PRINT May 2002

Maciej Wisniewski

A 1993 New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner depicts a canine surfing the Web. The caption reads: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Since artists these days can be just about anybody if they put their mind to it (think Nikki S. Lee or Sophie Calle), it’s possible that some online presences—software engineers, corporations, and even government entities—are really artists, clandestinely working toward politico-aesthetic ends. What if the Internet were secretly powered by a cabal of painters, photographers, and performers chuckling behind the curtain? Of course, the following sites may be exactly what they appear to be; on the other hand, could anyone but artists have come up with them?

Maciej Wisniewski is the creator and chief scientist of netomat, a network- and software-based art project that has been shown at such venues as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany.