It is no news that a growing amount of art is being created exclusively for online environments, social media platforms, blogs and mobile apps. The audience plays an active role in many of these works, which include everything from gaming-based art, a VR film and digital paintings to a Random Number Generator that writes poetry and a mixing platform inviting users to create their own soundscapes.
Kiasma Online Art, presenting artworks of 20 artists, takes the art beyond the walls of the museum, making the online collection accessible to anyone.
It marks a paradigm shift in the way that art is being created, presented and experienced. What happens when art is encountered not in a museum, but online?
Is the experience entirely different when art is accessed via smartphone on a crowded bus or on the sofa at home? Can art expand beyond the museum walls in the form of internet memes?
New artworks: apocalyptic meditation and other recent acquisitions
Finnish artist Otto Byström’s artwork 9 Billion Apps is a collage of diverse elements, all of them found or purchased online. The work’s soundtrack depicts a conversation between a capital investor and Mark Zuckerberg concerning social media’s effects on society. The animation in the background — a car in an urban landscape — was purchased online, to which Byström has added a toilet character, also found on the internet. Byström himself has called the piece an apocalyptic meditation. Byström works in a time in which the digital media shapes our identities and worldviews: the tug-of-war between private life and public forms of control defines our existence.
Fragment of Otto Byström’s artwork 9 Billion Apps
Like other parts of Kiasma’s collection, also the online collection offers audience interesting new works from the Baltic Sea area. The Lithuanian artist Robertas Narkus combines the everyday and the absurd in his art, weaving together events, objects and concepts. His work is based on awareness of how tightly his artistic efforts are knit into economic systems. His work Prospect revenge springs from a frustration with the compulsion to succeed, the demand for quick solutions, and the fear of missing out.
Another recent acquisition is a video work by Marge Monko, an Estonian photographer and video artist whose works are often based on specific historic or social events, ideas or image material, usually analysed from a feminist or psychoanalytical point of view. Dear D (2015) is a video work about romantic relationships and love, compiled from screenshots. The stream of stills, skipping from one website to another and sometimes into a word processor, is shown on a computer screen. It is punctuated by a female voice’s background commentary in English and by the occasional snippet of appropriate music.
Fragment of Dear D by Marge Monko
The latest acquisition in the Kiasma Online Art Collection is a video Sculptures which are not good enough for Rome, 2019 by Finnish artist Hemuloordi. In her works, she utilizes the aesthetics of the post-internet generation. The works are humorously skewed and unbridled. They make absurd and grotesque entities of kitsch, saturated with sprawling images and symbols. In Hemuloordi’s vision everyday images become disturbing and weird.