Thinking about "post internet" – windows, screens and tablets

My current line of questioning is focusing on the nature and implications of “post internet painting”.

What would it mean for me to consciously make paintings in this way. How would they manifest?

A thought this week is around the concept of a typical, rectangular painting representing a window into some scene or environment.

This accompanies ideas painters play with around breaking the 2-dimensional picture plane

Expanded painting is about breaking out of the 2-dimensional picture plane.

If the picture plane throughout art history and up to post-modernism is conceptually a window, the picture plane in net-art evolves to literally be a screen.

If modes of production in post-modernism favoured deconstruction and juxtapositions, then from my observation post-internet modes of production favour conflation and layering. This reflects such ideas as loss-less ness, endless repetition, 3-d environments, virtual lenses

A part of post-internet art is the influence of the net outside of the virtual realm and back onto the making of hand-crafted items. In this light, I’m interested in how virtual and tangible screens can also influence choices for tangible forms and materials. The artwork images above by Tilman Hornig, both from 2014, show the artist exploring the potential of virtual space bound by smart phone and laptop computer screens. I think that the dimensions and shapes of tablets, phones, and folding laptops have a role in the forms and materials of IRL (in real life) post-internet artworks.

In post-internet works, which critique and comment either directly or indirectly on the influence of the internet on the contemporary world, the picture plane evolves further to be virtual. Being virtual, the form taken is even more fluid allowing for un-natural or impossible combinations and mashups. The screen or window becomes less important than the combinations. Web-thinking (the nature of 3-dimensional models of connections between data points) breaks away from linear and sequential relationships to less obvious and seemingly more psychologically-driven combinations of subject and content. The hand of the artist may now be more immediately seen as the brain of the artist — a kind of artist flight of ideas. Psychologists describe “flight of ideas” as excessive speech at a rapid rate that involves fragmented or unrelated ideas common in manic conditions. We know that the flood of information and stimulation possible through internet technologies feels at times to be a kind of contemporary mania. Post internet art may therefore always have some kind of manic quality, or alternatively attempt to soothe our manic condition.

Tags: