The Internet, in its social media-fied, Web 2.0 ubiquity, is hardly a novel medium for making artwork. The digital sphere is inescapable: a defining trope, agent, and limitless space for a generation of emerging artists. Until September 1, SoHo gallery The Suzanne Geiss Company will explore this development with suzannegeiss.net, a new project devoted to the shifting role of the gallery in contemporary art’s increasingly Internet-centric climate.
Organized by Emily Ludwig Shaffer, the digital platform-cum-exhibition space will host an artist or group per week, giving them free reign to dictate the content of the site without input from the gallery. Currently on the schedule are: AH HOLE AH HOLE, Joshua Citarella, Mariah Dekkenga, Owen Kydd, PplSft, Edward Marshall Shenk, Emily Segal, Analisa Bien Teachworth, and Petrella’s Imports.
“The Internet as a medium isn’t a brand-new thing, of course, but it still has a largely unwritten history and is rapidly evolving,” Ludwig Shaffer says. “It is in this elusive history where new approaches and aesthetics have been flourishing.”
Viewing Internet-concerning works in the traditional gallery space, argues Ludwig Shaffer, negates the social and subversive elements included in the original medium. “There’s such a loaded history to the white-box gallery space. Our relationship to the Internet is not as clearly defined,” she explains. “Emerging artists today are the last generation who will remember a time in their life largely without the Internet. I don’t think anything can render our dear white box completely obsolete—we are physical and demand physicality, but it’s almost become more a photographic backdrop than a space for visiting.”
Petrella’s Imports has created a version of the newsstand app available on Apple devices. Rather than offering the likes of The New York Times and Harper’s, artist projects and zines will be available for download. The collective, who erected a physical newsstand with rotating offerings of custom items and artist publications this past spring on the Bowery and Canal, will also exhibit a site-specific installation based on their digital app in the Suzanne Geiss storefront space, with take away copies of the downloadable publications available. The physical exhibition will run from July 30 to August 24.
SUZANNEGEISS.NET WILL RUN UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1. PETRELLA’S IMPORTS SITE-SPECIFIC INSTALLATION WILL OPEN JULY 30 AT THE SUZANNE GEISS COMPANY, 76 GRAND STREET.