Connessioni Leggendarie is the first exhibition devoted to NET.ART history. Referring to a wide audience it reviews the years from 1995 to 2005; during this decade, artists separated by geographical and socio-political barriers shared ideas and artworks, using them as creative weapons over a new and unique
continent: the Internet. Working with net languages, developing collective actions with a strong media impact, bringing irony, deconstruction and, why not, fun inside the formal severity of digital cultures, artists belonging to NET.ART gave life to a true
Between complex theories and Dadaist euphoria, Connessioni Leggendarie will
bring us between hopes and fears of our wildly digitized time.
A decade of technical and cultural Far West, aiming to explore and to conquer
new lands, languages, behaviours, contraddictions and limits of a world
traumatically connected to the information highways.
Born with a taste of historical avant-garde and often blamed of computer and
media piracy, NET.ART hit all the aesthetic and conceptual targets in a time of
change with no precedent.
Huge emulations, spoofs and pillages reveal the borders of obsolete conventions
and legal parameters. Aesthetical viruses and media epidemics. Software hacked
to blow the users mind rather than the users computer.
The exhibition tracks the topic moments of NET.ART history, which is however
more similar to a Sergio Leones dirty plot than to the clean museum rooms:
to the historian‚s methods it surely prefers the great romancer mitopoietical
ability. Theres no other way to talk about FuckUFuckMe, the website selling
fake technological apparels for cybersex, ordered by real customers as if they
were real; Nike Ground, the mock Nike campaign organized by
0100101110101101.ORG that made Wien citizens go out of their mind; the identity
correction of the Yes Men, that made G.W. Bush say: some freedoms should be
limited; the challenge to the esoteric American electoral machine, realized
with an auction website, where citizens were able to sell their vote directly
to the best bidder ([V]ote-auction di Ubermorgen)...
The epic narration loves digressions: thats why Connessioni Leggendarie gathers
the fast-paced narration of these adventures and long excursuses to the
utilization of informatic languages as a poetic language [code poetry], and on
the transformation of the software into an artwork, regretting functionalities
in favour of aesthetical, conceptual or social needs [software art].
Connessioni Leggendarie isnt, and doesnt want to be, a final exhibition: its only the first, perfectible version of the legend and an attempt to suggest to
institutions, which are often insensible, ways and formulas to preserve a
history risking to get completely lost as a document and to be at the mercy of
the ungovernable limbo of oral history. In 1995, Jeff Rothemberg warned:
Digital information lasts forever - or for five years, whichever comes first.
Aware of this problem, Connessioni Leggendarie tries this new rigorous
interface, using the instruments of documentation and emulation to refer to the
spirit of the legend, rather than to quote. Therefore, video documents are
displayed together with installations, dedicated PCs and panels, depending on
the characteristics of every single project.
The Yes Men (U.S.A.)
Surveillance Camera Players (U.S.A.)
Sebastian J. F. (Austria)
Joan Leandre retroYou (Spain)
Mark Napier (U.S.A.)
Natalie Bookchin (U.S.A.)
Heath Bunting (U.K.)
Florian Cramer (Germany)
Electronic Disturbance Theater (U.S.A.)
Cornelia Sollfrank (Germany)
Alexei Shulgin (Russia)
Alexander R. Galloway (U.S.A.)
Adrian Ward (U.K.)
Amy Alexander (U.S.A.)
Mongrel Project (U.K.)
Eldar Karhalev & Ivan Khimin (Russia)
Vuk Cosic (Slovenia)
Joan Leandre / retroYou