(edited by) Michael Connor, Aria Dean – The Art Happens Here: Net Art Anthology


Rhizome, ISBN-13: 978-0692173084, English, 435 pages, 2019, USA

Twenty years after the well known “net_condition” exhibition at ZKM, ”The Art Happens Here“ is probably the largest project about net art ever realised, produced by Rhizome and supported by the Thoma Art Foundation. This catalogue is its third embodiment. It comes after the “Net Art Anthology”, a major online exhibition with one hundred works, revealed periodically over two years, and meant to constitute a highly curated ‘collection’ of net art. Sixteen of them have been then installed for the “The Art Happens Here: Net Art’s Archival Poetics” exhibition at the New Museum, New York. It is also worth mentioning that this huge work has involved a considerable amount of informed people acting in different roles, adding to the historical Rhizome ArtBase containing more than 2.000 works of internet-based art, and to the Webrecorder, an open source platform and hosted service meant to create and store fully functional copies of “almost any website”. Under this scenario, it is hardly surprising to have this thick catalogue in large format, with all the announced works and significant related texts, carefully provided by an abundance of sources and a few valuable new essays. An instant reference, informed by its historical community, this catalogue reasserts the crucial, and still overlooked, role of net art as a lens for contemporary society.