Curated by Mendi and Keith Obadike
Attention to the visual also unnecessarily dominates discussions of net.art. Writing about Internet art often depends on screenshots to identify artworks. However, many of the works are more conceptual than visual and many are more formally concerned with audio than images. As a medium, the Internet is visual, literary, and aural. Art made for the net may engage any or all of these elements. When we talk about audio on the net, many discussions gravitate towards the tension between the commercial distribution and the illegal exchange of music on the web. But there are also musics made for and from the web itself.
In the 1995 book Being Digital, Nicholas Negroponte explores the Internet as a site for musical exchange. "If Herbie Hancock released his next piece on the Internet," he writes, "it would not only be like playing to a theater with 20 million seats in it, but each listener could transform the music depending on her personal situation" (223.) In fact, today - nearly ten years later - what seems to be most interesting about sound online is not just the notion of the Internet as a theater but also as an instrument to be played and sculpted by the artists in the audience.