Cover of the publication »Net_Condition. Kunst / Politik im Online-Universum«
Thu, September 23, 1999 – Sun, February 27, 2000

But - can net-art really be exhibited?

As the title of the exhibition supposes, »net_condition« is not about »net-art for net-art's sake«; rather, it's about the artist's look at the way society and technology interact with each other, are each other's »condition«: At the dawn of information society, there's a growing demand for knowledge, data exchange, entertainment, and it frequently has to be »just in time«, »on demand«, »in real time«. The technical answer to this is called »internet«. At the same time, the net itself is shaping society, new fields of social, commercial, and artistic interaction emerge. There are new possibilities, even those no one ever asked for.

In this rich field of opportunities, utopian and emancipatory hopes re-appear on stage; equality of chances, world citizenship, participation without borders are regarded as technically doable and are promoted by private communities, while the global players in the commercial world go for their goals with the very same technical means.

Social interaction is changing with the net. From the point of view of the history of media, we also see a change in the way people play music, remember, tell stories, design, play. »net_condition« is talking about how these changes are reflected, presented, and researched by net artists. Also, »net_condition« is about how events in real space and events in the virtual »space« of the net react to each other, trigger each other, or just collide. Distributed Virtual Reality, Shared Cyberspace, non-local communications, multi user environments and net games - these are some of the main topics of »net_condition«.

For Peter Weibel, head of the ZKM and curator of »net_condition«, has high hopes for the role net-art is about to play. Says he: “At present, net art is the driving force, which is the most radical in transforming the closed system of the aesthetic object of modern art into the open system of post-modern (or second modern) fields of action.”

Exhibitions team

Hartmut Bruckner (technical project management)
Matthias Gommel (exhibition architecture)
Sabine Himmelsbach (project management)
Kai Richter (exhibition architecture)

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Medienmuseum

Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Österreich ; ICC, Tokyo


COMICS Informationssysteme GmbH ; Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Kunst und Medientechnologie e.V. ; Sony ; Softline AG ; Märklin & Cie GmbH ; HOSPES Messebau GmbH ; agi business media productions ; SWR ; planNET Systems GmbH ; FEMA ; Buchhandlung Mende ; S & G Automobilgesellschaft ; PRO Markt ; Rechenzentrum der Universität Karlsruhe ; Xlink ; 3Com