INTERNET ART: networks, performative programming, and web as context

NOTES ON THE CURT CLONINGER ARTICLE – “commodify your consumption”

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Curt Cloninger

“Commodify Your Consumption: Tactical Surfing / Wakes of Resistance”

Applying DeCerteau’s ideas to the notion of artistic surfing


Key ideas defined:

MICHEL DECERTEAU – The Practice of Everyday Life

  • Theories of “production” and “consumption” concerning activities of every day life
  • The “everyday” is repetitive and unconscious
  • how were the “users/consumers” modulating institutional input in the practice of their lives?

Strategy (production) – exercised by power structures, institutions, “producers”

Tactics (consumption) – used by consumers to navigate in environments (created by strategies / producers)


“Artistic Surfing”   – group blogging, internet surf clubs, artists surfing the net intuitively to collect trash, recontextualizing it, grouping it together, compare & contrast, remixing, reposting, dj-ing

-The products of surfing are not discreet pieces of media (relationship to marketable?)

-Vannevar Bush’s memex paths

-Relationship to appropriation art – sculpture of Duchamp, Joseph Cornell, George Brecht, Haim Steinbach (look ’em up!)

-Artistic surfers compel viewers to re-enact the way in which they’re made – serve to teach by showing


Cloninger’s continuum between production & consumption


2.Protester opposes corporate production, but produces its own spectacle

3. “Tactical Media” Artist

4. Remix Artist

5. Artistic Web Surfer (reconstitutes found source material as the trace of a

surfed path through the web)

6. Theorist (remixes in form of ideas)

7. Anarchist Drifter (wanders in order to reconstitute space)

8. de Certeau-ian User/consumer



“tactical media” – (can be forms of institutional strategic production) – their tactical “use” (sometimes theatrical) attempts to constitute a form of “resistance” – media activism to critique the dominant politcal / economic order – the “producers”

“deep” net art – net art made by programmers/coders/hackers who attempt to modulate the network by opening up its hood and tweaking it down toward its protocological core.

“surface” net art – Surface net art is net art made by artistic net surfers who attempt to modulate the network by staying on the surface of the network and tweaking in amongst the images, animations, videos, human languages, and other readymade media that travel across its surface – “passive culture jamming”

“resistance” – Agency not to be controlled by the STRATEGIES of producers. Reactionary, defined by negation


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