edited by Dieter Daniels, Gunther Reisinger – Net Pioneers 1.0, Contextualizing Early Net-Based Art

Net Pioneers 1.0

Sternberg Press, ISBN: 978-1-933128-71-9, July 2010 / Hardcover / 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches / 244 pp / 15 b&w
There was a time when harsh debates took place about the “fundamental” difference between net.art and net art (with or without the dot). In the subtitle of this book is a small revolution that intrinsically coins a new, more comprehensive term: “net-based art”. What we will call it in twenty years is hard to predict, but books like this will turn out to be necessary for future art historians. In this book different qualities of net art clearly emerge: visions of new communication, the fragility of the medium, net art as fundamental to its own historical moment (early nineties), and constituting “a paradigm shift in media society.” Daniels hints at an important question: was net art the “last avant-garde”? This and other unanswered questions are part of a larger research project of which this book is a part. Conducted at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute it also includes an interesting historical data visualization that was shown at Ars Electronica in 2009. Net art is contextualized and dissected, from Duchamp’s postal experiments in the early 20th century (described by Ries) to an appropriate history narrated by Verena Kuni that does not avoid the crucial and still unsolved problems with preservation and the difficulties surrounding exhibiting such art properly (perfectly synthesized in the Sakrowski essay title: “Net Art in the White Cube – A Fish on Dry Land”).