Reading at the interface : exploring parallels between internet art and artists' books /

In the late 1950s, artists' books came into existence as an independent historical movement. Book artists arose in response to the ever-increasing commodification of art and presented challenging, diverse, and multidisciplinary works which communicated intimately with a spectator. Artists'...

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Main Author: Bosch, Lindsay J.
Format: Manuscript
Language:English
Published:2008.
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Main Author:Bosch, Lindsay J.
Summary:In the late 1950s, artists' books came into existence as an independent historical movement. Book artists arose in response to the ever-increasing commodification of art and presented challenging, diverse, and multidisciplinary works which communicated intimately with a spectator. Artists' books offered a wide variety of visual, textual, and textural information in alternative literary formats. This study proposes that artist's books practice shares a community of concept and purpose with that of contemporary internet art. Web based digital art can fruitfully be considered as exploring similar structures and themes as the traditional medium of artists' books. As internet art advances further away from its roots in 1980s hypertext and hypertext's accompanying literary theory, few new media theories have emerged that would allow us to 'read' internet art and evaluate its textual aesthetics. Artists' books, however, have been examining the porous borders between reader and artist, text and image, and presentation and participation for over fifty years, building art theories that are fully translatable across media. One particularly compelling aspect of artist's book theory is the way that it examines the specific character of a books' physicality, the effect its structure has on textual meaning. I suggest that internet art actively continues in this tradition of interrogating the material interface of presentation. Like internet art, artists' books are interactive artworks which experiment with nonlinear narrative, elaborate linking mechanisms, and complex interplays between narrative and visual structure. Our understanding of internet art, therefore, can be deepened through comparison with artist's books while, in turn, internet artwork provides new ways to reflect on older artist book practices. The first section of this thesis outlines parallels in the history and development of the two mediums as well as engaging issues of exhibition, dissemination, commodification, and classification that are particular to both art forms. The text goes on to examine the literary theories of N. Katherine Hayles, an advocate of textual materiality, and the intersections between her concepts and those of critical theorist Jacques Derrida, gaming theorist Espen Aarseth, and artist's book theorist Johanna Drucker. In a final section, I apply Hayles' theory of Media Specific Analysis to a number of internet art and artists' book pairings, finding apt comparisons within the specific play of content and materiality.
Thesis/Dissertation:Thesis (M.A. in Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism) -- School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2008.
General Notes:Thesis advisor: James Hugunin.
Physical Description:84 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (leaves: 79-82)