CONT3XT.NET is everything
Internet-based writing and art works emerge from, refer to, and thus must be understood within the complex context of the internet, which is in fact a conglomeration of contexts operating in concert (or not). For their function and for their intelligibility internet-based works are dependant upon the internet and all its vagaries, from the constraints of its physical infrastructure to the menace of its crawling bots, from the Babel babble of its code languages to the competing messages of its surface contents. How can works created for and within this highly provisional, seemingly immaterial, endlessly re-combinatory context be read, watched or understood in any other?
This is precisely the question that the Vienna-based collective CONT3XT.NET has been relentlessly asking of itself and of others over the past five years. Co-foundes Sabine Hochrieser, Michael Kargl, Birgit Rinagl, and Franz Thalmair take a translation approach to curatorial practice, exploring new creative territories and practices oscillating between the virtual and the real by reformulating the immateriality of the internet into the physicality of paper, space, performance or other public presentations. On their website they state: “Always starting from the idea of the context as the most indecisive and variable but relevant constraint of any situation, the collective analyses the spatial, temporal, discursive as well as the institutional framework that conceptual artistic practices are rooted in today.” Over the past five years they have collaborated with a wide range of media artists, theorists, curators and writers working at the nexus of contemporary visual, textual and networked practices to develop networked projects, exhibitions, publications, lectures and public presentations.
Past CONT3XT.NET projects have included:
Language to be Looked at and/or Things to be Read 2010 - ongoing
Übersetzung ist eine Form. | Translation is a mode 2010
Rich.txt—Art Language Technology 2006 – 2008
Tagallery — Meta/Collections of Meta/Data 2007
The most recent project undertaken by CONT3XT.NET is the publication of Content | Form | Im-material – Five Years of CONT3XT.NET, a print book which loosely documents projects undertaken by the collective over the past five years with an eye toward noting which tendencies have emerged in internet-based writing and art practices in that time, and which have dissipated. The larger project, for the book as well as for the collective, remains one of context.
In their introductory essay, co-editors Sabine Hochrieser, Michael Kargl, Birgit Rinagl, and Franz Thalmair ask: “Why is it still easier to get an entire museum collection on the Internet than to get a single work of Internet-based Art in a museum space? [...] The book “Content | Form | Im-material” analyses how artistic creation on—and based upon—the Internet and the processes of its re-formulation in the real space can be developed in order to find appropriate presentational modes, suitable for both sides—the Internet and the art world—in favour of interdisciplinary discourse.”
Content | Form | Im-material – Five Years of CONT3XT.NET will launch at Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, in Vienna, Austria, September 15, 2011, from 7 p.m. For more information, please visit: CONT3XT.NET
Performing digital texts in European contexts