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An exhibition of net-art in the Center for Art and Media Technology (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany.

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.«


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