Friday 6 August 2010 / Extra Extra / 2222 Sepviva St. / Philadelphia PA
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Review by Lauren Smith, first posted Tuesday 03 August 2010
The Internet has made any fool with a flip cam and a ukulele an artist. YouTube teems with the masturbatory short films and webcam navel-gazing of the wireless masses, and blogs swarm like locusts. But if the web is an established venue for “art,” it’s been largely untapped as a medium for it. This month at Extra Extra, Constant Dullaart and Artie Vierkant use the Internet as canvas, palette and gallery, warping its iconography and working through and underneath its networks. The two artists—who developed the show together but have never met in person—have been mysterious about the exact content of the exhibit, offering only a bare-bones website (artievierkantconstantdullaart.com) and links to before-the-fact reviews as clues for what to expect. But follow their internet Reese’s trails a bit and hints emerge: Vierkant’s collaged videos and Dullaart’s virtual galleries of Duchampian readymades, links to empty domains and nowhere sites (including, wryly, urinal.org) crawling with parasitic ads and stock photos. Both artists have used the internet as a muse before: Vierkant recreated the histogram curves of video stills in Styrofoam, Dullaart modeled the spin of YouTube’s loading wheel, the creep of the player’s red bar, and the bouncing kaleidoscope of a DVD player with paper, paint, a spotlight, and his own hands. The content of the exhibit may still be murky, but Dullaart and Vierkant’s modi operandi of finding art in the internet’s vast banality has been interesting in the past, and is probably going to be interesting now.
Lauren Smith writes for Philadelphia Weekly. This review is also available on Philadelphia Weekly's website.