ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
25 Harbor Shore Drive
February 7 - May 20
Curated by Eva Respini with Jeffrey De Blois
If contemporary art is increasingly defined as art made since 1989, it is partly because that is the year the World Wide Web was born, triggering seismic shifts in how art is produced, distributed, and consumedor so this exhibition will argue. By no means a survey of “net art” (only three of the roughly seventy-five works are web based), it aims to assess the impact of digital technologies on works by the likes of Hito Steyerl and Trevor Paglen, suggesting both a framework and a canon. The challenges here, as always with this topic, are numerous: inventing taxonomies that productively articulate an anarchic field of works; successfully displaying digital art in a white-cube context (sometimes against its will); and addressing the relationship between technology, capital, and ideology. With a hefty catalogue featuring scholars and curators such as Caroline A. Jones and Lauren Cornell, the show promises to be deliberate in working through these issues. On the merit of this alone, it’s already #winning.