I want more web art.

This article was written in 2013. It might or it might not be outdated. And it could be that the layout breaks. If that’s the case please let me know.

A while ago Maaike asked the question if we knew any art projects on the web. There were still a few, but not many. This raises the question why there are just a few web art projects. A simple answer would be that it’s hard to make money off a website, and many artists are money focused, obsessed even (not all, relax, I’m exaggerating). Whatever the reason, I believe it’s a shame. The web needs artists to explore its many possible shapes. I’m not talking about cool shit we can do with JavaScript per se, I’m talking about truly understanding the web.

We’ve always known that the web has as many appearances as it has visitors. Until recently we’ve lazily ignored this fact and tried to cast the fluid essence of the web into the fixed mold. We tried to tame the very thing that makes the web so interesting: its unpredictability in appearance. I believe that artists, not designers, could contribute to grasping this part of the web, to control its many appearances without ignoring its nature.

All research right now is so functional. A more conceptual approach of the different layers that make the visual web – content, typography, layout, paint – could help us in finding new solutions. It could open up new ways that we could never have thought of in our highly function driven society. Technical inventions have always influenced art, and art has always influenced society. I really want artists to get highly involved in the web, to use and explore the new techniques we have, and help us understand why and how we make things better.


  1. I agree, I truly miss the times when web art was at its peak (Superbad, Jodi.org, The Remedy Project etc). I don’t believe it has to do with money. I do think that not many artists understand about the way the web works (even less so than graphic designers! Go figure!) Which of course makes it hard tot create insightful works about it.