PORTRAIT: AMERICAN ARTIST. TABITA REZAIRE, KEIKEN
Is there a virtual space for critique today? This is what a young generation of net artists is trying to find out, using the visual language of the web to wrench something from either collusion or outright complicity. Can the closed circuits of the internet be pried open? Unlearn the language of the powerful so you can speak back to them.
“A younger generation of artists whose practices draw on the aesthetics of the earlier inter- net’s progressive aspirations creates ways of framing net art in a productive new light. While their practices are distinct, artists like American Artist (*1989), Tabita Rezaire (*1989), and Keiken (founded 2014) share a lucid assessment of how marginalisation mars our online (just as offline) world, capturing the subtle structures of control and oppression that inhere in the digital age. Though their work is itself often digital-born, they occupy this space differently, negotiating its restrictive terms, proving that an exodus from the internet isn’t the only viable dream to deliver us from digital domination. Bathed in generative contradiction, their net art-adjacent practices take stock of computation’s role in reiterating the commercialised and neo-colonialist paradigms that structure so much tech today.”