The Dia Art Center' series of net.art projects
Purviewing the Dia Center for the Arts' series of commissioned net.art projects (dating from 1995 to present) offers a unique opportunity to survey a meta-history of net.art. The projects featured on the Dia Web site range in artistic disciplines and feature collaborations with artists within the fields of dance, music, photography, painting, and collage while also presenting works exploring the limits of technical and philosophical sophistication. The selection of projects fostered and hosted by the Dia Web site inscribes itself within the center's tradition and mission of "initiating, supporting, presenting and preserving projects in nearly every artistic medium, and creating a primary locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism."(See Dia history section on Web site) Since its inception initially as a foundation (1974) by Philippa de Menil and Heiner Friedrich to its present status as an arts center (since 1986), the Dia has demarcated itself from other New York art establishments through its patronage of cutting edge, ambitious and unconventional projects. Such groundbreaking works as Walter de Maria's "Lightning Field" (1977) and "The New York Earth Room" (1977), initiated and supported by the Dia, helped shape the center's reputation for funding works conceptually and physically extending beyond museum-format exhibitions. With a history of commissioning controversial works involving "risky" or museologically difficult to conserve exhibits, it seems only fitting that in 1995 the Dia would launch a series of commissioned net.art works. The 13 projects so far completed present a number of artistic tendencies and concerns prevalent on the Web over the last five years.
Valérie Lamontagne - 10/2000 Le Web du Dia Art Center
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