Variation on the Word Sleep

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Paint this Website

Valéry Grancher is a French artist whose roots lie in the early years of internet based art. For example here is her piece Void from 1996. Of late she has turned net-art on its head in a way which I find really interesting. Here is her webpaintings project. Pardon the lack of correct English in the artists statement:

But at the same time I decided to jump into the most 'prestigious', 'serious', 'outdated' and 'unpolitically correct' media on an ironical way: 'Paintings' ! Many artist came from paintings to net art by using on the screen the paintings iconology and metaphor (5), in my case I felt clearly that the only thing to do was to reverse the process:
How should be paintings during internet time ? How to use computer iconology in paintings ?
I think quite differently than some painters of my generation: I said that we should paint something which was never painted before... that is true... but painting is also a language and is not dealing with just images and subject and that's why I'm talking about iconology. I deeply think that the only way to paint a painting in our internet time should not be to paint computers objects (still life) but what computers has brought in our reality theater, to paint what computer technology has changed in our way of seeing. That's why I choosed to paint website screen, computer screen, computer codes. By doing this, I try to show that the computer iconology is changing all the time and paintings are perfect Flat Dead Things which are freezing the topics painted. The result is that the paintings produced are always reflecting dead icons: The design of the website are changing all the time, the software are changing also, and this is the same for the codes...

Awesome. Of particular note is the painting of the html code of the artists webpage. HTML code and any computer code in general is never viewed as something which should be seen. You examine the result after the computer has filtered and made sense of the code. In a sense she is capturing these moments which all computer users are familiar with and turning them into paintings -- devoid of all interactivity. That html will never become a webpage because it has ceased to be readable by a computer -- it has become a piece of art rather than a piece of code.

In a sense that is one of the functions of art in the modern world -- to make art out of things that we have never seen as art before. What could be better than webpages and the html code that lurks underneath them, and what better way to present them than as a painting. How about the irony process which we just engaged in -- looking at a webpage with a photo of a painting of a webpage on it. EXTREME Post-modern.



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