The works shown in this exhibition of the internationally most relevant net artists belong to the collection of NETescopio, iniciated in 2008 and since then constantly developed by the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art of Extremadura and Latin America – MEIAC, Badajoz. With NETescopio, the MEIAC is a pioneer in the availability of an Internet accessible art collection beyond the physical presence of the actual Museum. A selection of 120, partly no longer accessible, key works covers the panorama of net art production from the 1990s until today. This exhibition is in this sense a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the net art tendencies and their aesthetics. The main objective of the NETescopio archive, which makes also a historical classification of the collected works, is the preservation of the works, characterized by the incorporation of a large numbers of Spanish and Latin American net artists.
The curator Gustavo Romano has distinguished three strategies of artistic appropriation of the Internet with their various formats:
Disassemblings: During the web´s early years the artists started to experiment with the new medium and dealt with the possibilities of interactivity, the use of interfaces and alternative browsers. It is in the first years of web art, which can be seen in this category, that show a greater radicalism with a stress on experimentation and the deconstruction of the medium.
Re/appropriations:The reuse of symbolic materials and artistic reactions to existing content play a key role in this work. In digital media information can be reproduced and manipulated, developing constant mutation. This poses in discourses to copy, original and authorship, as well as to owner and collector of net art. The artist’s role on the web is of a “redirector” of information.
Intrusion:These works refer to artistic intervention in a new public space, the “Internet”, which involve commonly used sites such as Wikipedia or Google Maps, which parody or subvert private pages, in order to undermine them through artistic contexts. Stealthily infiltration of the user’s computer or other computer systems is discussed here. The artist slips here into the role of spies, intruders and solitary flaneurs.