technology available to us in the 21st century, and to consider less realistic possibilities as well as the more obvious developments. He introduced us to the work of several artists who had used the internet in new and exciting ways, whether as a tool, a collaborator or radically abandoning it all together.
In response to this presentation we did a few exercises exploring how we could make more of the internet from an artistic view point. In groups of two and three, we were challenged to invent fresh ways of using the internet. The first task was to try and imagine the internet as a city and to think of new ‘buildings’ to add to it. The second task was about reusing already invented internet resources to create art, or to develop intriguing new ways to use it. The third task was to think about a world without the internet that is completely non- digital, and to consider how aspects such as communication, creation and promotion of work would grow in this atmosphere. Andy also informed of us about the Analogue festival that he is running, which follows this theme. Andy developed the festival not because he is against technology, but out of curiosity. As a conclusion to the session, we were asked to create our own view of what Birmingham will look like in 2022, via illustration, a digital format or writing.
The internet as a city
Public areas: Social networks, Facebook, Twitter
Public businesses/ The High street: business websites, personal websites, clothing sites, Amazon
Entertainment district: Youtube, iplayer, 4od, Newspapers
Private residences: email, private Facebook chat
Revolutionary Internet artists
Ross Sutherland: An artist who creates poems using a computer as his collaborator. He feeds famous poetry into a computer programme to create new ones.
Eva and Franco Mattes: creators of the first spoof website, as well as various other internet hoaxes and pranks.
Christian Marclay: Used Twitter to create a conference talk entitled the Clock and the Cross fire.
Chris Goode: Inventor of the Hippo World Guest Book. An app that encourages you to take a photographer of yourself each day for a year.
Written by Sophie Lloyd