JIP - JavaMuseum Interview Project

Survey: Alison Williams

alison williams
nelson mandela bay south africa

artist biography

Survey: 10 Questions

Since a reasonable time, digital media entered the
field of art and extended the traditional definition
of art through some new , but very essential
Do you think it is like that and if yes, tell me more
about these components and how they changed the
perception of art?

yes. changed by allowing the variable of
“change”adaptation and mutation/ flexibility into art.
traditional methods of art production are very static
mostly – art using technology/ media/ new media is not
static. it permeates boundaries and allows crossovers/
flexibility of the process and the end product.
digital media can be many things, can be multiplied –
and can reach more people in the blink of an eye – it
broadens artistic horizons in that respect. i am not
saying that it is better than other more traditional
approaches to art… i am saying it has a far wider
scope/ reach and extended boundaries.

A relevant section of digital art represents Internet
based art. The Internet was hardly existing, but
artists conquered already this new field for their
artistic activities.
Can the work of these early artists be compared with
those who work with advanced technologies nowadays?
What changed until these days ? What might be the
perspectives for future developments?

well if they working in the same/ similar
fields -then the basis of their art remains the same
does it not? compare early painters to painters
nowadays… methods change, implements improve, ease
comes with access to better tools equipment etc…
same with technology based art/ be it digital or
internet based work. computers and internet has
improved, access bandwidth and general availabillity/
costs etc are now all to our advantage.
everything is more accessible, the horizons are
broader… there is more to explore, to take in and to
give out. future developments may simply be in
alignment with what technology affords us/ what new
and better developments come our way – we may take
advantage of them as artists and pursue both personal
and global trends in a developing and exciting field.

The education in the field of New Media art, including
Internet based art, started late compared with the
general speed of technological development and
acceptance. So, generations of artists who used the
Internet as their artistic working field were not
educated in this new discipline(s) and technologies,
but had rather an interdisciplinary approach.
What Do you think, would be the best way to teach
young people how to deal with the Internet as an
environment of art?

maybe to teach them to do research on art
which is internet based – eg if you have not visited
the Louvre – then do so now… go to http://www……
let them know that the internet makes the world a lot
smaller and a lot more accessible. that art is just a
click away…

What kind of meaning have the new technologies and the
Internet to you in concern of art, are they just tools
for expressing artistic intentions, or have they
rather an ideological character, as it can be found
with many “netartists”, or what else do they mean to
Many “Internet based artists” work on “engaged” themes
and subjects, for instance, in social, political,
cultural etc concern.
Which contents are you particularly interested in,
personally and from an artcritical point of view.

the internet is my continual source of reference and
inspiration for art. i use it as a tool for learning,
broadening my own knowledge and keeping me up to date
in current trends and contemporary art happenings.
I think that it can be many things for many people –
its dynamism is what makes it possible to almost defy
a strict definition.
like a work of art – new technologies and the internet
could be/ should be whatever you want it to mean for
you. take from it what you want and can.
i am interested in new media – how art and technology/
how science and art collide. i am interested in
infinite possibilites and what is yet to come.

The term “netart” is widely used for anything posted
on the net, there are dozens of definitions which
mostly are even contradictory.
How do you define “netart” or if you like the
description “Internet based art” better?
Do you think “netart” is art, at all, if yes, what are
the criteria?
Are there any aesthetic criteria for an Internet based

yes i think netart is art. but perhaps there
are different categories as there are with any art.
the net is simply the medium is it not?
if we are dealing with a potentially paperless world/
canvas free world say – ie one where the art is online
and the gallery virtual…
then the outcome is the art on display for the world
to view, be it digital media, video or merely a
browsing of an online art gallery of more tradionally
produced works of art
like paintings or sculpture. if it is net based and
reaches the world/ artistic community then it is
netart per se.
i do think there are categories – netart in a broad
sense – any art using the net to reach an audience/
netart – as a specifically formulated idea/ conceptual
that makes use of the internet only as a focal point
in production so as to achieve the desired outcome.

“Art on the net” has the advantage and the
disadvantage to be located on the virtual space in
Internet which defines also its right to exist.
Do you think, that “art based on the Internet”, can be
called still like that, even if it is just used

online or offline – if it exists on the net then yes.
just as a gallery in a real world context is open or
closed to the public for viewing. the art is still
housed there.

Dealing with this new, and interactive type of art
demands an active viewer or user, and needs the
audience much more and in different ways than any
other art discipline before. How do you think would be
good ways to stimulate the user to dive into this new
world of art?
What do you think represents an appropriate
environment to present net based art to an audience,
is it the context of the lonesome user sitting in
front of his personal computer, is it any public
context, or is it rather the context of art in general
or media art in particular, or anything else.?
If you would be in the position to create an
environment for presenting this type of art in
physical space, how would you do it?

good marketing is the key to any situation where you
are trying to attract an audience is it not? we live
in world where we are influenced by advertising…
netart needs to be better marketed by galleries and
art agents… by use of links to various sites and
galleris that support contemporary trends in art and
an environment? i think its both… a single user or
public access and interest depending on the situation.
different art appeals to different people-
conceptually hence it boils down to marketing again…
i would think a great internet site one that would be
found as desirable by both the artist and the viewer/
in conjunction with a great space housed within a
gallery/ galleries – with monitors, viewing rooms…
projection screens.
artists more often than not have to supply their own
equipment when installing new media/ any technology
based art exhibitions. why are galleries not better

As Internet based art, as well as other art forms
using new technologies are (globally seen) still not
widely accepted, yet, as serious art forms, what do
you think could be an appropriate solution to change
this situation?

marketing and gallery liaison – if they support
technology based art better and artists in the field
then the public will catch on yes?
Question 9.
The Internet is sometimes called a kind of
“democratic” environment,
The conventional art practice is anything else than
that, but selective by using filters of different
The audience is mostly only able to make up its mind
on second hand. Art on the net might potentially be
different. Do you think the current practice of
dealing with Internet based art is such different or
rather the described conventional way through (also
curatorial) filtering?
Do you think, that speaking in the terms of Joseph
Beuys, anybody who publishes anything on the net would
be also an artist?

no not everything is art is it? what makes art
art? thought makes action and the intention
behind an artistic outcome or end product is what
makes that “thing”art, as well as the artist’s skill/
and aesthetic aspects of the work in its own right.
not everyone that slashes a canvas is a painter so how
can just anyone that publishes to the net be an artist
– there are many criteria involved.
i dont mean if its good art or bad art – just – is it
art? there are recognisable defining characteristics
to a work of art.
web-based or other.

Do you think, the curators dealing with net based art
should have any technological knowledge in order to
understand such an art work from its roots? And what
about the users of Internet based art?

yes and no. if they have a good eye for art in the
sense that they can recognise a work of art in
principle no matter what the medium used then no –
they would not need great technological knowledge
would they, depending on their
years of experience in a curatorial field/
yes though in the sense that they would possibly not
understand a new media artist/ using technology – they
would have to understand the principle and thought
content and be
able to judge from that and have the technologial
vision to understand the artist/s in their own terms.
and the art field judged in its own right.