Post-Internet Art – Definition, Examples, History & More – Digital Art and Technology Glossary

What is Post-Internet Art?

Post-Internet art refers to artwork created in response to the digital age and the widespread use of the internet. It is a genre that emerged in the early 21st century and is characterized by its exploration of the impact of technology on society and culture.

Post-Internet art often blurs the lines between the physical and digital worlds, incorporating elements of both into the artwork. It can take many forms, including digital art, video art, installation art, and performance art.

Origins of Post-Internet Art

Post-Internet art first began to gain traction in the mid-2000s, as artists started to grapple with the implications of living in a hyper-connected, digital world. The term “Post-Internet” was coined by artist Marisa Olson in 2008, to describe artwork that was created in response to the internet rather than being created for it.

Many artists working in the Post-Internet art movement were influenced by the rise of social media platforms, online communities, and the increasing digitization of everyday life. They sought to explore how these technologies were shaping our identities, relationships, and experiences.

One of the key characteristics of Post-Internet art is its use of digital tools and technologies. Artists often incorporate elements such as GIFs, memes, and screenshots into their work, blurring the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds.

Post-Internet art also tends to be highly conceptual, with artists exploring themes such as surveillance, privacy, and the commodification of information. Many artists working in this genre are interested in how technology is changing the way we communicate, consume media, and interact with the world around us.

Key Artists in Post-Internet Art

Some of the most prominent artists working in the Post-Internet art movement include Ryan Trecartin, Petra Cortright, and Amalia Ulman. These artists are known for their innovative use of digital tools and technologies, as well as their exploration of the impact of the internet on contemporary culture.

Ryan Trecartin, for example, is known for his video installations that blend elements of performance art, social media, and reality television. Petra Cortright creates digital paintings using software programs and online platforms, exploring themes of identity and self-representation in the digital age.

Impact of Post-Internet Art on the Art World

Post-Internet art has had a significant impact on the art world, challenging traditional notions of art and expanding the possibilities of what art can be. It has opened up new avenues for artists to explore the intersection of technology, culture, and society, and has pushed the boundaries of what is considered art.

Many museums and galleries have begun to exhibit Post-Internet art, recognizing its importance in reflecting the contemporary moment and engaging with the digital age. Collectors have also started to take notice of Post-Internet art, with works by artists in this genre fetching high prices at auction.

Criticisms of Post-Internet Art

Despite its popularity and influence, Post-Internet art has also faced criticism from some quarters. Some critics argue that the genre is too focused on technology and lacks depth or substance. They suggest that Post-Internet art is too reliant on gimmicks and trends, rather than exploring meaningful themes or ideas.

Others have raised concerns about the commercialization of Post-Internet art, with some artists being accused of pandering to the market or creating work that is more about generating buzz than making a meaningful statement. Critics also question whether Post-Internet art can truly be considered art, or if it is simply a passing fad.

In conclusion, Post-Internet art is a dynamic and innovative genre that continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in contemporary art. While it may have its detractors, there is no denying the impact that Post-Internet art has had on the art world, and its ability to reflect and engage with the digital age in which we live.