Sabine Hochrieser, Michael Kargl, Birgit Rinagl, Franz Thalmair – Content. Form. Im-material

Verlag fur moderne Kunst Nurnberg

Verlag fur moderne Kunst Nurnberg, ISBN-13: 978-3869841878, 264 pages, English, 2011
This book starts with an excellent question: “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?”. It coherently synthesizes five years of work by the Vienna-based collective CONT3XT.NET, founded in 2006 and active in the production of artworks and exhibitions of internet-based art. Reflecting their own methodology the book is not a strictly curatorial work, nor a chronology of their activities, but a collection of texts and artworks embodying their own (peculiar) attitude. The editors are not interested in defining internet art, but they do spend a lot of time on the “mediation of the fact that (internet-based art) is art”, translating it into exhibition strategies and projects, something they call “translation work.” This is at the core of their activity, trying to untangle the “variability” of internet-based art, and then fusing curatorship, theory and production. This activity is not just a two-way transformation of signs and meaning but a whole discourse on art and the internet, involving a deep aesthetic and symbolic understanding of the medium. To make the collective efforts even more specific, they deal with works where the digital, sometimes transitory component is central. The selection of works together with the texts, (containing many different conversations) represents a very focused body of work which can be enjoyed, as Steve Dietz writes in his intro, as a “feedback loop”.