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13 February 2020

Videoart feature
WOW Russia Moscow
selection ColognOFF – brave new world

The 1st months of 2000 were a phase of orientating – because Wilfried had no idea what kind of relevance his activities might have on the “world wide web” and in the related art world. It was his project “A Virtual Memorial” and the related research when he found out that there were a lot of other artists who had similiar ideas even before he started. There was a specific artform related to it, called – netart – whereby Wilfried preferred from the start rather the term- Internet based art – because during his research he had recovered that in the different languages (English, German, French etc) and the related countries “netart” was defined differently, and additionally anything published in the net received the extension to be “netart”, so if everything was netart, there was no need for a definition and a related term.

He recovered also projects and plaforms on the net including and presenting “netart” pieces by a variety of artists, but mostly they consisted just of a collection of links related to artworks hosted on an external server. Due to his activities around ” A Virtual Memorial Foundation” he got already concrete ideas for creating and curating virtual space hosting an exhibtion of Internet based art.

It was just a marginal step to initiate “JavaMuseum – Forum for Internet Technologies in Contemporary Art” already in Spring/Summer 2020 and create this way, the 1st virtual museum for virtual art. Typically for Wilfried, he had founded the museum without having any detailled concept for it. He felt the need for creating such a forum and he did it simply.

The year 2000 was marked by Wilfried’s hyperactivity in numerous projects influencing each other in their development, especially conceptually. So, it is hard to tell, when Wilfried got specific ideas for a certain projects. He was daily confronted with new facts, new media and art related phenomenons, so that only slowly a concept also for JavaMuseum took shape.

He was following another concept, instead of collecting just links to external artworks, he wanted to create a curatorial space, to curate virtual space as it is existing in shape of the computer monitor, and place topic related artworks into a specifically designed exhibtion context, like this conventual art museums do usually.

So, after Wilfried had released already earlier open calls in Internet addressed to artists, sometimes in the 2nd half of 2000, he released an open call for “netart” for the first show on JavaMuseum, to be launched in 2001. It was his idea to give an overview of “art on the net” at that time, but the question was, of course, would any artist submit, at all, and if yes, was the quality of the works on a level worthwhile to be exhibited – so releasing the call was really an experiment, would the artworld accept JavaMuseum and Wilfried as its curator and director?

It is quite useless to answer the question, they did, but according to Wilfried’s feeling he was just overwhelmed by submissions from artists all over the world. Many of the them were already reknown, established “netartists”, other reknown artists were not submitting (unfortunately), most of the artists names were new to Wilfried, and – now he was requested to make something out of the submissions!

Already when he launched his call, he wanted to connect his 1st JavaMuseum show with an award, honouring one or more selected artists. Would any of the submitting artist worth to be awarded, at all? They were, but Wilfried had the problem, there were too many artists, and for the first time he had to make really complicated and even far-reaching decisions, because those nominated artists who would be not selected to be awarded might feel undervaluated, but exactly this was not the meaning of the award. So, how did Wilfried find the solution for this serious problem?
A later article will resolve!

a complementing video selection

Adriano Vesicchelli (Italy) – Agent of Chaos, 2014, 3:51
gruppoGruppo (Italy/Sweden) – Secrete Lives, 2012, 6:00
DoDomani Studio (Italy) – The Box, 2012, 3:00
Brett Underhill (USA) – Threadbare, 2012, 4:40
Phillipp Haffner (Germany) – Car chase (part1), 2012, 7:00