Winner of the Prix Net Art, 2014: JODI
Award of Distinction: Kari Altmann
In October 2014, after extensive deliberation, the Prix Net Art jury— comprising curators Michael Connor, Samantha Culp, Zhang Ga, and Sabine Himmelsbach— announced that the inaugural $10,000 Prix Net Art would be awarded to artist duo JODI, with a $5,000 Award of Distinction granted to Kari Altmann. Explore their work below.
“The internet is more than just a canvas, medium or publishing platform for art. The internet is a system that links human and machine intelligence to produce politics, economics, culture, and subjectivities. To make “internet art” is to intervene in, or participate mindfully in, these processes.
For this inaugural edition of the Prix Net Art, the top award was given in recognition of the rich tradition of web-based art. Following the release of the first widely used web browser in 1993, a number of artists embraced the web for its aesthetic and political possibilities, particularly as a way of reaching far-flung publics with a minimum of resources. JODI were key figures in this generation, often disrupting the web—its HTML and other code—in order to make its processes and effects more transparent. Throughout their careers, they have remained committed to the internet, in its changing forms over the years, as a contested and vital site for artistic practice.
The Award of Distinction, in contrast, is given this year in recognition of future directions and possibilities for internet art. Kari Altmann’s practice is especially important in regard to the changing role of the artist in a highly networked culture. Referring to her practice as “based in the cloud,” she works as an artist embedded within internet culture, forming collaborations and sharing images across Tumblr, Instagram, and other social media platforms and apps. Altmann works fluidly across the web and the gallery space, considering each artistic medium as another kind of file format, and each artwork as a node in an evolving, collaborative, and networked system in which she is also a node.
While the selected artists have differing approaches—and, in fact, are only two examples of possible practice in a field defined by diversity of form—they both reflect a sophisticated understanding of the internet not simply as a space or an object, but as a series of processes. Through intervention and participation, they find ways to make these processes more comprehensible, and to contest and critique their effects.”
JODI, or jodi.org – a Netherlands-based artist duo comprising Joan Heemskerk (1968, the Netherlands) and Dirk Paesmans (1965, Brussels) – pioneered web-based art in the mid-1990s. By radically disrupting the conventions and functions of systems such as web pages, computer programs, video and computer games, mobile apps, and other digital technologies, JODI’s work destabilizes the relationship between computing technology and its users. JODI continue to work in the widest possible variety of media and techniques, from installations, software and websites to performances and exhibitions.JODI’s work is featured in most art historical volumes about electronic and media art, and has been exhibited worldwide at Documenta-X, Kassel; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; ZKM, Karlsruhe; ICC, Tokyo; CCA, Glasgow; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Eyebeam, NewYork; FACT, Liverpool; MOMI, New York, among others.
Explore Selected Works:
A screen of garbled green text looks like a broken website, until the viewer checks the HTML code through the browser’s ‘View Source’ function and realizes that the page is generated from a text drawing of a nuclear missile.
Geo Goo (2008)
A software-driven artwork built on Google Maps that uses “dropped pins” and other features for creating user-generated maps in a frenetic animation.
A page presenting random YouTube videos by tag. Though the tag is not revealed, the videos have a clear logic that links them.
An iPhone app guides the user through a series of pointless gestures. Each time a gesture is performed correctly (as measured by the built-in gyroscope and other sensors), the phone clicks; when the full sequence has been completed, the device sounds an alarm in celebration. Download the app from the iTunes store link, above.
A blank grey webpage where the overenthusiastic voice of video game character Duke Nukem (voiced by American actor Jon St. John) narrates the menu options (Open, Edit, Save, etc.) of the ubiquitous, free TextEdit program for Mac.
About KARI ALTMANN
Kari Altmann (1983, USA) is an American artist who works fluidly across multiple platforms and formats. Working in an online ecosystem of memes, brands, trends, algorithms, prosumer software, and other communal imaging systems, Altmann creates, tracks, and intervenes in microgenres of content that constantly evolve through her own online management. Her work often uses survival fantasy aesthetics from various sources to create new imagery that pushes this visual logic to its extremes. She circulates the resulting images back through her social networks, where they generate new meanings and versions. A resulting work can take many forms, from a reproducible meme to an installation of objects and performers to an audio mix. Altmann is one of the most influential artists involved in recent discourse around the term “post-internet” and its offshoots.
Recent featured projects include a solo web commission, “Soft Mobility Abstracts,” for the New Museum, New York; “Extinction Marathon” for Serpentine Gallery, London; and “Art Post Internet” at Ullens Center, Beijing. She has done projects for and with Art Dubai, The Goethe Institute, Fade to Mind, Rhizome, Mixpak, Dis Magazine, Nero Magazine, and many more. She also collaborates with peers in many industries as an artist, creative director, and ghost producer. Learn more.
Explore Selected Works:
Ttoshibaa: 10,000 Impressions (2008-ongoing)
A feed that accumulates stills, videos, objects, and sounds into a mysteriously rebranded territory. Tags: ice, rock, sunset, magichour, middleclass, lens flare, muscle, ancient, slow, matte, smother, carve, flex, bone, luxury, gloss, calm, sublime, water, bio, cycles, etc.
Soft Mobility Abstracts (2013-ongoing)
A stream of content that takes the logic of art direction and branding around “mobility” to an ambiguated extreme. Tags: softmobility, security, swipe, footprint, credit, roaming, handheld, etc.
Content from disparate sources with similarly territorial language such as nations, pharmaceuticals, makeup, technological devices, cars, celebrities, aerobic dance classes, etc. is presented together as a unified essence, giving a title to a previously unnamed trope. Tags: ripoff, engendered, exoticized, smartfabric, arid, athletic, youth, land, flexible, petrosumer, biosumer, ecosumer, extension.
Resting Point (Native Arrangement, Vital Signs, Tribal Council) (2013-ongoing)
Altmann organizes a series of similar content about action and acceleration into this small installation that takes the form of a digitally-manipulated jpeg. Resting Point was turned into an actual installation in 2014 and fed back into the image series where it continues to evolve. Tags: action, acceleration, anxiety, curve, arc, vitality, spine, leap, arrow, throttle, control, ergonomic, debt, decline, custom interior, stroke, sweep, horizon, vista, primitive, exchange, etc.
A collaborative project initiated by Kari Altmann that uses a memetic and networked archaeological approach to search and arrange content into new black market civilizational tropes. Tags: handheld, blackmarket, brands, lens, optics, frames, petrosumer, fetish, viral, architecture, tribe, trade, tradeshow, etc. Participants: Iain Ball, Emily Jones, Nick Lalla, Sam Hancocks, Matteo Giordano, Sebastian Moyano, Matei Samihaian, Silvia Saitoc, and many more.