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PRINT March 2001

Mark Tribe

ARTISTS BEGAN EXPERIMENTING with the Internet in 1994, shortly after the first Web browser was released. For those of us who were making it, Net art meant that art was finally freed from the world of physical objects that can be bought, sold, and resold. It also meant that traditional notions of authenticity and authorship were finally dead, not just in theory but in practice. Most important, it meant instant and direct access to a global audience without the intervention of museums, galleries, or other established institutions.
 
Seven years later, everybody seems to want a piece of the action. With new-media exhibitions popping up in major museums from New York to San Francisco, this may be our last chance to reflect on Net art's golden age of innocence.

Artist and curator Mark Tribe is the founder of Rhizome.org, a nonprofit organization that presents and archives new-media art and critical writing. His most recent work, StarryNight, can be viewed at rhizome.org/starrynight.

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